A radial arm saw is a crucial part of your woodworking tools assortment. It’s a versatile machine used to shape wood and cut it. Overall, carpenters enjoy radial arm saws because they can do more things than other saws.
Because it’s a common tool that many people use, there are variations out there. It’s crucial to pick the best radial arm saw, and that’s hard to do with so many options.
When your woodworking tasks require you to use something other than table saws, the radial arm saw is the best choice. However, it must be sharp enough to cut well and have appropriate speeds so that you can have more a precise cutting ability.
Whether you’re handling roof-pitched angles or something else, you need a good radial arm with a decent uniform bevel range. Let’s learn how to pick the right power tool:
7 Best Radial Arm Saws
- Linear ball bearings
- Bevels 0 to 48 degrees in left/right directions
- 10 positive stops included
- Durable and long-lasting
- Offers plenty of support
- Tall sliding fence
- Warped blades possible with prolonged usage
The Dewalt brand is renowned when it comes to hardware machines and tools. When you think of Dewalt products, durability is just a given. This company has a loyal fanbase because of the longevity and quality it offers.
The Dewalt Sliding Compound Miter Saw lives up to the name from the brand. When it’s time to replace your radial arm saw, it’s expensive. However, this one is made of stainless steel and doesn’t dent easily, even with regular use. Therefore, you’re unlikely to have to replace it for many years.
Overall, the mechanics of this product is impressive, making it the best radial arm saw possible. It features stainless steel miter plates for the blades with 10 positive stops.
With that, the precise miter system of this compound sliding miter saw gives you performance as you’ve never seen before. Pair that with the base fence support and the cam-lock miter handle, and you can get an accurate angle regardless of what you’re doing.
When you think of any power tool, you wonder about the support. Tall sliding fences allow it to vertically hold the 6.75-inch base without any hassles. Another great feature is that you can bevel from 0 to 48 degrees in either direction (right or left).
Dewalt products are always durable and high-quality. When you’ve got a radial arm saw that bevels in right and left directions with so many options, it could be the best choice on the market.
- Weighs 24.2 pounds
- Thumb stops to make it efficient
- Adjustable bevel for more precise cuts
- Secure clamping
- Miter angle range of 0 to 45 degrees
- Must set alignment manually because factory alignment is off
The Metabo brand could have the best radial arm saw because it’s got a strong motor that performs well. Since it’s a 15-amp motor on the compound miter saw, you get controlled and efficient cuts. Plus, it has a no-load speed of about 5,000 RPM, so the miter saw can get through the thickest and toughest wood options.
Though the unit is very powerful, it weighs just 24.2 pounds. Because it’s so lightweight, you can move it around the workspace if necessary.
With that, the blades on this unit are movable from 0 to 52 degrees in either right or left direction. Because it’s easy to maneuver, you can get a cleaner cut without putting in a lot of effort. It also comes with a large table, so you don’t have to fret about the spacing and can work freely. This table offers better clamping options to ensure a strong hold.
You’re sure to appreciate the adjustable bevel stops to get accurate and precise cuts while focusing on safety. There’s also a laser marker to help you get the right angle range on your bevel cuts. Overall, the adjustable bevel capacity is what makes the process faster. You also get thumb stops, making this the perfect tool for easy adjustments.
Radial arm saws should give you plenty of working space and are great to have around the workshop. With that extra room, you can work comfortably and freely. Since it only weighs a little over 24 pounds, you can move it around as needed.
- Dual-bevel unit
- Easy to read and clearly visible bevel
- Controls put at front of machine
- Doesn’t take up much room
- Makes smoother cuts
- 60-tooth saw blade for sharper, cleaner cuts
- Not the most accurate axial arm; requires manual adjustment
The blades of the miter saw are the most important component of the tool. If they’re dull or not strong, the wood you work with gets a choppy finish that looks highly unprofessional.
Overall, the Bosch Power Tools Miter Saw features a 60-tooth saw blade to cut through all types of wood easily. Therefore, any cuts you make with the dual-bevel machine are clean and smooth.
You also get an axial glide system to make those cuts in mere seconds. It lets you make wider cross-cuts with better alignment.
When focused on size, this radial arm saw is compact. You don’t require a ton of room to house the unit, so it easily fits into any corner of the workspace.
Plus, these miter saws are easy to use. You can quickly see the dual-bevel and adjust them, making it a beginner-friendly tool.
To make it even easier, there are various controls located at the front of your machine. These include a range selector, metal bevel lock lever, and upfront bevel control. Unlike other saws on the market, you don’t have to reach to the back to gain access to your settings.
Radial arm saws with a 60-tooth blade like the Bosch brand can quickly cut through wood with ease. Plus, the settings and buttons are found at the front of it, making it easier and faster to achieve your goals, even if you’re busy that day.
- Ensures better slide capabilities for cross cuts
- Comes with side handles
- Casted miter detent stops for adjustments
- LED cut line system for straighter cuts
- Might not be durable; could self-destruct with time
You don’t have to spend excessively to get a good-quality radial arm saw. Various options are affordable, such as the Craftsman Sliding Miter Saw Kit. It has a powerful motor that goes to 3,800 RPM, allowing you to make precision cuts in seconds. In fact, you can use it to cut hardwood, baseboards, two-dimensional lumber, and much more.
Overall, this machine fits everyone’s budget. To make sure that your cuts are aligned and straight, it features an LED cut line system. Professionals and beginners can benefit here.
You can also make cross-cuts at 45 or 90 degrees (5.5 and 8 inches respectively) to ensure a better slide option. Vertical cuts can also be made with this miter saw!
When you have to make adjustments, the casted miter detent stops are ideal. There are nine available. Overall, the detent override delivers quick miter angles, making this a handy tool to have.
If you travel a lot, then you need this kit. It’s lightweight and compact, but you also get side carry handles. That way, you can hold the machine without using a carrying case.
If you like to travel, you’re sure to appreciate the side-carrying handles of these radial arm saws from Craftsman. Plus, it features adjustable stop points and an LED cut line system, making it great for DIYers and professionals.
- Error-free and straight cuts
- Convenient dust port
- Vacuum adapter to clean up dust within the dust collection system
- Bevel controls up front and large enough to access
- Compact design with an adjustable component
- Precise controls for angle cutting
- Some plastic components; could break easily
If you want a radial arm saw that makes precise and accurate cuts, the CM10GD from Bosch might be the perfect option. It has an axial glide system that ensures an error-free alignment for more precision. Plus, you get wide cross and miter cuts.
Using the radial arm saw for cutting angles can be tough, but not with this machine. You get precise controls to help you cut at any angle effortlessly.
Professional woodworkers are sure to be chopping in large volumes. Now, you can lock the head into place with the crown shop lock, increasing your efficiency.
With that, it’s easy to make adjustments with bevel controls at the front of your machine. There are also square lock fences to help you quickly make changes.
Radial arm saws tend to make a huge mess with wood chips everywhere. However, with the efficient dust collection system, there’s no need to clean up a lot. The vacuum adapter sucks up all the debris for you!
Since there’s an upgraded sliding rail system, the machine features a compact structure. It takes about 10 inches of the workspace. If you don’t have room to spare, you can still use this model to cut wood effortlessly.
This is the miter saw to get if you want to cut at angles easily. Without the sliding rail, it’s smaller, easy to store, and can be taken on the road with you.
- Dial post pivoting arm
- Machined aluminum base for durability
- Miter stops at nine settings
- 15-amp motor
- 10-inch blade for all wood-cutting needs
- No LED light to get straight cuts
Those who want to cut thicker or larger types of wood need a bigger blade on the saw. The Makita Compound Saw features a 10-inch blade for your convenience.
The sliding carbide blade is clearly sharp, but the 15-amp motor helps you get through whatever wood you have. With that, the motor comes with 4,600 RPM for an improved performance. You can quickly make miter cuts with ease.
This radial arm saw offers a dual post compound with a pivoting arm. That means you can cut from 0 to 45 degrees to the left and 0 to 52 degrees to the right, making it a highly flexible saw. When you use the bevel, it’s possible to cut 45 degrees or less to the left.
Overall, this miter saw features factory-set cutting points, and the adjustable stops let you make cuts quickly. In total, it features nine options.
On top of it all, this model is quite durable. It features dual slide rails, a carbide-tip blade, and a dual aluminum base. Plus, it’s got a machined base fence and locking levers. Even if you use it regularly, you don’t have to replace anything on it for a while.
The saw from Makita is quite strong and gets through wood easily. Plus, it has the right blade and an aluminum base to make it durable. With that, the miter capacity features nine angle stops for a smoother operation.
- Dust collector
- Bevel cuts at 0 to 45-degree range
- Right/left range of 52 degrees
- 15-amp motor
- 5,000 RPM for efficiency and quickness
- Must be properly maintained or the unit might smoke
The Hitachi brand features a working speed of 5,000 RPMs, making it the perfect addition to your workshop. As a professional, you need a radial arm saw that handles high speeds to increase efficiency.
Weighing just 24.2 pounds, the unit can easily be moved by hand. If you tend to work outside the shop a lot, you’re sure to love this product.
There’s also a dust collector to keep the space clean. You focus more on cutting the wood instead of worrying about your mess. Plus, you don’t have to spend hours sweeping up and hunting down the wood chips after your shift.
You’re sure to appreciate the large table to let you move the wood piece when needed. That means more accurate cuts. Plus, there are places for secure clamping while you work.
Overall, bevel cuts are easy to make with this saw. There is a right/left directional range of 52 degrees. Plus, the bevel goes up to 45 degrees for flexibility and cleaner cuts.
With a powerful 15-amp motor and 5,000 RPMs, it’s easier and faster to make your bevel cuts. The dust collector is also great to help you clean while you go. Plus, you’re sure to appreciate the spacious table to move freely. There are also clamps on the table to ensure that your wood is held safely in place.
Types of Radial Arm Saws
You can find two styles of radial arm saws. They include:
Most radial arm saws are stationary. It’s the most common mode. A great way to determine if your radial saws are stationary is by the weight and ability to stand upright on the floor. Generally, they must be attached and can’t be moved.
The weight range for this type of radial saw is about 200 pounds. When you buy one, you’ve got to permanently install it in the workshop, so it needs a designated spot. Typically, these products offer more bevel adjustments and saw blade sizes. Though they are expensive, they rarely need maintenance and last a long time.
Benchtop arm saws aren’t as popular, but they are making a stand. They can be moved and are more portable in design. With that, they’re lighter and more affordable.
If you tend to take on small tasks or like DIY projects, this is the recommended style. However, they don’t handle the same pressure as stationary saws. Overall, beginners like them, and professionals on the go a lot might do well to have one.
Benefits of a Radial Arm Saw
Radial arm saws have been popular since the mid-1920s. It was a revolutionary tool for carpenters because it was so convenient. Here are just a few reasons to consider one:
Your radial arm saw is highly flexible. You can easily move it without applying much pressure to the horizontal arm.
Projects that required a ton of time in the past can now be done in mere minutes with a radial saw. Therefore, it’s more efficient and precise.
One of the biggest features that compel people to invest in a radial arm saw is that it makes both miter and rip cuts. Miter saws are also popular, but they lost their value a bit whenever radial arm saws came on the market.
Since a radial arm saw cuts both options, you don’t need both of them. Just get a radial arm saw to handle what the miter saw does. Even an average radial arm saw makes decent miter cuts!
To find the best radial arm saw, it’s important to know what factors to consider:
The blade of your radial saw is the most important feature because it does the cutting. Standard saws tend to use a circular blade with a 10- to 12-inch diameter. The rotation of the blade is powered by its motor, spinning quickly to produce a precise cut. Typically, there are safety features in place, such as blade guards, to prevent injury to the user.
Since most radial saw products are stationary, they use a wide and heavy base. That way, the saw is stable when you work, unlike with the handheld or jigsaw units. Typically, heavier bases are ideal for precision. However, they aren’t portable, so you need a dedicated location for the tool.
The arm of the saw is the adjustable component and slides the blade over the surface. Typically, the best radial arm saws have a stationary cutting area, but the arm can be shifted as needed. It’s possible to change the cutter’s angle by using the bevel. This is also great for mitering work. Since the arm is so versatile, you can do many things with it.
- Power – The motor’s power impacts the efficiency of your radial arm saw. Most options have a 15-amp motor that achieves powerful rotations for the saw blade. As long as there’s enough ventilation, it can’t be damaged by the heat.
- Speed – The amperage level that powers your saw is indicated in RPMs and moves the circular saw blade. You can find models that rev up to 4,000 RPM. Generally, a faster revolution means more precision cutting.
- Flexibility – When you check the specifications of the radial arm saw, make sure you look at the range of how you can adjust its arm. Cross-cuts tend to need a wider range (45 to 90-degree angles).
- Accessories – Though the saw is often standardized, there could be special accessories included to make maintenance easier. For example, high-end models have vacuuming technology to collect dust. That reduces the risk of fire and workplace accidents.
Are Radial Arm Saws Obsolete?
No, a radial arm saw is still highly useful in various woodworking situations. They offer precision cutting and have 10 to 12-inch blades, making them able to cut through similar materials as a table saw without taking up as much space.
What’s a Radial Arm Saw Good For?
A radial arm saw and the table saw are replacements. Therefore, they handle the same functions. Anything your table saw does, the radial saw does as well. This includes miter cuts, simple cuts, and much more. However, radial saws are smoother and more efficient.
What Can’t You Do With a Radial Arm Saw?
It’s sometimes hard to do rip cutting with your radial arm saw. It’s not that you can’t, but it could be dangerous. Overall, a table saw might be best here.
Do You Pull or Push the Radial Arm Saw?
When using a radial arm saw, it’s best to pull it forward so that the wood pushes itself along the fence.
Can Your Radial Arm Saw Cut Your Angles?
It’s possible to tweak the blade’s angle of your radial arm saw. However, the cut’s only available in one direction. Generally, miter cuts are made at 60 degrees, but the angles for miter cutting might be different between brands.
Can You Rip Wood with Your Radial Arm Saw?
Yes, you may rip wood with a radial arm saw, and you can also slice dadoes and make cross-cutting options.
Now that you know how to pick a saw and why you need one, it’s crucial to get the best radial arm saw for your needs. All of the products listed are great to have in your workshop. However, the Dewalt Miter saw might be the best choice because it’s durable, bevels in both directions, and has taller fences.