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  • Table Saw vs. Radial Arm Saw

    Help, I have been going abck and forth on the decision to purchase either a RAS or a table saw for far too long. The equipment needs to fit in a thirdcar garage stall and not take up too much room. My father has had a Sears RAS for at least 30 years never a problem, and had built just about anything you could ever want to build. However, everything I read refers to a table saw. I like the idea of doing cross cuts and ripping all in one tool. Any and all suggestions and comments are welcome. I hope to pull the trigger and buy this weekend. Thanks for the thoughts!

  • #2
    I vote for the table saw. I have both, the RAS runs very little. With a sled you can cross cut fairly well.

    It depends some on what on your plans for the saw.

    If I could only have one it would be a table saw.

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    • #3
      I bought a RA1100 about three months ago and love it. I too "cut my teeth " on my stepfathers RAS. Here is alinf FYI. http://www.mrsawdust.com/ If you go with the radial saw I recommand this book. You can do far more with the radial then the table saw. But you MUST maintain a higher level of safety as the radial is unforgiving. Good luck

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      • #4
        A table saw is a much better investment than a RAS. The tablesaw is the most important tool in any shop. Get the tablesaw and make a simple crosscut sled and you will be set.
        Reggie (Grainraiser)
        Reggie

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        • #5
          I've been using a Craftsman 10-inch RAS for about 35 years to build everything from kitchen cabinets and an entertainment center to picture frames. This summer I bought a TS 3612, and with it in combination with a miter saw I am not going back to the RAS.

          Crosscutting is, of course very smooth on a RAS, altho on mine I am limited to about an 18-inch width. Ripping the frame molding always made me a bit nervous, but with hold-down jigs things (almost) always worked out well. I used the RAS through about 2/3 of a home remodel, building some cabinets, and general framing details. But the last 1/3 has been done with the TS 3612 coupled with an old Sears mitersaw "borrowed" from my stepson. These make a great combination, and since I acquired them the RAS has gotten virtually no use. The TS is accurate every time. For rips I set the fence by the indicator on the rail, and don't need to check the blade-to-fence distance - it is always right on. And the blade is 90 degrees to the table when cranked to the stop. It has been great for doing the trim, light boxes, and shelves in the master bathroom portion of the remodel. Get the TS, and also spring for a miter saw, which you can park on the TS, or under the rails when not in use. I am short on space, also, and love the lift system that allows me to move the saw from its storage space out to where I can use it, with very little effort.

          Have fun with whatever you end up with - either will produce fine projects.
          Tony<br /><a href=\"http://www.mindling.com/passages\" target=\"_blank\">www.mindling.com/passages</a>

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          • #6
            Likewise, I have had an RAS for over thirty years. Mine is a Rockwell-Delta 10 inch turret arm saw. I have a Ryobi BT3000 and I have a compound miter saw. If I had to go with only one of these, it would be the RAS I'd keep. Starting out, I'd honestly have to saw the TS will do it all. The others have advantages. The RAS sits back against the wall, leaving the center of the floorspace open. Good luck in your choice. I'd probably lean toward a TS like the 3612 and a bandsaw ( I have the Ridgid - it's great!).

            Sincerely,

            MikeN

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            • #7
              I have both a Delta RAS and a TS3612. You aren't going to bevel miter the end of 10' 2 x 10 on a TS very easily. Ripping on the RAS scares me because it has never gone well.

              You can cut most dimensional lumber with either a miter saw or a circular saw and a fence.

              My vote is to get the TS3612 1st and then get a sliding compund miter saw for crosscut duties.

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