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Thread: Tool Review - RIDGID R4512 Hybrid Table Saw

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Staint John's, FL (near JAX)
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    Thumbs up Tool Review - RIDGID R4512 Hybrid Table Saw

    Hi Folks,

    I have about 3 weeks experience with my new R4512, and about 6 months working with wood. I started with a Ridgid Miter Saw, I was blown away, it is a great miter saw. So Ridgid tools are my tool of choice.

    First -Mini Tool Review - Craftsman 10" Laser Guided Table Saw
    First I must mention that I originally got a Craftsman 10” Laser guided table for Christmas, I spent days trying to get the thing together. I tried cutting a boards, but I got a bad feeling, I was scared of the thing. I tuned it, as per the manual, but the first time I used it the board bound up on the blade and it started coming back at me. Also, the table would not say aligned. I think the problem is with the wheel, to get the blade in 90 position you have hold the wheel in the right position real hard then tighten the knob, after a while the wheel slips back. The table was too small, everything was just cheaply made. So the Craftsman went back to Sears. I learned a lot about table saws from that experience, so it was not a total loss.


    R4512 Table Saw met all my expectations

    The R4512 lived up to my high expectations; it is a solid, accurate, powerful tool, which lives up to the brand’s reputation of providing quality tools. The setup was very simple, instructions were clear with lots of photos, you will need a friend to help do lifting.

    First time I turned it on it was a bit anti-climactic, it purred like a kitten, I was impressed at how quite it was. I cut a few boards; the saw went through the boards like they were made of butter. There was only a slight bit of resistance as the board passed under the anti-kickback pawls.



    Specifically, what I liked about the Saw:
    This is a very powerful Saw. I have been able to cut a 2 inch thick White Oak board without any apparent difficulty. I did spend some time and got my fence and blade set up just right. I also purchased a very the thin kerf blade (.079) which made the saw cut more easy than using the stock blade.

    • The tune-up was a breeze, the aliment nuts and bolts are easy to reach, and the R4512 does not have any unusual parts or dimensions. I using the usual tools, I completed a very through tune up, the only things I had to adjust were the scales for the blade height and the bevel. I put a blade stiffener on, so I had to adjust the knife. The back panel of the saw comes off, so it easy to check the belts and clean out dust.
    • The Casters were a very helpful addition to the saw, by stepping on a pedal, I can roll the saw with only a few fingers, I have a situation in my garage workshop where I have store the saw on the side when I am not using it, so this feature was a God send.
    • The quality of craftsmanship, this saw is solid, no weird noises or vibrations, everything is heavy and strong, except for the miter gauge (later on that)
    • The dust collection is great. Most saws at this price point barely consider dust collection. This saw comes with a chute that covers the whole bottom. At the bottom of the chute there is a 4” opening for connecting it to a dust collection.
    • The price, Home Depot has these for $500, they also accepted the Harbor Freight 20% off coupon, saw it cost me $400.


    Only one complaint:
    My only complaint about the saw is the miter gauge and its fence. When I first took it out of the box I thought they sent me the wrong one. It is small and shaky. I will not be using it. I purchased Ridgid’s Digital Miter guage and fence. I will post a review after I have used it for awhile.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Good job. Your observation about the included miter gauge is pretty common across most brands. Are the miter slots 'standard'? Standard being slightly over 3/4", like .765"? Saws like the Emerson built Craftsman and I think early Ridgids had miter slots that were .750". 'Standard' accessories like miter gauges and tenoning jigs wouldn't work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Lubbock Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Harms;2054260......... Standard being [I
    slightly[/I] over 3/4", like .765"? Saws like the Emerson built Craftsman and I think early Ridgids had miter slots that were .750". 'Standard' accessories like miter gauges and tenoning jigs wouldn't work.
    But what is nice is that when making my jigs I found 3/4" bar stock easy to find.
    No PHD, but I have a DD 214

  4. #4
    I've been on the fence about replacing my old table saw - no riving knife and no anti-kickback device - with a 4512. Your review and this recent post

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...-GORY-PICTURES!!)

    convinced me to take the jump. Now, hopefully HD will honor the Harbor Freight coupon!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Auburn, WA
    Posts
    133
    Nice photo documentation in your review. I hope the saw works out for you. I have the predecessor model, R4511 with the granite top, and like it very much, tho I would have preferred a cast iron top & wings. It looks like they have simplified the Herculift mechanism.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Finn View Post
    But what is nice is that when making my jigs I found 3/4" bar stock easy to find.
    I read about one caution when using steel for miter slot jigs. Saw tops are made from cast iron and cast iron is significantly softer than steel. It's been said that steel miter sliders can wear the slots if used heavily. I try to regularly wax the slots and steel bars, plus my usage is infrequent. It's useful to be able to drill and tap the bars, I wonder if aluminum threads would hold up? I doubt there's be any wear issues with aluminum bar stock. Or maybe the whole issue is a non-concern.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Camillus, NY
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    Curt- every TS of reasonable quality that I have seen and used for the past 60 years of woodworking has steel sliders on the miters slide in cast iron tops. Aluminum sliders are a thing of the recent past and often accompany plastic miters slides. Steel bars work work fine in cast iron tops. As a retired metallurgist who has a long running interest in materials and their applications, I would suggest that Cast iron and the steel used in the sliders are in the same realm hardness wise, and are quite compatible. I would worry about cast iron tops wearing aluminum sliders over the long run- but with hobbiest usage, not an issue either.
    Jerry

    "It is better to fail in originality than succeed in imitation" - Herman Melville

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    westchester cty, NY
    Posts
    796
    congrats on the saw, paul. did you get the ridgid miter gauge @ a clearance price? i paid ~ $20 for mine and it's an ok gauge. the digital gauge head is a little finicky to set precicely, but for $20, i couldn't say no. and is that an ivac switch i see in one of your pics? i have 2 daisy chained together so my DC and shopvac activate simultaneously. good for table top collection on the TS and also with the router table, RAS and BS.

    glad you saved that $100. tools purchased below retail always work better than full priced tools.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bug Island, GA
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    Mark, I have a feeling that you will like this saw a lot, especially if you can snag one for $400!

    I've had the R4512 since June and never knew something in this price range could be so good... I even paid full price for it. The saw has taken everything I've thrown at it so far, including jointing/planning down warped and twisted 2x4s. I haven't tried rewiring it to 220v yet, because it has plenty of power at 110v.

    My only complaint is the two piece fence rail, I just can't seem to get rid of the bump where the two parts meet, but that's a minor inconvience I can live with. Other than that, this saw is extremely well built and probably the last table saw I'll ever buy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    290
    I also have had this saw for @ 5 months now and have no real complaints - for the price rang that is. I also got it for a discount, but only 10%.

    This weekend, I just built and added my router table extension wing to the opening right of the saw. Pics below.....

    JJ in Pittsburgh

    image002.jpgimage001.jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Wright View Post
    Curt- every TS of reasonable quality that I have seen and used for the past 60 years of woodworking has steel sliders on the miters slide in cast iron tops. Aluminum sliders are a thing of the recent past and often accompany plastic miters slides. Steel bars work work fine in cast iron tops. As a retired metallurgist who has a long running interest in materials and their applications, I would suggest that Cast iron and the steel used in the sliders are in the same realm hardness wise, and are quite compatible. I would worry about cast iron tops wearing aluminum sliders over the long run- but with hobbiest usage, not an issue either.
    Thanks Jerry. I'm using a long 3/8" X 3/4" bar on a panel cutting jig. I always thought cast iron was a lot softer than mild steel so that's good to know. I'm sure that aluminum jig sliders would be more prone to wear but they're also more easily replaced than table saw tops. I suspect this topic, like many on discussion sites like this are much ado about not much.

  12. #12
    Congratulations on your new saw . Thanks for the review.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Largent View Post
    I've been on the fence about replacing my old table saw - no riving knife and no anti-kickback device - with a 4512. Your review and this recent post

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...-GORY-PICTURES!!)

    convinced me to take the jump. Now, hopefully HD will honor the Harbor Freight coupon!
    Wow. I had no idea that they would do so.
    I've been eyeing up an 18 ga L cleat nailer for installing 3/4" Cumaru and I'd rather get the PowerNailer 18 ga rolling cleat nailer than to try to find fasteners for the Primatech. 20% off of $662 would go a long way.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Belleville, IL near St Louis
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    21
    Fred, to get your discounts was this carried at your local store? Or did you find a way to get the discount online?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Belleville, IL near St Louis
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    21
    Nice job on the router table add in Justin. What do you use to secure it to the saw?

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