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TS3612 vs. the competition

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  • TS3612 vs. the competition

    Hi all,

    Many kudos to Ridgid for sponsoring this open forum. It definitely inclines me toward considering their tools, despite the lackluster displays at HD.

    I'm in the market for my first TS. I have some experience, but have never owned one. I'm looking in the $500 or so range. I'd like something that will satisfy me over the long haul, though it will see limited use due to the limited time I have to use it for home projects.

    The TS3612 looks tempting in this price range. The major competitors I am considering are the Delta 36-650, Jet JWTS-10 and Grizzly 1022. Does anyone have experience or pros/cons to offer for the TS3612 relative to these others? Any info or comments will be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Tim

  • #2
    (I just posted this in response to a 3612 thread in the general discussions group, but thought I'd paste it here since you asked about the 3612.)

    My impressions of the 3612:

    I bought the 3612 this past weekend and love it so far. The fence locks square every time. The 3612's I looked at in two different HD's were not setup properly, and it wouldn't surprise me if the fence in the stores wouldn't lock square because the time was not taken to align the fence rails properly. If you take your time and do the alignments while you are assembling the saw, it will work fine. I like having the large rip capacity that the longer rails provide (36" vs 24") without having to go to extremely long rails.

    I was originally planning on going with an aftermarket fence at some point, but now I don't feel the need (may still consider an Incra TSIII, but that's in a different ballpark). The fence will also easily take additions because of the T-slots in the sides and top. It looks very versatile.

    The blade guard and splitter both tilt with the blade, and removal requires only undoing a thumbscrew on the rear of the saw. I haven't had to remove the guard/splitter for a single cut yet, and dados are the only cuts I anticipate having to remove it for.

    The blade was just a hair off of being 90 degrees to the table, and it was aligned perfectly with the miter slots out-of-the-box. A quick turn of the hex screw in the top fixed the blade perpendicular to the table. The two quick adjust screws set into the top for alignment are great.

    As everyone knows, the Herc-U-Lift system is very nice, although it could stand to raise the saw up a bit more when it is lifted. (say, an inch or so) I added the dust collection hood to the 3612, and even with a smaller shop vac it works great. I did tape the seams where the chute contacts the saw, because there were slight gaps and I wanted to prevent leaks and improve suction. The blade can still tilt through its full range of motion with the chute and its associated deflector on the back in place.

    I like the left-tilt feature on the saw, and that you can position the power switch anywhere along the rail that you want to. (the only downside that I had during assembly was that the screws for the switch were too long and I had to add some spare washers to secure the switch properly - I suspect the wrong screws were included or that the two for the switch were missing from my box)

    I waxed the table and the rails, and the fence moves smoothly across both. The miter gauge was a hair off of 90 degrees, but all you need to do is adjust a screw stop and it will re-align the gauge properly.

    Just take your time with the alignment and every feature on this saw will work beautifully. I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality and the features in this saw, particularly given its pricing vs the competetion. I went shopping intent on a Delta model, and after viewing them and some others, came away with the Ridgid. If it holds up as well as it works now, I can't imagine a better contractor's saw.

    Edit: Another note - be sure to line up the extension wings evenly with the table, and you may not even need the included shims. I spent some time making sure the wings were even both with the top and with the front and rear edges, and I didn't have to use a single shim between the rails and the table. Also, my stock blade came with some small burrs on several of the teeth but it still cut pretty well. I already had a new Freud LU84R011 waiting for this saw, and it does cut smoother than the stock blade (as one would expect of a $50 blade). I will probably use the stock blade on softer woods and any PT wood I may cut (so it gets the buildup and not the Freud), and will saw the Freud for hard woods and plywood.

    Comment


    • #3
      Follow-up:

      I also looked at the 36-650, and I liked the fence system on the 3612 much better. The Delta's was harder to move and didn't lock in the rear if I recall correctly. The 3612 also has a bit more rip capacity, and I liked the left-tilt feature. It has the best blade guard I've seen in this price range, and it just seemed beefier all-around than the Delta. I also liked the iron wings vs stamped steel, and it comes with the mobile base system. I didn't get to see the Jet or Grizzly in person, so I can't really comment on those.

      Comment


      • #4
        Just out of curiosity and my own ignorance of the need, but what is the advantage of a greater than 24" rip?
        Kelly C. Hanna<br /><a href=\"http://www.hannawoodworks.com\" target=\"_blank\">Hanna Woodworks</a>

        Comment


        • #5
          Good question. What do people think? As a newbie, I assumed "bigger is better" (all else being equal, which it never is). Figured I'd appreciate the extra table size at some point.

          Comment


          • #6
            Sheet Goods!

            With 24" rip capacity you are limited to the size of an item you can rip on the TS. Anything over 24" you need to go to the handheld circular saw. If you do not ever make large items then you'll never notice the difference. 1st time you need the extra inches, you'll be glad you've got 'em!
            Support Our Troops!
            www.mnpatriotguard.org
            www.patriotguard.org

            Comment


            • #7
              Large capacity fences are designed for panel goods. A "full-size" fence is over 48" in capacity, so that a full 96" sheet of plywood can be cut anywhere across the width with it.

              My fence has 52" capacity, that I almost never use. I'm at the point in life that heaving a 90 pound sheet of plywood across a tablesaw has lost a lot of it's allure, and I prefer to break down the sheet with a circular saw.

              About the only time I can think of a solid wood woodworker using a large capacity fence is to true a large glueup, like a tabletop.

              Dave

              Comment


              • #8
                I have to admit that I would like the 36 inch rip capacity as opposed to the 24 inch that I have. I really can't imagine needing more than 36" for my projects though. And nice to see you back Dave A, seems like you haven't posted in a while. Dave

                Comment


                • #9
                  I guess my range of ripping has never exceeded 24"....I now have rolling carts in my workshop and an adjustable outfeed table (that's getting rollers on it next weekend), so I could support the sheet for a rip that would leave 36" to the left of the blade. I have never made a dining table, but now see that if one weren't set up to support that size rip, that it would be good to have the extra room.
                  Kelly C. Hanna<br /><a href=\"http://www.hannawoodworks.com\" target=\"_blank\">Hanna Woodworks</a>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stuart H:
                    ...and that you can position the power switch anywhere along the rail that you want to. (the only downside that I had during assembly was that the screws for the switch were too long and I had to add some spare washers to secure the switch properly - I suspect the wrong screws were included or that the two for the switch were missing from my box).
                    Stuart,

                    Glad to here you are happy with your saw. Just a note, I imagine you used the screws for the switch box to mount the hand wheels (done this my self). Switch them around and I think you will find the screws for the switch box are the right length.

                    Kelly C,

                    The significance of a rip capacity greater than 24" is two fold. First it allows you greater versatility when ripping sheet goods and second 36" is significant when making cabinets, since many of those are 36" deep.

                    Jake

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      From all that I've read, the 3612 has many improvements, over the 2424, not the least of which is the fence. If it's as good as they say it is, go for it. Otherwise, you should consider stretching your budget up into the $800-900 range and get a Delta with Biesemeyer or Unifence.
                      Dave

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jake - thanks for pointing that possibility out. I did look at most of the installation steps again to see if I may have used the wrong screws, but I didn't go all the way back to the hand wheel installation section. I'll give it a look when I get home tonight and make the change if necessary. I've really been enjoying this saw in the short time I've had it.

                        One other remark if you don't mind - the tape rules were "chewed up" a bit on my rail, and I was wondering if this is something Ridgid would replace if I were to give them a call?

                        Other than that, no problems whatsoever and I continue to be impressed by the DC accessory on my 3612; even though the back remains largely open, it still seems to get most of the dust.

                        [ 11-13-2002, 01:33 PM: Message edited by: Stuart H ]

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                        • #13
                          At first I thought my tapes were chewed up also, then I realized that I hadn't removed the clear plastic protective covering.

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                          • #14
                            Charlie P - The gouges go all the way through the tape in a couple of spots, so it's not the covering that is the problem (although that would've been a good thing to check otherwise).

                            [ 11-15-2002, 02:00 PM: Message edited by: Stuart H ]

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                            • #15
                              Just a note, I imagine you used the screws for the switch box to mount the hand wheels (done this my self). Switch them around and I think you will find the screws for the switch box are the right length.
                              That's what I did! Got all the way to the end of the assembly and Egad! I can't mount the switch box. I back tracked through the instructions all the way to the hand wheels and found my mistake.
                              Alan
                              My Shop

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