I purchased the Ridgid table saw over a year ago for my first larger woodworking tool purchase. This rigid table changed the way I did all of my woodworking projects from this stage forward. Previously, all of my woodworking was done with a circular saw.
If you think about it a table saw is just a glorified circular saw turned upside down. But if your thinking about purchasing a table saw and you’re nervous about making the purchase on one, don’t be afraid. It’s definitely worth it whether you choose to purchase this Ridgid table saw or not.
Why I Chose This Ridgid Table Saw
Before I purchased the Ridgid table saw, I tossed so many other options around before purchasing this one. I probably went to Home Depot about 15 different times to look at this saw before I actually purchased this saw. It might sound weird, but I am one of those people that has a hard time spending money on just about anything.
Ok, let me get on why chose the saw. I went to Home Depot one Saturday morning and there was an older man that happened to be near the saw that worked there. He said to me “That’s a great saw, I have one myself”. We proceeded to talk about the saw and then just general woodworking. He stated that mostly used his saw for general furniture work for his friends a family. After our chat, we headed over to the lumber dept to grab a larger cart and loaded her up.
Some other reasons I chose this saw other than this gentleman’s recommendation was that I wanted a larger saw that what a compacted had to offer. My saw in the shop mostly stays in one area and doesn’t move much. Unless there’s a hail storm about to come through it gets pushed to the side.
Other Saws I Considered
Others saws I was looking at was the Delta 36-725 one at Lowes. The reviews that I found on the internet said that this was an overall better saw according to forums. The main reason for this is because of the fence on the Ridgid table saw. Mostly because of the time it takes to properly get this saw blade and fence aligned. On the Delta side, some people wondered how much longer the actual Delta could actually survive. I am not sure if this is a valid point but it could be something worth considering.
Back to the point about the fence, I didn’t run into many problems dealing with alignment but it was time-consuming. I thought it was kind of enjoyable setting it up since I have a little bit of machinist background in my job. Dialing equipment in for milling is something that I kind of enjoy doing and that I am used too. Soon I will make a guide showing you the tools and jigs I use to align my saw.
As far as other saws that I was considering was the Grizzly G0771Z. Now this saw in my mental ranking order and price was actual was one that I preferred more over the Rigid table saw. The weight being a little more about 60 pounds heavier over the R4512 which I liked. The main reason I didn’t get this one was having it shipped to my house. I live way back on non-county maintained dirt road with a long driveway. The ability of it being dropped off at my curb with lift gate wasn’t really feasible. I could have had it dropped off at a friend’s house but chose not to.
Things I Disliked
I don’t know if this falls into a dislike or just a lack of information on my part. After I purchased this table and got it home, unload and in the shop. I began to open the box and get everything laid on the floor as nice as I could. This all started about probably 12 pm for a time reference. There was so many nuts bolts and pieces that needed to be assembled. It took me till almost 5 pm to get this fully assembled and probably another to get the fence and blade dialed in. Take this into consideration I always wonder how many of the negative reviews on the Home Depot site are negative just because they thought it was as simple as pulling it out of the box and hooking it up.
Other think I really don’t care for is or it could be something I am doing wrong. This is the fact that the fence doesn’t seem to slide as smoothly has it does over the cast iron part and the extension wings. Once you get past the extension wings it seems to become a little bit more stiff. This could be something out of alignment on my end. If you have this saw and have solved this issue I would love to hear your solution to this issue.
The final peeve is a minor one and my laziness for not fixing it. It is these this little black plastic caps that go on the end of the table saw fence slide extrusion. The purpose of these is just to dress up the ends and keep the debris out of the end. But the problem I ran across was getting them to stay in. I fought them for a couple weeks before tossing them in a junk bin. Someday I might put a dab of glue on them to make them permanent. Until then they will stay in my junk bin. As I stated this is a minor thing.
Things I like
The price played a factor of me purchasing this table and plus other decisions I have outlined throughout this article thus far. Something else you might want to consider try is using one of the Harbor Freight 20% percent off coupons that you get to your inbox all time. I know this might sound weird to try using one at Home Depot but when I was researching the rigid table saw I saw a lot of articles saying that they were able to use to get 20% off.
Now I tried this and was unsuccessful. Here’s what I attempted I called about every Home Depot with a 50-mile radius of my town which was 4 different stores. I called and asked for each store manager and told them I was looking at the Rigid 4512 table saw but I was also thinking of about going with one of a different brand and store. I explained that I had a 20% off coupon. Each store I called failed at this attempted but it only took me 20 mins to do this so it was worth a shot. A lot of people in different forums said they were able to get the 20% off. Just something worth considering if your better at negotiating than I am.
Mobile base on this saw is awesome. Yes, I have stated that it stays is one area in my shop but there has been a few occasions where I had to move it out of the way to make room for automotive repairs, which can be very convenient. I know a lot saw’s that come with this but it’s something I definitely like on this saw.
The way that the riving knife hooks on is so simple and fast. All you have to do is slide it in and push down on the orange lever and its locked in, its that simple. There could be saw’s that have better systems but this seems really simple to me. I would love to hear other people weigh in on this. I love learning about different and better products and how things tick.
The final reason I like about this saw is the lack of vibration. My saw sits on the flattest piece of concrete in the world, as you can see, this nickel test results in that it stays up just perfectly. I don’t know if this the most proper test for testing vibration but I see everyone else doing it so it must be right, right?
Take the leap
If you’re on the fence like I was about this saw let me be the old man that pushes you off the fence and get this saw. Just like that older man at Home Depot did for me and got me to purchase this Ridgid table saw. Yes, it takes the time to get this aligned just right but with PATIENCE it can be setup properly.
I will work on putting an alignment guide and video for this Ridgid table saw in the upcoming week so be sure to sign up to receive that. Feel free to contact me in you have any trouble setting up your saw and I will do my best to help give you a hand.
Choosing The Best Table Saw Blade
If your table saw blade just isn’t cutting it anymore, you have come to the right place. I am going to give you some insight on how to choose the best table saw blade.
1. What are different types of table saw blades available? We can do this by putting the blades into two categories first by what you’re trying to achieve. See below:
Cross-Cut (cutting across the grain) Ripping (cutting with grain)
2. What is the primary type of material will you be cutting with this blade? If you’re just going to be cutting one type of material we can choose a blade that will be more specific for the job at hand. There are blades specific for cutting plastics melamine or etc.
Ask yourself these 2 simple questions before you begin to search for a new table saw blade and it will help you become less overwhelmed.
Like I talked about before cross-cutting is cutting across the grain. You will use cross-cutting all the time in your woodworking projects. The toughest challenge with cross-cutting is dealing with tear-out. So let’s talk about some characteristics of a cross table saw and how you can choose the best table saw blade.
Cross cut table saw blades normal come in a 60 t0 80 tooth configuration. The higher tooth count is going to give you smoother cut across your work surface. The gullet is the area in between the saw teeth. Gullet on a cross-cut table saw blade is going to have smaller gullets which result in less chip removal and having to feed at slower feed rated. When a quality saw blade is used and cut through in a cross cut formation the end grain will almost have a sheen to it.
- 60-80 tooth configuration
- smaller gullets
- slower feed rates
- high quality blade for best performance
Ripping as discussed is cutting with the grain. Common tooth count for a ripping blade is 24 teeth. This is a big difference compared to the 60-80tooth we just discussed. Your ripping blade will remove material very quickly from your work piece. Even with the best table saw blade you will not be able to achieve a mirror-like surface like you might be able to with cross cut blade. Gullets with a rip blade are much larger and have much better chip removal. This gives you the ability to move through material very quickly.
- 24 tooth count commonly
- big gullet
- greater chip removal
- fast feed rate
- rougher cut finish
Four Main Tooth Configurations
- Flat-Top Grind (FTG) Flat-top grind is a very simple grind style. The top edges of the teeth are square to the main saw blade on this type of grind. You can almost relate to the teeth on this blade to chisel cutting through the material at high-speed. FTG blades efficently and quickly cut through material.
- Triple Chip Grid (TCD) Now with a triple chip grind your going to have a trapezoidal-like tooth followed by a raker. The raker tooth with have a flat top grind on it which well help remove the corners of the material left behind from first trapezoidal tooth. TCD blades are great for cutting plastics laminates and even non-ferrous metals.
- Alternate Top Bevel (ATB) With alternate top bevel it is what the name is saying. The teeth are beveled in alternating directions. This tip design gives the tooth the ability to slice through the wood fibers. If you have a steeper angle on your bevels you get a cleaner but in return they dull very quickly. The style of blade works great for cross cutting as well as cutting plywood, particle board, fiberboard and more.
- Combination or (ATBR) The combination blade gives you the ability to cross cut and rip the same blade. Combination blade commonly has teeth in sets of 5. These include 4 ATB teeth and then 1 raker to clear the material. That last raker tooth will also help keep the blade straight throughout the cut.
Now How To Choose The Best Table Saw Blade
Putting everything together I laid out in the article will help you ultimately choose the best table saw blade. Start by determining if what type of cutting will you be dong the most. Cross-cutting or Ripping? Next step, what material will you be primarily but cutting with this blade? Asking these two simple questions will help in your quest of buying a new table saw blade.
If you’re looking for a general multi-purpose blade your best bet is to choose a combination blade and have the ability to cross-cut and rip very efficiently. You can check one out here on amazon.
I hope this brief overview helped you with what different saw blade types there are on the market and will help you in your purchase. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me through the contact page.