Newbie Table Saw, PC PCB270TS/C10FL, CM 21833 or Ridgid 4512 ? or?

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Forum topic by TraveledSome posted 04-30-2012 03:49 PM 7731 views 0 times favorited 50 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 2729 days

04-30-2012 03:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw tablesaw pcb270ts c10fl 21833 4512 porter cable craftsman hitachi ridgid go661 grizzly jet proshop delta 34-670

Hate to make my first post in the forum to be another “which saw should I get?” thread…but yeah that’s what I need help with first. I have lurked here a few years but this is my first post. I am just getting started really with woodworking, my father always kept a decent shop but my complete experience with table saws was his old 1960’s era Craftsman (still works great), and as I can’t convince him to sell me his, I am in the market for a table saw. I have checked craigslist, but locally it’s been pretty bleak. There are table saws there for Chattanooga area (where I live) to be sure, but I just haven’t seen any that didn’t look like saws that have been ridden hard and worn out, or less then what I am looking for. Again there may be gems I am overlooking because of my lack of knowledge but most have looked to be in bad shape. I have seen some newer ones being sold by people who i guess changed their mind about the hobby, but if it’s only going to be a hundred less then what I would pay new I just really rather get my own and have a better warranty. If you see something for Craigslist in Chattanooga I am missing please point it out, but I haven’t seen anything I really wanted and I have been watching a year…...well i did see some but they were ones that even on sale I could not afford for my lil two car garage or would take ALOT of love to fix up, and I need a saw ready to go, and I am not sure I have the expertise to fix them up.

My purpose is for home improvement, I want to build some cabinets, and other storage units for walls and closets etc…..and if I can get decent at it I really would like to try my hand at furniture building. I have been reading books for years, and feel I can do this. The most I have built so far is shop work tables and the like using a hand circular saw, and an Aluminum edge guide with clamps….which has worked pretty well…but I need a table saw…

I have narrowed it down to these the Porter Cable PCB270TS/C10FL at Lowes, Craftsman 21833 or Ridgid 4512…. I think. I have read in the past some of the posts on these, but would really like some updated feedback. Now that problems have had time to show I have read some reviews making me less certain. I am reading alot of people talking about the Porter Cable saw breaking when raising blade, and that parts to fix are hard to come by. I’ve heard the Rigid/Craftsman twins have had issues as well…....

I’ve got to keep my purchase to 500 or lower if possible, and I really need it to be much lower because I really need that to include an upgrade blade. Now that people have had these saws awhile and their blemishes have had time to show which do you suggest? Or am I completely missing something else? because I’m tired of waiting for that great deal on craigslist to show up, maybe I may just not know what to look for but I haven’t seen it.

Thanks for your time reading this and any advice you may have to guide me….I fully admit to being a complete novice…..also would like advice on what blade I should consider for upgrade. Thank you!

-- "People are eternally trying to walk out of difficulties, instead of trying to work out of them."

50 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3482 days

#1 posted 04-30-2012 05:48 PM

I have had the Craftsman 21833 for two years. I can’t see any difference between my saw and the Ridgid 4512; and I looked real hard. So, I think they would both have the same weakness. That weakness is the way the trunion mechanism raises and lowers the blade. There is something in there that causes the “blade to miter slot” alignment to change when the blade is raised or lowered. Drives me nuts. I realigned this saw at least 6 times since I had it. Will not stay. If I had it to do over, I would have gotten the $300 Porter Cable PCB220 jobsite saw, knowing it is not cast iron and it is not an induction motor and it has no belt drive. At least it would stay in alignment and I could have built a cabinet with outfeed table for it to mount on. That saw does have standard miter slots which is just a necessity as far as I’m concerned. Some day I will have a real cabinet saw, but the Craftsman, and by association, the Ridgid are just a waste of time. IMHO

Before I bought the Craftsman I looked at the PC 270TS and its Hitachi cousin, and just did not like the fence. Very weak and twisty. I felt like as easy as it was to twist it out of plumb with one hand, how could it hold up to a large board pushing against it. Then I read about the plastic gear in the trunion mechanism and that shifted me to the Craftsman. At the time I bought my saw, the Ridgid version was not introduced yet.

View jpc's profile


139 posts in 3692 days

#2 posted 04-30-2012 06:36 PM

Hey “traveledsome” I too have the craftsman saw you mentioned,It was my step up to a “big boy” saw, and even with those alignment issue’s, once you work thru that , Its done me right,and im happy with it. Whatever you choose, im sure you will be happy with it, good luck

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3830 days

#3 posted 04-30-2012 06:39 PM

I say keep your eyes open for a used Delta Uni, and rebuild it, if you must. You’ll get a great saw, and learn a LOT. There is TONS of info out there on Delta Uni’s (they get much love), and you’ll enjoy taking it apart and rebuilding it. There’s an excellent website for a place in Mass. that can help a lot (Saw Center (?)

Thats what I did.

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

View Charlie's profile


1101 posts in 2797 days

#4 posted 04-30-2012 07:10 PM

A lot of folks are going to suggest getting a nice used saw and I can’t say I disagree. You should be aware, however, that many of the used saws won’t have a riving knife which I think is a great safety feature to have.

I got a Steel City 35990G and I like it a lot. It’s not a cabinet saw, (it’s a hybrid), but once it’s set up and tuned a little, it’s a super nice saw. Right now I’m building kitchen cabinets with it.. It has cabinet mounted trunions instead of the table mounted trunions found on a lot of the less expensive saws.

View knotscott's profile


8339 posts in 3886 days

#5 posted 04-30-2012 07:44 PM

The PCB270TS has a plastic elevation gear that I’d be concerned about. The R4512 and 21833 can have alignment issues (doesn’t seem to effect all of them). I can’t think of any other new full size saws in the $500 range. I’d probably go with the R4512 or the 21833 and make sure its right. I’d lean toward the R4512 for the LSA if the prices are comparable.

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

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3833 days

#6 posted 04-30-2012 08:10 PM

I have the Ridgid 4511 which is pretty much the same as the Ridgid you are looking at and have been really happy with it. It hasn’t had any problems with bogging down and is as accurate as I have ever needed it to be. Overall I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

The Steel City is also pretty much the same unit since Steel City and Ridgid were both being made in the same factory.

Best wishes and good luck with whatever new tool you purchase.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View harley04's profile


27 posts in 3277 days

#7 posted 04-30-2012 08:18 PM

I have a PCB270TS that I have used for 4 years without a problem. It does what I ask as a hobbyist woodworker.It has good power even cutting 4×4,s without grunting. I also have had no problem with the elevation gear but I do keep the sawdust and any buildup cleaned out. On my saw the fence is rigid and does not flex so I can not comment on that. The only thing I ran into was that the provided blade was poor but I planned to replace it with an upgrade anyway.

View hairy's profile


2931 posts in 4043 days

#8 posted 04-30-2012 08:19 PM

Try this:

It will search all craigslist’s in the mileage range you choose. I think you will get more bang for your bucks with a used one. Look for tablesaw and also table saw.

100 miles around zip code 37402.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3907 days

#9 posted 04-30-2012 08:58 PM

Having used unisaws for years, that I have bought cheap and rebuilt myself I have to second what Milo says. You will know the saw inside and out and it will last a lifetime. Riving knife and other nice retro kits are available for most models.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3482 days

#10 posted 04-30-2012 10:30 PM

There is a huge difference between the Ridgid 4511 and the 4512. The 4511 had a granite top and because of that the trunions were cabinet mounted. The 4512 was its replacement and mounts the trunion to the table top, an inferior design.

If I could find a 4511 I’d much prefer it to the 4512; except for the riving knife thing.

I really think the Grizzly 690 has a good solid set of mechanicals and it or the equivalent Steel City would be my choice for my next saw. Or possibly SawStop if I hit the lottery.

View ROBZ71LM7's profile


11 posts in 2729 days

#11 posted 04-30-2012 11:42 PM

I’d go with a full cabinet saw and don’t stop in between. I got the 715p and have serious blade alignment issues that also plague the Ridgid 4512. It really seams that once you go above $500 that you need to spend $1250 or more to get a quality saw when talking new.

View toolie's profile


2168 posts in 3139 days

#12 posted 05-01-2012 02:29 AM

i’m with the big saw guys. only a 1930s era right tilt delta unisaw with a 50” bies fence, 5 hp 3phase motor and a premium WWII blade will cut wood. anything less just won’t do any good work at all. i mean, after all, wouldn’t you just love to find one of those unisaws that needs a ton of restoration and spend several months rehabbing it to usefull shape before getting to cut stick one? and don’t forget that those older cabinet saws don’t have riving knives and are right tilt saws(that old c-man of your dad’s was probably an emerson electric built LEFT tilt saw).

whatever you do, don’t look at craigslist or check out the swap and sell areas of other forums. that’s where i found the compnents for the above early 1970s era c-man TS shown above. it has cut WHATEVER i have thrown at it without hesitation, provided i fit it with a blade appropriate to the task at hand. beware of the “battlestar gallactica” syndrome i sarcastically recapped in the first paragraph. there are people out there who earnestly believe that ONLY a cabinet saw is the solution for everyone’s needs.

i am a big ridgid fan, primarily because i think most of their tools offer a lot of value (bang for the buck) and the lifetime service agreement means you never have to pay for repairs. i would, however, be a little leary of the 4512. the ridgid forum has a few unsettling threads about the blade changing it’s position relative to the miter slot as the blade is raised and lowered. can’t imaging what would make that happen. i’d get the 4512 over it’s c-man counterpart because it will probably cost less and the ridgid would be covered by the LSA, PROVIDED you rememebr to register the tool for the program. good luck!

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4435 days

#13 posted 05-01-2012 02:39 AM

Sorry to say this and a lot of people will disagree. Save your money and expand your search to other towns near you. You need to Wait for the right one to come to you. It will and some times the older saws are the better ones when you compare them to what you get from sears and the cheap outlets. Check with wood working clubs a guy at my club was selling a DELTA Unisaw for $450.00 made in the 80s but it was like new.

View knotscott's profile


8339 posts in 3886 days

#14 posted 05-01-2012 04:35 AM

Dunno if you’re still checking in on this thread, but in case you are, Lowes has the Steel City 35990SS for $615 in our area….a bit over budget, but is about the only other new full size saw I can think of near this price range. A 10% coupon would get it pretty close to budget.

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

View toolie's profile


2168 posts in 3139 days

#15 posted 05-01-2012 12:02 PM

i don’t know about that steel city saw. the lowes ad notes the following:

“Seamless stamped steel table top “

could it be that the table top is not cast iron?

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

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