|Review by ferstler||posted 03-19-2011 11:44 PM||8500 views||0 times favorited||16 comments|
I have owned this Ridgid R4510 for about two weeks. During that time I have cut a fair amount of wood with it, and the unit works very well, indeed. The blade growls a bit as it comes up to speed, but once there the operation is smooth as silk.
The fence was aligned square out of the box, as was the blade (which I replaced with a new Freud unit for precise ripping work, saving the Ridgid blade for rough-and-tumble stuff), and even the wheels were attached when I unpacked it. I did several things almost immediately after getting the saw. First, I replaced the stock throat plate with a zero-clearance job that I cut from smooth chip board (an old audio equipment rack shelf provided the material). Second, I replaced the plastic knob on the blade-height crank with one that I machined out of wood. I like wooden knobs, and have replaced all of the plastic ones on my collection of tools. Third, I removed the accessories from their storage locations on the saw chassis and have them hanging on pegs in my shop. I even removed the clamp assembly that would hold the miter gauge to the saw case. I like the accessories out of my way when not using them.
Overall, this is a fine tool that I recommend to anybody needing a decently precise table saw, but who also have space issues to take into consideration. Interestingly, after examining the saw undercarriage carefully I discovered that the motor that powers the thing seems identical to the one that powers my Ridgid 1290 sliding compound miter saw. At least the case, vent grill, and brush-access caps are identica, as is the color.
I also have a Ryobi BTS20 portable saw (several years old, and more competent looking than the later BTS21), but the Ryobi has limitations that called for getting an improved saw. The Ridgid has those improvements, such as an ability to be moved when the saw is extended into the work position (the Ryobi’s wheels are off of the ground when set up), a deeper work surface in front of the blade (allowing one to more easily use a feather clamp and miter gauge), and a longer and more solid fence.
(Note that one might think that these two saws will take up as much shop space as a good contractor saw, but in my case this is not true. My shop is small and the two saws fold up out of the way, allowing me to do work inside of the building when the weather is poor. Normally, my home being in Florida, I wheel the saws and a number of my other large tools out onto an adjacent work deck.)
Anyway, one advantage the Ryobi does have in comparison to the Ridgid is a deeper outfeed area behind the blade. The aluminum saw-table surace itself is not particularly deep, but the Ryobi has a steel extender out back that that adds additional inches of depth, and which can also be pulled out even further for better stability with longer boards. The Ridgid’s outfeed surface is rather short, and while Ridgid suggests using the company’s nifty “flipper” outfeed table to handle longer boards, it is still tedious to set up.
So, I modified the new saw. I bult outrigger arms out of some scrap pine, painted them, and carefully installed them by drilling holes in the saw’s plastic base and using large screws with VERY large interior washers to spread the load out as much as possible over the interior plastic surface. I then made a cross piece out of a thick dowel (actually, a section cut from an old shovel handle), and sheathed it inside of a steel sleeve that I cut from an old torchiere lamp stand. I sanded off the paint on the sleeve and waxed it to make it slick. It is exactly level with the back of the saw table, and adds an additional 7 inches to the outfeed support. The extra depth does not hamper my ability to store the saw comfortably in the shop.
I recommend this saw highly, and also recommend the modification to anybody who owns the saw, too, who cares to give it a try. Note that all three of my mods cost me no additional cash, since I had the materials in storage and might have tossed them later on.