Radial Arm Saw Product Guide
|Radial Arm Saw Guide
Radial-arm saw were once sold as the first tool every woodworker should get. They can crosscut, rip, and produce dados. They remain to be a very useful tool, but have been replaced by the table saw as the most popular woodworking tool.
A radial arm saw with a dado blade is the fastest way short of a CNC machine for producing dados. Once positioned the stock never moves. Professional shops often have dedicated RA saw stations set up for this operation.
Radial-arm saws derive all their utility from their mounting mechanism. It takes great engineering and production capability to produce a radial-arm saw that will hold it's tolerances for years.
In today's market two types of saws are being sold: cheap, inaccurate ones useful for making rough cuts; and expenisve high quality machines for finish cuts. With radial-arm saws there is no substitue for metal in the mounting mechanism. Expensive saws are usually do better.
Don't discount the cheaper radial arm saws. Any radial-arm saw will crosscut stock faster than any other machine on the market. A simple saw can be set up to break stock into smaller pieces. The finish cuts can be made on the tablesaw, which would have trouble with full length boards.