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BEVERLY'S TOOL BOX

#410 - Kitchen Renovation / Part 2

Featured Tool - Chop Saw

You have seen us use a "chop saw" (also referred to as a radial arm saw) many times. Basically, this type of saw consists of a circular blade that is secured on the "arm" and rotates to make the cut when the arm is lowered. You can set the angle cut needed on the base, lock that angle and make as many cuts as need. You can make 90 degree cross cuts as well as angles between 90 and 0 degrees, left and right.

Radial Arm Saws are incredibly versatile machines. Some models feature blades that can tilt and rotate to achieve a variety of miter cuts referred to as a power compound miter saw. Slide-arm compound miter saws allow the blade to slide farther away from the base, allowing you to cut through wider stock.

There are many safety features built into the saw to help prevent accidental contact with the blade a blade guard automatically covers the blade as the arm is lowered and raised. Some models require you to squeeze a handle while at the same time pressing a power button.

As with all tools, I strongly suggest trying out this saw before you buy it, as different models position the handles differently. Choose one that you can easily and comfortably operate.

To maintain your radial arm saw, be sure to keep the blade sharp. Many hardware stores and home centers offer blade-sharpening services for a very moderate fee.

Radial Arm Saws generate huge amounts of sawdust, so wear a dust mask. To help control the problem, most chop saws have a little hole in the base just behind the blade where a shop vac can be attached to suck away sawdust. If you plan on using yours frequently, consider investing in a shop vac or other dust control system to protect your lungs.

Always wear protective eyewear when using a radial arm saw. Read all manufacturers instructions and warnings before operating.


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