Help on a table saw decision

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by misterthielman posted 03-01-2018 02:51 PM 817 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View misterthielman's profile


6 posts in 868 days

03-01-2018 02:51 PM

Hey forum! This is my first post and would love to get some opinions on this decision. I’m a hobby woodworker out of my garage and have been working with an old Craftsman table for many years. I’ve come into a little money and have a couple options that I’d like an opinion or two on.

My problem is my current table, even with a new blade, will bog down when I’m ripping hardwoods. Belts been replaced as well as blades. I make cutting boards, boxes, and about anything else small around the house I can replace with hard wood.

1) I’ve been looking at the Ridgid 4512 brand new at $550 near me.

2) I have an option to pick up a trailer 2000 Grizzly 1023 right tilt but doesn’t have the shop fox fence but does have the rail. I have 220 so that’s not a concern…in fact it will help. This one is $600…there’s another antique table by me for $100 that includes the shop fox fence so that might be a cheaper way to get the fence than ordering it new.

Thoughts on what I should do?

23 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8382 posts in 4156 days

#1 posted 03-01-2018 03:07 PM

The G1023 is a older style Unisaw clone. It’s easily a couple of jumps up the food chain from the R4512. It won’t have a riving knife, and its not left tilt, but the basic bones of the saw are considerably more substantial, and should make for a much nicer saw once you’re done with the setup. You can add a good splitter to compensate for the lack of a riving knife, and tilt direction is easy to overcome by sliding the fence to the other side during bevel cuts. The Shop Fox fence is considerably better than the R4512’s IMHO.

$600 is a fair price, but I’ve seen them go lower….I’d be inclined to offer $500 and go from there.

Good luck, and please keep us posted.

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

View BoardButcherer's profile


144 posts in 875 days

#2 posted 03-01-2018 03:16 PM

Grizzly without a doubt. As soon as you step into the Hybrid/cabinet saw realm with Grizzly they usually fit all of the standard sized accessories. No guarantee on that end with the Ridgid.

You will without a doubt get a lot more use out of the grizzly and keep it longer if you can buy all of the knick-knacks you want to go with it later on.

Got a taste of that when I went to buy a router extension wing for my Sawstop.

“I’ve got a 30” wide table, MORE IRON! Yeeeesh!”

“Everything is made for 27” wide tables…. I’ve got to fill a 3” gap to make my cast iron extension wing that I’ve been dreaming about fit, and drill mounting holes myself… More stuff to buy before I’m comfortably farting around in my shop.”

View Andybb's profile


2762 posts in 1384 days

#3 posted 03-01-2018 11:45 PM

Welcome to LJ’s.

If the Rigid you are considering is new then there is no rush like it’s a Craigslist one of a kind deal. Google, youtube and LJ’s are your friends on something like this. A million reviews and comparisons available. The “what should I buy?” question is normally first answered with a “what are you going to use it for?” question. I’d stay away from a pre-riving knife saw. Just one more thing to retro-fit IMHO.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View woodworm1962's profile


145 posts in 881 days

#4 posted 03-02-2018 12:02 AM

STAY AWAY FROM RIDGID! Buy anything but that… ANYTHING!

-- No one likes the truth...

View Kelster58's profile


759 posts in 1321 days

#5 posted 03-02-2018 12:13 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks, my two cents would be to purchase new and make the saw work for you and enjoy your purchase.

My philosophy when buying machines is to use what I have until I can save enough to purchase the exact right machine for me. Because I am using it, I don’t want to get a machine I am not happy with.

What ever you do I hope you enjoy the machine you purchase.

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View jonah's profile


2122 posts in 4079 days

#6 posted 03-02-2018 12:57 AM

If the 1023 has normal Biesemeyer-style rails, pair it with the VerySuperCoolTools fence. The biggest downside of the VSCT fence is that it doesn’t come with rails.

I’d offer $500 for the 1023 and not look back. Even though its an older model, it is definitely on another level than the Ridgid.

View Yaven's profile


5 posts in 2171 days

#7 posted 03-02-2018 01:16 PM

I’ll add my two cents (for what it’s worth), I’d go with the grizzy…. I have a TS3650 witch isn’t exactly the same and is a good saw but it deffinitly is not a great saw and if I was going to drop that kinda cash I would like a saw with better bones! (Dust collection on the ridgid is terrible) I got mine for $500 used, but it also came with about $300 in extra goodies…
Good luck!

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3077 days

#8 posted 03-02-2018 03:06 PM

Dumb question but no one has addressed it – if your current saw is okay in all other respects why not look for another motor? What’s the HP on the motor you have now?

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3848 days

#9 posted 03-02-2018 03:10 PM

I had the 1023 for over 10 years, and its a great saw. A true cabinet saw. I paid 1100 for mine and sold it for 800. Thats a good price. As to the fence if you got the rail, then go look at the fence at very super cool tools.

I only upgraded from mine to go to a 5hp sawstop, or i’d still be using it.

If it were me, I’d take a magnetic base with dial caliper (30 bucks from grizzly), and check for arbor run out. use that it don’t have a fence and offer 500 and if he comes down some take it.

Do the nickle test. If you stand a nickle on it’s edge and turn it on and off and it don’t fall jump on it.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Jon Hobbs's profile

Jon Hobbs

147 posts in 1485 days

#10 posted 03-02-2018 04:26 PM

All other things being equal, the Griz is the higher quality machine. However, you’re comparing brand new vs. used, so all things aren’t equal. If you need spend another $300-500 to add a fence and whatever else it takes to get the Grizzly fully functional, now you’re comparing a $550 new saw to a $1,000 used saw. If the used Grizzly is twice the saw that that the Ridgid is, good deal.

So the condition of the Grizzly is a big factor, in my opinion. Does it need a lot of TLC? Or does it just need a fence and a tune?

I used to own the 4512’s predecessor (3650). For my hobbyist uses, it was very serviceable. Use high quality blades, keep everything straight and true and it works a treat! I’m currently between table saws right now, but the 4512 is high on my list of new saws. I’ve used a SawStop industrial table saw a few times, and it’s very, very nice! But it wasn’t really any more accurate than my 3650. If it weren’t for the siren song of the SawStop safety feature (I have a 12 year old who also likes making sawdust), I’d probably have a 4512 in my shop right now.

If the Grizzly is in perfect running order apart from the missing fence, go for it! If not, do you want to spend your shop time wrenching on machines or making sawdust?

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

View jonah's profile


2122 posts in 4079 days

#11 posted 03-02-2018 04:33 PM

I used to have a Ridgid 3650. There is absolutely no comparison between the fence on that saw and the VSCT fence I have now. The Ridgid fence was fine once you got it dialed in, but it wouldn’t stay aligned for more than a month or two at a time, and it’s extremely finicky to align. T-square fences, by comparison, couldn’t be easier.

The 4512’s fence has more in common with the 3650 than it does with T-square ones.

View misterthielman's profile


6 posts in 868 days

#12 posted 03-02-2018 09:58 PM

Thanks for all of your feedback guys!

I’ve also come across a used 93’ Powermatic66 5hp with the 55” extension for $600. It’s been heavily used and the shop manager said they upgraded both their saws to Sawstop’s. There is no riving knife but it is left tilt.

At a the same price point as the Grizz, this one has a fence and extension.

Thoughts on the 66?

View MrUnix's profile


8104 posts in 2980 days

#13 posted 03-02-2018 10:02 PM

I’d take even a beaten up rusted non-running PM66 over a shiny new Grizzly any day :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View jonah's profile


2122 posts in 4079 days

#14 posted 03-02-2018 10:36 PM

Provided it’s not shot, the PM66 is a great deal. Is it 3 phase? If so, you’ll need to add some expense to get a VFD. Brad can clue you in on that.

View therealSteveN's profile


5787 posts in 1355 days

#15 posted 03-02-2018 11:10 PM

I would spend a few bucks on the Craftsman, new fence, and belts over buying the new Ridgid. Pretty much you will be same same for actually cutting ability even though a case can be made it may be easier with the Ridgid, but still nothing ground shaking.

So your real choice is to step up to a Cabinet saw, or stay with a contractor. If your biggest gripe with the contractor is ripping bogging down, make sure you are using thin kerf blades, and get rid of the “combo blades” and use blades made for ripping 24 tooth flat grind, and crosscut 60 tooth Hi ATB, then a good plywood laminate blade, and of course a 6” Dado. Change out your belt, and you need to know your using half strength, so you need to decrease feed rate. Doing that you will be able to cut full thickness hardwoods, just a bit slower. If the math to spend BIGger money is right for you, step up. If it isn’t stay with what you know, tweak it, and spend the cash on some wood for projects

-- Think safe, be safe

showing 1 through 15 of 23 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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