radial arm saw/ is this saw useful

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Forum topic by sidestepmcgee posted 02-11-2009 11:10 PM 6781 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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158 posts in 3721 days

02-11-2009 11:10 PM

Hello, I just bought a 740 10”radial arm saw ,so I’m wondering is this saw useful against other modern tools offered today.Does anybody have this saw and what else do you use it for?thanks

-- eric post, tallahassee FL

30 replies so far

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3581 days

#1 posted 02-11-2009 11:13 PM

why should it not be useful ? However to comment on a specific saw we would need to know more about it And a few pics would help. If you’re asking about ras saws in general they are very good for many features but ripping although they say you can do this I would not advise it let us klnow more.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3676 days

#2 posted 02-11-2009 11:25 PM

Assuming you are talking about a DeWalt? Some people swear by the name, I personally use other brands, but generally speaking radial arm saws do have a purpose. I leaned how to make raised panel doors on one some 20 odd years ago, among other things.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 3396 days

#3 posted 02-11-2009 11:27 PM

I have one and love it, its an older model Craftsman and it is a pretty good saw. A lot of them can be fitted with attachments to one of the motor outputs and you can use it as a drill press and to make raised panels among other things. They show up on Ebay a lot if you look out. Like Scotsman said, you can rip with it but its very dangerous unless you know what you are doing.

View sidestepmcgee's profile


158 posts in 3721 days

#4 posted 02-11-2009 11:39 PM

dont have photo yet,It is a dewalt. I’m just new to this type of saw .I dont want to waste time or wood,so I thought I’d ask how to get the most out of it.

-- eric post, tallahassee FL

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 3774 days

#5 posted 02-11-2009 11:50 PM

I have owned a Craftsman RAS for about 30 years. A RAS will safely handle cross cuts, compound miter cuts, dado cuts, and rip cuts…if you are careful. Every thing else is kind of a pain to do on a RAS. I’ve since added a cabinet saw that I use for ripping and some dado cuts. A sliding miter saw and table saw can replace all the functionality of a RAS. It’s all about money, space, and personal preference.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View Chipster's profile


4 posts in 3388 days

#6 posted 02-12-2009 03:41 AM

waht is the crosscut capacity on a 12” slide miter without lifting the material. 3/4” thick

-- If you build it, you will have fun!

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3554 days

#7 posted 02-12-2009 03:47 AM

I had a ras for years. After I sold it, I wished I had it back. There are so many things you can do with a RAS that you can’t do with a tablesaw.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View printman's profile


72 posts in 4069 days

#8 posted 02-12-2009 03:58 AM

I have a RAS and I have built it into my work bench (see my shop pics) and love it. It is not the best brand but if you keep it in tune it will do many things. I cross cut using a stop for repeat cuts, and cut rabbits and daddo’s using a stacked set of blades. You can see what you are doing since the work piece is under the blade. I also cut half lap joints the same way and they are very accurate.

-- St. Louis - just a cut away from finishing!

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 3750 days

#9 posted 02-12-2009 03:58 AM

I have one and I suprise myself with how often I use it to make larger crosscuts…

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3676 days

#10 posted 02-12-2009 04:19 AM

Comparing a RAS to a cut-off saw is not all that great. Sure cut-off saw’s can do many things that an RAS can do, but there’s many things that an RAS can do that the Cut-off saw can’t. I’ve never seen a cut-off saw cut Dado’s, nor replace ALL the functionality of an RAS.

Good Question – Chipster. ;)

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View bbqking's profile


328 posts in 3719 days

#11 posted 02-12-2009 04:24 AM

RAS all the way. I have an old school Delta that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Too versatile, unless you’re scared of it.

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3482 days

#12 posted 02-12-2009 04:34 AM

No matter I write this it’s gonna sound rude. Since you have enough disposable income to throw down on a saw you don’t have much of a clue about, I recommend you spend a few $$$ more and buy the RAS bible by Mr. Sawdust:

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Don Niermann  's profile

Don Niermann

219 posts in 3968 days

#13 posted 02-12-2009 04:55 AM

I have had one for20+ years. If you keep in tune it can be one heck of a tool. I would not part with it for anything.

-- WOOD/DON ( has the right to ones opinion but not the right to ones own facts...)

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3719 days

#14 posted 02-12-2009 05:17 AM

I have a DeWalt 925 power shop and I will not get rid of it. When it dies I will revive it. I use my RAS more than any other saw in my shop.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3888 days

#15 posted 02-12-2009 06:16 AM

I’m going to be the odd man out. I had a 10” RAS for a few years and hated it. It was too hard to keep it in alignment and it just seemed to be the quickest way to cut off your fingers if you were not paying attention. It was the only piece of equipment in my shop that made me nervous every time I turned it on. When I installed the sliding table on my table saw, I sold it.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

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