Budget friendly and very workable

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Review by lumberjoe posted 04-30-2012 03:09 AM 7320 views 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Budget friendly and very workable No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

After MUCH deliberation, and I mean months of research, I finally landed on the Ridgid R5412. This saw has been reviewed a few times already, I just wanted to add my perspective.

1. Buying experience – kind of annoying. I had to wait around for someone to help me. My local home depot had 3 in stock, but could not fin them anywhere. After literally an hour of searching, I gave up. I was just going to go order it online – which I did not want to do. I wanted to inspect the packaging before I got it to try and rule out shipping damage. As I’m getting into the truck I borrowed, the guy comes running out and says he found one. The box was clean, no visible damage, so I swiped my card and off I went.

2 – Assembly. It was really easy. While I am not good with wood (yet) I am very mechanical and have assisted in many rebuilds for engines in 7 second pro outlaw cars, so mechanical assembly is easy for me. Your mileage may very as the instructions were ok, but could be a little more detailed. One annoying thing – the bolt sizes were off. The nuts were generally all 13mm and the bolts were “14mm”. None actually were. It was not my wrenches, I have really nice snap-on wrenches and sockets. Neither a box end, open end, 12 pt or 6pt 14mm wrench fit well. a 12pt 13mm did the trick.

3 – Blade alignment. YES, this saw CAN be aligned. I took the back of the cabinet off, slightly loosened the bolts on the trunions and used a bar clamp to apply pressure until my dial indicator showed it was true (enough – this is wood, not metal I’ll take 2 thousands).

4 – I wished they extensions were cast iron, but after using the saw, the steel is suitable. I was able to get it completely flat and square to the cast center section. This took a lot of tinkering.

Why this saw and not the Grizzly? Yes, I know the grizzly is only a few hundred more, but I feel this is more than adequate for my shop and the way I work. It provides a more than acceptable level of precision. I do have it wired 220 so I cannot comment on 110v performance, but this saw is plenty powerful, the quietest tool I own, and vibration free.

I budgeted 1200 to 1300 for a saw. With the savings over a grizzly/steel city/rikon I was able to buy a few things – like a PC 7518 speedmatic router, an Incra miter gauge, Forrest dado king to complement my WWII (which actually works on this saw!!), the ZCI and dado throat plate, a woodpeckers router lift and some stuff to build a router table in the extension.

All and all, I am pleased so far. To a lot of you, this may seem like a budget tool with limited range. To me, this represents limitless possibilities. Keep in mind I am coming from a Ryobi RTS-10.

I am NOT saying if you are looking for a 3hp saw, this will do the trick. For my needs – building boxes and furniture; and rarely working with stock larger than 4/4 or full sheet goods, this does the trick.


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2902 posts in 3021 days

17 comments so far

View nwbusa's profile


1022 posts in 3059 days

#1 posted 04-30-2012 07:12 AM

It’s a good saw at a great price. Mine has been serving me well for many months now. Here’s a link to my post showing my onboard outfeed table, if you’re interested.

Enjoy the saw!

-- John, BC, Canada

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 4526 days

#2 posted 04-30-2012 10:15 AM

Congrats on the saw.

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 4092 days

#3 posted 04-30-2012 06:14 PM

I had one problem with the earlier model of this saw. Well, two.

It’s too tall. And the blade sits way back on the tabletop. I found myself leaning too far over the table for some jobs. I didn’t like it. I have a used Delta Uni that I use now.

Just a thought for those of us that a vertically challanged… ;)

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View dustyal's profile


1319 posts in 4248 days

#4 posted 05-01-2012 03:25 PM

Thanks for the review. well done. Most likely this will end up being my table saw when I get a little more room.
Right now I use a bench top Rigid saw. It’s major drawback is inadequate infeed space. Contrary to what Milo posted, I would prefer the blade sitting back.

Like you, I don’t do sheet goods… and 4/4 is about as thick as I go. So, your review fits my needs.

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

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3021 days

#5 posted 05-01-2012 03:45 PM

I also really appreciate the infeed space. In my previous saw, I had a good 4 inches. That made any cross cuts pointless. I do occasionally use sheet goods, but never a full sheet. I always have the yard quarter or half them for me, depending on what I am doing. Now that your brought it up milio, I do notice the table is a little high. I’m not sure if there is a standard height for table saws, but it’s a good 2 inches taller than my little ryobi.

So far having this saw has really changed the way I work. I now fully understand the people who say that the table saw is the most used tool in the shop. Previously with my little bench top saw, the rule was “use it when absolutely necessary”. Now I don’t even use my miter saw anymore for cross cutting. Also of note, the project I started with this saw which I will post when complete is coming together perfectly so far.
I’ve been critical of my projects and always attributed the failures more to my lack of skill than the actual tool. I may have to rethink that now that my cuts are predictable, square, and right where I want them every single time. Instead of blaming 80% of defects on skill, and 20% on tools, I’d say it’s closer to 50/50.
Something that never happened before I can do now. Measure twice, cut once actually works instead of my old system of “measure 8 times, cut 4 pieces of scrap until it’s close, then finish up the rest with a flush cut bit or hand tools”


View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3744 days

#6 posted 05-01-2012 04:04 PM

I’m glad you got one without the allignment issue. I, too, liked this saw. Well, technically I have the Craftsman 21833, which is the same saw in red and silver paint.

If my trunnion did not change alignment depending on the blade height it would have been all the saw I need.

Quiet, vibration free, powerfull motor, decent fence.

What’s not to like, if the friggin blade would stay parallel with the miter slot?

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3021 days

#7 posted 05-01-2012 04:57 PM

Michael, from what I understand, my saw has the same fatal flaw as yours. I understood that when I bought it. I have not tested it, but I might. I can tell you the blade stays completely true to a height of 2 3/4 inches, safely allowing me to cut 8/4 material. I can’t ever see myself cutting through anything thicker than that.


View noone's profile


587 posts in 3045 days

#8 posted 05-01-2012 05:12 PM

I too have this saw and I like it.

My only additions would be that I don’t really like the fact that the fence does not square up exactly the same every time. Depending on how it is angled before you pump the handle down, it could be skewed right or left 2 to 10 1000th’s of an inch. Get your dial indicator out and give it a try. I have gotten in the habit of pressing it forward at the T of the fence prior to locking it down, which seems to help in consistency. Then there is that ‘bump’ in the rail since it is two pieces which, if you are cutting in that area (I rarely am), will throw your cut off square as well. Also the miter gauge has a little bit of slop in it. So I would say this table saw is not perfectly accurate, but good enough for what i’m using it for – constructing built-ins and closets.

View Bobmedic's profile


383 posts in 3575 days

#9 posted 05-16-2012 04:33 AM

Love my 4512. Never have the problems with the fence or trunnions. Saw was dead on out of the box. The fence took about 10 min to square and I was done. Def great saw for the price.

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3021 days

#10 posted 05-16-2012 01:05 PM

Robert, glad to hear it. I’d be a little cautious about the saw being dead on out of the box. How did you measure? When I followed the instructions and used a combination square, it looked dead on to me too. I am a perfectionist though so I measured with a dial indicator. I was off by a little over 6 thousands of an inch out of the box. That’s very close to a 1/16th of an inch – and will be noticeable. It is very easy to adjust though.

I do not experience any slop in my miter gauge, but I bought a new one and have only used it twice. As far as the fence goes, I love the actual fence. The t tracks on the sides and top are the best idea ever. I do see the complaint with the bump in the rail. I almost never work that close to the blade, but the 2 times I did, I REALLY needed an accurate cut. The bump did make a difference in cut quality. Also as noone pointed out, if you just clamp the fence down, it is off. On a few tests I got between 2 thousands on the low end and 8 thousands on the high end. Because my old ryobi saw had a toy fence, I am in the habit of pushing forward on the T before locking. This weekend I will be ordering either the Delta BC50 or the Vega Pro 50 fence systems from amazon.


View nwbusa's profile


1022 posts in 3059 days

#11 posted 05-16-2012 02:24 PM

The runout on my blade was .002, which I decided was not worth messing with. I guess I got lucky in that regard. I did have to square up the fence but it’s been fairly consistent since then in terms of maintaining its squareness to the blade.

The only real area where I’ve had calibration issues is with the riving knife. It’s easy to adjust but the blade I use most often is only about .002” wider than the riving knife, meaning that the alignment there needs to be pretty close to perfect to avoid problems. Overall, though, my saw has been pretty trouble free.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Bobmedic's profile


383 posts in 3575 days

#12 posted 05-17-2012 07:13 PM

Joe, a 1/16th” is .0625 thou not .006 thou. I used a dial indicator with the alignit kit.

View BiffTDB's profile


7 posts in 2974 days

#13 posted 06-07-2012 05:36 AM

I’m looking at this saw as the first tool for my shop when I get started soon. I think from the reviews I’ve seen here, this looks like my best choice in my budget range.

-- Mike

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3021 days

#14 posted 06-07-2012 11:58 AM

In this price range, I would highly recommend it. Hopefully you get one without the alignment issues, but it seems the more recent purchasers have not had any issue. After getting it aligned, it has not moved on me, even with height adjustments. I used to check daily, now I check whenever I change blade height (which is not terribly often)

Bob, you are right, I did have .062, not .0062. Currently the dial indicator reads .0024.I also recently purchased but have not installed the Vega pro 50 fence system.

I will say that It’s not likely I will keep this saw for ever. It is what it is – an entry level hybrid – and it excels in that category. I am not at the point in my woodworking journey now where I need a truly professional grade cabinet saw, but I can envision that day on the horizon in a few years. I am not at all disappointed in this purchase and for the time being, it fits the bill.When my shop focus changes from fixing mistakes and struggling to figure things out, to speed, predictability, and the utmost precision, it will be time. When I do upgrade it will likely be something in the Unisaw, PM2000 or Sawstop professional category.


View WoodNDust's profile


228 posts in 2879 days

#15 posted 08-25-2012 05:02 AM

Nice review, lumberjoe. I have a handful of Ridgid hand power tools and so this saw almost was mine. Until I spent 20 hours with two different saws over a 3 day weekend. Both saws came defective out of the box. Now I’m thinking of going with a Grizzly cabinet saw. If I hadn’t had the issues out of the box, I would own this saw today.

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