Radial Arm Saw Blade Issues

With the wrong blade, radial-arm saws will grab the work piece and "self-feed" it in. May 20, 2009

When we size and cut out door panels out we use a Delta 10 inch radial arm saw. The problem is that it wants to pinch and grab and run up on the wood. Iíve never used an upcut saw before and Iím wondering what other people are using.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor O:
For the radial arm saw you need a blade that is less aggressive to avoid the self feeding that radial arm saws are prone to. They have, if I remember correctly near zero rake. The better makers, who offer a range of saws, will have ones specially for radial arm saws

From contributor L:
10" saws are very light and prone to worse self-feed problems than say a 16" saw. That said; you need to use the right blade. Blades designed for radial arm saws will have zero to negative hook. They will require a little more power for the same cut. It would take a really big up-cut saw to do 18" cross cut. We have an 18" Whirlwind that I bought new at least ten years ago. It will x-cut about 13" maybe a bit more depending on thickness. Not a well designed saw! We have an old, make that very old 16" DeWalt RA. It is much easier to control in the cut than a 10" RA due to its mass. To square panels we use an SCM slider, precise clean cuts, and dead on square.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
As posted, but it deserves repeating for the third time, radial arm saw blades require zero to negative rake to avoid aggressiveness. In other words, a table saw blade is the incorrect blade for a radial arm saw. It is unbelievable how many radial arm saws in-use have the incorrect blade.

From the original questioner:
We are using the right blade. It has the negative hook on it so maybe we just need a bigger saw. I was wondering if the upcut works better for this.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
With the right blade, you should be able to take your hand off the saw while it is in the cut and the saw will just stay there - but do not do this. If the saw is aggressive, then the rake is actually not what it is suppose to be. I am assuming that the blade is rotating so that it pushes the wood down on the table.

From contributor S:
We also use a sliding table saw for cutting our panels. Upcut saws work well for cutting the rails and stiles, especially if you have a Tigerstop on it, but it wouldnít work for your application. I would talk to a good blade supplier and tell him your requirements and he will give you a blade that will work for your radial arm saw.