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Radial Arm Saw Vs Miter Saw – What Are The Best?

Last Update On: June 13, 2021 // Author:

If you are doing woodwork projects, you might be familiar with radial arm saw and miter saw. But choosing a suitable one between them must be challenging for you. I am here to discuss all the differences of radial arm saw vs miter saw.  You have to pick your suitable equipment according to your needs, affordability, ease of use, state of your cutting materials, etc.

The radial arm saw is adaptable to a wide range of materials and produces varieties of cuts. On the other hand, the miter saw will provide you with cutting accuracy and productivity. You have to read the rest of the article to distinguish between radial arm saw and miter saw perfectly.

Radial Arm Saw Vs Miter Saw: What You Need To Know For Perfect Differences?

Radial Arm Saw Vs Miter Saw

Here are some differences between radial arm saw & miter saw at a glance:

Features Radial Arm Saw Miter Saw
Cutting depth Features higher cutting depth Cannot cut thick materials
Functions Produces cross cut Produces rip and crosscut
Size Large in size Comparatively small in size
Weight Heavyweight Lightweight
Outline Complex designed device Compact device
Safety Provides lower safety measures than miter saw Consists of a safety blade guard

What is it? Radial Arm Saw

Radial Arm Saw

A radial arm saw is a wood cutting tool with a simple design that can produce both miter and rip cuts. As its circular blade is driven by an electronics motor, it will allow you to cut wooden raw materials swiftly and accurately. Carpenter can also make dadoes and rabbet cuts by using the radial arm saw.

Miter Saw

Miter Saw

A miter saw is a powerful wood cutting tool that can produce crosscuts. This saw is mainly used for angel cuts. It includes a circular saw powered by a motor. You can position it on your wood board at various angles to produce bevel cuts. Miter saw performs best when you cut wood by it, but it can also cut metals, plastics, masonry, etc.

In Accuracy Radial Arm Saw

The radial arm saw is a versatile wood cutting device. It can generate crosscuts, bevels, miters, compound cuts, ripping rabbets, dadoes, etc. Though it is unrivaled at accurate and easy cut off,  having a larger output, is essential for larger projects. A radial arm saw has comparatively high cutting depth so that it can cut thick wood materials effortlessly.

Miter Saw

A miter saw cannot cut larger pieces because of its small blade size. To get accurate and precise cutting, woodworkers prefer miter saw that can perform bevel cuts. It can also cut soft materials like plastic accurately.

In Size Radial Arm Saw

Radial arm saw is larger in size than the miter saw. For its heavyweight, it’s quite impossible to carry around and it needs a station to be operated. The radial arm saw is configured with a dado blade and blade diameter ranges from 12-22 inches.

Miter Saw

The miter saw is small in size and portable. You can carry it when you need it, for its small size. Its blade size varies from 8 to 12 inch in diameter.

In the Level of Operability Radial Arm Saw 

We all need equipment for our project which is reliable and easy to maintain.

The radial arm saw consists of a circular saw blade with a sliding arm which can produce various cuts. There are some shortcomings in the safety mechanism of the radial arm saw. This device generates a lot of speed so be careful not to cut your fingers while using it.

Radial Arm Saw Pros

Miter saw

If you are searching for a cutting tool with quick operations and easy maintenance you can choose miter saw. It includes protective blade guards for the safety of users and also has a dust collector to keep your working places dust-free. Varieties of miter saws are available in the market with different features.  Just choose a suitable one for you with great operability. 

Radial Arm Saw Pros

  • It is a sturdy device with vast applications.
  • Presents a higher cutting depth.
  • Cuts large wood logs or limbs.
  • Produces crosscut accurately.

Miter Saw

  • It can cut with excellent accuracy.
  • Miter saw provides precise cuts.
  • You can use it easily without so many hassles.
  • It ensures safety for users.

Radial Arm Saw.

Radial Arm Saw Cons

  • Radial arm saw has lackings when it comes to safety.
  • Radial arm saw is comparatively larger and heavier than other cutting tools.
  • You need more space to install and it is difficult to carry.
  • Value for money is comparatively low for this product.

Miter Saw

  • Miter saw is less versatile and powerful than the radial arm saw.
  • It cannot cut larger pieces of wood and thick limbs.
  • It is not suitable for large projects.

Radial Arm Saw Vs Miter Saw: Which One Is Safer and Better?

Which One Is Safer and Better

Which saw you will choose completely depends on your need. Woodworkers at the beginner level generally use the hand saw for cutting firewood, but for professional users, either radial arm saw or miter saw is mandatory.

If you consider your safety first, then the miter saw is safer than the radial arm saw. One of the benefits of a radial arm saw is you can use a dado blade that is the advantage over a mitre saw.

If you need to cut larger portions of wood or thicker materials, you can choose the radial arm saw. If you need to shape and cut timber, the radial arm saw will be better for you. For bevel cut from 0 to 45° and 90° degree cut, you cannot find the alternating of using the mitre saw.

As radial arm saw is backdated and there is a risk of being injured for its users, carpenters and woodworkers prefer miter saw over it.

Final Thoughts

Although the radial arm saw was widely used in the 60s and 70s, it is almost obsolete nowadays. Only one American manufacturing company produces radial arm saw presently. Woodworker used it not only for crosscutting but also utilized in dadoing, ripping, molding, routing, and saber-sawing.

But mitre saw is more popular currently, for its easy use and installation. Miter saw is now leading the marketplace over the radial arm saw. I hope this article will give you the necessary information about radial arm saw vs miter saw while choosing your right one among them.

Author - Lee Morris

Hi, I am Lee Morris, I have run a power tools business for woodworking. Where I sell mostly wood router, compact router, trim router, plunge router, wood lathe chuck, and many other power tools for woodworking.

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