I'm looking to buy a contractor-style saw. I need something that can
run on a 110V 20A circuit in my basement. Portability, provisions for
dust control, and a 30 inch capacity fence (with T slots) are
important. I'd prefer a left tilt. I'm planning to hang a router from
the saw. Since I'd rather not buy a separate router fence, I'll likely
need to attach a sacrificial face to at least one side of the saw
I want to purchase locally, so options are a bit limited. I've
narrowed the field to three - General International 50-185, Ridgid
3650, and Delta 36-461. The GI is available for CDN$850. The Ridgid
WAS CDN$800 but is now CDN$900. The Delta is available from the House
of Tools for CDN$760 (see
The only shortcoming I can find with the GI is the baby Biesmeyer
fence. It's solid and all that, but I'd like it better if the fence
faces could be easily replaced. The notion of sliding a box over the
top of the fence doesn't appeal to me.
As for the Ridgid, although I like the built-in lift, the T slots in
the fence, and the dust collection setup, I'm not impressed by the
motor mount design. When the belt is under tension, it looks to me
like the motor pulley lifts and the motor is tilted. The metal Emerson
picked for the cabinet and legs also seems thin and flexible.
Although the Delta 461 has a Unifence, I get the impression that this
fence would do better on a stationary saw. I can see myself having to
tweak this puppy every time the saw is moved - especially if I build a
wooden router table and use the supplied table legs. I'm also NOT
impressed by the plastic hand cranks, the fixed rubber feet, the dust
"collection" tray, and especially the pressed steel left wing.
Throwing on a proper CI wing would cost me an extra CDN$80 to CDN$200.
Like most Delta saws, the 461 is a right tilt.
I've used Delta saws before, so I'd like to lean in that direction. On
the other hand, everyone I talk to raves about the GI. I'm thinking of
passing over the 3650 simply because it's not on sale and it doesn't
have much of a track record.
Can anyone please help me make up my mind?