|Review by runngt||posted 03-05-2008 08:08 PM||21167 views||1 time favorited||43 comments|
I have read a few reviews and topics about how dangerous radial arm saws are and that now days they have out lived their purpose in wood working. This is something I just don’t get as this was the second tool I purchased for my shop (like new, second hand for $250) and has been one of the best tools and one of my favorites since I brought it home. They are like any tool in your shop dangerous and reading the owners manual twice on this tool is a must. They have a tendency to produce kick back when certain cuts are not performed correctly.
The craftsman professional does have a recall out so please see their web site if you own this tool already to see if you are affected. I think they will send replacement parts and a new top even if you are not the original owner to the saw. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml01/01031.html
This model uses a 10” blade with lazer guide and a 3hp max motor which has shown no trouble slicing through any material I have run it through. The lazer guide works great and very bright although I have noticed it to be about 1/16” off.
The saw travel on the arm is motorized with an easy to use “a b c” speed selector thumb wheel switch right on the saw handle, slight pulling pressure and away you go. My experience with the saw has led me to keep this in the slowest setting as it feels too fast otherwise. The travel length is around 12” – 14”
The blade height is easy to adjust with a spin of the crank wheel located right under the table surface. I am not sure of the max height (will have to measure) as it has been beyond any of my needs. This is a very useful feature when cutting half laps in 4×4 post which I have done with great results.
One of my favorite features is that the arm can swing left or right for miter cuts up to about 50 degrees. This is done by pulling back on the quick release lever located on top of the arm, swing the way you want and release the lever. There are built in lock stops at most typical angles and a degree gauge for referance right on top of the saw.
On top of left and right arm swing you can also tilt the saw on the arm left or right about 50 degrees as well. The scale goes beyond that but the tilt is limited by the cord length and guards hitting. This is useful in making beveled miter cuts.
The saw can also be pulled out tp any position on the arm locked in place and spun left or right depending on the cut you are making and the blade in referance to the distance from the fence (please read owners manual on this one as this is the dangerous cuts) this has shown to handy when cutting up large stock to smaller widths and very accurate I might add as i have done this a few times. The table saw would be a better and safer option than the radial arm saw here but the saw is capable of making these cuts.
The fence that comes with the saw is MDF with the main table bolted down and an adjustable back fence for various depths depending on the width of the MDF and the order you place them in. The saw blade does travel through the fence so this material will be cut up pretty good and need replacement after a while as well as the table top. (see photo of mine after a year or so of use)
One item I would like to try on this saw is a stacked dado blade. I think this would be the perfect tool on this as the blade and your cut will be on top for a clear view for us beginners in lieu of blind cutting on the table saw.
All and all I love this tool and it’s many uses. It fills a voild between my miter saw and table saw and I have yet to use it to it’s full capabilities. For a list price of $699 it is a little pricey, but I think it is worth the money in the end and a great multifunctional tool.
-- It seem's I just make scrap wood and saw dust most of the time !