Ryobi BTS20 or BT3100 - any users?

The Home Depot in my area is now selling the BTS20 unit for $200, and the BT3100 for $300. They don't carry the BTS10, which appears to be the same as the BTS20, but without the folding legs and no extending table. Personally, I would be interested in a mythical "BTS15", which would have the extending table but no folding legs.
After working the mechinisms (sans power) for both the BTS20 and BT3100, I was wondering if perhaps these saws were either set up poorly by Home Depot, do not stand up well to use (as they have only been there about 10-15 days at the most), or else are they always supposed to be this stiff and bind extremly easily? For example, the extending table on the BTS20 was almost impossible to put back in after I slid it out about half-way, the miter gauge slid EXTREMLY poorly and jammed when I slid it, and the fancy miter guage on the BT3100 was apparently completly broken - I could not get it to move at all.
I belive that these saws have been out for 30-60 days at least, so I'm pretty sure that someone on rec.woodworking have some true-hands on before I purchase either of these, and would be willing to share their experiances with either of these units. I don't expect these to stack up to some $800 device, but would like to know if my limited testing shows these are poorly designed or just poorly displayed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (TC) wrote:

I bought a BT-3000 (almost identical to the -3100) about 4 years ago. I'm just in the processing of upgrading to a unisaw (it got delivered the other day, but it's not set up yet).
For a beginning woodworker, I found the BT-3000 to be a reasonable machine and a good value. It certainly has its limitations but if you don't abuse it, and have a bit of patience getting it set up and configured, it's an OK machine.
I don't think you can touch the feature set (sliding table, excellent dust collection, smooth and accurate fence, etc) for anywhere near the price. Keep in mind, for that price you get plastic and aluminum, not cast iron. But it's well engineered plastic and aluminum :-)
Now, as for the display unit you saw at the borg. Undoubtedly, it was put together by some drone who didn't bother to read the instructions, didn't take the time to do it right, and probably didn't give a damn how it came out. In addition, it's been abused by 100 people a day since then. No wonder it looks like garbage. On my saw (4 years old, but set up and treated with care), the sliding table and fence move with one finger. Adjusting the miter gauge is a pain, I'll admit that.
Bottom line, it's a decent saw and a good value. If you're expecting a professional quality tool, you'll be disapointed. But it doesn't come with a professional quality price tag either.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Take it as a given that _anything_ at HD is 'poorly displayed' -- at least if the display has been up for more than 15 minutes. <grin>
The BT3100 is generally regarded as an *outstanding* piece of equipment for the money involved. You've got to spend more than twice the money to get something appreciably better.
If finances, or other reasons, prohibit considering a good used contractor saw (e.g., delta, dewalt, etc.), the BT3100 *is* the way to go.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
: The Home Depot in my area is now selling the BTS20 unit for $200, and : the BT3100 for $300.
<SNIP> : : After working the mechinisms (sans power) for both the BTS20 and : BT3100, I was wondering if perhaps these saws were either set up : poorly by Home Depot, <SNIP> : I don't expect these to stack : up to some $800 device, but would like to know if my limited testing : shows these are poorly designed or just poorly displayed.
I would be shocked to find a BT 3100 set up properly at any Home Depot. It's not difficult to do, but it's beyond their drones. (The Sliding Miter Table is usually installed bass-ackwards -- but this might be deliberate in order to prevent someone from snagging themselves on it as they clumsily clamber by in tight quarters.)
I have had my BT 3100 for a year now and have absolutely no complaints about it. It is a fantastic value. The Sliding Miter Table, the stock Rip Fence, the stock Freud Blade and the built-in dust collection are quantum leaps ahead of what you'll find on saws that cost two-to-three times as much.
Initial setup is a breeze if you simply follow the steps in the order given in the (very well done) instruction manual. My saw required very little tweaking out-of-the-box. It was dead on square in nearly all respects.
The saw *is* a precision instrument that will hold settings well but it's not for the ham-fisted lout of a user. Treat it with reasonable care and you'll be growing into it for many years to come.
Drop in and ask questions of real users at http://www.bt3central.com/forum/default.asp .
--
Steve
www.ApacheTrail.com/ww/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ryobi is junk. Which you'll eventually find out.
Steve wrote:

----== Posted via Newsfeed.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==---- http://www.newsfeed.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! >100,000 Newsgroups ---= 19 East/West-Coast Specialized Servers - Total Privacy via Encryption =---
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
: > : The Home Depot in my area is now selling the BTS20 unit for $200, and : > : the BT3100 for $300. : > : > <SNIP> : > : : > : After working the mechinisms (sans power) for both the BTS20 and : > : BT3100, I was wondering if perhaps these saws were either set up : > : poorly by Home Depot, : > <SNIP> : > : I don't expect these to stack : > : up to some $800 device, but would like to know if my limited testing : > : shows these are poorly designed or just poorly displayed. : > : > : > I would be shocked to find a BT 3100 set up properly at any Home Depot. : > It's not difficult to do, but it's beyond their drones. (The Sliding Miter : > Table is usually installed bass-ackwards -- but this might be deliberate in : > order to prevent someone from snagging themselves on it as they clumsily : > clamber by in tight quarters.) : > : > I have had my BT 3100 for a year now and have absolutely no complaints about : > it. : > It is a fantastic value. The Sliding Miter Table, the stock Rip Fence, the : > stock Freud Blade and the built-in dust collection are quantum leaps ahead : > of what you'll find on saws that cost two-to-three times as much. : > : > Initial setup is a breeze if you simply follow the steps in the order given : > in the (very well done) instruction manual. My saw required very little : > tweaking out-of-the-box. It was dead on square in nearly all respects. : > : > The saw *is* a precision instrument that will hold settings well but it's : > not for the ham-fisted lout of a user. Treat it with reasonable care and : > you'll be growing into it for many years to come. : > : > Drop in and ask questions of real users at : > http://www.bt3central.com/forum/default.asp . : > : : : : ----== Posted via Newsfeed.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==---- : http://www.newsfeed.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! >100,000 Newsgroups : ---= 19 East/West-Coast Specialized Servers - Total Privacy via Encryption =---
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That would be like saying Harbor Freight sells only junk.
Ryobi certainly makes more than their fair share of junk, no question. Don't even *think* of buying their biscuit joiner, at least not if you think biscuits should be used for alignment. Ditto on the BTS10 -- of course, I doubt any other $100 table saw is any better.
Now, the BT3100 is a very good saw, on the other hand. You'll think it's a piece of crap if you keep hauling it to job sites, but if you treat it with respect, and give it the time it needs in tuning, it will treat you well in return. You really can't do any better for the price.
--randy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A post a couple of years ago said a construction foreman was asked to buy BT3000 for his crews and was buying 3 each for each crew. Some find value.
On Fri, 07 Nov 2003 02:04:54 GMT, "Randy Chapman"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would be interested to know why you say that - what makes it junk, either to you, or in general? What specific gripes do you have with Ryobi tools, or these two units specifically? Other responders have pointed out whatever flaws there are, and how to deal with them. If you're just trolling, rec.woodworking is a rather curious place to go off in.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (TC) wrote in message

I have the 3100. I upgraded from a Craftsman, and there's a huge difference (granted, to most people on the wreck that's not saying much, but this is I*M*HO). I love the 3100. It set up nice and easy, didn't require any major adjustments or diddling, and has done everything I've asked it to do. It's quieter than the Craftsman, seems to be more accurate, and the dust collection that's built in is pretty good (but not 100%). I don't (or haven't yet) used the sliding miter table--I 'borrowed' a miter gauge off another tool, and just used that. Just a personal preference thing. I try to leave the blade guard on all the time, but sometimes have to take it off for dadoes and whatnot--it's actually pretty easy to get to. Just stick your hand through the slot where the dust collection port goes in the back (you'll see what I mean...), reach up, and the b/g is right there.

Again, just MHO, but I don't think the HD folks know how to set them up properly. I went to about 4 different HD stores in the area (western 'burbs of Chicago) before I could find a place that had one in stock. It seemed like every store had it set up differently, and set up *wrong*. I ran into the same stuff you did--pieces wouldn't more or slide properly, etc. But the bottom line is if you read the book, do it carefully and slowly, it sets up nice.
Hope this helps...
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
@hotmail.com says...

HD generally doesn't bother to set these things up right. If they do, then someone usually manages to mess them up rather quickly.
There is a small metal tab on the sliding miter gauge of the BT3n00 that locks it in place. I Believe it's still in the lower right corner, but beware, quite often they assemble the sliding table backwards because it sticks out just enough to catch peoples legs otherwise.
for the full story, check out http://www.bt3central.com/ This is an independent group of Ryobi owners/fans.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks to everyone that responded, and referring me to http://www.bt3central.com/ as a further source of information on the BT3100 unit. I gather that the BTS20 is too new a unit for anyone to have used yet, or those that do haven't had a chance to respond yet. Given the size of my shop (about 1/2 a typical garage), I'm seriously leaning towards the BTS20, even though the BT3100 has more features, larger user base, and more upgrade possbilities. The only thing I don't think much of about the BT3100 (without actually owning it of course) is the combo lift/tilt mechanism - seems too fancy. I prefer the BTS20's design, which is less complicated. Either are better than the Delta's TS200 and others style, which is the usual unlock, yank, and pray.
I was able to take the time recently to stop in to another Home Depot that I was passing by on a trip, and they had the saws set up there, too (oddly enough, the price for the BTS20 there was $230, vs $200 here). Again, the units were set up extremly poorly. Based on *just* how the units were displayed, I would not be purchasing them - if I had not bothered to research them on my own and ask questions here, I doubt I would be purchasing them from Home Depot. I have written a letter to both Ryobi and HD about this, so maybe something will change. The cynical part of me says doubtful, since they were displaying them next to $$$$ Rigid units that were very nice - you can figure which one they would want to sell.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Apples and oranges, TC. The BTS20 is more your typical contractor's saw -- throw it in the back of the pickup and drive off to the job site. The BT3100 is, as Ryobi puts it, a *precision* woodworking system. As others have pointed out, you can't get comparable features for twice the money, but it does require careful setup to get the full benefits from it. I have never heard anybody complain about the lift/tilt mechanism giving problems. Now the shims on the original BT3000 on the other hand...
bt3central is a good forum, but the Ryobi one is better for discussions. Go to http://www.ryobitools.com/ and follow the Tool Forum -> BT3x00 link. They're a great bunch of guys.
--
Vince Heuring. To email, remove the Vince.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.