Who "paints the red line"?

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Forum topic by dbhost posted 09-02-2009 08:25 PM 1114 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5590 posts in 2652 days

09-02-2009 08:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question trick

It seems like the first thing after setting up and aligning all the things that need aligned on the Ryobi BT3×00 series saws, one of the first things new owners do is “paint the red line”, meaning they literally take, usually model paint, or a paint pen, or even a sharpie, and make a thin red line exactly in line with the blade in the piece of table between the front rail, and the blade…

I have never seen this done on any other table saw. Just the Ryobi BT3×00 (and its Craftsman cousins).

Why is that? This seems like such a no brainer. If you can see the red line, you know if you are crossing it with anything that you might not want sawn through like your thumb… This seems to me a HUGE safety feature that others might want.

Do owners of other saws do this? I mean other saws other than Ryobi? (I have seen a few BTS-21 owners do this as well…)

BTW, if you are unfamiliar with the top of the BT3×00, it is not smooth / flat, but rather ribbed with the tops of the ribs milled flat, the paint line is in the valley between two of the ribs.

-- My workshop blog can be found at

6 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3069 days

#1 posted 09-02-2009 08:30 PM

I had the Bosch 4100, it had a little circle indent in the table top ahead of the blade where they put a paper sticker that you can mark with a pencil where the blade cut line is – more to help align cuts before it contacts the blade. it does sounds like a good safety procedure.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 2947 days

#2 posted 09-02-2009 10:11 PM

Sears saws have a like bright colored disk for making…

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2997 days

#3 posted 09-02-2009 10:15 PM

Bt 3000 came with a red line.

-- Custom furniture

View EEngineer's profile


1054 posts in 3034 days

#4 posted 09-02-2009 10:16 PM

Later Emerson saws (Sears, Ridgid, ???) all had a little plastic circle insert in the cast-iron tables before the blade. I think it was called “Exacti-cut”. That was its whole purpose in life; scribe a line (or two for the thickness of the blade) and you knew exactly where the cut was going to be.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2715 posts in 2707 days

#5 posted 09-02-2009 11:03 PM

Maybe I’m missing something here. Personally, if I need a thin red line to tell me I’m too close to the blade with my thumb—-I’m too close to the blade! I am a strong believer in safety, and still have all ten fingers, and expect to keep them.
However, if you’re using it for alignment, then it’s a different issue. Maybe it would be a good tool.


View dustyandlefty's profile


1 post in 2596 days

#6 posted 09-15-2009 03:58 PM

Here’s why the red line: The Ryobi BT3 saws and some of their Craftsman cousin and the BT21 have the infinately adjustable miter bar on a sliding table instead of the usual miter gauge riding in a track. It is easy to slide the miter bar too far to the right when switching cut angles or setting it up after doing a lot of ripping. Usually your first indication that you’ve got the bar too far to the right will be seeing bits of black plastic in with your sawdust as you watch the cut—where did they come from??? You’ve just sawed off part of the plastic “ear” on the right edge of the miter bar. The red line is useful to remind you to check the location of the edge of the miter bar on a Ryobi when you line up your cut.

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