Is the Ridgid TS3650 for real?


I'm looking to upgrade/ replace my current table saw in the relatively new future so the review of mid-priced TSs in the June/July issue of Wood mag was pretty timely.
They rated the Ridgid TS3650 'Top Tool' of the 8 contractor style saws reviewed. Others entries include the Bridgewood TSC-10CL, Delta 36-380, Grizzly G0576 and the Jet JWTS-10JF.
Their choice surprised me, but, with the list of std features such as built-in mobile base, cast iron wings and large 44x27 table top make it seem like a pretty good deal.
Does anyone have one? Is so, what do you think? How well does it handle large sheet goods? Would you buy one again?
ThankX,
Ron
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I can't speak for the Rigid but my Jet has given me faithful and accurate service for about 5 years now....

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wrote:

I've had the Ridgid TS3650 for a couple months. Previously I had an old 9" craftsman with a small (but cast iron) top, and a benchtop, so I can't make any comparison to other contractor saws or the new hybrids that might be in your budget. I can say that it's worlds better than what I had.
It does have an issue though. On the arbor there is a short flat section for the blade. Next to this is a short section where the threads end that is a smaller diameter than the flat section and the rest of the threads. The consequence of this is that if you use a stack dado the second blade in the stack doesn't line up with the rest and you won't get a flat cut.
Ridgid knows about the problem, and have known about it for a long time. Saws manufactured after a certain date have a new arbor that has the threads go all the way to the flat section, but they did not recall the saws out in the stores. If you end up with the old arbor, Ridgid will send you a new one if you call them, but installing it is not simple and they recommend you take it to a service center.
I ended up with the old arbor, and at this point I've just left it alone. I don't use the stack dado much, and when I do it's generally internal. So it wasn't a big deal to me.
Other than that I'm quite happy with it. I have not tried any sheet goods on it yet, but I would do full sheets with the circular saw and a guide anyway. Some people will complain about the fence because it locks front and back rather than just at the front, but I have not had a problem with it. The blade guard is actually usable, while an utter nightmare to setup the first time it comes on and off with one thumbsrew and so far has stayed in alignment.
Setup was fairly straight-forward but a couple notes if you do end up getting it. Make sure you have a full complement of allan wreches, it needs a bunch of them and it doesn't include them. I think 3/32 was the one I was missing. It's also got a weird combination of english threads with metric heads.
The instructions say to put the front knob on first - don't. Wait till you have the extensions on and the saw back upright. When you flip the saw over the knob would be in the way.
There are 4 black triangular plates that mount on the legs that the mobile base mount to. Install these at the same time as you do the rest of the base, this will save you some time crawling on the floor.
I found that I needed to extend the levelling feet a bit to install the lift, which is the only really confusing part of the process. The instructions had said to put the feet all the way in, and then they want you to level it before you even attach the saw to the base which doesn't make any sense. I'd recommend setting them about a half inch from all the way in for starters. Once you get the lift installed you'll have to tweak these to get it to work right.
And finally, when you attach the front rail the instructions say to use 4 bolts. There are 5 holes. Use 5 bolts. I have one bolt sitting in a drawer :)
-Leuf
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Good tip, I do use my stack dado on occasion, would use it more if I had a better saw. I'll have to watch out for this.. maybe only agreeing to buy it after opening the box and examining the arbor itself..

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