Best Radial Arm Saw for The Money: Reviews in 2020

Are radial arm saws obsolete in 2020? We say a big NO to that. 

If you know how to use this saw and especially if you’re working in a home wood workshop, then this is the best bet to cover all your woodworking needs. 

The disadvantages it has compared to the newer saws can be minimized if you own the best radial arm saw in the market.

Different companies focus on different features, and some have fewer features than others. It depends on your need which one you’re going to buy. In terms of versatility, any average radial arm saw outperforms all other saws — everyone knows that.

Need a quick suggestion? Check our top 3 choices below-

Top 8 Best Radial Arm Saw Review 

There are a quite a few options to look at when buying the aged radial arm saws. But still, the manufacturers put much effort. To make things clear, we reviewed 8 of the best saws on the market in this article. It’ll make your decision making easier.

1. Metabo HPT Compound Miter Saw, 10-Inch, Single Bevel, 15-Amp Motor

Previously known as Hitachi, Metabo HPT is the same quality saw with a new name. The same tool with a powerful motor of 15 amps produces 5000 rpm of speed and this speed makes sure that you can cut through thick wood with minimal effort.

This saw can perform both miter and bevel cuts. For miter cuts, you have a 0-52 degree angle range, and you can cut in either direction. And for bevel cuts, you’re restricted to only an angle of 45 degrees, and cutting can be done only to the left.

In terms of handling, there are adjustable stop points to achieve precision cuts every time. The table is large, which makes it better for support and backed by a strong vice clamp. Your handling is made safer with a strong protection guard over the blade.

You can replace the carbon brush to get better and longer usage out of your saw. It has been fitted with an actuator that can be accessed with your thumb, and as you can guess, it will make your life easy when you want to adjust your miter settings.

Highlighted Features

  • It has a 10-inch Compound Miter Saw
  • Miter cut angle up to 52 degrees to either direction
  • The bevel cut can be done from 0 degrees to 45 degrees to the left
  • Bevel cut has adjustable stops for high precision
  • Powerful 15 amp motor
  • Large table

2. DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw, 12-Inch (DWS779)

Dewalt is known as the best manufacturer for woodworking tools, and it’s no exaggeration by any means. Albeit a pricey tool, this sliding miter saw is equipped with a high-performance motor of 15 amps. The motor can produce 3800 rpm of speed.

In terms of its cutting ability, it can do miter cuts, and bevel cuts effortlessly. The back fence design allows for a 2x16 dimensional lumber cutting at 90 degrees and 2x12 cuts at 45 degrees. Utilize different angles to achieve different cuts and get the most out of it.

It’s fitted with a highly efficient dust collection system that is capable of capturing 75 percent of the generated dust. The guard over the blade makes handling the saw safer than most, while the table is highly adjustable to fit different sizes of wood pieces.

You can cut stock wood up to a thickness of 6.75 inches, if you go past this size, the saw will face problems. 

Highlighted Features

  • 12 inch saw
  • Power 15 amp motor
  • A speed of 3800 rpm is achieved
  • A dust collection is installed to ensure safe air around the working area
  • The table is adjustable to ensure precision cutting
  • Maximum allowed thickness: 6.75 inch
  • Miter cut 60 degrees to the right and 50 degrees to the left

3. Bosch Power Tools GCM12SD - 15 Amp 12 Inch Saw

As one of the latest saws, this Bosch saw has some top-notch features that other saws lack. The unique thing to mention about this saw is the axial glide system. It will allow you to achieve wider cross cuts and even better alignment and it's compact as well.

In terms of capacity, you can cut 14 inches in a horizontal position and 6.5 inches when placed vertically. For bevel and miter cuts, you have a 0-45 degree angle range in both directions, meaning it’s a dual bevel which is rare in this category. 

Handling is simple and easy. The fence-45 spring, along with the quick square lock release, is a blessing. This fence can be locked to the table, and no extra adjustment is needed. You have the bevel control and range selector up front that makes it much easier to maintain precision.

One great thing about this saw is the easy adjustability, uniform bevel, and the stainless steel meter scales. In it, you will have detents for roof pitched angles and bevel cuts. You will appreciate the 90 percent efficient dust collection system with a vacuum.

Highlighted Features

  • Powerful 15 amp motor
  • 0-45 degree bevel and miter angle
  • Good fence
  • Dual bevel capability
  • Axial glide system
  • Easy bevel control and range selector
  • Wider cross cuts

4. DEWALT 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw (DWS709)

We have another Dewalt saw at number 4, and it’s DWS709. Yes, as we all know, it’s an expensive tool, but this sliding miter saw has some of the highest performing configurations with a proven track record. The motor is capable enough to produce a high speed of 3800 rpm.

In terms of its capacity, you can do miter cuts, bevel cuts without any complexity. The back fence design of the Dewalt saw allows you to cut 2x14 dimensional lumbers at an angle of 90 degrees and 2x10 cuts at a reduced angle of 45 degrees. 

You can do miter cuts on both sides with a 60-degree angle on the right and 50-degree angle on the left.

For keeping the environment clean, you have a highly efficient dust collector attached with it and a vacuum to make the process smooth. It can capture 75 percent of the dust generated from sawing. 

The shield over the blade is enough to protect your hands while you’re handling it. You can adjust the table to fit in various sizes of job pieces. Its thickness limit is 5.5 inch, and it will cause dysfunction if a thicker piece is put on it.

Highlighted Features

  • 12 inch saw
  • Power 15 amp motor
  • A speed of 3800 rpm 
  • Over-sized and easy-to-read bevel scale
  • A 75 percent efficient dust collector for preventing air pollution 
  • Thirteen (13) positive miter detents 
  • Maximum allowed thickness: 6.75 inch
  • Miter cut 60 degrees to the right and 50 degrees to the left

5. Bosch CM10GD Compact Miter Saw - 15 Amp Corded 10 in

We have another Bosch Saw at number 5. This is another version of the compact miter saw we reviewed earlier and there is not much difference in between. It still has the bosch-exclusive axial glide system. Achieving wider crosscuts and aligning the job pieces better will be a breeze.

In terms of capacity, you can do cross cuts, bevel cuts, miter cuts, and compound cuts. This is a dual bevel design that will allow you to cut in both directions and the angle range is 0-45 degrees.

This saw is a convenient tool with high accuracy and control to achieve precision cutting from all angles. When you use crown or chop cutting, it locks the head to give you the maximum chop cutting capacity possible. 

The saw has a compact design that replaced the old sliding rail system. So it takes very little space compared to conventional slider saws.

It has a dust collection system that’s 90 percent efficient and it comes with a detachable chute to collect the dust. The bevel settings, quality fence, and clear lower guard make it easy to work on job pieces.

Highlighted Features

  • 90 percent efficient dust collector
  • Ergonomics trigger handle
  • Dual bevel cut
  • 15 amp powerful motor
  • 60T blade included
  • Compact design with taking less space than conventional slider saws
  • Axial glide system for wider cross cuts
  • Auto-locking for safety and precision cutting

6. TACKLIFE Sliding Compound Miter Saw 12-Inch, 15-Amp, 3800rpm

We have the sliding compound miter saw that works as a good radial arm saw in number 6. This product is from TACKLIFE, and it has all the necessary features and more at a much lower price. With a 15 amp motor and running at 3800 rpm, you can cut through wood effortlessly in less time.

The TACKLIFE saw can cut all the necessary cuts such as miter cut, bevel cut, and even crosscutting is possible. One advantage this one has over conventional saws is that it has a double bevel design, which means you can do bevel cuts in both directions. And the range is up to 45-degree angle.

It has an efficient dust collection system with a vacuum attached to it, although the efficiency isn’t as high as Bosch saws at 70 percent. But it has a 35 mm port where you can achieve 100 percent efficiency if you attach the vacuum cleaner directly on that port.

You’ll receive a 40T saw blade and an extensible cable, making it suitable to smooth wood, plastic tube, and soft metal. It has a large working surface and strong vice clamps for supporting wider and thicker materials.

Highlighted Features

  • 15 amp powerful motor with high-speed rpm at 3800
  • Large working surface
  • Laser guide
  • Double bevel cuts and miter cuts
  • Efficient dust collector up to 100 percent efficiency
  • 40T saw blade included

7. Hitachi C10FCG 15-Amp 10" Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw

This Hitachi miter saw hasn’t lost its quality from the day it was first introduced by the company. The powerful 15 amp motor will give you a speed of 3800 rpm which should be enough for you to cut through thick wood with minimal effort, and its features do improve the experience.

With this miter saw, you can also perform bevel cuts as well as compound cuts and crosscuts if you’re clever. You’ll have a range of zero to 50-degree angle to either direction for miter cuts. And to achieve bevel cuts, you have a range of zero to 45-degree angle only to the left.

In terms of maneuverability and adjustability, you can fix the saw at different points to make sure you’re going in the right direction. You’ll have no issue while cutting thick and long wood pieces thanks to the large table. And a dependable protection is guaranteed with the blade shield attached to it.

The thump press actuator is a great feature to control the miter cut settings during operation. Another good news is that you can easily replace the used brush so have another carbon brush ready as a replacement.

Highlighted Features

  • Miter cut angle up to 52 degrees to either direction
  • Powerful 15 amp motor
  • The bevel cut range is up to a 45-degree angle
  • Bevel cut system includes adjustable stops for achieving high precision
  • It has a 10-inch Compound Miter Saw
  • Large working surface

8. Evolution Power Tools R255SMSL 10" Compound Sliding Miter Saw

The last saw in this list is from Evolution. This power saw is a 10 inch saw with a powerful 15 amp motor that’s enough to cut any wood with usual thickness. One thing that makes it stand out is the ability to cut different materials without changing the blades. The motor can produce an rpm of 2500.

Compared to other saws in this list, this one sits in the middle with its cutting capacity. You can miter cuts at a 50-degree angle to the right and a 50-degree angle to the left. But in terms of bevel cuts, you can only go in one direction at a maximum angle of 45 degrees. 

Miter cut, compound cut, crosscut, and of course bevel cut, all of these are possible to perform with this Evolution sliding miter saw. The name might fool you, but as you can see, it’s not a simple miter saw. 

With a high torque motor at 120 volts, you can cut any material such as wood, plastic, soft metal without changing your blades. The motor will adjust itself when it senses the firmness of the material. And its optimized gearbox comes in handy. Its ergonomic handle enables you to get controlled and accurate cuts.

Highlighted Features

  • Performs most types of cuts
  • Powerful 15 amp motor
  • Bevel cut at 0-45 degree angle
  • Miter cut on both direction at 50-50 degree settings
  • You don’t need to change blades to cut different materials
  • Optimized gearbox adjusts the rpm when needed

Radial Arm Saw Buying Guide 

Every product has some factors in its features and configurations that make it more appealing and useful to the user.  And radial arm saws also have some factors that you should consider before you buy one. We talked briefly about those.

Power

This determines what kind of job you can do with a radial arm saw. Power has a say in terms of your saw’s cutting power and its torque. Usually, power is measured by Amp, and it depends on the blade size that you’ll be using in your operations.

For example, if you have a smaller sized blade, then a motor with 7 Amps of power is enough. And for the medium size, 10-12 amps of power are great. 

Speed

The speed at which the blade runs is important to keep in mind as this will determine what kind of wood you can work on. Especially if you’re using hardwood in your woodworking operations, then a high rpm is necessary. For those who don’t work with hardwood, you don’t need to get a saw with very high rpm.

Flexibility

The flexibility of a radial arm saw is known to all. For a variety of woodworking operations, no better alternative brings all this in a single package. But different saws come with different configurations. 

To get the best out of your saw, it needs to have a large range of angles to work on. It makes it easy to achieve different types of cuts.

Accessories

A radial arm saw can accomplish a larger number of cuts such as miter cut, crosscut, bevel cut, and more. And to do that, it has multiple attachments that can be replaced one after the other for completing different tasks at your will. 

This opportunity makes it very easy and less time consuming — making it perfect if you’re not producing commercially.

Working Table

The table attached to the saw needs to be of high quality because you’re going to put all your workpieces on it, and it can damage the material if it’s not good. 

More often than not, you’ll find saws that aren’t equipped with large working tables. So you’ll have to look specifically for large working tables to work with large wood pieces.

A flat and smooth table is necessary to produce a pristine woodworking product.

Blade

Selecting the right blade is vital. You might not give much thought to this, but you should. Different blades come in different materials, shapes, and sizes. 

The sharpness of the teeth and the number of teeth along the blade will determine the efficiency.

Guide

Accuracy while cutting your woodworking pieces is the most important thing as it will determine the quality of the output. And the guide is the one instrument that comes in handy in this case, and of course, it comes with your saw. So checking out the saw’s design is important.

We don’t recommend physical guides as they can be unstable; these might need frequent calibrations to fix its settings. That’s why; a good alternative would be to get a laser-light based guide. You can choose a laser-light based guide system for better performance, but it will also need to be recharged but not as frequently. 

New technology is created that uses your guide’s shadow as the guide. 

Fence

This tool isn’t as important as the others, but it also helps the guide tool to get the accuracy right. A poor fence makes it hard to apply the tool correctly, and you’ll receive inaccurate results. Avoid fences made of flimsy plastic materials.

Ease of Use

User-friendliness is the name of the game in this day and age. The easier to use, the more productive you can be. Easy to use tools don’t need expert handling from the get-go. Good ergonomics and easy instruction make your life easy.

What Are the Main Uses of the Radial Arm Saw? 

A radial arm saw is the most versatile saw as for right now, although there are some disadvantages to it. But let’s focus on the main uses of it. It can perform a variety of cuts, where do you use it generally?

Crosscutting

A radial arm saw is a perfect tool for doing crosscuts on your workpieces. You can crosscut wide and thick wood pieces with it. Adjust the speed of the motor to avoid making cutting grooves on the working table. 

A radial arm saw can cut 90 degrees to the length of your piece and at a 45-degree angle. 

Dadoing and Rabbeting

One of the simplest ways you can perform dado and rabbet cuts is with a radial arm saw. A different attachment has to be installed before that. Due to the angle and flexibility of the head, you can comfortably achieve these cuts. 

Miter Cuts and Bevel Cuts

Another use of a radial arm saw is to do the job of the new miter saw. It can cut miter cuts up to a 60-degree angle to either left or right. 

You can cut bevel cuts too with your radial arm saw as it has the necessary attachment. Bevel cuts up to a 90-degree angle are easily achievable, but you can only do it in one direction.

You can achieve more complex compound angle cuts than a typical compound miter saw, but it might be hard to achieve due to the manual calibration. This is an advantage most tend to ignore as the radial arm saw is a bit older for some people’s tastes.

Ripping

Do you need to rip big pieces of stock wood in your home? You can easily do it with a radial arm saw. It’s not as popular as other cuts but useful. Yes, there are limitations to it as the size of the working table isn’t as big as you see in the mills. But you can work around it by getting a bigger working table. 

You might face some problems while working, such as blade jamming, but you can avoid it by setting the depth of the knife and pawls according to the size of your stock wood. Furthermore, you can rip melamine and plastic stocks with it too.

Grinding

If you’re missing a conventional grinder in your house, you can attach a grinding wheel on the motor’s arm and use it as a make-shift grinder! It’s very simple to make. 

Use It to Form Moldings

It’s easy to form wood moldings with a radial arm saw. Moreover, it’s reliable and fast if you get the measurements right.

Additional Uses

  • Use It As a Drill Press

You can use your radial arm saw as a horizontal drill press; you just have to mount a drill holder to the arbor of the saw motor.

  • Use It As a Router

You can convert an old radial arm saw into an overhead pin router. A radial arm saw provides a very useful platform for installing a router. The arm is adjustable along with the height and you can fix the moton in your favoured position.

  • Make a Dovetail Cutter

You can convert the old radial arm saw sitting in your workshop into a dovetail cutter if you feel it’s not up to the mark as a saw. Attach a router with the motor and turn it around, then attach clamps to stick boards under it vertically. 

Voila! Now you got yourself a dovetail cutter.

Conclusion

Now, you know everything for buying the best radial arm saw for your nifty woodworking. And you know what to do with it if it becomes slow as a saw. Learn the tricks, and this will serve you a long time. 

Radial arm saws have come a long way, and the new miter saws we put in the list can cover as a good radial arm saw if you know how to work it.

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