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  • Another boring tablesaw purchase discussion

    I have had an inexpensive 10 inch craftsman tablesaw for about 25 years now. It has worked fine for most of my needs. I mumbled -slight upgrade- to my wife and surprisingly, she agreed. I am not a carpenter, just a home user who has the need to cut boards for shelves etc.

    After much searching, I had narrowed the choice to the Ridgid 3650 and have been waiting for some kind of price drop / sale. Right now they are running about 599 dollars. Today, I saw the Sears ad and they have the 24830 on sale for 449. This saw is a 10 inch with mobile base, dust collection and router mounting kit (which I'm not interested in btw). Would this be a big mistake as a purchase? I have been going down to HD once a week to stare at "my" saw, but 150 dollars difference is enough to make me consider sears. There are a lot of opinions when you mention Craftsman, but most of the products I own have been serviceable.
    In the Ridgid corner, my wife likes the "pretty orange color" and would probably spring for the purchase. Its just that guilt thing you know?
    Any quick opinions?

    Terry

  • #2
    First, I hope you've noticed that the guts (arbor/trunnion assembly) of the Ridgid and Craftsman are very similar. So ultimately the Ridgid has no more potential for basic performance such as arbor run-out/wobble and height/tilt accuracy and smoothness. The difference is in the total package. Ridgid has several features that are worthy enhancements.

    1. The poly v-belt (like automotive serpentine) on Ridgid is much smoother running that a regular v-belt. I haven't specifically seen the model you refer to but I don't recall seeing any poly v's on Craftsman when I shopped.

    2. The one-piece fence rails on the Ridgid are superior to the two-piece on the Craftsman. Any small misalignment at the joint will result in large parallelism errors over the length of the fence. You'll find lots of debate on the 3650 fence but you would have to step up to the $800 Craftsman saw to do as well. Be prepared to put some time into setting them up though. I spent over 2 hours, but it was well spent. The cuts are very smooth even with the basic blade included with the saw.

    3. Cast Iron extensions vs. stamped steel.

    4. Metal handwheels. Some of the cheaper Sears saws are plastic and they will crack over time as the mechanisms gum up/rust and the torque applied increases.

    5. The Herculift is much more functional than the Sears unit.

    6. Bag type dust collection is not very effective. If you don't already have one, spend at least $80 for a decent shop vac and use the dust collection port. Sears has a $20 switch (24031) that will automatically turn on your vac when you turn on the saw. For $100 you can get 2/3 of the utility of a $500+ dust collection system.

    The Sears package is a good value if you valued the router table, but you said you don't. That said, I'd hold out for at least a 10% HD coupon if you can.

    For the record I'm not anti-Craftsman. I probably own over $2K of various Craftsman tools. Their products may not be the best on the market, but I think they're as good as anyone at supporting their stuff under warranty and with long-term parts availability. I hope Ridgid will do as well.

    Comment


    • #3
      TerryV6
      I have the 3650 and have had no problems. I am not familiar with the Craftman, in the past it has been less than great. If you want the Ridgid go to HD and tell them you want to buy but are waiting on 10% off. Some stores will give it to you. If they don't mention the craftman and see what happens.
      I have to recomend the Ridgid.
      Steve

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      • #4
        Well, here is the Craftsman I was looking at:

        http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...id=00924830000

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        • #5
          Terry---one thing needs to be pointed out. Your old saw was likely made by Emerson, which later became Ridgid. However, the new Ridgid saw is no longer made by Emerson. However, while I have major concerns about the 3650, it would still be better than just about any current Craftsman saw. When Emerson stopped making Sears major tools, in 1998, the general feeling is that quality went way down hill.

          Personally, at the $599 price, I think you can do better with other brands costing only slightly more, but if you can get the 3650 for $100-150 off on a sale, it might be a decent buy. I'd simply wait for another HD sale and while you're waiting, I'd do some research on other saws on the market. If you can get another brand, with a T-square type fence (attaches only at one point) that would be one major advantage. Do some searches here and on other boards, as well as past issues of woodworking magazines for reviews.
          Dave

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          • #6
            On the sears saw that is a two pice front rail. It is very hard to get that front rail to line up.
            Andy B.

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            • #7
              Another saw that was in the running was the Delta 36-650. http://www.deltawoodworking.com/index.asp?e=136&p=792

              It is comparible to the ridgid. The fence was well rated, but the blade guard was not. It rips 30 inches to the right of the blade instead of 36. It has no lift assembly, so I would have to buy one. I just saw this one for 470 dollars.. For those of you who have some questions about the Ridgid ts, how about this one?

              Terry

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              • #8
                I know this is hard to do, but I would take the $150 price difference out of the picture and simply evaluate the saws on the type of performance I expect. I don't know anything about the Craftsman and my only experience with Ridgid table saws was with a TS2424. The 3650 looks like a significant, maybe not too substantial, improvement over the 2424.
                The reason I say to take the price difference out of the equation is that $150 isn't much when you think of the life expectancy of a table saw. Also, should you decide to sell in the near future (something unexpected comes up), you might make up some of that difference in the resale value. When I look around my shop and think of the areas where I have wasted money on bad decisions, those mistakes fall into either of two categories. One, I bought something I don't use anywhere near enough to justify the expense. I have a belt sander, a circular saw (Porter-Cable = expensive), and an extra set of chisels come to mind. I made this type of mistake, but not often and it hasn't cost me much. The second type of mistake is too buy something that I use often but it's not very good, and by paying a little more I could have gotten something more useful. I've made this mistake often and it's cost me a lot. It's not my higher quality tools that cause me pain, but rather the bargains that I wish I had passed up. If you buy the Craftsman, thinking the Ridgid is the best saw, then you run the risk of regretting that decision and eventually end up selling it and buying another saw anyway. Of course, you could buy it and be pleasantly surprised too. It's a risk one takes when making decisions like this.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by glh:
                  I know this is hard to do, but I would take the $150 price difference out of the picture and simply evaluate the saws on the type of performance I expect. I don't know anything about the Craftsman and my only experience with Ridgid table saws was with a TS2424. The 3650 looks like a significant, maybe not too substantial, improvement over the 2424.
                  The reason I say to take the price difference out of the equation is that $150 isn't much when you think of the life expectancy of a table saw. Also, should you decide to sell in the near future (something unexpected comes up), you might make up some of that difference in the resale value. When I look around my shop and think of the areas where I have wasted money on bad decisions, those mistakes fall into either of two categories. One, I bought something I don't use anywhere near enough to justify the expense. I have a belt sander, a circular saw (Porter-Cable = expensive), and an extra set of chisels come to mind. I made this type of mistake, but not often and it hasn't cost me much. The second type of mistake is too buy something that I use often but it's not very good, and by paying a little more I could have gotten something more useful. I've made this mistake often and it's cost me a lot. It's not my higher quality tools that cause me pain, but rather the bargains that I wish I had passed up. If you buy the Craftsman, thinking the Ridgid is the best saw, then you run the risk of regretting that decision and eventually end up selling it and buying another saw anyway. Of course, you could buy it and be pleasantly surprised too. It's a risk one takes when making decisions like this.
                  Amen to that

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                  • #10
                    I would agree with the last poster. Don't settle based on price. Find the saw you like and hunt for a deal. Unfortunately since you're dealing with an exclusive product, may have to wait longer or not at all. The Delta is a nice saw too. Although the Sears saw looks nice with the bells & whistles, I have not heard the best remarks from the align a rip fence from owners.

                    Jake

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                    • #11
                      You are probably right about laying the 150 dollar difference to one side. I have had 8-10 computers in the last 15 years and I sure lost money on those. For instance, I spent 3000 on a state of the art 386-20 mhz machine that ended up being worth ziltch. I suspect I will wait for the 10 percent sale or my birthday, which ever comes first.

                      Terry

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                      • #12
                        Not that I'm suggesting anything, but look at this site and decide if you want 10% off...http://www.homedepotmoving.com/10offer/
                        \"Is it Friday yet?\"

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                        • #13
                          Terry, like I said, do some looking around. Check out General International---they have one of the best fences in their price catagory-----You might also look at Jet for comparrison. IMO, a good fence is one of the most important considerations---second on the list would be cutting capacity. If you get a saw with a marginal fence and too small a cutting capacity, it would cost you $250 to 400 to upgrade the system----get what you need in the first place. Just something more to mull over.
                          Dave

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                          • #14
                            Well, I did register for the coupon. This is the first time I have decided to move <G> just to get a discount..

                            Terry

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                            • #15
                              Like DaveFerg said - look to fence (3650 is okay)and cutting capacity. Have and like the 3650 - IMHO it was the best buy on market when sale priced by quite a margin at high $400's.

                              That General is very nice. Several others too.

                              Gonna state it one last time here too - I think the Grizzly 0444z is right now the TS to beat under $750-$800 - even there I gotta be sold something is better as I'd say you at entry cabinet saw so why even go contractor at all? IMO it the Best-Period. This slicer has me absolutely positively understandably__ after using and toying with it__ CONVINCED that it now is King Kong Top Dog. It is delightful to use - powerful - great fence - great finish - easy set-up - smooth as silk. Cannot find anything I don't like about it and I can be kinda cranky when money comes into play. And sure hate to sound like an ad for anything or one
                              Did I say I thought it was nice?

                              BTW - done discussing this saw on a regular basis.....and don't mean to confuse above.

                              Have a great day all ----- Spring is a Coming [img]smile.gif[/img]
                              Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em

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