Ryobi, Senco and Ridgid Products


Ryobi, Senco and Ridgid Products

Ryobi keeps coming up with new, innovative tools. Here, is their most recent: the new mobile 10” Contractor’s Table Saw (Model BTS20, shown left).

The BTS20 is a direct-drive table saw and is powered by a 15-amp 115-volt motor.

At first glance, you might think that the BTS20 only has a 19" rip capacity on the right. Upon closer inspection, however, you will find two yellow knobs on the underside of the right-hand table. Loosening these knobs allows the extension table to extend to 27". That’s more than enough for sheet goods. With the table extended fully, the extremely accurate rip-fence scale is a real bonus. A neat out-feed extension pulls out and tucks away when not in use.

With the blade set at 0 degrees, the BTS20 will give you a 3 5/8" cut and at 45 degrees, a full 2 1/2" cut.
The BTS20 has a unique folding stand that will adjust to uneven surfaces through an adjustable spring-loaded foot. The large rubber tires make it easy for hauling up and down stairs. Setting-up and knocking down takes only a few seconds and, whether the folding legs are up or down, they are locked securely.

The milled aluminum tabletop gives the tool a very smooth surface. The saw comes complete with a 10", 36-tooth combination carbide-tipped blade.

The saw, being mobile, has plenty of on-board storage spots for the included “T” slot mitre gauge, the positive lock rip fence, wrenches, extra saw blades, the blade guard assembly and the 10' electrical cord. A removable safety switch is included to prevent unauthorized use of the tool.
There are crank wheels to control both the blade height and the bevel. A separate lock is provided for the bevel angle. The controls have a soft over mould and no sharp edges to contend with. Although the crank wheels are a little small (I feel that larger wheels would operate a little smoother), they do work well. They will free up after a few weeks of continuous use.
The blade and motor on the BTS20 are partially enclosed, which explains the relatively quiet motor. It also makes for a really efficient sawdust collector. The exhaust port fits standard 2 1/2" vacuum fittings.

At $349 at Home Depot, the BTS20 is quite a deal.
Senco Mini Air Compressor


The new Senco Mini Air Compressor (PC1010) is aimed primarily at finish and trim applications. This 1 HP, 1 gallon air compressor is a flyweight, but it packs a heavyweight punch. The tool weighs a mere 20 pounds, is ultra-quiet and has a soft-cushioned handle grip. It includes a regulator, pressure gauges, 1/4" universal NPT coupler and an air filter. Should that not be enough for you, then add a 25' coil air hose, a package of mixed brads and an 18 gauge brad nailer.

You won’t want to put this little powerhouse down. It will drive brads at over 20 drives per minute, and it is a lot lighter to lug around the job site than it’s heavier counterparts. The whole kit is priced just over $300 and is available at: Canadian Industrial Distributors.
Ridgid 5" Random Orbital Sander


Ridgid Inc. has just announced a new and comprehensive line of hand-held, corded, cordless, bench top and stationary woodworking tools for the advanced and professional woodworker.

The new tools (35 in all) have some heretofore unheard of features that will make things more convenient in your shop. For example, 12' cords with lighted plugs and a Velcro wrap, high capacity batteries that fully charge in just 30 minutes, autostop brushes that stops the motor to prevent damage.

Of all their new offerings, it was the R2600 5" Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander that really caught my eye. And, after using it, I must say that I am very impressed. The R2600 comes in a hard shell case and had both a PSA (Pressure Sensitive Adhesive) pad and a hook and loop pad with a Micro Fibre Loop on the sanding sheets (one 80 grit included).

The tool has a 12' rubber cord and a unique plug. The plug lights up and shows an icon of the sander. Now, when you are using one of those power bars with a bunch of plugs, you will know immediately which one belongs to the sander.

The R2600 is quiet, partially due to the permanent magnet motor. The permanent magnet motor is also responsible for the sander being able to maintain a constant speed under load. There is a smooth dial that tunes the electronic speed control between 7,000 and 12,000 RPMs and a soft start feature that prevents gouges. We sanded pine, spruce, cedar and oak with excellent results.

Usually I can tell if there is cedar dust in the air, because I will start sneezing. Not so with this sander. The on-board dust bag/vacuum adapter got most of the sawdust and I remained “sneeze-free”.

The R2600 5" Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander is a very impressive tool.

After seeing what Ridgid has accomplished with this entirely new line, I look forward to testing and reporting on the other 34 new tools!

The Ridgid family of tools is available nationally at industrial supply centres and Home Depot. For a look at the complete line of new tools offered by Ridgid, check out: www.ridgid.com
Ryobi SC180VS Scroll Saw


I knew that I was going to like the Ryobi SC180VS, 18" Variable Speed Scroll Saw as soon as I took it out of the box. The table itself impressed me, no waxing and polishing to be done here, the Teflon coating makes it as slick as melting ice. It also tilts 12 degrees left and 48 degrees right.

The SC180VS is a variable speed scroll saw with 500-1600 strokes per minute, controlled by an up-front on/off/speed knob. There is a spot for a padlock to prevent unauthorized use. Ryobi’s new saw has some innovative features that you will appreciate. For example, a unique combination dust blower and fibre optics light (on a flexible arm) that puts both right where they’re needed.

A dust port is provided to look after the sawdust from below. The tool will accept both pin-end and plain-end 5" blades and tools are not required to install them. The blade tension release is right up front on the upper arm housing, as is the light/blower switch. Up top you will also find the locking control for the drop-foot blade guard.

I liked the quiet operation of the SC180VS and the truly vertical cut motion of the arms. There are four lubrication points to keep the tool running smoothly and the 1.2 amp motor has the provision for user replacement of the motor brushes.

The SC180VS only weighs 35 pounds, so it is truly portable. When in use, you can easily clamp it to your workbench. At only $279 at Home Depot, the SC 180VS is good value.

Graham McCulloch
GRAHAM McCULLOCH is a woodworker and
writer living in Halifax, Nova Scotia


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