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View SgtD's profile

The lesser of two evils... R4512 or PCB270TS

by SgtD
posted 06-23-2012 06:06 PM


29 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8343 posts in 3919 days


#1 posted 06-23-2012 06:23 PM

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....

View Lifesaver2000's profile

Lifesaver2000

556 posts in 3655 days


#2 posted 06-23-2012 06:35 PM

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.

View crank49's profile

crank49

4032 posts in 3514 days


#3 posted 06-23-2012 09:04 PM

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.

View Jeff1984's profile

Jeff1984

11 posts in 2735 days


#4 posted 06-23-2012 09:26 PM

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

View SgtD's profile

SgtD

7 posts in 2708 days


#5 posted 06-23-2012 09:41 PM

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.

View SgtD's profile

SgtD

7 posts in 2708 days


#6 posted 06-23-2012 09:54 PM

For crank49:

Michael, how long ago did you purchase your R4512?

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 3466 days


#7 posted 06-23-2012 10:52 PM

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.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8343 posts in 3919 days


#8 posted 06-23-2012 10:55 PM

You could always go with the 21833….


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

View Everett1's profile

Everett1

213 posts in 3077 days


#9 posted 06-23-2012 11:13 PM

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

View Bobmedic's profile

Bobmedic

383 posts in 3345 days


#10 posted 06-23-2012 11:40 PM

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.

View crank49's profile

crank49

4032 posts in 3514 days


#11 posted 06-25-2012 03:37 AM

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

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12929 posts in 2923 days


#12 posted 06-25-2012 08:30 AM

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.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1021 posts in 2829 days


#13 posted 06-25-2012 05:25 PM

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

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2902 posts in 2791 days


#14 posted 06-25-2012 05:27 PM

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.

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodcrafts

View bh442's profile

bh442

21 posts in 2709 days


#15 posted 06-26-2012 04:21 PM

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.

View SgtD's profile

SgtD

7 posts in 2708 days


#16 posted 06-26-2012 08:02 PM

Well, again, thank you to everyone who has contributed to this forum. I picked up my second R4512 this morning and tonight I will assemble it. I am excited to see if I was lucky on my second try. And I can honestly say, your responses gave me peace of mind in that decision. I had Home Depot check when the saw was received into stock and it had been received in April of this year. I’m hoping that increases my odds of landing a saw minus the adjustment issue. I told them my experience with the first one and I tried to use the Harbor Freight 20% coupon but they just wouldn’t budge. They offered me 10%, but I already get that so it didn’t really sweeten the pot for me. Kudos to them for offering it to me though. I didn’t have much leverage seeing as how they literally had the only one in stock within an hour drive from my house.

Also, I bought a 90-tooth Diablo blade. Let me know what you all think of that blade and please be sure to include any recommendations.

And as far as adjustment goes, I want a little more precision this time, as opposed to using my combination square. I’d like to get a dial indicator. (Remember I am on a tight budget) I saw that Harbor Freight carries a 1” Travel Machinist’s Dial Indicator that “Meets or exceeds A.G.D. and Federal specifications”. Here is a link to it:

http://www.harborfreight.com/1-inch-travel-machinists-dial-indicator-623.html

Please give me your opinion. Will it get the job done or am I just wasting money? Also, any recommendations will be appreciated. Again, please remember I’m on a budget. I know some of those tools can get a little pricey.

Thank you all.

Ryan

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2902 posts in 2791 days


#17 posted 06-26-2012 08:10 PM

That dial indicator will work just fine. If it’s any assurance, I bought my TS in march, and the store received it in January. It did not have the alignment issue

Also a 90 tooth blade is a bit much, unless you are soley cross cutting or cutting laminated plywood. If you haven’t opened it yet, I would exchange it for the 50 tooth combination blade. I have one, among a lot of other blades, and I use it a lot. It’s also much cheaper – around 40$. Please do not try to rip with the 90 tooth blade. You will hate your saw.

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodcrafts

View SgtD's profile

SgtD

7 posts in 2708 days


#18 posted 06-26-2012 08:15 PM

Thanks for adding Joe. I appreciate the blade advice. How would the 90-tooth handle as a plywood blade?

View sixstring's profile

sixstring

296 posts in 2786 days


#19 posted 06-26-2012 08:20 PM

Yeah, I think have the same Diable blade. I put it on my mitre/chop saw (nothing but crosscuts right?) On my table, I have a 40t combo Diablo blade and it works great, although I realize I do a lot more ripping and resawing so I’m switching to a 28t rip blade… this time from either Freud or Forrest.

Use the right blade and you’ll love that saw, I’m sure of it. Also, make a zero tolerance insert(s) to replace the stock one; much safer and easy to do.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2902 posts in 2791 days


#20 posted 06-26-2012 08:22 PM

Excellent when combined with a 0 clearance insert – HOWEVER, you cannot use your guards or riving knife/splitter. The kerf on that blade is too small. It’s listed at .87. The minimum you have with the riving knife is .92. Obviously you want to use the safety gear, so proceed with caution if you plan on keeping it. I wouldn’t try using it with the riving knife on the saw.

Also if you are ripping anything, you will need another blade. The ridgid blade is terrible, and this blade will not rip well at all. If you are on a budget, your best bet for an all around blade is the D1050X at about 37$

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodcrafts

View bh442's profile

bh442

21 posts in 2709 days


#21 posted 06-26-2012 08:29 PM

I use a Freud Premier Fusion on my 4512:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JNTG76/ref=wms_ohs_product

... and I’m really happy with it so far. It makes a real nice cut when cross cutting birch plywood, and when ripping maple; I don’t even have to sand the edges. I can still use my riving knife with it. Also, I do use a zero-clearance insert.

-- Bill - Wattsburg, PA.

View SgtD's profile

SgtD

7 posts in 2708 days


#22 posted 06-26-2012 08:32 PM

Awesome information Joe and JC. You’re giving me some things to think about. Very informative.

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2902 posts in 2791 days


#23 posted 06-26-2012 08:34 PM

I almost went with that blade, but I got the Infinity combo-max instead. Disclaimer – I collect saw blades like women collect shoes. I’ve never tried the Infinity blades, so I wanted to give them a shot. I’ve heard great things. Just about everything else I own that spins and cuts wood is made by Frued, and it’s all pretty decent.

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodcrafts

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8343 posts in 3919 days


#24 posted 06-26-2012 09:21 PM

If the D1090X will clear your riving knife it’d great in plywood, but there’s definitely some risk of it hanging up. The D1080X would be a better choice…you should be able to exchange it. If not, even the D1060X is very good in ply, and will also do surprisingly well for general purpose stuff even though it’s billed mainly as a crosscut blade…it’ll start to struggle about the time you try to rip 1.5” hardwood with it, but otherwise it’s a surpringly good all around blade. Much more versatile than the 80T and 90T blades.

More blade info

Good luck with your new saw!

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

View SgtD's profile

SgtD

7 posts in 2708 days


#25 posted 06-26-2012 11:07 PM

Excellent article Scott! Thank you!

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12929 posts in 2923 days


#26 posted 06-27-2012 02:04 PM

If you’re only going to have one blade for now, a ~40 tooth Diablo would be your best bet. If you do any ripping in hardwoods, a dedicated 24t rip blade will make a world of difference. As for the 90t, I have an 80t on my chopsaw and it leaves cuts smooth as glass.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View rance's profile

rance

4271 posts in 3704 days


#27 posted 06-27-2012 02:19 PM

I’m anxious to hear the results on this. I would have recommended the Ridgid too.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2902 posts in 2791 days


#28 posted 06-27-2012 02:27 PM

I disagree, if you want ONE blade, the 50 tooth diablo with a ZCI performs miracles on the R4512. If you are looking for a complete set of blades, head on over to Amazon. For 300$ you can get the contractor pack of Infinity blades. It inculdes the Dadonator (arguably the best dado stack you can buy right now), a thin kerf 24 tooth ripping blade, and a thin kerf 50 tooth combo blade. The kerf of these blades are within the limits of the riving knife on the R4512 so they can be used safely WITH the riving knife and guards attached.

All of these blades are of premium quality, and this is a great deal. I REALLY wish I had stumbled upon this months ago.

http://www.amazon.com/00-SBP4-3-Piece-Contractors-Dadonator-Package/dp/B000W3K348

Here are some examples of the Diablo 50 tooth

This plywood was both ripped and cross cut with the diablo 50 tooth and a ZCI. This is not sanded, and pictured is the under side. Notice there is absolutely NO tear out

Another of the bottom edge

Here is a piece of oak that was also ripped AND cross cut with the same set up. No discernable saw marks, no burning, and no tear out

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodcrafts

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2901 posts in 3058 days


#29 posted 07-30-2012 06:07 PM

Well, hopefully you are up and running with your R4512, no problems. I also just bought one, and it went together fairly well, and I did not have to make any adjustments, but looked at the pictures in the book, then at the saw, and Blessed myself at the fact it was already true!

For a saw blade, I recently choose a CMT 50 tooth, coated with PTFE, running Luxembourg Cerametal carbide teeth. I had it on my old Ryobi BT3000 (12 years old and a universal motor, whew!!), when I upgraded to the Rigid R4512. The blade was moved to the Rigid, (never even tried the blade that came with the saw), and for the first time I experienced the feeling of no resistance with cross cutting hardwoods. Just a slight change in noise! It was amazing and a little scary at the same time, you don’t know when the blade starts to cut if your radio is too loud! The CMT is within .003 of the thickness of the riving knife on the Rigid, and I could not be happier for $31 bucks for a blade. I was ripping with it on my old Ryobi, thinking I was in heaven, then my first rip with the Rigid, HOLY COW, BLADEMAN! Just sailed through 1” walnut and rock maple on a cutting board project. Matter of fact, I think I will do a review on this blade…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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