One Year Later...

  • Advertise with us
Review by Xett posted 01-03-2010 05:14 PM 4027 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
One Year Later... No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve owned this saw a little over a year now, figured it was about time to write a review.
FYI; the orange box store is now stocking an updated version of this saw with a riving knife and various other updates. My saw is the older version, but from what I can tell, not much different, save some cosmetic updates and the riving knife.

Out of the box, it came reasonably well tuned, though needed fixing. Aligning the blade to the slots is a matter of three allen screws and a small hammer. I was able to get it to .005 (measured with a caliper) using just an adjustable square. The fence was pretty out of whack, but is easily aligned to the miter slots by loosening four bolts on the top of the fence. The bevel gauge is….OK. I rarely use anything other than 90 and 45, the latter of which required adjusting the stops. As shipped, it stopped at about 42 degrees. Adjusting the stop is a pain and requires a lot of time on ones knees to get to the bolts inside the saw.

I use this saw for a pretty even 50/50 spit of remodeling work and furniture building. For the former, I don’t think you can get a better saw. The folding/rolling stand makes it cake to move around. I can wheel it down to my shop and set it up or out to the yard to work on our porch. The stand is very stable, only a small amount of racking and nothing that effects the functionality. Its got a large rip capacity and a great fence. I’ve used a couple of the dewalt contractor models and the fences, to me, are no where near as solid.

For ‘fine’ woodworking, it works as well as anything in this genre. No, it isn’t a PM2000 or Unisaw, but it is also about one sixth the cost. After the alignment procedure is done, I put on a Tenryu and made a zero-clearance insert. I’ve made several pieces with this, from small boxes to larger kitchen furniture and everything has come out as well as I made it. That is, the saw is more accurate than I am!

The miter gauge is perfectly adequate, obviously check and adjust the stops before using it. I have an after-market gauge that I much prefer, but the stock one will get the job done.

So what are the negatives?
I find it exceptionally loud. Even for a direct drive saw, this thing screeches. Could just be me, who knows. I wear hearing protection 90% of the time anyway, so this wasn’t a giant problem for me.
As I said, setting the 90 and 45 stops for the tilt is a pain and tough to get ‘right on’, but it can be done.
Dust collection is decent, its got a 2.5inch port that I hook my shop-vac to. The vac is a 150cfm and pulls about 60% of the dust the saw makes. The rest falls out the bottom.
The splitter is a pain to take off, but what else is new in the land of fixed-height splitters. This is a non-issue now, as its a riving knife in the new model.
The power switch is tough to find without looking at it. I think this is also fixed in the new model.

All in all, if you don’t already own this, you will be buying the new model. Ridgid really seems to have listened to what users complained about, because most of the big gripes have been addressed in the revision.
I’ve beat the heck out of this saw, an entire porch and patio of pressure treated lumber, plenty of 8/4 hard wood, three rooms of laminate floor planking, etc, etc.

If you are in the <$500 market for a TS, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this saw. And a lifetime warranty doesn’t hurt either.

View Xett's profile


19 posts in 4037 days

8 comments so far

View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 4045 days

#1 posted 01-03-2010 06:23 PM

I bought this saw saw back in 2001. Ridgid had’t swtiched to the orange color, so it is the marine grey. Same setup adjustments for me, except my bevel was perfect out of the box for both 90 and 45 degrees. The saw stand itself, however, as clever as it is, didn’t allow the saw table to be parallel to the ground! I couldn’t figure out how to fix it without bending something, so I loosened up the saw-to-stand hold down bolts, stuck some door shims between the saw and the stand until it was level, tightened the hold down bolts, and cut off the extra shim. Problem solved!

The dust collection isn’t too bad. It got a lot better when I took it off the stand and mounted on to a solid surface. I personally liked the old guard system. I didn’t think it was too bad to take off and put back on. About the same as the splitter I have on my Unisaws at work.

I also chucked the Ridgid blade pretty quickly after purchasing the saw. I take that back: I kept it to saw sheet metal! That was about all it was good for (I decided!). I made a crosscut/miter sled for the saw pretty quickly after buying it. Improved the quality of my cross cuts. I only use the miter guage for cutting dadoes and rabbits these days.

I do like the t-slots in the sides and top of the fence. Allows for toilet bolt jigs to either slide or be fixed onto the fence. That is a great feature on this saw (IMHO!). The thing I absolutely like more than anything about this saw is when you have to take it to a jobsite, the stand and the saw outperform every portable benchtop saw in the market!

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4549 days

#2 posted 01-03-2010 06:28 PM

View JasonWagner's profile


552 posts in 4152 days

#3 posted 01-03-2010 07:38 PM

I had one of these and I thought it was a great saw too. It was loud, but no different than my miter saw. It didn’t have a soft start so that was part of it. I put a dust collection plate under mine and hooked up a Y to collect from both ports and had good luck with dust collection. I didn’t think the splitter was terrible to remove (easier than three bolts on my Grizzly now). If I ever want a portable I’d grab the new version in a heartbeat. If you’re interested in a router table insert for it you can check one out in my projects.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4794 days

#4 posted 01-03-2010 07:38 PM

Thanks for the review, Xett.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Bob N's profile

Bob N

131 posts in 4899 days

#5 posted 01-04-2010 12:50 AM

Thanks for a great and honest review. I too own this exact model and have found it to be an excellent TS in every respect. It has done everything well that I have asked of it. I have a small shop and everything has to be portable, this fits the bill for my needs perfectly.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 4081 days

#6 posted 01-05-2010 01:35 PM

Nice review Xett and welcome to Lumberjocks. Last year, I was divided between this saw and the TS3660 model. Both were in the same price range and it boiled down to whether I wanted the exceptional portability of this saw or whether I wanted the money to go to the cast iron table. The herculean lift on the 3660 was the deciding factor for me, since I could have the cast iron and some portability in my basement. Obviously I won’t be hauling it up the stairs anytime soon though. With the riving knife and the modifications you mentioned on the new model, this does seem like an exceptional saw for those that need a good portable saw.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View BigBard's profile


114 posts in 4386 days

#7 posted 01-07-2010 06:35 AM

You have a shop vac that pulls 450 cfm? that’s outstanding!!!

-- Carolina Panther fan!

View Xett's profile


19 posts in 4037 days

#8 posted 01-07-2010 02:43 PM

Doh! My brain thought “150” and my fingers were much more optimistic and typed “450”!
150cfm, not 450 cfm, been edited above. Sorry!
Thanks for the comments everyone!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics