Delta or Ridgid - which to keep?

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Forum topic by blackspring posted 07-06-2014 10:18 PM 1091 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View blackspring's profile


36 posts in 2327 days

07-06-2014 10:18 PM

Hi gents -

My grandfather recently passed away and left me all of his tools, many of which I have already, so I’m going through the process of deciding which hold more sentimental value to me and which I should let go of.

I’m down to the tablesaw. Currently, I own the Ridgid 10” R4512 at 3450 RPM.

He left me his Delta 36-320C at 5500 RPM.

I’ve been happy with the Ridgid but have no basis of comparison. That said, I have noticed it chugs a bit on longer/denser stock. Perhaps the Delta would rip through it way easier with a better motor.

The Delta looks like a tank, although I do like the lift mechanism on the Ridgid saw – not necessarily a deciding factor but handy.

I’m hoping to get some experienced input here. Being the keystone of his shop, the Delta does hold sentimental value to me, but at the end of the day, he’d want me to have the best tool.

I appreciate any feedback.

12 replies so far

View Sawdust2012's profile


122 posts in 1678 days

#1 posted 07-06-2014 11:18 PM

I’ve owned the Ridgid, and it is a very good saw. If it were me, however, I’d keep the Delta. I think the higher RPM of the blade gives a cleaner cut, and I dont know this, but I think that speed is possible due to a stronger motor. I also think the fence on the Delta is a little better. I depends on the amount of use each saw has gotten also. When it boils right down to it, the older I get, the more important sentimental value is to me.

View firefighterontheside's profile


17948 posts in 1822 days

#2 posted 07-06-2014 11:39 PM

Isn’t that delta a direct drive saw? I think the rpm is an indicator of that. I would keep the belt drive.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View jonah's profile


1659 posts in 3264 days

#3 posted 07-06-2014 11:47 PM

Those Delta direct-drive saws are real pieces of junk. I received one for free when all I had was a half-broken Makita job site saw. It died shortly after. I took it to a really great saw repair place and they basically said, “it’s not even worth scrap value, give it away or trash it.”

I got rid of it, got rid of my Makita and got a Ridgid 3650. The 3650 has been fantastic for me. I’m sure I’ll replace it some day, but right now it’s far from the top of my list.

I’d keep the 4512, so long as it works for you. The Delta is not an upgrade.

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3341 days

#4 posted 07-07-2014 12:19 AM

I definitely wouldn’t get rid of the R4512 in favor of the Delta, but since it was your grandfather’s, I might keep both….

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

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 1515 days

#5 posted 07-07-2014 12:21 AM

If you have the room, keep them both. Put a dado on your Grandfather’s saw and use it for tenons or another dedicated use. Personally, inherited items are tough for me to get rid of.

View blackspring's profile


36 posts in 2327 days

#6 posted 07-07-2014 01:40 AM

Thanks for your input guys. I was not aware of the ‘direct drive vs belt drive’ issue. Although space is lacking, I think I’ll keep the Ridgid as my main saw and set up the Delta with a Dado as mentioned by Freddy (great advice). Then I’m not getting rid of a keepsake; the saw is worth more, sentimentally, than the 2-300 bones I’d likely get for it (if lucky). I’ll have a bigger shop one day – for now it will serve well as a supplemental saw in the corner.

On a separate note, has anyone made a cart system for moving their stationary saw? The Ridgid has a great built-in caster system.

Thanks again,

View jonah's profile


1659 posts in 3264 days

#7 posted 07-07-2014 01:43 AM

It’s not like it’s a family heirloom, people. It is a (crappy) table saw. The saw is more than likely from the ‘70s. I think they made those direct-drive models up until the late ‘90s.

View AndyF's profile


5 posts in 1732 days

#8 posted 07-07-2014 02:20 AM

Good choice. I’d make the Delta a dedicated dado, crosscut, or maybe even a disc sander.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5093 posts in 1686 days

#9 posted 07-07-2014 02:31 AM

I’d keep both if possible, but if only one could stay, it would be the Ridgid. It has an induction motor whereas the Delta has a universal motor with more wear parts. They are both belt drive, which is a good thing, but the belt on the Delta is proprietary and if it became no longer available, you’d have a tough time finding a replacement. The Ridgid, especially given its age, would be easier to get parts for in the future. I suspect the Ridgid has more safety features and is quieter as well.

View Paul's profile


721 posts in 1531 days

#10 posted 07-07-2014 03:39 AM


I little tact goes a long way, give it some thought.


If you have the room for both I would personally keep both and use dedicated set ups as recommended above. My grandfather died when I was a young kid. He was a woodworker and all his tools were lost in an estate sale long before I could talk. I with I had a few of his tools left around to use.


View Woodknack's profile


11478 posts in 2346 days

#11 posted 07-07-2014 05:14 AM

Don’t clutter your shop with a cheap direct drive saw, keep the Ridgid.

-- Rick M,

View jonah's profile


1659 posts in 3264 days

#12 posted 07-07-2014 12:31 PM

Keeping a nice old hand plane, brace and bit, hand saw, or chisel is one thing – those are useful, well-made tools that continue to be highly useful in a modern wood shop. Having a bulky twenty or thirty year old version of a job site table saw around isn’t nearly as useful.

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