direct or belt.. what the diff?

OK, I know that a direct drive is directly driven off the motor, and a belt drive runs off a belt attached to motor. But why would one bet better than the other? I gather that belt drive is preffered, but why? I'm looking at getting the Ryobi bts20. I was looking at the bts3100 but I don't like the table. One difference between the two is the drive, the 3100 is belt. Of course the bts20 is cheaper as well, but what's got my attention is the size and portablility. The Bts20 has a collapsable stand on wheels.
Now I'm a home owner who does the occasion job around the house, I'm building cabinets or anything. I've gotten a crafstman $160 unit, and the moter burnt out on it. this is why I'm wondering about the direct/belt deal. The BTS20 has a 14 amp moter, with 4800 rpm, same as the 3100.
Paul.
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"Paul Udstrand" < snipped-for-privacy@att.net> wrote in message
news:Xns94D597624E56DPUdstrandattnet@127.0.0.1...
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Hey Edwin,
Thanks, it sounds like the direct drive will do me fine. I'm not worried about the noise, and I'll not be building any fancy furniture, an ocassional book shelf if that.
Paul.
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On this one I have to agree with Edwin belt driven is the way to go. Every saw in the shop is belt driven. From the smallest installers saw all the way up to the sliding panel saws. On industrial saws you would not be able to have a large enough direct drive motor that would not interfere with blade height.
CHRIS

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I never said go with direct drive. In this application, it makes sense. The only thing I disagree with is that direct drive is smoother, it isn't.

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What I had to agree with Edwin. Is that I find belt drives are smoother than direct drives. So I am perfectly clear OK. That's all.
CHRIS

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> "CW" < snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net> wrote in message
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While there have been some good direct drives made, you are right that most often it is the low quality ones that are made this way.

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Ed Pawlowski writes:

Yeah, but is the $900 Delta going to run smoother than the $400 Bosch, or the $450 Ridgid, or the...you get the idea. There is more money in the Delta for table, cabinet, fence than there is in any direct drive table saw, but there are features in direct drive that the so-called contractor's saw can never address, one being weight. At this moment, I have 4 direct drive saws in my shop, with more coming. I've been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the fences, the power of the motors (but they're still not as good as the true 1-1/2 HP motors on contractor's saws in terms of power), the overall handling, and the added new features. Fences are better, as noted: in addition, every single one so far has a pull out extension to get the cut to or past 24", with many having rear extensions. Several have fold up stands, stands that in the case of the Ryobi, Ridgid and Craftsman sort of turn the unit into a wheelbarrow style easy to roll device.
And every one of them has that cursed floppy top guard and splitter that is a PITA to install and remove and almost always needs re-adjustment on re-installation.
Still, for a first table saw, or for a table saw for someone with limited shop space, they'd be hard to beat.
The purpose for which they are now named, as exemplified by the Craftsman, is the job site. In other words, these are today's true contractor's saws, aimed at those who toss a saw into a truck at day's end and haul it out again in the morning. It's a lot more pleasant with 60 pounds than it is with 300.
I haven't yet measured arbor lengths on the saws so can't comment on arbor lengths.
Charlie Self "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right." Thomas Paine
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Sounds like you will be telling us in a month or two when an article hits the news stands.
Inexpensive saws do have a place in woodworking. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Ed Pawlowski writes:

Probably not. The article is for a contractor's magazine that is subscription only to remodeling contractors.
Charlie Self "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right." Thomas Paine
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If that's the case, it is do to quality of construction, not drive type as direct drive is inherently smoother.

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Chris Melanson wrote:

Actually no, this isn't entirely true. A lot of the older industrial saws were direct drive. The just had 16" and 18" blades.
UA100
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Think about it! with a belt driven saw if the motor burns out all you need to change is the motor. ;<) Jim
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Another thing to think about...If the saw sees some unusual amount of stress, the belt may break saving the motor. Belts are cheaper than motors. Nuff said? Have fun ! Joe
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Interesting thought but with most contractors saws with a single belt the belt is quite likely to slip if it is worn rather than break especially if the blade comes under a load. With a belt in good condition the motor is likely to stall. 3 belts on most cabinet saws are used to help prevent the slipping.
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Paul, Sounds as if an inexpensive direct drive table saw would fit your needs. When buying a direct drive saw you are buying a disposable piece of equipment fore the cost of a replacement motor is usually just about equal to the cost of the total unit. With a belt drive there are many manufactures that make a motor that will fit, with a direct drive you are at mercy of the manufacture and will pay a much higher price for the replacement motor. With your limited needs, I would not worry about this. Good luck. Mike
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Time for my $.25. I'll not comment on the smoothness of DD vs belt, as I have no recent experience with belt. What I do have is a early '80's vintage DD Crapsman Contractor style with aluminum table & stamped steel wings that I purchased used about 5 yr. ago for < $200. This unit IS an induction drive, not universal, so is very quiet, and with a good blade is very smooth(I've had a couple blades that the saw wouldn't keep a lead weight on the table, never mind a nickel!). Probably the most improvement was a set of blade stabilizer washers, as the original stamped steel ones allowed a lot of wobble. This unit could definitely use some more power, but with a little care in feeding and using the right blade for the job, it has done everything I've asked of it.
I can definitely say that I would not care for one with a universal motor a'la my DW planer, routers, etc. They scream too much!
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