A radial-arm saw works best for crosscutting wood, but you can use it for ripping as well as long as you take it slowly and use precautions. With attachments available on some models, you can use a radial-arm saw as a router or a sander.
A radial-arm saw table is made of particleboard or plywood rather than metal because the saw blade must cut into the table slightly to cut boards completely. When the tabletop becomes shredded after years of use, you should replace it. The fence, usually a piece of 1x2, needs to be replaced more often.
A power miter saw is designed for two purposes only: miter-cutting and crosscutting small-width boards (usually 1x6 or smaller). Highly portable, a power miter saw sets up easily on a couple of sawhorses. It's ideal for cutting molding on the spot.