New light on miter saws
When you talk about the features of Milwaukee's new 6955-20 miter saw, it's like you're talking about a modern hybrid vehicle - twin headlights, digital readout, electric brake, electronic feedback control circuit. But this saw is designed for cutting not driving, with features to address issues of accuracy and safety in a variety of environments.

A sliding compound miter saw design, the tool comes with a 12-inch blade and a motor that draws 15 amps. Crosscut capacity is 13.5 inches maximum width at 90 degrees and 9.5 inches at 45 degrees.

Light your way

The most obvious and different feature of the new saw is the lights mounted on either side of the blade. Milwaukee considered installing a laser system on the saw to identify cut lines, but after research with workers on job sites opted instead for lights. They are positioned to provide good illumination on both sides of the blade, an advantage on poorly lit job sites. The lights use a standard bulb size (GE 193) available at most automotive supplies.

There are detents for the most common miter settings, but a digital miter angle readout makes it easy, with a fine adjust dial, to accurately select angles down to a tenth of a degree. .

There are other sophisticated electronics on the saw. An electronic feedback control circuit is designed to allow the saw to maintain constant speed and torque no matter the load. It has a soft start feature, gradually increasing motor speed up to the top no-load speed and an electric brake.

How it works

The saw has special clearance built in to handle tall moulding cuts. For example, it can handle moulding up to about 6.5 inches high by about 2 inches wide in a 90-degree cut and 0.4 inches wide in a 45-degree cut.

Controls were easy to use, and the slide feature was very smooth. It's missing some common miter saw features, such as workpiece hold-downs and extending workpiece rests. Milwaukee's research shows most tradesmen don't use those rests, preferring to use a stand with built-in rests. At 65 pounds the saw is relatively easy to transport.

Dust collection works through chutes to a cloth bag, which worked well in our tests. As of this writing there is no adapter for hooking the saw to a shop-based dust collection system.

If you want a powerful, high-capacity sliding compound miter saw, it is worth considering. For more information, visit

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About the author
William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editorial director of Woodworking Network and FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.