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What would you do r4511 $300 or ts3650 for $300?

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  • What would you do r4511 $300 or ts3650 for $300?

    Great site you guys and gals have here.

    I have been looking around this forum for a few days trying to decide if I should get the R4511 vs. a ts3650. I know this subject has been beaten to death but I have a different problem. The local HD's in my area have messed up so bad during my attempted purchase of the TS3660 from them that the district manager has decided to give me the r4511 for just over $300.

    What should I do? They found a ts3650 that I have in my possession but I have heard issues with the arbor but enjoy the fact it has a CI top. I love the idea of cabinet mounted trunnions on the r4511 but not excited about the Granite nor the rip capacity.

    Have any of you had both these saws and if so if you were in my shoes what would YOU do?

  • #2
    Re: What would you do r4511 $300 or ts3650 for $300?

    It's a personal decision that you should make based on which you like best. There are pros and cons to each, some of which can be easily remedied, some of which will remain. You can slide the rails of the R4511 over to the right for more capacity. You might even be able to replace the granite top with a cast iron top due to the way that the cabinet trunnions are mounted flush with the top of the cabinet, but that's a major modification so it's more realistic that you'll live with the granite top...it is easily repaired if it incurs minor damage.

    The design of the R4511 is a hybrid design that moves the motor inside the enclosure, and is really an evolution of the 60 year design of contractor saws with outboard motors. The hybrid offers a bunch of benefits that the 3660 really can't offer easily....mass (the R4511 is > 50% heavier), shorter drive belt (better power transfer, lower vibration), better DC, smaller footprint, no lifting hazard from the motor when tilted. The riving knife has some significant benefits too...a standard split does the job, but isn't nearly as elegant as a riving knife. Both have decent, but not outstanding fences IMO...the R4511 is a steel t-square design but it uses a two-piece rail and the rubber handle is suspect....good in theory, not such a great execution of that design style....there are some excellent examples from Biesemeyer, Jet, Shop Fox, HTC, etc. The 3660 uses a dual locking aluminum fence and has a suspect plastic handle....maybe not so good in theory, but it's a very good example of this style of fence.
    Last edited by hewood; 08-06-2009, 04:58 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: What would you do r4511 $300 or ts3650 for $300?

      I returned my 3660 to upgrade to the 4511. The granite top was "iffy" for me, but the rest of the improvements greatly outweighed it. No motor hanging off the back was a big one for me, as I can now push the saw pretty close up against my shop wall and still be able to use it for small cuts without having to worry about the belt losing tension. Riving knife is safer and nicer to use.

      Dust collection is much better, but I think could still use a little improvement (ZCI is what you need, I was getting dust coming back thru the large opening in the insert plate)

      Not having to deal with tensioning the motor/belt is also great.

      And, its a subjective thing, but when I power on the 4511 it just seems to exude more "professional" than the 3660 did. That might be the extra mass, etc, but it just seems to run smoother, more like a cabinet saw would.

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      • #4
        Re: What would you do r4511 $300 or ts3650 for $300?

        if you are buying a 3660 and not a 3650, i believe the arbor issue is a non issue. it occurred in early runs of the 3650 and if you search this forum for "3650 arbor", you'll probably find a load of related posts and even a mention of the date codes that had the problem. the 4511 appears to be a sweet saw, and i really wanted to like it, but the 2 part front rail and reduced factory rip capacity have left me sticking with my ridgid 2412. the 3660, hasn't got a t-square fence but, when the 3660 fence is clamped, it is really solid. once tuned up properly, either saw should give you many years of reliable end enjoyable service.
        there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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        • #5
          Re: What would you do r4511 $300 or ts3650 for $300?

          IMO there are no problems with either of these saws. Properly setup either one will serve you well for years to come. As FINER9998 stated, the arbor issue is a non issue. The last 3650 to be produced with that arbor was made prior to May of 2005 so unless the 3650 you have has been sitting around for 4+ years I doubt seriously if it has one of the bad ones.
          ================================================== ====
          All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

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          • #6
            Re: What would you do r4511 $300 or ts3650 for $300?

            I have mixed feelings about the granite, but the 4511 has a steel fence, an enclosed cabinet, and nice big handwheels. Hard to go wrong at $300.

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            • #7
              Re: What would you do r4511 $300 or ts3650 for $300?

              Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
              if you are buying a 3660 and not a 3650
              I have a 3650. No arbor issue.
              In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.

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              • #8
                Re: What would you do r4511 $300 or ts3650 for $300?

                R4511 for $300? What are you asking us for?!! I'd go for that one, granite issues aside.

                And welcome to the forum.

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                • #9
                  Re: What would you do r4511 $300 or ts3650 for $300?

                  I just bought a 4511 and am very happy with it. The fact that I can tuck it up against my small shop wall is a biggie for me. Both are nice saws, but the 4511 a winner in my book. Good luck, Mike

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                  • #10
                    Re: What would you do r4511 $300 or ts3650 for $300?

                    Thank you all for your insight. I will be picking up my r4511 on Saturday morning.

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                    • #11
                      Re: What would you do r4511 $300 or ts3650 for $300?

                      Just make sure that you check everything over on it very thoroughly. If you do a thread search on the R4511, you'll find that some people have got ones where there was a small chip to the granite, and/or ones that the persons did themselves when setting it up and making the requisite adjustments. I'd do a thread search on that saw, if I were you, just to get as much info and prep as possible. But it is a great saw nonetheless, and that's a great price.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What would you do r4511 $300 or ts3650 for $300?

                        No question 4511. That is a steal for $300. Contractor saw's design is inferior in so many ways.

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