DeWalt 740 Radial Arm Saw

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Forum topic by uMinded posted 08-31-2013 03:59 AM 7706 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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105 posts in 1393 days

08-31-2013 03:59 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dewalt ras radial arm saw

I Just picked up a DeWalt 740 RAS for $25 and its in amazing shape. Everything works , there is no play or wobble at the end of the sliding assembly and the blade guard in intact.

I have been saving up to buy a King 10” sliding compound miter saw ( when I ran into this guy, Figured it might take its place or I could re-use the heavy duty base if it came to that.

I have never owned or used a RAS although I am not new to woodworking. I have two table saws and a non sliding compound miter saw but is there anything in particular I should know about? I have spent the evening watching safety videos on YouTube.

My intended use for the saw will be the odd long miter but 95% would be as a strait cross cutting station for cabinetry.
I have an 8” dado set that would be handy to use with this but that sounds a bit terrifying…

Would I be happy with this saw or should I clean it up and re-list it? What would the going price be for one in great shape?

6 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4152 posts in 2034 days

#1 posted 08-31-2013 12:40 PM

I’m a big fan of the RAS, especially the older Dewalts. But’s thats a key word: “older”. Those saws had solid cast iron arms, a very simple yet sturdy and accurate miter latch arrangement, and an extremely well built motor. Your saw is missing a few of these features. That doesn’t mean it can’t be a very serviceable saw, and you did get a great price. I think I would live with it for a while and see if it suits your needs, then decide on what you want to do. You can get a manual for that saw over at OWWM. It sould handle a dado set nicely, but will need to be tuned so it’s cutting a perfect 90°. You may want to pick up a book on using an RAS…there are a couple of good ones, by John Eakes (might find a used one at Amazon) or the Wally Kunkel book ( a little pricey with shipping). BTW, I’m not sure what motor that saw has, but that alone may be worth more than you paid for the saw.

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

View toolie's profile


2045 posts in 2169 days

#2 posted 08-31-2013 12:43 PM

is there anything in particular I should know about?

first off, where are the pics? general rule here is, no pics, didn’t happen, so lets get a few views of your trophy on here so we can get a look at it.

blade selection is a hotly discussed topic when it comes to RASs. negative hook angle blades are recommended for their less aggressive cutting dynamics. many WWs talk about RAS’s tendency to “climb” (more accurately, accelerate) towards the operator as positive hook angle blades aggressively remove material from a work piece. i’ve always had a positive hook angle blade in my 60s vintage c-man, and as long as the operator firmly regulates the feed rate of the saw carriage through the work piece, there’s not to much to worry about. this acceleration tendency is really amplified when using a stack dado set on a RAS, as i found out when fabricating hand rail posts for an outdoor deck. making the rabbet cuts in gradual passes greatly reduced the saws tendency to accelerate through the cut.

as for using the saw for other than 90° cuts, speaking for my saw only, it doesn’t much like to do that. nor does it like to be moved around the shop. i’ve found that a stationary location with jigs for angle cuts results in the saw retaining all it’s alignment settings. but that may be just my saw’s peculiarities.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View uMinded's profile


105 posts in 1393 days

#3 posted 09-01-2013 04:54 AM

I poked around on the saw when I got back this afternoon, figured I would see how repeatable 90deg is. Turns out the detent is not that great as I imagined but with a rafter square it was not that hard to get back into alignment.

It has a junk blade in it right now so I don’t know how well it can actually cut but it does work.

View Barcados's profile


1 post in 180 days

#4 posted 08-25-2016 03:43 PM

Were can I find the upper belt to move the column up and down for radial saw dewalt 740 ? thanks

View brian2000's profile


1 post in 32 days

#5 posted 01-20-2017 07:44 PM


it has been a couple years since you got the Dewalt 740 RAS. How has it performed? I am looking at one for sale and wondering it you are happy with yours? Also what year was your saw made? Any comments about thinks to watch out for when I go to see the saw.


View uMinded's profile


105 posts in 1393 days

#6 posted 01-20-2017 08:18 PM

I don’t use it as much as I originally thought because of the following reasons:

1 – I can’t cut a 20’ piece of shelving with it as the rear frame needs to be forward so that the thickness of the material is in front of the blade. I measured from the current back fence as I did not understand this until first setup.

2 – There is no electric break, this puppy will stay spinning for about 3 minutes, I’m not joking. I planned on putting a breaking resistor with DC injection or running it through a DC speed controller (KMB 4 phase, not Chinese junk ones) but I don’t use it much.

3 – No blade guard. The one in the picture is a dust guard with terrible prongs. I tried to make a double scissor one but it would get stuck. Combine that with #2 and it’s not comfortable for quick jobs.

So in short if you are going to get one make sure the blade guard is a newer model or a common style you can still buy.

After that make sure it can cut the dimensions you need or it will never be used. Here is a picture of what I mean:

You would need to crank plunge the blade into the material to do a cut, looks fancy but is probably never used or is for a dado blade. This is what real use requires:

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