Radial Arm Saw vs. Table Saw | What are their differences?

Do you know that a table and radial arm saw possess many things in common? Do you know that they perform many applications accurately and reliably?

However, like all artisans, every tool and machine has a speciality, something that makes it better than the other; the table and radial arm saw are no exception to this rule.

In this piece of work, we are going to highlight some of the differences between the radial arm and table saw.

What is a radial arm saw?

It is a type of saw with its motor mounted on a rail above the working table. This motor can be moved along this rail or arm, giving it an excellent ability to cut across.

The arm can be swivelled 45 degrees right or left, making it easy to make miter cuts no matter how long your board is.

Think about it, you have a 2×6 board 12 feet long, and you have to cut a 45-degree miter, and all you have is a table saw; it would not happen.

What Are the Applications of the Radial Arm Saw?

Radial arm saw can be used to apply ribs to woods or panels, cross cut more extensive materials, used as horizontal drills and can crosscut longer supported wood lengths. It also can cut three or four pieces at the same time.

What is a table saw?

It is a wood cutting tool widely known for its versatility. It consists of a sharp circular blade attached to an electric motor and rests on a table. There are prefabricated groves in which the blade turns.

The material to be cut is worked around the blade. The table provides stable support during the cutting process. It is important to repair it on the ground to avoid kickback and vibration. It can cut metal, wood or plastic.

What are the applications of the table saw?

In any wood workshop, the table saw can be considered as the powerhouse because of its versatility and productive ability over other woodworking tools.

The table saw can be applied to cut ribs, crosscut sections, square, and fold miter cuts and even make shapes to edge of the wood material.

What are their differences?

Though radial arm saw and table saw has many similarities such as being made as raised on a table-like-work-surface, but their functionality is different. And some works can be done by another and not by the other.

They differ in the cutting mechanism. This makes each suitable and ideal for different types of woodworking. So to help you choose between these two types of saw, below consider some of their differences though you can still decide based on your preferences as well.

  • Blades

A radial arm saw has a movable arm with the blade mounted to it so that it is suspended above the table while for the table saw, its blade comes fixed in the table where it can only be lowered or raised while woodcutting.

  • Functionality

The radial arm saw is more suitable for crosscutting or cutting across the width of the wood while the table saw is known for having the ability to cut or tear pieces of wood lengthwise along the grain.

The table saw requires space at the front and rear to tear or to cut to the left and right of wood. The space need relies on the size of the wood to be cut.

For a radial arm saw, it only requires space on the right and left sides of the saw to cut through wood regardless of the size.

  • Safety

The table saw is more secure than a radial arm saw. The blades in radial arm saw are exposed above the work surface and change its position during wood cutting. The direction in which the radial arm saw moves can lift the wood from the working table.

What makes the table saw more secure than radial arm saw is that its blade is hidden and always in the same position within the working table. Its rotation has little impact on the position of the wood being cut.

Though it can throw back the wood being cut when not positioned properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

While we have highlighted some of the differences and areas where table and radial saw work best. Here, we also answer some of the frequently asked questions.

  1. Are radial arm saws things of the past, especially when the latest miter saws on the market are considered?

Radial arm saws are very handy and great tools that are still used today. They are still in use because there are other tasks that can be done by it which can’t be done by a table saw.

Their versatility features are still the thing that is earning it popularity. So they are in no way thing of the past.

  1. Why is my table saw starting up very slowly and making a loud buzz on start?

Table saws depend on the operator to control the feed rate so as not to overload the motor. If you have recently pushed the material through too quickly and the motor has stopped repeatedly or has come to a standstill for a short time, you may have overheated and damaged the starting winding in the motor. Thus, resulting in a reduced starting torque that is insufficient to start the motor immediately.

  1. I want to measure the noise level of my table saw; can I start it with no blades?

To answer your question, it is just ok to run your table saw without the blade installed. It will not damage anything. And yes, then you can measure the noise level that the motor of your table saw generates when it is not under load.

Wrapping Up

When I conclude, your choice between a table saw, and a radial arm saw should ultimately depend on your objective, and more importantly, whether you have each working requirement.

But all in all, the radial-arm saw has higher accuracy, portability and a much better price than the table saw.

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