Milwaukee clearly did not try to cut corners with their first ever sliding double bevel 12” miter saw. With a seriously heavy duty design, it can take all the rough handling your crew has to offer. It’s as heavy as one might expect a 12” miter to be. While it’s not as portable as smaller saws, it would be hard to argue that the lack of portability isn’t worth the sturdy construction. When you do move it, the rubber handles are easy on your hands and the locations allow you to support some of the weight on your hip. The Milwaukee 6955-20 is a beast.
Our Milwaukee 6955-20 Review
No exception to this saws 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. You don’t have to worry about this with chopping cuts. The arm itself is mounted on ball bearings which helps with longevity and smoothness. It’s 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° in either direction. 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 which are both discussed in detail further down.
The 6955-20 boasts what Milwaukee calls ‘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.
The bevel adjustment also has two different ways to lock in place. 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.
It would be understandable to think that the bevel adjustment feature was nothing short of a gimmick, but after the first few uses you might be surprised at how useful—almost necessary—it is for 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 softly lit 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. Again, another feature that would be easy to disregard, however glowing reviews from countless satisfied customers might persuade you to reconsider. 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.
Ease of Use
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. Realistically, it probably collects closer to about 50% but that’s definitely better than most 12″ miter saws, and some dust collection add ons could easily increase that percentage. 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 vacuum adapter for about $20 because the square shape of the exhaust ending is unique to this saw. Even if you don’t use the bag the fact that the exhaust points straight down is going to give you a cleaner work space than most other big brands’ versions.
Milwaukee made a great decision in going with the dual lights instead of laser guiding. This feature is the easiest one to take for granted but may just be the most useful. 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.
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.
There’s no doubt about it, the Milwaukee 6955-20 is a workhorse. This is the kind of saw that you can use for just about any project and get desirable results. And then do it again, and again, and again. This machine was built to last, for a long time.
Milwaukee is among the more celebrated brands in power tools. For over 90 years they have been committed to making their products in the USA and the quality found across the board is testament. They put their money where their mouth is as well with a dedicated 5-Year Warranty.
Included in the box:
- Blade wrench
- Carbide tipped blade
- Dust bag
As awesome as this saw is, nothing is truly flawless. The first few mistakes are sort of easy to forgive considering the overall quality of this particular saw, especially so if you consider that it’s 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, 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, that’s not all.
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 such a big 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. That being said, these are small complaints compared to the value this miter saw provides.
As they say, you get what you pay for. The price tag is hefty but the Milwaukee 6955-20 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 professionals, it can really deliver consistent performance again and again, with a couple nifty gadgets thrown in along the way for ease of use. For amateurs, this saw can really make you look and feel like a pro. While it does have a few obvious flaws, they are more disappointing than condemning. 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. Or compare it against the best saws on the market with our comparison chart.