Radial arm saw vs. sliding compound miter saw

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Unfortunately, while there are far fewer RAS's than TS's, some of them are pretty poor. The RAS also takes far more effort in setup and alignment. When moving my shop, it took about an hour to setup the TS, but most of a day for the RAS. OTOH, my particular RAS is stable and repeatable, and gets a lot of heavy use. As with the TS, there are methods and techniques, though they are less well known. For instance, a marker strip at the front table edge together with a pointer rod allows me to quickly swing the arm to any angle with nearly the same accuracy as my Incra on the TS, and is just as quick.
For crosscuts and dadoes on large projects, it's much faster, and some projects are nearly all done between the panel saw and RAS.
Still, it's not for everyone. Much more care is needed when ripping or molding, and if you don't have the right techniques, guides and holddowns in place, you shouldn't do it.
As for schredding your flesh if you're not watching carefully, I suggest that, if that's possible, then you're doing it wrong, with the RAS, TS or whatever. We've seen pictures of people cutting off fingers (or hands) with a RAS, but never why the hands were there in the first place. My same TS pushstick is used on the RAS, and my hands are far away. There's no more reason to have your hands near a RAS blade then to do the same on a TS.
As to the wobbling arm, I have to agree. Some are like that and, if you can't fix it, I wouldn't use it. Junk comes in all forms. And few people find themselves proficient with all tools, nor do they enjoy all tools. Whatever safe and efficient method you develop for getting the job done is always fine.
And 'light' is always good, too.
GerryG
Bob G. wrote:

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Elaborate, please. I like the idea of a rule at or near the front of the table calibrated for angle, but what is the "pointer rod" to which you refer?
As I think of it, I wonder if that might be a way that a laser cutline attachment might be actually useful.
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Hi guys, I do have a radial saw and I love it but it will not do everything, a table saw would be nice to go along with it. I must saw the RAS can be dangerous but most of that is cause by dull blades. You must have a good sharp blade in it at all times. Like any machine you must respect it and use it safely. If you are scared of any machine, do not use it. Have you ever seen a guy on a motorcycle that is scared of them, stay home the days he is on the road.
My saw quit on my last winter, sears wanted $1000 for a new one and $460 for a motor but mine was too old and I could not get a motor. I had the motor rewounded for $270 and it works great.

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