Radial arm saw cutting accuracy problem

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Forum topic by TylerLM posted 10-28-2016 01:16 PM 848 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 721 days

10-28-2016 01:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: radial arm saw accuracy square dewalt dw 1201 setup machine


I’ve just kindly been given a whole bunch of woodworking machines by a man who has retired from the trade. One of those tools, a Dewalt DW 1201 has left me puzzled. I’m a cabinet makers apprentice of about 6 months so my knowledge is very limited on the setup of this machine although I have followed every step on a YouTube video ( on how to get everything square and working the way it should but the saw still isn’t cutting accurately.

As you can see in the image I have highlighted the high spot which sits a good half mm above the the rest and runs from one corner to the opposite corner of the block.

Any feedback on how this can be sorted out is much appreciated!



7 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


1719 posts in 1943 days

#1 posted 10-28-2016 01:55 PM

I cannot see what is high lighted.Since you say that your just getting started I’m guessing it’s your technique.
But there could be other reasons why a miter saw doesn’t cut flat.
Dull blade,Dirty blade,
Poorly set up with inaccurate square.


-- Aj

View Roy Turbett's profile

Roy Turbett

168 posts in 3725 days

#2 posted 10-28-2016 10:43 PM

The techniques demonstrated in the video are OK but not the best. I suggest you purchase for download a copy of Jon Eakes’ book “Fine Tuning a Radial Arm Saw”. It shows up as a PDF file in a Google search but this is a pirated copy. You can order an ebook through Eakes’ website. Its well worth the price.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


6932 posts in 2344 days

#3 posted 10-28-2016 10:50 PM

Looks like the stock moved while being cut… did you have it clamped or just held it by hand?
As for alignment, follow the procedure described in the manual. I’m not sure how different a 1201 is from the 1200, but here is a manual for the 1200. Alignment starts around page 6.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Ripper70's profile


1134 posts in 1054 days

#4 posted 10-29-2016 04:19 AM

Have you checked out the DeWalt RAS Forum? If not, sign up and introduce yourself. I don’t think you’ll find a more passionate, knowledgeable group of DeWalt RAS users anywhere.

This site by Roger Hill also has a wealth of information about aligning a saw like yours.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5095 posts in 2638 days

#5 posted 10-29-2016 10:45 AM

I’m completely unfamiliar with that model, is that an European saw? Anyway, that article linked in Ripper’s thread (by Roger Hill) will give you the best info available.I’m guessing that’s very close to the American 1200 model and should be a very good saw once it’s tuned.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1065 days

#6 posted 10-29-2016 04:52 PM


I found that the saw blade installed in the Radial Arm Saw can make a difference. My experience is with a Craftsman Radial Arm saw, obviously nowhere near the quality I suspect is built into your saw. At any rate, I used the Craftsman blade that came with the saw to run through the setup. It did not cut right even though I spent a great deal of time making the necessary adjustments. After I switched out the Craftsman blade to the Forrest Woodworker II blade, the saw was set up for accurate cuts very quickly.

Also, I agree with Aj2. If the square used to run through the setup is inaccurate, setting the saw up for accurate cuts will be very difficult. I have found carpenter’s framing squares are sometimes not square. Checking your square to ensure it is accurate is, therefore, a good idea.

View LoyalAppleGeek's profile


160 posts in 1040 days

#7 posted 10-31-2016 02:15 AM

JBrow is right. I use Freud blades, and nailed the tuneup on the first go. Aside from leveling the table, the heart of RAS tuneup is the blade. If you don’t have the means to purchase a high quality Freud or Forester, see if a kind woodworker nearby will lend you a blade just to mount for the tuneup. If we get great accuracy with Craftsman RAS’, once you get a good blade to reference off of you should be golden with that Dewalt.

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