Ridgid Miter Saw Problem

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Forum topic by jmalbright posted 03-06-2021 10:48 PM 347 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 36 days

03-06-2021 10:48 PM

I have the Ridgid R4221 miter saw (12” sliding, dual-bevel). This is the saw with notorious blade wobble issues and, unfortunately, I have had the same problem. In fact, it has been in for service 3 times already which has improved the issue, but not completely solved it. Anyway, that’s not the point of this post.

I was attempting to get the saw dialed in for fine trim work this weekend and ran into another problem: I set the saw to cut square on the left side of the blade, but I cannot get a square cut on the right side of the blade with the same saw settings. There is about a 1/2 – 1 degree difference. Even though the saw is a slider, I locked the head all the way back so it was functioning as a non-slider during this test.

I would think the only thing that could cause this is a fence that is not straight, but I checked it with a 38” straight edge that is supposed to be within 0.003” over its length and the fence appeared to be perfect. As part of the tune up, I also checked the flatness of the table and it was pretty good, within 0.005”.

I thought my cutting technique might be at fault, but I was able to replicate the problem several times over, even when I tried to push the miter saw head in the direction to correct the error.

At this point, I’m stuck and was hoping someone here might have an idea what the problem might be.

Thanks for your help!

8 replies so far

View Jim2020's profile


56 posts in 289 days

#1 posted 03-07-2021 03:15 PM

Maybe locking the head down introduces the problem. It could be that there is just too much run out in the sliding mechanism to get accurate cuts.

If you’re using the blade that came with the saw, putting a better blade on it might help. Good luck. Jim

View Wood_Scraps's profile


106 posts in 69 days

#2 posted 03-07-2021 04:45 PM

My initial thought for that type of an issue would be the fence. I’m guessing it’s a single casting. And those can take a little tinkering to get perfectly square on both sides. But, sounds like you’d already went down that road to no avail.

I suppose it could be blade related. Are you measuring square on the cut pieces or measuring the squareness of each side of the fence to the blade? If you’re doing the former, try the latter. As, it could be run out or deflection; which is helping on one side and hurting on the other?

Could also be technique. I’ve found that bringing the blade down to full depth and then pushing through the cut works well in mitigating any deflection or movement. But, I also can make normal cuts on mine without issue. Still, there is a slight technique to it. Which may vary from saw to saw.

View 1thumb's profile


313 posts in 3207 days

#3 posted 03-07-2021 04:50 PM

I believe you, but t’s hard to believe it’s not the rightside fence

-- I actually have two thumbs. Both prehensile and opposing.

View jmalbright's profile


14 posts in 36 days

#4 posted 03-07-2021 07:05 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I did some more work on the saw and realized that it was ever so slightly out of square and the way I was checking it was doubling the error making me believe the saw was cutting at different angles on the right and left side of the blade.

I’m happy that issue is resolved, but I still have issues with blade wobble. The saw simply does not cut perfectly straight lines. It’s no big deal for rough work and can even produce acceptable results for paint-grade trim work if care is taken with cutting technique. However, the saw seems incapable of producing super tight, zero gap joints which I would like to achieve.

I have been using a decent, but not amazing diablo fine finish blade (100 tooth). I am going to try a top quality, full-kerf FS Tool blade and see if that resolves the issue. If not, I will be looking to move on from this saw, which is a shame since it has many nice features and great cutting capacity.

View Robert's profile


4519 posts in 2531 days

#5 posted 03-07-2021 10:31 PM

You’ll get better results with a full kerf. You are right thinking get a good one.

I recently bought a CMT very good blade 90 bucks.

If you do move on, I can tell you about Bosch.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Tony_S's profile


1457 posts in 4133 days

#6 posted 03-07-2021 11:02 PM

However, the saw seems incapable of producing super tight, zero gap joints which I would like to achieve.
- jmalbright

Thats where it should stop then…right there.
I’m not familiar with that particular saw or the ‘blade wobble’ issues, but if the arbor doesn’t run true in all aspects, a $200.00 blade won’t help.
Sounds like you’re chasing your tail…

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

View jmalbright's profile


14 posts in 36 days

#7 posted 03-11-2021 07:17 PM

However, the saw seems incapable of producing super tight, zero gap joints which I would like to achieve.
- jmalbright

Thats where it should stop then…right there.
I m not familiar with that particular saw or the blade wobble issues, but if the arbor doesn t run true in all aspects, a $200.00 blade won t help.
Sounds like you re chasing your tail…

- Tony_S

I agree with you that an expensive blade is unlikely to fix the problem. It’s a last ditch effort and, truth is, I have been coveting a FS Tool blade for some time anyway. Worst case, I’ll still have an awesome blade when I get a saw that can run it properly.

View jmalbright's profile


14 posts in 36 days

#8 posted 03-11-2021 07:27 PM

Quick update in case anyone else has similar problems with this saw.

I received the FS Tool blade and made a few cuts. It definitely runs smoother and delivers better cuts than the diablo blade I was running. However, I still cannot get a perfectly tight joint with it. I tested the saw for runout with the FS Tool blade and it was under 0.002” so something else is going on while it is running that is inducing vibrations in the saw which are affecting the cut.

I contacted Ridgid and they told me I can bring it into a service center and request a replacement since I’ve had it serviced 3 times for this issue without resolution. I’m going to drop it off today and hope they don’t hassle me about replacing it. I would prefer a refund so I can get a different saw, but if a replacement is the best I can do I’ll take it and hope I don’t get another lemon.

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