LumberJocks

Which Contractor Saw - Ridgid, Masterforce, Craftsman?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by apehl posted 12-28-2016 02:52 PM 1389 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View apehl's profile

apehl

48 posts in 284 days


12-28-2016 02:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw masterforce ridgid delta contractor saw menards

I am a weekend DIYer. I have an older Bosch 4000 worksite saw. It has a lot of power but it is bruised up and starting to become unsafe. I would like to have a larger contractor saw so i can have more stability and the ability to make more sleds. I am considering the Ridgid, Masterforce, Craftsman option. I can get the masterforce for the least amount of money ($400 with store credit), and it claims it is a 15 amp while the other two are 13 amp. Although it doesnt have as many reviews since it is a Menards brand. They all seem to be cut from the same cloth but the motors must be different? What are your thoughts? How are the fences on them compared to others?

The other thought is to get a Delta 36-725 (i would have to spend a little more). I have heard mixed reviews on all of these saws but want to hear from some of you with experience with them. I would like to spend $650 or less. One day when i get out of my 1 stall garage (which is still used to park our suv) I will get into a nice cabinet saw, but for now i just need an upgrade. Thank You!


18 replies so far

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

7012 posts in 1757 days


#1 posted 12-28-2016 03:07 PM

I wouldn’t buy any of those new. Go on craigslist and find an old Craftsman 113.XXX model and keep saving for a better saw once you get out of your current garage.

$100-150 for the saw, maybe have to put a new pulley, link belt, or clean up some rust. Once you get frustrated enough with the fence, another $175 for a Delta T2 fence. That <$300 combo will be better than any of the ones you listed.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View gailmo's profile

gailmo

17 posts in 645 days


#2 posted 12-28-2016 03:23 PM

I am somewhat new to woodworking. Had a bad kickback accident on a Shopsmith, so I purchased a Ridgid contractor’s saw because it had a riving knife, pawls and a blade guard. I have been happy with it. It has done most of everything I have asked of it! The fence is good. I switched out the blade and made a cross cut table. My Rockler router table feather boards fit it. And it was $299 at Home Depot on Black Friday (2015). I just finished making some endcut cutting boards with my Xcut table. Went through the walnut/hard maple like butter! I know there are better and more expensive saws—but for my tiny space, it works well.

View apehl's profile

apehl

48 posts in 284 days


#3 posted 12-28-2016 04:35 PM

jmartel is this similar to what you are talking about craftsman table saw . quite a bit more than what you were talking about. What about older deltas? I can get a delta 36-978 for 225?

Curious if your recommendation is based off of motor, fence, or what?

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

7012 posts in 1757 days


#4 posted 12-28-2016 04:41 PM

Yes. That person is way out to lunch on their price, though. I bought 2 of them that were $100 each. Neither one had any rust on them or anything. The going rate for that style is $100-150 typically unless it has an aftermarket fence.

EDIT: Here’s one for $150 that’s a little bit of a drive from Cedar Rapids. But it shows what I mean. Just needs cleaned up. Even already has the mobile base.

http://quadcities.craigslist.org/tls/5880763315.html

They are available everywhere, parts are super cheap, the motor is just fine for most stuff up to 2” thick hardwoods, etc. The fence isn’t the greatest, which is why I would look into replacing with a Delta T2 fence or T3 fence, but other than that it’s a very solid saw. Just double check the fence setting front and back before making a cut and you’ll be fine. I used one for several years before I got my Grizzly hybrid.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7575 posts in 2982 days


#5 posted 12-28-2016 05:24 PM


jmartel is this similar to what you are talking about craftsman table saw . quite a bit more than what you were talking about. What about older deltas? I can get a delta 36-978 for 225?

Curious if your recommendation is based off of motor, fence, or what?

- apehl

That one’s at least got the better fence, but $375 is quite a bit over the mark IMO. $250ish tops .

The Delta 36-978 for $225 should be a nice deal if the saw is in reasonable running shape. Is that the one with the cast iron wings and Delta T2 fence?

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View RibsBrisket4me's profile

RibsBrisket4me

1555 posts in 2112 days


#6 posted 12-29-2016 04:32 AM

I have a Craftsman 113.xxxxxx contractor saw made in 1996. I’ve thought about “upgrading” many time over the years. I never needed to.

I wrote a detailed review of this saw on this site.

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/product/3709

I still think they are great value workhorses.

View apehl's profile

apehl

48 posts in 284 days


#7 posted 12-29-2016 05:07 AM

Jmartel I am more up north by Mason City. All the 113s up here are in really rough shape.

Knotscott what is your opinion on the masterforce style. I could get that one new for 350. I d9nt think the delta has cast iron wings, I will attach photos. How does that compare to the delta to? There is one for 200 here locally.
36-978 ($225)

Ts300 ($200)

Appreciate the continued help guys. Ribsbrisket4me that was a good review on the 113, if the opportunity arises I would take advantage of the saw.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7575 posts in 2982 days


#8 posted 12-29-2016 11:40 AM

I’d be giving that Delta 36-978 for $225 a good look….surprised it’s not sold already. It’s left tilt, has a nice T2 fence, and IIRC it has built in wheels. It also appears to be in nice shape. It’s pre-riving knife, but has a stock splitter…or you could add a Microjig splitter, or possibly the BORK to it. Add a decent blade and possibly a Harbor Freight link belt, and you’d have good saw ready to perform for well < $300. It’ll be easy to resell for the original price if you should ever want to upgrade.

AFAIK, the Masterforce is pretty much the 21833 and the R4512. The riving knife and warranty (assuming it’s new) are the only really positives I see over the Delta. They all have a long history of alignment issues and a lesser fence. If you get one that isn’t plagued with problems, it should work out fine.

Forget the T300….it’s a smaller compact saw with a direct drive universal motor. Descendant of the 36-600…my first saw.

There’s a Ridgid 3650 in Des Moines….good saw (basically the newest version of the 113). They’re asking $350, and claim that MSRP was $950 (MSRP was ~ $600). It’s got some surface rust that should clean up nicely, and doesn’t have the blade guard….all bargaining chips to get the price closer to $250. Listing is 2 months old. http://desmoines.craigslist.org/tls/5862683745.html

This Craftsman is listed too high, cut could be worth an offer of around $300 – It’s got the better fence, nobile base, and solid cast iron wings. http://rmn.craigslist.org/tls/5879943401.html

Another Craftsman with the better fence, mobile base, nice shape, blade guard, etc. Priced right at $250.http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ank/tls/5933689770.html

Here’s an older 113 that’d be a good candidate to add a T3 fence too. http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/tls/5897728283.html

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7575 posts in 2982 days


#9 posted 12-29-2016 02:42 PM



...Another Craftsman with the better fence, mobile base, nice shape, blade guard, etc. Priced right at $250.http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ank/tls/5933689770.html
- knotscott

Also has a cast router wing…missed that at first glance. This is the from the 315 series, made between 1997 and 2004, so may have been purchased 10 years ago, but is at least 12 YO. Basically the same design as the 113, but with a better fence, and is made by TTI/Ryobi in Asia….same factory and basic design as the Ridgid 3650.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View apehl's profile

apehl

48 posts in 284 days


#10 posted 12-30-2016 03:02 AM

Knotscott thank you for the in depth reviews. I am going to look into the delta 36-978. I am looking for close by options when it comes to a craftsman 113. However I am considering new options just for convenience and spacial constraints that I will have with outboard motor options.

Do you have any input on the delta 36-725. I have been reading some reviews on it and wonder if this is a good new option for the price.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7575 posts in 2982 days


#11 posted 12-30-2016 12:57 PM



Knotscott thank you for the in depth reviews. I am going to look into the delta 36-978. I am looking for close by options when it comes to a craftsman 113. However I am considering new options just for convenience and spacial constraints that I will have with outboard motor options.

Do you have any input on the delta 36-725. I have been reading some reviews on it and wonder if this is a good new option for the price.

- apehl

From what I can tell, the 36-725 has a cleaner track record than the R4512 and 21833, and a better fence. Most owners seem happy, and I haven’t read any consistent complaints that suggest a glaring design problem. It’ll have a tad less power than the 36-978, but setup and blade selection will have far more impact than just the motor power….the drive system of the 36-725 might be more efficient too (shorter). Time will tell how robust they are.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View apehl's profile

apehl

48 posts in 284 days


#12 posted 01-03-2017 03:57 PM

Thank you for all your feedback. As for now im going to continue to watch craigslist and other sites for good deals. With it being winter in Iowa I don’t have the same need/demand for the upgrade at this moment. In the event that I havent come across a great deal by spring I am going to go with the Delta 36-725. Someday, when i have the money and space i will get a cabinet saw.

One question I still have is about the power of my bosch 4000, direct drive, worksite saw and how a new saw (say the 36-725) will perform? The Bosch is 15 amps and 4hp, will I see a significant decrease in cutting capability with a belt driven 13 amp saw? I don’t cut a lot of hardwood, but at times I rip 2×4 pine/construction grade boards, and i want to make sure that i actually am able to upgrade my ability to cut some of that stock.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7575 posts in 2982 days


#13 posted 01-03-2017 10:05 PM


...One question I still have is about the power of my bosch 4000, direct drive, worksite saw and how a new saw (say the 36-725) will perform? The Bosch is 15 amps and 4hp, will I see a significant decrease in cutting capability with a belt driven 13 amp saw? I don t cut a lot of hardwood, but at times I rip 2×4 pine/construction grade boards, and i want to make sure that i actually am able to upgrade my ability to cut some of that stock.

- apehl

Cutting performance involves more than amps and HP ratings. Blade, setup and technique are big variables. The Bosch has a universal motor that derives more of it’s cutting power from higher RPM, and less torque. The Delta has an induction motor that’s higher torque and lower RPM.

The Bosch isn’t really more than 2 usable hp for long enough to mention….4hp at the moment it’s struck by lightning and goes up in flames ;-) In terms or ratings, the Bosch appears slightly beefier, but it gives that up once the blade actually comes under load and the RPM gets reduces….you’ll be more likely to have to ease off or back out a bit with Bosch. That doesn’t really answer your question, because it’s really not an absolute situation that’s easily answered definitively….they’re different animals, but I’d be more comfortable in the long run with the torque of an induction motor in my camp.

The upgrade will be in torque, overall mass and stability, table space (especially in front of the blade), possible upgrades and accessories, materials of construction, I suspect the fence, ease of working the handwheels, and long term reliability. It should simply be nicer to use, but I doubt you’ll be able to tell which saw made a cut by looking at a cut board. Do you know anyone in your area who has an old style contractor saw or newer hybrid to try? If so, bring a decent blade and some wood and try it on both saws.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View apehl's profile

apehl

48 posts in 284 days


#14 posted 01-10-2017 03:17 AM

Knotscott what do you think of this deal the seller said he would part with it for $500. Another Jet http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ank/tls/5878894664.html. lastly this Delta 36-431http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/wsh/tls/5951384604.html . I have been watching other table saw reviews. Wonderimg if not having riving knives or table mounted trunnions on these is worth looking elsewhere, unless one of these is a good enough deal.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

455 posts in 198 days


#15 posted 01-10-2017 07:19 AM

The Bosch isn t really more than 2 usable hp for long enough to mention….4hp at the moment it s struck by lightning and goes up in flames ;-) In terms or ratings, the Bosch appears slightly beefier, but it gives that up once the blade actually comes under load and the RPM gets reduces….

- knotscott


I hear it all the time but I had quite a different experience. I had the cheapest possible bench table saw, which I bought at ACE hardware for $60 when they were still selling them.
It had a no name standard kerf 40 tooth blade.
I ripped 8/4 hard maple on it with with zero problems.
So I would say any table saw is sufficient for a home shop when it comes to the motor power. You probably will have to cut very thick hard pieces slower but who cares ? Its not like you need to rip two truckloads in one day.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com