The Truth About Table Saw Vs. Radial Arm Saw

As a worker or a DIYer, everyone needs different types of tools. Before using the tools, we need to know which is best for us. Both a table saw, and a radial arm saw perform woodworking tasks.

Though these two tools have similarities, each device has some differences in design. The main difference between these two devices is in their cutting. So we can decide which one is best for us after knowing the details of these.  

table saw vs radial arm saw

Credit: Photo: Amazon.com

Comparison Between Table Saw And Radial Arm Saw

To know everything, we will compare the table saw, and the radial arm saw. This comparison will help to decide which is the best for you. Comparison between a table saw and a radial arm saw is given below:

Table Saw

Table Saw

A table saw consists of a circular saw blade and drives with an electric motor, which is used for woodworking. The blade juts through the top of the table. It provides support for the material.

The table saw is a versatile tool for the workshop. We can make a variety of cuts with the table saw. It also provides flexibility.

The blade of a table saw is in a fixed position. So, the operator only needs to push the pieces for cutting. The table saw long, straight, rip cuts, and repented cross-cuts quickly and accurately than a hand-held circular saw.

The right features are essential to make the saw more efficient, which is given below:

  • The table saw has mobile stands which provides support and portability;
  • The micro-adjust rip fence provides control over the work;
  • Extendable rip fences fold offers expanded rip cutting capability;
  • Amps measure the power of the saw. The cutting power increases with higher amps;
  • Shaft locks inactive the shaft and blade which makes it an easier way to change the blade;

The table saw has some advantages and disadvantages. These are given below:

Advantages of Table Saw

Easier To Use:

Most woodworkers are comfortable with the table saw’s system. It is also easier to understand and work with than a radial arm saw.

Less Noisy:

As the motor is hidden under the table, the table saw makes less noise.

Safer:

Though power tools are dangerous, the table saw is safer than the radial arm saw. A table saw upgrades the safety improvements from time to time.

Accuracy:

The table saw becomes popular because of its accuracy. As the blade is in a fixed position, it provides an accurate cut as straight or curved. The saw’s fence and miter gauge groove are parallel and perpendicular to the blade. So, it is possible to provide an accurate cut.

Ripping Ability:

The table saw is ideal for ripping. Though we have fewer knowledge about saw adjustment or operating the saw, the table saw makes ripping easy and comfortable.

Disadvantages of Table Saw

Takes More Space:

The table saw takes a lot more space than the radial arm saw because of its size. If we have no issue with space, then the size of a table saw is ok. But the size of a table saw becomes an essential point of consideration for those who have limited space.

Kickbacks:

Sometimes kickbacks of the table saw become dangerous. But we can prevent it by using an excellent parallel fence or feather-boards. Also, we need to keep in mind not to use a broken or bent blade.

Need To Push Boards Through It:

The general system of the table saw is to push the boards through it. But for thicker boards, it becomes a disadvantage for us.  

Radial Arm Saw

A radial arm saw is a kind of tool with a circular saw which is mounted on the sliding arm. We can do many things with the radial arm saw. As it is equipped with an optional blade, we can function as a disk sander, router, or drill press.

This tool is best for cross-cut or ripping. As the saw is moving through the wooden piece, the radial arm saw is suitable for a long piece of wood. Also, for the size, it is relatively easier to set up.

To compare with the table saw, we need to know about the advantages and disadvantages of the radial arm saw. The details of the pros and cons are given below:

Advantages of Radial Arm Saw

Suitable for Heavy Piece:

If we need to cut a heavy piece, then the radial arm saw is suitable. Generally, we need to push the wood towards the blade for cutting. But for the radial arm saw, we do not need to move wood. Instead, we will pull the saw towards us to cut the wood.

Versatile Tool:

The use of the radial arm saw is more than merely cutting the wood. We can use the radial arm for drum sanding, surface planning, routing, and horizontal boring. So, we can say this tool is a versatile tool.

Less Space:

The radial arm saw needs less space for the shop than the table saw. As a result, we do not need to worry about size as an important consideration.

Suitable for Cross Cut:

The radial arm saw uses as many things. For cross-cut, this tool is perfect. Only we need to adjust it accurately for the ideal cut.

Disadvantages of Radial Arm Saw

Safety Risk:

The radial arm saw poses a higher safety risk than the table saw. The table saw has a stationary blade, but the radial saw has an exposed and moving blade.

Expensive:

The radial arm saw is more costly than a table saw. Though today’s radial arm saw is less expensive than before, it is still expensive than the table saw.

Less Versatile:

The table saw is known as a versatile tool. But the radial arm saw is less versatile than the table saw.

Final Words

There are a few tools that can operate as versatile tools. The radial arm saw and table saw are some of them. The radial arm saw can fit any workplace, whether it is tiny or big.

On the other hand, the table saw can not fit any workplace. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the workplace's loudest tool is the biggest radial. So, we need proper safety before using it. But the table saw is safer than the radial arm saw.

I try to discuss everything about the table saw and the radial arm saw. After reading the article it might be helpful to choose the right tool.

Last Updated on February 3, 2021 by John Dylan

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