Hi, I got a table saw as a gift. I'm debating returning it and getting
a miter saw.
I don't woodwork or build furniture. Most of my work is construction:
building garden beds, finishing a basement next year, etc. If I needed
wood ripped, I'd probably get the guys at Home Depot to fire up that
big saw by the lumber.
Wouldn't a miter saw be a better choice? I could chop things with the
table saw, I guess. And I don't really know all a table saw can do. But
I don't see myself building any jigs.
There are a wide range of miter saws. I believe you can find one that
will do you better than a table saw and likely will cost less. Make sure it
will handle the max size pieces that you will be using. From what you
describe that would be my choice. However remember that is it more limited
in what it can do.
I had to original Sears 10" radial arm saw about 35 years ago. It was
indeed quit versatile,
but it was not as accurate as a table saw because the frame would flex a
tiny bit. Various attachments such as the router head were complete
disasters. The advise a professional furniture maker offered was that
if he had to pick just one saw, he would choose a band saw. YMMV
I have a Sears radial saw and love it. It's not as old as yours.
Mine is probably around 20 years old. However, for construction work,
a radial saw is NOT handy. I sure the hell am not going to lug that
heavy thing around from job to job. I have a chop saw (miter saw),
and it works great for cutting studs and the like, and it's easy to
lug around. Of course, you can not rip with them. That leaves me
with my lightweight table saw, or since I dont rip boards too often,
carry the board to the radial saw. When all else fails, I can still
make a pretty accurate cross cut or rip with my circular saw which is
generally accurate enough for construction, just not for finish work.
I bought a radial arm saw as my first big tool, and have kicked
myself for it many times. I'd much rather have a table saw. (And
a miter saw on the side)
If the wood bounces on a radial saw, the cut goes too deep. On
a table saw it doesn't.
I would agree, but I would also point out that they are generally more
expensive and almost always heavier and more difficult to move around the OP
appears to be talking about something he can take along on jobs and just
just stuff around the house. Frankly around the house I often bring out the
miter saw to the job rather than use the radial in the garage.
On 21 Oct 2006 15:19:33 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
If you dont mind having the battery fail at critical times, a lack of
power, and spending a fortune of extra and replacement batteries.
I'll stick to plug in tools. I tossed my last cordless drill in the
trash about a year ago when the last battery failed and they wanted
almost as much as I paid for the whole drill kit for a replacement. I
wont even consider buying another cordless tool. If I felt I needed
power tools and could not be near an electrical source, I'd rather
invest in a small 15 to 30 amp generator.
You might find yourself ripping wood frequently for things like filler
strips. No sense in heading down to HD every five minutes to get
a piece of wood cut.
If you do lots of plywood work, you'll need a table saw with a decent
fence, like a Biesemeyer.
I use both. My 10" PC chopsaw complements my table saw
Like some others here I bought a RAS almost thirty years ago. I
should have bought a table saw (still don't have one). I recently
bought a 10" sliding compound miter saw from Harbor Freight for
$100. It's not perfect, but it's a lot better than I thought it
would be. It's more than good enough for construction work (with a
In short, keep the table saw and spend $100 on a miter saw:
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