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Old 09-04-2013, 10:43 PM   #1
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Ryobi RTS31 Table Saw Questions


It's time to get a table saw. Here's my thinking, (as off as it may be!), at this time...

* I've got $300 to spend on it. As much as I'd like a good saw, I really can't dig much deeper than this right now.
* Needs to be portable/wheels/whatever to go from garage to driveway.

I've been looking at the Ryobi RTS31 at Home Depot as it seems to cover most of what I'd need, which... very oddly, doesn't have the right picture on the HD site here: http://thd.co/1egDwC1 and only the old model is even on the RyobiTools.com site.

The Pros:
* Looking at the box at HD, it looks like this new model is the replacement for the RTS30. It's got a sliding table and large mitre gauge that can function well as a cross cut sled also. Looks very complete.

The Cons:
* It's hard to tell, but it looks like the mitre gauge slot is not a standard 3/4" type slot, but I can't tell for sure. It looks like it might be what Ryobi has on some other table saws. If true, I can't really buy accessories. If I want to build - for example - a large cross cut sled, I suppose I could cut hardwood strips to fit them though.

Does anyone have one of these by any chance? Any insights into the mitre slots? It's really the one thing holding me back right now. It's crazy that the web sites have old info.

Thanks for any suggestions. (BESIDES saying "Get a DeWalt for $200 more! : ) Though if anyone has an approximate $300 suggestion for something that's equivalent, on wheels, etc. that'd be great.

Thanks,
Scott

Update: Found this Review that answered some questions:
http://www.protoolreviews.com/tools/...table-saw/6827

Looks like it has a whole built in sled; but still can't quite tell about slot. (Maybe I shouldn't care?)


Last edited by Scottg; 09-04-2013 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 09-05-2013, 02:14 PM   #2
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Ryobi RTS31 Table Saw Questions


Looks very similar to a NIB Craftsman I picked up on CL for $100. Have you tried searching for a gently used one? For $300 you could probably get the Dewalt

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Old 09-05-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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Ryobi RTS31 Table Saw Questions


I look at a lot of Ryobi tools, and find that they can often have some creative and unique features. Ryobi also seems to have a large variety of tools which take advantage of the battery pack, including some for gardening and yardwork. Unfortunately, my experience with Ryobi has not been good (did not last very long) and I have had a tough time overcoming my personal bias against them. Still, I see folks using them with apparent satisfaction. (I caught a glimpse of a ryobi drill on an episode of This Old House the other day, in use by a metal roof contractor!)

The other issue I notice with some of the more-expensive tools is that they tend to be more precise. But, unless you are wanting to make precision cuts, this might not matter, even if true.

If you are unconcerned about the durability issue, I think it is tough to beat the value of a lot of those ryobi tools. For occasional use, durability may not be a factor. If precision and long-term durability are something that you want, a used saw may be the better option.
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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Ryobi RTS31 Table Saw Questions


I have an older Ryobi table saw (BT3000 I think). It has a similar setup as to what your talking about.

That sliding table actually works pretty good...it does a better job of holding the stock in the position you want vs a standard miter guide.

One thing to remember....the real money is spent on blades....a cheap blade on the best table saw will give you a cheap table saw....a good blade on a cheap table saw makes it somewhat decent. Spending $50 or more now on a blade does not phase me....
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:01 PM   #5
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Ryobi RTS31 Table Saw Questions


I had one like that and hated the miter attachment.
I got lucky and one of my guy destroyed it in an accident and he bought me one of these.
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...electedIndex=8
Works flawless. Plenty of power even when cutting oak stair treads.
Even the stock blade works fine.
I've even been cutting 1/4" sanded plywood without burrs.
Even the scale is pretty accurate.
The new style blade lock works much better then the old one.
It has handy easy to use table extensions.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:30 PM   #6
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Ryobi RTS31 Table Saw Questions


Yeahhh.... it's a tough call. I'm still on the fence - pun intended. Looks like a lot of features for a somewhat low end product. This would not get heavy use. Just home DIY. I've been all over Craigslist, and others for months, but haven't found anything I trust. And I want to get some stuff done in the nice autumn weather. (I do stuff in driveway.)

Great thought on the blades. Definitely a key point. As for Ryobi in general, the quality you need depends on what you're doing. I've got DeWalt for my all-the-time hammer drill, and my angle grinder that needs to be hard core. (And my router.) But a lot of other stuff I've got that only does light to medium duty is Ryobi. For which it's fine for the price / quality equation.

In THIS case... the ONE thing really bugging me is not having some standard mitre gauge / track / slots, which means I'm totally dependent on the default stuff that comes with it or working harder to build my own jigs when needed. Though it does look like their attachments can do ok cross cuts, which I'd be doing somewhat frequently. (Hence table saw... it can cross cut like a mitre saw, but a mitre can't rip and I've only got room for one.)
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:58 PM   #7
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Ryobi RTS31 Table Saw Questions


Alright... I've found two more approximate $300 options. Anyone have any experience with these?

Porter Cable at Lowes:
http://www.lowes.com/pd_89913-46069-PCB220TS_

and then this one is really interesting; though it's actually more like $400 on the Rockwell site and $449 at Lowes. (which seems odd.)
https://www.rockwelltools.com/en-US/...table_saw.aspx

Looks solid, and towards the end, this YouTube video shows some cool accessories for one day.


I'd love the Bosch 4100, but just too much more $$$ right now. I'm starting to lean away from the Ryobi if these others have standard mitre slots. (I know I'm going to want to do mitres and cross cuts on here.)

Last edited by Scottg; 09-06-2013 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:26 PM   #8
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Ryobi RTS31 Table Saw Questions


The porter cable looks suspiciously like the hitachi that I have:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_159362-46578...ductId=1038297

I suspect they are pretty close performers. The hitachi is loud and crude, but gets the job done. The fence is very sloppy, but can be made to work if you take the time (and a square) to properly position it.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:06 PM   #9
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Ryobi RTS31 Table Saw Questions


I think you are making to much out of the miter gauge slots--

On a small job site saw the miter gauge and table are to small to safely make a cross cut---use a chop saw or get a full sized saw.

I always just throw away the miter gauge---it's just to dangerous and inaccurate to be used.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:15 PM   #10
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I have the Porter Cable and think it is a great saw for the price!
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oberkc View Post
The porter cable looks suspiciously like the hitachi that I have:
... The hitachi is loud and crude, but gets the job done.
Hmmm. Does look similar. But I'm loud and crude myself, so maybe that will work!
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:58 PM   #12
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Ryobi RTS31 Table Saw Questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
I think you are making to much out of the miter gauge slots--

On a small job site saw the miter gauge and table are to small to safely make a cross cut---use a chop saw or get a full sized saw.

I always just throw away the miter gauge---it's just to dangerous and inaccurate to be used.
You're probably right. But... if there's two options that are essentially equivalent for something that I'll hopefully get at least a few years use out of, and one is standard vs. non-standard, I'd prefer the standard.

As for cross cuts... I can only afford space and $$$ for one option right now, unless I get a super cheapie chop saw, which won't be accurate either.

So as it is, I'm leaning towards the Porter Cable. Happened to be near the Lowes today and checked it out. Seems reasonably solid. At least MUCH more so than the cheapie Skil saws they had. And yeah, a bit less than the others that are Twice the price.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:19 PM   #13
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Ryobi RTS31 Table Saw Questions


Small table saws are inherently dangerous compared to full size saws---so do take extra care---make an out feed table---and save up for a miter saw---Lowes has a handy 7 1/4" slider that is good for most home projects.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:57 PM   #14
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If space is an issue I'd pony up another $70 and get THIS. A much better saw than any of the others you've shown in that price range.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Small table saws are inherently dangerous compared to full size saws---so do take extra care---make an out feed table---and save up for a miter saw---Lowes has a handy 7 1/4" slider that is good for most home projects.
This is what I was thinking. I've got sawhorses and plenty of old junk plywood. So I can easily have plenty of out feed and side table. I can alway still stick with my circular saw for cross cuts. And hunt for a cheapie mitre saw on Craigslist, etc.

And another reason I want standard mitre gauges is so it'll be easer to build a pretty big cross cut sled. With that, I should be able to make decent cuts with reasonable safety.

The real problem is I'm trying to build some simple pieces for which I need something to rip longer boards. A table saw CAN, (though one has to be careful as you point out), do double duty with some cross cutting. But nothing but a table saw can really rip slim pieces very well. With jigs and my Kreg rip attachment, I do ok cutting down big sheets fairly well. But I want a little more precision. And jigs or clamping to rip slim boards can be challenging. Hence my finally caving to get the table saw.


Last edited by Scottg; 09-08-2013 at 10:55 PM.
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