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RIDGID RS1000 Radial Arm Saw - Old saw still going strong

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Review by WistysWoodWorkingWonders posted 11-26-2016 04:30 AM 6317 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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The LOW-DOWN of the RIDGID RS1000 Radial Arm Saw by WISTY:

NOTE: This is a saw that I have had for a while now, I am just getting time to finalize a review for it, enjoy the read!

The RIDGID RS1000 is an EXCELLENT saw at an AFFORDABLE price! Excellent for those who are lacking floor space. Highly accurate and extremely powerful saw that is built to last. My personal recommendations are simple: GET ONE AND KEEP IT! Good Luck trying to find one though as anyone who already has one will probably be keeping it.
If you wish to read a more detailed review of this saw, please feel free to continue reading below…

Introduction:

The RIDGID Radial Arm Saw RS1000 is an extremely powerful and versatile saw that is essential for the success of any shop, whether it is a beginners or professionals. This saw will perform with the best of them. It is a great tool for those setting up shop on a limited budget as it can also be used to shape wood, rip wood, and even cut miters. Read below to find out more…

What is it?

The Ridgid RS1000 Radial Arm Saw from Home Depot. A stationary saw that combines most of the abilities of a table saw, jointer, and shaper. Yes, this tool has done all of this and more…

What do you get?

The RS1000 comes in a box approx 2’D x 4’W x 2’H, with a shipping weight of 170 lbs and a setup weight of approx. 150 lbs. With the saw, you also get the RIDGID brand molding head (AC2008) with 4 sets of knives (AC2101 – 1” Planer, AC2103 – 3 Bead, AC2111 – Cabinet Door Lip, and AC2112 – 5/16” Cove and Bead), and the Molding Head Guard (AC2010). There are additional accessories available from the parts manufacturer’s website.

Product Specifications:

Rated H.P. 1.5 Amperes 13/6.5
Max Developed H.P. 3.0 RPM 3450
Voltage 120/240 Arbor Shaft Rotation Clockwise

The Manuals:

Every RIDGID tool comes with a very detailed owners manual. In fact, they even come in 3 different languages; English, Spanish, and French.
These manuals show everything from the assembly of the tool, right down to instructions for making various cuts. Also included are the specifications, safety related notes, safety cutting aides, accessories, maintenance guidelines, troubleshooting tips, and a full schematic including all the part numbers.

Considerations before purchase:

My attention was first brought to buying a Radial Arm Saw thanks to an episode of Just Ask Jon Eakes where Jon talked about all the different things this type of saw could accomplish. I was almost immediately hooked on the idea. Thanks Jon!
The primary consideration was shop space – I didn’t have a lot as I shared shop space with my wife’s car in our single car garage. With this saw, I saved space not only by the fact that it sits nicely against a wall, but also because now I didn’t need to run out and buy a table saw, miter saw, and jointer.

As for comparison, I didn’t do too much. I went straight to Home Depot and read up on the RS1000. I was sold by the look of the machine and the list of its capabilities. To date, I do not regret this purchase.

Assembly:

Assembling the RIDGID RS1000 took me an entire day – only due to the numerous family interruptions, and the squirrel that kept visiting my workshop looking for peanuts (or maybe checking out my new saw…)
I would believe that with a concentrated effort, this saw could be assembled and fine tuned within 4-6 hours. The time it takes to assemble any tool should never be a major consideration as you should always take your time and do it correctly the first time. This ensures accuracy!

After assembly:

Like previously mentioned, I spent the better part of a day setting up the saw. It took me a couple of hours to completely fine tune and square off the saw. It did come out of the box pretty accurate, however, I went through the manual just to be sure. It is well worth taking the time now to get that perfectly square cut.

Operation of Tool:

With its 13 Amp motor and 10” 40 tooth carbide blade, this saw cuts through wood as if it were warmed butter. It is imperative that the owner fully read and understand the Owners Manual on this saw as it does cut differently than a table saw or miter saw.


Impressions (overall):

The RS1000 is a nice looking tool that performs extremely well. As the once primary saw in my shop, it was been called upon multiple times to perform tasks that might have been more suitable to a table or miter saw. It has performed flawlessly and has never bogged down on me. The saw is very easy and quick to setup for different operations and can handle a multitude of taskings – all the while producing very accurate cuts.

Tool Performance and ease of use:

This saw has far outperformed even my greatest expectations! Ripping, crosscutting, mitering, and molding have all been done with this saw, and with great results. I have built a nice bench for my foyer using primarily this saw. My wife (a beginning woodworker) put together a beautiful corner cabinet which also sits in our homes entry. Also built using mostly our Radial Arm Saw are: Bathroom Vanity, Pool Stick Rack, and a Kids Bed for my daughter.
To date, I have only run soft lumber through the saw with not even the slightest bog down. I don’t foresee any difficulties in the future when I try to push some nice red oak through the machine.
The RIDGID Radial Arm Saw is easy to setup and holds its positioning extremely well.

Customer Service & Warranty:

RIDGID brand tools (made by Emerson Electric Co) carried a lifetime warranty. However, they now concentrate primarily on RIDGID brand shop vacs.

I contacted the customer service department as there was a setscrew missing from the AC2008 Molding Cutter head. Because they did not catalogue this part in particular, they ended up shipping me an entire new molding cutter head free of charge. It also arrived within days of me calling them. Very impressive!
I do understand that they are getting out of the woodworking business (or part of it), but they are still building table saws, jointers, planers, etc.

The negatives…

Unfortunately with everything, there are always the negatives, and the RS1000 is no exception.
The first negative is that they don’t make this machine anymore. What a waste… This is a great saw at a great price.
Secondly is the dust collection system. When used for cross cutting, there is a substantial amount of dust kicked out of the back of the machine. They do sell an attachment that can be fitted to the back of the machine (AC1099), but I found it was better to build a surrounding unit to capture the dust. While ripping boards, I have to clamp a shop-vac in place to catch most of the dust. However, there is still a good amount that always gets by the shop-vac.
Third, the built in dust extraction chute on the back of the saws blade guard. It catches ever so slightly with the yoke index lever. Not a big problem, but should have been considered during the design phase.
Last and certainly least is the tabletop. This will need replacing at some point, but this is common with all Radial Arm Saws.

Conclusion…

If you are just getting started in the woodworking world, this is a great tool to get you going. It is a solid workhorse with tons of power and accuracy. It is well worth every penny you might pay to get one.
You might have to find one through an online auction, garage sale, or newspaper ad, but if you do, it is well worth it…
Best of Luck in the shop and remember to play safe so you can still use your fingers to count to 10…

Other Shop Tool Purchases:

Since buying my RIDGID RS1000 Radial Arm Saw, I have also bought the RIDGID JP0610 6 1/8” Jointer / Planer, a RIDGID WD1660 Shop Vac, a CANWOOD 14” Bandsaw, RIDGID 13” Planer and RIDGID Oscillating Bench Top Sander. I will be writing reviews for these tools once I have put them through the ringers and have some spare time. Please remember that I am new at writing these reviews, but can say that I will only write from my personal experiences and it will be a very honest evaluation.

Wisty

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)




View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile

WistysWoodWorkingWonders

12758 posts in 3066 days



8 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20091 posts in 3014 days


#1 posted 11-26-2016 04:52 AM

Nice find. I know not may guys favor RAS’s any more and they don’t seem to make any. That was my first saw I bought for making a big deck and I still have it. Mine is a Craftsman and I use it strictly for dadoing any more. It is a 1982 model and when the brake burned up, Sears had no more parts for it so I removed the brake entirely.
i have done some nice work on mine. I do have to always check it for squareness at first because that arm can get bumped out of square pretty easily and bumped back in just as easy!

I did build a big hood in the back where the dust drops down into a bag hooked onto it. It does not catch all of it, but sure helps a lot. I did the same thing for my Makita miter saw with the same results.

En joy it!!

Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4638 posts in 3152 days


#2 posted 11-26-2016 07:56 PM

As is true of every tool, there are tasks that fit the tool perfectly. One could say some tools are multi-tasking. The RAS is one of those multi-taskers that performs well in each task. Other multi-taskers don’t perform equally well with other tasks. For that reason, I own just about every type of saw and dedicate each tool to a specific task. I am fortunate to have the space and money to indulge in my tool inventory. If I didn’t have the space (and at one time I didn’t), the RAS was the multi-tasker I had in my small shops. I’ve owned 3 RAS’s, now only one and it satisfies a spot in my large shop.

View CyberDyneSystems's profile

CyberDyneSystems

251 posts in 2097 days


#3 posted 11-26-2016 11:12 PM

I’ve never seen the Ridgid, (perhaps it is similar or the same as some of the same era Craftsman saws? It kind of looks familiar)

BUT, I do have an old 1940’s DeWALT at home, and a similar yet more industrial RAS in the shop at work.

At least three companies are making RAS now, Delta, Craftsman and “The Original Saw Company”
We have the latter at work, and it is really a thoroughbred. The found the “Original” DeWALT molds and began making a modern improved version using the DeWALT castings. Huge motors etc. The Smallest one spins a 12” blade on a 1” arbor @ 3 HP with a 24” cross cut.

We find crosscutting large stock, multiple sticks at a time, with a fast stop set up, crosscutting sheet goods, and using it for a cross cut Dado stack to be the most efficient uses.

We do not adjust the miter settings, it is always set to 90 degree cross cut. This will save you a lot of problems with replacing the table, and keeping it accurately adjusted fro your 90 degree. If you want accurate miters, the much more modern miter saw is a better solution, and why the RAS has virtually disappeared.

-- Without the wood, it's just working

View Dwain's profile

Dwain

509 posts in 3768 days


#4 posted 11-27-2016 06:58 PM

I agree with the posts above. That being said, I would not want to start my workshop with an RAS. I have a great, 90’s built Delta 2hp RAS and love it, however, there are so many other tools to start with. I find the RAS is a great tool to make cuts easier and safer than other tools, but it doesn’t do anything that can’t be done by other tools. Anyway, thanks for your feedback.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View Routerisstillmyname's profile

Routerisstillmyname

763 posts in 3418 days


#5 posted 11-29-2016 03:00 AM

didn’t even know they make RAS.

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

View Ted78's profile

Ted78

363 posts in 1909 days


#6 posted 11-29-2016 08:59 PM

It looks near identical to a Craftsman branded saw my father has had for decades, and one we had in Jr Hish shot class in the mid 1990’s. I remember my shop teacher saying the RAS and the Table saw both do the same things but in general the table saw was better at ripping and the RAS was better at cross-cutting. A big pro for the RAS is that you only need a shop long in one direction unlike a table saw in which you need room wide in both directions to rip and crosscut.

-- Ted

View david68's profile

david68

7 posts in 419 days


#7 posted 01-03-2017 02:34 AM

Wisty

In late December of 2106, based on your excellent and informative review of this radial arm saw, bought a used RS1000 on the kijiji site in Toronto. The saw was missing the wooden tables. I am wondering whether you might be able to supply me with the sizes of the tables on your RS1000. I cannot find them anywhere else, and they are not defined in the user manual for the saw.

Any help you could supply would be much appreciated. I am very leery of making an expensive mistake and ruining a good sheet of 3/4 inch fur plywood.

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile

WistysWoodWorkingWonders

12758 posts in 3066 days


#8 posted 01-03-2017 03:03 AM

David68,
Here are the dimensions from the table that came with my RAS :
Main table:
40” wide x 16.5” deep x 1” thick – this is the table mounted away from the blade towards the user.
Secondary tables (used closer to the blade, there are two that are different depths to permit wider boards to be cut. These are:
40” wide x 4” deep x 1” thick and,
40” wide x 6.5” deep x 1” thick
The fences I use are all 40” wide x 1.5” tall x. 75” thick.
The main and secondary tables are MDF, with the fences being any wood of my choice.
Lastly, the main table is secured via screws that are counter sunk in the top.
Best of luck with your new saw!
Wisty

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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