Ryobi BT3100- good saw?


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Old 02-24-06, 05:15 PM
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Ryobi BT3100- good saw?

I'm starting to think I need a table saw, just too tough to get straight long cuts with a circular. Is the Ryobi BT3100 a decent beginner's saw (never used a table saw in my life)?

I don't have a lot of room so I need something at least semi-portable. Just basic DIY homeowner type projects, sheets of plywood included. Any better saws for similar money?

Thanks as always!
 
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Old 02-24-06, 06:42 PM
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Tom: Check into the Ryobi BTS20. I use it as a portable saw on my construction trailer,and it is really handy. It folds down flat and has wheels for easy transporting around. I've never used the 3100, so I can't comment. The BTS20 runs about $200
 
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Old 02-25-06, 05:55 AM
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I'll check it out. Thanks!
 
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Old 03-01-06, 08:47 AM
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I looked at that saw, it looks nice and the price is right. a bit concerned about stability though. Can it be used to cut full sheets of plywood safely and relatively easily?
 
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Old 03-01-06, 12:09 PM
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That's a good saw, and the belt drive gives it more kick than direct drives of simular size.

It is a light saw though, because it is made of aluminum instead of iron like the more expensive saws (but it also won't rust and doesn't need waxing). You might need to bolt it down or otherwise secure it if you are using large stock (like plywood), but then you should be using a helper with the larger stock anyway.

I haven't used the built in router table though.

My only complaints on the saw really are that the miter fence (not the rip fence) is kinda hard to adjust (but the sliding table works well) and that the blade protector was kinda worthless as it just gets in the way for anything but straight cuts. I ended up taking it and the material guide/spreader off.
 
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Old 03-01-06, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Pendragon
That's a good saw, and the belt drive gives it more kick than direct drives of simular size.

It is a light saw though, because it is made of aluminum instead of iron like the more expensive saws (but it also won't rust and doesn't need waxing). You might need to bolt it down or otherwise secure it if you are using large stock (like plywood), but then you should be using a helper with the larger stock anyway.

I haven't used the built in router table though.

My only complaints on the saw really are that the miter fence (not the rip fence) is kinda hard to adjust (but the sliding table works well) and that the blade protector was kinda worthless as it just gets in the way for anything but straight cuts. I ended up taking it and the material guide/spreader off.
Thanks for the reply. Aluminum certainly has advantages (didn't know tables needed waxing..). Bolting it down is a good idea as assistants are sometimes hard to come by.

Didn't know it had a router table. I don't have a router but that might be a good excuse...
 
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Old 03-01-06, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by wreckwriter
I'm starting to think I need a table saw, just too tough to get straight long cuts with a circular. Is the Ryobi BT3100 a decent beginner's saw (never used a table saw in my life)?

I don't have a lot of room so I need something at least semi-portable. Just basic DIY homeowner type projects, sheets of plywood included. Any better saws for similar money?

Thanks as always!
I think that saw is one of the best values for the money going. You'd have to up the ante another $200-300 to get the same quality and capacity in Delta. If you get the optional kit, it'll come with 2 caster wheels that will make the saw "semi-portable". Once on its feet - it's steady as a rock. I had it set up on gravel and while ripping OSB - did not budge it one inch. Invest in a couple of good roller stands...
 
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Old 03-03-06, 11:44 AM
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Spent about an hour at HD today just comparing these saws. The BTS20 would take up a lot less space but the 3100 looks SO much more stable and seems to just have better features in general. I'm leaning towards the 3100, particularly since its on sale for $50 off regular price.
 
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Old 03-03-06, 12:09 PM
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Tom: I think since you may use it in a shop situation more than on the move, the 3100 may serve you better, especially since it doesn't roll. The 20 is a good jobsite saw, and is adjustable to stabilize it. The main thing I like about it is the portability, as well as the crank adjustment on the bevel and the right extension table. Let us know how it works, as I KNOW you are going to buy it!!
 
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Old 03-03-06, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler
Tom: I think since you may use it in a shop situation more than on the move, the 3100 may serve you better, especially since it doesn't roll. The 20 is a good jobsite saw, and is adjustable to stabilize it. The main thing I like about it is the portability, as well as the crank adjustment on the bevel and the right extension table. Let us know how it works, as I KNOW you are going to buy it!!
You KNOW that, huh? Well, you're probably right!

I tell you though, I've been reading up on table saws in general and these things are kinda scary. I need to be real careful with whatever I get since I'll be learning from scratch...
 
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Old 03-04-06, 06:10 AM
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The wisdom of Larry shines through again. The saw is in the garage waiting to be put together. I got the 3100 and the accessory kit. Thanks for all the help guys!
 
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Old 03-07-06, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by wreckwriter
The wisdom of Larry shines through again. The saw is in the garage waiting to be put together. I got the 3100 and the accessory kit. Thanks for all the help guys!

Please post back when you have had a chance to try it out. I'm going to be looking for a decent TS in a couple of months and would love your experience feedback.
 
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Old 03-07-06, 11:21 AM
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Will do. So far I've only had a chance to do the initial setup on it. I'm taking my time with it, reading up on table saws in general and making sure all my safety stuff is solid before I spin it up on any "keeper" wood.

It went together nicely and I'm anticipating it will serve my needs quite well. Packaging was excellent, instructions good (even comes with a DVD where they walk you through set up), parts fit together nicely.

I'll probably be making some actual cuts next weekend, this weekend is, hopefully, for porch painting.
 
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Old 03-08-06, 04:27 AM
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You have the patience of Job. No way would I paint with a new tool beckoning my presence. Let Marksr paint the porch for you, so you can get down to business! Congragulations on your new baby, as I am sure you will be filling the shop with dust soon. Take care, friend.
 
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Old 03-08-06, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler
You have the patience of Job. No way would I paint with a new tool beckoning my presence. Let Marksr paint the porch for you, so you can get down to business! Congragulations on your new baby, as I am sure you will be filling the shop with dust soon. Take care, friend.
Heh, actually I have very little patience. I'm chomping at the bit to start cutting but this porch project has turned into a marathon and I'm starting to think I'll never finish it :/
 
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Old 03-08-06, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by wreckwriter
Heh, actually I have very little patience. I'm chomping at the bit to start cutting but this porch project has turned into a marathon and I'm starting to think I'll never finish it :/
Yeah...I and have very little patience waiting for you...j/k . I have this tickle in my pocket. I think it's money....maybe something else Either way, get cutting!!
 
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Old 03-09-06, 11:52 AM
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I made a 4'x4' cantelever (sp) shelving unit with mine just yesterday (saw dust and notch pieces everywhere).


It takes a long time to cut 36, 1.5"x1.5" notches.

But the shelving unit turned out pretty nice.

Materials:
4 - 2"x4"x8' WP Stud
6 - 2"x2"x8' WP Stud
3 - 1/2"x2'x4' MDF (3/8" would have been fine, but HD doesn't carry it).

Yield: 12' of 2' deep shelving
Build Time: Appx 3 hours (mostly cutting the notches)
Cost: Less than $50
 
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Old 03-19-06, 04:07 PM
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I'm in largely the same situation: looking for a tablesaw but don't have a lot of space to devote to it (the 2-car garages they build these days are more like the 1-car garages they used to build). One of the projects I'd like to undertake at some point this year is to build some speakers.

The BT3100 has been recommended to me also and it seems to be a pretty popular saw in its size/price range. My local Home Depot has one for $250. The accessory kit is another $100 so $350 total. I have some concerns about the size of the table, though. How large a piece of wood can be crosscut safely without needing extra rollers, etc?

Alternatively, Amazon.com currently has the Delta TS350 for $283 after rebate w/ free shipping. It's somewhat larger and a lot heavier and I'm not sure I have room for it (especially since the rails appear to stick out) though perhaps I could justify it if I slap a piece of MDF on top of it and call it a "table" when not used as a saw. The induction motor should be quieter.

So the question is...since these saws are basically the same price range, which one the better bet for someone who hasn't used a tablesaw since high school shop class?
 
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Old 04-20-06, 10:00 AM
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I would be leary about buying a Ryobi tablesaw or any tool from Ryobi. Ryobi is priced right but the quality is just not there. Take into consideration how much your gonna be using the saw now and in the future with other projects. If it's once in a while you may be able to get away with Ryobi, hopefully you won't need any replacement parts in the future because their practicaly impossible to find! Metabo makes a very good 10" tablesaw, pricey...a little, but well worth it. Bosch also makes a decent tablesaw.
 
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Old 04-20-06, 10:12 AM
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I'm pretty happy with the Ryobi. It makes nice cuts and is somewhat portable. There's a thriving community of BT3 users and people don't seem to have any trouble getting parts.
 
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Old 04-20-06, 04:31 PM
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I use my portable Ryobi every day, all day, and for the past year have had zero problems with it. Good fence system, extensions on the back and right, totally portable so it goes just fine in my construction trailer, as well as up stairs when necessary. For the cost of the unit, if I have problems with parts, it is cheap enough to amortize out and buy another one. I use a Bosch 12" miter saw, and love it, but the cost of the Bosch, Ridgid, etc table saws aren't very friendly. They are selling a name.
 
 

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