Contractor Saw No. TS3650 - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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Contractor Saw No. TS3650

Ridgid - Contractor Saw No. TS3650

This is a compact saw designed for the furniture maker. Features a one-piece trunnion assembly and adequate built-in dust collection.

$547 (As of 10/25/2005)

(23 user reviews) Write a Review

Editor Choice-Best Value

Editor's Review:

by John White

review date: October 25, 2005

Ridgid’s new contractor’s saw (model No. TS3650) is a true furniture maker’s tool on a par, in all but horsepower, with full-size cabinet saws. It looks like any other contractor’s saw, but many of the important details have been redesigned. The trunnion assembly is a one-piece iron casting that is much stiffer than the small castings and connecting rods of the older designs. The pivoting arm that supports the saw’s arbor also is a beefy casting, and it’s attached to the main casting in a way that eliminates any play between the two. In another improvement, the main casting wraps around the blade, allowing fairly effective sawdust collection through a built-in 2-1/2-in.-dia. port.

As on most contractor’s saws, the trunnions are mounted to the underside of the table, but this saw also has a simple cam and lever built into the rear trunnion. The cam makes it possible to align the blade parallel to the miter-gauge slot in just a few minutes. Both the 45° and 90° blade-tilt stops are adjustable from above the table with setscrews on both sides of the insert plate. The blade-tilt and height controls worked smoothly, and one nice feature—not seen even on much pricier saws—is a blade-angle lock on the front trunnion.

The standard, vibration-prone V-belt drive has been replaced on this saw with a flat, automotive-style poly V-belt running on machined steel pulleys, which reduces noise and vibration. The motor is a 1-1/2-hp, totally enclosed unit that should provide adequate power for most ripping operations.

The aluminum rip fence locks down at both ends, and it was sturdy, accurate, and slid smoothly on the rails. As shown above, the rails are set up for a rip capacity of 12 in. to the left of the blade and 36 in. to the right, but you can shift the rails farther right to expand the ripping capacity to more than 50 in. Out of the box, the fence was very close to parallel to the blade, but fine-tuning the alignment was a hunt-and-peck process.
Ridgid’s designers improved many other functions of the machine. The miter gauge uses screws for adjusting the 45° and 90° angle stops. The saw uses two wrenches for blade changing—no more nicked fingers. The base has a built-in retractable caster system that worked better than any I’ve ever seen. The power switch has a large paddle handle (easy to turn off), and the switch can be mounted anywhere in a T-slot along the front fence rail. The two cast-iron wings have large, open slots that make it easier to clamp accessory fences or featherboards to the tabletop.

Overall, the fit and finish of this saw were very good. The table flatness, runout, and initial alignment all tested out to be better than average. The machine had a nice, heavy feel to it because the steel used in the stand and base is thicker than that on many other contractor’s saws.

On the downside, the splitter and guard assemblies were awkward to set up and difficult to align with the blade. The standard insert plate and an accessory dado insert plate are sturdy metal castings, but the plastic zero-clearance throat plates are flimsy. The saw is sold at The Home Depot, and it is an impressive machine for the money.

John White is Fine Woodworking's shop manager.

Editor Test Results:

Table Flatness Good
Parallel Test Miter slot to blade: 0.002 in. out of parallel
Arbor Runout 0.001 in.
Noise Level N/A

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Ridgid
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-474-3443
Max Rip Capacity 36 in., right of blade, 12 in. left of blade.
Dust Collection 2-1/2 in. port
Fence Stock
Horsepower 1-1/2 hp
Amps 13 amps
Volts 120v
Table Size N/A
Blade Size 10 in.
Blade Tilt Left

This saw does what I need it to. It is not the most powerful saw but slow & steady wins the race. It is perfect for the part time woodworking enthusiasts like myself. Lots of table space & the fact it comes with retractable wheels make it easy to move is a small garage-sized shop such as mine. It was tuned perfectly out of the box. I have had it over a year & it has lived up to what I expected from it. All in all a sound purchase.

I too love this saw, my only regret is that i had waited two months and got in on thier new cabinet version i have seen advertized. All in all,great tool, no real regrets

Very good saw for the price. I am impressed by the quality for the price.Accurate saw.

I have almost three years of use on this saw. The only things that I would like to see corrected are the miter gauge (I replaced mine with an Incra 1000SE)and the need for a riving knife/ guard instead of the clumsy splitter/guard. The blade isn't the greatest but it's an expendable item anyway. I also bought my saw in the era of the defective arbor which I replaced. I wasn't happy that they wanted the saw delivered to a service center (1.5 hours away) instead of taking care of this in-house at the store via a specially scheduled program of repair (I opted to change it myself). Others complain about the fence but since I'm moving up from a 30 year old Shopsmith it's a marvel of engineering to me. I have had no problem installing the switch where I can bump it with my left hip and the rails are under no discernible stress with my homemade router table attached. I do use an adjustable, removable leg to prevent any long-term stress on the rails, however. I'd buy this saw again in a minute and I frequently recommend it to others. Hmm, I guess I just did!

Great saw for the money. Alignment was out by .003" (runout) on blade. The eccentric lever made it simple to bring within .001" which was better than the blade itself. I have used it for past year and consider there is no reason to upgrade. Very impressed with fit and finish. Vibration is minimal. Kudos to Ridgid for such a good, well thought out design.

I've had my TS3650 for almost 3 years now, and I have no regrets whatsoever about purchasing it. Fit, finish, and functionality were all superb. I don't think there's anything in its price range that comes close to the TS3650, and would no hesitate to recommend it to others looking for a good saw for a good price. The stock fence is quite good, but I had a chance to add an Incra TS-III fence system for a good price, so I jumped on it. I added a router table extension to the left side of the table, allowing me to use the Incra fence on either the saw or the router table.The factory blade is surprisingly good, but I prefer to use dedicated rip and crosscut blades (both are Freuds). I use the factory combo blade for rougher, more questionable lumber.If you're on the fence about purchasing this saw...get it. You won't regret it.


This is my second saw. I see no reason I'll need another. Assembly required an afternoon. But alignment of guides, fence, etc. were minimal. Smooth, quiet, cuts true. I'm very happy with this tool.

Excellent saw. I've done a lot of things with this and I can't say I have any complaints.

I recently purchased the TS3650 and I love it. Very strong construction and with some minor adjustments, very accurate. I agree with the review of the splitter. I have replaced the blade with a Forrest blade. With the addition of a shop made outfeed table, this saw is a dream machine

I've had the TS3650 for about a year. So far it has done everything I've desired it to do with ease. I did upgrade the blade a Freud blade though. Great saw. The TS3660 should be a fine saw as well.

I bought the saw soon after introduction and couldn't be happy. The large cast iron table is a big improvement over other contractors saws. The table required very little adjustment after assembly. The controls are easy to easy and the saw seems well thought out. I can't emphasize the ease of using the mobile base. The only disappointment is the splitter and blade guard-however, only a few saws have seemed to have solved this problem recently. I don't find the power switch to be an issue. The fence is realible and easy to use. I use thin-kref blades which has improved the ripping speed somewhat. I would have spent at least twice the money to find a significantly better saw. This will serve my needs for many years to come.


This is a great saw for the money. Why spend thousands on a table saw when this one does almost everything and is moveable? I especially like the long rails and casters.

I just love it. Large table, fence rip capacity up to 36 inches, low noise/vibrations, accurate, easy to move around despite its weight, a pleasure to use.One would need to pay much more $$$ to get a similar machine.

After the failure of my Ridgid TS2400LS Home Depot gave me a store credit so with another $110 I purchased the TS3650. Assembly of the Ridgid would have been straightforward if it where not for the poorly written instructions and the mislabeled hardware packs. The packs themselves are a great method of providing the many different pieces of hardware, unfortunately their sizes are all printed as inch/SAE when in fact its a mix of metric and inch. There is another set of assembly instructions available at the Ridgid website under literature that correctly describes the mobile base assembly. There a few other instruction issues which with the aid of a little common sense become apparent.Dial indicating the blade to the miter channel was remarkably accurate as was the fence squareness. Since the mobil base lacks stationary wheels mobility is excellent. While the cast extension wings add weight it's much nicer than stamped sheet metal. Ridgid should be commended for their rip fence design. Using a channeled aluminum extrusion thats clamped at the front and rear allows 0 deflection and the simple attachment of a sacrificial facing, feather boards, stopblocks, etc. Using a feather board with the typical high end melamine fence means using a separate clamp at the rear and special fence clamps. The saw runs quiet with very little vibration.I am rating this product average, despite all of its positive attributes, because of the lack of design given to the on/off switch, a shortcoming of many manufactures. On the upside I was able to form a bracket out of 3/4" flat bar stock that places the switch near my left thigh and I'm able to power off the saw with a slight motion of my left leg. Since the advent of SawStop's blade breaking technology I feel the SawStop is the only truly excellent table saw. Of course that's my opinion. The Ridgid TS3650 is a very good product and MUCH better than I expected. For the price, it's quit remarkable and easy to recommend. Keep your eye on the blade.

I recently purchased this tablesaw, and right out of the box, I realized it was a great investment. I work with larger machines at work, such as the Unisaw, and I would have to say that this saw is in good competition with it. Its blade is square to the slots, the fence is square as well. It is easily adjustable, with many different features that make this a great addition to my shop. If I had it to do again, I would still have purchased this saw. Great user-friendly equipment, and an unbelievable warrantee.

My brother bought one of these. I helped set it up which was very easy although the reason I helped was he did'nt get the mobile base working. He assembled it following the instructions which were wrong, after figuring out the mistake in the drawing it went together with no problem. I never used the saw but am quite impressed with the quality. I have a unisaw and actually thought that I probably would have bought a rigid if they were available then. Not that I have any regret for buying the unisaw, but the rigid would have made me think because it has a lot of things going for it, fit and finish is great, I like the size of the table on the infeed. It is a very nice saw..good bang for the buck..

This is my third tablesaw and the best by far. I researched other saws for a year and this had just about everything I wanted (impressive fence, at least 30" rip, cast iron wings, mobile base) and I got it at a killer price during one of HD's rebate promotions. Assembly was very easy for the saw but the mobile base instructions were written by someone who did not know how to write instructions. The blade came perfectly at 90 degrees but the fence was a bit off. Contrary to the editor's "hunt and peck" problem I used a try square aligned in the miter slot, loosened the four hex screws and immediately set the fence right. Time: maybe two minutes and only one try. I found the on/off switch to be a bit small during times of large panel cutting which necessitated a hip bump. Another minor situation concerns the advantage of "cabinet forward" design. I love the extra table in front of the blade but it means that there is less behind the blade. I had foreseen this situation with the display model and just bought a well-designed Ridgid flip-up outfeed support at the same time. The fence is herky and the jig hex bolt slots are great! Possible improvements would include an even larger on/off paddle, a soft start and the option for a 2HP/220v motor, otherwise I am extremely pleased with my purchase.

Bought the ridgid 3650 tablesaw and the 6 inch jointer to boot. Both went together great but instructions could have been better. I had to do a little adjusting on the fence as it was out a 32nd of an inch but now aligned. thus far I have fed 3/4 birch plywood, 3/4 alder hard wood and 1" thick asian wood that looks like mahogany through it trying to slow it down but she took it with no problems and that's with a 60 tooth Dewalt finish blade. I have installed a router top on the left side and it's bolted to the iron wing and the rails. Some say that's too much stress on the rails but it sure is not acting stressed. I may build a heavy box cabinet on wheels and remove the lower legs just for more stability and add a out feed table as most of my work is cabinet stuff and sheet goods. I think it's a great saw for the price but would like to see a 2hp motor in 240 volt. The 6"jointer runs perfect with {ZERO} adjustment needed right out of the boxthe beds travel flawlessly and both pc's of equip are not loud and vibration is zero to non-well you may get a little with a dado set but nothing to worry about.

Lots of good features, and is readily available aanywhere. Nice mobile base, although fussy to assemble. It's basically an updated version of the old Craftsman contractor saw. I'm not crazy about the aluminum fence, but it works well for a fence of this type. A steel Biese clone would make it a more of a top contender, and would offer more strength for a router table. The dust shroud is a nice touch, but the 2" dust port is restrictive for serious DC systems.


Very good quality,I was almost surprised with fit and finish.I am replacing a Craftsman digital saw I was always fairly happy with but couldn't repair due to parts unavailability.{A severe short coming.I feel as though a table saw is a lifetime purchase for most woodworkers.)Except for a couple minor in home repairs it always served me fairly well and the digital readout/control was a nice feature/gimick.The TS3650 is much easier to move in the workshop area thanks to is herculan(?) lift system.The assembly process required no shims hammers etc and the instructions were adequate.The fence and miter gauge are very good and required very slight adjustment as did blade square out of the box.The table and wings also tested very flat.The motor/belt system has very little vibration with enough power for most work.3/4 by 1/2 grooves and dadoes in Pt.pine didn't slow it down much.After much research on line and in stores I feel I made a smart purchase.To get a noticeably better table saw would mean almost double the price and you can't beat a lifetime warranty.After several weeks of use I'm very happy with my decision.

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