I accidentally spent the whole day in the garage assembling the new Ridgid saw. So here are my impressions:
Tolerances were pretty decent but there is a distinct bow in the steel extensions. I opted to keep them as level with the cast iron as possible but on the outer edge of the extensions they dip as much as 1/32nd of an inch. Not likely to be a huge issue, but one to note. The cast iron itself is pretty much dead flat but getting the insert to sit flat wasn’t fully possible. I suspect the insert itself is warped but I’ll be tossing it in favour of a ZCI anyhow.
Mitre slot to the blade was out by .4mm and I’ve adjusted it to .2mm, and I can’t adjust it any more. The bolts to adjust the trunnions are pretty accessible, but there is not enough room to really get in to the cabinet and whack it, but there just doesn’t seem to be any more give. I think it’s a reasonable tolerance, but I’ll admit that I wanted it to be as close to dead square as possible.
The fence was .8mm out (back more away from the blade) but I got it down to about .25mm. Having said this, the fence really does have a bit of play when locking it down. You can easily shift it 1mm either way if you apply any sort of pressure when locking it down. Not terrible, but again, you’d like it to be a bit better.
I was able to adjust the blade to a dead 90 degrees and adjust the positive stops easily. The saw fired up nice and quietly compared to my jobsite. It passed the nickel test and it clearly has more cutting power than my jobsite despite being rated at 13A versus the 15A of the jobsite saw. I only cut some 3/4 red oak but it was smooth and I already felt way more confident with it. It’s very sturdy and I appreciate the sense of weight will using it.
My three gripes right now:
1. Blade to Mitre Slot – I think .2mm is a little more out of parallel than I’d like.
2. Herculift – The back legs do not seem to lift enough to get off the ground. I can move it but the legs scrape.
3. Fence – Not so much the parallel-ness, but the horrible sliding action. I have no trouble with the two piece rail, but you CAN NOT slide the fence from the front of the saw. You basically need to grab the middle of the fence, otherwise the fence has too much friction on the rails and will not slide, it just grinds and jerks along. Really disappointing.
I’m going to try spraying some Boeshield on the rails to see if I can make the fence slide better tomorrow. As it is right now, I can tell you that the fence is going to be very annoying.
Pics tomorrow after I clean up the shop a bit.
-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...