I just recently bought the ridgid saw and am very pleased with it. Its accurate out of the box though i did upgrade the blade. I would have done this with any saw though. The turn smoothly when moving the blade. I have no complaints about this saw.
Unfortunately, it's pretty tough to find a new American made contractor saw at your local HD, Lowes, Sears, or even Mom & Pop tool store, so most people are left with what's available....Asian made imports.
The R4512 is very similar to the Craftsman 21833...both made by Dayton. There were some early reports of alignment issues with early models, but hopefully those have been resolved in more recent models. There are pros and cons compared to a Delta contractor saw. Having the motor located inside the enclosure has some advantages over an outboard motor, unless you need to remove the motor frequently. The stock fence is a far cry from a Unifence or Biese, or even a Delta T2, but should at least be functional. The R4512 has a cast blade shroud for improved DC in it's stock configuration that acts as a one piece arbor carriage, which is actually an elegant design approach compared to the connecting rods used in many of the older style contractor saws, including the Delta. The steel wings aren't as desirable IMHO as cast iron, but they shouldn't effect performance. Once aligned and fitted with a good blade, it should give good service for a hobbyist.
The only other saw I can think of in this price range and class is the new Porter Cable PCB270TS at Lowe's,and the new Steel City 35990C, neither of which have any more field testing than the R4512 or 21833. The next step up would be something like the Cman 22116 (goes on sale in the low $700's), or the Grizzly G0715P that's over $800 shipped. A good used saw is always a viable option, but the market is unpredictable.
I recently bought the R4512. When I saw this TS in Home Depot, I was somewhat disappointed. I latter realized that HD put it together wrong! The leveling screws for the throat plate were actually removed and used to screw down the throat plate! That left the flat head screws protruding above the throat plate giving the indication that they would snag on the wood stock. Also the wings were not adjusted properly, making the travel of the fence seem a bumpy ride!
With careful alignment and patience I was able to adjust the saw to be right on. I did run into a problem aligning the split front fence rail however. I could adjust the tape measure dead on for the right or left sides, but not both. Obviously someone had installed the tape markings wrong. A call to Ridgid service promises to mail me new front rails come March 15. I am hopeful! The installation instructions were somewhat lacking. There was no mention of the throat plate adjustment, or the blade bevel 90 and 45 degree stops! A look at the craftsman (apparently the sister saw) instruction sheet (available on line) cleared this up. One big thing I do not like is the latch system for the Riving knife. I can only figure that it must be removed to use an 8" Dado blade. The latch knob is in the way of the blade! While not a deal breaker in purchasing the saw, it could have been a better design. The 40 tooth carbide blade it comes with I will replaced soon but I expected to do that. Making ZCI throat plates is a little bit of a challenge. The insert clearance is only about 1/8", so I had to router the edges of 1/2" MDF by 5/8". I am otherwise very pleased with the saw.
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I have owned the R4512 for several months now and find it to be very accurate and stable. Its a good saw. Putting it together was easy except for lifting it on to its stand after it is put together. I found the instructions complete and easy to follow. This is a very heavy saw and that is to your advantage unless you plan to move it from location to location. In the shop just drop the casters and it roles. I find the fence to be smoth and accurate. I would buy it again.
i just returned the ridgid ts2410 and picked up the 4510, the saw is a little lighter than the 2410 but the storage is great and you get a push stick, where as you didnt get one with the 2410. it also comes with a splitting knife rear of the blade. the only thing i dont like is that they changed the finish on the stand, rough finish like the table, the older ones had the smooth shinny finish, just like the finish on there miter saw stand. had them both and they matched, oh well its not a perfect world. but everything was dead on out of the box. i did have to adjust the throat plate. really nice saw and plenty of power. its not a great saw, for that you have to get up above $1000.00, which a high dollar cabinet maker would be buying if he needed one, or still be using an old saw from 40 years ago that still was right on. they dont make tools like they use to. if they did the would cost a small fortune. anyways im happy with it.
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