Building your kids’ playset or a new bench to sit outside and enjoy your backyard can be made easier with the best radial arm saw.
Brands like Craftsman, Delta, Ryobi, Dewalt, Rigid, Milwaukee, and Makita offer durable and varying saw sizes, along with enough horsepower to cut through even the toughest types of stock.
Choosing a radial arm saw for your garage workshop, or even work space depends on the action it will see.
Buyers guide for radial arm chop saws
Buying a radial arm saw is a big investment, and you’ll want it to last. Your available work space might play a part as much as what you will be cutting with it. Quality is a big issue when you are talking about spending hard earned dollars, possibly a couple thousand in one shot, depending on what you need and want.
When looking into purchasing a radial arm saw a few things need to be taken into consideration.
These saws are rated by available power in horses, and blade size. What you choose will be decided by what job it is for.
How big the blade is depends on the size of the saw and how much power it packs. Sizes range from 10”, 12”, to a whopping 14” for heavy duty work.
The price and size of the blade are proportional, so you’ll be paying a pretty penny for a 14” radial saw versus a 10” saw.
If your saw will see very tough stock, or regular tough use, then you’d definitely wanna go with a more powerful model.
If you are doing a remodeling job at home and the saw may not see much use after the project is done, save some money and get a smaller saw.
Most saws have a horsepower range from 1.5 to 3, with a typical 10” being 1.5 to 2, and a 12” being around 3 to 4 hp.
Most have a laser to point the exact point the saw will cut.
For the very serious wood worker, there is a step up from contractor grade tools.
These are not portable, not even close to cheap, and by far the most accurate, precision built machines. Some prices can top $10,000, depending on what you are looking at.
These kinds of saws are built for production work, like cabinet making or furniture. They are designed to last for decades, and maintain the accuracy they started with. If you are looking for that kind of saw, you have options.
The wider the cut you need to make will help determine the size of the saw you need to get. If you are cutting standard lumber for framing and trim, a 10 inch model should work just fine.
If you will be cutting pressure treated lumber all day or big pieces of hardwood, the 10 inch option probably isn’t going to work long for you. You are probably looking for the 12 inch 4 to 4 1/2 hp model. It would last longer and do a better job.
The radial arm saw is a great asset to anyone in woodworking. It is tough, versatile, and precise. It can be used for rips and miters if nothing else is available. It can also make beveled cuts, cut dados, and make moldings.
Another added bonus to the radial arm saw is its ease of use. Many times, it is easier for one person to move the saw through the material than it is to move the material through the saw, like trying to rip cut plywood on a table saw.