Table Saw Question

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Forum topic by bbqking posted 09-07-2008 03:47 PM 1392 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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328 posts in 3753 days

09-07-2008 03:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw question

I have been reading the blog on table saw upgrade and the comments mentioning 3, 5, and even 7 1/2 hp saws. My saw is a RIDGID 3650 and I rip 5/4 & 8/4 white oak on it all the time, that meaning every day. Sometimes I get burns, but I’m running the cut stock through a jointer afterward, which removes them. Being a lumberjock, I’m all for upgrades to bigger, kick#!%$ machines, but I’ve never owned one of these powerful saws. I am hoping that you guys can fill me in on what I’m missing and give me the ammo I need to convince certain individual(s) in my household of the need for an upgrade. My shop is already wired for 220 but I have never used it. As always, bbqKing.

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

12 replies so far

View CedarFreakCarl's profile


594 posts in 4083 days

#1 posted 09-07-2008 04:45 PM

BBQ: You’re in the same boat I’m in. I too have the Ridgid 3650 and I feel it’s a great saw value for the money. It’s done everything I’ve asked of it. But, as my abilities increase, I know I’m going to eventually need something with some more HP. The saw I’ve got will rip 8/4 oak. But, as you alluded to, hard woods like oak need to be fed slower and subsequently you get some burn marks. Also, there’s the dust collection problem inherent of contractor style saws. So, I’ve been looking at 3 and 5 hp cabinet saws. The one thing I’m worried about is kickback. I can physically hold down a board and overpower the 3650 with one hand if I get surprised by pinching action and hit the power off with the other hand. A spitter helps but even so, it can only do so much. My feeling is that I’ll need to get one with a riving knife if I go for more HP in a cabinet saw. A local supplier has a Powermatic 66 in 5 HP that he’s asking 2500 bucks for. I’ve been very tempted, because one of the employees there told me to make the owner an offer at 2000-2300 bucks which with a little strain, is within my buget numbers. But, a little voice in my head keeps telling me to get one with a riving knife. I’ve been on the recieving end of the 3650 on some kickback and I just know 5 hp will get me sooner or later. So….I’ve convinced myself that whatever saw I end up with will just have to have a riving knife period. Just my $0.02.

-- Carl Rast, Pelion, SC

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3703 days

#2 posted 09-07-2008 08:08 PM

The really big saws are production level saws and really meant to be used with a stock feed. The really high HP means that it will muscle through any density inconsistencies at a single rate of feed.

If reading about someone else wanting more power made you think you want more power, I don’t think you actually need that power. Spend the money on something you don’t have.

View Grumpy's profile


24001 posts in 3880 days

#3 posted 09-08-2008 01:50 AM

I have a 3HP model & it suits my needs very well.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View bbqking's profile


328 posts in 3753 days

#4 posted 09-08-2008 04:44 AM

Thank you marcb. That is some good advise. bbqKing

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4154 days

#5 posted 09-08-2008 03:59 PM

I don’t think burns mean you need more power, burns mean you’ve got blade to stock alignment issues. This can be one of two things: Either your stock is shifting as you feed it, your your blade isn’t aligned to your fence.

More power may let you cut faster, as marcb says, and a new saw may be better aligned and may stay in alignment longer, but make sure you solve the problem you think you’re solving.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3678 days

#6 posted 09-08-2008 05:00 PM

I second Dan – insufficient power will cause bogging down – but not so much burning – burning means that the blade is too close to your stock after it has been cut – meaning that the blade might not be true to the line of cut (miter guage/fence) or your blade is deformed. there are plenty plenty less powerful tools out there, and around here that perform clean cuts.

also – some woods are more prominent to burns than others…

If I’d go with a more powerful tool – it’s be to get stock cut faster and having to put less pressure on the wood myself, and let the saw do it’s thing. the larger cabinet saws other great features are a larger work surface to push stock on, and a more efficient dust collection setup. with the new requirement to put safery devices on ALL NEW table saws (riving knife) and after working with a riving now currently – I would not spend anything on upgrading to a new saw without one. PERIOD.

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

View Timber4fun's profile


218 posts in 3629 days

#7 posted 09-08-2008 06:56 PM

bbqking – I have the Grizzly 2HP Hybrid saw (cabinet saw) and I really like it. If you’re looking to sell the idea of upgrading to certain “individuals”, the cabinet style saws generally have good dust collection, which in turn is better for your health and minimizes dust around the house. Dust is a big selling point to those other individuals., so I would leverage that. The Grizzly Hybrid saw is more than enough table saw for my humble shop. It’ll run on 220v or 120v. If you intend to use 120v, just make sure you have a 20AMP or 30AMP circuit. I find that it is more than enough power for an amateur to cut through thick/hard stock. Just my two cents. All that being said, I am an amateur/hobbyist woodworker so keep that in mind. In other words, I am not into mass production or anything like that.

-- Tim from Iowa City, IA

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4020 days

#8 posted 09-08-2008 07:28 PM

let’s no forget that cabinet saws are generally quieter than a contractors saw. Less hearing damage to you and less annoyance to the others in the household.

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

View Charles Mullins's profile

Charles Mullins

94 posts in 3741 days

#9 posted 09-08-2008 07:37 PM

I also have a Ridgid 3650 and am well pleased with it. The only thing I would like is to have a riving knife and better dust collection. The power hasn’t been an issue yet but I know sharp blades help.

I have made an insert that has a splitter on it and it works very well if the wood dosen’t pinch it. It will kick back without one as my shortened finger will attest to. Ouch!!!!

What I like most is accuracy and it has it.

Charles Mullins

-- God makes the wood beautiful--I simply rearrange it to make it more useful, hopefully.

View FloridaUFGator's profile


39 posts in 4043 days

#10 posted 09-08-2008 07:58 PM

I went from a Ridgid to a Powermatic 2000 and the power difference is satisfying to say the least. I wouldn’t say my Ridgid couldn’t get the job done but after using the PM2000 I can say that the extra power is very nice to have. EVERY cut is effortless. With the Ridgid I spent a lot of time slowly pushing the boards through. Eventually they would make it and the cuts were just fine. However, with the PM2000 it is no longer part of my thought process when cutting a board. They slide through like butter. Is it a must have – NO – Is it a close second to spending that money on another new tool – ABSOLUTELY!

-- ...and remember this: there is no more important safety rule than to wear these — safety glasses - Norm Abram

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 4012 days

#11 posted 09-08-2008 08:02 PM

I saw Dave Marks make a butcher block the other day and he has a lot of burn marks. I am guessing his saw was aligned, he seems the type to be meticulous at that sort of thing. My wife even made comments on it when see looked up form her knitting and said .. “oh my look at those burn marks”. It was pretty funny. Good luck on your research.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3703 days

#12 posted 09-08-2008 08:49 PM

David Marks was probably using maple and maple seems to burn easy.

I was cutting hard maple yesterday and I realigned the miter gauge to dead 90 with an engineers square and still had a little burning .

Using the same setup I cut Brazilian cherry and had no burning.

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