Industrial Power Radial Arm Saws
The radial arm saw was invented by Raymond DeWalt in 1925 and models are still on sale to this day. A radial arm saw consists of a powered circular blade that's mounted on a horizontal arm. Its primary use was to replace table and hand saws for the cutting of long stock, their advantage being that the stock remains still and that it is the blade that moves
Powerful and Capable
Although heavy and comparatively expensive, industrial power radial arm saws are still a key feature of the professional workshop. Unlike a table saw, a radial arm saw requires less clearance and space when handling long stock and is perfectly efficient when backed up against a workshop wall.
Radial arm saws can undertake a wide variety of workshop tasks above and beyond cross-cutting. Saws can be used to rip, cut bevels and mitres, dadoes and rabbets as well as form mouldings. With accessories, radial arm saws can be used as a shaper, a disk or drum sander, a grinder, a surface planer, a router, a horizontal boring machine and even as a power source for a lathe.
How to Use a Radial Arm Saw
Like almost all workshop machinery, industrial power radial arm saws can be highly dangerous. It is essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions when setting up and operating. When cross-cutting, never free-hand the work and always hold the stock securely against the fence, using feather boards or a push stick as necessary.
Further Safety Considerations
Safety is, of course, paramount and while radial arm saws are brilliant at what they do, they can easily take a finger. Always pay special attention to the blade guard – the saw should never be turned on without it in place. Furthermore, a cut should never be started until the saw reaches its full speed, and be certain to control the speed of the cut. Keep blades sharp too. Dull blades can grab the stock with some considerable force.