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Radial Arm Saws
The Radial Arm Saw
Radial Arm Saw. A work horse some believe to have out lived their usefulness. There are still
people who would prefer an arm saw to a table saw. In fact I used to be in this camp, as it's what I learned
The first machine I bought was a radial arm saw. ( I was 14 at the time, and really caught hell,
from my father, as I didn't ask him if I could buy one). As the only machinery I had, I used it often. It was a
10" Craftsman saw, with cast iron tracks. It was a very good saw. As soon as I had it I starting producing
vanities for my father's plumbing business, so my father got over his initial anger. I ended up leaving him this
saw, when I moved out several years later.
Later, I bought a 12", man eating Craftsman saw, which I paid about $ 50.00 for. It seems as
though, after the previous owner had used it to shorten several of his fingers, he no longer felt the need to
I found that machine in the newspaper and even though I figured the price listed was a typo, I
called about it. No typo! When I went to the gentleman' s house to check it out, I noticed a few things. Number
one, the blade guard was nowhere in sight! Now I'm aware the most of us don't use the blade guards on a table
saw, but I had never seen a radial saw without one. Especially a 3 HP, 12" behemoth. The second problem I
noticed was the blade was in backwards. Must be new technique. The third thing which seemed a little out of
place, was the 4" diameter logs, laying on the saw table.
Now, this gentleman was obviously a professional, and insisted on demonstrating how good this saw
was. This guy's elbow was brushing up against the spinning blade, while he was pointing out the adjustment
levers. I have never been so scared in my life. I begged him to stop, as I had already owned a smaller version,
and was quite familiar with it. He finally shut of the saw , bringing me great relief.
I had to ask about his mishap, regarding the nail less fingers. Seems he was rough cutting his
firewood (logs), and it got away from him. (some people should have to take a test, prior to selling them a saw
While I no longer have this saw, as we've converted to sliding miter saws, simply to save space in
the shop, I still consider replacing it from time to time.