Want to buy a new table saw - quick questions about space

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Forum topic by briandickens posted 07-29-2008 04:34 PM 3453 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 3612 days

07-29-2008 04:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw newbie small workshop garage bosch ridgid contractor saw benchtop saw

I am just starting out with woodworking and want to buy some equipment to get started. I’d like to build some furniture (tables, dresser, maybe a futon), maybe kitchen cabinets if i can get good enough. I’ve been told that the first purchase should be a table saw. My workshop space is limited, as is my budget. So no $1200 cabinet saws for me. I am currently looking at either a contractor type table saw or one of the benchtop saws. Specifically, I’ve read a lot of good things about the Ridgid 3660 and the Bosch 4000 and 4100. Ideally I’d get the 3660, but I’m concerned with how much room it will take when not in use. Can it collapse down at all? If the table ends don’t come off, i might be better off with a benchtop saw like the Bosch, even though it would feel like i’m getting less saw for my money.

Anyway, thoughts?

14 replies so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3750 days

#1 posted 07-29-2008 05:05 PM

you could check through the reviews. there are some good reviews of bosch and ridgid in there. Probably some reviews of the ones ou are looking at. i have a ridgid 2400ls and really like it. also, it folds up nicely.

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3612 days

#2 posted 07-29-2008 05:23 PM

When I first started doing woodworking (as a hobby) without consulting anyone with ww background, I bought a contractor saw, thinking that it did not use up much my limited space. I was wrong. With 8’ X 6’ working space I cannot do much with my table saw. To rip a 6’ long board on my table saw, I need 12’ long working space. But that is not the end of the world. I used to firstly cut workpiece to final length then rip it on TS when I need to.

If you have the chance to do woodworking outside (other than in a dedicated space or room) I think portable benchtop saw is a good solution. Do your ripping task in the open-space outside the room. I read a lot of good things about Bosch 4100DG-09 in the ww magazines and customers’ review at . Do some search and research before you decide to buy one.

Good luck.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3612 days

#3 posted 07-29-2008 05:24 PM

And think also about your future space if there is.

Good luck.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View briandickens's profile


17 posts in 3612 days

#4 posted 07-29-2008 05:38 PM

thanks. i am looking at using a one car garage for working. i could take the saw outside if needed. i also would move the car out of the garage. i am mostly concerned with the storage space needed as the place is going to be tight. i think the portability of the bosch or the similar ridgid saw is going to win out.

do the addon outfeed support and left side support bring the bosch or ridgid any closer to the function of the larger sized contractor saw?

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3695 days

#5 posted 07-29-2008 06:58 PM

While I don’t want to sound like I’m bashing the other saws they are completely different animals than the contractor style saw.

I personally got rid of my Universal motor driven saw in favor of a contractor saw. However I don’t have quite the same space issues as you do. My shop is a Garage stall but it’s dedicated.

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3670 days

#6 posted 07-29-2008 07:10 PM

I have the Bosch 4100 and I think it kicks all the other contractor saws ass, but it does come at a higher price – but you do get the best, top of the line safety devices on it that no other saw has (not even most contractor saws).

checkout my review: Bosch 4100 review

I have had the same space limitations you might have – and I might even had a tighter space than you have (maybe) so it was important to have something portable that can be moved around, and stored away.

I cannot see myself upgrade to a contractor saw anytime soon – not before they have one in the market with a riving knife and dual blade guard (both come standard with the Bosch 4100)

hope this helps

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

View briandickens's profile


17 posts in 3612 days

#7 posted 07-29-2008 07:14 PM

maybe i should measure out my space. that might help. i’m going to need to get a workbench in there too. there’s an old table in there now, but that’s getting tossed in favor of a bench i will build. there might be room to store the contractor saw. using it might be a different story, but storing it should be fine. i guess.

View Slacker's profile


178 posts in 3723 days

#8 posted 07-30-2008 03:36 AM

I have the Bosch 4000-09. which is the model that preceeds the 4100-09. To make space for the new model, Lowes had a really, really good price on the 4000-09.

The reviews in are dead on. The saw is excellent, everything stows away neatly, and shrinking the entire thing into a little nothing is a snap. The only problem that I have seen is that it is extremely messy, even with a shop vac attached to it.

Oh, also get a thinner kerf blade. I got the Porter Cable Razor blade (available in the store here at LJ). Oh, and another thing, get something like the GRRR-gripper which they sell at Woodcraft. It is always a good thing to do what you can to keep all your fingers.

-- Adapt, improvise, overcome

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3612 days

#9 posted 07-31-2008 08:13 PM

I have GRRRR-gripper.
I always use it on Table Saw and also Router Table with confident.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3786 days

#10 posted 08-01-2008 05:30 PM

As far as a portable saw goes, alot of contractors up here are useing the DeWalt DW744X, and there is also the DW744XRS. In contractors saws the Delta 36-979 and a Delta T2 fence both at Lowes is also a pretty fair deal.

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4013 days

#11 posted 08-01-2008 07:20 PM


I know of a few folks who use the General job site saw and absolutely love it; that being said I opted for the slightly larger contractors saw and added a mobile base. When I have anything of significant size or qty to cut I roll it outside. It has an outstanding fence and the table was dead flat and everything was aligned right out of the box.

I chose a contractors style because it seemed to be optimum of cost vs. function for me. I do not plan to do much large scale case work so therefore do not foresee a need to rip down full size sheet goods (best left to a cabinet saw). If that need does arise I plan on rough cutting the pieces using a jig saw or circular saw first then final dimensioning on my table saw.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4013 days

#12 posted 08-01-2008 07:23 PM

One other item… When deciding on what style of saw please consider if you plan on using a dado set. If you do make sure the saw you choose has an arbor that can accommodate your needs in this area. That was piece of advice a friend gave me that stopped me from buying the wrong piece of equipment.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Llarian's profile


128 posts in 3629 days

#13 posted 08-01-2008 08:24 PM

I’m a new woodworker with a Rigid TS 3650. It works pretty well and has a very good (in my opinion) built-in mobile base, so its easy to shove to the side. It does take up more room than a job site saw, but I can happily cut decent sized panels on it without much trouble, which was one of my requirements.

-- Dylan Vanderhoof - General hobbiest and reluctant penmaker.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3670 days

#14 posted 08-01-2008 11:00 PM

A few thoughts:

1. Search out the Jimmie Jig and you’ll see some potential
in a small tablesaw.

2. I prefer the guided circular saw systems like Festool and
EzSmart to a throwaway plastic table saw.

3. A contractor’s saw will probably last – plastic saw may not.

4. It sounds psychotic, but it’s a simple matter to invert a
circular saw in a sheet of plywood and fashion a fence.
Viola! cheap table saw.

5. Setting up infeed/oufeed support for full sheets of plywood
is a PITA. The fences on little jobsite saws are too short to
rip full sheets in half with much accuracy anyway… not flimsy,
too short. The Jimmie Jig addresses that problem and others.

6. You loose crosscutting capacity when you go with a portable
plastic saw… and many of them have chintzy, non-standard miter
gages anyway.

7. Portable saws have less stability in the saw arbor… and less mass
than a contractor’s saw. The universal motors on the plastic
saws are noisy, irritating, and short-lived as well – when compared
with the motor on a contractor saw.

8. The table saw originally was a tool primarily intended for ripping.
With the availability of sheet goods in the 1950s saw tables expanded
and tilt-table saws became less common in professional shops – replaced
by tilting arbor saws. If you plan to make cabinets seriously there is
no question that you’ll want a panel saw of some sort… either a large
table saw setup or a vertical panel saw.

9. The table saw is also very good for fine joinery in furnituremaking
but it might surprise you how very little saw you need for this. The
old Delta 9” tilt-table saws are among the most precise small joinery saws
and can be had for $100 or so used. These saws are not much good
for sizing panels but for joint-making they are a good design. Sometimes
seen with a jointer mounted to the same motor on a shared stand.

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