Originally Posted by cdika17
How do you like the ridgid saw? I have been researching table saws for quite some time now. Becoming very frustrated because I want a decent saw but can not afford the high end.
How do I like the saw? The short answer is that my wife has complained to me about how much I like the Ridgid R4512.
It does what I ask of it and it's easily a better tool than the limits of my skills. There are better saws out there, but other than a Stopsaw I'm not sure I'd swap for one. The two piece rail is annoying but that can be swapped for a different fence system if you really want to. The stamped steel wings can be replaced with cast iron wings if it really bothers you as this saw has a standard 27" deep top. There are others with a dust shroud around the blade instead of the open cabinet for dust collection but a humble 1/2 hp dust collector that I scored on Craigslist for $100 is more than sufficient. The insert plate is just a thin plate so making a zero clearance insert is a bit iffy. I wound up just buying a manufactured one from Woodcraft. Yes it has table mounted trunnions, that just comes with the territory.
Look at the price, nothing else comes close. If you're coming from a portable saw then this thing will seem like a Cadillac. The induction motor sings a soft lullaby and you can turn it on and off without tipping over a nickel on edge, or even getting it to wobble slightly. The extra space between the blade and the front edge makes a lot of operations possible that you just cannot do on a smaller saw. I'm thinking in particular of a cross cut sled, but there's a bunch of other things I've done with that extra space that just wouldn't happen otherwise.
When assembling you'll do well to have a 36" f-clamp to square the blade to the miter slots. Loosen three bolts fully, a fourth slightly, stick the clamp on there and start to apply pressure. Twist the handle on the f-clamp to make small adjustments. Hammer home the bolts when you're happy. The legs can be put on backwards which can mean having to flip the saw over multiple times instead of just the once. Considering the weight of this creature you would be wise to have help and would would be a profound idiot to do it barefoot and by yourself (like I did).
I got an HD to take a competitor's coupon (Harbor Freight 25% Fourth of July) on it, but had to find a store that had one locally. That was about an hour and a half drive for me, but darned worth it. For how much I paid + the lifetime warranty you really cannot go wrong. The next cheapest cast iron saw besides the PC is twice the price. I also scored a Ridgid 1050 combo blade on clearance. It's supposedly made by Freud (says Made in Italy) and cuts like what people claim a Forrest Woodworker II does though I've never a WWII seen one in action. I've never mounted up the blade that came with the saw.
People claim the Ridgid R4512 isn't as good as its predecessors but the others didn't have the new blade guard system. The granite topped one was recalled for its nasty habit of ejecting dado stacks while in operation.
The Porter Cable saw at Lowe's was engineered to hit a certain price point and should probably be avoided. There's plastic under the hood.