No announcement yet.

To Buy Or Not To Buy, That Is The Question

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • To Buy Or Not To Buy, That Is The Question

    I'm seriously considering purchasing a TS3612 but a few aspects of this saw have me concerned. Some straight answers from people who actually own this saw would be a great help.

    1. Does the fact that the top does not have a T-slot make that much difference?
    2. I've seen where the lack of a blade height and angle lock has some folks saying its a shortcoming and others saying it causes no problems, does it?
    3. Has the fence really been upgraded? The demos around here are very sloppy and the fine tuning adjustment feature doesn't work. Bad setup I'm sure but its all I have to go on.

    In another life I sold RIDGID plumbing tools and machines and I'm well aware of the quality of RIDGID products so I know the saw is well built. Clearing up these little questions will make my decision easier.

    Thanks for the help.
    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.

  • #2
    1. Does the fact that the top does not have a T-slot make that much difference?

    Only if it makes a difference to you. I actively dislike t-slotted miter slots, the tools are a pain to remove and they are hard to keep clean. Obviously, others feel differently.

    2. I've seen where the lack of a blade height and angle lock has some folks saying its a shortcoming and others saying it causes no problems, does it?

    Someone's been feeding you stuff and nonsense. Ridgid saws have the best bevel lock on the market, they are the only ones (perhaps Craftsman is still included?) that lock the trunnion instead of the handle. Locking the handle allows a lot of lash in the mechanism that cannot be locked.

    I've never had mine change height in operation. I -always- end my height adjustment rising, which preloads the lash in the height mechanism. Being that other machines' locks are on the handle, this would be required to them also.

    3. Has the fence really been upgraded?

    Can't help here, I've never looked at a 3612's fence. Fact is, the TS2424 fence is pretty good. I replaced mine, but it was with an Incra.



    • #3
      I just purchased my TS3612 about 3 weeks ago. I never did get the benefit of actually seeing the saw setup before I purchased. However, I used to work @ Sears in the late '80s when Emerson/Ridgid made the Craftsman table saws, so I knew they made quality machines. I will say that the assembly took about 8-9 hours, but it was well worth the effort to make sure everything was fine tuned.

      In answer to your first question, I agree with Dave on the T-track issue. Personally, I like to be able to just lift off the miter gauge without sliding it all the way to the end of the track.

      The lack of a blade height lock hasn't been a problem as of yet, but I just read another post the other day from Jake (Ridgid guy) that says if it becomes a problem, it is probably just the set screw being loose on the height adjustment. That's a pretty simple thing to fix.

      I feel the rip fence is vastly superior to those on other saws in this price range. The micro-adjust control will not work properly if the fence is misaligned, so that is probably the problem with the floor model you saw at HD. I also like the fact that the rip fence has 6 T-slots built into it for attaching jigs/aux fences/etc.

      I am very satisfied with my purchase. Well, very satisfied with the TS3612 anyway. The actual purchase at HD was less than fun.

      Hope this helps!



      • #4
        I just bought the saw this weekend, I'm putting it together now. It goes together easy and has excellent instructions. This forum will fill in any other questions you have. That plus the lifetime warrantee and good Ridgid customer support were the closers for me. I was pushed hard by woodcrafty salesman to buy a snobby saw, but I feel that I got a better value. Granted, I have little use for Unisaw level quality at this time, but I do want to be able to adjust the saw for true cutting, and for the saw to keep on working for many years, and the Ridgid will do that. There are also a lot of features and qualities which are better than the competition, even the hybrids.

        The only advantage of a T miter slot is to allow larger width crosscuts, by keeping the miter guage from falling out of the slot while setting up the cut. The accuracy and safety of such a large crosscut can be improved by using a crosscut sled instead, which you can make yourself pretty cheaply. A crosscut sled can provide greater cutting width than the miter guage if necessary. It can also be used for many other jobs which the miter guage can't do well. In many cases, a sled is a better tool to use than a guage, but that's just my opinion. The Ridgid guage is not bad at all, better than the Jet junker, that's for sure.

        See my post from a week ago Deciding on TS3612 for answers to the blade height and tilt question. Bevel cut accuracy is especially important to me, and I am satisfied that the saw can hold a set angle and height.

        The fence is beautiful design and can be adjusted to hold repeatable accuracy. Again, it is superior to the supersaw fence by a long shot. It is designed for woodworking by someone who takes care of his equipment and appreciates a good, simple design. It is not designed for years of abuse by kids or employees and that's what the demo saws often get at HD.

        Good luck in your decision.

        [ 03-04-2003, 04:31 PM: Message edited by: Rich ]


        • #5
          Badger Dave,

          You sound just like I sounded a couple of weeks ago, just before I purchased the 3612. Like you, I'd heard some negative comments, but after asking questions, just like you are doing here, I felt confident enough to go out and buy the saw.

          I know what you mean about "sloppy demos" at Home Depot. Before I bought my saw, I went to a few HD's, and not one of them had the saw set up properly. In one store, they were using the TS3612 as a storage table, with a mountain of boxes and papers all over it. In another store, they had a TS2424 set up with a TS3612 price tag. When I asked the guy about the TS3612, he said, "Oh, it's exactly the same saw." Whatever..........

          So, it's a good thing we have a good forum like this, which helps you feel more confident in the purchase. If it were not for this forum, I would never have purchased a Ridgid saw. But the point I am making is that I went through the same process you're going through and in the end felt good about the purchase.

          With that said, I have only given the saw a few hours of work, so I can't comment too much on usage -- at least not yet!


          • #6
            Hello from a fellow Wisconsinite.
            Prior to a month ago,I could not have commented about your concerns, but I have just completed the ripping to width and tongue and grooving of 2000 board feet of White Cedar. The fence on my 2424 never moved while ripping, and even with a dado loaded full stack for tonguing, the blade height adjustment never budged. I looked often!
            These are good saws!
            As others have commented, the HD displays are not what you should base the purchase on, but in my case, after moving the benchtop saw off the display, I was able to place with the fence, which actually locked well. I also noticed that the Ridgid's arbor with blade loaded was rock solid in the "wiggle test" whereas the Craftsman, Jet, Delta, etc. had a lot of wiggle. I chose the Ridgid and do not regret the purchase in any way. Good Luck!
            \"Is it Friday yet?\"


            • #7
              I have a TS2412, that actually has the TS2424 Fence and rails (I got lucky) Rigid sent the wrong set to HD that I bought mine from...anyway the fence is great, and I love my saw...I would not trade it in for a Jet or a Delta. The only reason I did not get a TS3612 is :
              1. Not enough Money
              2. Did not have the space for a 36" fence system.. Otherwise I would have purchased one...
              You can not go wrong...


              • #8
                I purchased the 3612 as soon as it came out, and have been very impressed with all aspects of the performance. The T slots that I have seen all had way too much "slop" whereas the Ridgid slots are quite solid. I can not imagine a case where the miter guage would lift from the table requiring "T" slots anyway.
                My saw runs so smoothly that the blade height lock is not missed. There is so little vibration and the trunions are built so well that it is just not needed.
                Fences are mostly a matter of personal perference, but I can not find a reason to purchase a better fence! It's long enough, it's straight enough, and it locks down solid as a rock. There are enough adjustments that if I needed to "fix" it I could.
                I have to say that my TS-3612 is the highest value power tool that I own. It's entry-level price combined with a tool that you will not need to trade up makes for a very happy customer.
                Good luck,

                [ 03-06-2003, 08:50 AM: Message edited by: WM5E ]


                • #9
                  Thanks to everyone for their input concerning the questions I had about the TS3612. Even though this is the RIDGID site, not to receive a single negative comment is very reassuring.

                  Sooooooooo, first thing this morning I jumped in my truck and went to HD and picked one up. My shop is in my basement so I have to wait until my son gets off work to help lug it down there before I can start setting it up.
                  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.


                  • #10
                    Congrats on your saw purchase. I'm sure you'll be quite pleased with it - I know I am with mine. I still don't have any negative things to say about it after around five months of use. You may want to look into building an outfeed table for it, which I think is a great addition to usability and safety for any saw. There are some good plans for one on the Wood magazine website (cost about $5 for the plans, and maybe $20-50 for parts, but worth it in my opinion).


                    • #11
                      Badger Dave,
                      Congrats on your new saw (that is if you got it).
                      I've had mine for a little over a week now and so far I'm very happy with it, but considering what I'd been using, just about anything was a step up for me.

                      My other choices were Delta Contractor, and Dewalt "cabinet" saws. I'd been to our local Woodcraft (Ft Worth) and REALLY wanted the Delta.
                      BUT....this was on March 1, and I remembered that on Feb 27th they'd had a 10% off sale. I mentioned this to the "salesman" more than a couple of times......that on the 27th I wasn't in the market for a saw (long story about my Delta CMS which I THOUGHT was accurate), etc etc. He either didn't get the HINTS, didn't care, or was helpless. Anyways....having to spend $85.00 extra just a few days later REALLY stuck in my craw and cost them a sale. (Is anyone from Woodcraft listening?). I had THE HOTS for that saw.....but went and had lunch.....thought it over and decided to shop some more.
                      I'd been advised by more than a couple of guys to check out the Rigid 3612, so the following day I did. Man....there's a lot I don't know about saws, but the moment I saw it, I KNEW I'd found my saw.......ESPECIALLY when I saw the price... and it came with a lift too? What a deal! OK, so the Herc-u-lift WAS a pain to put together..but I really needed the mobility in my small shop.

                      Assembly went smooth. I've been a machinist for more yrs. than I'd like to admit, and I recognize well designed/built equipment. I really feel like this saw should be rated very highly on design, quality, and just plain good looks! I checked the blade alignment with a dial indicator and it was well within the suggested .015, but I tinkered with it until it's now less than .005. The fence was DEAD ON! Like less than .001 of being true to the miter slot. However, I really would like to mount the indicator against the fence and check it to the blade as well.

                      The miter is "OK", pretty good I guess for one that came with the saw. Right now I'm in the process of building my first 45 degree sled. I WILL conquer picture frames, somehow!! LOL

                      As far as the wings NOT being solid, here's my take after using it for a few days now. OK, yeah you can't lay something small on it, but HEY, we don't need to be using our saws as "storage" area.
                      One plus I've found so far with the cut-outs, is that you can clamp something down (carefully) if you need a good flat surface...being mindful of the table surface that is.

                      One thing I've got to do....and I guess this is my biggest "gripe" abt Rigid's quality, is to take a Arkansas stone to the edges of the table and could use a good deburring, in my opinion.

                      Have fun with your saw. What a thrill when I got it all put together and turned her on for the first time!! After making my first cut, only then did I realize what a GOOD table saw was all about!



                      • #12
                        I will DEFINATELY recommend this saw to anyone who is looking and about to purchase. I was lucky enough to have a new Home Depot (2 yrs. old) built near me so they have a very good display area setup for these saws. It was a combination between that and reading these forums that helped me to purchase the 3612 last week and am not regretting it. I made an upgrade from a 3 HP direct drive Craftsman and there is no comparison. The 3612 is so quiet and smooth, all I can say is "Bring on the honey do list!!"



                        • #13
                          He either didn't get the HINTS, didn't care, or was helpless.

                          Correct answer, Jer, is that he was not allowed to extend the 10% sale pricing.