You may wonder, in this day and age of chop saws, miter saws, circular saws, sliding double bevel saws, I mean, there are all sorts of newer style saws out there, but why a radial arm saw? Why do you need a radial arm saw anymore? What are some uses of radial arm saw?

And it’s a good question. A lot of people might not need it. These things are rarely bought new anymore, but there are a lot of them used ones out there for reasonably low prices. Let me tell you, radial arm saw has its uses.

One of the biggest things that I think you will find this saw useful for is to make crosscuts with a dado blade. Whether you are using a stacked dado blade or a wobble dado blade, a radial arm saw can do something that a lot of the newer saws cannot do.

Radial Arm Saw Uses 

This saw is unique in the way that it works because you are pulling the saw towards you. This means it doesn’t have any kickbacks. That being said, it is a pretty dangerous saw, but it has its uses.

You can adjust the angle to quite a wide degree. Although it’s not super accurate, for most things, if you are careful of what you are doing, it gets the job done. You can also tilt the entire saw up and down.

This means you are looking at quite a lot of adjustments. The saw can be tilted, moved pretty much however you want it. As far as getting weird compound angles, this is a good saw for those odd jobs.

However, that’s not a good enough reason to own one of these. There are a lot of other saws that are newer and safer and can do all of that just as easily.

If you have a dado blade mounted on a radial saw, this is where this type of saw shines the most.

The Most Important Use Of A Radial Arm Saw

You can make crosscut dados using a radial arm saw very easily by bringing the blade towards you. The height adjustment allows for accurate dado depths. You can set whatever width you need as well as the height on the go.

As you drag the blade across, even if you are slightly off, you can lower or raise the blade to change where you need to be and easily make the cut.

You can also make rough cuts on long pieces of lumber. Sometimes, it’s more convenient than using a table saw or a circular saw. Let me show you another way this saw was intended to be used, but I highly recommend you don’t use it that way.

Back in the day, radial arm saws were intended to be used as a ripping saw as well. However, that is extremely dangerous and also stupid. I would never use a radial arm saw to make a rip cut.

Final Words

All I can say is that it is a handy saw to have with lots of uses, but it is very dangerous. And that’s all there is to it.

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John Mandich
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