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  • Radial Arm Saw?

    Is $292 for a $650 New RAS at Sears (missing MDF top) to good to pass up? Or am I simply suffering from another bout of TOOL FEVER? I mean, I really don't know that I would really use it much. But oh, what a nice addition to a growing collection of tools it would make! Hmm, do I need a RAS or a shrink? Any thoughts? Anyone?

  • #2
    I don't happen to own a RAS and probably never will. To me, they're outdated technology whose time has passed. Other tools, like a SCMS for example, can do most of the jobs a RAS can do and safer too. On the other hand, you could buy it and use it as a dedicated dado cutter, that might be nice.
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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    • #3
      For $292, you can't get a decent mitre saw, much less one w/a sliding arm. I'd say go for it!! My Dad has a Sears RAS he's had for years, and he uses it all the time. For the price, you can afford to make a real nice table for it and still come out less than the mitre saw.
      I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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      • #4
        I own a old dewalt I bought in the 70's new, a beautiful saw, and when you need one there great, but a miter saw will cut miters easer and safer but for cross cutting a wide board, or cross cutting dado's or the like they are great, but one can use a router for dado's or the table saw, and you can flip the board on a miter saw for wider stock, but there are things that miter saws can not do, but I would say it sounds like a good price, if you have the room and do not need portability and they are great for cross cutting but there is a danger in them that if you don't keep a good hold on the saw carriage they can pull them selves across the board at an alarming speed, (I would place them into a specialty class now), but I use the arm saw for cross cutting and the table for riping, but do like the power miter saw for cutting miters and portability, and ease of use, especily if you make a table to set you miter saw OR arm saw into that gives you additional extensions and work area.

        but can a craftsman really ever have to many tools?
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
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        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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        • #5
          Go for it, that's a tremendous price. I'm a big fan of the RAS and have owned one since the early 70's. The RAS takes a bit to set up properly and since the table is a major part of that adjustment, any serious bumps that the table might take will most likely require re-alignment; so. it's not as steadfast as a big cast iron table saw. However, IMHO once you get a handle on things, you'll find that it's a marvelous tool, with the big advantage going to cross-cutting and compound miter ease. Just read the manual and learn how to use it properly.

          I'm not sure what a table top would cost for the new model, but I only paid around $40 or $50 for a top for my 1974 saw when I ordered a replacement two years ago.

          CWS
          Last edited by CWSmith; 04-04-2006, 02:00 AM.

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          • #6
            I say go for it. I have a Sears RAS I bought back in 1979 when I was building my house. I use it more than any other tool in my shop. I do home repair and remodeling for a living and still use it extensively. If it is outdated technology then what is a table saw?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BadgerDave
              I don't happen to own a RAS and probably never will. To me, they're outdated technology whose time has passed. Other tools, like a SCMS for example, can do most of the jobs a RAS can do and safer too. On the other hand, you could buy it and use it as a dedicated dado cutter, that might be nice.


              You could not be more WRONG!
              That's like saying the drill press has been made obsolete by the many hand drills available.
              They are not outdated technology whose time has passed. (you sound like a tool salesman who does NOT have an RAS in his lineup!!!) The niche they once held has been made much smaller by the compound sliding miter saw. In fact, it is still very useful for dadoing (maybe I should say dadoing on the TOP side of a work piece), running various accessories etc. Many things a CSMS can't begin to do.
              It is, however, a "niche" tool in that other tools can do (if not less conveniently) many of the same functions it can.

              Go ahead, buy the saw, your shop will be much more complete with it than without it.
              Phil
              Tools Rule

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              • #8
                ohhhhhhh dave i think you have just been ................ called out ................. everyone duck for cover ....lol
                9/11/01, never forget.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by oldslowchevy
                  ohhhhhhh dave i think you have just been ................ called out ................. everyone duck for cover ....lol
                  Called out, I don't think so. If you read my post and Phil's, I think we both sorta said the same thing just in different ways.
                  Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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                  • #10
                    dang .................. i just wanted to start some trouble it has ben awhile since this forum has had a fued
                    9/11/01, never forget.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for all of your opinions! Sounds like good advice, although the jury is still out as I have since concluded that it will take about $100 worth of missing parts (manual, wrenches, top pieces and hardware) to bring it to life! Maybe I can get them to knock off a bit more on the price?

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                      • #12
                        Been awhile?!?

                        Chevy, haven't you been reading the "Looming saw purchase- TS3650 vs. TS2400 " thread????
                        Now there is a fued!
                        Yoroshiku onegai shimasu

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                        • #13
                          The manual for the Ridgid RAS is a free download, use it in place of the overpriced Craftsman saw. I think that you could press Sears into providing you with a free manual though, because of the recall a few years back. If you buy the saw from a Sears store, and they don't give you a manual and you later get hurt, they wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Buy the saw and call tech support and tell them the box had been opened and you did not receive a manual. Tell them you want a manual or you will return the saw and report them to the CSPC because you are afraid that they are going to intentionally hurt you or someone else by selling a power tool without a manual.

                          The wrenches are not worth the time it would take to throw them away.

                          What hardware? I can think of only two special pieces of hardware, the clamps at the back of the table, how much can they cost? The rest is the screws that mount the front of the table to the frame.

                          The top is 3 pieces of 1" MDF. the only tricky part is drilling the holes to match the mounting bolt pattern on the frame, and remembering that one is only drilled part way through, that is the one for the center adjustment to flatten the table. If you download the manual for the Ridgid RAS you will have a good guide for your Craftsman RAS, they are for the most part identical.

                          I say at that price, get the RAS if you have the room in your shop for it.
                          ---------------
                          Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                          ---------------
                          “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
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                          "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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                          • #14
                            I would be lost without my RAS.
                            Go to http://www.radialarmsawrecall.com and enter the model and serial number. The saw may qualify for a new guard and table top.

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                            • #15
                              Just buy it!!! You know you want it and you'll find the 'need' later. I'd ditch my old 9" Craftsman for that one in a heartbeat.

                              Later,
                              Chiz
                              Later,
                              Chiz

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