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Radial Arm Saw

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  • Radial Arm Saw

    I am looking to buy a radial arm saw and wonder if I am better off buying a table saw instead. It is my understanding that I can do as much and more with a RAS as I can with a table saw. Please advise accordingly.

  • #2
    Hi Ou40,
    I would recommend you get a table saw. Far more versatile. There are certain things a ra saw can do much better. However, it easier to lay a dado for a bottom board for a draw in a table saw and cutting tenions. Also, you can crosscut and rip big pieces. You would limited on a radial arm to its arm length. In fact, I am only touching on the obvious advantages. If others would reply, I believe that they could explain better.

    The advantages to a ra saw are that they can cut long boards the best. However, with a little ingenuity, you can make your table saw do that too. With an outrigging roller table, that you can make or buy. A chop saw, or otherwise known as a mitre saw, can cover many other bases in a addition to a table saw. If your budget allows for it in the near future.

    The other reason I could see getting a ra saw, is to cut shallow dado's for vertical dividers in a very long shelf. Which can alternately be made with a straightedge and a router.

    At any rate, there is my 2 cents.


    Give me another beer, bartender.
    Give me another beer, bartender.


    • #3

      I have both an RAS and a TS. There are things that one will do better than the other. I would highly recommend that if you are only going to have one, get the TS, you can do much more with it than the RAS. By the way, you "can" rip with an RAS, but I would NOT recommend it, it can be very dangerous. I mainly use my RAS to crosscut wide boards at 90 degrees, you can do the same on the TS with a crosscut sled just as well. Miters I use a miter saw, or the miter guage on the TS. A RAS is good for cutting dados across boards, but you cn do that with the TS. I have a RAS only because it was given to me. Hope this helps


      -Rob<br /> <a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a> <br />Damn, I hit the wrong nail again. Ouch that hurts


      • #4
        Good question, if you have room in your shop, I highly recommend both TS and RAS. I use both extensively building and repairing small wooden boats. In my shop, the RAS gets more use do to refitting/installing joinery.
        Additional comments: The table saw cannot be replaced by the RAS but the RAS can be replaced by the TS with great diffuculty. My recommendation, by a big table saw AND take your time and buy a good used RAS in the near future. Feel free to e-mail me for further clarification/questions. Hope this helps.
        Mark Blain