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Tried a Ryobi BT3100 - Now I'm Ready for a TS3612!

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  • Tried a Ryobi BT3100 - Now I'm Ready for a TS3612!

    Hello Everyone,
    For those of you who are considering buying a Ryobi BT3100, my experiences might be helpful to you. I was struggling with the decision of which table saw to buy. I had my doubts about the Ryobi, but I read so many positive statements, I thought I'd give it a try. One of the main reasons I did this is because I was having difficulty locating a TS3612 at my local Home Depot.

    Below are details of my experience. As you can see, I've had a very frustrating experience with the Ryobi, which I used for a couple of weeks. I've also posted these details on the Ryobitools forum. Today, I'm returning the Ryobi in exchange for a Ridgid TS3612. This is a time-consuming mistake: I have to dis-assemble the Ryobi saw, pack it back up in the box, haul it back to Home Depot, deal with customer service, etc. Also, I've probably wasted my 10% discount for first-time Home Depot Card purchase, which means this experience cost me another $60. As it turns out, AFTER I bought the Ryobi, my local store started carrying the TS3612!

    Here are the details:

    I CANNOT seem to line up the riving knife, no matter what I do. The shims either send it too far right or too far left. I got it so that it is ALMOST on center, but clearly off a bit. Is it safe to run the saw with the riving knife a hair off? I assume the answer is NO! There is no way in the world I can get it properly aligned with the blade. I have tried every configuration with the shims, including no shims at all, and no matter what I do it is off-center enough to be dangerous -- when I pass a piece of wood through, I can feel it catching on the riving knife just a bit.

    The sliding miter table (SMT) has a little bit of "play" to it, no matter how well I adjust the system. What I mean is, when it is locked in position, I still get right/left shifting of about 1/32". To eliminate "play" in the SMT, I had to adjust those "eccentric" screws. The problem is, when the play was eliminated, the eccentric screws are so tight that the SMT doesn't slide very well. If I loosen the eccentric screws even a little bit the excessive play in the SMT comes back again. Also, one of the eccentric screws is impossible to reach from under the table, as the instructions tell you to do. I have spent hours now working on this problem, and it simply doesn't hold the setting. I adjust the table, confirm that the settings are good, then I run a couple of cuts, check the SMT -- and it's off kilter again. It is off front-to-back by at least 1/32", and the "play" comes back. Just to let everyone know, I have adjusted and used several woodworking machines (including a contractor saw I owned prior to the BT3100), so it's not a question of lack of ability on my part. Something is wrong with this SMT.

    My saw has a wobbly blade. I have not done anything with the blade, so I don't know how I could have lost a shim, as others have suggested here. When I checked the blade, I found that it has a definite wobble of at least 1/16"!!

    Fairly often, the adjustment knob/crank (for heigh/bevel) turns free without doing anything. I have to kind of turn it back and forth a couple of times before it "catches" again. The instruction manual says this can happen when sawdust gets in the gears, but I have only used the saw for about three cuts, so I hope it's not clogged already!

    * * * *

    If my experience helps other people make a better decision, then I suppose it is not wasted.

    Mr. Schnarre, if you are listening, can I still get my 10% discount for first-time purchase on the Home Depot credit card if I return the Ryobi and buy the TS3612?

  • #2
    Ah, beautiful western Mass.

    Matthew, you should line up speaking engagements for other forums. BT3000/3100 owners are a nasty mob, who will defend that saw with their last breath. There need to be more people like you to tell the truth. I have no vested interest either way, except to see that new woodworkers don't end up with a tool they'd be sorry to own.

    BTW---consider yourself lucky----you didn't own it long enough to have the motor burn out or to do the constant alignment chores I've read about.

    Go to HD and do some crying, begging, etc. If it's too difficult for them to re-issue the 10% discount---lets see, talking about a difference of $30---get them to throw in a good 10" blade and you'll be happy

    Check the other posts on the 3612---Jake had some good advise to make sure you get it instead of the 2424. Think you'll be very happy with it. Also, personally, I think the full-sized table on the 3612 is much safer than that short distance to the blade on the Ryobi.

    Good luck.


    • #3
      I to have had simalar problems with the bt 3000 table saw . In my case I ended up frying the motor and now i,m trying to sell the saw .I have already bought the 3612 and love it


      • #4
        On another forum, a guy claimed he sold his BT as individual parts on E-Bay, for a total more than he could sell the whole saw. Worth a check----parts being that popular should tell you something


        • #5
          One thing that I might have been unclear about in my first post is that there are actually two problems with the Sliding Miter Table (SMT). One is that the table has too much "play" to it, which I think I described already. But the other problem is that the SMT does not stay parallel to the blade. I did the adjustments to make it parallel, as described in the instruction manual, but then after a bit of use, the SMT is off kilter again. What I mean is, as you slide the SMT, the enture assembly clearly "shifts" away from the blade. This is not only very inconvenient, but I would imagine it is also dangerous. Let's say you are locking down a piece of wood and cross-cutting it -- as it moves with the SMT, it could bind with the saw blade, causing kickback.

          I fiddled for hours with the SMT, adjusting the "play" out of it, and getting it parallel with the blade, but is seems unable to hold the settings for very long. And as I said in my first post, I am not new to machine adjustments.

          I have learned a new "you-get-what-you-pay-for" lesson!


          • #6
            *LONG post, I've been holding this in for a while

            I have owned a BT3000 for (at least) eight years. I bought it to use while remodeling a house. Served the purpose well. But, now that I am able to get back in to doing more woodworking I have started to build up my tool arsenal and the BT3000 will have to go.

            I know there are BT3000 owners who swear by the saw and I hope they continue to get good use from theirs. No experience with the new model, but after 8 yrs of light use of the 3000, here are my experiences. The saw does have good features but are very much outweighed by (at least) the following:

            1) Not heavy enough. The saw will tip very easily when sawing large sheet goods.
            2) Aluminum tables leave black marks on wood.
            3) The fence handle is too large in diameter and when raised to adjust the fence it protrudes past the plane of the fence face. A pain when making certain alignments.
            4) Blade adjustment handle broke after very little use.
            5) Similar problems with sliding mitre table as original post described. (Great idea, poor design).
            6) Blade height adjustment extremely difficult. I've read in other forums about some shims moving due to inadequate design. Lengthy in-depth process to repair. I am not a machinist and do not plan to repair.
            7) Blade positions differently (side-to-side) at different heights. I'm certain that this problem is related to the one described above.
            8) Can't use most of the typical TS jigs on this saw.

            I want to spend my time working with wood and not fiddling with adjusting/repairing machinery when it should not be required. But it is more than that, its the fact that I have no confidence in this saw's ability to repeat accurate cuts. I'll get a new saw as soon as the budget allows or the saw dies.I'm looking very hard at the 3612.

            Vince in NW NC


            • #7
              Hi Vince, where in NW NC are you? I have the 3612 after long consideration and getting a 2424 and taking it back without cutting anything with it. The Home Depot in South Asheville was very helpful and more than fair on my exchange. We are in Old Fort. I have not been able to use the saw very much yet but I am super impressed with what I have seen so far. I cannot believe that it is so smooth.

              To Matthew: If you are able to transport the saw intact I would consider doing that, you might be able to get a better deal on the exchange. When I switched out my 2424 for 3612 I put it on a small trailer and strapped it down securely. The HD guys were happy to take it assembled and thought that they could sell it that way easier. I would call or stop by and talk to the tool manager about it. Use the search and check my past posts on my saga with the saws and Home Depot. Good luck.


              • #8
                Hi Bob,

                I live in Lewisville, NC which is a few miles NW of Winston-Salem.

                Congratulations and good luck with the 3612.

                Vince in NW NC


                • #9
                  I admit that I have a BT3000SX that I bought a couple of years ago before Ryobi went through their "reorganization". I am quite happy with it but I agree that the weight is an issue. I never installed the blade guard so I don't have that issue. The saw does require adjustments occasionally but I never had the problem with the sliding mitre guage.
                  I am not in a hurry to replace it now but when I do it will be with a much bigger heavier model like the 3612 although I have never had a problem cutting any type of wood on the Ryobi - maple, oak, cherry etc.


                  • #10
                    Just wanted to say, I always value an opinion more when someone is not afraid to put his name on it. It's easy to complain when you are anonymous, but when you are putting your name out there with the message, it just holds more weight to me.

                    Welcome to the Ridgid family Matthew.