What is Dewalt XPS Technology on Miter Saw

Dewalt XPS technology has brought us a light system that’s a viable alternative to laser guides. There are various advantages and disadvantages to consider if you’re considering a Dewalt XPS light kit for your workshop. DeWalt XPS technology works by projecting light up either side of the blade, casting a shade of the cutting tool in the working space. The shade sharpens, thickens, and reveals precisely how broad the cut would be when it’s done as the blade descends.

What is Dewalt XPS Technology

Dewalt XPS Technology

Dewalt XPS technology is an LED lighting system that projects a guide light down both sides of a saw blade. This creates a blade shadow in the work area, and as the blade descends, the shadow becomes sharper. This displaces the exact width of the cut that is about to be made with the saw.

The Dewalt XPS is wired into the power supply of the saw, no batteries are required, and the LED light has a dedicated on/off switch. This is handy because you can evaluate a cut even if the saw isn’t running.

The light will illuminate the entire work area and create the shadow at the same time. This improves the precision and safety of the cuts you make with that saw.

Dewalt XPS Light

The Dewalt XPS light system assists the cutting precision with light projected down both blade sides at the same time. There are two major benefits to consider:

  1. When you place the miter saw, you get a blade direction to help you spot the next cutting stage.
  2. When you change blades, the XPS light is not affected, and you can still achieve a precise blade line for cutting.

What Is XPS Shadow Line? 

A miter saw that has a shadow line has lights positioned on both sides or above the blade to create the shadow on the work piece that you’re cutting. This shows the exact cut that the blade will make, and this takes thickness and blade kerf into consideration too. You don’t get this if you’re using a miter saw equipped with a laser. The shadow line on the work-piece shows the blade thickness and the anticipated cut, which delivers exceptional accuracy for every cut.

Dewalt XPS Technology Compared to Laser Light Technology

While we’ve lamented about the Dewalt XPS technology, to gain further insight, you will need to know how it performs compared to laser light technology.

The Dewalt XPS Lighting System:

The Dewalt XPS technology lighting system works very differently when it’s compared to a standard laser guide. A pair of red LED lights shine down each side of the saw blade to create the cutting surface shadow. This shows where the cut will be made and the line that the blade will cut along.

This is extremely useful if you need to make finishing carpentry cuts on flooring and other projects that require millimeter accurate cuts. With a single medium thickness blade, the LED lights can help you to get the cut on the desired side for a perfect match with other edges. Even if you need to change the blades between cuts, the shadow will still be located in the same place.

Laser Guide Problems:

A laser cutting guide must be calibrated to work with the saw to ensure that the blade is aligned with the laser. This can cause two major problems. First, if either the laser guide sliding mechanism or the saw body wear, they will go out of alignment, and the cuts will be inaccurate.

At this point, re-calibration is required, and with gradual wear, this may become a regularity that lowers productivity. Second, every time you change the saw blade, you need to adjust the laser guide, or the cuts will be inaccurate.

Improving Productivity:

When you’re using the XPS shadow system, you can work faster with fewer interruptions. There is no loss of accuracy; in fact, accuracy and precision improve significantly. There is no need to keep testing the saw to check if the cutting line is still accurate, and when you change the blade, the shadow will change with it. This is an excellent way to build a reputation for quality work and improve productivity at the same time.

Dewalt XPS Technology Advantages and Disadvantages

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of the XPS system and laser guides in more detail:

The Dewalt XPS LED Light


what is xps technology on dewalt miter saw
  • The LED light provides an accurate visual representation of where the cut will be made.
  • The work area is illuminated to improve accuracy and safety.
  • The XPS lighting system is wired into the saw, and no battery replacement is necessary.
  • A separate on/off switch means that the operator can use the light even if the saw blade is not spinning.
  • The LED light casing is made from durable metal.
  • The LED light bulbs are easy to install and long-lasting.


  • If the XPS light is used in full daylight, it can be hard to see the shadow line.
  • Moving to a shady area or standing in front of the light source fixes this problem.

Laser Guides


  • Laser guides are tried and tested technology that many workshops already use daily.


  • Laser guide systems can be washed out in direct sunlight.
  • Lasers need frequent calibrations for accuracy, and they can easily go out of alignment.
  • A laser guide offers no additional illumination for the work area.
  • The laser guideline will not show the width of the cut.
  • The laser guide must be recalibrated after each blade change.

What is the Price of Dewalt XPS Technology?

The best part about this technology is that it isn’t limited to high-end devices. DeWalt has included the XPS shadowing cut technology in all of their latest miter saw versions, first in the DeWalt DWS774 gliding miter saw all the way up to the DeWalt DWS780 professional’s edition. It implies that everybody who purchase a latest model will get a system which is definitely ahead of lasers.

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Conclusion: Dewalt XPS technology

As you can see, Dewalt XPS technology is the clear winner when it comes to making the most precise cuts. In fact, this LED lighting system is superior to a laser guide system in every conceivable way, and the only barrier to entry is the purchase price.

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