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Ridgid R4512 Table Saw --

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Review by fstellab posted 01-27-2013 02:02 PM 8863 views 2 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Ridgid R4512 Table Saw -- Ridgid R4512 Table Saw -- No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Hi Folks,
I have about 3 weeks experience with my new R4512, and about 6 months working with wood. I started with a Ridgid Miter Saw, I was blown away, it is a great miter saw. So Ridgid tools are my tool of choice.

First I must mention that I originally got a Craftsman 10” Laser guided table for Christmas, I spent days trying to get the thing together. I tried cutting a boards, but I got a bad feeling, I was scared of the thing. I tuned as per the manual, but the first time I used it the board bound up on the blade and it started coming back at me. Also, the table would not say aligned. I think the problem is with the wheel, to get the blade in 90 position you have hold the wheel in the right position real hard then tighten the knob, after a while the wheel slips back. The table was too small, everything was just cheaply made. So the Craftsman went back to Sears. I learned a lot about table saws from that experience, so it was not a total loss.

The R4512 lived up to my high expectations; it is a solid, accurate, powerful tool, which lives up to the brand’s reputation of providing quality tools. The setup was very simple, instructions were clear with lots of photos. You will need a friend to help do lifting

First time I turned it on it was a bit anti-climactic, it purred like a kitten, I was impressed at how quite it was. I cut a few boards; the saw went through the boards like they were made of butter. There was only a slight bit of resistance as the board passed under the anti-kickback pawls.

Specifically, what I liked about the Saw:
1) This is a very powerful Saw. I have been able to cut a 2 inch thick White Oak board without any apparent difficulty. I did spend some time and got my fence and blade set up just right. I also purchased a very the thin kerf blade (.079) which made the saw cut more easy than using the stock blade

2) The tune-up was a breeze, the aliment nuts and bolts are easy to reach, and the R4512 does not have any unusual parts or dimensions. Using the usual tools, I completed a very through tune up, the only things I had to adjust were the scales for the blade height and the bevel. I put a blade stiffener on, so I had to adjust the knife. The back panel of the saw comes off, so it easy to check the belts and clean out dust.

3) The Casters were a very helpful addition to the saw, by stepping on a pedal, I can roll the saw with only a few fingers, I have a situation in my garage workshop where I have store the saw on the side when I am not using it, so this feature was a God send.

3) The quality of craftsmanship, this saw is solid, no weird noises or vibrations, everything is heavy and strong, except for the miter gauge (later on that).

4) The dust collection is great. Most saws at this price point barely consider dust collection. This saw comes with a chute that covers the whole bottom. At the bottom of the chute there is a 4” opening for connecting it to a dust collector.

My only complaint about the saw is the miter gauge and fence. When I first took it out of the box I thought they sent me the wrong one. It is small and shaky. I will not be using it. I purchased Ridgid’s Digital Miter guage and fence. I will post a review after I have used it for awhile.

-- Fred Stellabotte (kamado@comcast.net)




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fstellab

86 posts in 831 days



38 comments so far

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

509 posts in 2063 days


#1 posted 01-27-2013 02:52 PM

Fred, thanks for the review! You should receive years of service from your new saw.

The fence in your pictures looks like the original fence provided with the saw. It looks substantial enough to my eye, but I’ve also read other comments that the original fence is a weakness. Would you comment a little more about what made you want to upgrade?

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2847 posts in 994 days


#2 posted 01-27-2013 03:37 PM

The fence itself is not a problem. Actually it is really nice. A good aluminum extrusion with T-slots everywhere and a nice positive lock that doesn’t shift when clamped. The fence rails, however – suck. It is a two piece design which will develop a noticeable sag in the middle over time. When you are within 2 – 3 inches of the blade, it will change the geometry of the fence.

That’s definitely the right miter gauge and fence for the saw. The miter gauge can be adjusted to take the slop out.

IMO, I would skipped the Ridgid fence and miter gauge upgrade. Unless you are replacing the fence rails too, you aren’t getting anything better. Something like the Incra LS-TS system or the delta T2 would be an actual upgrade. Likewise with a miter gauge. I rarely use one in favor of sleds, but Incra and Osborne have good solid aftermarket options as well.

Also make sure you have aligned the blade to the miter slots. My saw was WAY off out of the box. Use a dial indicator. There is a great write up here. Following these steps made it pretty easy for me

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View whitebeast88's profile

whitebeast88

3596 posts in 936 days


#3 posted 01-27-2013 04:02 PM

thanks for the review fred,i’m looking at purchasing the same saw maybe later on this year.glad to hear you’re liking it.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View don1960's profile

don1960

214 posts in 1433 days


#4 posted 01-27-2013 05:11 PM

You’ll learn to love that saw. I’ve had mine for a little over a year, and it’s one of the best investments I ever made.

The table on mine is flat to within .001” over about 28” corner to corner, and within .009” over the extensions which is about 36 inches or so corner to corner at the worst parts. That’s something like .009° (9 thousandths of a degree). I’m a Tool & Die maker by trade, and let me tell you that is no mean feat for stamped steel wings, and damned impressive for the cast iron table part.

I was a little worried the first few times I moved the saw, seeing as how it seats itself pretty hard when you let it back down off the rollers, but in a year it hasn’t gone out of alignment at all. Very solidly made piece.

Never had a problem with the fence, but the miter gage is, well, not nice to be kind. I replaced it with an Incra 1000HD.

If you’re careful, you can cut 8/4 hard maple or purpleheart well enough that the edge is good enough to glue without having to do anything else to it. I’m sure a 5 horsepower Powermatic would cut thru wood easier, but I can’t see how the cut edge would be much better.

-- -- Don from PA

View fstellab's profile

fstellab

86 posts in 831 days


#5 posted 01-27-2013 07:00 PM

Sorry folks,

My wording was a bit confusing, I meant that I had a problem with the fence attached to the miter gauge.

The main ripping fence is good for my level of skills and projects, how ever I do measure each side of the fence each time I make an important cuts.

I am putting on the new Ridgid Digital Miter system today, I will send some photos.

-- Fred Stellabotte (kamado@comcast.net)

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

509 posts in 2063 days


#6 posted 01-27-2013 07:33 PM

Thanks, fstellab.

Are your fence rails in 2 pieces as lumberjoe said? (I’m sure lumberjoe is accurate in what he said, but there may have been a recent design change he didn’t know about.) If yours are still in 2 pieces, does it look to you as though, over time, the rails might “sag” in the area close to the line of the blade?

That saw, it seems, has gone through a series of updated releases. I believe Ridgid is really trying to get it right. If the 2-part fence rail system is problematic, it wouldn’t surprise me to see that change in the near future, if it hasn’t already.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2847 posts in 994 days


#7 posted 01-27-2013 08:58 PM

You can see the seam in the first picture. it’s a horrible design to an otherwise awesome saw. You can upgrade the fence for not a lot of cash though. Many people have installed the Incra LS-TS, T2, and the Vega on this saw.

Another thing worth mentioning and my biggest complaint with this saw is height. It is REALLY tall for a table saw. If you are on the sorter side, reaching to the back of the saw can be a little problematic. I’m not really sure why this saw is so tall.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View fstellab's profile

fstellab

86 posts in 831 days


#8 posted 01-28-2013 02:05 AM

Hi Mark,

Yes my fence rail came in 2 parts, if look for it you can see the seam, but I have not had any issues with it.

I would like to a metric sale on the fence rail, I do most of my measurements in metric (centi meters)

-- Fred Stellabotte (kamado@comcast.net)

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

509 posts in 2063 days


#9 posted 01-28-2013 02:40 AM

lumberjoe, I can see how a 2-part rail could be just as good as a 1-part if the 2-part rail was adequately braced where the two parts meet. Without adequate bracing, I can see how the rail would “sag” – in fact, I can see how a single rail would “sag” if the spacing between the braces was too wide.

Did the manufacturer not adequately support the rigidity of the split rails – especially where the two parts meet? And are both the front rail and back rail split?

I’m at a disadvantage on this, as the nearest Home Depot is an hour away (and I don’t think they stock any table saw), and my local Sears store does not stock the contractor saw – or, at least, doesn’t have a floor model. Same with the local Menards.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2847 posts in 994 days


#10 posted 01-28-2013 03:08 AM

They aren’t supported well at all. There is a retainer clip that fastens to each side with hex head set screws… that’s it. The screws don’t even thread into respective holes. It’s only a pressure fit about as strong as a pair of zip ties. It is split front and back. They did this so the fence would fit in the small(ish) carton with the rest of the saw.
The issue isn’t necessarily the rails sagging on their own. If you have one part of the fence close to the seam and lock it down (between 2 and 3 inches from the blade), the force of the fence locking will cause deflection. Instead of your fence being a true (or really close to) 90 degrees to the table, it will move inward decreasing the angle. It’s significant enough that before I knew what was going on, I thought I forgot to edge join my boards.
As I also said, see one in person. It’s significantly taller than your standard contractor or cabinet saw.
With that said, I don’t think this is a dealbreaker. For 500$ and a 200$ delta T2, or a 250$ Vega pro you are still getting a great deal. Even better if you can get your Home Depot to take a 20% HF coupon.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1556 posts in 1260 days


#11 posted 01-28-2013 08:11 PM

My Rigid R-4512, I was not so fortunate. Within five months, the E-clips that hold on the worm shaft for raising and lowering the blade fell off, (I found one in the dust chute), and it backed out of its bearing guide and jammed into the cast teeth of the moon gear attached to the blade/motor assembly. It took me two hours to get it free, and when I went to HD they told me I was past my 90 days, bring in the whole thing for shipment to Atlanta to be fixed. Only option offered, and me 63 year-old body wasn’t gonna honk 267lbs back to my HD.
My fix was to replace the clips with better clips, and zinc lubricated spacers, not the open E-clips they use. Now it performs better than ever, I’m out less than 5.00 dollars, and totally dissapointed with HD. Check the clips, and watch dust buildup, the 4” on the bottom is not good enough to pull the sawdust off all the mechanisms. I keep just two screws on the back panel, and take that off about twice a month to clean out an amazing amount of sawdust that stays in the chamber, despite the exhaust system. Good luck with what is basically a great saw!

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1065 posts in 1539 days


#12 posted 01-29-2013 02:32 AM

Thanks for posting. So you like Ridgid tools?
Me to: My miter saw is Ridgid but not pictured.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

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BRAVOGOLFTANGO

271 posts in 749 days


#13 posted 01-29-2013 04:12 PM

Great review and I concur with it’s quality, have had mine for a few months now and love it. Considering upgrading it with 3” 1/4” square tubing for the fence rails and using the t-square assembly from Alan Little @verysupercooltools.com. This RIDGID fence is not bad, it’s square and stays but for a few $-sheckles more I could make it into a really high-end tool with a superb quality fence.

View Bsmith's profile

Bsmith

318 posts in 1416 days


#14 posted 01-31-2013 06:30 PM

Hi Fred, how are you liking you new saw. Just purchased one myself a week ago. I was very impressed with the instructions it all fit together nicely with no extra parts. I’m not too impressed with the dust collection though. Maybe if I have a zero clearance insert that will help. Thanks for the review.

-- Bryan

View fstellab's profile

fstellab

86 posts in 831 days


#15 posted 02-01-2013 04:31 AM

Hi Really love the saw,

I am about to take on a closet organizer project with expensive hardwood. I am building the sleds, starting with the crosscut, then I plan to build a ripping sled with some sort mini fence, or a stop at a few key ripping widths I need for the project.

I also just purchased the Ridgid digital miter, very high on the “coolness scale” ... and for the few times I need a special angle. Here are some photos:

-- Fred Stellabotte (kamado@comcast.net)

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