Amazing Saw For The Price........ Minus the Insert Plate

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Review by WoodyPete posted 03-23-2012 05:50 PM 10156 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Amazing Saw For The Price........ Minus the Insert Plate Amazing Saw For The Price........ Minus the Insert Plate Amazing Saw For The Price........ Minus the Insert Plate Click the pictures to enlarge them

This is an amazing saw for the price in my opinion. The reviews written by ‘LafayetteJack’ & ‘bobdobbs’ are dead on with my assessment of this saw. I’m just adding my 2 cents to the review of the product…...... I have no financial interest in Porter Cable or Lowes, and my woodworking experience is beginner – intermediate and is simply my hobby.

I purchased this saw for many of the same reasons stated by the other reviewers:

1) This is the most saw (features & quality) you can get at this price.
2) I do not have a large work space, so this folds up nice and will store out of the way.
3) It will accept a DADO
4) Good Warranty in my opinion

As I said, ‘LafayetteJack’ & ‘bobdobbs’ reviews are dead on, and the specs they list are accurate…...not much I can add in that regard. Make sure you check all of the alignments after it is assembled. Mine was perfect right out of the box (and I am very particular). My only change from the setup as it comes out of the box was I put a Freud Fusion Blade on it for detail work and cutting hardwoods. The Blade that comes with it is not bad however and I use it for everything else.

The performance of the saw has been great. I have used this saw to create dozens of end-grain cutting boards. Every time I have not had any problem with straightness of cut, no burn marks, no gaps in the glue-up everything was great. I have built bird houses, a patio storage box (ripped down decking boards), cordless drill charging station, candle centerpieces for my wife…..all joints were tight, angles were dead on.

I have had no problems with the saw bogging down, or any problems with the fence.

To address some of the discussions from the other reviews…...

1) This saw is on the Porter Cable webpage here. You can find all of the specs, download the instruction manual and order parts.

2) There is a DADO insert plate you can buy as it states in the instructions, part number 2UUW, made specifically for this saw. I ordered it and it works great no problems. I use a cheap $40 6in dado set from Rockler, and my cuts have been very flat and clean.

3) My miter gauge is tight, and I have used a Rockler feather board and it works well in the miter slots also.

4) There is no zero clearance insert for this saw that I can find. Hopefully someone will make one or figure out a way to build one from wood.

As for the review from ‘AKMECHANIC,’ I have had none of the problems he has reported. My table is very flat (for a $300 saw with an aluminum top). Using my machinist squares and blocks, I have no gaps from the blade to the left/right or front to back across the table. My fence handle is not the same design as his (mine is more of the traditional broom handle, still plastic). I have no problems with it getting in the way. Manufacture date on mine is July 2010, I purchased it in November 2010. The stand is adequate too, I have moved the table extension to the full 24 inch extended position and cut plywood with no problems, no tipping or movement (make sure you use the leveling knob on the stand feet).

The only major problem with this saw is the insert plate as others have mentioned. This is the only feature that keeps it out of the league of the Rigid Worksite Saw (I have used both). To me, it is not worth the extra money for the standard plate size and the extra $200. I have made a cheap table saw sled with zero clearance that gives me great results on cross-cuts. If I was going to shell out $500 bucks, I would go ahead and shell out a little more and get a contractor saw (if i had the room in my garage :-)

Overall this is a great saw. Stop in at Lowes and take a look at the insert plate before you buy to make sure you can live with it’s limitations.

View WoodyPete's profile


4 posts in 3114 days

8 comments so far

View kcrandy's profile


285 posts in 4291 days

#1 posted 03-23-2012 08:50 PM

I appreciate this review as I’m in the market for a saw in this price range.

-- Caulk and paint are a poor carpenter's best friends

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 3135 days

#2 posted 03-23-2012 10:42 PM

I have the same saw and I would of said what you said. Nice review


View WoodyPete's profile


4 posts in 3114 days

#3 posted 03-24-2012 12:26 AM

Thanks for the kind words guys!

View dustyal's profile


1320 posts in 4333 days

#4 posted 03-24-2012 12:33 AM

good review. thanks for posting… especially about its ability to accept dado blade.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Richard Miller's profile

Richard Miller

20 posts in 3434 days

#5 posted 04-05-2012 03:52 PM

My experience with this saw pretty much echoes WoodyPete’s. Will have to check out the dado insert though; anything new to hang on to it. I’m still working on the wooden zero clearance but in the meantime, I’m also using a sled

-- Richard

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3829 days

#6 posted 04-05-2012 05:00 PM

Thanks for a very good and informative review.

I evaluated and investigated this saw and almost bought one couple of years ago.
I came to the same conclusions as you confirmed about it being a good value.

I ran across a deal and bought the Craftsman 21833, (same as Ridgid R4512) for $409 instead.
I wish I had saved the extra $100 because the saw I got is a POS.

View WillMat's profile


7 posts in 3098 days

#7 posted 04-09-2012 01:00 AM

I have to agree with WoodyPete, it’s a great saw for the price. The only fault I found was the blade out of alignment, where the back of the blade set closer to the fence by 0.010 inch. The saw I bought doesn’t have an adjustment for this, like is shown in the manual, and the only way to adjust it, is to shim the trunnion blocks. I checked this measurement using the miter slots, and a dial indicator. The blade actually had no runout to it, it was good and flat.

View Bradpaulp's profile


7 posts in 2389 days

#8 posted 03-18-2014 07:56 AM

I just picked this saw up and very happy with it minus the weird insert plate. Anyone ever make a zci for this? Be very happy to see results and how you did it.

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