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Ask the Staff


I would like to know if they still make Radial Arm Saws and if you can still buy them. My Dad used to have one, but he gave it away.

Kraig Belz



If you Google "radial arm saw", you will find them available.

In general though, radial arm saws have just about been replaced by sliding miter saws in the small shop. The sliding miter (and compound) are often very portable, more accurate cutting and cut more safely than a radial arm saw, which can sometimes lurch at you as you pull the spinning blade towards you. The sliding miter (and the earlier "chop") saws have a safer mode of operating; pulling the saw out first, squeezing the trigger, chopping down and pushing the saw back towards the fence as you cut. (Older chop saws just chopped down and did not slide and thus had less width capacity of cut.) Of course sliding miter saws cannot match the cut width capacity of a really large radial arm saw, but radial arm saws have never really been considered "portable" tools either. You still see really large radial arm saws in use at lumber yards and home centers for rough cutting lumber. Those facilities would typically never turn a radial arm saw 90 degrees to make rip cuts. Their insurance carrier probably forbids ripping cuts on their radial arm saw. Home centers use a vertical panel saw to cut sheet stock like plywood and simply do not "rip" wood to dimension for customers (home center employees using a tablesaw to make rip cuts is too dangerous.)

This would be the highest quality and most accurate cutting sliding compound miter saw (in our opinion):

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/festoolkapexslidingcompoundmitersaw10.aspx .


Highland Woodworking


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