Delta 36-979 vs Rigid 4512.... Need Help!!!!!

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Forum topic by Willy86 posted 12-09-2013 02:37 PM 2533 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 1629 days

12-09-2013 02:37 PM

Hello everyone,

I am in need of help. I am a beginning woodworker (ultimate desire would be making furniture grade builds) and have spent months looking at saws on Craiglist as well as researching every table saw I have found. I have searched this site and numerous others but I am having a hard time finding new opinions and reviews on the Delta 36-979 vs the Rigid 4512. The Delta I found I can get for $300 and I believe it comes with the T2 fence. My wife has given me the green light to by the Rigid 4512 but it is hard for me to see a great deal of difference to spend $529 plus tax. My local HD’s will not honor HF coupons and I would have to pay sticker price. These are the listed Pros/ Cons but i want peoples opinions

Delta 36-979

Pros – Cast Iron Top Better Fencing system

Cons Play in Mounting pins of motor Motor is Outside the Main Housing

Rigid 4512

Pros - Motor Housing inside Attachment to Table (Better) Life Time Warrant

Cons - Fencing System Steel Stamped Wings Movement of Blade when Raised (Requires Slit lowering to Balance)

Once again I am a beginning woodworker so the money I save I will spend else where on a drill press, sliding miter saw, or planer. So ultimately given the listed facts should i spend twice as much on the Rigid or save 300 and purchase another piece of my shop? Opinions and reviews are greatly appreciated

13 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


5120 posts in 1719 days

#1 posted 12-09-2013 02:58 PM

Go with the Delta, while Rigid is (was) a great tool company for plumbing tools, they never did anything with woodworking tools until recently. Delta has an actual reputation earned from years of producing quality. Despite everything now being made overseas if you’re buying new, still stick with the wood working tool company, not the plumbing tool company. I would have to disagree on the motor location, specifically on a contractor type saw, on a true cabinet saw, yes having the motor close to the arbor would be better due do belt length. With a contractor saw this is less important. As for the lifetime warranty on the Rigid, I don’t consider that to be much of a “Pro”, if I’m worried about needing warranty work done, I just buy something that’s less likely to need warranty work. I’d rather buy quality that will never need any warranty work vs. crap with lots of free warranty work. This is especially so with something the size of a tablesaw!

View chazmclean's profile


50 posts in 2329 days

#2 posted 12-09-2013 03:31 PM

I have a Ridgid 4512 which i have used for the last 1.5 years. It has been great. I replaced the fence with an Incra TS-LS 52 inch fence so i can’t speak to the factory fence. I also stole one of the cast iron wings from my Ridgid TS3650, so i don’t use the stamped wings either. The vibration is nil and it has held tolerance to within 0.005” since i set it up (measured with a dial indicator). I did have trouble getting the blade aligned perfectly with the miter gauge slot, i could only get it within 0.008”. That hasn’t seemed to make a practical difference as i have made about a dozen pieces of furniture with it and no issues with fit up (i am anal about tolerances). If i could do it all over, i would spend the extra money and get a cabinet saw.

-- Charlie

View JAY Made's profile

JAY Made

202 posts in 2042 days

#3 posted 12-09-2013 04:19 PM

+1 for the Delta I have it and it is great. Use the rest of the money for more tools.

-- We all should push ourselves to learn new skills.

View knotscott's profile


8013 posts in 3374 days

#4 posted 12-09-2013 04:37 PM

You’ve highlighted most of the pros and cons, but I didn’t notice any acknowledgement that the Delta has a traditional splitter vs the riving knife on the R4512. Both essentially perform the same task, but a true riving knife is a better mousetrap IMHO….that doesn’t mean it’s worth a $200 premium, but it’s worth some contemplation.

Fence and solid cast wings are the more significant features to me, and is where I’d prefer to spend my TS money. For the $300, the Delta seems like the better buy to me, but YMMV, so you need to make a decision based on your needs/preferences. Any chance they’d take $250 for the Delta?

Ultimately setup and blade selection are the keys to good performance from either. Both have the same size table, and pretty much the same power and duty rating.

The ABCs of picking table saws

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

View JonHitThingWithRock's profile


97 posts in 1720 days

#5 posted 12-09-2013 06:03 PM

for your first saw, I’d definitely go with the delta, spend less for an all-around better saw, the t-2 fence is very good, I had one on my old craftsman before I went the Incra route.

View ToddinNH's profile


63 posts in 2308 days

#6 posted 12-10-2013 07:42 PM

I used to have that Delta before I got my new Unisaw. I’ve used and tested the Ridgid quite a bit as well (I test tools and write about them on several web publications). Because you’re just starting out I’d probably say go with the Delta. Having said that, do you know how much it’s been used or is it new? If it’s been used quite a bit the motor life could eventually be an issue. Delta makes great table saws. Unfortunately, I’m not sure they will be around much longer so future service might be a real big issue.

Ridgid has become a hidden gem in my opinion. I know many will fight/screem/kick at that statement but the proof is in their warrany/service and frankly performance. The saw isn’t as nice as the Delta but it’s not a bad buy either.

Good luck….if you stick with this hobby you’ll move on to a better saw soon enough and just chuckle that you sweat this choice so much.

-- Todd, the Tool Man -

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2246 days

#7 posted 12-10-2013 08:00 PM

R4512 with a T2 fence. Done


View LeChuck's profile


424 posts in 3060 days

#8 posted 12-10-2013 08:03 PM

The Ridgid is excellent in my opinion. Mine works extremely well and smoothly. I also paired it with the Incra fence mentioned above (great upgrade down the line) and I integrated my router table with it. And I didn’t use the stock blade but immediately purchased a 50 tooth thin kerf Diablo blade.

In terms of security I think the (real) riving knife with the quick height change and the blade guard that can be switched very quickly as well are invaluable and I would not buy any table saw without those features regardless of the price.

-- David - Tucson, AZ

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2378 days

#9 posted 12-11-2013 06:00 AM

Delta made a gabillion of these contractor saws under a variety of model numbers and most of them are still out there running. I’ve owned one for ~15 years and am very happy with it. Buy the Delta.

-- Rick M,

View Willy86's profile


6 posts in 1629 days

#10 posted 12-14-2013 09:33 PM

Well I bought the Delta and it ran great…. I am currently having to install a 220v outlet in my garage. It came with a home made extension table as well as a router extension….. looks to be in good shape and just need to clean the cast iron top…. it also had the manual so that was a plus….. i appreciate everyone’s input and advise….. ya’ll made the decision much easier….

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2378 days

#11 posted 12-15-2013 04:07 AM

Was it actually a T2 fence or a Biesemeyer? When I bought mine, the only two options were the Unifence or Biesemeyer; the T2 didn’t exist yet.

-- Rick M,

View Willy86's profile


6 posts in 1629 days

#12 posted 12-16-2013 08:07 PM

well its not the Unifence or the Biesemeyer and when I googled T2 fence it looks just like it….. so i could be wrong…. The guy said he bought it 2 years ago so….

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2378 days

#13 posted 12-16-2013 11:17 PM

If he bought it 2 years ago then it isn’t original and probably is a T2.

-- Rick M,

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