Radial Arm vs Sliding Miter

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Old 11-12-02, 10:10 AM
abkent's Avatar
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Radial Arm vs Sliding Miter

I just wanted to get some general opinions on pro's and con's of Radial Arm Saws vs the newer Sliding Compound Miter Saws. If a table saw is in the very near future plans -for ripping, and price is pretty much equal on both, which would be preferred?

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abkent
 
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Old 11-12-02, 10:39 AM
arthropod98
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i think one of the bigger differences is simply portablity -- that radial arm saw will pretty much be staying in the same location.

also, i'm not sure a radial arm saw can make compound miter cuts?? not sure about that, so someone else please chime on in!
 
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Old 11-12-02, 10:49 AM
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All the brands I have been looking at (and there doesn't seem to be a huge number still manufacturing Radial Arm Saws) are capable of compound miters.
 
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Old 11-12-02, 03:55 PM
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abkent:
I have a radial arm saw in my shop and find it handy for mainly cross-cutting larger width stock. I don't remember the spec's of mine but I know that when I borrowed a Makita 10" sliding mitre from a friend, it couldn't cut the width of boards I needed and I had to bring the material home to cut.
A radial arm saw also has the ability to be able to turn the head sideways and then be able to rip to the width of the arm's reach. I only tried this once and wasn't too impressed with the safety of this set-up. I do a fair bit of woodworking and still have all my digits......... and plan to keep them.
I would forget about using a radial arm for ripping and think the only advantage over a sliding compound saw is the possibility that you can cross-cut wider stock. Also it would depend on whether you need portability or not.
The most accurate and safe tool for ripping is by far the table saw and would win hands down if you were choosing one of the three you mentioned.
 
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Old 11-13-02, 04:20 PM
Specter
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When we started building our house, I looked at both a radial & sliding miter saw. The entire ceiling of our house is tongue & groove 1 x 6 with each row from soffet to peak took 5 pieces on each side so there were severl thousand cuts. That said, I went with an 8" radial arm saw from Sears. It wasn't much more in cost & it has a greater cross cut capacity. It will also make compound miter cuts. For safety reasons, I too will not use it for ripping. I tried it once, scared me & I won't try it again...
 
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Old 11-25-02, 08:09 AM
woodchip
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Radial arm saws also allow you to use dado blades and other attachments are avalable(sanding,moulding). If you look in your paper you can pick them up used for $100-$250.
 
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Old 12-28-02, 10:24 PM
lnmrosen
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I love my radial arm saw. It is excellent for cross cutting. It makes great dados. In fact it is easier to make a dado on my RAS than on my table saw because I can see what it is doing. My table saw is very accurate and is excellent for ripping. Both saws are very versatile. Neither saw is portable.

I believe the compound miter saw was intended to be used for trim work to replace the miter box saw. It is highly portable. I am not sure if I would use it to make a nice piece of furniture.

It all comes down to need. What will you be making with the saw?
 
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Old 12-30-02, 11:54 AM
hatchet
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Originally posted by lnmrosen
I believe the compound miter saw was intended to be used for trim work to replace the miter box saw. It is highly portable. I am not sure if I would use it to make a nice piece of furniture.
Huh? Don't use it for furniture...not poking at you but I've used mine for lots of furniture. I have the 10" Milwaukee....highly recommended. Mine was perfect out of the box. More than enough power to crosscut 8/4 maple with no burns. The Milwaukee CMS is about 200 cheaper than comparable Dewalt also.

Sorry.. back to your original question. I would probably buy a CMS in lieu of a RAS. Just due to the fact that I already have a tablesaw and my CMS is more portable.

Just my .02
 
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