I can enthusiastically recommend the RIDGID table saw - as long as you are not a production cabinet shop. If that's the case - then step up to a powerful cabinet saw.
But, if you are like me and doing this as a hobby - the RIDGID is first rate. I have the 3612 model (discontinued and replaced with the 3650) and it is a champ. What sold me over the Delta Industrial base model (36-650)I
saw at Lowe's was:
* A larger rip capacity (36" for the RIDGID vs. 30" for the Delta)
* A much beefier rip fence (the RIDGID fence is a whole lot heavier, thicker and easier to lock down than the Delta - give it a try)
* The RIDGID comes with the Herc-u-lift caster system. I work in a two car garage and have to move the saw frequently to get it out of the way. Without a caster system, I couldn't use such a big saw. The Delta doesn't
come with a caster system, which makes it an add on.
* The RIDGID comes with a very easy-on, easy-off blade guard and splitter. This is a VERY IMPORTANT feature of the saw. Obviously, you can't use a splitter when you dado or rabbet on the saw, so it has to be removed for
these operations. On my RIDGID saw, I can have it off in about five seconds, and right back on again - perfectly alligned - in the same amount of time. The Delta requires you to bolt and unbolt the guard. If it takes too long to get on or off, you won't use it. I know this first hand from using a Delta benchtop saw.
* The RIDGID saw has micro-adjustments for blade allignment. Rather than unbolting the entire trunnion assembly and wrenching it the very small distance to get the blade parallel with the fence, you simply unbolt where
the manual tells you to, and you can inch everything into allignment - no fuss, no muss.
* The RIDGID I bought came with a lifetime warranty.
* The RIDGID saw's motor is built by Emerson Electric who USED to build Craftsman motors back in the day (when buying Craftsman power tools made sense). Of course, Delta's is manufactured by Delta, which also has a bulletproof reputation.
* The RIDGID 2424 (The model before mine) rated very well in a Table Saw shootout Popular Woodworking held a few years ago. This was against bargain
saws (Grizzly, Bridgewood) and some high-end performers (Delta, Jet, DeWalt). And, if I'm not mistaken, a number of the problems identified by the testers were addressed in the subsequent upgrade to the 3612 model.
* And, if you choose some of the bigger Delta models you mentioned, the RIDGID comes in a whole lot less for cost.
Now, I'm not knocking Delta. In fact, I own a Delta Miter Saw, A Delta Drill Press, and I'm going to buy a Delta Dust Collector and a Delta Thickness Planer in the near future. I've been very happy with these purchases and I would recommend any of these projects very highly. Just,
in the case of the Table Saw, the RIDGID worked well for me.
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