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The lesser of two evils... R4512 or PCB270TS

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Forum topic by SgtD posted 748 days ago 7253 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SgtD

7 posts in 749 days


748 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: table saw ridgid porter cable r4512 pcb270ts which saw which table saw review tablesaw

Hi all. I am in the market for a new table saw. I have $600 to the penny for a budget. Last weekend, I bought a Ridgid R4512, which, by reading the forums, a lot of people are very familiar with. I had read about the alignment issues, but had also read enough good reviews that I pulled the trigger on one. Long story short, I got trunnioned. I spent hours trying to move the back of that blade 1/16th of an inch, to no avail. I called Ridgid and they told me to return it. Frustrated and disappointed, I hauled It back to Home Depot for a full refund. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Ridgid products and, heck I still really like that saw, but here’s my dilemma. I have 600, not a penny more. That’s the budget I have committed to so 601 won’t do. I don’t want a portable; I want something heavy and beefy. (Though, when I say portable I mean in the sense of the Bosch 4100-09 – I definitely want a mobile base) I’d rather not buy used because I am a big fan of warranties. So essentially I have two choices. The Ridgid R4512 or the Porter-Cable PCB270TS. Here is what I have decided the common beefs are with these saws. Ridgid – blade alignment issues, PC – plastic gears. I’ve already experienced the Ridgid issue, but honestly would be willing to take another crack at one. So here is my question. If these two saws were the last saws on earth and you have to choose the lesser of these two evils, which do you choose? It’s either risk another blade alignment issue or buy a saw whose gears give out one day. Or neither could happen and you have years of enjoyment from either saw. Where do I roll my dice? I love the lifetime service agreement with Ridgid, but I love the cabinet style mounted trunnions on the PC. What would you do? And for hypothetical reasons, you can’t buy used and you can’t wait to save more money for a better saw. I’m looking forward to reading some of your responses. Thank you.

Ryan


29 replies so far

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knotscott

5354 posts in 1960 days


#1 posted 748 days ago

Hi Ryan – It’s always a matter of personal preference, but I think I’d take another shot at an R4512. If you get one without the issue I think you’ll have the better saw….slightly better fence, definitely stronger elevation gears. I really think it’s a matter of “when”, not “if” those plastic gears will fail, but time will tell. Try to find one with a newer serial number. Get the manager to give you a discount for your trouble….at least 10%. Maybe they’ll even accept a 20% HF coupon. (Heck, ask if they’ll sell you a Steel City 35990 within your budget). Leave some change to buy a decent blade, which will ultimately determine how well the saw cuts once it’s aligned.

I’d also be keeping my eyes peeled for a nice used saw.

Good luck!

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

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Lifesaver2000

501 posts in 1696 days


#2 posted 748 days ago

Ryan, I have the Craftsman 21833 which internally seems to be identical to the 4512. I have had it about 2-1/2 years now and very happy with it.

You mention that you were trying to move the back of the blade 1/16 inch but were unable to do so. Something I found out early on after getting my saw is that the 90 and 45 degree angle stops must be backed off to get the full amount of travel available to set the blade to slot alignment. I found that with these stops at the factory settings, I could just barely move the back of the trunion in the direction it needed to go. Once I loosened off the stops, I could easily move the trunion much farther than was needed to get the alignment set where it needed to be.

If this sounds like the problem you were having, you might want to give the 4512 another try.

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crank49

3323 posts in 1555 days


#3 posted 747 days ago

I have a 21833 (same saw as the 4512) and I have the alignment issue. I just have to align it and then go as long as I can without running the blade up and down. I’d still rather have my saw than the PC. I know others have different opinions, but to me the fence on the PC I checked out at Lowes was crap. I like the fence on the Ridgid 4512 / Craftsman 21833. Damn shame they don’t fix the alignment issue. Otherwise, a real nice saw for the money. Plenty of power, runs smooth as silk, good dust collection, good mobility.

Still, if you find a good PM or Uni or even something like a Grizzly 690 for anywhere near your budget that would be a much better saw. Even without the plastic gear, crappy fence, alignment issues of the Ridgid and PC saws, they are just very light weight saws intended for hobbiest use. Even a good one is not going to be something you can hand down to your kids. Of course, maybe that’s not an issue. Just saying.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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Jeff1984

11 posts in 776 days


#4 posted 747 days ago

I bought the R4512 about 2 months ago and couldn’t be happier. It is my first experience with a table saw but it has done everything I have asked of it. I also got lucky and didn’t have the alignment issues. Plus the LSA and cheaper price make it even more of a winner in my book.

-- Jeff, Call 911. Wait, I am 911

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SgtD

7 posts in 749 days


#5 posted 747 days ago

Thank you for the responses. I had my heart set on the Ridgid and was obviously disappointed when I realized the issue. I would have immediately exchanged it for a second R4512 but the problem is that the nearest one available in stock is at a Home Depot over an hour away and when I called they said the box was pretty banged up. Home Depot is no longer stocking it in stores, so I have to order it online which means if I get another one with issues, returning it might be a challenge. Oh and to add to that, I asked my local HD if they could order it and I could pick it up in store and they said because it is only sold online right now, they can’t order it to the store. But I’ll be honest I am seriously leaning to just rolling the dice and placing an order for the Ridgid. You guys are bringing me closer to a decision. Thanks.

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SgtD

7 posts in 749 days


#6 posted 747 days ago

For crank49:

Michael, how long ago did you purchase your R4512?

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Howie

2656 posts in 1507 days


#7 posted 747 days ago

SgtD, where do you live? Are you anywhere around Tampa? I’d make you a whale of a deal on a 3650 a lot cheaper. Guaranteed in great condition. Besides you wouldn’t have to put it together.

-- Life is good.

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knotscott

5354 posts in 1960 days


#8 posted 747 days ago

You could always go with the 21833….


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

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Everett1

208 posts in 1118 days


#9 posted 747 days ago

I know you said you don’t wan the Bosch 4100, but I had the same budget and went with it. It’s not as powerful as a cabinet saw (I have my wife’s grandfathers old delta unisaw waiting for me when I have the room:-)

But it is reeeeealy nIce to be able to roll it into the driveway and make all the dust out there and it’s gone through everything I’ve thrown at it

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

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Bobmedic

302 posts in 1386 days


#10 posted 747 days ago

I have the Ridgid 4512 and love it. I had no issues with alignment. The PC I heard has plastic gears in it which would turn me away. In my opinion there is no comparison between these 2 saws. The Ridgid is the clear winner.

-- Save lives, ease suffering, reduce morbidity and mortality, stomp out pestilence and disease, postpone the inevitable, and fake compassion. The Paramedics Creed

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crank49

3323 posts in 1555 days


#11 posted 746 days ago

SgtD, I have the 21833, not the 4512, but they are the same saw.
I got mine In may of 2010.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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Rick M.

3747 posts in 964 days


#12 posted 746 days ago

Many of us have been at this decision point, personally I waited until I saved enough for a better saw. Honestly if $600 was my limit, I would buy used.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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nwbusa

1016 posts in 870 days


#13 posted 746 days ago

I agree if $600 is a hard budget and you want a new saw now, then the R4512 is the answer.

I’ve had mine since January, have run over 1000 feet of wood through the saw, everything from baltic birch to 8/4 hard maple, and the saw has never missed a beat. I’ve had to spend some time tweaking the saw to get it running good, but you have to do that with any saw.

My next saw will be a 3hp cabinet saw, but not because I need a better saw. I just like to buy woodworking tools.

-- John, BC, Canada

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lumberjoe

2824 posts in 833 days


#14 posted 746 days ago

I am VERY pleased with my R4512. If I had to do it again, I would buy the same saw. I have since purchased an incra LS-TS fence system, and a cast iron router table insert. At this price point, I think it is unbeatable. I would have bought the craftsman model because I like the colors better, but in my area, it ’s 100$ more (the R4512 sells for 499.99 here). For the price it cannot be beat. I have about 1.5 times the price of the entire saw in blades alone, never mind other upgrades.

I will probably upgrade again someday, but not because I need to. I am one of those people that is never really satisfied with anything. Also tools are my toys, and I like getting new toys. The only place I would go from here is PM2000, Unisaw, JET XACTASAW, or SawStop professional.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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bh442

21 posts in 750 days


#15 posted 745 days ago

I’m going to mimic lumberjoe’s post.

Same situation; I love my 4512 and it was cheaper than the Craftsman. I too swapped out the 2 piece fence for an Incra. I’ve read many complaining about the 2 piece rails, but I didn’t have a problem with mine. I swapped mine out because I wanted a bigger cutting range.

Now, I’m sure when I upgrade to a quality cabinet saw in the future, I’ll be asking myself how I ever managed to get by with the Ridgid, but for now I’m extremely happy with this $500 purchase.

-- Bill - Wattsburg, PA.

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