Porter Cable pcb270ts vs ridgid r4512

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Forum topic by pwalter posted 04-29-2011 07:04 PM 16256 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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79 posts in 2784 days

04-29-2011 07:04 PM

I am brand new to this site so bare with me. I JUST bought a craftsman 21833, and after building it I tried aligning the miter slot to the blade. It is 3/32 out of parallel, and there isnt enough adjustment in the trunions. I am actually pretty disgusted with craftsman at this point. Although I am very new to woodworking, I have found craftsman to be nothing more than a headache for me. So my question is. Does anyone out there have either the porter cable 270ts or the ridgid r4512? I am returning my craftsman asap and looking for some of better quality in the same price range. My biggest worry with the ridgid is the fact that it looks like a replica of the craftsman I plan on returning this weekend. So just looking for opinions of those who know a lot more about these tools than I do.

19 replies so far

View mikema's profile


180 posts in 2785 days

#1 posted 04-29-2011 07:24 PM

The craftsman and the ridgid are built by the same manufacturer, so if you don’t like the craftsman you may not like the ridgid. I personally don’t like the new contractor style saws, I don’t believe they are as good as they used to be. I have a 25year old craftsman contractor saw, that after I put a new fence on, is a good saw. If I had to replace my TS today, I would probably go for a grizzly hybrid.

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog:

View Greg's profile


332 posts in 3073 days

#2 posted 04-29-2011 07:32 PM

I stay away from Craftsmen as they are built, like rigid, for the homeowner weekend warrior types. If you can afford it, check out the Sawstop contractor grade. One of these days, you’ll likely thank yourself for thinking ahead.

Also, try the Bosch 4000 series. I have one, and it really kicks a**. I can rip 1.5” maple NO problem, full depth. I really love this saw. Its a lot of bang for your buck, and very portable. It’s smaller and lighter than a contractor saw, but the table slides here and there to allow cutting large items.

-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net?

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3249 days

#3 posted 04-29-2011 07:59 PM

I hate my Craftsman lawnmower. Oh, wait—that’s for lawn-working.

Anyway, I am curious as well as to how to Porter Cable compares to the Ridgid/Craftsman, and if it has the same inherent problems.

Can you return your Craftsman saw?

View KevinM02's profile


5 posts in 3618 days

#4 posted 04-29-2011 08:02 PM

If space is an issue and a portable saw is what you need I would lean toward the Bosch 4100 as Greg recommended. I have only heard good things about it.
If space and cash aren’t an issue, I would recommend a hybrid since it would give you a little more versatility and some additional features.
Depending on where you are located you can often find a used contractor saw or hybrid for sale via craigslist. I would steer away from Craftsmen or Ridgid if you start looking for used machines as parts can be difficult to acquire.

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 2793 days

#5 posted 04-29-2011 09:06 PM

Grizzly!!!!! Hy- bred about 800 bucks 2 Hp nice saw!

View duffmankc's profile


14 posts in 2837 days

#6 posted 04-29-2011 09:34 PM

I just bought the porter cable about a month ago. I was torn between the PC or the steel city 35990c. Though some discounts, I got the PC for $400 before tax and I couldn’t justify the extra $250 for the SC (it was selling for $650 on amazon at that time, but it is listed at 800 last I looked). Its a decent enough saw and a very big improvement from the little skil saw that I was previously using. The PC usually sells for $600 at Lowes, and they have it marked down to $550 right now on their website. When I bought mine it showed that this sales price was good through 4/30 or 4/31. However, now it just shows $550 as the price online and doesn’t say anything about it being on sale, but it was still showing $600 in the store last I looked. If you’re going to get it, I would recommend trying to buy it by tomorrow to make sure you get the 550 price. Make sure to use a lowes 10% coupon to knock it down to $495.
There are three main complaints/issues I have with the PC:
1) Zero clearance inserts are hard to find for this model and it takes work to make your own. The table only take’s 1/8” plates, but I was worried about the insert flexing with anything that thin. I ended up making some out of 1/2 MDF, and then rabbeting out the parts of the edges. These work just fine, just takes a while to make.
2) I knew this going into it, and it was one of biggest reasons I was drawn to the SC – the stamped steel extension wings are unimpressive to say the least. They’re light and mine had a slight bow in the middle of them. I really would have liked cast iron wings, but that’s not happening at this price. Last I looked on PC’s website, there aren’t any cast iron wing upgrades you could purchase either.
3) Outfeed support. I wanted an attached outfeed table, part fixed and the rest fold down. It is very difficult with this style of fence to permanently attach an outfeed table to the saw. I think I found a way and will hopefully be finishing up that project this weekend – once I do I’ll load pictures on the LJs.
long story short – for the money I would definitely recommend this saw.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3170 days

#7 posted 04-29-2011 10:10 PM

I have the Craftsman saw, 21833. If you don’t run the blade all the way up, there will be clearance to adjust the arbor. I had the same problem till I figured this out. Once adjusted I like this saw and have not had any other issues with it.

The fence on the PC was a big turn off for me. Very flexy. I figured if I can twist it 3 degrees out of plumb with my hand, how could I ever depend on it to align a work piece. The Cman was, and still is, very rigid.

View jeff's profile


1120 posts in 3664 days

#8 posted 04-29-2011 10:56 PM

pwalter, maybe try crank49’s advice…some where i read the blade on the cf 21833 needs to be at a certain height for miter slot to blade adjustment,i just can’t recall where?...i have the rigid 4512 on my back poarch,still sitting in the box,trying to get my shop completed so i can get the saw in there,get it togther and see how it runs…oh,WELCOME to the site…good luck keep us posted…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View knotscott's profile


8146 posts in 3575 days

#9 posted 04-30-2011 01:26 AM

If the adjustments don’t work out and you return the 21833, I wouldn’t trade a full size cast iron saw with a belt drive induction motor for a smaller direct drive portable jobsite saw with a universal motor…you just give up too many advantages, and you obviously don’t need the portability feature.

From what I’ve read some of the 21833’s have had alignment issues, others not…I knew the earlier releases of that model had some documented issues that hopefully won’t effect more recent models. Hopefully Crank49’s suggestion will work. If not, I’d go with the Steel City 35990C (@ ~ $600) or the R4512 over the PCB270TS. The PC saw has some plastic gears in the height adjustment mechanism that should have metal gears, and there have been reports of problems with those. I also don’t think much of the fence on the PCB270. If you can swing the money, the Griz is a nice choice, as is the Steel City 35925 and Craftsman 22116 which goes on sale down near $700 occasionally. Good luck!

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

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 2886 days

#10 posted 04-30-2011 01:54 AM

I know it may not be an option because of timing, but have you considered going to Craigslist or the like for a used saw? I was torn between the 4512 and the craftsman 21833 and the Porter Cable 270 until I saw a ridgid 3650 on craigslist for a good price, considerably cheaper than all 3, barely used and the lovely cast iron wings.

Just an idea.

View mrg's profile


837 posts in 3199 days

#11 posted 04-30-2011 02:18 AM

I was told by a Delta rep to stay away from the PC saw. He had told me that the saw is not made that well and is made to fit a certain price point for stores like Lowes.

-- mrg

View jeff's profile


1120 posts in 3664 days

#12 posted 04-30-2011 03:14 AM

good advice from knotscott and luke…craigslist here in the Tucson/Phoenix area always seem to have cabinet/full size contractor saw listed…i chose a new rigid 4512 because of gift cards i received and it was in my price range…knotscott is right about the PC at lowes,it does have plastic gears,easily visible on inspection…i did look at the cf 22116,it is a nice saw and gets good reviews…good luck…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3746 days

#13 posted 04-30-2011 07:35 AM

If I were in your shoes with my current knowledge I would get a 3 to 5 HP cabinet saw off of CL. However I started working for hire in 2008 and since that time have built 140,000.00 in custom cabinetry with the 3650. We now have the TS 3650 and also the discontinued rigdid granite hybrid. The 3650 is the oldèr saw and generally a better saw. But the 3650, for being designed as a weekend warrior has been a daily horse and shows no wear.

I will say I fully intend on a powermatic, industrial saw stop or unisaw in the future. But I likely will add a CNC before we add a cabinet saw.

But if money was no object I would go straight for the saw stop.

-- .

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2867 days

#14 posted 04-30-2011 09:59 AM

Go and take a close look at grizzlie’s line of tablesaws, they have much better fences, and for a couple hundred bucks more than what you spent on the craftsman, you can get a very nice saw.
Any tablesaw with a 30 inch rip fence is going to be the same size, take up the same amount of space.

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View Bobmedic's profile


381 posts in 3001 days

#15 posted 04-30-2011 05:24 PM

I have the R4512 and have found it to be very accurate and easy to adjust and tune. For the 500 price tag you cant go wrong. I saw someone mentioned the Bosch table saw. I had one of these and they are great for a job site saw but they have a smaller aluminum top and are direct drive. The belt driven cast top in my opinion is the way to go.

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