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Radial Arm Saw

Maggi Junior 640
Machine Workshop (Room G24)
Level 03 - Machine Certification


A radial arm saw is a cutting machine consisting of a circular saw mounted on a sliding horizontal arm. It is useful for cutting long pieces of timber to size as it has a large table and fence.

Video of Operation

Health and Safety

  • The radial arm saw is a power tool that has the potential to cause serious injury if used incorrectly. Always exercise extreme caution when using the equipment. NEVER touch the blade or other moving parts during use. The blade can easily cut fingers and other body parts.
  • Familiarise yourself with the emergency stop buttons on the machine. Always turn the machine off when not in use. NEVER leave the machine unattended while in use.
  • Ensure the dust extractor gate is opened before use and closed when finished.
  • Use push sticks, fences and safety guards wherever possible.
  • Do not wear loose articles of clothing and/or jewelry when operating the radial arm saw.
  • Do not try to remove jammed pieces while machine is still running.
  • Do not attempt to cut round or uneven objects.
  • Please see workshop staff if there are any issues with the machines operation. Please do not attempt to make any adjustments without prior approval.
  • Use push stick if hand is closer than 300m of moving blade.

Operation Instructions

  • Turn on dust extractor: Turn on dust extractor and open the dust extractor gate.
  • Prepare the workspace: Ensure work area is clear and that all settings are correctly set. Place material to be cut on the saw. If clamps are used they must be firmly attached and not removed during operations. See a staff member to unlock the machines power.
  • Cut material: Cut the material in a controlled and smooth motion. Use push stick if hand is closer than 300m of moving blade. DO NOT rush.
  • Shut down and Remove material: Use the mushroom switch to turn off the machine. Remove the material and clear away any dust and offcuts from both the machine and floor. See a workshop staff member to lock the machines power.

Workmanship Considerations

  • The radial arm saw is a large machine and is safer than the mitre saw for wide cross cuts, housing joints and rough cutting lumber.
  • An old proverb says it is best to ‘measure twice and cut once’. Make sure to double check your measurements before cutting as incorrect cuts will lead to wasted time and material. Always indicate which side of the material is to be kept by marking it with a pencil.
  • A good trick to rapidly cut multiple pieces of material into the same dimension is to set up a jig. This will eliminate the need to measure out each individual piece and reduce the chance of human error making each piece exactly the same.
  • Remember when cutting that the blade has a thickness. As such is always best to cut your material to the side of the marking line on the offside of the material rather that on the centreline of the marking.