You'll have to give us more information if you want to get rid of it.
Start with the 4 double-U's:
Who you are
What you have (including model number or any identifying marks)
Where it is
What condition it is in
Another "it depends", but if it is in good condition don't price too low.
I let one get away from me about 2-3 years ago that was priced at $375.
But it was in excellent (like new) condition and it was bundled with quite
a few accessories including the Craftsman shaper head and blades, a dado he
ad, several decent regular and carbide blades. It had the metal base and t
he top (cutting surface) was in pretty good condition. I "thought about it
" 2-3 hours too long. The guy that bought it talked the seller down to $32
A lot of folks still like these older Craftsman machines and accessories th
at were manufactured before Sears quality went to pieces.
If you want a radial arm saw, those older Craftsman saws are the ones to
aim for. I have one that was in that recall for the blade guard. I got
it around 1973 and it was probably 1969-70 vintage. When set up
carefully and using a good blade (Freud rip) I could rip 2x so smoothly
you could knock down the sharp edges and finish it. The cut was like it
had been planed and, unless you screwed up and jammed something on a
rip, it would stay that way. Plenty of cast iron where needed. The
bastards would not make a retrofit kit for and instead offered owners
$100 and shipping to send the power head back to take it out of service.
The new models I see all the time on Craigslist. If they are selling
for more than $80, chances are they are still available. Nobody seems
interested in them (likely for good reason as the newer ones were
I believe they were made right around the time that the Craftsman label
was OFFICIALLY changed to Crapsman!<g>
OK, just for curiousity, why would you want one? What would
be the advantage of a radial arm saw over a compound miter
saw, assuming you had a table saw for ripping?
20-odd years ago the consensus of rec.ww was that radial arm
saws were potentially more dangerous in ripping operations,
and were hard to keep in adjustment when switching between
ripping and crosscutting (because of the weight of the motor
at the end of a long lever arm). So it doesn't seem that,
even if available at a very low cost, a radial arm saw would
be the preferred solution for general woodworking.
Well, to answer (merely to satisfy your curiosity), you must consider
the tools that were available to the homeowner ca 1973.
Starting in the following year I began doing remodeling and additions to
our home, built cabinets and book cases, made molding and trim pieces
(yeah, still have that scary molding head). At this point I don't
honestly recall if, or of what quality, the miter saws were that were
I have to agree with you - at least with regard to newer RAS - about the
adjustment/alignment due to the arm. More of a problem (as I stated)
with, say, post vintage 1975 RAS that the earlier ones. I'd wager that
even today if you let me sharpen up that Freud rip blade and tweak the
adjustment on the saw, I could rip down a 14' 2x12 leaving an edge as
smooth as a baby's butt and do it ALONE or with the assistance of my
wife at the outfeed end.
40+ years ago things were different. My remodelings, additions,
cabinets and bookcases still stand and I defy you to tell me they'd have
turned out any better or worse using Fein, Festool, Jet, Powermatic, etc.
And yes, I still have all my fingers, both eyes, and no holes poked in
me by power tools. I also now have a cabinet saw, planer, jointer,
drill press, 12" compound miter saw (this is number 2), stationery belt
and disk sander and probably just about any other power hand tool one
I made do with what I had available at the time as we all did/do.
Ah, apologies, I was unclear. I meant why would someone want
one now. Certainly in times past, before sliding compound
miter saws and high-powered routers that could spin panel
raising bits existed, the radial arm saw had many advantages.
I'm just not seeing why someone would want to go buy one
but again, that's my position based on the current crop of crap that's
out there. If there existed today, the RAS of yesteryear, I would still
recommend it as a multipurpose tool for non-idiots (fully realizing that
they are not ideal if one doesn't know WTF one is doing <g>)
If you've got the space, it can be a major asset in rare cases. A RAS
does non-through crosscuts better than just about anything. Things like
Dados and Rabbets. A table saw and sled will work, but a RAS is more
convenient when things get to be rather long or heavy. (I bought mine
to handle some dados on deck posts.)
Here's an interesting thought, though. Would an old DeWalt RAS be
better at crosscuts than a similarly priced SCMS? I know my SCMS does
can be easily pushed out of square, but maybe an old DeWalt would make
My money would be on the old DeWalt. Hell, the arm on those things
weighs more than most high end SCMS.
Ran across an OLD 12" AMF DeWalt at an estate sale several years back.
No room nor need of it then (or now for that matter) but I'll admit to
considering it. Going to guess that it was probably very late 50's,
maybe early 60's vintage as the arm was entirely cast iron and rounded
at the operator end. Newer ones, IIRC, had some stamped trim.
This was in good condition and the type you used to see at lumber yards.
It went out the door for ~ $45 on the final day of the sale. Somebody
deserved a "You Suck" award.
1. Horizontal hole boring. yes I did that with mine many years ago.
2. Works more like a shaper, if using a molding head cutter, than a TS.
3. Can be used as a planer, Yes I did that too to flatten a butcher
block surface with a planer cutter attachment.
I first bought a RAS in 1979 and used it to build numerous pieces of
furniture including our current bed room dresser.
They have their uses.
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