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One LAST time on the 3650...

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  • One LAST time on the 3650...

    I, like a lot of the people here, am new to this forum and serious WW. (by that I mean serious enough to finally spend $600 or $700 bucks on a table saw) I have been reading all the posts on the Rdgid vs GI and everything else I could find. I am a little overwhellmed.(never said I could spell) I finally went down and bought the Ridgid 3650 and got the warrantee, for what it's worth - I really don't want to go into that anymore - and have it sitting in my shop still in the boxes. I went down and looked at the GI 50-185 and I like that one too. There are some features I really like on the Ridgid but if the GI is really that much better I am more than willing to take it back and buy the GI - I tried to get my brother to give me a little advise but all he told me is to "get the one you want or you'll hate it more everyday you use it". Good advise but not really what I want to hear right now. I know all the GI owners are very happy with their saws and have heard nothing but good from those owners but what I REALLY want to hear is one guy that actually owns the Ridgid 3650 to tell me he would take it back and get a different saw if he could. If any of you out there own this saw and like it please tell me - if you have second thoughts please tell me that too as when I get home ( I'm away from home now on business) I am either putting the Ridgid together or trading it in for the GI. At that point I too hope all the talk is over with except how we love making sawdust....

  • #2
    I have owned the 3650 for about 3 months now and am very satisfied with it. I haven't suffered through any of the problems that a few owners have encountered. The saw is very stable, the motor doesn't vibrate and the fence locks parallel to the miter slot. I was very methodical when I set it up, I had to re-adjust & shim the back rail to get the fence level with the wings and the miter bar to clear the rear rail but that was it. The OEM blade was not good enough for my tastes and was a little out of balance so I replaced it with a Tenyru (sp).
    I didn't have a General to look at so I was reluctant to add that one to my list but I looked at the Jet contractor & hybrid, Dewalt hybrid, Powermatic contractor and thought a lot about the Grizzly contractor and cabinet. I liked the features on the Ridgid but I also liked the fit, feel and finish of the my saw, so in a way, took your brothers advice. The Jet was the only one I could find in the same price range and I just didn't like the feel of it.
    Bottom line is I kept the 3650 and I could have returned it if I wanted.

    Your situation is different than mine though. HD credited 20% during the big sale in December, on top of the 10% off I had gotten when I purchased it. My decision could have changed if the 3650 was at full price and the I liked the General. If I found the General was like the Jet I would still keep the Ridgid. It's a nice saw even at full price.

    Man, this is a terrible ramble, I have to get some sleep so I can't proof this post. Sorry if it doesn't make sense.

    [ 02-01-2004, 01:01 AM: Message edited by: idle hands ]


    • #3
      I just bought mine a week ago and NO, I would not take it back and get the GI. This saw is more than I will need plus the lift system on it is critical for me considering my tight space. I am really pleased with this saw. Don't second guess it.

      Just my meager 2 shiny bits.

      [ 02-02-2004, 12:23 PM: Message edited by: m00n ]


      • #4
        KC - I'm not sure the responses here will help you either. "Idle hands" has at least stated that he did not see the GI. Many probably have not and if they don't state that in their response it doesn't help you. The GI is very similar to the PM64a. The $550 Jet is a good saw, but does not feature cast wings and has a very modest fence, so it's not a good comparison to the GI or PM either.

        Just about any saw in this price range will do a good job, and you'd probably be happy with any...mostly because you have a new saw that's better than what you had. That's why I take "new owner elation" lightly. Now is the time to scrutinize any differences and determine which features and quality differences mean the most to you. You're brother is wise, it's really your decision, but it can be really overwhelming when you're not extremely familiar with all the differences.

        Take your time. It's something you'll be living with for years. Sleep on've got 90 days (89) if you hang on to the 3650. Much easier to return if you don't assemble it though! Go visit the assembled one in the store if you want to do more comparisons.

        Good luck.


        • #5
          For my $.02, I'd say that unless the General is within $50 of the Ridgid, you'll be perfectly happy with teh ridgid. The motor has plenty of hp, and the tables ar enice. If you ever want to upgrade fences, Biesemeyer makes one that bolts right on. Sell the current fence andyou get a nice fairly cheap upgrade. I have no doubts that I bougt a fine 3612 last year and probably would do so again given the cost.

          Of course, I now have the Unisaw bug, but that will cost me another $1,000 plus sale of my saw.


          • #6

            Don't forget to add that a bies fence upgrade will be 300 bucks. May be able to upgrade to another brand for 200 - 250, but it definitely cost more.

            You may find a bit of limitation on the short rails of the Ridgid. Other than that I have heard its' a decent saw. For the 30 % off like others have had, may lean toward ridgid. Without em I'd lean away. But keep in mind, I'm not a ridgid owner. Just really appreciate my 50 inch rails when I need em



            • #7
              Agree with others----before you unpack the Ridgid---go see the General---even if you have to drive a bit. While most report the 3650 fence works well---there's nothing (except even more expensive fences ) that can beat the Biesemeyer fence on the General---and, they have an option where you can upgrade to a 50" fence for around $100-----FYI---for a saw like this, you'd have to pay $999 for the Delta. Also, for the fun of it---compare the weights of the two saws. Heavier weight generally means more stability and less vibration.

              But, looking at the two saws on the same day, for a good comparrison, is certainly what I'd do to resolve your concerns.


              • #8
                Originally posted by woodworkerjake:

                Don't forget to add that a bies fence upgrade will be 300 bucks. May be able to upgrade to another brand for 200 - 250, but it definitely cost more.

                You may find a bit of limitation on the short rails of the Ridgid. Other than that I have heard its' a decent saw. For the 30 % off like others have had, may lean toward ridgid. Without em I'd lean away. But keep in mind, I'm not a ridgid owner. Just really appreciate my 50 inch rails when I need em

                What? The fence is longer than most out there with 36". If you're going to say that the Ridgid's fence is limiting then you need to say that any saw with only a 30" fence is for hobby use.

                Upgrading the fence on either saw is available and obviously a little more expensive on the Ridgid, but 36" may be enough for most people.



                • #9
                  Not necessarily for hobbies. My woodworking is a hobby too. But There are times you'll want / need longer than 30 inch or 36 inch for cutting wood. May be able to compensate with a radial arm saw or other tool. But I don't have those. So the 50 inch rails.

                  The long rail thing wasn't directed specifically at Ridgid. That's my suggestion for any saw. Just happens that ridgid doesn;t have long option. However yes, their 36 inch is longer than most 30 inch.



                  • #10
                    Last time from me on this I hope also.
                    Running 2 of these saw's in shop. They fine - with the following things to again add.
                    If you think you'll ever want/need bigger capacity then look real hard at the General.
                    If you planning on using to he!! the saw daily you maybe will find the fence not quite as sturdy as you need long term - I've no issue and think it'll be fine but the Bies is no doubt solid and a better fence.
                    Ripping hardwood day in - day out? Then again a vote towards the GI - bigger motor. It can be done easily on Rigid-just suspect over 1000's of b/f will be a little harder on it is all. Yet the warranty is better on Rigid so maybe moot point if you toast one.
                    More beef in general to the General.....but this goes back to how much one truly needs these features and what one willing to pay. If you got any discount of the Rigid the difference can be substantial.
                    I'm not a fan of the Delta and Jet's in this price range-the PM is nice but bigger reach yet.It's a nice saw though. Yet it's there with lower end cabinet saws in pricing so .....

                    The Rigid with discount-the General in between-the PM at high end of contractor saws or maybe the Dewalt. I recently ordered a Grizz 1023 cabinet saw - not because of any deficiency in the 3650 but needed to use one off-site and need 2 saws in shop for production. I have no intention of selling the 3650 when it comes back "home" - good saw at great price so why would I? It'll continue to see use no doubt.

                    Back to your question - you'll not be disappointed I feel but if you can do yourself a favor and look at the General and then decide. You seem to be second guessing decision - only you can put in to rest ----- right!
                    Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


                    • #11
                      I have had the 3650 for several months, no problems. I looked at everything. I wanted a cabinet saw, could not justify. for the money I felt the Ridgid was a good buy, still believe it.


                      • #12
                        Like Jake said----quality of fence and length of rails has nothing to do with one particular brand---it's just a matter of economics. Buying a 30" capacity saw, with stock fence, with the idea of upgrading it later, to a Biese' with 50" rails, will cost you a heck of a lot more than getting it, stock, in the first place. Almost wish there were saw manufacturers who would sell the saw bare bones and let you pick your fence/extensions.

                        As to the extra capacity-----extremely valuable if you plan on a lot of plywood/sheet goods products. Also, more than once, the extra table size has doubled as an assembly/glue-up table (cover it with old plywood or a plastic tarp and you're good to go).


                        • #13
                          You may want bigger rails - may not either. They are nice yet just also may be in my mind at least over-rated. How many times will you actually need them??? - for large sheets just cut down the ply w/ circular saw and then finish cutting on ts. The majority of all cuts will be well under 30" I assure you.

                          Do you really realize how much space these 50" plus monsters take up in shop space?

                          The Rigid is a very good saw for most people. Not a production unit but very good. No regrets at all in making the purchase.

                          Mine's not for sale either
                          \"NowhereMan, are you listenin\', do you know what you\'re missin\', NowhereMan....\" Fab Four


                          • #14
                            KC, for what it's worth. No matter if you spend $600 on the Ridgid, or $25,000 on a Euopean Combo machine. There is always going to be things you want to do to improve the saw to suit your needs. No one item is "THEE" perfect item for everyone. I don't own the saw you do, but an older model, 2424. If I cut both my hands off with it, you would have a hard time getting it away from me.

                            You do have one up on me with your saw, the T-type miter tracks. Big Plus for precission miter cuts and things like a tennoning jig. But, That's what I have the RAS for! [img]tongue.gif[/img]

                            Just for example (I'll brag about the tool anyday!)

                            [ 02-02-2004, 10:46 PM: Message edited by: UO_Woody ]
                            John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


                            • #15
                              I see the new Grizz's arriving - now this may really muddy the water for many. Reviewed below

                              57" rails to boot and $600 delivered to door. Option to really spread out wings-79" rail option for $140 I think it was. Or do as someone I know did - ordered the std G0444 with stamped wings for $500 to door (only 1.5 hp vs 2 on Z model above). He's planning on using cabinet under like UO did above with router insert so wings getting popped off anyway. Figures the $100 in savings buys the materials to build one.

                              It is new model but it's also from Grizz so I'd fret not at buying one. I actually would have maybe bought the Z vs the 1023 but they were back-ordered at time so decision was made for me.

                              This may play out well for consumers - this is pricing of 3650 (or less) at retail - maybe the HD's will be forced to start consistent discounting. Time'll tell.


                              [ 02-03-2004, 09:38 AM: Message edited by: Cranky ]
                              Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em