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Craftsman Electronic RAS is it worth it?

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Forum topic by usnret posted 1042 days ago 787 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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usnret

184 posts in 1142 days


1042 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: radial arm saw ras advice

I found a 10” Electronic CRaftsman RAS on CRaigslist for $150. Is the saw worth it? I have heard they are very accurate and the old electronic ones are hard to find, but very desirable. Just asking for some advice.
Thanks

-- Chief Petty Officer USN(RET) 1991-2011


7 replies so far

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1327 days


#1 posted 1042 days ago

As opposed to the extremely rare gas operated ones? I own a Craftsman RAS and I’m very happy with mine for dedicated cross cuts. If I had it to do over again, I’d hold out for a vintage Dewalt with more “cool” factor. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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usnret

184 posts in 1142 days


#2 posted 1042 days ago

Here is a pic of the saw. The electrnic ones are hard to find and according to this site this one is very rare.

http://www.normstools.com/images/normstools/ras.shtml

-- Chief Petty Officer USN(RET) 1991-2011

View mountainaxe's profile

mountainaxe

82 posts in 1139 days


#3 posted 1039 days ago

I think that, with a RAS, simpler is better. This particular saw appears to have many alignment issues that were introduced, rather than solved, by the electronics. Craftsman RAS are known to be somewhat finicky and difficult to keep in alignment anyway. With that said, I like my ‘70s vintage Craftsman RAS. After some use, you figure out how to work with the excess play to get precision results. I’d recommend you pick up an older Craftsman built in the 60s or early 70s; these were solid and used quite a bit of cast iron. You can usually find one on CG for $50-$100 if you’re willing to clean it up.

-- Jeff, "The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me."

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1736 posts in 1127 days


#4 posted 1039 days ago

I am an RAS lover, and will never go without one again (had a dry spell of a few years where I didn’t own one). Even so, I wouldn’t buy/own or let one of the newer Craftsman RAS onto my property. Someone else said it: simpler is better (that’s why the old Dewalts are so good) and the early C’man saws are generally rated pretty good. I had one of the earlier C’man, and mine was not one of the good ones (would not ever hold, nor return, to zero no matter how much I tried tuning it; early 70’s model). But mine may have been the exception. But the older Dewalts are so simple they can be set dead nuts and stay that way forever ( I now have 3, all made before 1965 or so).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6647 posts in 2613 days


#5 posted 1039 days ago

Hi,

I’ve owned a number of Craftsman RAS’s. The most recent one was a Christmas gift from my wife, and had the electronics on it. I only used it a couple times. I didn’t mind the electronics, although I didn’t see a need for it, due to the pressed steel tracks,(as oppose to cast runners the older saws had), it couldn’t make a straight across a 12’ wide board. You could see it make a big curve in the middle of the cut.

Sears came out and replaced the track, (after telling me I didn’t know what I was talking about, and once their tech tuned the saw up, it would be fine). The replacement track was just as bad as the first one, so the saw got very little use.

I ended up selling it to a contractor friend for next to nothing, just to get it out of the shop. The slight curve didn’t matter for what he was using it for.

I would opt for an older saw, with cast runners.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7438 posts in 2281 days


#6 posted 1039 days ago

The electronics have a reputation for ceasing to work and I believe
Sears no longer supports the product. Other than that, they seem
like an ok design within the limitations of what you get with a Craftsman
saw from that era.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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usnret

184 posts in 1142 days


#7 posted 1037 days ago

Thanks for the replies. I wont be buying a RAS any time soon. I will just concentrate on a new tablesaw.

-- Chief Petty Officer USN(RET) 1991-2011

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