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  • Table Saws

    Anyone have any comments about a Grizzly table saw? How do they compare to the Ridgid 3650?

  • #2
    Lets look at all contractor saws and you tell me.

    First there are only two contractor saws on the market that mount the height adjust crank low enough on the front of machine that you won’t hit the bottom of the table as you adjust the height. Ridgid and Dewalt. Jet has the super saw but they merely lowered the crank by putting a belt from the original location to lowered location. Before anyone says this isn’t a problem explain to me why Jet spent the money to engineer the belt to lower their crank.

    There are only two contractor saws on the market that come with blade guards that are anywhere near convenient to use. Again Ridgid and Dewalt. On this point Dewalt is the winner. However Ridgid is far more convenient to use that all the rest and to me its ease of use encourages its use.

    Ridgid is the only contractor saw on the market that doesn’t need flex link belt to make it run smoother. All others can be improved to some degree by adding it.

    Ridgid is the only one that price includes mobile base.

    While Ridgid uses a no name motor is appears to be far more efficient than the many of the others judging by rated horse power and amps. Certainly the Grizzly is off the chart here having an extremely high amp draw.

    Many will cite the fence and certainly that is a point to consider but tests conducted show the Ridgid fence to be a fairly accurate fence. In one test the grizzly fence a clone of Beismeyer is said to have ripples in its face that must be shimmed out and was not parallel to the blade when used on the left side of the blade.

    Only Ridgid and Dewalt make any real effort to capture and collect dust by shrouding their blades. All other saws let it fall with some offering a plate to close the bottom but offering no remedy for dust that goes out the back.

    Other issues with Grizzly is that it is mail order only. There is no way to touch and feel it before you buy unless you live near the factory. More importantly there is no local service either good or bad, therefore there is no one you can look directly in eye and say I want this repaired or replaced. If you buy a ridgid and it is junk you pack it up and take it back to Home Depot. If you buy a Grizzly you arrange for shipping, pay for shipping and hope they see fit to reimburse you, if they don’t you paid shipping both ways.

    Look at price the Ridgid is $597. You can easily get 10% off that price by opening an acct, claiming new move discount, waiting for a friends and family day. That brings the price to $537 where else can you buy a contractor saw with a mobile base and 30 inch fence with two cast iron tables for that price?
    Rev Ed

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    • #3
      ZBAR - RevEd brings up some good points about the differences between the two saws. Alot will depend on what features and circumstances are most important to you.

      I do want to point out that the new Grizzly fence comes with an aluminum face attached to a steel body....there are no ripple issues with the aluminum clad faces. A couple of points not mentioned are the differences in the designs of the two fences. The Griz has a Biese style fence that is extremely rugged, very repeatable, and fairly precise. Another consideration with the fences is rip capacity. The 3650 has a 36" capacity vs Grizzly's 30", however most Biese type rails offer an option to go to 50" rip that Ridgid does not offer. 50" allows you to crosscut a 4'x8' sheet and/or add a huge extension table. The Ridgid fence is aluminum with some plastic in critical places making it more prone to damage in a shop environment. The 3650 fence is a dual locking system which can lock out of square and is not always repeatable. The fence and blade will make or break a TS setup, and the Griz fence is fairly clearly the better fence in my mind. An aftermarket fence of the Griz's caliber will run > $200. I agree that the 3650's fence is certainly adequate and better than most other aluminum fences.

      I'm not certain he's correct about the motor efficiencies. It's quite possible there are big horsepower differences that go along with the amp draw differences. He is correct that the 2hp Griz typically requires either 220v or a 30amp 110v circuit.

      I personally don't place alot of importance about the location of the handwheels....it's just not an issue for me. The serpentine belt on the Ridgid is a good idea that I'd like to see incorporated in more machines....not sure what the disadvantages are. Link belts aren't always needed, but will set you back ~ $25 if needed. No debate about the Herculift, but mobile bases can be easily built or purchased.

      Local service is certainly a consideration, but when comparing the machines themselves, the advantage of mail order is that you typically get more machine for the money, and IMO that's the case here. The Griz is very well built with heavy cast iron trunnions vs die-cast zinc trunnions on the Ridgid. The Griz also comes with a cast iron miter gauge, a dado insert, accessory hooks, and a dust tray. Accessories and service have been an issue for many 3650 owners in the past year....hopefully these issues will improve or have improved. Most folks have good luck with the Griz mail order experience.

      Both saws should serve you well. It'll boil down to which situation and saw best suits your needs.

      p.s. - Another saw that I'd consider looking at is the General Intl 50-185. (ranked #1 by FWW in Jan 04). They do have dealers, although no where near as many as Ridgid, and the saw is outstanding, but costs $650 if you can find one. Not sure how much influence money will make in your decision. Good luck!

      [ 06-10-2004, 09:05 AM: Message edited by: hewood ]

      Comment


      • #4
        It's said that if a misstatement is repeated enough it soon appears to be fact. Alot of misstatements are being made about the Ridgid fence. The fact that the Ridgid fence is made of aluminum does not make it a bad fence. If thats the case then the fence on the Griz is also a bad fence because it also is made of aluminum. If Ridgid aluminum will flex so will Griz aluminum. As far as the dual locking mechainism causing the fence to lock out of square, in over a year and a half of use the fence on my 3612 has never done this once!

        Both of the saws in question are fine peices of equipment and would be a nice addition to anyones shop. The fact that the Griz has a 30" rip capacity to the right of the blade and the Ridgid has a 36" rip capacity doesn't make the Griz a bad saw anymore than the Ridgid would be a bad saw because it has a 1½ HP motor compared to the Griz's 2 HP motor.

        When it comes down to the actual machine, most contractor saws from reputable mfgs. are fairly equal in quality. Each has it own little differences and features from the competition but all will saw wood fairly equally. Oh yeah, don't forget to put a good quality blade on whatever saw you buy, it really does make a difference.

        [ 06-10-2004, 09:26 AM: Message edited by: Badger Dave ]
        I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

        Comment


        • #5
          Dave - Nothing I've stated about the 3650's fence is untrue. But I do have to point out that the Grizzly's fence has aluminum "faces" mounted to a heavy steel fence body. That's a different design approach than just using aluminum for the body, so your argument on that point doesn't hold much water. My opinion is that the body being aluminum isn't the fence system's weak point anyway....it's the aluminum rails vs steel. That's where the major strength difference is that can effect alignment and longevity. The plastic handle is also a weak point of concern to me, that I hope doesn't get realized by users....a steel handle is a far better choice of materials at this price point than plastic.

          I don't believe that locking the fence out of square is a frequent issue with the 3650's fence, but merely pointed out that it can't be done with the Biese t-fence design. I contend that's it's not difficult to do with the Ridgid design, and have certainly heard from others who have clamped their dual locking system down out of square. My guess is that it's not usually noticed when it's locked down out of parallel...
          in over a year and a half of use the fence on my 3612 has never done this once!
          Are you sure you've "never" done it?...


          I won't argue that saw isn't worthy and doesn't perform well for it's owners. Just looking at it from a perspective that potential purchaser's should take when evaluating between choices.

          [ 06-10-2004, 11:33 AM: Message edited by: hewood ]

          Comment


          • #6
            I've never had any problem with my 3612 fence. If it locked down out of square I would notice it when my work ends up out of square. I check my work often to make sure things are square. I would do the same with any fence, there are no perfect fences. If the fence is a big concern you can always consider getting the dewalt or jet cabinet tablesaws for around $850 that have biese type fences, the price difference between those and the ridgid is about what a biese fence would cost you anyways, and you are gettin a much better saw.
            www.TheWoodCellar.com

            Comment


            • #7
              If you simply push the head of the fence in towards the rail as you lock it, the fence will be true every time. It has to be.

              All the Bies design does it to apply that pressure for you. However, since the Bies does not lock at the back, it requires clamping to the table if you use any accessories that might lift the back of the fence, such as featherboards or Board Buddies.

              Also, the Ridgid fence has T-slots on the top to accept a wide variety of such attachments, which are difficult to mount on the Griz fence.

              Ergo, the Ridgid design is better overall than the Bies style found on the Griz.

              Certainly, there can be no argument about this. Ha!

              Rob

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by hewood:
                </font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />in over a year and a half of use the fence on my 3612 has never done this once!
                Are you sure you've "never" done it?...</font>[/QUOTE]OK, OK , maybe "never" was a bit too confident. How about, "to the best of my recollection ever done this once! And if it did, the results were so negligible that they had zero effect on the finished product."
                I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Badger Dave said:
                  OK, OK , maybe "never" was a bit too confident. How about, "to the best of my recollection ever done this once! And if it did, the results were so negligible that they had zero effect on the finished product."
                  Seeing as though my finished products are usually, uummm....less than perfect, I can accept that!

                  That reminds me ZBAR - With all this "discusion" about TSs, there are folks out there who can do better work with a circular saw than I could with a PM66! None of these saws is likely to be the weak link in your shop! [img]smile.gif[/img]

                  RobH said:
                  Also, the Ridgid fence has T-slots on the top to accept a wide variety of such attachments, which are difficult to mount on the Griz fence.

                  Ergo, the Ridgid design is better overall than the Bies style found on the Griz.

                  Certainly, there can be no argument about this. Ha!
                  There you go thinking with your heart again...

                  [ 06-10-2004, 01:46 PM: Message edited by: hewood ]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RobH:
                    However, since the Bies does not lock at the back, it requires clamping to the table if you use any accessories that might lift the back of the fence, such as featherboards or Board Buddies.
                    No it doesn't. I run a Biesemeyer on my Unisaw with Board Buddies. You could lift the saw off the ground with that fence and the fence still won't move. No if and or buts about it. The Biesmeyer locks down tight and does not move.


                    [/QB][/QUOTE] Ergo, the Ridgid design is better overall than the Bies style found on the Griz.

                    Certainly, there can be no argument about this. Ha!

                    [/QB][/QUOTE]

                    Yeah there can, but what's the point?

                    [ 06-10-2004, 06:54 PM: Message edited by: K.M. Delano ]
                    Support Our Troops!
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                    • #11
                      [QUOTE]
                      Originally posted by Badger Dave:
                      ==============================================
                      "It's said that if a misstatement is repeated enough it soon appears to be fact. Alot of misstatements are being made about the Ridgid fence...."
                      =============================================

                      BadgerDave couldn't have said it better. There seems to be a "generally accepted wisdom" that a Bies or Bies clone is better than a Ridgid. I say horse pucky! Here is why:

                      1. They are equal in ability to lock up square. The Bies is not any better. If anyone wants to continue to debate this point, then let's do it. Otherwise, it is time for you to concede.

                      2. The Ridgid has a micro-adjustment. The Bies does not. (It is really fun trying to set that last 1/64" by banging your hand against one side of the fence and then the other when you overshoot.)

                      3. The Ridgid has four T-slots, 2 on top and one on each face. The Bies has none. That's OK if you don't mind a bunch of c-clamps hanging off of your fence whenever you need to attach something to it.

                      4. The Ridgid clamps down firmly at the back. The Bies does not. I have to respect K.M.Delano's statement that he doesn't need to clamp down the back, but have read others on various forums that say they do.

                      So I see three advantages to the Ridgid and none for the Bies. I will concede the Bies is a heavier duty fence and if you are going to throw 4'x8' sheets of 3/4 ply or MDF against it all day, then the Bies is the right choice.

                      But for most of the people posting here, who are hobbyists, a Bies is not necessary and the Ridgid has 3 features that make it easier to use and therefore a better choice.

                      I rest my case.

                      Rob

                      [ 06-11-2004, 01:56 AM: Message edited by: RobH ]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Rob - Your first point in your last response just isn't true - "1. They are equal in ability to lock up square. The Bies is not any better."

                        I get the feeling you being more "territorial" about this issue than objective. The Biese CANNOT lock down out of square once aligned. The Ridgid can be if you don't apply the proper technique. Those are facts that are not very debatable. The out of square situation may not be a frequent issue or huge factor for some, but it can and does happen. And as I said, it's very likely that it goes unnoticed if and when it does occur....is 1/4 or 1/2 degree out of square noticeable to most people on most cuts?

                        On a more neutral forum, you'll find you are heavily outnumbered in your stance. Not that a majority opinion necessarily makes them right, but in this case I'm certain that they are. "Ridgid clones" are few and far between in saws over $500. Biese clones are prevalent, and for good reason.

                        I cannot and will not debate about your opinion of the features of the Ridgid fence....you're entitled to like that fence above all others, but you guys keep pointing fingers about spreading myth as truth (erroneously) and then follow the accusation by doing exactly what you just accused others of doing.

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          But for most of the people posting here, who are hobbyists, a Bies is not necessary and the Ridgid has 3 features that make it easier to use and therefore a better choice.
                          Rob, I will give the Rigid (and Craftsman for that matter) Fence a thumb up for the slots. I ran Board Buddies on a Craftsman fence for a couple of years. Didn't need the mounting track as the slots in the fence made it easy to mount. No way that I would call it a "better" choice though. Most weekend woodworkers will do fine with it. But, any alu fence is going to deflect more than the Biesemeyer. (Some of the clones don't fair as well.) Even the high $$ INCRA fence systems show some deflection. A recent reveiw in one of the WW mags pointed this fact out. The Biesemeyer was rated as top dog when it came to this part of the fence tests. Is the Biesemeyer the "Best" fence? Well, that would depend on what you are looking for. For me it was a fence that locks down tight and will never move on me. So the Biesemeyer was the best choice. If I was looking for repeat cuts, then I'd look at the INCRA.

                          Yup, we could debate this till the end of time........
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                          • #14
                            One thing to think about look at a Biesemeyer fence. It is without a doubt the easiest to manufacture. Steel box beam front rail, no machining. Angle iron back rail, no machining. Angle iron front piece no machining. Steel box beam body no machining. The only thing that is machined at all is the flanges that hold the lock down lever. So what are you paying for? Either name or concept, certainly not in the cost of manufacture. In my opinion the cost is all the hype that surrounds it. And I think ninety percent of that is manufacture and retail generated to keep prices up.

                            Some one mentioned plastic in Ridgid fence. I'm a shopper by nature and visit many tool stores. I can't tell you how many broken steel lockdown levers I have seen on fences (none Beisemeyer I will admit). They stick out and are a natural to get hit as employees move stock around and all. They break right off where they screw into the horizontal cylinder. However I have only seen one Ridgid fence lever broken and that was in the HD they were remodeling and someone dropped a shelving upright on it. Not bad percentage.
                            Rev Ed

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                            • #15
                              So now I suppose that cheap handmade heavy gauge steel Biesemeyer with the ultra smooth laminated faces is less expensive to manufacture than the sophisticated aluminum and plastic Ridgid fence?

                              I imagine if I went to a Corvette Club meeting and asked if a Viper was any good, that I'd be told that 10 cylinders is too heavy and sucks too much gas. That the Viper has no finesse and is all just horsepower that can't be applied to the road, and that there's nothing to justify the cost of the Viper except the marketing hype to keep the cost up. And I'm sure someone would offer their "opinion" that a fiberglass body adds as much or more strength than steel ... blah, blah, blah...."I want it to be so, therefore it must be so."

                              Excuse me now fellas, I've got to go call Delta, Powermatic, Jet, General, General International, Bridgewood, Shop Fox, Grizzly, Woodtek, Laguna, Excaliber, Vega, and God only knows who else, to let them know they've got the wrong fence concept, and that they've been spending way too much money on fences. The whole industry is going to be so disappointed. [img]tongue.gif[/img]

                              [ 06-11-2004, 09:35 PM: Message edited by: hewood ]

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