Are radial arm saws dangerous?
The answer is not at all if you use it following a few safety tips. Nevertheless, many carpenters and woodworkers still use it because of its efficient performance.
So, should you use a radial arm saw? The truth is, yes; you should; this versatile power tool will allow you to finish a variety of woodworking tasks as per your requirement.
No, let’s learn more about radial arm saw.
What is a Radial Arm Saw?
A radial arm saw is a wood or metal cutting machine widely used in a woodworking shop. It is equipped with a circular saw attached to a sliding arm that extends over the workpiece. This is uncommon since the blade and motor travel towards the stock, which is quite unusual compared to other power tools, and the material approaches the blade.
When making rip cuts, it stays locked in position; as a result, the material approaches the blade easily.
In 1922, Raymond Dewalt invented the radial arm saw that is used for cutting large stock pieces. It is efficient enough in making accurate and precise cutting.
Why Are Radial Arm Saws Dangerous?
A radial arm saw spins extremely fast, a minimum of 3,000 RPM. At the same time, the used blade is sharp. Due to this reason, working with radial arm saws is dangerous. However, similar to other power tools, many variables keep you safe when operating a radial arm saw.
The blade of this tool is prone to stick. Therefore, your clothes can be snatched by the blade if you are inattentive. Moreover, the distance between the saw blade and hands is closer, for this accidents can be severe if you don’t take safety precautions.
The most important thing is to be focused, use your senses, and always keep your eyes on the blade. Follow the below basic rules:
- Pay attention always. Learn about your hand and fingers position.
- Don’t pull the cut towards you; instead of that, press the blade when finishing.
- The right blade is the key. Self-feeding will be reduced when you choose the correct blade.
- While thick wood dadoing, make sure the radial arms saws fence is tall enough.
How to Operate a Radial Arm Saw Safely?
A radial arm saw is versatile and flexible. As a result, you can use it for accomplishing a wide range of DIY woodworking activities. However, in order to get efficient and effective results from this tool, it is significantly essential to learn how to operate it safely. So let’s figure it out from the below steps.
Step 01: Intently Read the Manufacturer’s Manual
Before turning the radial arm saw on, grab the manufacturer’s manual. Learning about the basic things will help you to operate the machine safely and efficiently. Additionally, you will be able to know the working process of this tool. Moreover, adjusting will be much more comfortable.
Step 02: Appropriate Dress is Necessary
Gather all your safety gears in a place. Buy goggles that come with side shields and are made of the following National Standards.
Also, full-face protection is necessary. Wear a dust mask if you require it to handle dirty work.
Remember, a radial arm saw creates extreme noise, and it could hamper your ears. Buy hearing protection so all incoming noise will be blocked.
Step 03: Install the Blade Perfectly
By reading the manufacturer’s manual, you can install the blade correctly. Thus, the tool will function accurately. Before starting the tool, clean the tool and make sure the blade is sharp enough.
Step 04: Start Operating
Once you finish setting up the machine, turn it on. Don’t begin cutting a material until it reaches its highest speed. Moreover, don’t force the material towards the blade.
After completing the cut, turn the machine off, don’t forget to do so.
Furthermore, use a table when working with a radial arm saw. This way, working will be much more convenient and safe. Remove any obstruction from the blade before turning the saw on. Besides, don’t work free-hand.
Safety Tips When Working with Radial Arm Saw
As stated earlier, it is mandatory to take safety precautions when working with any power tool and radial arm saw is also no exception. Therefore, follow the below tips to reduce the risk of injury.
Correct Set Up is Mandatory
Don’t forget to set up the saw at a bit of an angle, leaning away from you. Since a radial arm saw is a bulky tool, a slight angle setup will prevent the saw from sliding towards you.
Don’t Start Working Until the Blade Speed is Maximum
After turning the tool on, make sure the blade is rotating at its maximum speed. This way, blade binding gets stopped, and you will get clean cuts without any risk.
Keep Your Hands Away from the Blade
Whenever you move your hands, be careful from the blade and bring them back to your body first. As a result, your hands will remain away from the blade. When the saw is in working mode, never move your hands around it.
If the blade stops working due to any obstacle, shut off the tool, let the blade stop rotating fully, then unplug it and remove the obstacle.
Learn Emergency Turn On/Off Procedure
Locate the shut-off button and practice how to shut it off quickly during an emergency.
Install the Saw in a Large Enough Table
When installing the saw, ensure that the used table is large enough to accommodate the tool without any trouble. Also, the table should be placed on a flat and even surface.
Avoid Wearing Loose Clothes
Your loose clothes can be entangled with the saw blade. So, wear a tight outfit.
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Hopefully, after reading this write-up, you have understood that you have no other choice except to take safety precautions when working with a radial saw. Radial arm saws can be dangerous. Also, severe injury may happen with its sharp blade if you are inattentive when working.
Are radial arm saws dangerous – share your thoughts regarding the conception? We appreciate your valuable comments.