Howdy. Brand new to this forum, and fairly new at woodworking.
I currently have a cheap Craftsman table saw, and realize that it is time to upgrade. It's unstable (too lightweight), the fence is not accurate, the miter slots are non-standard, and I can't even use the blade guard because it won't align with the blade correctly.
As you're likely aware, Home Depot has the instant savings tool sale until April 11th. I decided to go ahead and splurge on tools with my hard-earned tax refund, and completed phase one last night with a Dewalt 3-pc router kit, Porter-Cable compressor/nail gun kit, and a cheap belt sander to get it above the $600 mark to get the $125 rebate. (Last night was like Christmas, playing with my new toys. )
Phase two is to get a table saw. I've seen favorable reviews everywhere about the two Ridgid table saws, and I'm debating between the $550 TS3560 "beast" vs. the $450 TS2400 portable. Here's how I currently see the pros/cons of each:
Pros for both (in terms of comparing to my current saw): Standard miter slot, much better fence, stable.
TS3560 Pros: solid as a rock (287 lbs) , 36" rip capacity, mobile base (a must in my relatively-small workshop).
TS3560 Cons: more expensive, back-breaking work to transport/carry down stairs piece-by-piece and assemble, and once it's in basement, it's not moving outside the shop until we buy a new house.
TS2400 Pros: More lightweight (only 120 lbs), cheaper, less assembly (I'm assuming), stowable in corner of shop if needed, portable if needed elsewhere in house. (Of course, I could relagate my Craftsman as the "portable" saw, and move it around as needed.)
TS2400 Cons: Smaller rip capacity, table surface smaller. Less weight might mean less stability for large boards.
So, it sort of comes down to the logistical superiority of the portable saw to the perceived higher accuracy of the "tank". I probably won't be doing any ultra-precision work with my table saw, nor building cabinets for a living, but I may get a miter sled or perhaps a tenoning jig.
I think I'll be happy with either one, but can anyone sway me one way or the other? Do you think the accuracy of the cast-iron saw is significantly better than a portable (albeit relatively heavy) one? Are there any standard accessories that I won't be able to use with the portable?