|Review by Xett||posted 01-03-2010 05:14 PM||3506 views||0 times favorited||8 comments|
I’ve owned this saw a little over a year now, figured it was about time to write a review.
FYI; the orange box store is now stocking an updated version of this saw with a riving knife and various other updates. My saw is the older version, but from what I can tell, not much different, save some cosmetic updates and the riving knife.
Out of the box, it came reasonably well tuned, though needed fixing. Aligning the blade to the slots is a matter of three allen screws and a small hammer. I was able to get it to .005 (measured with a caliper) using just an adjustable square. The fence was pretty out of whack, but is easily aligned to the miter slots by loosening four bolts on the top of the fence. The bevel gauge is….OK. I rarely use anything other than 90 and 45, the latter of which required adjusting the stops. As shipped, it stopped at about 42 degrees. Adjusting the stop is a pain and requires a lot of time on ones knees to get to the bolts inside the saw.
I use this saw for a pretty even 50/50 spit of remodeling work and furniture building. For the former, I don’t think you can get a better saw. The folding/rolling stand makes it cake to move around. I can wheel it down to my shop and set it up or out to the yard to work on our porch. The stand is very stable, only a small amount of racking and nothing that effects the functionality. Its got a large rip capacity and a great fence. I’ve used a couple of the dewalt contractor models and the fences, to me, are no where near as solid.
For ‘fine’ woodworking, it works as well as anything in this genre. No, it isn’t a PM2000 or Unisaw, but it is also about one sixth the cost. After the alignment procedure is done, I put on a Tenryu and made a zero-clearance insert. I’ve made several pieces with this, from small boxes to larger kitchen furniture and everything has come out as well as I made it. That is, the saw is more accurate than I am!
The miter gauge is perfectly adequate, obviously check and adjust the stops before using it. I have an after-market gauge that I much prefer, but the stock one will get the job done.
So what are the negatives?
I find it exceptionally loud. Even for a direct drive saw, this thing screeches. Could just be me, who knows. I wear hearing protection 90% of the time anyway, so this wasn’t a giant problem for me.
As I said, setting the 90 and 45 stops for the tilt is a pain and tough to get ‘right on’, but it can be done.
Dust collection is decent, its got a 2.5inch port that I hook my shop-vac to. The vac is a 150cfm and pulls about 60% of the dust the saw makes. The rest falls out the bottom.
The splitter is a pain to take off, but what else is new in the land of fixed-height splitters. This is a non-issue now, as its a riving knife in the new model.
The power switch is tough to find without looking at it. I think this is also fixed in the new model.
All in all, if you don’t already own this, you will be buying the new model. Ridgid really seems to have listened to what users complained about, because most of the big gripes have been addressed in the revision.
I’ve beat the heck out of this saw, an entire porch and patio of pressure treated lumber, plenty of 8/4 hard wood, three rooms of laminate floor planking, etc, etc.
If you are in the <$500 market for a TS, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this saw. And a lifetime warranty doesn’t hurt either.