Ridgid - R4512 (Rating: 4)

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.