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Craftsman vs. Ridgid vs. Grizzly? WHICH ONE? (NEWBIE)

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  • Craftsman vs. Ridgid vs. Grizzly? WHICH ONE? (NEWBIE)

    I have narrowed my table saw search down to 3 main saws and keep going back and forth on which one to purchase.... I know the table saw is the center piece to any good shop so I REALLY NEED everyones professional opinion...

    I am considering

    (1) Ridgid TS3650 ($549.00)

    (2) Craftsman Mfr. model #OR35504 ($800-$900)

    (3) Grizzly G1023S110 ($895.00)

    I am aware that 2 and 3 are more of a cabinet style saw and are a little more in price... I am willing to go that high if advised, BUT if I chose the Ridgid I can get the saw and a joiner or planer for the same price as 2 and 3.

    I really dont want to have to upgrade later. I am a weekend warrior w/ another profession so any of these saw either way should last and be sufficient for my needs...(build furniture oak/pine/walnut, etc). HOWEVER, I want to purchase 1 saw and be donw w/ it. I have read numerous reviews and messages all seem to be good, but what is the best of the 2? I have put myhands on the Ridgid and Craftsman but not the Grizzly.

    See my dilema?

  • #2
    this is some what simple really.if you are not a craftsman in building your own wood projects and you want a good saw to learn and to expand with then yes go for the ridgid and get the joiner becauce you will get 2 very good tools at a great price!and it should last you a life timw since there is the life time service ageement but what ever you do thing safety frist and allways the tools you want to get can be both very enjoyable but you must beware of the danger involed with these and all tools the only reason i say this to you is because i you said you are a weekend warrior i wish you luck on what ever you buy
    9/11/01, never forget.


    • #3
      $$ are always a necessary consideration, but so too is function, quality, dependability, and of course, service. While all three saws offer good quality and function, I think I would go with the Ridgid. It has received very good reviews, has a definite following here on this forum where lots of experienced help is available, and you simply cannot beat the price and the warranty.

      As you have noted, you've had a chance to see the saw first hand, and although the Griz is reputable, there is that particular "unknown". Some of their equipment has certainly been faulted for quality problems with regard to casting defects, etc. and while all manufacturers have problems, I have a tendency to lean toward the one where any percieved problems would be easiest to resolve. With Grizzly you're talking to someone on the phone and at some distance. At least with Craftsman and Ridgid, you can go collar someone at the store.

      With the Ridgid, you have 90 days in which to return the tool for a complete refund or replacement, should you find anything. Craftsman also has a good reputation in that respect. With Griz, you probably wouldn't have a problem either, except for the shipping cost.

      Ridgid, unquestionably has the best warranty and, once registered, you have that "Limited Lifetime Service Agreement". So even ten years down the road, if you burn the motor or wearout the belts, bearings, etc. you have free replacement through wherever your nearest service center may be.

      Bottom line, from my point of view anyway, is Ridgid is the better choice.



      • #4
        I haven't used the Griz or Craftsman so I can't comment on those sawa. I have had the 3650 for almost a month. First Let me say that I am very picky about my tools. I expect them to perform as they were designed. I have had several issues that caused to to seriously consider returning the saw, first to get another 3650 and possibly a refund.
        First, the measuring tape on the front rail was off. It was dead on close to the blade and gradually got to about 1/16" off at 36". Ridgid worked with me on the problem, sent a new tape, then a new front rail, which fixed the problem.
        Several other issues arose, all of which Ridgid patiently worked with me on. All have been corrected and all were mainly my errors in assembly and setup.
        The saw now performs flawlessly, even to my anal requirements. Ridgid support is the best I have encountered, and I pester support teams tirelessly. I am in support and expect the same quality support as I provide my customers.
        I say go for the 3650 and use the remaing funds for other tools.
        Poplar Branch Wood Crafts


        • #5
          The points others here have made would seem to make this an easy choice. But I will add this, the little experience I have had with Grizzly customer service was Outstanding! Also, I have not seen or read any truly negative reports on Grizzly. I too have been looking at both the Ridgid and the Grizzly. I love the features & the price of the Ridgid but have read some bad press on it right here on this forum. Then again perhaps those are old posts and problems have since been addressed?


          • #6
            Grizzly like any company does have quality control issues from time to time. That is to be expected whenever you buy anything. All you can do is hope that you don't get one of the bad ones.

            Grizzly on the other hand receives by far the most negative responses that I've seen when it comes to their products being damaged while in transit. Yes, it's partially the fault of the shipping company but Grizzly is the one that picks the shipping company. Grizzly is also the one that doesn't do a very good job of packaging their product which is a big reason why their products get damaged so often. I happen to have a Grizzly belt/disc sander that works just fine but I don't know if I'd want to take a chance that a cabinet saw would make the trip undamaged. Another reason I wouldn't choose the Griz you listed is the fact that its only 110V and according to my Griz catalog would cost $1033 after freight is added in and not $895 as you stated. Thats almost $500 more than the Ridgid for only ½ HP more power.

            So far, the Sears saw has received very good reviews from the people that have purchased them. I don't think I would have a problem choosing this saw. However, I have to agree with the others, for the best overall bang for your buck, the Ridgid is the way to go when choosing between those three particular TS's.
            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.


            • #7
              Thank you everyone for the information and suggestions. I have sort of pushed my wife a little on this topic and have the go ahead now to purchase a saw BUT I dont want to have to get another saw a few years down the road cause "I out grew" this one.

              According to the grizzly web site the saw is listed at 895 + shipping.

              ALSO as seen on other blogs, I found a HD that will accept a 20% off of one major purchase coupon from Harbor Freight. This discussion and web site is found on other blogs here in this forum. Reduces the price of the Ridgid to around 440 before tax... not bad if you ask me! The coupon is only good until NOv. 17th.

              QUESTION: I do not have a garage to put this in yet, but will most likely start w/ a one car garage soon, is the motor hanging out the back of this saw REALLY that big of a concern for space issues?

              WHAT ABOUT DUST CONTROL and NOISE LEVELS? I live in california so my neighbors are close by! [img]smile.gif[/img]


              • #8
                Originally posted by means42:
                Thank you everyone for the information and suggestions. I have sort of pushed my wife a little on this topic and have the go ahead now to purchase a saw BUT I dont want to have to get another saw a few years down the road cause "I out grew" this one.

                According to the grizzly web site the saw is listed at 895 + shipping.

                ALSO as seen on other blogs, I found a HD that will accept a 20% off of one major purchase coupon from Harbor Freight. This discussion and web site is found on other blogs here in this forum. Reduces the price of the Ridgid to around 440 before tax... not bad if you ask me! The coupon is only good until NOv. 17th.

                QUESTION: I do not have a garage to put this in yet, but will most likely start w/ a one car garage soon, is the motor hanging out the back of this saw REALLY that big of a concern for space issues?

                WHAT ABOUT DUST CONTROL and NOISE LEVELS? I live in california so my neighbors are close by! [img]smile.gif[/img]
                Much quiter than a shop vac.


                I use a HF dust collector and get about 99% of the dust, there's a bit under the saw.

                Hey, with the HF 20% discount you can't go wrong. I'd pay $40 for this saw again every day of the week. 'cept, LOML won't let me.
                Poplar Branch Wood Crafts


                • #9
                  Don't know if you have considered it as it's fairly new but Delta has a hybrid saw out which may interest you.

                  I have had my TS-3650 for 3 years and am happy with it, but if I were to do it again with today's choices it might be different.



                  • #10
                    IMO the best way to make a decision is to make some mental or physical notes of the features of each saw and the features you're most interested in. There's pros and cons to each design and each set of features and retail circumstances...listing those that are most important to you will likely make the decision easy for you. All of these saws are up to the task and typically get great reviews from mags and owners. All also have solid cast iron wings. Both the 3650 and the Craftsman feature a poly-v serpentine style belt vs a traditional v-belt...they're quieter and vibrate less.

                    The 3650 is a contractor saw. Contractor saws tend to offer alot of saw for the money, but tend to be more problematic with dust collection, take up more space b/c of the outboard motor, and can tend to be more difficult to align that cabinet saw. In Ridgid's case, they've offered a solution to the difficult alignment. Contractor saws also typically have a splayed leg base that spans a larger footprint than a cabinet saw. Then there's also weight differences...the 3650 weighs ~ 285#, which isn't bad, but the other two saws weigh 425# and 360# which offer incredible stability that no contractor saw can. My biggest beef with the 3650 is the aluminum fence and plastic handle. The fence functions well, but I much prefer the strength of a steel rails and fence in the long haul. The built in Herculift is a great feature. There's a blade, but not one I'd want to use as a primary. The miter gauge is pretty generic, and is a good candidate to upgrade. The blade guard is pretty easy to remove and install, as is the Sear's...not sure about the Griz.

                    The OR35504 is commonly referred to as the 22124 which is getting great reviews too. It's very similar to the Delta hybrid Bob D's usually classified as a hybrid, but some argue that it's a cabinet saw b/c it features cabinet mounted trunnions which are extremely easy to align and add mass. You'll find several owners at, Wood, and Woodnet. It has a fully enclosed base with an enclosed motor, so it takes up less floor space and is slightly quieter. DC is excellent with it's ramped bottom that dumps to a 4" dust port. It also features a foldable outfeed table and a laminate extension table on the right side. It's stock blade is from a venerable German company called Leitz and is actually an excellent blade...most stock blades are junk. One of the 22124's claims to fame is the commercial Biesemeyer fence that's identical to what comes on the Delta Unisaw and is the most copied fence design on the market. The base miter gauge is kind of generic, but comes with a nice crosscut fence and a hold down clamp. This one, along with a couple of other 2nd generation hybrids are excellent saws for a home shop that doesn't need a full blown 3hp cabinet saw. They feel much more like a bigger cabinet saw than a contractor saw and have several of the same advantages. A mobile base is an aftermarket add on....same for the Griz. My 22124 replaced an excellent GI contractor saw last April and it was absolutely a step in the right direction. It cuts well, but offers alot several advantages over the GI. Some of the sale prices get pretty attractive. I'll attach an Epinions review at the bottom...

                    The Griz 1023S, 1023SL, and 1023SLX are the beefiest saws in the $1k range IMHO, and have a huge following on alot of sites. That doesn't necessarily make them the right choice for everyone. Keep in mind the cost of blades and a mobile base though. (The 1023S110 and 1023S are $977.25 delivered...thought I read someone list a higher total...) The saw you mentioned is their lower hp version that supposedly runs on 110v. Unfortunately that motor draws 24 amps and requires a 30 amp 110v circuit (non-standard) or a 220v circuit. If you have 220 available or are going to have it installed, you might as well get the 3hp version. You'll find they're listed at over 100# heavier. (mass means stability BTW! ..and with a decent mobile base they can still be easily rolled around the shop). These are real cabinet saws modelled after the commercial Unisaw, PM66, and General 350 type of industrial saw. The Griz may not be quite at that level for true hardcore commercial use, but is a heck of hobbyist saw...something most of us aspire to someday, but don't really need. It's got the enclosed base and good DC, massive cabinet mounted trunnions, multiple belt drive, 2-5HP (depending on the option you choose), and a good Biesemeyer clone fence. Very stable rugged saw. No blade. Pretty good stock miter gauge too. Keep in mind that the 1023S and S110 do not include a motor cover.

                    The Griz is mail order only unless you live near a showroom, but their CS is excellent...most people don't have a shipping problem, but when you do it's unsettling, however Griz has a great track record of taking care of issues. Their sales volume is very high which certainly increases the likelihood of reading about an shipping issue. It also only has a 1 year warranty, as does the Sears, but Sears is an in home warranty and they'll offer an extension of up to 5 years. They'll all do the job. Each price range increase buys you some additional advantages. So what's import to you?

                    Good luck! [img]smile.gif[/img]

                    p.s. I'd also include the General International 50-220 hybrid on my list to consider. This saw has the smallest overall footprint of any of the saws mentioned with the 30" fence, but it also has a 52" fence option. Many Woodcraft stores now carry these.

                    [ 11-16-2005, 06:09 AM: Message edited by: hewood ]


                    • #11
                      Again thank you for the information. I ALMOST purchased a General 350 something for over 1/2 the retail cost, but I couldnt get my wife to go for it. It was a sweet deal, the kind where you find a corvette being sold as a chevy out of some old ladies garage. It was a sweet once offered kind of deal in the local paper,but ahs been sold before I could get the okay.

                      I will look at the general as suggested, So many options, so much fun looking... just got to take the plung!!!



                      • #12
                        I'm a fan of the new hybrids too. Caan't believe these didn't become popular sooner. The early versions had some good improvements over a contractor saw, but lacked a fence that was on par with other saws in the price range. Contractor saws were originally designed for jobsites, but with the invention of the portable jobsite saw, most contractor saws are used as stationary machines, so the design is kind of obsolete. No need for a motor hanging out the back for easy removal anymore, and in a shop you'll want better dust collection. The internal motors mean a shorter belt too. The newer hybrids have excellent fences and most have full cabinets. They're great for most hobbyists, especially if you don't have 220 electric available. Sears has three models to offer at different price points, with the 22124 being their top model. They're made by Orion, a company founded by former Delta employees when Pentair bought them. Delta has three models to offer too, all with a different fence option. Same with General...3 models, 3 fences. Jet has a new version of the Supersaw due out. Not sure of the price or any advantages it has over the others. I hear rumor that Grizzly's gonna offer a hybrid too, but it's not out yet.

                        I picked up the middle Sears (22114) on sale last year for $540, and am happier than a pig in poop. It doesn't take up much space and runs like a champ. The fence isn't quite one of those Bessie's, but it's good and it's works well. I even find uses for that indexing fence that came with it.


                        • #13
                          IF YOU\'RE WORKING HARD, YOU\'RE DOING IT WRONG


                          • #14
                            Quality can be hard for a newbie to decipher because everything's relative to what you've used or been exposed to. If you want to buy once, love it, use it for decades, and keep it forever, conventional wisdom says to buy best one you can afford. (think grateful grand children!) It's actually cheaper to buy it once! Go look at all the saws you can, and record your pulse. Buy the one that makes your heart beat the fastest!

                            Like many, I started with an older Craftsman contractor saw because it was reasonable and seemed to work well. (it was actually similar in many respects to the Ridgid). In time, little things like the fence, dust collection, webbed wings, and the exposed motor bothered me more and more. Four years ago I upgraded to a Dewalt 746 hybrid that was a nice change and remedied most of the complaints of my older contractor saw. Last year I sold the 746 and bought the new General hybrid. I think it's the cat's meow. The fence is tops and the dust collection is about as good as it gets. It takes up very little space and it's got unbelievable power even though it's motor isn't rated significantly higher than the fact, it has lower amp draw. I was very close to buying the Sears you've looked at, but couldn't get a good sale price at the time. It did look nice. No regrets with the General and can't imagine what I'd gain by upgrading this one.

                            Everyone's different, but I think you'll be further ahead if you can anticipate what your needs and wants might be a few years out when the shiny paint gets covered with saw dust, and any of the little annoyances with the saw have been part of your shop life for a while. If it's a hobby, make it enjoyable! [img]smile.gif[/img]


                            • #15
                              Bench Dog

                              If you don’t mind me asking, what shortcomings did the DeWalt possess that were significant enough to persuade you to purchase a similar saw from a competitor? Just curious, I had always heard good things about the DeWalt in the past.