I'm looking for a contractor TS.
I've read about the TS2424, and had a chance to
check a HD display a few days ago.
Like the fence, stand, herculift, dust collection,
Didn't like the finish (pretty rough), shallow throat plate.
Keeping in mind that 'the quality remains long after the price is forgotten', is this the best CTS in it's class, or will a few more dollars buy a better one.
Cypress---Discussions of table saws are like politics and religon--faint of heart dare not tread :D
I have had the earlier version of the 2424, from it's Craftsman days, for the past 13 years and have often spent time looking at the improvements on the current 2424.
I'll try and simplify this---if the price of the 2424 is pretty much at the limit of your budget---it is one of the better saws for the money---at $600, in includes a lot of goodies, which can add up quickly on a different brand (although before they started including the extras, I personally thought $600 from a nation-wide chain was a bit stiff.
As to your observations---I can tell you, in my opinion and in a review I read, the fence is not a plus on the saw--but in fairness, stock fences on basic contractors' saws aren't much to shout about.
You're right about the finish not being refined---however, a more important measure is, is the table flatness within tollerance and are the miter slots aligned---on mine, answer to both is yes---these factors are what's going to make the most difference in cut accuracy.
Personally, if I were going to go up to the next price level, my first consideration would be a better fence. Then, I'd consider finish.
Otherwise, design-wise, power, etc., the Rigid is a good saw. But, if you have the budget---there are always choices ;)
Decisions, decisions. If only I spent as much time working wood as I do thinking about working wood....
Let me suggest a few things to look at. I'm in the saw buying mode and this is what I have found.
First to the fence issue. T square fences are "in" and everyone is on the band wagon. However many after market fence companies are now coming out with fences that lock both front and back like Ridgid and their claim is they are superior to the T square. The reason you can deflect the T fences by pushing on them, it is like trying to keep a 3 foot bar from moving by holding on one end. I don't think the Ridgid is that weak of a fence, it just isn't the "in" thing.
Second every contractor saw made except Dewalt and Ridgid/Sears has the height adjustment high up under the table. I hit my knuckles every time I adjust them. Check it out you may too.
Third every contractor saw on the market has a saw guard/splitter that begs to be removed and thrown away. To me the Ridgid design lets you get it out of the way when needed, but is easy to reinstall. Safety issue.
Every contractor saw except Ridgid requires the purchase of a mobile base. Even then nothing compares to the Herculift for ease of operation and function.
Every Contractor saw has a height and tilt adjustment that wedges the knob. Ridgid locks the trunion. However the Ridgid does not have a height lock and everyone here claims it is unneeded?? I can only go by their answer and I have no real reason to doubt them.
Everyone will tell you the Ridgid mitre slots aren't "t's". Someone else on the forum made a great argument by saying if your depending on the T to hold you probably pushing the safety limit. Also removing the mitre gauge is much easier without the the T.
You will also hear that the Ridgid mitre grooves are under sized. In fact I think they are exact and everything else is under or over. However that point aside. Almost every after market manufacture now offers bars made for Ridgid so I don't see this is a problem at all.
Others will tell you the check the trunions. Please do. Notice all the casting down there where everone else uses two tubes. Also you will hear Ridgid trunion is made out of pot metal. I asked about this on this forum and no one has seen one wear out.
Personally I didn't see the fit and finish problem you saw. I know the magazines have given Ridgid high marks in the this area in the past.
Do I think there are better saws than Ridgid? Yes to me the Dewalt 746 is a strong contender and of course a factory refurbished unisaw is in the running. However the cheapest is still $300 higher that the Ridgid. To me that means I can burn through 1.5-2 Ridgids to equal the price of the Dewalt or unisaw. With the extra's they are now giving with the TS2424 it is a hard deal to beat.
I'm waiting to see the Ts3612 to make my decision.
Rev Ed---As to T-Square fences being "in" --(recent fad?) To my knowledge, the Biesemeyer has been around at least 15 years--maybe more--the only fad is everyone who is copying it. Cypress--the only initial decission you have to make is to compare prices---what would it cost you for the Rigid saw, plus an added Biesemeyer fence, vs. buying an upscale contractors saw, with an upgraded fence already on it.
Rev Ed has most all the other stuff right, execpt that you simply don't need a height lock---it's the nature of the design that doesn't require one on the Rigid.
Thanks for discussion. Cloverdale huh Dave? I've been through there many times as I used to live in Eureka...
OK, if I install a 28" Biesemeyer fence on the TS2424, say another $275, we're at $875. Now we've got a CS w/mobile base for a going rate of about $900. Granted, if I were to buy Delta (with a Beisemeyer as standard equipment), I'd spend $850 easy, plus the price of wheels. But with Delta or especially PM, the table is smooth or polished, and the throat plate is a substantial 1/2". Making or buying zero clearance inserts is then simple.
(It's understood that the table on a CS saw must be flat, though I'm aware all are not.)
Personally I thought the Ridgid fence was sturdy, most likely very accurate with a litttle adjusement.
On the extension wings I expect to see mill marks - no big deal - but I was surprised at how prominent they were on the solid table. Doesn't degrade the saw's ability to cut wood of course.
Then finally, that thin thoat plate shouts Craftsman to me. Right now, if it weren't for that, I'd buy the saw. And I'd save enough to afford that jointer....
So like others I am interested to see what the TS36xx has to offer.
Again, appreciate the info exchange.
Been to Eureka many, many times. Love the drive up there. Don't know how long ago you were through Cloverdale---when I moved here---one traffic light and the "freeway" was Cloverdale Blvd. Now! We have 3 traffic lights---freeway bypass and a Dell Webb retirement community---makes for a real exciting town :D
You've been doing your homework. Don't forget to also factor in the extra accessories with the Rigid--dado insert, etc.
Can't argue about the lack of polished finish with the Rigid. About the only disadvantage is that it does take a bit more elbow grease to clean it. Also, while the insert is thin, I've always liked that it has a lock-down screw---it is a PITA to figure on a strong enough material to use for a zero clearance. However, on the other side, I really like and have used that little magic dot---it's a good quick and dirty check for the kerf line.
Both Rigid and Delta are good saws, with excellent customer service. While I know where to find Delta reps, on forums, Rigid is the only major brand I know of which has it's own forum and a great resource like Jake.
So, sharpen your pencil and finish your comparrison and go get one :D
cypress: davefrog is right, the fence is important. However, I would hate to see you spend an extra $275 on something that may not be necessary. While I am not a pro, I have found the stock 2424 fence to be more than adequate. It holds position extremely well and it cuts perfectly straight every time.
I feel that many people get a little too wrapped up in buying the ultimate tool. True, you want to buy a tool that is going to last (and the Ridgid will do that) but most amateurs, such as myself, really do not need all of the bells and whistles. Spending so much money adds so much stress that it kind of takes the fun out of the hobby for me. I do know some that are in the hobby because they love the tools and if that's your thing, go for the best. I got into this stuff so I could make things so I would rather spend money on wood.
Taking this into account, I do not think you would be dissatisfied if you bought the 2424 (or 3612) with the stock fence AND a jointer with what's left if that's your pleasure.
Good luck with your decision!
Dave, last through there in '96 - miss N. Cal often.
Well, I had a chance to browse the #3612 info here on the web site, one new feature is a zero clearance insert...cool (hopefully it fits the 2424 too).
I'll let you know when I decide.
Greenwood---I'd no doubt agree that the current 2424 fence is better than the POS fence that came with my 13 year old version. I haven't used the new fence, but, would have to say, on display models, it's never been impressive and there was at least one review article (can't remember the source now) which said the 2424 fence was it's weakest feature. And, I'd say the same about Delta's or Jet's stock fence. I'm certainly no more than a weekend warrior, but I also wanted a degree of dependable accuracy and a lot more safety than the OEM fence---I replaced it after 2 years, with a Biesemeyer.
As to costs of tools and money spent, much depends on your available budget. But, it all depends on your hobby. Take up skiing or dirt biking---the cost of a Unisaw seems like a bargin. Heck, the computer I'm using--bought 6 years ago--could have bought 2 Unisaws for the price :D
Actually, I think the solution would be for Rigid to sell their saw with an optional "trade-up" fence. Back, before Delta bought Biesemeyer, I remember that Sears (still selling Emerson tools) featured one saw model with a Biesemeyer trade-up.
While I'm offering suggestions, I think Rigid should also have a stand-alone splitter (since no aftermarket splitters fit the saw) for those who want to upgrade to an overhead blade guard.
I think Rigid has come up with numerous excellent features, answering age-old user needs---even something as simple as the brackets to hold your miter gauge and fence, are excellent innovations.
Can't wait to see the new saw---if HD will ever get off their bottoms and set one up :D