I am considering the purchase of a Ryobi
10 In. Portable Table Saw (model BTS15) at Home Depot priced at $139.00 & am
looking for any thoughts from people familiar with this saw. I am strictly a
DIY'er looking for an inexpensive saw for light use but don't want to throw
away my money either.
Like any cheap tool, it will cut, but has limitations. I had a cheap saw
and it got me by for a couple of years until I decided that I like
woodworking and started to make bigger and better projects.
Incrementally, you are in the low end, but to get much better, you'd have to
spend at least $400, maybe $600. Next step is closer to $1000, and the best
cabinet saw is about $1500 and up.
If you plan to make a half dozen cuts a year, it may be the best buy for
you. Making shelves for the garage or toys for the kids, it will be fine.
If you plan to expand and make much nicer fixtures and furniture, save up
and buy in the $500 range. If you decide to advance, the $139 saw is a good
gift to a brother in law when you step up.
What you get is better accuracy of the fence, easier to set. Bigger table
from cast iron, more power for thicker material, ease of use. My big
complaint with the small saw is the inability to cross cut anything wider
than a 1 x 6. Next is the sloppy fit of the miter. Smaller saws often will
not accept a dado blade. But it did cut and I did make stuff. You can see
some of the doll furniture on my web page made on a cheap Craftsman saw.
You will want to invest in a better blade rather soon. Good blades start at
about $50 and go up to $150.
You also will want to learn to use it safely. Make a couple of push sticks,
never use the miter and fence at the same time, never put your hands within
a few inches of the blade, support the work when ripping long boards. I
have no fear of my saw, but I have a lot of respect for it.
OK good, now we're getting some details.
I take it you have some hands on experience of this saw?
....or is it just some more generalised and opinionated crap trashing
some product you have probably walked passed in the aisle not giving it
a second glance, never mind actually using one!
My point is that the OP asked for opinion from people with experience.
Not one of you are familiar with the saw but are more than willing to
To the OP, there are a couple of Ryobi forums where you will likely get
a more informed opinion:
You don't need hours of experience using cheap tools to know they are
sub-par compared to quality tools. If the $139 saw was so good, they would
not be selling $2000 saws that do the "same" thing, right?
Visual inspection reveals many differences, such as table top size, table
quality (stamped steel or cast aluminum versus machined cast iron), the
power of the motor of a direct drive system versus one or three belts for
smoother quieter operation. Did I mention power? If you are cutting 1/4"
plywood, you don't need much, but just rip that 12/4 oak and see the
Ryobi makes low quality tools. They serve a purpose in the scheme of
things, but please, don't stick up and say they are very good. They are
not. It may be suitable for the once or twice a year making a shelf for the
garage, but there is a reason you don't see their stuff in serious shops and
Make a few cuts on the $139 Ryobi, then do the same operations on a Delta
contractor saw with a Biesemeyer fence.
I bought the Ryobi BT3000, predecessor to the TS in question in 5/92
and it has done most of what has been asked of it. It was designed as
a BENCHTOP saw made with light materials for field use instead of the
primary saw in a cabinet saw. It is NOT direct drive but utilizes two
belts driven with a universal motor that requires hearing protection
as warned in the owners manual. I've ripped 2" white oak with the
BT3000 several times. Can't compare the efficiency with a cabinet saw
as I haven't used one. Beats a hand saw! A construction job foreman
posted several years ago he had to buy three BT3000s each year for
each of his three crews as they wouldn't work with anything else.
Brings to mind the Packard Motor Car Co slogan "Ask the man that owns
I happen to have a Ryobi table saw and have used it for about 10 years.
I would buy another one if I ever wear it out. It's a good light duty
saw and cuts very accurate. Some folks have had trouble with the belt
drive but I never have. Hope this helps.........
On 25 Nov 2005 06:56:29 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
========================================I did not see the original posters post...
I have used the BT3100 (or whatever the correct number is) and I
actually recomended one for my son to buy....
His use is EXTREMELY light... just normal around the house stuff
shelving in the garage, etc...
Now I own an older Reckwell/Delta contractors saw . have for years!
and I also own a Jet Cabinet saw...which is my primary Table Saw.
NO way would I own that Roybi saw FOR MY WORK....It would give out
within a few days or a month at best...IN MY SHOP...
It is for lack of a better discription "very delicate"... not built to
take punishment... BUT the sliding table worked just fine...(see
above because I have the feeling it would be knocked out of adjustment
real quick).. treated with kid gloves it should be ok...
So IF the original poster wanted a saw for small jobs, infrequent use,
and Light work... he, like my son, may be able to get by with the saw
just fine... IF the original posted wanted to do some semi serious
woodworking...then In my opinion he should look for regular
contractors saw. at least....
If getting your cuts square matters, regardless of "light" use, you
should consider spending another hundred bucks for a low end Delta or
Ridgid. The problem with the very cheapest tools is that they can't do
the job right even once.
Personally I wouldn't use a table saw for square cuts. For that I'd
move my material to a sliding compound miter saw. Unless the material
is less than 2ft or so you can't control it well on a table saw to get
accurate squre cuts.
Then you need a better saw. A quality saw with a good fence, can be very
accurate on large sized items. I can do 30" wide on my Delta with
Beisemeyer fence and be within 1/32. If I had the room for hte 50" fence,
I'd be able to do that also. On smaller pieces, I can be even more
===================Ed you beat me to the punch.... LOL...
I do own a sliding table compound miter saw..
And I also own a tablesaw...But .. I do have the 50" Bies .
Makes no difference however...I would no more think of using My
sliding compound miter saw to square a panel then to use My bandsaw..
Accuracy with the tablesaw is dead on.. the CMS is nowhere near as
accurate... I do use a old Delta/Rockwell contractor saw (with a
sled) as a dedicated cut off saw... its limited however to no wider
then 17 inch boards...thats all that saw does is to cross cut
I have a BT3000. Have had it for about 5 years. I think it has reached
the end of the road. It's been getting harder and harder to raise and
lower the blade. Now it won't budge. I have used it for far more than
the light use recomended which is why it is finally dieing. Everything
everyone says about lightweight and Ryobi machines is essentially true.
You get what you pay for. If this will be your first machine it is a
good entry level machine. When you have used it to the end of it's life
in 4-5 years you will know what you ae looking for in a better machine.
If you are only making 5 or 6 cuts a year, they will do that for you at
home depot or wherever you buy your lumber. Don't bother to take up the
space in your basement or garage.
I gather you rexperience is fairly limited, don't get offended,
everyone starts somewhere or you would know the limitations of $139
machine. The good thing about a lightweight machine is you can move it
easily. However it won't take a lot of abuse. Ripping 8ft 4 x 4s. like
I did. Ripping long miters on 2 x 4s. with a dull blade. I liked the
fact that it would cut a 4 x 4. Not all of them do. The fence was
pretty sloppy. I'd have to be extra careful if I was making a set of
drawers for example. Have to measure at each end of the fence to msak
sure it was parallel to the blade. Stuff like that. Hope this helps
I bought the BT3000 in 5/1992 and had trouble raising/lowering the
blade and stripped the gear used because it is aluminum and was dirty.
My experience is far from the lifespan you assert. It was designed as
a lightweight benchtop tool as name confirms, Precision Benchtop
Cutting System therefore the use of lightweight aluminum. The gear
stripped because I didn't maintain it properly and keep it clean! I
use it almost daily and would buy it again with space constraints
experienced sharing a garage with a car. I found out after a couple
of years the back/far end of the rip fence should be hooked to the
back rail prior to clamping down to secure. It DOES NOT move when
installed properly. The universal motor is LOUD and the owners manual
recommends using hearing protection, rightfully so! As Packard
Motorcar Co slogan suggested years ago "Ask the man that owns one"!
Clean the gear mechanism before it is stripped!
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