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Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

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  • Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

    Hi,

    I'm looking to purchase my very first table saw and I'm very excited. I'm an inexperienced woodworker, and I would like to start building some furniture peices (coffe table, entertainment stand, bookshelves, etc) I've been scouring the forums and reviews for all sorts of table saws and found two that seem reputable, and within my budget: the 10" Craftsman Professional Table Saw (aka 21829 in the US), and the Ridgid 3660. They're both currently on sale for the exact same price ($499) and can't quite decide which one I should go for.

    I realize that the Craftsman is a portable saw which can be neatly tucked away vertically, but space is not much of an issue for me, and the Ridgid still has a mobile base so that I can push it up against a wall. The craftsman does have a built-in router table, which is a plus ... although I don't own a router yet, and I figure maybe building one will become a project in itself. I really like the solid cast iron top of the Ridgid saw, and I like the fact that it feels much sturdier than the Craftsman.

    In terms of durability, power, ease of use, etc. I don't have a clue. Trunnion, arbor assembly, motor housing, etc ... ?? Can anyone help out and give me more specs and/or opinions to help me decide? At this point I'm leaning toward the Ridgid saw, but I wanted to run it by some more experienced users (like yourselves) first.

    Thanks!
    Pascal
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  • #2

    Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

    Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

    Welcome to the forum! I have neither saw, but had considered their predecessors years ago, but actually took the plunge and bought my saw once and not POTENTIALLY twice by buying a Unisaw Cabinet Saw.

    Based on what I've read here though, I'd be inclined to go with the Ridgid, and as well, there seems be a good crop of members here that have it which can be useful when dealing with on an ongoing basis for feedback suggestions as you use it.

    In reading your post and seeing your thought progress, I think you've already made up your mind. You just don't want to have missed something in your process, which is normal.
    Kevin

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    • #3

      Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

      Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

      I don't own or use either saw. The Ridgid I know get very good revieves. I think for the kind of money you are looking at, it would be hard to beat that Ridgid.
      At another site I belong to there was a lot to be said about this saw. Here is a link to the review.

      http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/149
      Brian; Caledonia On.


      http://lumberjocks.com/toyguy/projects/page/1

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      • #4

        Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

        Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

        I don't own either saw, but did own a Craftsman portable for a few weeks. I took it back after cutting one piece of wood. The tables are too small and the Universal motor was very loud.

        The Ridgid looks like a solid contractor saw and you'll find that it is a lot quieter!! The saw would weigh a lot more than the portable and should have a lot less vibration (and a better cut because of that).

        My vote is for the Ridgid out of those two options.

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        • #5

          Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

          Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

          Hey Pascal, welcome to the forum!

          Just a helpful hint,
          If you look to the top of your screen, just above the banner add, you will see a menu bar. The seventh option over will be "search." If you click on that and follow the prompts, you will be able to search for old threads on this subject. Use key terms like "Ridgid 3650" and you will get lots of really helpful results.

          For my part, I have the 3650 and could not recommend it enough. For this price range, and even a few hundred more, I think it's the best. Plus, with the lifetime service agreement, well, I think you can't go wrong.

          Good luck!

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

            Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

            i have the ridgid 3650, had it for three years, and have hundreds of board feet of lumber with it and no complaints
            you mentioned a router table on the side on the craftsman, well its an easy addition to the ridgid, just a couple of pieces of plywood and mount a router to it

            the roll around base is cool but not perfect, the saw tends to be tippy when rolling around on rough surfaces, probably because the wheels are close together, on a basement or garage floor its no problem if the floor's fairly clean

            i just wish the motor was somewhere else other than sticking out the back
            my shop is a beaver lodge
            steve, sarnia, ont




            1940's Craftmaster Lathe

            https://www.facebook.com/artistryinwoodca/

            Comment

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            • #7

              Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

              Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

              If I'm seeing things correctly, the Craftsman looks like a reworked Ryobi bt3000/bt3100 clone. You can look for reviews of those as well to see what people thought of that kind of system. They have a decent following in some circles. FWIW I started out with a really cheap lightweight portable. The universal motor burned itself out within a month and after that I quickly upgraded to a used, older model Ridgid. The extra size and mass really is an asset, both in terms of reliability and usability.

              Look at it this way:
              If Woodworking turns out to be a hobby you really get into, the Ridgid will likely keep you happy for a long time, wheras, you might start getting frustrated with the Craftsman and be looking to upgrade soon after.
              If Woodworking doesn't become you favorite pastime, the Ridgid will likely retain a significant portion of its value in the used market, and the Craftsman likely not.

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              • #8

                Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                I would look around for a used cabinet saw which might not be a lot more money. They don't take up a lot more space and you don't have the problems associated with contractors saws. A cabinet saw will last you a lifetime and a pleasure to work with. Not sure where you live but if in the US I would also consider Grizzly for a cabinet saw their 1023 model.

                Brian
                If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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                • #9

                  Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                  Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                  I have the Ridgid 3650, and for the money there is nothing on the market that comes close. The Craftsman that you are comparing it to is going to be significantly noisier with its universal motor, and if not going to have the heft of Ridgid's cast iron table/extensions. The Ridgid fence works very well - is accurate and precise. Plus, the Herc-u-lift is a nice feature to have to move the saw around in your shop, should it be needed. Unless you absolutely need to have the fold-up portabililty offered by the Craftsman, I wouldn't have any hesitation in choosing the Ridgid.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                    Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                    Thanks to everyone for the warm welcomes and the great tips and comments. I really appreciate everyone's input. I'll definitely be heading over to HD this weekend to pick up the Ridgid ! Yay! I'll most certainly be back on here asking questions and sharing my experiences with everyone soon.

                    I'm actually moving this weekend so it'll be easy to stop at HD with the truck and toss it in with everything else. Unfortunately it'll probably sit in the box for a few weeks before I can get around to putting it together and start using it.

                    Anyway, thanks again.
                    Pascal

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                      Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                      My Unisaw sat in a crate for almost two years until I had my shop ready for it and ran the 220V for it. I couldn't pass up the deal for it at the time which I've never seen again for a new one with an Excalibur fence. Just love my Unisaw.
                      Kevin

                      Comment

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                      • #12

                        Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                        Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                        These are two different classes of saw....sort of like comparing a Ford Focus to a Taurus. The Sears 21829 is made by TTI/Ryobi and is the most recent iteration of the Ryobi BT3000/BT3100. It includes a stowaway base, sliding miter table, a riving knife, and a router table. It's a decent saw that alot of folks like, but your far more likely to outgrow it than the Ridgid. The Ridgid 3660 is a full size cast iron contractor saw and is also made by TTI/Ryobi, but has several advantages in the basics like table space (especially in front of the blade), mass/stability, noise level, motor torque, fence length, long term reliability, and resale value. Unless your really cramped for space, I'd definitely go with the 3660.
                        Last edited by scott in rochester; 02-25-2009, 12:41 AM.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                          Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                          Originally posted by Lost in the Woods View Post
                          My Unisaw sat in a crate for almost two years until I had my shop ready for it and ran the 220V for it.
                          Oh! That brings up another point that I forgot to mention (maybe this should be in a separate thread?). I'll be wiring a subpanel into the garage, and I was wondering if I should run 220V for the Ridgid 3660. Is there any advantage to doing this (other than saving on wiring due to reducing the amperage in half)?

                          Pascal

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                          • #14

                            Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                            Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                            The 220V won't cost you anything more hydro bill wise. Running on 220 vs 110 will make the motor start up easier and from what I've read also run smoother. All tools, other than my bandsaw I've converted over to 220, and I did run a sub to the shop using 6/3 for a 60A panel from my 100A main for the house.
                            Kevin

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                            • #15

                              Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                              Re: Table Saws: Ridgid 3660 vs. Craftsman Professional

                              Originally posted by acousticalconsultant View Post
                              Oh! That brings up another point that I forgot to mention (maybe this should be in a separate thread?). I'll be wiring a subpanel into the garage, and I was wondering if I should run 220V for the Ridgid 3660. Is there any advantage to doing this (other than saving on wiring due to reducing the amperage in half)?

                              Pascal
                              This is one of the most heated and confusing debates going, and I'm not capable of explaining it in detail. There's less chance of voltage losses during peak amp draws like startup and recovering from heavy load with 220v, so the saw may come up to speed faster and recover from bogging faster with 220v. Theoretically, there's supposed to be no difference. Each circuit is different, but it's been noticeable on the two saws I converted to 220v...more so with one than the other. If you've got 220v, I'd switch...no harm, and possibly some improvements. If you don't have 220v and you've got an adequate dedicated 20 amp 110v circuit for the saw and are experiencing no lights dimming or other signs of voltage loss, it might not be worth running 220v for.

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