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Radial arm or table saw?

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Forum topic by Sanderguy777 posted 10-19-2019 05:35 AM 968 views 0 times favorited 45 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sanderguy777

227 posts in 1737 days


10-19-2019 05:35 AM

Topic tags/keywords: radial arm saw ras table saw safety restoration tool build

Hi all! Well I have just about had enough of my little craftsman table saw. It is one of the later ones and bogs down some in just plywood, rips untrue (the fence is bowing/twisting), and even has trouble with cross cutting though that is probably more my sled than the saw.

In all, I am tired of the thing and want to upgrade to a better machine. I am looking for a saw that will do cross and rip cuts, but that fits the following criteria:

1. It has to take up about the same footprint as this saw. I have my tablesaw mounted to a rolling outfeed table (locking wheels of course) and have to move it to use it. Ideally the new saw would take up the same or less space and I could use the left over cavity for storage. Basically any stand it is on will be scrapped.

2. Safe. I really have been attached to my digits for a while, I’d like them to stick around a little longer so any saw safety tips for your suggestions are appreciated!

3. This really should be the top one. ACCURACY! I am replacing a saw that is inaccurate and don’t want to buy an inaccurate one to replace it. I need a quality platform that I can true up and still get parts for.

I know that table saws kick back and I know RASs jump at you. If I had a few grand I’d just get a Sawstop, but I have $100, $300 if I save for a long time, for this saw. RASs are cheap and dangerous, TSs are expensive and possibly less dangerous (also there are more safety accessories for them).

All this to ask: which one? And then: how do I go about refurbishing an old DEWALT or Delta TS or RAS? (I’ll get a dewalt RAS but the table saw I like is $70 and and old Delta Rockwell).

Thanks guys. Sorry this is so long.

-- Marc Spagnuolo (standing in front of clamp wall): I think I need a few more . Me (owner of at least 8 clamps):.....?


45 replies so far

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

1264 posts in 3122 days


#1 posted 10-19-2019 09:01 AM

Get the Tablesaw. The radial arm saw will not let you do everything you want to do. The radial arm saw is not as dangerous as people think, you just need to be careful like with all machines. I taught industrial arts for 40 years and the students did not have radial arm saw accident. I have both machines but only use the radial arm saw as a cutoff saw.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5799 posts in 3029 days


#2 posted 10-19-2019 10:53 AM

There is a small group of folks that use only an RAS and do some really quality work, but for the average person the table is a better “only” saw choice. I have both, my RAS is a Dewalt (my third one, I rebuilt all 3) and every project sees it’s use. I love the RAS, and will always have one….but it won’t be the only saw. The table saw is still the center piece in my shop.

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

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artsyfartsy

1267 posts in 1694 days


#3 posted 10-19-2019 11:19 AM

I had a RAS once and got rid of it and vowed to never have one again. I even had a friend ask me if I would be interested in his RAS for free and I denied it. I’m just not too crazy for them. I’ve had too many close calls with them. Table on the other had, yes all day long. You can get a smaller contractor TS and it will do everything a larger cabinet TS can do for less money. Good Luck with your choice.

-- DWelch. Michigan, The only dumb question is the one not asked!

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knotscott

8343 posts in 3911 days


#4 posted 10-19-2019 12:43 PM

Get a full size cast iron saw with a belt drive induction motor. It’ll have the potential do everything you need to do, will have standard miter slots, will be able to accept many standard accessories, and will be easy to upgrade and/or repair down the road.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5555 posts in 2886 days


#5 posted 10-19-2019 12:58 PM

RAS are fine for cross cutting but are really lacking when it comes time to rip. Table saw is a better all around choice. Given your budget you probably will be looking in the used market.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

689 posts in 1997 days


#6 posted 10-19-2019 02:01 PM

Table saw for sure. $100 budget is going to be tough to find anything worth having.
But saving to the $300 range will help some.
Several maybe ok saws on CL in your area that can be seen i the $3 to $500 range.
Most of the time negotiable price tags.

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/tls/d/rohnert-park-delta-table-saw/7001100920.html
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/tls/d/capitola-10-delta-2000-contractors/6997125299.html
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/tls/d/union-city-table-saw/7002406137.html

-- John

View Sanderguy777's profile

Sanderguy777

227 posts in 1737 days


#7 posted 10-19-2019 02:25 PM

First of all, thanks for the quick replies!
I think I will go the TS route since you guys are unanimous (never thought I’d see that day 6 out of 6 forum goers agreed on something! LOL)


Table saw for sure. $100 budget is going to be tough to find anything worth having.
But saving to the $300 range will help some.
Several maybe ok saws on CL in your area that can be seen i the $3 to $500 range.
Most of the time negotiable price tags.

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/tls/d/rohnert-park-delta-table-saw/7001100920.html
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/tls/d/capitola-10-delta-2000-contractors/6997125299.html
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/tls/d/union-city-table-saw/7002406137.html

- bigJohninvegas


I looked at those saws, the first one is in my price range, but I was honestly not wanting to get the holey table (I’m sure there is a more technical description) OR that type or fence (same type as my current saw).
Is this one a better deal? https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tls/d/sacramento-delta-rockwell-table-saw/6989822643.html
Obviously it will take more TLC, but I’m not opposed to that and it will teach me more about the machine. Yes, that IS a plywood wing on the right. At first I thought it was really rusty…. Are there places I could get the original wing or an after market one?

Also, I noticed that you only linked delta. Are they the only brand you like or is it because I mentioned them? Just curious. (I only mentioned them because they were the only one that looked good from the search I did. The others were cheap jobbers saws like I have.)

-- Marc Spagnuolo (standing in front of clamp wall): I think I need a few more . Me (owner of at least 8 clamps):.....?

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5767 posts in 3779 days


#8 posted 10-19-2019 08:51 PM

RAS’s got a bad press, mainly because Sears sold them and they were a poor design. Delta, made some very good RAS’s and they are still available on the used market for very little money. A RAS is no more dangerous than a table saw. I have both types of saws and use them all the time. True the RAS tends to self feed, but that is something you can get used to. I have both saws because they each have their own attributes. All power tools are dangerous if you don’t know how to operate them properly.

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Sanderguy777

227 posts in 1737 days


#9 posted 10-19-2019 09:55 PM


RAS s got a bad press, mainly because Sears sold them and they were a poor design. Delta, made some very good RAS s and they are still available on the used market for very little money. A RAS is no more dangerous than a table saw. I have both types of saws and use them all the time. True the RAS tends to self feed, but that is something you can get used to. I have both saws because they each have their own attributes. All power tools are dangerous if you don t know how to operate them properly.

- MrRon

Agreed, but logically, I am safer with 2” of 4000ish rpmblade than with a full 6”.

This is a messy shot of the corner of the garage I use for my shop. Any ideas on how to make a TS fit?

This one is the bench in its natural state of clutter. On the far right corner is the tablesaw I have now. The obvious issue is that it collects clutter and is not only the table saw, but THE table. I cut, joint, glue, and screw on the same table.

The first photo shows the one place I haven’t used fully. If I can get my parents to let go of the white dresser, I could shove the bench or saw on casters here…

-- Marc Spagnuolo (standing in front of clamp wall): I think I need a few more . Me (owner of at least 8 clamps):.....?

View pottz's profile

pottz

6639 posts in 1520 days


#10 posted 10-19-2019 11:58 PM

i have both but if i was chooseing only one it would have to be a ts,the ras is just too limited,sure there are guys that use em for everything but there just not accurate to keep changing angles,i use mine only for 90 degree cuts,and the notion that their dangerous is bs,it’s the operator thats dangerous,ive been using one since my teens.im just glad i dont have to choose.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View Sanderguy777's profile

Sanderguy777

227 posts in 1737 days


#11 posted 10-21-2019 12:53 AM

Looking at my options, I think I’ll wait for a few months to save up. The $300 range has some good deals and by then I might be able to have the garage organized better too.

What should I look for in a saw? I know I want cast iron, but are the waffle/holey wings ok?
How many HP?

-- Marc Spagnuolo (standing in front of clamp wall): I think I need a few more . Me (owner of at least 8 clamps):.....?

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

689 posts in 1997 days


#12 posted 10-21-2019 02:12 PM

I think #1 first thing is find a saw with a riving knife.
Most of the 110v saws are going to be something like 1.75hp.
The cast wings with the open waffle holes are all right. I think the idea back then was to save weight on a portable saw.
For the price range you are looking at. I would not hold out for the cast iron wing. Stamped steel wings work fine. And you can find wings out there cheap enough and upgrade them yourself. Got mine for $20 each
Take a straight edge when looking at any saw and make sure the top is flat.


Looking at my options, I think I ll wait for a few months to save up. The $300 range has some good deals and by then I might be able to have the garage organized better too.

What should I look for in a saw? I know I want cast iron, but are the waffle/holey wings ok?
How many HP?

- Sanderguy777


-- John

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Sanderguy777

227 posts in 1737 days


#13 posted 10-22-2019 02:14 AM

Are L-framing squares good enough for that straight edge. I have a newer aluminum one, so it’s not like it’s been beat to death in a truck or anything.

So you wouldn’t hold out for the SOLID wings, or ANY cast iron wings? Cause I saw a Jet for $300 but I didn’t look hard enough to tell if they were stamped or not (I would think that they are cast just from the brand, but who knows).

-- Marc Spagnuolo (standing in front of clamp wall): I think I need a few more . Me (owner of at least 8 clamps):.....?

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

1343 posts in 1030 days


#14 posted 10-22-2019 02:26 AM

Since space is limited, have you considered a track saw instead?

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Sanderguy777's profile

Sanderguy777

227 posts in 1737 days


#15 posted 10-22-2019 04:53 AM



Since space is limited, have you considered a track saw instead?

- TungOil

Yes, and that is also on the table as it were, but they cost more than what I want to pay. Even DeWalt is like $500 and then it is limited to sheet goods and larger stuff. (I know it claims more, but I’m not cutting dados with a circular saw…)

I may be wrong though, if you have one (that isn’t green and white and have $$$$ all over) that you use for other stuff, let me know.

-- Marc Spagnuolo (standing in front of clamp wall): I think I need a few more . Me (owner of at least 8 clamps):.....?

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