Considering a Bosch 4100-09 or Ridgid TS3650. Thoughts/alternatives?

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Forum topic by SeattleD posted 06-25-2013 09:51 AM 4672 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 1976 days

06-25-2013 09:51 AM

Due to a recent divorce, I had to sell most of my large machines. Among others, I had a PM2000 cabinet saw which I loved, and used to build many nice pieces. I now have a smaller garage which will not accommodate a full size TS. The reviews I’ve read (FWW, PW, others) suggest the Bosch is the best of its kind. However, I’m a bit of a nut when it comes to precision, and after having the PM2000, I’m wondering if this saw will disappoint me in that regard. I looked at the Bosch at a Lowes today, and the 1st thing I noticed was a huge amount of slop between the miter gauge & slot. I know that this can be taken care of with cast iron tops by dimpling the sides of the gauge bar, but since the Bosch top is aluminum, this seems to be asking for trouble (wear to the slot). Has anyone with a 4100-09 noticed this issue? The tool department was not staffed when I was at Lowes looking at the Bosch, and it’s very possible the miter gauge sitting on the saw was not the stock one (the whole area was kind of a mess). 3 things are limiting my choice 1) $$$$ 2) space 3) electricity. Electricity is a real limitation, and since I’m renting, my ability to run a 240v outlet (which I can do myself) is limited. The Ridgid TS3650 looks like another possibility, but I see it was once recalled for arbor failure using a dado stack. Also, I don’t know if it’s precise enough. I plan to use the saw for building fine furniture, with the goal of selling my work. Any thoughts/insights?


-- David

18 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2754 days

#1 posted 06-25-2013 10:49 AM

I have the 4100; it’s a very good saw.
The size is it’s real limitation. As for the miter gauge, I used aluminum tape on the side to give it a better fit in the miter slot. An aftermarket gauge would serve you better though. The incra v27 is a nice one that’s pretty cheap.

Are you sure you mean the TS3650? I thought ridgid stopped making that one.

Between those two, the 3650 will be the better saw for sure, but it has a splitter rather than a riving knife.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3148 days

#2 posted 06-25-2013 01:46 PM

Are you perhaps thinking of the Ridgid R4510 instead of the TS3650. It’s a portable stand mounted saw similar to the Bosch 4100 series.

View toolie's profile


2147 posts in 2805 days

#3 posted 06-25-2013 02:07 PM

but I see it was once recalled for arbor failure using a dado stack

technically incorrect. the 3650 did have a problem with it’s arbor and stacked dado sets, but it was because the threads on the arbor were machined almost up to the arbor flange, causing one of the dado set outer cutters to sit too deeply on the arbor and resulted in somewhat imperfect dadoes. it was never a safety issue.

the ridgid 4511, the granite topped ~ 500 lb saw, did have a safety recall involving arbors that would fail.

at it’s expense, ridgid provided technicians for an on site torque test of the arbor and replaced same if found to be deficient.

either of the saws noted are capable of fine cabinetry, provided they are set up properly and the operator has the requisite level of skill. IMHO, a 3650 would be a better saw, but it will not accommodate the portability that the 4100 will provide. if portability is not required, and a good used 3650 can be located (they haven’t been sold in the US market for some years now, having been replaced by the 4511 and then by the 4512), it’s a heavier saw that will be easier for a user to work with.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View shough's profile


1 post in 1974 days

#4 posted 06-25-2013 02:26 PM

I have had the 4100-10 for five years and love it.The only problem in five years is this past weekend was doing routine cleaning and maintenance and I was going to square the blade with the miter slot and a table top bolt hole stripped out,I just tapped it and put in a bigger bolt and squared it up perfectly. I am thinking about getting a Rigid 4512 Hybrid as a back up.It has a 36 inch fence and built in mobile base and is 110v or can be converted to 220v,(instructions in the manual) and is cheaper than the 4100. The dust collection is ok on the 4100,I do have to clean up some sawdust at the end of the day,but not nearly as much as i had to without my dust collector.

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 3829 days

#5 posted 06-25-2013 02:30 PM

I have a TS3650 and it is a full size table saw. its over 300lbs and full size cast iron top+wings. Very stable, very accurate, never had a problem with it. I check the alignment once in a while and it just has not moved in over a year. You must be thinking of another smaller model ?

The Ridgid 3650 is sought after by many people because its one of the best saws you can buy in that price range. Newer saws are often manufactured with stamped metal wings, plastic parts and the like.

-- Yves

View PurpLev's profile


8542 posts in 3825 days

#6 posted 06-25-2013 02:41 PM

I had the 4100 – a great MOBILE saw. I loved the fence on it, and had 0 issues with the miter slot (used an Incra after market miter gauge), but a few things I did NOT like about it:

1. noise (universal motor)
2. precision – on mine, the cast aluminum table top was not flat – the left of the blade and the right of the blade could not be made 90 to the blade at the same time
3. size (small table top)

going from a PM2000 you would have to understand the differences between a cabinet saw use and a mobile saw use as to not be disappointed real quick. but if space is an issue- this would be a good alternative if you are prepared to deal with it’s short comings.

that said, the TS3650 would be a more precise and stout saw, but since you stated that you are limited in space – and this saw would actually take more real-estate than most hybrid/cabinet saws (with 30” fences) so I would look at one of those instead.

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

View Makarov's profile


102 posts in 1982 days

#7 posted 06-25-2013 02:47 PM

I have the bosh, and like NiteWalker I have tape to take the slop out of the miter gauge. I am a very inexperienced wood worker so take this with a grain of salt. at 5’11 inches tall I find the saw to be very high which is fine when I am working on small items but when fighting with bigger stock it would be nicer if it were a few inches shorter.

-- "Complexity is easy; Simplicity is difficult." Georgy Shragin Designer of ppsh41 sub machine gun

View toolie's profile


2147 posts in 2805 days

#8 posted 06-25-2013 04:13 PM

a Rigid 4512 Hybrid as a back up.It has a 36 inch fence

i’m afraid that’s inaccurate. the 4512 has, in OEM configuration, 30” of rip capacity: (see third bullet point)

the front rail may be slid to the right for greater rip capacity (negating the usefulness of the tape), but only if the bolt holes that secure the rear rail are evenly spaced enough so it can also be moved to the right.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View TorxNut's profile


58 posts in 2074 days

#9 posted 06-25-2013 04:37 PM

I had a Ridgid 3660, a near twin to the 3550 with minor fence differences. The 3550/3560 are excellent contractor saws; arguably the best in their class. Mine was extremely accurate with the stock fence. I’d still have it but I got a deal on a Unisaw that I couldn’t refuse. I sold the Ridgid to a good friend who loves it.


View CharlieM1958's profile


16278 posts in 4395 days

#10 posted 06-25-2013 05:42 PM

I have the Ridgid saw, and have had zero problems with it. I think you would be much happier with the size and stability of it. Of course the Bosch has the advantage of taking up less real estate, but the Ridgid is easy to move around if you have a mobile base on it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3536 days

#11 posted 06-25-2013 05:58 PM

The 3650 is at least 3 models back. I also had the 3660 and it was fine. Only reason I got rid of it was that I fell into a gloatable deal on a 5hp Uni. I can’t speak to the Bosch, but it looks like there are several folks here that are familiar with it.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View SeattleD's profile


15 posts in 1976 days

#12 posted 06-25-2013 06:04 PM

Thanks for the replies. I did mean the Ridgid R4512: I tried to edit this right after posting, but the post did not appear for about 12 hours, probably since it was my 1st. After doing a little more reading, I’ve expanded a little on “which saw”. I’m going to repost with this in mind.

Thanks again for the input. Great group!

-- David

View TorxNut's profile


58 posts in 2074 days

#13 posted 06-25-2013 06:25 PM

Charlie said: <<... but the Ridgid is easy to move around if you have a mobile base on it.>> Since these saws came standard with the excellent Herc-U-Lift, the only reason they wouldn’t have a mobile base is if someone removed it.


View knotscott's profile


8141 posts in 3552 days

#14 posted 06-25-2013 09:11 PM

The Bosch is among the best of the portable class, but it gives up a lot compared to a decent full size saw with a belt drive induction motor….especially to someone who’s used to a PM2000. The surface area of a full size saw is definitely larger than a portable, but the overall increase in square footage that gets occupied isn’t all that great…..if there’s any way you can fit a full size hybrid, I’d recommend it.

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

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3148 days

#15 posted 06-26-2013 12:51 AM

I know some folks have had great success with the Ridgid 4512. It’s got a lot to like in terms of very low price, nice weight, mobile base, and it works on 115 volts. It runs smooth and quiet. BUT, if you get one, be sure to check the blade to miter slot alignment at different blade heights. Many people, me included, have had major problems with a defect in these saws that can not be fixed as far as I know. Your only option is to exchange it for another one after you have spent the time and effort to transport it home, assemble it, test it, then transport it back to the store and start all over. There have been instances posted on here where this has happened more than once to the same person, so it is not a minor problem.

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