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Radial Arm Saws

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Dovans, Dec 5, 2017 at 6:34 PM.

  1. Looking to purchase one. But I wonder why have they fallen out of favor? Only one I can find are some old models from Craftsmen and Delta..
     
  2. UFM82

    UFM82 The one others want to be

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    They aren't portable, they aren't compact and they aren't cordless. And as far as I am concerned, wood-working skills are a fast disappearing genre. Many of my son's "millennial" friends have never even used a drill, much less a power saw. I never had one of my own but used a big Rockwell version at one of my past jobs. Great tool that was more versatile than a table saw I thought. Made some fabulous furniture with it before I left there. Would love to have one now but space is an issue.
     
    TheShoreman, Lazy 8 and crappiedude like this.

  3. James F

    James F Senior Member

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    If it's not true to square, 90 degrees thru 45 degrees, you will fight it to the bitter end!Unless you have the wood backstop perfectly straight it will exaggerate the angle cut by the length it travels, 1/16th= about 1/8th or more.Once out of wack and you will tire of messing with it!!
     
  4. Craftsman has had a recall on them for years. If I remember correctly they sent me a check for $100 to send them the motor off the saw.
    http://www.radialarmsawrecall.com/
     
    Lazy 8 likes this.
  5. baitguy

    baitguy catchin my own bait since 1958

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    My dad and I had a portable one many moons ago, in the 70s ... it was a Craftsman, compound, radial arm miter saw, at the time it cost about $200 and was THE top of the line, we had many comments on it over the years ... it used a regular 7-1/4" blade and had some limitations, but it was a terrific tool for the times ... while it will work on a limited basis, you're not going to do any extensive ripping with a radial arm, it isn't made for that ... the new generation of more portable chop and table saws kind of made that tool somewhat dated ... as has been mentioned, most of the ones now are not very portable but if you're doing production work such as cutting a boatload of studs or joists where you can set up a jig they are well worth having, but they kind of need to be set up in a dedicated area with a good amount of space, 4'-10' on either end ... I think Rigid makes one, maybe Delta as well and I'm sure there are some others ... you might not find them at the Big Box stores but if you're in the Cleveland area, Ohio Tool and Cutter in Strongsville on 82 has a nice selection of professional tools
     
  6. PapawSmith

    PapawSmith Bud n Burgers

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    With everyone like Dewalt, Rigid, Ryobi, and Craftsman making compound miter saws with a significant slide function, that are both portable and affordable, the traditional radial arm saws have fallen by the wayside. You can still get commercial grade radial arm shop saws but they cost. There are plenty of steel body oldies out there too if you watch the auction sites.
     
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  7. Lazy 8

    Lazy 8 HoHoHo

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    I think if you look in the home improvement glyers you see power miter boxes and portable systems/racks so you can take the saw right to your work area. No, you can't rip with them but like stated above, fewer are doing that these days.
    You could get the miter saw and a portable table saw for ripping if that's your thing?
    I agree, the radial arm saws are big and clunky for my tastes. As a carpenter in a former life, I've used plenty of them but never wanted to actually own one.
     
    PromiseKeeper likes this.
  8. FYI Ridgid offers a lifetime warranty if you register your tools with them. I just scored a great deal on a table saw on a black Friday promo
     
    Lazy 8 likes this.
  9. Sliding compound miter saws and track saws seem to have taken the place of the radial arm saw. Panel saw plans are out there for DIYing your own with a circular saw.
    A friend many years gone by had a nice Craftsman radial arm saw. He called me when it quit working and asked if I would take a look at it. While checking the switchs for power and leaning in close I heard a humming from the motor. I touched the blade and the saw blade immediately began to spin and reach full speed. The motors on those saws used a starter capacitor which gave the motor the extra push to get the blade going. He ordered the new capacitor from Sears and he was back cutting. I have seen some of the older Craftsman saws listed on CL as not running which made me think they just needed this small repair. The same friend had the full Shop Smith set up and after a number of years using that he gathered up all the free standing wood shop equipment. If Norm had it it on the show it was in his shop. He no longer liked the time it took to change operations of the shop smith systems verses the stand alone machine ready to go.
    Woodworking is fun. I take wood and make sawdust and occasionally make furniture repairs. Lol
     
  10. you guys are right, sliding compound miter saws have virtually taken the place of radial arm saws in most home/small business shops. People are building saw stands with the Kreg Precision Trak & Stop system. We purchased a DeWalt 12" sliding compound miter saw two weeks ago, we also purchased the stop system and are in process of building the stand now. You can find DYI plans on youtube and other places for the stand. miter-saw-stand-039.jpg
     
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  11. Just a warning, they seem to pick and choose what's needed to register a product. I tried to register a miter saw and they said I had to send proof of purchase, so I scanned the UPC code and receipt. They then said they couldn't verify it was real and said I would have to mail in the actual receipt and UPC code. I told them to %$#* off, I'll buy something different next time just out of principle.
     
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  12. Lazy 8

    Lazy 8 HoHoHo

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    I still have the cheap 10" steel rollers that I'd set up to the left and right of my 10" Makita slider when I take the setup out somewhere to be mobile. That and my older pancake compressor that believe it or not, does not run continually, it actually will shutoff when it builds up pressure.
     
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  13. after reading the comments, not in such a hurry to get one..
     
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  14. Muddy

    Muddy

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    I grew up with one in our garage. We used it a lot around the house on projects. It also took up a ton of space. As stated before-miter saws and sliding miter saws have replaced them. You would be better off buying a miter saw and portable table saw. I like Dewalt. I am a general contractor who has tried many brands of tools. We now outfit our guys almost exclusively with Dewalt. They work well and hold up well. Ridged tools don't hold up as well.
     
  15. Lazy 8

    Lazy 8 HoHoHo

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    My next purchase will prolly be a scroll saw. But one capable of cutting metal. When I retire I "hope" to putter around with knife making.
    That's the dream anyway. Stock removal at first and possibly a small forge down the road. Who knows?
     
    PromiseKeeper likes this.
  16. privateer

    privateer Fishin-For-Fun

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    that is great. they recalled them because the blade was exposed. how about recall the idiots that stick their hand in front of the exposed blade. It is a saw, it has a blade, it cuts things!
     
    Lazy 8 likes this.
  17. I agree that compound double bevel 12" slider miter saws have seem to have replaced the right a dial arm saw in wood shops that I've seen. I got a hitachi for 299 on black Friday and used a $60 coupon. For ripping I use my grizzly table saw. To cross cut boards wider than 12", im making a crosscut sled for my table saw.
     
  18. There's more to it than that privateer, the thing really is dangerous. The problem is when you are ripping, if the saw is out of square just slightly or your blade is getting dull it will kick the wood back violently. It even broke the safety pawls off of my guard. I just patched 3 holes in my garage ceiling from the thing, I should take them up on their offer but I now only use it for cross cutting or sharpening my tomato sticks.
     
    crappiedude likes this.
  19. TheShoreman

    TheShoreman Come at the king you best not miss

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    36187BF3-5820-494E-9207-1889701DEC79.png Idk your budget but I’ve used Bosch saws many times. Accurate and high speed mad it easy to use.
     
  20. privateer

    privateer Fishin-For-Fun

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    my table saw will throw stuff too. its all in a matter of how they are used. The radial arm saw was particularly good at throwing stuff because the blade spins above a fixed table - if the board binds between blade and table - yup it will throw it pretty good too... but it is a tool and you need to be cautions with them. if they are recalling because of an exposed blade and they throw stuff - well, all the chainsaws should be pulled from the market as they are extreme comparatively. but I love my chainsaws too - you just gotta respect what they can do. life is dangerous.