The lesser of two evils... R4512 or PCB270TS

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Forum topic by SgtD posted 06-23-2012 06:06 PM 20013 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 2674 days

06-23-2012 06:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw ridgid porter cable r4512 pcb270ts which saw which table saw review tablesaw

Hi all. I am in the market for a new table saw. I have $600 to the penny for a budget. Last weekend, I bought a Ridgid R4512, which, by reading the forums, a lot of people are very familiar with. I had read about the alignment issues, but had also read enough good reviews that I pulled the trigger on one. Long story short, I got trunnioned. I spent hours trying to move the back of that blade 1/16th of an inch, to no avail. I called Ridgid and they told me to return it. Frustrated and disappointed, I hauled It back to Home Depot for a full refund. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Ridgid products and, heck I still really like that saw, but here’s my dilemma. I have 600, not a penny more. That’s the budget I have committed to so 601 won’t do. I don’t want a portable; I want something heavy and beefy. (Though, when I say portable I mean in the sense of the Bosch 4100-09 – I definitely want a mobile base) I’d rather not buy used because I am a big fan of warranties. So essentially I have two choices. The Ridgid R4512 or the Porter-Cable PCB270TS. Here is what I have decided the common beefs are with these saws. Ridgid – blade alignment issues, PC – plastic gears. I’ve already experienced the Ridgid issue, but honestly would be willing to take another crack at one. So here is my question. If these two saws were the last saws on earth and you have to choose the lesser of these two evils, which do you choose? It’s either risk another blade alignment issue or buy a saw whose gears give out one day. Or neither could happen and you have years of enjoyment from either saw. Where do I roll my dice? I love the lifetime service agreement with Ridgid, but I love the cabinet style mounted trunnions on the PC. What would you do? And for hypothetical reasons, you can’t buy used and you can’t wait to save more money for a better saw. I’m looking forward to reading some of your responses. Thank you.


29 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8332 posts in 3885 days

#1 posted 06-23-2012 06:23 PM

Hi Ryan – It’s always a matter of personal preference, but I think I’d take another shot at an R4512. If you get one without the issue I think you’ll have the better saw….slightly better fence, definitely stronger elevation gears. I really think it’s a matter of “when”, not “if” those plastic gears will fail, but time will tell. Try to find one with a newer serial number. Get the manager to give you a discount for your trouble….at least 10%. Maybe they’ll even accept a 20% HF coupon. (Heck, ask if they’ll sell you a Steel City 35990 within your budget). Leave some change to buy a decent blade, which will ultimately determine how well the saw cuts once it’s aligned.

I’d also be keeping my eyes peeled for a nice used saw.

Good luck!

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

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3621 days

#2 posted 06-23-2012 06:35 PM

Ryan, I have the Craftsman 21833 which internally seems to be identical to the 4512. I have had it about 2-1/2 years now and very happy with it.

You mention that you were trying to move the back of the blade 1/16 inch but were unable to do so. Something I found out early on after getting my saw is that the 90 and 45 degree angle stops must be backed off to get the full amount of travel available to set the blade to slot alignment. I found that with these stops at the factory settings, I could just barely move the back of the trunion in the direction it needed to go. Once I loosened off the stops, I could easily move the trunion much farther than was needed to get the alignment set where it needed to be.

If this sounds like the problem you were having, you might want to give the 4512 another try.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3480 days

#3 posted 06-23-2012 09:04 PM

I have a 21833 (same saw as the 4512) and I have the alignment issue. I just have to align it and then go as long as I can without running the blade up and down. I’d still rather have my saw than the PC. I know others have different opinions, but to me the fence on the PC I checked out at Lowes was crap. I like the fence on the Ridgid 4512 / Craftsman 21833. Damn shame they don’t fix the alignment issue. Otherwise, a real nice saw for the money. Plenty of power, runs smooth as silk, good dust collection, good mobility.

Still, if you find a good PM or Uni or even something like a Grizzly 690 for anywhere near your budget that would be a much better saw. Even without the plastic gear, crappy fence, alignment issues of the Ridgid and PC saws, they are just very light weight saws intended for hobbiest use. Even a good one is not going to be something you can hand down to your kids. Of course, maybe that’s not an issue. Just saying.

View Jeff1984's profile


11 posts in 2701 days

#4 posted 06-23-2012 09:26 PM

I bought the R4512 about 2 months ago and couldn’t be happier. It is my first experience with a table saw but it has done everything I have asked of it. I also got lucky and didn’t have the alignment issues. Plus the LSA and cheaper price make it even more of a winner in my book.

-- Jeff, Call 911. Wait, I am 911

View SgtD's profile


7 posts in 2674 days

#5 posted 06-23-2012 09:41 PM

Thank you for the responses. I had my heart set on the Ridgid and was obviously disappointed when I realized the issue. I would have immediately exchanged it for a second R4512 but the problem is that the nearest one available in stock is at a Home Depot over an hour away and when I called they said the box was pretty banged up. Home Depot is no longer stocking it in stores, so I have to order it online which means if I get another one with issues, returning it might be a challenge. Oh and to add to that, I asked my local HD if they could order it and I could pick it up in store and they said because it is only sold online right now, they can’t order it to the store. But I’ll be honest I am seriously leaning to just rolling the dice and placing an order for the Ridgid. You guys are bringing me closer to a decision. Thanks.

View SgtD's profile


7 posts in 2674 days

#6 posted 06-23-2012 09:54 PM

For crank49:

Michael, how long ago did you purchase your R4512?

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3432 days

#7 posted 06-23-2012 10:52 PM

SgtD, where do you live? Are you anywhere around Tampa? I’d make you a whale of a deal on a 3650 a lot cheaper. Guaranteed in great condition. Besides you wouldn’t have to put it together.

-- Life is good.

View knotscott's profile


8332 posts in 3885 days

#8 posted 06-23-2012 10:55 PM

You could always go with the 21833….

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

View Everett1's profile


213 posts in 3043 days

#9 posted 06-23-2012 11:13 PM

I know you said you don’t wan the Bosch 4100, but I had the same budget and went with it. It’s not as powerful as a cabinet saw (I have my wife’s grandfathers old delta unisaw waiting for me when I have the room:-)

But it is reeeeealy nIce to be able to roll it into the driveway and make all the dust out there and it’s gone through everything I’ve thrown at it

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

View Bobmedic's profile


382 posts in 3311 days

#10 posted 06-23-2012 11:40 PM

I have the Ridgid 4512 and love it. I had no issues with alignment. The PC I heard has plastic gears in it which would turn me away. In my opinion there is no comparison between these 2 saws. The Ridgid is the clear winner.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3480 days

#11 posted 06-25-2012 03:37 AM

SgtD, I have the 21833, not the 4512, but they are the same saw.
I got mine In may of 2010.

View Woodknack's profile


12907 posts in 2889 days

#12 posted 06-25-2012 08:30 AM

Many of us have been at this decision point, personally I waited until I saved enough for a better saw. Honestly if $600 was my limit, I would buy used.

-- Rick M,

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2795 days

#13 posted 06-25-2012 05:25 PM

I agree if $600 is a hard budget and you want a new saw now, then the R4512 is the answer.

I’ve had mine since January, have run over 1000 feet of wood through the saw, everything from baltic birch to 8/4 hard maple, and the saw has never missed a beat. I’ve had to spend some time tweaking the saw to get it running good, but you have to do that with any saw.

My next saw will be a 3hp cabinet saw, but not because I need a better saw. I just like to buy woodworking tools.

-- John, BC, Canada

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2757 days

#14 posted 06-25-2012 05:27 PM

I am VERY pleased with my R4512. If I had to do it again, I would buy the same saw. I have since purchased an incra LS-TS fence system, and a cast iron router table insert. At this price point, I think it is unbeatable. I would have bought the craftsman model because I like the colors better, but in my area, it ’s 100$ more (the R4512 sells for 499.99 here). For the price it cannot be beat. I have about 1.5 times the price of the entire saw in blades alone, never mind other upgrades.

I will probably upgrade again someday, but not because I need to. I am one of those people that is never really satisfied with anything. Also tools are my toys, and I like getting new toys. The only place I would go from here is PM2000, Unisaw, JET XACTASAW, or SawStop professional.


View bh442's profile


21 posts in 2675 days

#15 posted 06-26-2012 04:21 PM

I’m going to mimic lumberjoe’s post.

Same situation; I love my 4512 and it was cheaper than the Craftsman. I too swapped out the 2 piece fence for an Incra. I’ve read many complaining about the 2 piece rails, but I didn’t have a problem with mine. I swapped mine out because I wanted a bigger cutting range.

Now, I’m sure when I upgrade to a quality cabinet saw in the future, I’ll be asking myself how I ever managed to get by with the Ridgid, but for now I’m extremely happy with this $500 purchase.

-- Bill - Wattsburg, PA.

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