Magna/YUBA SawSmith Radial Arm Saw Information, History & Review

The Sawsmith was one of the best Radial Arm Saws ever made. Big words? Well how about these facts:
  • The Sawsmith has a 9" blade, yet it can cut a 3" thick board. Most 10" RAS's can only cut 2 1/2" deep.
  • The Sawsmith can crosscut a 20 5/8" wide 1" thick board!
  • The Sawsmith spindles adjust from 1700-6400rpm, meaning that unlike other RAS's that run every accessory at 3450rpm, you can run your dado, moulder and shaper at the correct speed.
  • The Sawsmith's height adjusts with a crank on the front, not on top of the column like many RAS's.
The Sawsmith was first made by Magna, then later by Yuba. Both companies made the Shopsmith tool line.

It featured variable speed like the Mark V and as long as it has the optional "Add-a-Tool" mounting bracket in it, it can even power the SPT's from the Shopsmith line including a 4" Jointer, an 11" Bandsaw, an Air Compressor, etc. If you ever stumble across this saw don't stop to think about it, buy it. These can be had from $75-300 depending on their condition and the accessories.

At the time of this post I own three SawSmith RAS's, all of which are undergoing restoration. This rebuild will be covered in detail on our
Sawsmith Tool Hunter blog.  And make sure not to miss the great articles and ads on our cleverly named "Shopsmith Articles and Ads" page.

Click here for SawSmith Radial Arm Saws For Sale (Very light activity)

Click here to find the definitive book on the Sawsmith Radial Arm Saw: "Fun With A Saw" for Sale

Click this link to view (and purchase) the Patent Art Print of the US Patent for the Sawsmith Radial Arm Saw.

In 1953 R.J. De Cristoforo's first Shopsmith related book, "Power Tool Woodworking For Everyone" which set the standard that all other woodworking books have been judged by ever since. In 1961 De Cristoforo went back into the shop, but this time he dedicated his attention to the then-new SawSmith Radial Arm Saw. The results are the cult classic Fun With A Saw: Radial Arm Saw Woodworking for Everyone. (Link leads to Amazon listing for FWAS)

This book occasionally becomes available on eBay, so unless you are desperate for a copy you might want to wait for one to go to auction, otherwise get ready to spend upwards to $100 on Amazon. Here's a link to Fun With A Saw on eBay.

One final note: A recently listing of a Sawsmith RAS and Jointer was won by ME(!) for a ridiculously low price. The seller obviously didn't know much about the tool and left out several key words that would have led more buyers to it. The link above worked just fine, and it was how I discovered it. Take that as a lesson and add us to your favorites and check back often.