A radial arm saw is an old-fashioned woodworking tool that is still seen today. It is essentially a circular saw that is mounted on top of a horizontal arm and slides back and forth in action. Mostly, radial saws are used for cross-cutting wood and cutting long pieces of stock to size; but many devices have saws that can pivot 90 degrees, making them a popular choice for splitting wood along the grains as well.
They can also be adapted to perform traditional stationary woodworking operations, similar to table saws, miter saws, drum sanders, disc sanders, shapers, and more.
Furthermore, the heads tilt for cutting bevels, while the pivoting arms rotate to cut miters. There is also an important piece called the yoke, which cradles the saw head (or motor) beneath the arm. Because of their versatility and handiness, they were a favored staple to many home woodworkers.
One of the most popular radial arms saw brands is known as DeWalt and has been around for quite some time. In its prime, it was a top choice for many home woodworking enthusiasts for several decades. Continue reading to learn some interesting facts about DeWalt 790 Radial Arm Saws and some other common brands they manufactured.
DeWalt 790 Radial Arm Saw
The DeWalt 790 was invented over 98 years ago, back in 1923, by an American inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of DeWalt Tool Co. named Raymond DeWalt, who was from Bridgeton, New Jersey. In his day, DeWalt Tool Co. was one of the leading manufacturers of premium radial arm saws. Unfortunately, the introduction of the power miter saw in the 1970s led the company to cease manufacturing for the US market in 1985.
Although there are still several in operation today, these circular arm saws are mostly replaced by miter saws, which are smaller and more precise. On the other hand, they are not obsolete quite yet, as they are highly useful tools in the wood shop. And miter saws can’t make rip cuts.
The DeWalt Wonder Worker was the original radial arm saw, but many more were introduced in the following years. These include:
The DeWalt 1030
The DeWalt 730 10″
The DeWalt 740 10″ PowerShop
The DeWalt 790 12″ Deluxe
Craftsman 10″ with LaserTrac
These outdated circular arm saws are still sold new today, but they do have some drawbacks according to many woodworkers. Not only are they quite expensive, but they also take up quite a bit of space compared to smaller miter saws. They are also not easy to transport. These factors can certainly sway a buyer’s decision.