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Best benchtop/budget table saw?

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Forum topic by celamens posted 09-27-2011 06:20 AM 8310 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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celamens

4 posts in 1894 days


09-27-2011 06:20 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw milling

I’m getting into woodworking and am quickly realizing that my Ryobi 10” table saw isn’t going to tow the load. The fence needs realignment before every cut, table is not adjustable, lack of power etc. It’s a great around the house, knock around saw but that is not what I need. I’m interested to hear what benchtop/budget table saw this forum would recommend. Generally I am looking for a saw that can be adjusted to square and stay put, good fence, give me lots of flexibility (ripping, crosscut, dados, and rabbets), and also mill rough lumber square that is glue ready since I don’t have a jointer. What would you all recommend? Thanks!

-- Cody - Seattle, WA


17 replies so far

View flippedcracker's profile

flippedcracker

91 posts in 1913 days


#1 posted 09-27-2011 10:17 AM

i’m in your same position, and have been checking craigslist everyday since i found this addicting site. last weekend i was able to get a craftsman jointer and disc/belt sander for $75 total. i’m hoping i can come across another deal like that for a table saw or a band saw.

View jerkylips's profile

jerkylips

273 posts in 2030 days


#2 posted 09-27-2011 09:55 PM

agree on craigslist – I got a perfect condition Ridgid 3650 this summer. I was about to give up because I hadn’t seen anything, & all of a sudden there were 3 or 4 saws for sale that met my needs. You really need to watch it every day – the good deals go quick..

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

6471 posts in 2058 days


#3 posted 09-27-2011 09:58 PM

Keep looking on CL. A good used contractor’s saw will probably serve you well. Should be able to get something workable for $300 or less. Without a jointer you will need to by lumber that is at least surfaced 2 sides and preferably straight line ripped. Any of the brands mentioned above should work. Ridgid makes a good contractor saw as well. So long as the saw is setup well and has a quality blade, you will be good to go.

View Dan's profile

Dan

3630 posts in 2340 days


#4 posted 09-27-2011 10:08 PM

For the money you cant beat a good used cast iron top contractors saw. I wouldn’t bother trying to find a better bench top TS because the chances are it wont be much if any better then the ryobi. I would tough it out and use the ryobi until you find a good used saw with a cast iron top.

I started with a small bench top TS and kept checking craigslist every day for a better saw. After several months of waiting and searching I finally found a Delta Contractors saw for 200 dollars. That saw can handle everything I need it to.

Since then I have seen several other used cast iron top table saws come up for even less then what I paid. I saw one as low as 75 dollars…. Thats going to be your best option.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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celamens

4 posts in 1894 days


#5 posted 09-27-2011 10:11 PM

Thanks everyone! I’m scouring CL every day, hopefully one will come along. I did see a decent jointer that is available but I think I’d rather invest in a table saw and planer so that I could mill my own lumber. Will worry about a jointer later.

One more question for the group. I know I am going to be working well into the future as I have developed a pretty strong passion for it. If I find a decently priced hybrid or cabinet saw do you recommend that I make the jump knowing I’ll grow into it? I just thinking bite the bullet now rather than investing and re-investing later.

Thanks again for the feedback! I’m brand new to LJ, this is a great site!

-- Cody - Seattle, WA

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ShaneA

6471 posts in 2058 days


#6 posted 09-27-2011 10:19 PM

A cabinet or hybrid saw would be a step up from a contractor. Heavier, better trunnion set up, and more adjustability. However, most will require at least 220 power and cost quite a bit more.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7207 posts in 2835 days


#7 posted 09-27-2011 10:21 PM

If you’ve got 220v and the budget, I’d definitely suggest getting a cabinet saw if you run into the right deal….they’re so much more robust than any hybrid or contractor saw. If no 220v, then a good hybrid that’s setup well and fitted with a good blade will serve you well too.

I’d suggest you avoid a benchtop saw if possible. They’re too small, too light, too loud, less reliable, etc. It’s possible to find good used full size saws with belt drive induction motors in the same price range as many benchtop saws…nearly every advantage goes to the full size stationary saws.

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

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2895 days


#8 posted 09-27-2011 10:29 PM

celamens:
Whatever you end up with be prepared to invest in a good saw blade, it will make all the difference.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View celamens's profile

celamens

4 posts in 1894 days


#9 posted 09-28-2011 07:31 AM

I took your advice and scoured CL and found a possible Ridgid 3650 with an attached router table and router. I emailed and was told it is the 3650 and it is about a year old. Can those of you that have the 3650 take a look and let me know what you think? Is this the right price? Link below.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/tls/2621090565.html

Thanks in advance!

-- Cody - Seattle, WA

View redryder's profile

redryder

2394 posts in 2562 days


#10 posted 09-28-2011 08:12 AM

I’m not a tool expert but I have never seen any Ryobi power tool that I didn’t regret buying. That table saw and router combo looks like a good bet for a new guy….......

-- mike...............

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17654 posts in 3136 days


#11 posted 09-28-2011 09:22 AM

I have found some real bargains on CL too ;-)) Lathe, planer, jointer, duct collector, routers, a good fence for my Craftsman contractor saw. Keep watching.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2099 days


#12 posted 09-28-2011 09:37 AM

The 3650 is a nice saw. It is rated very well and is close to the top in its class.

I’m not a big Dewalt fan, but my partner has a Dewalt table top saw that has the rack and pinion fence. It is repeatably and reliably a good saw on the job and at the shop.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View celamens's profile

celamens

4 posts in 1894 days


#13 posted 09-28-2011 09:49 AM

Also, can anyone tell me if the 3650 has a riving knife? I’m seeing some mixed messages.

-- Cody - Seattle, WA

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2099 days


#14 posted 09-28-2011 10:08 AM

It does not have a riving knife.

https://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/t34494/

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7207 posts in 2835 days


#15 posted 09-28-2011 12:30 PM

The TS3650 is a well proven full size traditional contractor saw with an outboard belt drive induction motor, cast iron top and wings, and a traditional splitter (no riving knife). It also has a built mobile base called a Herculift that works pretty well. It was manufactured by TTI/Ryobi for Emerson between approximately 2004 and 2007, and original sold in the $550-$600 range. A good used price is typically ~$250-$300, but with blades, router, and router table, $370 seems like a good deal. It may not be available for too long…

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

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