Radial Arm Saws

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by WayneC posted 05-31-2007 07:32 AM 8667 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View WayneC's profile


13794 posts in 4300 days

05-31-2007 07:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tool radial arm saw

I’ve been thinking about getting an old Dewalt, but have been holding back because of Space. There were 2 wonderful old saws locally on Craigslist tonight one for $65 and another for $100.

I have a good table saw and a good sliding miter saw. Am I jonesing for something I do not need or do you all still find them useful. Anyone have an opinion?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

14 replies so far

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4269 days

#1 posted 05-31-2007 12:47 PM

Wayne, I have an old Craftsman Radial that I use mostly for junk storage (on the top). I have it set up with a dado set (the dial type) but find that with the table saw and my sliding compound miter saw I don’t use it at all, it just takes up valuable space. I’m trying to talk one of my sons into taking it to put in their garage – I need the space :-)).

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4502 days

#2 posted 05-31-2007 01:04 PM

I have an old Wards Powercraft that I’ve built a lot of things with, even alll of my of my kitchen cabinets. I brought it to my cabin last year, & burned it out because of low voltage. I’d sure like to find a replacement motor for it.
One good thing came from it though. The power company moved my tranformer closer to correct my volage problem.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Sawhorse's profile


281 posts in 4643 days

#3 posted 05-31-2007 01:57 PM

I used to have a RAS, but replaced it with a 12” Ridgid Sliding Compound Miter Saw, I lost about 2” of travel and the capabiliy to use a daod blade, but I can do that on a table saw, much safer too. Space was my biggest conern, like Bill said.

-- Sawhorse - Sulphur Springs, TX -

View mot's profile


4922 posts in 4239 days

#4 posted 05-31-2007 04:19 PM

I had an old craftsman and also replaced it with a DW 12” slider. Those old DW’s are somewhat covetted though. They were supposed to be pretty good saws. For 100 bucks, what the heck.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Belle City Woodworking's profile

Belle City Woodworking

356 posts in 4219 days

#5 posted 05-31-2007 04:39 PM

I have an old Craftsman 113.23100 RAS that’s in very good condition. I like it, and I’m glad to have it in the shop. I hate putting the dado blade on the table saw. I always somehow manage to drop the saw blade retaining nut. Anyway, for half laps and dados it’s handy to have. I have the shop space so I think I’ll keep mine. Good condition older machines can be had all day long for around $100.00 if you shop. I found mine on my local Craigslist.

Happy hunting!

-- Formerly known as John's Woodshop - and NO not the one from Ohio!

View WaywardHoosier's profile


80 posts in 4238 days

#6 posted 05-31-2007 08:21 PM

I still use my Craftsman 10” Radial Arm saw and I have been using it for about 25 years. When it finally fails, I will go to a table saw. I am a weekend woodworker and home improvement person, so I do not use this tool professionally. Until it fails, I can’t justify making a big tool purchase. I have the recall guard and table top installed and it is a MUCH safer tool now. The new guard gives me more confidence with the complicated cuts.

I think $100 is a fair price.

A Wards Powercraft! That is a name from the past, like way long ago. Montgomery Ward dropped powertools before home computers were invented. Brings back memories of walking around the tool department at Wards back when people walked to a store. Powercraft…how about that.

-- WaywardHoosier - Behind schedule and over budget, but who's counting? Well of course she is!

View tooladdict's profile


18 posts in 4227 days

#7 posted 06-01-2007 05:30 AM

There great, but only a nice luxury. Not needed in most cases

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4364 days

#8 posted 06-01-2007 05:23 PM

Wayne, I would say it is not NEEDED, since you have a table saw and a miter saw, but it could be USEFUL to have. If it gives you extra reach on cross cuts (compared to your miter saw) then that is a plus. As as added bonus, the price is not too much, as long as they are in good shape and still running.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View woodspar's profile


710 posts in 4302 days

#9 posted 06-01-2007 06:08 PM

If you have a sliding compound miter saw, I cannot see the need for this saw. Everything that you might wish to do with this saw I would think would be possible (and safer) with other tools. I had an old one and I got rid of it. Some people really like them though.

-- John

View mark's profile


36 posts in 4364 days

#10 posted 06-01-2007 06:15 PM

I just picked up a 10” Craftsman RAS from a neighbor for free model 113.197151. The top is in bad shape and it has some light surface rust on some of the exposed metal parts. Owner had it stored in his garage unused since 2000.

I also found out the their is a recall on all older Craftsman RAS (manufactured by Emerson who also make the Ridgid RAS RS1000).

I called the Emerson Recall hotline and they are sending me a new replacement guard that fully covers the blade and a new top (seems that the new guard needs an extra inch) since the original top will not work properly.

Retrofit manual states that the upgrade should take about 2 hrs to install (plan on another 4 hrs to realign everything).

The motor runs strong and it’s not as noisy as I thought it would be. I replaced the original craftsman blade with an old Freud I had hanging on the wall waiting to be sent in for sharpening. The blade made a big difference in the sound went from tingy circular saw sound to a louder table saw sound.

Now all I need to do is disassemble it clean off the light surface rust and wait 3 weeks for the kit to arrive.

-- Mark, Norfolk, VA

View dbriski's profile


22 posts in 4259 days

#11 posted 06-01-2007 07:21 PM

I have been thinking about this same thing. I have a 10” SCMS that I am borrowing from a friend (exended loaner). It works great and I use it all the time. I am very tight for space in my shop and am trying to redesign it with cabinets and such. I wanted to integrate it into the counter top to make a miter station with a fence and such, but the SCMS takes about 2’ of space behind the actual work surface and extends to about 3’ from the back rails to the front of the work surface. This won’t integrate into a counter top very well. I have a possiblility of getting a free Craftsman RAS and thought this might integrate into the counter top easier since you only need about 6-12” (guessing) from the fence to the back of the machine. Do you guys think that in this situation the RAS will actually save space?

-- David,

View WaywardHoosier's profile


80 posts in 4238 days

#12 posted 06-01-2007 08:00 PM

To all that have the Sears RAS and have not replaced the guard. You really need to do it, I have expierenced the problems stated with the old guard and the new guard is a needed improvement. Emerson still ships the guard and top for free. It weighs about 60lbs. It is easy to install and you perform the standard RAS allignments.

This saw has been a workhorse for me but when it goes, I will finally get into the new millennium and purchase a table saw.

-- WaywardHoosier - Behind schedule and over budget, but who's counting? Well of course she is!

View mark's profile


36 posts in 4364 days

#13 posted 06-01-2007 09:15 PM

David, you can remove the legs from the Craftsman RAS. I plan on building a cabinet for mine to sit on and provide more storage for my shop. It might save you space if you integrate it into the counter top like you mentioned.

-- Mark, Norfolk, VA

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4288 days

#14 posted 06-02-2007 06:23 PM

Wayne, I have an old Craftman (before they turned to junk) and I use it for a number of things. I used to build a lot of shelves and I use it to run my dados. It’s a lot easier to a RAS to do that task than use a tablesaw. I suppose I could use a router for that. I also use it for my rough cuts on my boards. I get very nervous trying to run big items across my table saw so I try and get everything closer to size first. I only have a 10” compound mitersaw so I don’t have the cross cut capability with that. I would say, if you have the room, its a nice tool to have but not a must have. My favorite model was actualy the Craftsman electronic RAS. I build a cradle for my first son at my dad’s shop and he had one. The only problem was converting fractions to decimals all the time. I not a math wizard so it was time consuming until I made a reference chart.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics