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  • table saws

    i want to buy a decent table saw for woodworking my budget is 500-800 dollars and the rigid is 600 is good or do es any recommend anything else i want the best i can buy for the money and also as good of fence as i can get

  • #2
    The Ridgid 3612 is a great saw and the stock fence is excellent. Money well spent.

    -J

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi scoop - If you go to a Corvette club asking for advise on sports cars, you're likely to be guided towards a Corvette!

      A good fence and blade are the most important components of a saw. Always strive to get the best tool you can afford. Your budget allows you to look at saws that sport a Biesemeyer fence or decent copy. It's a heavy steel fence that's an industry standard on saws in the $600 and up range - No need to settle for less. I'd be looking at the PM64a, General International 50-185M1, Delta, Jet, Grizzly 0444z, and Bridgewood. Prices, features, and circumstances vary a bit, but they all have outstanding ruggedly built fences, solid cast iron wings, heavy cast iron trunnions and excellent reputations on a proven design....some have 2hp motors. You might also consider upgrading to the longer rails with 52" rip capacity...even if you don't use the capacity often, the extra table space is well worth the few extra bucks. You may even want to consider a cabinet saw from Grizzly or Shop Fox...they start around $900.

      The 3650 offers other features that may be important to you, but if you're looking for a top notch fence, IMHO the aluminum fence with plastic handle and clamp device on the Ridgid is not quite on par with others in your price range.

      [ 02-18-2004, 09:07 AM: Message edited by: hewood ]

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by hewood:
        Hi scoop - If you go to a Corvette club asking for advise on sports cars, you're likely to be guided towards a Corvette!

        A good fence and blade are the most important components of a saw. Always strive to get the best tool you can afford. Your budget allows you to look at saws that sport a Biesemeyer fence or decent copy. It's a heavy steel fence that's an industry standard on saws in the $600 and up range - No need to settle for less. I'd be looking at the PM64a, General International 50-185M1, Delta, Jet, Grizzly 0444z, and Bridgewood. Prices, features, and circumstances vary a bit, but they all have outstanding ruggedly built fences, solid cast iron wings, heavy cast iron trunnions and excellent reputations on a proven design....some have 2hp motors. You might also consider upgrading to the longer rails with 52" rip capacity...even if you don't use the capacity often, the extra table space is well worth the few extra bucks. You may even want to consider a cabinet saw from Grizzly or Shop Fox...they start around $900.

        The 3650 offers other features that may be important to you, but if you're looking for a top notch fence, IMHO the aluminum fence with plastic handle and clamp device on the Ridgid is not quite on par with others in your price range.
        hewood makes some good points. I would say at the lower dollar range the 3650 is good saw, especially on sale if you can hook the 10% to 20% discounts.

        General is sweet saw - but everything I'm reading is they now big-time back ordered, maybe due to getting Top Dog in recent review. Bridgewood another option in same general price range. PM is sweet saw but priced near a low end cabinet saw.

        The Grizz contractor saw, the 0444 series, is new and just now starting to see them. And _ Really like what I am seeing too. I was at Smokin' Joe's Memorial and had chance to see both shops. In one was a new 0444z in process of getting set-up day before he passed away. Looks to be very very nice. I'll be helping his son set-up this weekend and give all a hands on review afterwards.

        Boy - at that top dollar range you discussing the Grizz 1023 just leaps out at me ........ Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Only you can answer whether you need that much saw and can justify cost. When prices get in $800 plus range I just have to say cabinet saw. There are great contractor saws priced here but ..... they are contractor saws. Cabinets just have advantages that are hard to overlook.

        You price range gives you a lot of nice options. It is a very nice problem to have
        Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em

        Comment


        • #5
          For $600, you can't beat the Ridgid. Not only to you get a good saw, but you also get a good mobile base, which is important if you have limited space (that's about everybody) and need to move it around. A solid cabinet saw wins hands down over a solid contractors' saw. However, you may need a 220 outlet (even if technically it will run a 110, you can have an amps problem) and there is not much "in-between" in fence systems. For any thing of significant size you need extended ripping capacity. I'm not sure of this but most extended fence systems are 48", 50", or 52". I have a 52" fence system on my DeWalt "hybrid" and end up using it for storage most of the time. I don't think I've ever need anything beyond 36", although some do. I'd rather have that space as open space since space is my most scarce asset in my shop. In any event, I doubt that you will find an extended fence system, mobile base, and a solid cabinet saw for anything close to $600. Nor, do I think you will find a contractors' saw as good as the Ridgid with the its fence capacity and mobile base for anything close to $600.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have a 3612 and the fence is not a complaint. I fine tuned it when I got it and it has not changed since. It is a good fence.
            I have only 2 complaints about the saw. 1. Dust collection is not good, even when I close up the rear opening. 2. When cutting large heavy sheets the saw can move, the feet stay put, but the saw legs can move a bit. Stronger legs, and maybe more weight would be nice. Optimally, a cabinet saw secured to the floor is the way to go, but I have neither the space nor money.
            Good points: The saw cuts as accurately as you fine tune it. Replace the stock blade and you get real nice cuts.
            Mobile base is nice, I could not live without it.
            Ridgid setup instructions are the best I've seen.
            Easy to understand and enough detail to do it right.
            www.TheWoodCellar.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rafael:
              I have a 3612 and the fence is not a complaint. I fine tuned it when I got it and it has not changed since. It is a good fence.
              I have only 2 complaints about the saw. 1. Dust collection is not good, even when I close up the rear opening. 2. When cutting large heavy sheets the saw can move, the feet stay put, but the saw legs can move a bit. Stronger legs, and maybe more weight would be nice. Optimally, a cabinet saw secured to the floor is the way to go, but I have neither the space nor money.
              Good points: The saw cuts as accurately as you fine tune it. Replace the stock blade and you get real nice cuts.
              Mobile base is nice, I could not live without it.
              Ridgid setup instructions are the best I've seen.
              Easy to understand and enough detail to do it right.
              To the point points [img]smile.gif[/img]

              So many who have not used this fence point out or state it's not good. And are totally wrong.

              Yet to see any contractor saw that really excells at dust collection - they all need work. Yes-some better than others they will say and I agree to a point. From bad to better

              The 3650 is a respectable saw. I think those how have them will agree with that. If not they sure can and do let us now here and on other forums. Not many truly have complained after they have set them up correctly.

              hewood - my local 'vette club must be odd ball. We get pretty nasty towards our machines and let them have it. Still - when the day is done we seldom willing to part with them despite the quirks. My '57 makes me real angry-it needs to remain parked to make me happy. My '59 you cannot pry away from me with a stick of TNT. Anything I have is for sale at a price except that. My true love it is. All 410 dyno'd hp in a small block. Purrs like a real Tiger

              Comment


              • #8
                My statement suggests that the Biesemeyer is a better fence than the Ridgid's, and that's my opionion based on usage of both, and observation of fences in the industry. No where do I imply that the 3650 fence is not good or won't work, but for those who call it "excellent", where does that place the Biesemeyers relative to the Ridgid? How many who make that claim have used a well setup Biesemeyer, or even seen one? At thee very least, go look at one and see the construction of it. A shop environment can be a tough place. A Biese style fence is not only accurate and repeatable, it's extremely rugged and will tolerate alot of bumps and bruises that come with the territory. Give one good whack to the aluminum rails of the 3650, and see what happens. How's Ridgid been about supplying replacement parts for fence rails? (regardless of warranty coverage)

                Scoop specifically noted that he wanted to get as good a fence as he could. A Biesemeyer type fence comes standard on a PM66, General 650 and 350, General International 250 and 260, Delta Unisaw, Grizzly 1023, Shop Fox 1677, Jet JTAS 10XL, Bridgewood, Woodtek, Canwood, General International 50-200, and King Industrial. All of these saws are 3-5HP cabinet saws in the $825-$2000 range. The same fences come on the PM64a which is considered by many to be the industry standard in contractor saws. It's also the stock fence on the General 50-175 and 50-185 which was recently named #1 among hybrids and contractor saws by FWW mag. A Biese can be found on top models from Jet and Delta too, and is stock on the Bridgewood, Canwood, King Canada, Woodtek, and the new Grizzly contractor saws. It's also the design used on many aftermarket fences in the $225-$300 range - Vega, Excaliber, Shop Fox, Biesemeyer, and HTC etc. For someone who's looking for a good fence, the industry itself makes a pretty strong argument about the merits of the Biesemeyer t-fence design. Where else is the Ridgid design used that would suggest that it has similar merits to the Biese? Scoops would have to bite the money-bullet and go with a Incra or Jointech to step up from a Biesemeyer.

                If a great mobile base and an adequate fence will suffice, then the 3650 is a good choice. If your priorities are the best fence you can afford, I'd still suggest something with a Biese style fence...and there at least 5 < $650...3 of which offer 33% more HP, and two of which can be delivered for $510 and $600. A functional mobile base can be obtained for $20-$30...a good one for $40-$60. My argument may not be all that popular on this site, but I still think it's got some substance.

                [ 02-19-2004, 10:09 AM: Message edited by: hewood ]

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's getting hot in here.. LOL

                  I would side with Hewood on the fence issue. Think he spelled out reasons pretty well so won't repeat. It's the exact reason I chose Powermatic 64A.

                  Only thing I'd like to add is the length of rails ( of course only if you can swing the room ). I was on the fence between 30 " and 50 ". After much deliberation went long and so glad I did. First thing I did was rip some thin material for pegboard to 48" hence needing longer rails. Yesterday built cut all my wood for mitre sled. to 41 inches.

                  Find myself enjoying the convenience of extra length all the time. Even when I'm not using it for cuts, I can use my sled and slide the fence to side w/o taking it off table. Also when making multiple cuts for project, I use the extra tablelength to hold many of the wood pieces I'm going to shape next. Dont' NEED it, but when I do, nothing else will substitute.

                  If you're interested in the PM, I got mine for 849 w/ 50 " rails. You can probably get that price too if you're not in a hurry to buy YESTERDAY. Find local dealers and keep ear to pavement. I got mine at an annual open house. Everything in the store 10 % off.

                  Love my bies

                  Jake

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm not arguing that the ridgid fence is as good as a bies. I'm just saying that it is a good fence that gets bashed by a lot of folks.
                    www.TheWoodCellar.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by woodworkerjake:
                      It's getting hot in here.. LOL

                      I would side with Hewood on the fence issue. Think he spelled out reasons pretty well so won't repeat. It's the exact reason I chose Powermatic 64A.

                      Only thing I'd like to add is the length of rails ( of course only if you can swing the room ). I was on the fence between 30 " and 50 ". After much deliberation went long and so glad I did. First thing I did was rip some thin material for pegboard to 48" hence needing longer rails. Yesterday built cut all my wood for mitre sled. to 41 inches.

                      Find myself enjoying the convenience of extra length all the time. Even when I'm not using it for cuts, I can use my sled and slide the fence to side w/o taking it off table. Also when making multiple cuts for project, I use the extra tablelength to hold many of the wood pieces I'm going to shape next. Dont' NEED it, but when I do, nothing else will substitute.

                      If you're interested in the PM, I got mine for 849 w/ 50 " rails. You can probably get that price too if you're not in a hurry to buy YESTERDAY. Find local dealers and keep ear to pavement. I got mine at an annual open house. Everything in the store 10 % off.

                      Love my bies

                      Jake
                      Jale ---- Hot???!!!! I's a thinkin' ya ain't seen nuttin' yet....where's ferg

                      Sheeesh Louise - I never ever said it equals I Bies or clone now so that I am not party to. I did say it decent - if not above then you all know I have in past - it's in the Official Records here

                      hewood - you and I have agreed on merits of Bies and in agreement so I not discussing further. I still attempting to locate a delivered General or Bridgewood for under that $650 figure but never seen one. Period.

                      IMO - the GI is or was the solution in/around $650 and hope I'm not offending anyone. The Rigid at sale priced under $500 was IMO hard to beat.

                      I think the new Grizz 0444 series, specifically the 0444z, may be the next one to beat out based on what I have seen so far. Not done any cutting yet but beautiful table,solid wings, trunnions looked strong, and the fence seems really sweet. 57" rails standard - 30" rip - delivered to door for $600 or pick-up for $525 if one can___big rail option w/ ability to rip 50" cuts at real decent price and a real 2 hp at that. If it cuts as nice as it looks - I sure believe the New Kid on the block will be looking for a match with any of them out there. Can't wait to beat it up and find out.

                      And lastly - rafael is right too. This Rigid fence gets hammered by those who have Bies or clones and have not used it. It is a decent fence and likely will serve many well for a long time to come.

                      [ 02-18-2004, 07:40 PM: Message edited by: Cranky ]
                      Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was at Home Depot today looking at different finishes for my sled I'm almost finished building.

                        Of course, I always kick tool center when I'm there. Picked up about 20 bessy clamps there last time.. lol. Think I cleared em out. One observation I did make on the newer saws. The motor is only 13 amp and about the same size as my old 1 HP Craftsman. Also, the stock blade is thin kerf with a good amount of deflection when you wiggle it. The one that came on my PM is about twice the size. I know this b/c it was first thing I noticed when upgrading my saw.

                        Does anyone use a full kerf blade on this saw. How does it rip through thicker woods? Most contractor saws in this price range have 15 amp motors.

                        Jake

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I haven't used the fence system on the 3650, but did have a TS2424 and replaced the fence system with a Biesenmeyer 52" home fence system specifically designed for the Ridgid. The 2424 only had a 28" fence system which kept coming up a few inches short on some projects.
                          Based simply on playing around with the 3650 fence at HD, it appears to be more solid than the one on the 2424. It also has 8" more rip capacity. I don't think I would have replaced my 2424's fence with the Bies. if it had had the 36" capacity even though the Bies. was a significant improvement. The reason is that I paid about as much for the Bies. fence as I did for my 2424. I paid $497 for the 2424 ($100 off if you turned in just about any circular saw blade--suppose to have been a table saw but that term was used extremely loosely). I paid a little of $400 for the Bies. I found out later that I paid about $75 over what I should have, however. I
                          would say that if someone can find a contractors' saw the equivalent of the Ridgid (mobile base and 36" fence, if someone wants these two) plus a Bies. type fence system for $600, then he/she should at least strongly consider it. But, I don't think any one will find such a deal on a new saw.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Simply put, there is no way that a two-point (attachment) fence will ever be as consistant across the board as a T-square design like the Biesemeyer.

                            Ridgid even back when they were making Sears saws, put out a really bad fence----on my old Craftsman, it took less than I year before I replaced mine with a Biese'.

                            But, when the 3612 came out, Ridgid had really solved the problems---still a two-point system, but much more reliable than the old designs.

                            I've heard some say the 3612 and 3650 are the same fence---and others say just the opposite. Only time will tell. But, for the lower end saws, it's still one of the best fences---certainly better than they used to have.

                            But the trick is, that now several mfgs. are offerning saws for a bit more than the 3650 with either Biese' or clones. No question it's a real desireable advantage, for just a bit more than the Ridgd. However, as Cranky said, if you can get the 3650 for a good discount, it may be another story-----Personally, still don't like many aspects of the saw, but at the lower price, it's better than what you'd get for the same money.
                            Dave

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              glh - I think the "ticket" to what you searching for is right on below link myself from what I have read and seen__but not yet used at that I admit. With the notable exception being of course no mobile base which costs something. But the standard bigger rails would also be additional value vs what you referenced so maybe a trade-off?! So it hits that "magical" $600 delivered to door - well almost

                              S.J. had made a mobile base for his - looks to be the Rockler/HF/Delta version with hardwood. So add $25. Now at $625. Still favor the Herc-U-Lift but this works well too.

                              It looks extremely priced extremely well -
                              and I suppose it also possible to forget the "z" version and go pure vanilla 0444 at $425 w/ stamped wings if one is building with/on a cabinet type base underneath as they'd likely come off then anyway. IMO - downside is that unit has only 1.5 hp as I recall. Still likely all a hobbiest would ever need and comparable to the Rigid/Delta/etc units priced similar. Personally -the "zing" in this saw that really jumped out at me was the nicely milled wings, rails, and fence that I thought was outstanding at this pricing level. Others may feel/see it differently than I do.

                              http://www.grizzly.com/products/item...mnumber=G0444Z

                              Wonder what additional changes we will be seeing in months ahead with all these companies? Seems everyone is adding something or other and either trying to hold old pricing as best they can or sometimes even decrease. I just see it as a great thing overall for us _ assuming we don't see decrease in quality in way of fences, etc. They all seem to be coming from same manufactures pretty much, or general area. Competition over there ultimately forces them to continue to improve QC (believe we been starting to see this in last year or so) and like to keep contracts with the relabel companies here.

                              It's almost like the computer/electronic industry of yesterday isn't it. Crazy

                              Jake - I don't use no thin kerf's anymore. Push thru many b/f of hardwoods, mainly maple and oak, and it's just fine. I've had to slow feed rate down a few times in really twisted grained 8/4 and slightly thicker oak. I expected I'd have to and was not surprised. That stuff can be almost as bad as cutting cement Better use for it maybe was as firewood - it's all ripped to size but I dunno if I will even use. Moisture about 10% in it which I missed and time will tell. May have wasted my time at that.

                              Anyway - it does do just fine so far cutting this hard stuff. I'd not care to do 24/7 on it. Nor on any contractor saw -just don't think they designed for it day in/out.

                              [ 02-19-2004, 09:15 AM: Message edited by: Cranky ]
                              Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em

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