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Dino

01:27PM | 09/28/03
Member Since: 09/27/03
1 lifetime posts
Bvtools
I'm a hobbiest woodworker right now but I'm hoping to get more serious about it in the future. I'm slowly building up my tools as I go. I have used both Radial Arm saws and Table saws in the past but mainly for typical crosscuts, rips, etc. I know that there's LOTS of other things that you can use these tools for but I'm not sure which is the most versitile yet user friendly and has the most features of the two. I'm sure of course alot depends on the preferences of the user but I thought I'd try getting some feedback from other professional woodworkers. I've just noticed that Radial Arm Saws are becoming more scarce in the Tool stores. ***** makes one model now where they used to have several for example. Is it because everyone's turning towards Table saws? You can find all kinds of table saws on the market. Anyway, any feedback I can get, I'll appreciate it.

Glenn Good

02:31PM | 09/28/03
Member Since: 09/10/03
320 lifetime posts
While a radial arm saw is more versatile over all, the reason for the latest trend away from them, I believe, is due to the introduction of newer, better, compound miter saws which are smaller, easier to use, and generally more accurate at cutting angles.

A table saw and a compound miter saw together can do much of the same work as a radial arm saw but with greater accurately. (There are a few exceptions such as cross cut dadoes in long board lengths in which case a radial arm saw is better equipped.)

Glenn www.consultationdirect.com

[This message has been edited by Glenn Good (edited September 28, 2003).]

Piffin

02:48PM | 09/28/03
Member Since: 11/06/02
1284 lifetime posts
One thing more is that radial arm saws are by far one of the most dangerous saws to ever eat wood. Sometimes its appetite extends to flesh for desert

k2

03:44PM | 09/28/03
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Piffin is right! I believe radial arm saws have gone by the wayside for good reason. They have 'rip' capability--which can be quite dangerous as the blade is ABOVE the work. There really is no good reason for that much versatility--their appetite is just too voracious.

So my vote: A quality table saw (for precision ripping, plywood, "tricks", repeat cuts, and occasional crosscutting), and a miter saw, as Glenn suggests.

Mustang

03:51PM | 10/03/03
Member Since: 01/22/02
101 lifetime posts
IMHO get the TS 1st, you can do more with it than a RAS. If a RAS is used for crosscutting only, it is no more dangerous than any other saw in your shop. However, I definetly agree with the others that if you try to rip with it, it then becomes very dangerous. Although you can rip with a RAS, it wasn't designed for such. I have a RAS and it is an intergral part of my shop, but I only crosscut with it.
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