Did you regret selling your Radial Arm Saw?

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Forum topic by B4B posted 12-06-2016 02:31 AM 1777 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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174 posts in 2699 days

12-06-2016 02:31 AM

I now have both a radial arm saw that was given to me by my father in law, and I recently purchased a 12” hitachi compound sliding miter saw. I’m considering selling the RAS to free up my limited storage area for my tools. I really don’t use the radial much, and for my projects use it mostly for crosscutting, I’ve used it in a pinch for ripping and really don’t feel safe using it for that. The radial is not really all that precise either as the stops are off and I have to align it each time I drag it out to use it (I have to remove the work surface to fit it in my storage area).

I have read a few RAS vs SCMS threads and have a good feeling about the limitations of either option. I could also tune up the RAS and get it dialed in if I do keep both.

I feel that between the SCMS and a table saw sled I really won’t use the RAS any more.

So, for any hobbiests who has been down this road, did you keep both or sell the RAS? Did you regret the decision to sell? If you kept both do you use then a lot?


-- There's two routers in my vocab, one that moves data and one that removes wood, the latter being more relevant on this forum.

28 replies so far

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 2243 days

#1 posted 12-06-2016 02:54 AM

I have never sold a Radial Arm saw and I don’t think I ever will. It has been a very valuable time saver when used along with my miter saw. If you got a one, keep it.

View Halc's profile


146 posts in 2944 days

#2 posted 12-06-2016 02:59 AM

I didn’t sell my RAS, I gave it away. As you said, they need constant tuning and are more dangerous than any other woodworking tool I’ve used. I was glad someone took it from me and don’t miss it all.

View EFR's profile


25 posts in 2209 days

#3 posted 12-06-2016 04:06 AM

I also gave away a RAS that was given to me. Got it from my father who took his thumb off with the same saw. Never liked it, seemed dangerous, and it was.

I know many of you still have one, and have used it without incident. To me, it speaks volumes about the care you take in using it, and I respect that.


View MikesProjects's profile


172 posts in 3243 days

#4 posted 12-06-2016 04:32 AM

I won’t be selling my radial arm saw. Even with a 12” sliding miter saw the radial arm saw has its place.

-- -Mike, Southern California, YouTube User ( Give & Take )

View Woodmaster1's profile


1885 posts in 3928 days

#5 posted 12-06-2016 05:18 AM

I have had my radial arm saw for 35yrs. I would not sell or trade it. I use it almost every time I am in the shop. I rarely use my miter saw. It has been over a year since I have used it.

View Redoak49's profile


5475 posts in 3330 days

#6 posted 12-06-2016 12:04 PM

I sold my DeWalt RAS. I would have kept it if I had the space as it was a very solid machine.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7362 posts in 3835 days

#7 posted 12-06-2016 12:08 PM

Let me say I’m am a fan of the RAS, and I went without one for a short time. That will never happen again! But as i read your post, I think in your case that 1) you have a Craftsman and the alignment thing will haunt you forever. 2) Your work habits seem to have developed in a way that you can survive just fine without one. So my suggestion is (if I’m right about your saw being Craftsman) dump that saw and go without, or better yet: step up to a used Dewalt (one with a solid cast iron arm) or a Delta/Rockwell turret arm saw. Those saws, once tuned, stay dead nuts and most definitely earn their keep in the shop.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View MrUnix's profile


8867 posts in 3540 days

#8 posted 12-06-2016 12:13 PM

Not selling mine any time soon… use it too much. One of the best $50 purchases I’ve made. And I just picked up another one (that I sent the motor back for the recall, and made a few beans on) that I plan on making into an overarm router.

Of course, if you don’t use yours and don’t really have the need, then I see no reason to keep it.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Garret D., Rock Run's profile

Garret D., Rock Run

72 posts in 3137 days

#9 posted 12-06-2016 12:13 PM

So the thing about a radial arm saw, is that as opposed to the sliding compound miter saw, the RAS usually has an arbor to handle a Box cutting Dado stack on it. Once you got that, well now you have a Dado cutting machine that you can see the line your cutting your groove into and also not have to change blades on your table saw. Also before you toss out the RAS, you should put a shaping bit on it (assuming it is capable) and see what you think about it as a shaper. Just don’t rip with the thing, I never believed in that.

-just my two cents.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12486 posts in 4770 days

#10 posted 12-06-2016 12:21 PM

If mine were the Delta as described by Fred, I’d still have it. Unfortunately, it was the Crapsman. It’s utility was far outweighed by it’s creeping inaccuracy.
Sold it and never looked back.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View gmc's profile


75 posts in 3498 days

#11 posted 12-06-2016 12:38 PM

Sears bought back both of mine due to a safety recall for more than they were worth. I built a lot of stuff using them but I have never missed them. They took up a lot of space and could be dangerous. Just like all tools it is user preferences. I think they have their place but a table saw and a good multi bevel trim saw satisfy all my needs more safely.

-- Gary, Central Illinois

View LittleShaver's profile


779 posts in 1961 days

#12 posted 12-06-2016 02:12 PM

I had an old crapsman for a few years. Built many things with it, but it always needed adjustment and scared the beejezes out of me. I finally got a table saw and gave the RAS away. One of the happiest days in the shop.

Perhaps if I’d had a good RAS things might have worked out between us….sorry, I tend to get attached to my tools.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Robert's profile


4855 posts in 2822 days

#13 posted 12-06-2016 03:10 PM

You probably won’t be able to sell it – give it away, maybe.

I have both MS and RAS. I keep a fine tooth blade in the MS and a use the RAS for cutting stock to length.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Ripper70's profile


1379 posts in 2250 days

#14 posted 12-06-2016 03:29 PM

step up to a used Dewalt (one with a solid cast iron arm) or a Delta/Rockwell turret arm saw. Those saws, once tuned, stay dead nuts and most definitely earn their keep in the shop.

- Fred Hargis

+1 on that. I have a DeWalt RAS that’s more than 60 years old and is the most solid machine I own. Granted, it was a Royal PITA to set up and build the table for but now it chews through anything that fits in it and you could run it over with a locomotive and it’d still cut dead accurate. I use it for everything from crosscutting to miter cuts. Definitely not a tool I would use to rip stock with, but that’s what the TS is for. After having a few close calls with other tools and managing to keep all my fingers, I absolutely approach the RAS with a healthy dose of caution. But, as with any power tool, is only as safe as the user in charge of it.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View GR8HUNTER's profile


9329 posts in 2054 days

#15 posted 12-06-2016 03:55 PM

mine was a craftsman I just let it die a peaceful death ….. first tool I ever bought for the shop …....... thought I needed one cuz grandpa had one ….....LOL …... find out didn’t use it much …..had a lot of play in it …......left to right impossible to fix it …....... will NOT buy another one …....... my craigslist has them for $50.00 bucks

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

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