Rigid TS3650 Opinions

First time poster, recent lurker here. My situation is as follows:
1) I am in need of a replacement for my less than adequate Craftsman table saw 2) I will be using this saw to build bookcases, speaker boxes, etc. 3) Since the recent Yuletide season has left me a little short on disposable income I will have to buy it from Home Depot (other borg credit cards are maxed out due to recent remodeling).
I was looking on opinions on the Rigid TS3650 since it seems to be the best saw HD offers on their website, at least with the little research I was able to make. If they offer a better one in stores, please give me a model so I can call the local (is 60 miles away local?) one and check on availability. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
--
Joe



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I have an old craftsman with a new fence, pulley, belt, and motor and it is fine. That is a lot cheaper than a new saw; and probably better than the Rigid.
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toller wrote:

And you still have that miserable Craftsman excuse for a fence??
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Unfortunately this is not an old craftsman, it's a benchtop model 24888 that I picked up before I knew which way was up. It is undoubtedly the worst item in my shop, except of course when my brother stops in :) . Maybe I should've mentioned the model in my first post.
--
Joe



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Joe,
I bought the Rigid 3650 about four or five months ago to replace my Dewalt 744 benchtop saw. I was also looking at the Grizzly G0444z at the time. I ended up buying the Rigid because Home Depot had a deal where if you signed up for a commercial account you received 50% off your first tool purchase. With the saw marked at $547 I was able to buy it for less than $300, which is about what I got for my Dewalt selling it used. So far I've been happy with the Rigid. The larger table surface (than the Dewalt) has been great to work on. The wings are cast iron and overall the saw is well machined and went together fairly quickly. One small complaint is that the dust port is only 2 1/2" so with my dust collection system I have to use a 2 1/2" to 4" adapter. I like that it has a built in mobile base because my shop is small and I have to move my tools around a lot. It is a little less powerful than the Grizzly if you go by HP ratings (2 vs. 1 1/2") but for what I'm going to use it for mostly- cutting sheet stock and hardwoods less than 2" thick it has plenty of power. I would look for a sale at HD if you're interested in the saw. E-mail me if you have other questions.
Dale Cadillacjoe wrote:

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Dale,
Thanks for the input. I believe my best bet would be to bite the bullet and drive out to HD to see it in person. The dust port won't be a problem for me as I don't really have a dust collection system yet, aside from the trusty shop vac. I also have a relatively small shop as well so the mobile base is a plus for me also. I guess we'll see how it holds up when I go to check it out tomorrow.
--
Joe



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I have the earlier model TS3612 and have been satisfied with it. The motor is powerful enough for what I do. The fence is convenient to use and stays accurate, once I did the initial alignment. The cast iron table top is flat and stable. For me, the mobile base is a big plus but if you have enough shop space, that may not be as useful.
Some minuses - The blade that comes with it is marginal. I immediately replaced it with a Forrest Woodworker II and now get very smooth cuts. The miter gauge is OK if left at 90 degrees but I would not depend on the angle scale for anything else. The combined splitter/guard/anti-kickback device requires some attention to keep it aligned with the kerf.
Overall, it is on a par with other contractor saws, in quality and price. To get a significant improvement, you would have to step up one of the enclosed "cabinet" saws for a higher price tag.
Pay attention to the HD sales and promotions. You can often get a break on the price that makes it even more attractive.
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wrote:

I expected as much out of the blade, so it wil be replaced as soon as possible. Thanks for the vote of confidence, it seems like this may be a decent saw after all. I'm sure I will be happier with it than my craftsman. Maybe i can turn the craftsman into a lamp or something :)
--
Joe



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I have the ridgid 3650, and it is a great saw. The built in herculift mobile base works great.
If you do a little searching, you will find alot of positive reviews (look here on the wreck or at the woodnet forum). Ignore the statements about the flexible base, as this was fixed in teh first couple months.
Now the downside... there is an ongoing controversy (affirmed by ridgid) that the arbor on some of the 3650's has a groove in it that can cause problems when making a cut with a dado blade. This can be fixed with some jb weld, and ridgid reportedly will be providing consumers with a replacement arbor at some point.
Also take a look at the new craftsman cabinet saws... yeah, I know, crapsman. Who woulda thought. They are getting good reviews; cabinet saw build for a contractor saw price.
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