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I'll rate it a 4 out of 5 due to the blade to miter slot adjustment.

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Review by WillMat posted 855 days ago 2916 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
I'll rate it a 4 out of 5 due to the blade to miter slot adjustment. I'll rate it a 4 out of 5 due to the blade to miter slot adjustment. I'll rate it a 4 out of 5 due to the blade to miter slot adjustment. Click the pictures to enlarge them

First, I will rate the saw, and I rate it a 4 out of 5, over the difficulty of aligning the blade to the miter slots. The manual shows a mechanism using set screws to adjust the trunnion, from underneath the table, at the front of the saw. However, the saw does not have this feature, and when you look at the parts diagram, it is not there either.

To align the blade to the miter slot, which I had to do, as mine was 0.010” out, I had to add shims under the rear lift rod. The trunnion pins are made into two tapered blocks that have a flange attached to the bottom, with two screws going through each flange, which holds both blocks to the table, fitting into two tapered recesses, at the front and rear. I suppose one could shim these blocks, but they are hard to get to without dismantling the top from the saw body. I chose to add some steel shim stock under the rod shown in the third photo, under the top and bottom of the rod. This pulled the rear of the blade around, and into tolerance, aligning it to within 0.002” to the miter slot.

I did both a rip and crosscut test on a pine 1×12, and the cut was outstanding. It was actually so smooth, it looked as if somebody had pulled a scraper over the edge. That says two things, that the saw was aligned correctly, and that it had a decent factory blade on it.

The quality of the parts in the saw are outstanding, and can be seen in the photos of the underneath of the saw. The trunnion, holding the motor and gearbox, is a solid aluminum casting. The only plastic here is the black front dust cover, that extends for the vacuum connection. Also, if you notice, I did say it had a gearbox, not a belt. Since the motor runs faster than the needed blade speed, it is slowed down with a set of helical gears. This increases the cutting torque, so the motor can be a little smaller than a conventional 1750 RPM motor.

The only problem I had with the fence was that they had the clamping pressure set a little too tight from the factory, and a quick adjustment cured this. It was set square straight out of the box. I also noticed that the fence body is held up off the table, a paper thin amount, to reduce sliding drag.

The miter gauge is so-so, as it fit pretty loose in the miter slot, so I quickly replaced it with an Incra miter gauge. I used this gauge, along with a dial indicator for the blade adjustment, and the miter gauge has zero play in it. The stock miter gauge is made with a cast aluminum body though, so the only thing plastic is really the handle. The miter bar was aluminum though.

The saw came with a push stick, and you can see it mounted on the left side of the saw, under the table.

The table is a good size aluminum casting, with 3/4” miter slots, which are of the T-slot type. My table was flat across it, when checked with a straight edge. The table extension works great, and the fence rods push out with it. There is also a slide-out support on the back of the saw.

The stand is a gem, in that it has several collapsible ways to use it. Once you’re done using the saw, you can set the stand so the saw is laying on its side, and store it upright against a wall. I never noticed the saw stand moving at all while using it on a wooden deck. One leg also has a leveling foot, which is a plus.

The motor, I found, was no louder than any 7-1/4” circle saw, and maybe a little quieter.

The blade guard is a split type, and it has a riving knife that raises with the blade. I found this to work great, and the anti-kickback pawls worked as they were supposed to. This is a very safe saw, in my opinion.

The bad part is the blade insert, which reminds me of one I saw on an older Delta contractor saw at one time, and its made of thin sheet metal. I think one can make an L-shaped insert for zero clearance, or for a 6” dado set, however, I haven’t yet. Porter-Cable shows a dado insert available for order on their parts website.

The most useless part, I think, is the tape measure that is mounted on the underside of the table extension, and shows along the inside of the rear fence rod, as the extension is pulled out. I use either a good tape measure, or an accurate steel rule to set the blade to fence dimension, so the tape is useless. They need to get rid of this, and add the trunnion adjustment.

Rikon makes this saw, and its big brother, for Porter-Cable, and I have seen that parts are available from several online sources, including Porter-Cable. The parts I ordered for spares were the brushes, brush holders, and a brush cap.

All in all, again, it would have had a 5 star rating from me, if the trunnion adjustment has been better, so I hope Rikon and Porter-Cable reads this review.




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WillMat

7 posts in 866 days



6 comments so far

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patcollins

994 posts in 1492 days


#1 posted 855 days ago

Excellent review, thank you for the pictures with the annotations. Dunno if you read the recent review of the powermatic saw with out any pictures showing any of the complaints but the pictures really make the review. I almost bought this saw until I got an old cast iron contractor saw.

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WillMat

7 posts in 866 days


#2 posted 855 days ago

I would have liked a cast iron contractors saw, but for my use, it was too large for where I had to store it right now. I compared this saw to a DeWalt sitting beside it, and was surprised at the difference in the quality between the two. The DeWalt’s claim to fame is the rack and pinion fence, but the Porter-Cable fence sat square every time I’ve used it. To be honest, the DeWalt looked kind of flimsy, in its construction, sitting beside this saw. Plus, the price difference was almost double.

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thedude50

3511 posts in 1105 days


#3 posted 855 days ago

nice review sorry you had so much trouble getting her right. its funny that Stanley owns both of these company’s and still they are running PC into the ground and are trying to boost dewalt so high I dont get it I have lots of older PC stuff and it was bullet proof and always a workhorse

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

View WillMat's profile

WillMat

7 posts in 866 days


#4 posted 855 days ago

First, I need to correct a mistake in my original post. The saws true manufacture is Rexon, not Rikon. I am sorry about that, but I got the two similar sounding names mixed up.

Rexon Jobsite Table Saw, Model JT2502R

Rexon Stationary Table Saw, Model PT2502R2

Now to, thedude50, what the Stanley group is doing with the three brands is a marketing ploy. They have a low cost line with Black & Decker, and mid-cost line with Porter-Cable, and a high-end line with DeWalt.

However, Black & Decker started off the whole shebang long ago, in the early 80’s if I recall, when they were bought up by GE. Almost immediately, the quality of the old Black & Decker line went to pot, and we got the plastic cased drills and saws, no more cast aluminum frames. I have an old 3/8” B&D drill here my dad bought new when I was young, and it works fine today, all aluminum, and painted grey. I bought a new, plastic, B&D drill when they first came out, and it didn’t last no time. I also bought a smaller B&D, 6-1/2”, yellow-colored, circle saw, and it lasted maybe a year. That was around 1985, I think. Of course, GE specialized in making their consumer products as cheap as possible, like their TV’s, radio’s, etc. Those became the B&D kitchen line of toasters, radios, etc. The reason I know this, is that I used to service TV’s back in the 1980’s, when you still had TV shops. That was my job as I continued my education.

Now, we have Stanley owning the group, buying out Black & Decker, with Porter-Cable and DeWalt, as far as I can tell, and the entire line is nothing like it used to be. Plus, all the brands are being made practically on the same production lines, so why the big price difference? You’re buying a name, and a color, that’s about it.

North American Phillips pulled the same stunt with TV’s, where you had Magnavox, as the high-priced line, Sylvania as the mid-priced, and Philco as the low priced, and they were all the same TV, where they just changed the nameplate at the end of the assembly line.

Of course, a Taiwan company named Rexon made both of Porter-Cable’s table saws, and I already owned a Tradesman, (Rexon), bench-top bandsaw, and knew about what quality to expect, however, the table saw surprised me, as it’s Rexon’s mid-grade saw, and the other Porter-Cable saw is their high grade contractor’s saw.

Any more, what one needs to do before they buy anything, is read the online reviews. I did my research on this saw, and asked a few contractors about them, and the Porter-Cable came out on top for quality, price, and portability.

The only bad thing is, if you download the manual from Porter-Cable first, like I did, it could be misleading, where it showed the trunnion being adjustable, and Rexon left this out. I would say they made a change mid-production, and just kept using the old manuals up.

Last, if you really look into it, I found another company, named Techtronics, or the TTI group, located in Hong Kong, whom is actually making the majority of our power tools, including Ryobi, Craftsman, Milwaukee, and I think they are doing some work fro Bosch too, as they had a router that was identical to a Bosch, but it was Craftsman. I also don’t think they are listing all the brands or work they are doing on their website.

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JohnGreco

283 posts in 1682 days


#5 posted 854 days ago

I have had this saw for about a year now and have been very happy with it aside from the wing now being stuck and not extending :( May need to take advantage of the extended warranty I bought.

-- John

View WillMat's profile

WillMat

7 posts in 866 days


#6 posted 852 days ago

John,

You shouldn’t need to use your extended warranty, as if I recall, the warranty that comes with the saw itself is a long one. However, I would say that Porter-Cable will want you to take it to a service center. Plus, you would have had to send in your warranty card, or filled it out online like I did.

I don’t know what might make that extension stick, without looking at mine again, but all there really is under the table is the latch to lock and unlock it.

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