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  • Best table saw

    Can someone tell me if the Ridgid Table Saw 3650 is one of the best? I've been using a Ryobi for a while now, but am getting tired of it. I get a lot of kickbacks, the fence isn't "true," and my projects have outgrown it.

    I own a lot of Ridgid tools, but the last one I bought was the 12" sliding miter saw. Needless to say (and as I read here after the fact), it doesn't cut straight and I had to take it back. Now I'm a little leery of Ridgid.

    Please help.


  • #2
    Re: Best table saw

    Which saw are you talking about? The 3650 or the portable saw? I have the TS3650, have had it for about 3 months and love it. It is a very popular choice with woodworkers because of the price, quality, and large 36" capacity. Ask most people here and they are happy with theirs. If you wanted to go with that, it is $550, I would wait and find out what the details of the TS3660 are going to be. It is due out sometime soon, but that also means that you might be able to get a good deal on a 3650.

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    • #3
      Re: Best table saw

      The 3650 is definitely in the top 10 of full size cast iron contractor saws under $550 currently on the market.

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      • #4
        Re: Best table saw

        Originally posted by hewood View Post
        The 3650 is definitely in the top 10 of full size cast iron contractor saws under $550 currently on the market.
        Gotta agree there.

        The fence on the 3650 is great. The trunion system is contractor style, but it works very well. The large cast iron surface is a big plus. I've had mine for a couple years and I love it. It's the first table saw I've owned and I'm still impressed with it. I recommend getting a good blade when you get the saw. The one it comes with is not very good.
        I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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        • #5
          Re: Best table saw

          Thanks.

          I'm talking about the TS3650.

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          • #6
            Re: Best table saw

            When is the 3660 due out, and what are its advantages?

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            • #7
              Re: Best table saw

              Originally posted by Toddro View Post
              When is the 3660 due out, and what are its advantages?
              Nobody knows, it is probably like the Ridgid radio, there are talks of it, but it will be A LONG time until it actually comes out. If you need the saw, I would by no means wait, the 3650 is a proven winner. It might turn into one of those deals like with cars, you never buy the first year model, but who knows. It is supposed to be the same as the 3650 with some small improvements (as I have read here) but some of those improvements could have included cost savings....

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              • #8
                Re: Best table saw

                Originally posted by Toddro View Post
                When is the 3660 due out, and what are its advantages?

                If you're looking for advantages, do some research on the modern hybrid saw designs. Hybrid saws are essentially an evolution of the contractor saws that moves the motor location from outside the enclosure to inside. The "outboard" motor poses a slew of minor to medium problems that are readily addressed by moving the motor inside the cabinet. The hybrid is a new classification of table saw that fills the gap between the contractor saw and the industrial cabinet saw, and is ideal for small budget conscious home-shops with 110v power, where an industrial cabinet saw isn't necessary and/or the expense can't be justified. The hybrids start at around $400 on sale, and go upwards of $1200 for the most fully accessorized versions.

                The "contractor saw" design was developed nearly 60 years ago with the motor placed outside the cabinet for fast removal for easier transport from jobsite to jobsite, which was much easier than transporting a 500 cabinet saw around. Most contractors no longer use the 250# to 300# contractor saws on the jobsite for obvious reasons, so the term "contractor saw" is a misnomer in today's world. The introduction of the portable "jobsite" saws, like the Ridgid 2400, Bosch 4000, PC3812, and DeWalt DW744, have relegated the contractor saw to stationary use where the benefit of easy motor removal isn't necessary, and actually becomes a liability. The external motor requires an open enclosure which makes dust collection less effective than an enclosed cabinet. It also requires a much longer drive belt, which is inherently less efficient at transferring power to the blade, and tends to cause more vibration than a shorter belt. There's also the menacing issue of tilting the blade, which swings the motor in an upward arc outside the enclosure, requiring a clear path for the motor to avoid hitting and lifting things in it's path, which in turn often knocks the alignment out....homemade contraptions to improve dust collection, and workbenches are the primary causes of a "lift" by the motor. The additional 12" to 14" the external motor occupies can be a concern in small hobby shops. Since the motors used in today's contractor and hybrid saws are virtually all "Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled" types (TEFC), there's virtually no advantages to placing the motor outside the cabinet, but there are several "dis"advantages that can be easily resolved by placing it inside.

                Most of the hybrids use a motor in the same power class as a contractor saw, which are typically about as large as you can go and still run on a standard 110v circuit. Many are convertable to 220v for situations where it's available and advantageous. Most hybrids also use a similar trunnion system as the contractor saws, but most have beefed up parts, plus the benefit of less leverage placed on the arbor carriage due to the location of the motor that's no longer cantilevered 12" off the back of that carriage. Some hybrids even feature cabinet mounted trunnions like those found on cabinet saws, which are very easy to adjust and add a bunch of mass and stability. The hybrids offer many of the same benefits of a full cabinet saw, without offering the industrial power or duty ratings. Many also sport variations of a highend steel fence like those found on industrial cabinet saws. Most feature a fairly short serpentive style drive belt, which ultimately helps transfer more of the available motor power to the blade...some have two belts for even more efficient power transfer, and some even offer a dual drive stage said to increase torque to the blade, and further reduce vibration.

                In the U.S., hybrids are currently being offered by Delta, Jet, Shop Fox, Craftsman, Grizzly, General International, Steel City, Woodtek, DeWalt, Sunhill, and Hitachi. Most offer more than one version. Since Ridgid is currently the only major brand of a full size saw who's not offering a hybrid saw (Jet is associated with Powermatic), I suspect the alleged 3660 will be a hybrid of sorts, which would be an improvement to even a good contractor saw design. Even SawStop, who hasn't yet released their overdue contractor saw version, says a hybrid is in the works.

                p.s: I've written to Ridgid about this, but have not yet received a reply.
                Last edited by hewood; 12-17-2007, 09:45 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Best table saw

                  I purcheased the TS3660 from Home Depot yesterday. I do not see much difference in it and the TS3650 that was on display. It is not a hybrid. The motor still mounts in the rear. The only thing I see is the panels that fill in around the top of the legs are different and they added side panels.

                  In fact the registration web page does not show a TS3660 and when I emailed support about online registration they said to use the TS3650 to register it. They said "the TS3660 contains the TS3650 so use TS3650 for registration."

                  Jack

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                  • #10
                    Re: Best table saw

                    I too was hoping that the nexgen RIDGID TS would be a hybrid. Over a year ago I suggested that RIDGID develop a hybrid TS.

                    I think the TS-3650 is a good choice. In its price range there are few models that beat it and a number of reviews by various WWing mags bear that out.

                    For the level of work I do the TS-3650 meets my needs now, but I will sell it and get a hybrid someday soon. Be it a RIDGID or a Steel City or some other make I don'r know right now. But one thing is for sure I won't be able to choose RIDGID if they don't have anything out there on the floor to look at. I don't buy vaporware.
                    "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

                    https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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                    • #11
                      Re: Best table saw

                      Trying to decide on a new table saw or put a fence and new belt/pulleys on my father's 1977 Craftsman 10in. Can not find a TS3650 assembled at any HD. Neither HD or Ridgid will respond with info regarding where I can actually see one out of the box.

                      Is the TS3650 as good as the Delta 36-979 with the T2 fence?

                      If I can't get accesories i.e. dado insert and other items from Ridgid or HD where do I go?

                      With the customer non-service I have gotten so far what good is the Lifetime warrenty? Has anyone had to use it?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Best table saw

                        Trying to decide on a new table saw or put a fence and new belt/pulleys on my father's 1977 Craftsman 10in. Can not find a TS3650 assembled at any HD. Neither HD or Ridgid will respond with info regarding where I can actually see one out of the box.
                        I would probly jsut keep what you have, the saws your discussion are all contractor type saws, and (no I have not used the delta or the ridgid saws personally, I have a old delta 9" contractors saw, I used on job sites,) but besides some small likes or dislikes my guess is contractor saws will probly be fairly comparable for the same dollar, there may be some control placement and maybe some other likes or dislikes, the more a saw weighs usually the more stable and less vibration it has,

                        but unless your stepping up to a cabinet saw, I would probly save your moneys and replace the belt and possibly a fence up grade (fences on some contractors saws were and are hideous, I know the one on my old delta leaves a lot to be desired),

                        that is my oppion, granted it may be after using you old sears saw I could change my mind, but (if it is a contractors saw, seperate motor) my guess is your basicly jsut buying newer not nessarly upward.
                        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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                        • #13
                          Re: Best table saw

                          I would probably look at the craftsman zip code saws before the ridgid because they go on sale often. The craftsman has an enclosed cabinet for better dust collection, and cabinet mounted trunions for easy alignment. Either that, or shop around for a used delta unisaw.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Best table saw

                            I was just cutting some 8/4 hard maple on my TS3650. Had on a brand new Forrest 40 tooth blade with stabilized plate. Kept bogging down. I know a rip blade would have been better but was looking to cut planing / jointing time. Can the motor be upgraded to 2hp, will the trunions take it?
                            Steve

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                            • #15
                              Re: Best table saw

                              Can the motor on the 3650 be upgraded to 2hp, anybody know?
                              Steve

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