General’s Canadian-made 650R-T50 saw has a modest collection of features, and I’m not convinced they stack up to the saw’s upper tier pricing. It has the smallest cast table of the test group, but it still offers a generous 14-1⁄2″ in front of the blade when set to 1″. The guard system is split-style with aluminum sides that offer good protection but limit visibility, compared with clear guards. You get two riving knives: one fixed to the guard and a second for non-through cuts. A helpful locking pin enables tool-free changeovers.
The T-square rip fence locks positively with a sharp, thin cursor for accurate setups. The front rail has no end caps, oddly, and the miter gauge is a basic cast unit with no miter slot bar adjusters.
Overall, the saw is well finished, but it could use some hooks and hanger brackets on the cabinet for storing push sticks, miter gauge and rip fence. It has a rubber catch for holding the motor door closed that seems to stretch further than it should; I wonder about its long-term durability.
The 650R-T50 did a fine job of cutting during testing, and although the Off button is fairly small, it’s easy to reach without fumbling. I pulled out about nine fistfuls of dust — pretty good for the test group. Overall, this saw just isn’t a standout for $2,900 in 2010 compared with other comparably priced models in this roundup.