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Checking oil level in Wormdrive circular saw

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  • Checking oil level in Wormdrive circular saw

    I just bought a Ridgid R3210-1 Worm drive saw. Does anybody have some tips on how to check the oil level on that saw? I put the dipstick in, but it bottoms out so quickly its hard to believe it's possible to get the oil level between the two white marks. There's obviously some oil in my saw, but I don't get any on the dipstick.

  • #2
    Re: Checking oil level in Wormdrive circular saw

    Unplug the tool. Place the base of the saw on a horizontal surface. Remove the oil plug using a 6mm hex wrench.
    Insert the dipstick straight into the tool. Do not force. Check the oil level. It should be between the two white
    marks on the dipstick. If the oil level is not above the first white mark, add oil a little at a time until the oil reaches the correct level. Return the dipstick to the storage area on the underside of the tool.

    Unplug the tool. Place the base of the saw on a horizontal surface. Remove the oil plug using a 6mm hex wrench. Tip the saw up and let oil drain out into an appropriate oil container. Replace the oil using a small funnel (less than 1/4 in. spout). Take care to let air out while putting new oil in to avoid spilling. Fill only with .5 oz. (15cc, or one tablespoon) Mobil SHC 636 Oil. Fill the gear case until the oil level is between the two marks on the dipstick. Do not overfill. If the level of oil raises above the second mark on the dipstick while the base is on a level surface, overheating may occur. Replace the oil plug with a 6mm hex wrench. Do not overtighten. The O-ring under the head should be compressed slightly. Overtightening will cause the o-ring to unseat and not seal properly.

    NOTE: With a new saw, change the oil following the first ten hours of use. This will prolong the life of the tool by removing the gear particles from the oil when the gears are breaking in.

    This saw only holds very little oil. Be sure it is level when checking the oil.

    Note: If you can't obtain the Mobil oil, SKIL worm drive circular saw oil should work fine as long as you drain all of the oil out of your saw first.

    If your saw is brand new, I would contact RIDGID customer service at 1-800-474-3443 and find where there's a service center in your area. They should stock the proper oil and could most likely sell you a pre-measured tube. Just pour out what's in it now and then fill with new oil. If you tried the dipstick and it comes back dry, the factory goofed and didn't put in enough if any oil. If you just got your saw, take it back to Home Depot for an exchange stating that your's is defective. If you're had it for some time then the service center should take care of it for you. I personally have never seen 1/2 Oz tubes of the correct oil. Normally it comes in 8 Oz tubes or quarts and is sold through Bosch-Skil service centers or large tool dealers.

    Hint: Take a clean tuna fish can or similar and place on your bench. Then try to pour out any oil in your saw. If only a drop or two comes out, take it back to Home Depot ASAP and just say it's defective and you want another. I hope you didn't use it yet, but if you have, they still should exchange it no problem.
    Last edited by Woussko; 03-16-2008, 11:14 PM.


    • #3
      Re: Checking oil level in Wormdrive circular saw

      Thanks for the info, Woussko, that helped. I think I figured out what I was doing wrong; you need to insert the dipstick in exactly the right place. If the dipstick is pointed slightly up and towards the front of the saw, you can sneak it between the gears and then the oil registers correctly (between the two white marks).

      I've attached some photos to help clarify. One is just a shot of what the dipstick looks like. The next picture is how NOT to insert the dipstick, you can still see the top white mark even though the dipstick has bottomed out on the gear (this happens when you push it in straight). The last picture shows the orientation when the dipstick is pushed between the worm and straight gear.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Re: Checking oil level in Wormdrive circular saw

        Thanks for this insight - the photos are great. Still looks like a pretty shallow angle for checking the reservoir.

        I found a spot you can probe deeper if you hold the stick vertically near the lower opening at a pretty steep downward angle.

        I guess I'll try the Bosch/Skil oil, since I can get that locally, because I haven't seen anything less than 55 gallon drums of the SHC 636.


        • #5
          Re: Checking oil level in Wormdrive circular saw

          Is the handle on the dip stick towards the front or the back of the saw because the instructions say straight down and I almost got it stuck in there. I have the same problem

          Thanks John


          • #6
            Re: Checking oil level in Wormdrive circular saw

            BE VERY CAREFUL when checking the oil level on this saw.
            1-We have purchased 3 of them and the oil was below full on each of them.
            2-As already noted the dip stick is flimsy and a little wiggling of it (don't force it) is necessary to get it in. Moving the blade a little seems to help as it seems that the placement of the gears can obstruct inserting the dip stick.
            3-Look very carefully when checking the oil on the stick. On the second one we purchased I was in a hurry and checked the level and the oil showed full. A few days later one of our workers checked it again and informed me that the saw didn't have any oil. What we discovered was that with a small amount of oil in the saw the dipstick can "wipe" against a gear which will have oil clinging to it, and will transfer oil to the stick which can look like a level reading. Luckily the saw had only been slightly used. We did find tiny bits of metal clinging to the dip stick. We flushed the oil reservoir with kerosene and filled with correct amount of oil. We have been using the saw for six months without any ill effects to date. Maybe I dodged a bullet. Stay tuned.......Ray