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[OT] Radial arm saw vs table saw

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  • [OT] Radial arm saw vs table saw

    I have been doing a fair amount of woodworking lately, and I am considering buying a radial arm saw or a table saw. I have a Hitachi miter saw which was helpful when building my shed with the barn style roof. My current project is a small shed for my mowers and lawn tractor. I have some old 8 ft 2x6 lumber that I may want to rip into some 1x2 and 2x4 pieces. I'm not looking for anything fancy, and space is a factor as well as cost. There is a "NU-WAY" 4002 table saw on FB Marketplace for $50/OBO that should do what I want. And I might consider using a dado blade for joints but I saw somewhere it was not recommended.

    Click image for larger version

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    https://handymansworld.net/dado-blade/ (Discusses need for table saw to be compatible for safety)

    https://sawshub.com/what-is-a-dado-blade/

    I also have a small router and cheap wobbly table that I have used to make grooves in 2x4s and maybe that's a better way to make such grooves, but I think a table saw and dado blade would be faster (and probably not as noisy)

    I also wonder if a table saw could be used with a metal-cutting blade?
    http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
    Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
    USA Maryland 21030

  • #2
    Does that saw have a fence with it,,,, you need a fence.
    _____________________________________________

    I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.
    Oregon Coast

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    • #3
      Radial arm saws require a special blade to NOT be dangerous. Wood saws run at too high a speed for cutting metal (except brass and aluminum, which can be cut with a carbide blade on a table saw).

      +1 on the requirement for a fence.

      That saw looks to be junk (to me), but for $50, it can probably do what you want it to do (if you get the fence with it).

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      • #4
        A board could be clamped in place to serve as a fence. ...i.e. for multiple rips of same width. Would be fiddly to get it parallel to the blade, so not something you'd want to change often.

        Dados and a table saw go together like ...., well they do nicely. I usually just use a regular blade, make several closely spaced cuts, then clean the waste out with a chisel. Now trying to handle, say an 8' long board, would be a bit unwieldy.
        Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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        • #5
          I've seen/heard discussions on this topic for years, on and off line, and I've never heard a table saw owner say he regretted not getting a radial arm saw. But I've heard the opposite often enough. Definitely a table saw for ripping, and for ALMOST all other operations. I've used both extensively, and I own only a table saw.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lugnut View Post
            Does that saw have a fence with it,,,, you need a fence.
            Even more necessary a blade guard.

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            • #7
              I have both. Can't even remember when I used my RAS. All my "precision work" is done on my old Craftsman table saw.
              The RAS comes in handy for cross cutting long boards. And yeah..... that saw looks a bit wimpy. Might be OK for a portable for small stuff, but honestly I would look for an older cabinet saw.
              And yes you'll need a fence and a miter gage.

              JL..............

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              • #8
                Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post

                Even more necessary a blade guard.
                What's that??? Is that one of those things that gets in the way of everything you do ???

                JL...........

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                  What's that??? Is that one of those things that gets in the way of everything you do ???

                  JL...........
                  A well designed guard, kickback pawls and splitter get in the way, how?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SLK001 View Post
                    Radial arm saws require a special blade to NOT be dangerous. Wood saws run at too high a speed for cutting metal (except brass and aluminum, which can be cut with a carbide blade on a table saw).

                    +1 on the requirement for a fence.

                    That saw looks to be junk (to me), but for $50, it can probably do what you want it to do (if you get the fence with it).
                    Special blades ??? Maybe one with what they call anti kick back teeth but I've always used regular 10" blades on mine. Mine came with some anti kick think that mounts behind the blade. I don't like it, too many things to have to adjust and mess with for every cut.
                    I'm not real fond of climb cutting with it but that seems to be the preferred method by design. I would rather push the saw into the work as opposed to pulling it. I use it both ways depending on what I'm doing. It's a PIA to position your work between the blade and the fence and push it forward but at least you don't have to worry about it kicking or climbing.

                    When I do climb cut with it I'm always very aware of what I'm doing and go easy. Worst thing that can happen is the blade bites in and jams up.

                    JL............



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                    • #11
                      Table saw. I had a radial arm and it was good for cross cutting. I then sold off my large Craftsman table that I used with a special great rip saw fence and extended tables. Then a few years later purchased a DeWalt 10 inch job site table saw and I love it. Got on sale at Home Depot and then they gave me my veterans discount on top of that!! I used the DeWalt when I did my kitchen and it was great. Click image for larger version

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                      Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router

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                      • #12
                        I'm a bit surprised the safety nazis havent jumped in with the "SawStop" line by now. :-) I've been using a 10" Radial arm saw for 60 years for all sorts of work. I'll admit for ripping a table saw is a LOT more convenient and safer especially for narrow pieces.. I even picked one up at a flea market back about ten years and do use it for small parts now. Of course I made quite a few special things for the radial saw with the metal working part of my hobbies to accurately adjust the saw and hold the various work pieces .
                        ...lew...

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                        • #13
                          It comes down to how much lumber are you going to rip? If its only 50 boards or so you can do it effectively with a skill saw with rip guide. A plank with a side guide nailed on it and an end stop is your rip setup. Sometimes easier to move the saw to the lumber pile than move the lumber to the saw. The mess of saw dust can stay outside. Radial arm saws have been made almost obsolete by miter saws. See how many are sold at big box stores. Many are for sale used because they sit in the corner and collect dust. I have used a table saw for ripping about as much as a skill saw both are about equally fast but you still need to set up inflow and out flow supports. Safety is a concern with both. Be really cautious of blade pinch with any wood saw. Learn and practice safety rules with any type of saw.

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                          • #14
                            I have both, definitely use the TS more than the RAS.
                            Sole proprietor of Acme Buggy Whips Ltd.
                            Specialty products for beating dead horses.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post
                              Table saw. I had a radial arm and it was good for cross cutting. I then sold off my large Craftsman table that I used with a special great rip saw fence and extended tables. Then a few years later purchased a DeWalt 10 inch job site table saw and I love it. Got on sale at Home Depot and then they gave me my veterans discount on top of that!! I used the DeWalt when I did my kitchen and it was great.
                              I have the same saw, and use it for all manner of construction and woodworking projects. (I don't know if a dado blade would fit the saw spindle or not). The accuracy of cross-cuts can be increased with a better quality miter gauge such as:

                              https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


                              My Craftsman 10" RAS sits unused in storage - really don't have space to set it up,


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