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contractor table saws

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  • #16
    To Gpeters, as a 24 year cabinet maker professional i have owned 6 table saws. 3 were under 250 dollars and very inaccurate and therefore dangerous. I have been forced to buy these inaccurate saws as i am a one man outfit and need lightweight portability . After years of weighting for accurate benchsaws that are lightweight to appear as we all know a number of manufacturers have been building now for about 5 years. Anyways, i purchased a DeWalt 10 inch benchsaw 2 years ago. It is extremely accurate , powerful , and therefore safe. I have produced many highend pieces with this saw. And have literally ripped miles of wood in. I strongly recommend to any contractor looking for a light, powerful, accurate , safe saw. This saw would be very good for a hobbiest! My best saw , until reciently has been a 1979 model 10 Rockwell Contractors saw. With its 1.5 hp motor and jetlock fence and tlc with maintence . it still looks like new and is still very accurate! I strongly recommend a saw similar to this for any professional of hobbiest. I feel it is inherinently safe due to its accuracy. If you have the pocketbook for a cabinet grade saw these to me are the best! I reciently bought my dream saw...a General 10 inch left tilt 3 hp ,220 volt cabinet saw with a T-lock Bessemere fence . With enclosed motor and very heavy castings it humms precision and power. Should eaisily last 100 years with routine normal maintenence! In summary , i would reccomend the following : any contractor saw with an outboard V-belt motor and of course accurate ripfence ; any heavy cabinet saw like my General or Deltas Unisaw, or similar saws . If you have to have lightweight look at saws like my 10 inch DeWalt or Bosch or Rigid all of which have accurate fences and therefore makes them safer! Also if you can go 220 volt on the contractor saws or cabinet saws i would do so... its nice added power. I maintain my castiron tops with spray oils in humid weather or high dew point situations , otherwise just use auto wax. I also blow out all my trunions , worm screws and other moving parts religiously and spray with oil and have perfect looking and opperating saws. i keep my General and Rockwell in my polebarn woodshop back to back and feed onto one another. It is an ideal setup as i keep a dado head in the Rockwell and standard blade in the General.My only wish is i had more shop work to use these wonderful saws but i get much more job site contracts and therefore use the lightweight DeWalt but its accurate!!!


    • #17
      I went through the decision process last year. I really wanted a top notch fence (ie Biese), solid cast wings, left tilt, and a well respected name to stand behind the saw. After pouring over all the information I could find, comparing features/price/dealers, and looking at as many as I could, The General International 50-185 was a really easy choice for me in the end. After nearly a year, I'm still amazed at all it offers for $650. (Sorry Ridgid, but I don't think the 3650 is in the same league....a Biese type fence would have been a welcome addition to compliment the new solid wings).


      • #18
        Why would you join the Ridgid site to tell us you bought a General. Do they not have a site. You joined on 11/25/03.


        • #19
          I browsed so I could learn and because I was curious about the discussions. I joined so I could post. I posted to add opinions and insights that don't have a pro-Ridgid slant. (What's the value of asking for opinions of Ridgid tools on a Ridgid forum? There's a higher probability of getting a Ridgid-biased opinion than on a neutral site) That doesn't mean I'm anti-Ridgid by any means, but if I point out that steel is a stronger metal than aluminum, and that cast iron is stronger than die cast zinc, am I unwelcome? You'll find I try very hard to be objective, and where I state an opinion there's a good reason why that opinion was formed. As people learn more, they expect more. As they expect more, Ridgid is more likely to offer more....where do you think the solid wings came from on theh 3650? If everyone pats Ridgid on the back and no one points out the shortfalls, what improvements do you think they'll offer?


          • #20
            Grey, I would have to say that Ridgid DOES IN FACT listen to what the posters here want in upgrades and new tools. If you go to the "Give Us Your Tool Ideas" board, and read well back past a year, you will find many of what the members here have asked, was incorperated into the saw. Solid wings, T-Track, better dust collection. I just want to point out, the fence was never an issue!

            Along with many of the new tools, there are posts requesting, or idea's given for them. I personally gave the idea since Ridgid was big in the plumbing and pipe fitting industry, it seamed fitting to have an angle grinder for pipe fitters to grind their welds with. With all the wood working type hand tools released, did you ever wonder why they produced an angle grinder? I believe Ridgid has been listening.

            I would suggest to everyone to let it be known we would like to see Ridgid's Customer Service return the the way it was, and handle parts and service in a more personal and passonate maner as they have in the past. Or at least mandate that whom ever is going to handle it, do in much the same way Ridgid USE to. You can beat a dying horse, but once dead, it's dead. Give it care, and it will come back to life.

            Many of the issues being discussed here now, would fade, and we would return to helpful, informational, question answering forums this once was.

            My 2 sense.
            John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


            • #21
              Gee Grayghost - The guy asked for opinions on contractor saws, and didn't specify Ridgid only. My experience with GI was positive, so I told him so. I also pointed out why I made the choice I did. I make no apologies for the statements or for being here. It's not bad manners to have a factual objective discussion, or even an opinion if there's a valid reason for the opinion. Is this the Ridgid "Rave" forum, or are objective statements and evaluations of how Ridgid's tools stack up against the competition's welcome? I'd think Ridgid tool owners would want to know why their tools are good or bad.

              BTW - My Ridgid shop vac is great! I love it, it's just the most wonderful vac I've ever used. There's not a better vac for the money out there. The folks from Ridgid sure know what they're doing. Thanks Ridgid! (How'm I doin'? Can I stay now?)


              • #22
                To each his own. I would not buy a TS3650. But you could not tear my handless arms off my TS2424.
                Unless the crate for the Laguna Combination Machine was in site!

                [ 12-03-2003, 10:43 PM: Message edited by: UO_Woody ]
                John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


                • #23
                  Recently purchased a Powermatic 64A with 50 inch fence. Mainly b/c of the fence. Beismeyer style. I started my shop about a year ago and am building a piece at a time. My first purchase was a delta bandsaw. I almost bought ridgid but the shop models were always out of tune and nobody was ever around to answer questions. I ended up purchasing at LOWES b/c of that. Also found out ridgid was being acquired by RYOBI and I am not a big fan of theirs. The 3650 looks like a nice machine with features. But after hearing about customer service, I dont' know if I'll ever own a large power tool of theirs. The handtools I would consider though. Look pretty solidly built.

                  Don't know if all HD's have poor cust service of just the ones in chicago area, but it did reflect on the perceived quality of tool. I will say though, that I think moving in the right direction marketingwise. Store displays look good and I think the commercials are great. Some positive 3rd party tool reviews would help me and others get over quality hump though.



                  • #24
                    'cuse me, but if Emerson still designs the tools, as you claim, why did they substitute a good Emerson motor for a poor Asian model?


                    • #25
                      I have posted both good and bad things about ridgid. Mostly general Q & A to woodworking questions < not company specific >. I am open to change, but always wait for kinks to get out of new system before I agree with changes. ( I like to buy cars after the new models have been out for a year too .. he he he ) Delta is another company that I own and appreciate. However their ( lower end ) tools have also lost a bit of quality from shipping overseas. Although, I have not found it enough to where I'm unhappy. Where I think ridgid missed the boat was positioning their product both from a marketing perspective and from a service perspective at the actual home depot stores. Currently, I think they are addressing these issues well from what I see. Time will tell.



                      • #26
                        hi Woodworkerjake

                        I have been sittin here for a long time and just decided to say something that is probably redundant but here goes.

                        There are a lot of folks in this forum that talk about different tools, and what worked for them and what didn't. You mentioned low end tools.

                        Now I'm just giving an open opinion and not taking a shot at you.

                        Everyone on this forum has some sort of interest in woodworking. Some more knowledgeable than others. There are mentions of almost every tool Mfg. out there, but these folks must determine need vs. want.

                        Years ago I bought a low end craftsman router for work. Burnt it up in a day. Brought it back and bought up two more levels of router with higher hp, rpms. burnt that one up in a day. So then I realized that you buy for at least your need.

                        A few of the guys on here seem to have wants without realizing they should be looking at their needs instead. Is there a real need for a guy to buy the 3650 when he doesn't ever see himself ripping down a sheet of veneer, or osb?

                        A lot of the people on here make their living with the tools they buy so there is a lot of thought put into the purchases of tools we buy and how much we spend in order to recover our investment.

                        As a finish carpenter I have close to $3000.00 invested in Hand tools and if you ask any of the other ones our there they will have close to the same invested in hand tools. Now you add the cost of power tools - drills, circular saws - table and mitre saws - etc. you have a pretty healthy investment in there too. but these are necessary to perform our craft.

                        The input we all give is important to those asking for information. Most of what I own is Dewalt, including the contractor saw with the 52" fence and outfeed table, however I just purchased my first Ridgid power tool the new 1290 and it is great so far.

                        With the time I saved in using it vs. my Dewalt slide it will pay for itself in about two months.

                        So keep on giving input, without that there will be a lot of people out there guessing on what to buy.

                        happy woodworking guys

                        [ 12-06-2003, 08:18 AM: Message edited by: hammerman ]


                        • #27
                          I bought the 3650 because I think for the $ is is the best buy. I have learned if you are picky you have to make some modifications yourself on most tools. I do not mind that if it is not excesive. I have always gotten very good CS from Ridgid. The thing is now it is the same people that handle Ryobi,(I have a bt3000 as portable) but I have gotten the same type of service with issues on the BT3000. I am not worried about it. I know this is the case because I had a defective router guard on the Ryobi and I talked to the same supervisor as I did when I had a motor on the Ridgid jointer. The motor vibration I fixed myself but I think they would have sent me a new motor just as they did on my jointer when the bearings went out on it. I had to do quite a bit of adjusting etc. on a new PC557 jointer too. If I bought a $600 Lamelo and had to do that I would not have been pleased. I like the 3650 over the 3612 for the improvements except the metal used on the frame/stand is too thin for my liking. The jp610 jointer has much thicker gauge material(grey one). They should have used that on the 3650 but again compare the features to the others and you have to spend much more to have that included.

                          [ 12-06-2003, 10:57 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Benedetto ]


                          • #28
                            grey - curious as to why you feel rigid would not take a look and pay heed to comments that users/buyers/potential buyers make on their product vs others? to me it would be stupid - plain and simply stupid - not to really. They funding this site and surely expect to get more outta it than just pro-side, no? sure hope so - that's what most companies pay for - market research in focus group settings. and pay dearly at that. here they get it as a by-product of site they need for free.
                            dang it all ---- sure hoping they listen as it means they care!!!!!!!!!!!!
                            happy owner of a newly "repainted" 3650. slices like a dream and very happy I did buy it. Very
                            Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


                            • #29
                              Question for daveferg _____ have you yet tried out the 3650?
                              Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


                              • #30
                                Cranky----I have told you this before----so again, I've been woodworking for 40 years and over recent years, have had my old Emerson-built Craftsman torn up one side and down the other making improvements, as were made by Emerson on the 2424 and 3612----couldn't be happier. Now, my past comments have been on observations of the 3650 and comments on complaints by others here and other forums-----they are all factual and I'll stand by them-----I don't have to go out and buy a car to note problems or to know how to read about other people's experience.

                                BTW----the biggest joke is that people are adding leg bracing or repairing a new motor and continue to say how wonderful the saw is!!?? Now, if it were half the price and from Harbor Freight, I might agree it's fine to be fixing flaws---but in the past few years, I've purchased a number of new tools and haven't had to modify or repair them right out of the box.

                                If you're happy, fantastic. But I will continue to voice my opinion, observations, when people ask about the saw. And, in a like manner, when people ask about the 3612 or 2424, I will continue to tell them how great a saw they are.