If you’re into woodworking, then you are no stranger to the Milwaukee brand. The superb quality and heavy-duty nature of their products is what drives their continuously increasing user base to keep investing their trust and money in them. In this Milwaukee 6955-20 Sliding miter saw review, we will go through some of its most important features, discuss its downsides, and most importantly – showcase why this is one of the top miter saw models for this year and probably the next few ones.
To see and compare some of the best 12-inch miter saw models on today’s market, head over to our Buyer’s Guide. Now, let’s jump into this!
Overview & Features
One of the very first things I want us to talk about is the construction quality of this saw as well as its dimensions, since it is slightly bigger than most other 12-inch models…
Size & Construction
Compared to other 12-inch miter saws, this one is quite bulky. It measures more than 30 inches in width, nearly 23 inches in height and 22 inches in depth. While it really has a premium build quality and solid materials all around, it is substantially bigger and, therefore, a bit harder to use for beginners. Still, there are some elements that really give you a feel of a premium saw. For instance, the cutting guard is clear and doesn’t get in your visions way like the opaque ones on some DeWalt models do. That allows you to follow your cut without having your vision obstructed.
The big size also translates into the overall weight of the saw’s construction with it going way over 70 pounds. This makes this saw a pretty permanent solution to any place you install it into. This is a huge downside compared to some other miter saws like the Tacklife PMS03A that weighs less than 40 pounds and has a comfortable carry-handle.
In order to create precise miter angles, you will need an equally precise dial-in system. This is exactly what this Milwaukee saw has. It has a fine-adjust miter angle with a detent override feature that lets you control the angle with the utmost precision. It also allows for quick adjustments for non-square situations. It also gives the user the option to use the miter saw with one hand only with the other hand handling the material which it is cutting.
While the cutting surface is fairly small compared to other cheaper models, cutting itself isn’t that hard since there is a 3-point contact with that same surface. It can handle large material pieces without much of an issue but I’d still recommend getting a stand. It can carve 13 1/2 inch wide lines even at 90 degrees. On top of that, it can do it on a 4-inch height.
The full miter range of this model is almost 60 degrees in both directions. Bevel adjustments can be adjusted up to 48 degrees. You can do that manually by using the 9 detends on it. The great part about all the cutting adjustments is that you have a backlit display to display any angle changes you make with that saw. That digital display can be turned on and off by a switch right next to it.
Everything here is powered by a 15-amp 3.3 max hp motor which has been used in older Milwaukee models and has been proven to be quite bulletproof and long-lasting. That direct-drive motor powers the blade to spin at up to 3250 rounds per minute which in combination with the blade’s quality allows for cutting hardwoods, soft metals, and all sorts of plastics. Thanks to the motor there is also little to no time for the blade to spin up to its full speed. It only takes around 2 seconds for it to reach maximum rounds per minute. Even under load, the motor is optimized to provide a constant high speed that helps with cutting smoothness and overall performance.
The blade here isn’t one with tungsten carbide tips but rather a normal steep. Well, Milwaukee’s “normal” is still premium for most other brands but have in mind that it isn’t a carbide blade and carbide blades typically have a much longer service life. However, steel blades are easier to maintain and can be sharpened easily. The accuracy that this blade provides is noticeable and there isn’t a lot of deviation from cut to cut.
If you’ve used your blade for quite some time now and you’re beginning to notice that it is not as sharp as it was before, it might be time for you to either swap it or sharpen it. You can learn how to sharpen your blade to do that by clicking here!
Sadly, there is a noticeable lack of additional features and accessories here apart from the ones that I’ve already listed. While you expect a lot of accessories from such an expensive saw, most of the features and quality you get here aren’t existent in the lower price classes, so it is actually understandable that your money goes towards performance rather than additional accessories and gimmick features.
Just like the Hitachi C12RSH2 and a lot of other high-end models, this miter saw is using a red laser for guidance. Unlike most of those models, however, this laser is visible even in brighter environments and is ideal for outdoor use. Another thing that affects work site illumination is the dual integrated job site lights which are quite powerful and allow you to work on the miter saw even if you are in a dimly lit work environment.
One thing that I do not like about this saw is its dust collection system. While Milwaukee claims for this model to have a dust-collecting efficiency of 75%, it doesn’t work as advertised and often puts a lot of fine dust in the air, depending on what you’re cutting. Still, the integral dust channel sometimes works as it should and captures the dust that is at both sides of the blade near the cut. This channel also maximizes the airflow that goes around the blade further helping the dust escape from the bag and enter the dust container. Still, sometimes, depending on the material you’re cutting, it simply won’t move in that direction, especially if you aren’t regularly cleaning the channel.
Another thing that I don’t like here is that for the price you’re paying, which is already more than most other 12-inch models on the market, you aren’t getting a ton of accessories. In fact, you are getting almost none, including not getting a material clamp that comes standard even with budget models nowadays.
Lastly, everything here is covered by a 5-year warranty that covers construction defects and motor issues.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Excellent build quality
- Digital detent readout
- Reasonably priced
- Very powerful motor
- Versatile use
- Easily handles hard lumber
- Has dual integral lights
- 5-year warranty
- Has a mediocre dust collection system
- Despite being easily visible, the laser light gets hard to see in bright and direct sunlight
- Bulky and heavy. Not ideal for transporting to different job site locations
Milwaukee 6955-20 vs DeWalt DWS779 Compound Miter Saw
The DeWalt DWS779 Compound miter saw is quite the competition to any other 12-inch saw and has proven to be one of the best saws among the cheaper models. Yeah, I mentioned DeWalt and cheap in the same sentence, mainly because the DWS779 won’t cost you an arm and a leg, like the Milwaukee 6955-20 will. Another thing that I’ve already mentioned as a huge difference between these two is that DeWalt continues using their opaque cutting guards which don’t really help you when you have to look at your cutting line. The Milwaukee saw has it completely transparent and in combination with its laser guidance system, it really helps you be accurate.
The DeWalt saw has a slightly more powerful motor that allows it to get more RPMs to its blade. That on its own isn’t a significant difference but in combination with the DeWalt 96T blade, it really creates a powerful combination that cuts through most materials easily. Both saws are relatively easy to control but the DeWalt is less flexible in its movements and angles. It is the lighter saw, however, making it much easier to transport as you won’t be carrying an extra 30 pounds. Both of those saws will greatly benefit from a saw stand, though.
Lastly, prise-wise, the DWS779 is a few hundred dollars cheaper than the Milwaukee miter saw which might be one of the biggest selling points in favor of the DeWalt model, especially if you aren’t going to use the miter saw every day or on important job projects. Although, even then, the DeWalt won’t let you down. These high prices get you a 3-year limited warranty for the DeWalt and a 5-year limited warranty for the Milwaukee model.
If you want to learn the do’s and don’ts of miter saws and learn all of the best tips around that, head over to this article to find out more!
Conclusion and Rating
If you’re set on getting a heavy-duty professional-grade miter saw, then the Milwaukee 6955-20 Sliding Miter Saw is definitely something you should consider. It will substantially damage your budget as it is one of the most expensive models out there but it also is one of the few ones where you can clearly see where the money has gone. Everything is solidly put together and all the materials are high-end. However, if you are a beginner or not used to miter saws, have in mind that this one is a bit bulky and has a steep learning curve thanks to all of its controls and angle possibilities. As a whole, thanks to its build quality and cutting performance, I’ve rated it four and a half out of five stars!