An oldie but a goodie

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Review by Mainiac Matt posted 01-10-2014 05:00 PM 5228 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
An oldie but a goodie No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I purchased this new in ‘96 from Woodworkers Whse, in a package deal with a stand for ~$400. Milwaukee chop saws and sliders were the king of the hill back then, as the only dual bevel miter SCMS on the market, with the motor mounted high and belt drive, was the Hitachi, and it was a lot more expensive. This is b4 the day of the 12” DeWalt sliders, which took over the market several years later.

This saw has proven to be a real work horse. I was building a timber frame house at the time and I used the saw to cut and miter several dozen 3×5 oak timbers for use as braces, and then used the saw to kerf out the lap joints (like a skinny dado). I made roof trusses and stair stringers, etc…. The miter lock mechanism is solid and the ball detents give very accurate and repeatable miter cuts. I also built a stick framed addition, shed, pole barn with timber purlins and board and batton siding and solid lumber decked loft, and a tree house with the saw, and have brought it out to dozens of job sites to help friends. I can’t count how many times it’s been left set up out in the rain, with a plastic bag over the head.

I went on to purchase a nice 60 tooth ATB blade and have done all the cuts for our stained pine trim. The cuts are very smooth, so I’m even using it for finish cuts on my furniture projects.

Some time along the way, the electric brake stopped working 100% of the time, and eventually degraded to seldom working at all. Then a few months ago, after 17 years of service, the saw “ghost started” twice on me, while I was at the other end of my shop.

Even though blowing out the switch with air seemed to solve the “ghost starting” problem, I decided this faithful friend rated some TLC and ordered a new switch, and, even though they were only ~ 1/4 worn, I ordered new brushes as well (why pay shipping twice?)

So last night I gave the saw a thorough vacuuming and blew out the motor housing, and replaced the switch and brushes. It was a little tricky getting access to the switch without completely pulling the blade guard, but changing the brushes was a breeze. Low and behold…. the electric brake works like new again

There are some very nice chop saws and sliders on the market these days…. but with this saw cranking along so reliably and giving great cuts, I can’t justify the $ to upgrade. So I’m building a fancy stand and committing to use it as my primary means of cross cutting lumber.

If you ever see one for sale on Craig’s list, they are worth considering.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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Mainiac Matt

9550 posts in 3097 days

7 comments so far

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3870 days

#1 posted 01-10-2014 09:19 PM

Ya know what I like about this review is that it was done by someone who actually has used the product a “bunch” and I mean a WHOLE bunch. Just the worst reviews are those when we find out someone has received thier new tool within hours, opened the box and proceeds to tell us about the “fit and finish”. They can’t tell you if the tool will last or what if any “downsides” there might be with the purchase but they can tell you how pretty it is.

I have an old Craftsman miter saw I bought 15 years ago that I use almost daily and is going strong. So I get what you are saying.

Nice review…..........................

-- mike...............

View DIYaholic's profile


19918 posts in 3443 days

#2 posted 01-10-2014 09:31 PM

Great review Matt!
I echo what Mike said!!!

I’m just surprised that you were able to remember all that information!!! ;^)

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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Mainiac Matt

9550 posts in 3097 days

#3 posted 01-10-2014 09:38 PM

Ya Mike, it’s kind of dorkey posting a review on a 17 year old tool that’s of an outdated design. but I’ve seen some old tool reviews on here and though, if I ever see one of those on CL, I’ll know it’s a solid machine.

When you use a tool like this over a long period of time, it kind of becomes like an old friend.

Harbor Freight has their 12” SCMS for sale this week for $139 and I’ve heard these are actually pretty good saws. Not quite in the same league as the DeWalts and certainly not the German saws like the Metabo. But this Milwaukee is meeting 99% of my needs, so I’ll keep her around for another decade or so :^)

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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Mainiac Matt

9550 posts in 3097 days

#4 posted 01-10-2014 09:41 PM


I can tell you who I sat next to in 1st grade…. just don’t expect me to remember your name 2 minutes after being introduced and shaking hands.

My wife thinks it’s a long term loss of short term memory from smoking too much hooch in my teens :^o

I think it’s because I’m a turbo visual learner and once I see something in a picture or have to write it down and read it, then it’s sticks for good.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View ward63's profile


363 posts in 3855 days

#5 posted 01-11-2014 03:05 AM

Great review!!!
Thanks for sharing.

View wbrisett's profile


205 posts in 3117 days

#6 posted 01-11-2014 10:38 AM

If memory serves me right, this saw was also still being built in the US at the time. I think I have some of the last tools Milwaukee made here in the States before moving production around the globe… and of course now it’s all made in China.

View TheDane's profile


5822 posts in 4431 days

#7 posted 01-11-2014 07:57 PM

This saw was built in the days when quality still meant something. Too bad Milwaukee, B&D, and others have gone the rice-a-roni route.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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