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TS3650 - Is it generally a solid saw

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  • TS3650 - Is it generally a solid saw

    Hey all...

    I realize I am in the house of ridgid, but I will ask anyway. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I am very interested in the TS3050. I just seen it at home depot, seems lke a great solid saw so my questions would be...

    1) Can you purchase add-on' for the saw such as a new fence and rails?

    2) If I decided to create a cabinet for this, would it work well as a cabinet saw?

    3) Someone mentioned the miter guides on a different model being a different size than standard, is that the case with this saw too?

    4) Someone mentioned that it may not have some things that other saws have... Not knowing much about table saws, what would those other things be and how important are they?

    I am very new to this so please excuse me if I am asking what seems to be very dumb qestions. [img]smile.gif[/img]


    [ 01-20-2004, 06:11 PM: Message edited by: m00n ]

  • #2


    1) Yes, pretty much any of the aftermarket fences can be made to fit the saw----but, let me suggest it is more economical to purchase the quality and size of fence you want from the start. Some other brands offer Biesemeyer or Unifence fences starting about about $50 to $100 more than this saw (noting that the cheapest Biesemeyer aftermarket fence is $270.

    2) No, it wouldn't make it a cabinet saw by any means, as you'd still have the motor coming out of the rear of the saw. I have seen some very nice cabinets built as a substitute for the stand, but that won't make any contractors' saw a cabinet saw.

    3) As far as I know, this new saw has continued with the same slots Ridgid always had, which are slightly smaller than Delta (which is the other standard size). It is not even an issue until you intend to replace the miter gauge or to add a tenoning jig---but it takes very little to get an aftermarket gauge to fit----Incras work very well.

    4) As said earlier, nothing is more important than a good fence. Quality and acuracy are alse very important.

    As to the 3650---the facts are---this is a new design---untested. On this board, you will find reports of flexing in the leg stand as well as some problems with the motor----a few reports of each---

    At it's full price, I'd strongly suggest you take a look at the General International contractors' saw, which includes a Biesemeyer fence, for $50 to $100 more. If as some have been able to do---you can get the 3650 at a 20-30% discount, it might be worth it to you.


    • #3
      Hi Rick, welcome to the "House of Ridgid". As you will find out, some of the guys on this forum are some of Ridgids toughest critics when they need to be.
      Dave has given you the straight scoop. I agree with everything he has said. By the way, just saw on CNN that he77 has frozen over.
      I have the 3650 and have not experienced leg flex problems or motor problems, but as Dave said, there have been some issues reported.
      As to question 4 you might be thinking of the bandsaw which doesn't come with a fence or miter gage as some saws do.
      If you want a cabinet type saw with a biese type fence then the 3650 is not for you. The 3650 is what it is - a good solid contractor style saw with a decent fence-rail system.
      If you do a search for "table saws" you will find comments on just about every saw out there.
      "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06


      • #4
        Thanks for the great information. You have me wanting to ask, whats wrong with the fence that's on it now?


        • #5
          Frankly there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with the fence on there as bought. NADA - nuttin'

          But it IS lighter than say a Bies or clone, and may be less strong, therein true, over a long period of time. This won't be known for a long time tho, will it.

          Having stated this __and the above seems to be pretty fair observations I'd say_ the GI at about $80 more plus shipping if needed/required or maybe the new Grizzly at $600 to your door may be options better suited for some. The Grizz is facing same thing that 3650 is in being new model and yet to see/read actual users opinions.But based on Grizz's track record I'd wager is going to be a sweet saw.

          I caught the discount - after hundreds and hundreds of hours of using here in shop we extremely with these saws and would do it again in a heartbeat. At $600 I'd look hard tho at above 2 options - but I can get the GI so I don't have extra baggage fee to pay.
          Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


          • #6
            Thanks guys! I checked with home depot, they don't have the discount going any longer but they do have the lifetime warrante.

            Just out of curiosity, why would you guys suggest the GI saw? What makes it better?

            [ 01-20-2004, 09:55 PM: Message edited by: m00n ]


            • #7
              Another lacking accessory to the Ridgid is dado blades. Most dado's won't fit on the TS3650. I have read on another post that Freud can make some custom dado's but I dont' know anybody who has done it. a good DADO set is very good for making joints and grooves in boards.

              I have not seen the grizzly but have read a million post about them. The biggest reason I can muster that people really like them is the cost and the fence is a BIES clone. Biesmeyers has been the standard benchmark on fences for many years. There are other options like Incra that is a little more precise for repeat cuts. But if you ever see a Biesmeyer fence. They lock down Accurate and SOLID every single time. Year after year.

              I would suggest that if you could get a chance to visit a woodcraft or a local Jet / Powermatic / Delta dealer so you could see the differences in fences and saws you would have a much better understanding of what different companies have to offer. The biggest thing I have against Grizzly is they are a mail order only company and their saw draws higher amperage than most saws with similar power. And like others have mentioned it's an unproven track record. however most owners do like them. For what it's worth.



              • #8
                m00n---at to the GI saw----main reason I mentioned it, is that it's in the ballpark of price to the Ridgid---Just gives you some alternatives in your shopping. It's also been around a while and have to admit I'm partial to the Biesemeyer fence. BTW----I also used to think the GI had a Biesemeyer clone, but it's an actual Biesemeyer, licensed to General Internation---a Canadian company.

                Not to hijack the thread, but Jake----I'm curious about the problems fitting dados to the 3650. I've heard the new Freud adjustable has problems, but can't you fit a regular stacked set?


                • #9
                  Well, perhaps I can give a bit more input as to my needs... I am not a wood worker by trade, actually far from it. I am trying build a modest shop so that I can build some things for our house, perhaps some christmas gifts and what not. So I am looking for something good, but I am not as concerned as someone who was trying to run a full fledged shop might be. Sure I want accurate cuts, but I won't be beating this saw up nearly as much as a regular shop would.

                  As far as dado's go... That may be a concern as I know that I would eventually like to get into furniture making. However, can a router do the same job?


                  • #10
                    I have a regular 8" stacked dado set for my 3650 and it works great. The part that people are having a problem finding is the dado insert which can easily be home-made.
                    The particular Freud dado blade mentioned in another post requires a longer arbor shaft.

                    [ 01-21-2004, 02:25 AM: Message edited by: Lorax ]
                    "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06


                    • #11
                      Lorax----yea---didn't make sense to me. But, they really should come out with a dado insert.

                      m00n---you might find it helpful to do some reading on the subject. Kelly Mehler's Table Saw book has some great reading on different table saws, features, etc. Also, American Woodworker did a fine, two part article on buying a table saw---check their web site.

                      There are basic reasons/advantages to a number of saw features, that really have little or nothing to do with how often you'd be using the saw. For example---a good fence is a must for both accurate cuts as well as safety. A fence that doesn't say aligned, toed in towards the blade, will give you a poor cut and could kick the wood back.

                      But, in starting out---a good table saw is going to be the center of your shop for many years to come, so don't limit your thinking to just now. Besides, believe me---commercial shops generally don't use contractors' saws as much as you would find cabinet saws at more that a thousand buck more than the saws discussed. Good luck.


                      • #12
                        Hi m00n - When comparing tools, it's good to make a list of advantages and disadvantages, then decide why you should buy one or the other. At this price range most of the saws available are "good", and most will do what they're supposed to do. But since they all work I like knowing I bought the "best" I could afford.

                        The new Ridgid is $597 which puts it at even money with the new Grizzly and close to the GI. The Griz has what appears to be a better fence, stronger motor, and an adjustable cast iron miter. Neither the Griz or the 3650 have much track history yet. I'm concerned about the metallurgy and design of the trunnions on the 3650. They're die-cast zinc which is not a particularly strong metal...most are cast iron. The entire trunnion design deviates from a well proven standard design that is well proven. The design could turn out to be better, but at this time we don't know....the choice of metals gives me a hint of the importance they placed on the trunnions....(most people won't notice right?) They're still working out bugs in the 3650... motor vibration caused by bent fans and leg flex are the two most reported. The Ridgid warranty is good, but the customer service has had alot of mixed reviews lately. The Herculift mobile base is nice, but I'd rather see a Biese clone fence in it's place.... I can build a mobile base for $20 in under an aftermarket caliber fence is alot harder to duplicate. The 36" rip is a plus, but longer rails are not an option....again I'd rather see a better fence in it's place with the option of 52" rip and a long extension table. On the 3650 the fence tightens from both ends which holds nicely, but is more difficult to get squared and can be tightened in an out of square position....not so with the more repeatable t-fence design like the Biese. A good t-fence will only move about 1/64" at the end with about 20# lateral pressure...a good trade off for the repeatability and ruggedness of the steel rails and fence tube. Also, what's with the plastic handle of the Ridgid fence? One good bump on a cold day....makes me shudder.

                        Also as Dave pointed out the General Intl GI 50-185 is only $53 more than the Ridgid and I believe it's alot more saw - Biese fence, 2hp motor, solid cast iron wings, cast iron miter gauge with track adjustments to take up any slop, metal handwheels, cast throat plate, dado insert, dust pan, accessory racks, solid well proven saw. It's much more comparable to a PM64a, or top of the line Delta or Jet than the Ridgid is.

                        So to any that have the 3650 and like it....great. I don't want to start anything... It's a fine saw and should serve you well, and if you got it on sale you bought it right. But for those who are shopping, if the Ridgid's not on sale, there are a couple that IMHO are "better" of which is a proven "best" according to Finewoodworking's 2004 "Tools and Shops" issue.

                        The important thing is to get the one you like that'll suit your needs. Kick the tires, do as much research as you can, and you'll most likely make the best choice.


                        • #13
                          Ridgid has changed the mitre slots on the 3650 they are standard v groove now. I agree the fence is a good fence, it is not top of the line. It is alum not steel. The saw vac system does not need to be a cabinet, Ridgid has enclosed the pick up system without enclosing the cabinet. No one on this site I know of who owns one complains about it. It is a good deal for what you get. I build mostly furniture and have had no problems with it.


                          • #14
                            Don't shortsell yourself b/c you don't have a full fledged shop. My first TS was a hand me down craftsman lucky for me. B/c using it, I found out what I didn't want in a saw and what I really needed. I started in the 500 dollar price range below ridgid, was considering the ridgid but took about 4 - 5 months researching saws. Visiting stores, getting a feel for what everything offered, reading reviews on amazon. etc etc.

                            Best advice I got on tablesaws was to get the most you can afford. didn't understand it at first, but if you buy a good saw, it will last your lifetime. I'm only 30 so didn't mind upping my budget a bit. I figured I didn't want to have to replace my saw as I outgrew it. Or have to spend another 300 dollars to upgrade the fence later. I got the powermatic 64A with 50" Bies fence / Cast iron table. Like goin from a kia sophia to a lexus. And It'll feel that way every time I use it over the next 30 years.

                            Question I asked myself is this. "If I had to choose a car and I was going to be driving that car for the rest of my life and NONE of my options would ever break down in any way. What would it be. Well, I'm not a rolls roycer, but I'd much rather buy a lexus for lifetime car than a hyundai."



                            • #15
                              Okay - some more comments I suppose.

                              The fence is very solid and accurate - but not as solid "feeling" as Bies. Nobody ever claimed it to be - but nobody as yet has said a negative word either.Certainly not me.

                              The leg flex-not here in any I have used. Maybe it true it has occured to someone - I cannot attest nor seen it.

                              Motor-solid. Powerful. Lifetime warranty vs General. General has a bit more umpppph but never heard anyone complain on Rigid unless ripping 8/4 or thicker. Then slow it down a tad - problem solved.

                              Screws - I heard comment(s) from 2 individuals. Not many considering number of machines out there.

                              Yes-new model. Not much in way of accessories yet but that's to be expected. It's not difficult to make inserts as we all know. No company will "pre" manufacture items until they see market for them - it's ridiculous to expect it. They coming as sales have very good.

                              While I have several mobile bases that are HM - give me a Herc-Lift anytime. It's a nice feature and costs $50-80 to duplicate with aftermarket universal base.

                              I personally starting to actually favor the semi-open wing design. Allows me easy setup for some jigs, etc - I was always of "old school" in belief that solid was the "only" way to go. I see many pros - only negative is weight is less but no vibrations here so moot point to me.

                              On to negatives - cost is within general (no pun intended) striking distance of General_dave's states in $50 range, I think actually more like $80 here currently plus shipping if required (not cheap)and w/o a mobile base if wanted/needed. And it is the same as Bridgewood and some others I guess I will not cover as I am not really qualified having not used. On sale with the 20% off I personally think it was/is best buy out there.

                              At full retail I have do have a different opinion -I look to the General, maybe the Bridgewood (but distributers and warranty negative IMO) and I suspect without any reservations on the "new model" Grizz will be an excellent one - the company has been putting out, in the mainline products, some excellent tools. The z delivered will $600 so there is Rigid pricing(retail).

                              The game changes above $700 - really like the PM64 and the DW hybrid is nice too - we talking nearing the $900-1000 range and up loaded with bigger rails, etc so while I like them and feel they wonderful top line items-we also at an entry level, nicely equipped cabinet saw. Like the 1023 from Grizzly (currently $890 at your doorstep). I'll take the Grizz anyday or night or a contractor saw in blink of an eye.

                              I did not even touch on the Delta models - I have somewhat become disillusioned with them unless you really talking the Uni - they good but no longer the "great" contractor saw they were I feel and hear from many who own that I know - but a great buy if you can locate a quality used older vintage model.

                              Confusing topic - you somewhat "upped" the threshold when you stated making furniture at future point. That's only reason I tossed the last items out at you.

                              Okay - IMO you will be happy with everyone listed above. It goes from good or very good to great without breaking the bank.

                              Some stated above and it is important - see and feel them, try if you are able to somewhere. It may be harder to do this say with a Grizzly or Bridgewood but if you not near an outlet ask the company if they can provide a name of customer or ask here or on other forums - we all love to show off our messy shops and ***** or praise about the tools we have.

                              It's going to be your saw and that is only factor that should decide in the end. What feels great and solid to me may feel totally different to you.

                              Best of luck in this - unless you are delivered a defective one (they are discussed when it does happen as we all realize. Happy it's rare thing!) I think you'll find it very hard to find anything to complain about regardless of choice made.

                              I see I did not answer your question - shame on me. "is it generally a good buy?" The answer remains - yes
                              And yes - a router can do those cuts and often times much better at that.

                              [ 01-21-2004, 10:59 AM: Message edited by: ChipMaker ]