Milwaukee Dual-Bevel 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Milwaukee 6955-20 Miter Saw Review
With the insurgence of long-life battery tools and the inherent portability they offer, I find myself switching a huge majority of my tools to that platform. The miter saw, so far, is not one of them, and the one that I use on the jobsite is the Milwaukee Dual-Bevel 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw.
Since I began in the trades, I have used Dewalt miter saws in the field. This has more to do with the preferences of my mentors and the tools that have been available than my own personal preference. There has always been a certain comfort level when using tools with similar configurations and features as the ones in which I am accustomed. This saw has changed the way I have approached buying tools and most certainly, for the better.
Milwaukee 6955-20 Specifications
- Volts -120 AC
- Amps – 15
- No Load RPM – 3200
- Arbor Size – 5/8″
- Blade Size – 12″
- Blade Thickness (Kerf) – Max 1/8″
- Weight – 65 lbs.
- Max Height at 90o – 6.55″ H at 2.10″ W
- Max Height at 45o – 6.55″ H at .40″ W
- Max Width at 90o – 13.5″ W at 4.02″H
- Max Width at 45o – 9.51″ W at 4.02″ H
45o Miter and 45o Bevel Left Bevel – 9.51″ W at 2.25″H Right Bevel – 9.51″ W at 1.9″ H
Milwaukee Dual-Bevel 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw Construction
The first thing you notice is the heft. I am here to tell you that this saw is a beast. At nearly 70 pounds and fairly large in size, it is certainly not the most portable saw on the market. This is not to say, however, that it is not well designed. The saw is VERY well balanced and the carrying handles are well
thought out, which allow it to seem much lighter and easier to handle than you would expect of a saw this size.
As previously alluded with the heft, this saw is built like a tank. This tool was definitely built for a professional whether in a shop (due to size) or in the field (it can take a beating), a pro that takes the time to accurately tune it (Milwaukee has detailed this in the owner’s manual) will be delighted with the results time and again.
A heavy-duty steel plate with detents makes up the miter system with a bearing aided adjustment to fine-tune the scale. A simple finger pull lever deactivates the detent system and allows you to change to any angle or one of the common, predetermined detents/miter stops.
Digital Miter Readout
The ringer for the Milwaukee Dual-Bevel 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw is the digital miter readout. Proudly displayed front and center, this feature can accurately tell an angle to 0.1°. You simply pull the lever and push forward the red ring to engage the system, the turn it left or right to the desired angle. This is particularly effective in trim carpentry when things are, let’s face it, less than square. It is very easy to operate and doesn’t seem to take much more time when you get used to the controls.
The dual bevel system is a large red handle towards the rear of the saw. To use the predetermined bevel stops, the handle lifts half-way up and is lifted fully to adjust to other angles. This takes a bit of getting used to but works well.
A clear blade guard aids in seeing the workpiece compared to the opaque versions although I am still partial to the ridges of the Dewalt saws to help in raising the guard when applicable.
This saw has a depth stop that, while somewhat rudimentary, works well and can allow to cut some dadoes and rabbets in the field without a router or table saw.
Milwaukee 6955-20 Fence
Then fence system on the Milwaukee Dual-Bevel 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw has one of my biggest annoying issues. The left side has a sliding fence with the standard thumbscrew tightening mechanism, while the right side does not slide. The thumbscrew mechanism simply allows you to remove the fence. With the dual bevel design, this means you have to remove the fence entirely to bevel one direction. Although not a deal breaker (I’ve seen that people have ground off a little of the fence stop to allow sliding), it is definitely an annoyance on such a well-designed tool.
The integrated, dual LED light system is fantastic. I have always found the lasers to be a little inaccurate and the lights give the right amount of visibility without being a nuisance. I think this feature should be standard on ALL saws.
The 6955-20 has soft-start and a motor that runs parallel to the parallel to the blade which helps not only with start-up torque, but also, depth of cut. The motor is powerful enough to easily cut through most material and increases blade speed when you need.
The dust collection on the Milwaukee Dual-Bevel 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw has its’ advantages and drawbacks. The manufacturer says is collects up to 75% percent of the sawdust, but, personally, I feel that is far-fetched. It does provide a large port and a bag, and I will concede that it catches more than most miter saws. The ability to turn the port down is a nice bonus. The downside is that you have to purchase an adapter to hook it to a vacuum system. With as much as the saw costs, and the movement towards cleaner/healthier jobsites, I wish the adapter was included.
Using the Milwaukee 6955-20 Saw
I have been using this saw in the field for some time now and I honestly couldn’t be much happier. Equipped with a good blade, this saw is accurate, quiet, and holds remarkably true to square even though it has been banged around in a tool trailer and on the job. The slide rails are very smooth, and if not properly leveled, the saw will move under its own weight. The depth and width of cut are on the top end of the scale which has helped me numerous times with large base and crown.
While the weight, size and the non-sliding fence are all drawbacks, this saw has performed time and again. It is accurate, tough and has an attractive appearance as well. Any pro that is looking for a new 12″ sliding miter saw, no matter their current brand affiliation or preference, would do well to take a look at this offering from Milwaukee.