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|Our Rating: 9.2/10
Type: Dual Bevel Sliding Compound
Compare Specs. With Other Miter Saws
Milwaukee clearly did not try to cut corners with their first ever sliding double bevel 12” miter. The 6955-20 boasts what they call ‘Constant Power Technology’ which they say keeps the blade at a solid 3200 rpm with or without load. Whether or not that is exactly true or not, you can tell that this technology helps keep cuts smooth and edges sharp whether flimsy trim or hardwood. The feel of it takes just a little getting used to but once you get the feel for it, you appreciate how well the saw cuts, even with the original carbine tipped blade.
With a seriously heavy duty design, it can take all the rough handling your crew has to offer and comes with a 5 year warranty to back that up. As heavy as one might expect a 12” miter to be, this one is a little lighter than I had estimated when taking it out of the box. As far as portability goes, the rubber handles are easier on your hands and the locations allow you to support some of the weight on your hip when lugging it around.
Miter Sliding & Angling
No exception to the trend of quality and durability is the whole blade mount and sliding arm. Even fully extended, there is minimal side-to-side play, making a big difference in reducing deflection but like all 12” sliders you must keep a steady arm with your sliding cuts (no concern with chopping cuts though). The arm itself is mounted on ball bearings which will last a long time and is so smooth the blade will slowly creep toward you if the whole thing isn’t level. The mitering detents are sturdy and the full range is 60° either way. You can either manually adjust it to any angle you want or use one of the great features of this particular machine, the Miter Angle Fine Adjust with Detent Override (more on that later).
The Bevel adjustment as well has two different ways to lock an angle. There are 9 detents here (0° and 4 on each side) as well manual adjustment with 48° range on either side. The whole mechanism is easy to use and can adjust quickly without leaving the saw’s front. Even though the arm is quite solid, you do not feel its weight when adjusting because the balance of the entire machine is well distributed. This allows you to spend less time and energy on getting your angles right and more effort just cutting. See what other customers have to say in their reviews on Amazon.com
Miter Angle Fine Adjust
Before I owned this saw I assumed this feature was a gimmick, but after the first few uses it seemed much more useful than I ever would have guessed, almost necessary for my more delicate work. It is very easy to use and directions for switching it on and off are right beside the mechanism that works it. The soft lighted green display allows you to be sure of your angles to a tenth of a degree and reproduce the same cuts with confidence again and again. The simple dial only takes one hand to operate so your other hand never has to leave what you’re cutting. This feature alone gives this saw a serious edge over other similarly-price 12” dual bevel miters.
Dust Collection/Exhaust System
Milwaukee did a very good job with the exhaust system. Firstly, it does a good job of ejecting most of the sawdust it produces instead of depositing within the body and creating more cleaning and/or repair for the owner. Not only does it collect and direct the vast majority of debris, the exhaust has a bag attachment which they advertise as collecting 75% of debris. In truth, it only collects about half but that’s definitely better than most 12 inchers and even if you don’t use the bag, the fact that the exhaust points straight down is going to give you a cleaner workspace than all of the other big brands’ versions. If the bag doesn’t do it for you and you’d like to attach a shop vac you will have to buy Milwaukee’s specific attachment for about $20 because the square shape of the exhaust ending is unique to this saw.
LED Work Lights
This feature is the easiest one to take for granted but may just be the most useful. Milwaukee made a great decision in going with the dual lights instead of laser guiding. And the fact that the lights are on both sides of the blade provides excellent illumination as well as eliminates blade shadow. The lights are near the blade housing so they are out of the way and come from the best angle. The on/off switch (may seem trifling, but sometimes these things are left off) paired with the LED nature of the bulbs mean that you may never have to change them.
Dado Cut Stop
The dado stop allows you to switch back and forth easily between different depths of cut. It swings out of the way easily when you don’t need it. It is neat thing to include on a miter saw such as this one and has pretty good functional use as long as it isn’t for high end finishing because there is some play and thus limited accuracy.
The first few mistakes are sort of easy to forgive considering the overall quality of this particular saw and that it is Milwaukee’s first run at a 12” double bevel slider. First, they ‘forgot’ to include clamps which would almost be funny if it wasn’t so annoying. Secondly, there is the power cord is too short. It’s so short in fact, that if you use it on its own stand, it doesn’t reach the floor. And then there is no convenient place to wrap it around or keep it out of the way when moving. These are both minor complaints but unfortunately, the rookie mistakes continue.
The fences are both nice heights at 5 ¼” and you can remove the top portions altogether if you need only a small guide. They left off inch markers but that’s not so big a deal. Their big mistake was letting the left side slide out of the way of the bevel action because it makes it obvious that the right side doesn’t and thus has to be removed anytime you want to bevel to the right. Sliding the left fence is easy and helpful and it just seems very neglectful that they didn’t allow that on the right side or correct it in later production. The thumb screws to remove the fences are also somewhat difficult to loosen and tighten.
Milwaukee is certainly one of, if not the premier 12” sliding double bevel saws on the market for framing contractors as well as serious DIYers. For amateurs, this saw can really make you look and feel like a pro. And for professionals, it can really deliver consistent performance again and again, with a couple nifty gadgets thrown in along the way. While it does have a few obvious flaws, they are more disappointing than damming. It could work for trim molders but there are a few better options on the market but really detailed finishing work. Make sure to check Amazon.com’s current prices on this Milwaukee saw.