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Ridgid R4511 my own little review

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Review by cliffton posted 01-02-2010 06:28 AM 7437 views 2 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Ridgid R4511 my own little review No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

just as a disclaimer my last table saw was a craftsman benchtop tablesaw. It worked well for what it was meant for but I was quickly running into its limitations and was getting quite upset with it.

This is my first what i would like to call my first “real” table saw in that its meant for precision work and not basically a circle saw mounted upside down.

Man this thing was a bugger to find, I called every HD in west TX and east NM and found that one of the Amarillo stores had six of em. Talked to a manager and got an instant 15% off. Paid for it over the phone to reserve it. that was 9am, got there at around 2pm to pick it up and found that the only ones left were mine and the display model. Got six of the HD worker bees to load it in the back of my Xterra, by the way it will fit, if you take it off the pallet.

We got it home and then had to figure out how to get it out. I took all the cardboard off and all the misc pieces off to get the weight down and was able to slide it out the back without dropping it or killing myself.

I put it together in my living room as its the warmest place, and found the instructions were almost useless, as in at least it had pictures. Two things I noticed dead wrong where putting the lift on before the plastic tray and putting the power switch on before you bolt on the grounding strap.

The first thing i noticed is i have a chip at the edge of the left rear center piece, its about 1/8 inch round. annoying but does not impact use at all.

I went to tune it best as i could as i don’t have a dial indicator but i did my best and i think it is pretty dang close to dead on. the wings were a little finicky to get right but I eventually got them as flat as i need. the fence is a bit more wobbly than i would like but i am attributing that to the fact that the front rail is mild 2 inch square tube which is a very poor choice for tolerances and the back support is angle iron, another poor choice. these will one day be upgraded to extruded aluminum. One thing that stood out to me was the throat plate rear support was very loose and wobbled all over the place til i tightened the bolts. Another thing i noticed is that the blade does not retract that far below the surface. maybe 3/8s of an inch. so making a ZCI is a little trickier but not too dificult. The last thing i noticed is the rumble on shutdown which according to many is due to the belt. will have to get one to see if it helps.

most importantly it makes dam fine sawdust.

overall i would say its an excellent saw for 400$ final price after all discounts and family/friends mail in.




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cliffton

117 posts in 1835 days



33 comments so far

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Routerisstillmyname

713 posts in 2263 days


#1 posted 01-02-2010 07:24 AM

Dang close will not be close enough. Get a digital dial indicator at harborfreight. that saw deserves it ;-)

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

View MarkwithaK's profile

MarkwithaK

370 posts in 1932 days


#2 posted 01-02-2010 07:37 AM

Congrats. I picked up one of these a couple months back and despite the poor assembly instructions it actually went together fairly well and squared up easily. Enjoy your new saw.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

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a1Jim

112939 posts in 2331 days


#3 posted 01-02-2010 07:49 AM

Thanks for the reiview.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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RandyMarine

235 posts in 2123 days


#4 posted 01-02-2010 04:42 PM

I myself bought this saw a couple of months ago, and everything you described in your review I experienced.

I had to go back to HD and look at the floor model to ensure I was doing this thing justice. When I was leveling the wings the main top cracked, called HD and they brought to my house a brand new replacement saw. They helped me put it together and took the damaged one away.

After a month I was not happy with the fence on the saw so I replaced it with the Shop Fox Classic and frued diablo blades. What a difference it made. I love this saw and glad I pulled the trigger.

-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2402 days


#5 posted 01-02-2010 06:20 PM

congratulations on the saw – it’s a good one.

the blade only retracting 3/8” below the surface of the top is a standard thing with table saws – I have yet to find a table saw that retracted the blade more than that (I’m sure there are a few – never saw on though). you can use a dado blade to notch the bottom of the ZCI, then use your regular blade to go through the ZCI. if you’ll look at commercial ZCI – they are all notched like that already.

for the chip in the granite, and the fact that the throat insert is wobbly – I would recommend contacting Ridgid for a replacement top – it’s a brand new saw, and should not have those 2 issues, as little as they may seem.

another thing I would try is to take the belt off and turn on/off the saw to see if it’ll rumble which will indicate whether it’s caused by the belt or by the motor.

enjoy the sawdust! this saw is a totally different experience than what you’ve used before – but you should already know that by now.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View BigG's profile

BigG

56 posts in 1823 days


#6 posted 01-02-2010 08:00 PM

After a fair amount of tuning, I have really enjoyed this saw for the last several months. I got mine when I had to bring my woodworing mags to HD to show them their new product that I wanted to buy. If you go to the Ridgid Forum web site you will find threads on the R4511 relating to every possible aspect of this saw including the shudder at shutdown. I may do the fence/rail upgrade if I can’t fine tune mine a little more. There are numerous threads on this subject that I have printed as well. I put a Forrest WWII on mine and it cuts like a hot knife through butter.

Have fun,

-- Big G

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cliffton

117 posts in 1835 days


#7 posted 01-02-2010 10:53 PM

Thanks for the comments guys! I just did the belt off test and there is no shudder so it looks like a belt is going to be the next purchase. The throat insert was wobbly because of two hidden allen head screws that were loose on the rear support adjustment that are really hard to find. after i tightened them up no more wobble. I must admit that I was really surprised to see that the blade did not retract further, i guess i was just used to my craftsman that retracted about an inch below the top. Made making an insert a little harder but not bad. I am going to keep a good eye on that chip section to make sure it doesn’t create a stress crack but for now im just going to leave it.

I talked to a buddy of mine that is a sheet metal mechanic (makes huge aluminum/steel parts for airplanes) and he said if i bring him a piece of angle and a piece of 2 inch square tube he can square the surfaces on his machines so they are “as flat as you’ll ever need” so i think i’m going to try that.

View nytefsher's profile

nytefsher

3 posts in 1820 days


#8 posted 01-03-2010 05:54 AM

hoping to get some help with putting together the herculift .. are the 4 screws supposed to stay loose.. this saw is my first BIG step into a brand new saw my other on was a craftsman hand me down from my grandpa..

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2402 days


#9 posted 01-03-2010 05:59 AM

all the bolts that have the locktite nuts should stay loose. VERY loose… which allows the herculift mechanism the freedom of movement to fold up and down.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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nytefsher

3 posts in 1820 days


#10 posted 01-03-2010 06:25 AM

thanks PurpLev.. the instructions were vague and i was beginning to feel a bit dumb

View Cato's profile

Cato

641 posts in 2066 days


#11 posted 01-03-2010 02:29 PM

You can get the replacement belt from McMaster Carr. Its a size 300j6, 30.5” outer circle. Part number is 9003K16. Makes a noticeable difference over the factory supplied belt. Cost is like $12.00

View Luke's profile

Luke

542 posts in 2048 days


#12 posted 01-07-2010 03:47 AM

I have a question about the table wings. I am considering buying one and I LOVE everything about it except the granite top. I went to Depot to look at it and give it a good look. It’s really nice actually. I am nervous mainly about the top cracking or chipping later or whatever other problems could occur. I really like that it’s flat and won’t rust though. My question is how the wings attach to the main table. It looked like a couple of steel bars connected the wing to the main table. Does it have set screws for adjustments? Does it look like it should stand the test of time holding up the weight? Basically what do you think of the way it is attached to the main table? Having not put one together I figure you’d have a good idea of the quality of the way it fits and all. If someone were to lean on the wing or put a lot of weight on the end would if have a chance of cracking?

Thanks a lot for any help you can give!

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

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cliffton

117 posts in 1835 days


#13 posted 01-07-2010 04:47 PM

those flat bars support the wings and there are set screws in them to adjust the top. What actually holds the wings to the main table are 3 studs that you put nuts on to bolt the wings to the main top. With the liftime warranty from ridgid i’m not worried about cracking a top, everyone that has had one crack has had great customer support from them. dont forget also that the angle iron for the front and rear rails also ties the rails together so it has much better support. Lean against it and crack? not a chance. what to you is allot of weight? 100 pounds probly wouldnt affect it. there have been some that have hung a router extension on them and have had no problem. dont forget that cast iron is brittle too.

View Luke's profile

Luke

542 posts in 2048 days


#14 posted 01-08-2010 04:01 AM

Thanks a lot Clliffton. I am considering buying but waiting for the 10% coupon in mail. I hope it comes soon. My local HD has 5 left and I know they were discontinued. It would be great if they come out with a new one that is even better! Unless I buy this one now and then that happens in a couple months…

Thanks!

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

View shopmania's profile

shopmania

695 posts in 1936 days


#15 posted 01-08-2010 04:41 AM

I bought this saw 6 months ago and have been very happy with it! The adjustment screws allowed me to get the wings very flat and flush. The fence is actually quite good, and if it gets off by a 16th or 32nd occassionally (measuring blade to fence at the front and back of the blade) it is b/c there is saw dust under the fence guide in the front, and when i get that cleaned out, it is zeroed up and parallel again. I was able to make a zero clearance insert w/ 1//2 ply without any trouble. I plan to make one from UHMW soon.

Getting the HERC-U-LIFT and the plastic dust catching piece both installed was quite a challenge, (it seems like they both need to go on first! Some longer screws would have been helpful I think) but the lift does a great job of picking up the 450 lb. saw. I only wish the fence went out to 36”. Other than that, it’s just about perfect. If I was cutting 8/4 goods, power may be an issue, but for sheet goods and 3/4 oak or maple, it has been great. For $400-450, I can’t believe you could find more value in a table saw.

Just my 2 cents. Hadn’t heard they discontinued it. Appreciate the info about the belt, and riving knife. Just bought the microjig MJ Splitter, to put on my UHMW ZCI. I’ll let you know what I think. The Grr-Ripper is really a nice addition, and keeps your hands away from the blade on those small cuts.

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, DrTim@ONeillChiro.com- Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

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