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Was happy, now taking it back!

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Review by TheKingInYellow posted 06-16-2011 06:08 AM 9910 views 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Was happy, now taking it back! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

PLEASE NOTE I have edited this review after a few weeks with the saw. Here is the original review and my update follows:

I accidentally spent the whole day in the garage assembling my new Ridgid saw. So here are my impressions:

The saw is very sturdy, and assembly was very easy despite a few typos and some items that were not clearly identified. All the parts are well machined, and everything has a good but not excessive coat of cosmoline.

I will not that there are several reviews that mention rails damaged in shipping from hitting the bevel handle bolt. Ridgid now puts a rubber cap on the bolt and I noted no damage to my rails, but there was a black rub mark from the cap that easily wiped off. Good job Ridgid, nice to see that they listen to their customers and react to issues.

Assembly took about four hours, with another hour and a half or so of tuning in the blade and fiddling with the tables. Overall, 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 TS2410LS jobsite saw 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 while 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. Overall though, it’s a lot of saw for $500USD, and it’s obviously a big step up from my old saw. If the fence really begins to be a problem, I’ll look to replace it soon.

I gave this four stars, but it’s really 3 1/2 to my mind. I chose to round up given the price of the saw and overall value I think it offers.

  • UPDATED JULY 2nd 2011

This saw is going back. As of yesterday when I first started making some new cuts, the blade will bind and stop the motor when cutting 3/4” plywood. I’ve checked everything, and it looks like a dud motor. Here is the thing that annoys me the most though…

After all the work to square the blade to the mitre slot, it has slipped back out to over 10 thou out of parallel. This saw is just not accurate at all, and I can’t trust it to produce anything close to square any more.

Waxing the rails did* help the fence to slide, but I’ve also noticed that it can swing as much as 1cm out of parallel to either side when you clamp the fence down. Because this fence clamps the front and back rail, if the fence is skewed, the clamping action will lock it in place SKEWED.

I’m returning it tomorrow.

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...




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TheKingInYellow

233 posts in 2248 days



22 comments so far

View VinnieP's profile

VinnieP

141 posts in 2039 days


#1 posted 06-16-2011 03:43 PM

Are Craftsman and Ridgid made in the same factory? This looks identical to my saw.

View TheKingInYellow's profile

TheKingInYellow

233 posts in 2248 days


#2 posted 06-16-2011 03:45 PM

Yes it’s my understanding that they are.

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

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VinnieP

141 posts in 2039 days


#3 posted 06-16-2011 04:37 PM

The looks and your description are too identical to my experiences and feelings for it to be coincidental.

View noweyrey1's profile

noweyrey1

20 posts in 1487 days


#4 posted 06-16-2011 04:58 PM

I have the granite top 4511 which I like very much aside from the two piece front rail. It allows the fence to move when locking it down. I got some phenolic sheets from Ebay which work great for zero clearance inserts. I have some listed for sale on there if you need any. they are rectangular on the 4511 but are easily cut on a router table if yours is round. Good luck with the saw.

View TheKingInYellow's profile

TheKingInYellow

233 posts in 2248 days


#5 posted 06-16-2011 05:38 PM

I re-heeled the blade this morning, and using this technique I was able to bring the blade within less than .1mm, so about 2 or 3 thousandths of an inch.

Vinnie, how would you describe your experience then? I checked but you don’t have a review listed, and I’d like to know what you think of your saw.

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

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VinnieP

141 posts in 2039 days


#6 posted 06-16-2011 07:28 PM

Overall I’m happy with it. It hasn’t let me down yet. I’ve had it over a year and haven’t had any problems. I feel the quality is about right for the price point if not a little better. I haven’t had much time to tune it up better except for when I squared everything up while putting it together. I know the blade isn’t as close to true as yours but a little time and patience should take care of that. Like you I thought the fence system was a pain to put together, but I haven’t had any problems with it slipping during operation. Once i got the fence rails level I didn’t have any trouble moving the fence like you described.

Like I said I’m definitely happy with my purchase. It was a step up from my old saw, the price was right, and it hasn’t let me down. Once I tune it up and buy a thin kerf blade I know it will just be icing on the cake.

View MrWoodworker's profile

MrWoodworker

65 posts in 1313 days


#7 posted 06-16-2011 08:49 PM

It’s been awhile since I put a saw together, but I do not recall it taking anywhere near 4 hours. Maybe my memory is getting foggier than I think! That’s quite a project! Anyway, enjoy your saw, and good job dialing it in.

-- http://nationalwoodworking.com

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knotscott

5553 posts in 2093 days


#8 posted 06-17-2011 02:58 AM

King – Now that you’ve adjusted the trunnions to as close to parallel with the miter slots as possible, you should be able to tweak your fence so that it’s dead parallel to the blade. Be sure there’s zero error that could cause binding though…better to error in the opposite direction.

Glad to hear your going to get a decent TK blade for it.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View TheKingInYellow's profile

TheKingInYellow

233 posts in 2248 days


#9 posted 06-17-2011 03:03 AM

I’m using a CMT 30 tooth glue line rip for my test cuts right now with no problems. I know you have to be careful with TK blades on these saws since they may be too thin to use with the riving knife…

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15144 posts in 1907 days


#10 posted 06-17-2011 04:22 PM

I have one and have really put it through the ringer. I got rid the lift system quickly as I thought it was useless. I built a cabinet and added a router table to the end which I love. Great saw, but I can see myself upgrading soon. I really want a beismyer fence and bigger motor. Congrats on dailing yours in.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/40378

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View ic3ss's profile

ic3ss

261 posts in 1495 days


#11 posted 06-17-2011 11:08 PM

King – I’m not surprised your new ridgid saw out performs your contractor saw with the amp difference. Amp ratings on power tools really doesn’t mean much. Take a look at these articles that explain it better: http://blogs.toolbarn.com/mattg/2005/12/whats-amp-worth.html
http://professional-power-tool-guide.com/power-tool-guides/other-guides/power-tool-amps-horsepower-and-volts/

I’d take most cabinet saws over any contractor saw any day regardless of what the manufacturer motor rating is. Power tool manufacturers label their tools “power” different from one another to keep the average customer from being able to easily make comparisons. Some rate in amps, some in HP, some in torque, some in volts. And this is the way they want it. Power ratings on power tools is all about marketing and is nothing that can be used for direct comparison by itself.

Ok, I’m done with my rant. Nice saw, I almost bought the same one before I found an old Unisaw that I rebuilt. Love that saw. For what it’s worth, my Unisaw is 1.5HP ;-)

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View Rick Boyett's profile

Rick Boyett

167 posts in 1930 days


#12 posted 06-20-2011 05:26 AM

It’s a pair of cast iron wings away from being a true replacement to the TS3650.

View TheKingInYellow's profile

TheKingInYellow

233 posts in 2248 days


#13 posted 06-20-2011 05:55 AM

Rick, I agree. If they offered a 4512 Pro model or something with cast iron wings, and single piece rails, that would be ideal :)

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

View aturnis's profile

aturnis

6 posts in 1251 days


#14 posted 06-20-2011 07:40 AM

I’ve had this saw for about 3 months. Put it through the motions and am very please. Up to this point I haven’t exactly need it to be incredibly accurate. My first project with it was a new laminate floor in a property I’m getting ready for sale. The only really noticeable flaws I have come across is a bit of blade wobble, and the fact that the only way to bring is down from the lifted position is with a thunderous crash. Other than that mine works way better than I would even have expected a lift system to work, and I haven’t given her a tune up yet, so that should fix the wobble. Other than that, this saw far exceeds my expectations of a $500 saw.

I have not had the lift issues you are all having at all. I stored the thing in a shed at the property the floor was going into, and between shed and the concrete pad outside was a big ole door threshold. I made a “staggered ramp” out of 1/4” and 1/2” ply. Very primitive, 1/4”,1/2”, threshold, 1/2”, 1/4”. It rolled right up and over that shotty little ramp 50 times, beings it was a weekend project, and rain was abundant. I wonder if your issues weren’t local to your particular unit, or assembly error. I know I almost didn’t buy the thing b/c the local HomeDepot guys put theirs together wrong. It would lift, and as soon as you would roll it, BAM!, to the floor it went. Glad I took a chance on it though! You sure you have all of the lift hardware laid out correctly?

As for the fence thing, I agree, you just don’t adjust it by the lockdown lever. I always grab the top of my fence anyway though. So it doesn’t really bother me…

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aturnis

6 posts in 1251 days


#15 posted 06-20-2011 07:46 AM

Vinnie,

Yeah, their identical. There is also a home store around here called Menards(don’t know if you have them in Nebraska) who carries the same one badged as their generico brand Masterforce. It’s grey and green. And I believe both the Craftsman and Masterforce go for $50 more than the Ridgid. Also, I think I read the Masterforce has some plastic gears in the blade adjustment mechanics. So they do have their differences.

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