Reply by Fred Hargis

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Posted on Radial Arm Saws, dying breed?

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Fred Hargis

5095 posts in 2639 days

#1 posted 03-06-2012 04:21 PM

An RAS gets that knock of not staying in alignment quite often, and it’s a true statement, for some of them! That would be the Craftsman models, and they did as much as anything to give the RAS it’s undeserved (IMHO) reputation. I’ve had 2 C’man saws…both generally considered the “better” models. Couldn’t keep them aligned no matter how many hours I spent tuning them. But switch over to the Dewalts….they have such a simple and precise alignment system (machined notches in the column) that once tuned correctly, they hold and return to the settings (45° and 90°) with dead nuts precision. What ruined the Dewalts was when B&D bought them put and then cheapened them to compete with Sears. So finding an older one (solid cast iron arm, probably pre-1962 or so). can get you a valuable tool that really earns it’s keep. If you have one there is no reason to keep it on 90…swing it back and forth as much as you want…it will return to zero as accurately as any other saw. Don’t forget there are some wonderful industrial models (my dream saw would be a Northfield Unipoint) that also really work well. That said, you are right…they area dying breed.

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