Are radial arm saws obsolete?
No, not yet! It's still being used by many woodworkers and carpenters across the globe.
So, now should you get a radial arm saw?
Yeah! In fact, if handled safely a radial arm saw can be the most versatile power tool in your workshop.
Now, the question is...
Which radial arm saw should you get?
Here are the best radial arm saw that are available in 2020 -
THE ALTERNATIVE OF RADIAL ARM SAWS
Table Of Contents
- Here are the best radial arm saw that are available in 2020 -
- 5 Best Radial Arm Saw - Reviews
- Best Blades For Radial Arm Saw
- Radial Arm Saw V/S Table Saw: Which One Is Better?
- Radial Arm Saw V/S Miter saw
- Is Radial Arm Saw Dangerous?
- How To Operate A Radial Arm Saw?
- How To Cross Cut Using Radial Arm Saw?
5 Best Radial Arm Saw - Reviews
1. Original Saw’s - Radial Arm Saw - Best Overall
This versatile saw designed by The Original company is one of the very best for cutting down panels with precision.
It is an exact cutting machine and has the best quality in its class.
An automatic braking system, adjustable tension carriage return reel, and an oversized MDF tabletop are one of the few things that make it sit comfortably in the topmost echelon of radial arm saws.
This industrial-rated saw is the ultimate workhorse of this industry.
Indeed, the metal cutting radial saw can work 2 to 3 shifts a day in a typical industrial sawing environment.
The Original’s radial arm saw can do a diverse range of cuts. It can also carry out applications like steel cutting, aluminum cutting, as well as, bevel, miter, and compound miter cuts.
This radial arm is designed with sturdy materials and can cut easily through materials like bronze, brass, fiberglass, and bronze. With a crosscut of 24”, its design and applications are unmatched. Setting up the saw comes easy and can be done even by a novice.
This radial arm saw is debatably the best at making safe and accurate cuts. The ever-reliable machine sports a high-quality steel stand that functions as sturdy support.
It provides excellent cutting capacity for crosscutting nominal 2” thick up to 16” wide. The miter cutting capacities in 2” thick stocks can go 11” at 45° right and 10-at 45° to the left.
The cast iron column and track that comes with this radial arm saw provides another form of support during cutting operations.
As an added perk, it minimizes vibration common with such heavy cutting operations.
The handles for controlling depth-of-cut, as well as locking levers, are usually mounted above the table. The placement of the handle makes it easily accessible to its users during cutting operations.
The highly versatile saw comes with a dual-threaded shaft. This shaft makes it compatible with a wide range of accessories, making it suitable for a host of operations.
Radial arm saws have taken a backseat in many woodwork shops since miter saws began to take the spotlight.
However, the Dewalt radial arm saws might make you reconsider radial arm saws. Packed with a lot of features missing from saws with heftier price tags, it performs a wide range of applications seamlessly.
More impressive is the fact that it wears a relatively low-price tag. It was designed according to the highest standards. Its maintenance-free and powerful induction motors deliver enough power needed to cut through soft and hardwoods alike.
The solid cast iron used to produce the arm makes it extremely durable even under heavy usage. The cast iron also boosts the accuracy of the arm. It is the ideal woodwork tool for professionals.
This is not unconnected to the fact that it is very reliable and versatile. Its versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of woodwork operations. Indeed, it can be used for bevel, crosscut, and miter cuts.
It's simple controls and adjustment scales make it easy to adjust the depth, width, and angle of the cut with accuracy.
This radial arm saw is a beast both in the workshop and on the job site. The incredible saw not only functions as a radial saw.
It also doubles as a shaper. Just like radial saws from most popular brands, it has to be adjusted and readjusted occasionally. In adjusting the saw, your square must be square. If not, adjust accordingly.
It sports a unique Laser Trac technology that makes its blade align appropriately with the workpiece. This radial saw is fitted with an accessory shaft is one of the most versatile radial arm saws ever known.
It also comes along with a sturdy built work surface that is ideal for large workpieces.
It has a maximum cross width of 14” after adjusting the table slats. Though it can theoretically manage only a maximum cross width of 14”, it can be used for a wider width if used in conjunction with a stop block.
This saw is also extremely useful in cutting dados. Speaking of its versatility, it can perform functions only a compound combination of a miter saw and a table saw can.
This corded saw us designed with a voltage of 115V.
Because of its lightweight, it is easy to transport from one point to another on a job site or in the workshop. It boasts of a miter capacity of 0 degrees-45 degrees.
In terms of bevel capacity, you get 0 degrees, 45, and 90 degrees.
Unlike its Craftsman competition, it comes with safety features that make it safe for use.
The safety features include rigid steel floors, automatic blade guards, locking levers, among others.
Best Blades For Radial Arm Saw
#1 Infinity tools 010-060
The Infinity Tools 010-060 is the best blade for accurate crosscuts in your woodworking tasks. If you use it on a radial arm saw, it’s very safe as it cannot move in case of an aggressive hook angle.
This exceptional blade can be used for multiple purposes on your table saw. It offers excellent results in different types of materials. This saw blade comes with a special Nickel Armor coating which extends its life.
The coating also prevents it from rusting, and resin builds up. The infinity Tools 101-060 is versatile hence can be used for general woodcutting purposes.
It also has Hi-ATB teeth that are unique in crosscutting.
Apart from radial saws, you can use it for table saws as well. This blade has a low enough to safely use on a Radial arm saw. It is extra thick which makes it durable.
Infinity Tools 010-060 blade is suitable for your radial arm saw if you need something to use on different materials.
It not only provides accurate crosscuts but also has a long life between sharpening. You won’t have to worry about a blunt blade after using it a few times.
#2 Skarpaz RA12801 radial arm/miter saw blades
The Skarpaz RA12801 Radial Arm blade is made with unique materials to perform well.
You can use it to cut different materials like softwood, hardwood, single sided laminate, plywood, composite and particleboard.
You can use it to rip and crosscut blades in case you need a higher feed rate.
The Skarpaz RA12801 has a neutral hook angle which stops the saw from grabbing materials.
You can use it to rip and crosscut blades in case you need a higher feed rate. The Skarpaz RA12801 has a neutral hook angle which stops the saw from grabbing materials.
Radial Arm Saw V/S Table Saw: Which One Is Better?
Have you ever wondered which is the best option between the radial arm saw and the table saw?
While you may love both of them and prefer to have all of them, there are times you may have no choice but to choose one.
Here is a review about both of them and our stand on which to choose.
Radial arm saw:
Reymond Dewalt invented the Radial arm saw in the year 1922, and it is one of the best brands in the world. This saw has a hanging blade from the top.
The blade is mounted on a horizontal arm and slides forward if you push it and backwards if you pull it Radial arm saws deliver great results when you make cross cuts, dados, rabbets and half lap joints.
While it can perform many tasks so well, you need more skills to use it compared to table saws.
As much as Miter saws are trying to replace radial arm saws, they are still available and popular as well.
They come with different settings, and you might have to read the manual before using it.
Advantages of radial arm saw:
They perform well on cross cuts. While radial arm saws work on different projects, they are perfect when it comes to cross cuts.
You need to adjust it well to achieve this.
It is versatile. Apart from cutting the wood, you can use the radial arm saw for other tasks like surface planning the boards, routing and drum sanding among other activities.
They use very little space. With a radial arm saw, you don’t need a lot of space like with a table saw.
You can use them to perform heavy tasks.
Sometimes you may need to cut a heavy board and need a strong cutting tool. You need a radial arm saw to do this.
Cons of radial arm saw:
They are quite risky: Radial saws are more dangerous to use than table saws because they have an exposed moving blade.
High cost: Since Radial arm saws do a lot of tasks, they are more expensive compared to table saws.
A table saw has a circular blade even though it is mounted below its workbench and you can either raise it up or down.
They can be used for cross-cutting and also in bevel and mitre cuts.
It is easy to use a table saw and comfortable as well.
You might need to set blade’s depth to make dados and grooves using a table saw. Modern table saws come with automatic braking systems that stop the blade any moment it detects a conductive material, e.g. a human body.
This indicates that they are safe to use and popular as well.
Table Saw Pros:
Easy to use.
Perfect for ripping
Safer than Radial saws
Less noisy when in use
Which is the right choice: Table saw or Radial arm saw?
Well, it depends on the type of cuts you do more often. If you are doing cross cuts, dados, rabbets and half lap joints often then go for a radial arm saw.
If you are concerned about space or working on tough materials you might want a radial arm saw.
But if you focus on safety, ease of use and less noise, you might want to use a table saw.
We advise you to look at the features.
Radial Arm Saw V/S Miter saw
As mentioned earlier, Radial arm saws can work on all kinds of construction tasks. You can use them to cut different pieces of work without any difficulty.
You should also note that Radial arm saws have been permanently set up for heavy construction jobs.
A manufacturer supplies a large table with two other feeder tables. The best thing about them is that you can easily set them up and process a lot of cuts within a short time.
Miter saw :
Unlike Radial arm saws, Miter saws are specialized for woodworking finishing tasks. They are quite small than radial arm saws regarding width and depth of cut.
However, they are portable and very accurate. They come in different motor capacities and sizes.
They are not as powerful as radial arm saws. They come with a carry handle which makes it possible to move them around.
While they may be small and less potent in cutting tough materials, they provide accurate results in finishing work.
Which saw should you choose: Miter saw or radial arm saw?
As said before, the tasks that you need to perform are all that matters. If you are planning to do a massive construction job that involves cutting tough materials, you need a radial arm saw.
However, if you have light tasks that need accurate results, a mitre saw would work correctly.
Is Radial Arm Saw Dangerous?
Yes and No...
Well, the answer depends on how you operate it and what type of cuts you're doing with it.
Any power tool with a high-speed rotating blade can become dangerous if it's not handled properly. And RAS is not any more or less safe than any other saw in that regards.
The important thing is to use your head, be focused, and always be aware of where the blade is.
For rip cuts, RAS is more dangerous than other power. So for me, the rip cut is a “NO NO” on RAS.
For crosscuts and dados, it’s safe like any other power saws. And it will be as long as you follow these basic rules:
Paying attention all the time where your hand and fingers are.
2. Always push the blade when finishing a cut instead of pulling it towards you.
3. Make sure you use the right blade to minimize self-feeding.
4. When dadoing on thick wood ensure the fence is tall enough.
If you keep these things in mind while operating a radial arm saw will be as safe as other power saws.
How To Operate A Radial Arm Saw?
A radial arm saw is flexible, meaning you can use it for various activities at home. You need to understand how to utilize it properly. Keep reading to find out how you can use it.
1. First read the manual
Before using it, read the user manual to understand some basic things about it. It will help you to know how to set it and adjust it properly.
2. Dress appropriately
Before using the radial arm saw, make sure that you have glasses that have side shields that are in line with the current national standards.
You might also need a full-face protection. If you are handling a dirty work, wear a dust mask.
A radial arm saw produces much noise which might not be safe for your ears. Always wear a hearing protection to block the incoming noise.
3. Check whether you installed the blade well
Your manual covers how you can fit the blade and the blades to function well. Confirm if the blade is clean and sharp enough.
4. Operating the Radial arm saw
After setting everything ready, wait for the saw to reach a maximum speed before beginning to cut. When you complete cutting, always turn it off.
You must also use a table to do all the work. Avoid doing it free-hand as it is quite risky. Before turning the saw on again, remove any obstructions.
How To Cross Cut Using Radial Arm Saw?
The blade of a radial arm saw rotates in the same direction as the cut.
You need to pull the saw through the cut while preventing the saw blade from pulling and gabbling the blade through that cut too fast. Always pull at a slow pace while avoiding the saw to push more quickly than desired.
In case you want to rip, hold the work piece safely against the rear fence. You can use feather boards in this task.
You might also want to use a push stick in guiding the board through that rip cut.
When using a radial arm saw, ensure that your hands and the rest of your body are away from the blade.
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