01-04-2011 06:11 PM
I am looking at buying either a radial arm saw or a sliding miter saw. Any advice out there?
I think the biggest diference is that you can put a dado blade on a radial arm saw.
Would appreciate any feedback. Thanks
01-04-2011 06:24 PM
Only my opinion, because I've never owned a radial (but I have used them), but I think the sliding miter would be more accurate and obviously take up less space. I think the reason most people don't go the route of the radial arm saw is because of accuracy for cuts, whether that be crosscuts or rips. MY OPINION ONLY.
01-04-2011 06:44 PM
If it comes down to one or the other I recommend that you get the SCMS. It will hold alignment alot better than the RAS. If you decide that you want a RAS at a later date they are plentiful and inexpensive on Craigs List. I have both tools and use the SCMS the most. RAS is mostly for dado's. Any miters that I need absolute accuracy on are cut on the table saw.
01-04-2011 06:52 PM
01-04-2011 07:26 PM
I have to agree with the previous posts. Add to that, the fact that many shops have gotten rid of their RAS's because of their hazard reputation. That's why so many are available on Craigs. The RAS was one of my first tools in my shop. Now it is gone, and I personally do not miss it.
01-04-2011 07:34 PM
This is one that merits a look in the archives; judge for yourself which tool will fill your needs the best.
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01-04-2011 07:38 PM
If dado is reason you'd want RAS, that can be done on RT or TS with much better results.
Between the two, I'd go for sliding saw.
01-04-2011 07:43 PM - edited 01-04-2011 07:44 PM
Dollar for dollar it's likely that the sliding miter saw would be more accurate. That said, a good radial arm saw will be dramatically MORE accurate than any sliding miter saw. But good RASs cost a lot more and always have. I think the threshold for decent RAS quality in a new saw starts above $1,500, though you could do a bit better by finding an older DeWalt. Sliding miters, just like low end RAS saws have been mainly for trim carpentry. Good RASs made furniture in factories (before today's automated cut off machines and CNCs.
01-04-2011 08:05 PM - edited 01-04-2011 08:09 PM
As a saw, ie, for through cuts, if you have to work on long work, a RAS is much better. If you need to cut lap joints or open mortise on a six foot rail, you will like the RAS. Even with a dado head, such joint will be unwieldy on a TS.
As a misc tool, the RAS has a role in the shop. You can use a moulding head to make curved raised panel for example. Dadoing as cross cut is also handy with a RAS.
The SCMS also has a role in the shop.
If you seldom work on very long rail, the RAS's misc roles is not indispensable and alternatives are usually there.
I like my RAS but can also see why many don't.
01-05-2011 05:46 AM
A radial arm saw will have more crosscut capacity than most any scms. If it's strictly for shop use I would go with a good used radial arm. If you want some portability than the scms is a better choice. I would NOT buy a new RAS but would be patient and try to pick up a pre 60's Dewalt or something similar. I paid $150 for mine and its a beast. An scms with anything near the same capacity would be $500.00 plus.