RIDGID R4512

Its funny how things work out sometimes. When I made my table saw station I had the notion that it would be my first and only. Well as of now it is my only and I do not plan on making another. The simple fact is that our needs and wants change. The main reason for the table saw change is I made the table saw station too big for my shop. Maybe not too big if woodworking was all I did in there but when you throw in moving the light stands and the camera around it was definitely a pain in the butt to maneuver around. I could either buy a new saw or dismantle the old saw station and start over. Taking it apart and starting over seemed silly as nothing was wrong with it. I put too much hard work into getting it the way it was.

I also wanted to re-make a few of my table saw jigs but with the current ones working OK I never really pushed to do so. Here recently I’ve also come up with a few neat router table ideas that I would like to expiriment with. Now that I don’t have a router table anymore I might be able to do so.

So…I sold it and bought a new saw. The new owner of my Porter-Cable got a sweet table saw station with a bunch of already made jigs and I got a smaller, much easier to move around and store away table saw with the potential of more upcoming fun shop projects. Sometimes change is good. This is a win-win situation.

RIDGID R4512

My intention was to get the same Porter-Cable saw I had but to my surprise the blue store replaced it with a goofy looking Delta saw. I wasn’t too thrilled with the display model that I saw so I made a trip up to the orange store to look at the RIDGID R4512. It looked to be nearly identical to my Porter-Cable so I bought it (update at the end of this article, I returned it). Boy am I glad for the invention of an appliance dolly. These saws are HEAVY!

Rigid R4512 Table Saw  (1)
Opening the box. Lovely smell of shipping grease and all the parts in their own cozy, non-biodegradable compartments.

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And all the parts laid out ready for assembly.

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Step 1 was to place the saw upside down on a few wood runners. The saw was going to be assembled upside down. Moving this thing around by myself wasn’t fun.

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I like it when tool companies package the hardware like this. Having everything jumbled up in a bag really sucks when the instructions say “use two bolts labeled E with two nuts labeled M.” This is much more user friendly.

Rigid R4512 Table Saw  (5)
First the wings get lightly bolted on. And a cameo appearance of my cell phone.

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The base gets bolted together separate of the top.

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The included 4” dust collection port is optional. I have a 4” dust collection hose that is dying to hook up with it so I decided to install it. Top, dust collection port, then the stand. Four bolts hold this sandwich together.

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Next the caster assembly is bolted to the stand, the fence storage brackets get bolted to the cabinet body, and the stylish shoes snap on.

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Between the last pic and this next one the saw needed to be flipped on its stand. This is one of those jobs where if done by yourself you’re either going to A get a hernia or B accidentally let one rip. Luckily A didn’t happen and I was able to install the front and back rail and make sure the tables were flush with the cast iron.

Rigid R4512 Table Saw  (10)
The part of every tool purchase that I dread is getting rid of all that nasty shipping grease. A wipe down with mineral spirits quickly removes all the built up grease. Followed by a few wipes with lacquer thinner to remove all the residue. And a coat of cheap wax for protection.

Rigid R4512 Table Saw  (11)
Next I checked alignment of the blade to the miter slots. It was .010” out from front to back of the blade. I was dreading this as all of the very few negative reviews this saw has relate to the inability to get the saw blade parallel to the miter slots.

Rigid R4512 Table Saw  (12)
After reading further into the assembly paperwork I found the blade alignment to be quite easy actually. By taking the back cover off you can easily access four trunnion bolts to adjust alignment. I’m not sure if this is something that was added or changed somewhere down the line but I had absolutely no problems with aligning the blade.

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And checking the blade to be square to the table top. The stops seemed to be accurate from the factory here.

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The last thing to adjust is the fence. It too needs to be parallel to the miter slot. Adjustment is made by four bolts connecting the actual fence rail to the fence body.

Rigid R4512 Table Saw  (15)
To answer a few questions that you probably have. Is this RIDGID a better table saw than my Porter-Cable? I don’t think so. Is the Porter-Cable a better table saw than this RIDGID? I don’t think so. The Porter-Cable had a couple areas that I like more and this RIDGID has a couple areas that I like more. Looking at the big picture the saws are pretty much the same. Both are a great option for the price range. Remember that I was originally going to replace the Porter-Cable with the exact same model. This is one of those situations where us as consumers are fortunate to have competition between companies to produce another saw in the same budget range that offers pretty much the same quality.

***UPDATE***

Well folks, things took a big turn with the new table saw. I checked and checked and checked to make sure I didn’t have the trunnion issues associated with this saw. Apparently either I didn’t check good enough or something happened after a couple days because I noticed it big time today. When raising the blade the blade will tilt to the right by a few degrees and when lowering it will tilt to the left by a few degrees.

This saw has a boat load of awesome reviews on various sources online and nearly all of the few negative reviews point to this issue. So that tells me I got a lemon.

I contacted Ridgid and they know the exact problem and say it is a bad trunnion that needs to be replaced. My options are to drop the saw off at an Orange store for them to ship it off to be replaced, return it for another one and risk the hour drive each way to see if it has the same problem, or drive to an authorized repair location. Either way I have to make multiple hour long trips to get the problem situated and could possibly be out of a saw for who knows how long while it gets repaired. No thanks. I’m returning the saw this weekend and will be spending more time this go around looking for a replacement.

If they fix this issue permanently I’d give it two big thumbs up. Pretty good saw if you get a good one. I didn’t and I don’t want to waste my time making it a good one.

Rigid R4512 Table Saw  (16)

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67 Comments

  1. Jay Larson

    Thank you for the review. As I’m sitting here in my garage looking at the 36 year old “old faithful” craftsman that JUST burned up, reading your review will defiantly help my decesion. Now, how is it again to explain to my wife that I NEED a $500 table saw??? :)

  2. Jacob Thompson

    I’m thinking very seriously about buying the R4512. I wrote Ridgid to see if they have made an effort to correct the problem with the trunnions and the email I received said, “There are no known problem or issues effecting RIDGID table saw model R4512 as a whole, for there to be some type of updates or improvements created for.” This is the same thing they write on their website under the Q@A section when asked about the problem. I wrote Ridgid back and asked them for specific information on the trunnion issue. I told them safety and accuracy is very important to me and I will not be spending my money with them until they tell me if they fixed the problem. I hope they give me a straight answer, otherwise I’ll take my business elsewhere.

  3. Daniel C

    Hey Jacob, any updates from Ridgid on the trunnion issue? I’m considering this saw, but this issue definitely has me put off a bit..

  4. Jesse

    I actually got a great one! So, it just depends, I think they have fixed the issue, just a heads up.

  5. Joe

    What is the final assembled WxLxH dimension of the Saw. I need to make sure it will go through my basement back doors lol

  6. Nick

    I purchased this saw and mine was with no defect. Seems maybe yours was a one in million but that happens. I am very happy with this saw and would recommend it.

  7. Todd

    Well I bought this saw today and after doing the assembly to the point of turning it right side up found a couple small dings in the edge of the cast iron table. I got out my stones and smoothed them out and figured I would check the alignment of the blade etc before I went further. Good thing I did. I started to check the blade alignment and noticed my straight edge was hitting on the right side miter slot edge. I grabbed my test indicator and stand and found the cast iron top was nowhere close to being flat. The right side beyond that miter slot is .0025″ higher than the center. To make matters worse the left side past the left miter slot is .006″ lower than the center of the table. That is a total of .0085″ off, so then I checked the front to back on the table and found it to be off as well by between .003 and .004″. I was an aerospace calibration specialist for 15 years and this really shocked me. I am calling Ridgid tomorrow and if I don’t get a satisfactory soloution it will be going back to the store which is unfortunate because I was given 20% off the normal price by the store manager.

    I will post again when something happens.

  8. Todd

    Ok follow up to my comment above.

    I contacted Ridgid and they were absolutely no help… bottom line they said just return it and get another one. So I called the store and spoke with the manager whom I dealt with the day before and explained to him the problem.

    He was very cool and said if you want to just take the main body assembly off and bring it in he would be glad to bring down a couple other units and I could open them up, test them, and pick the best one as a replacement.
    He even had them ready when I got to the store and had a couple guys unload the bad one from my vehicle. The first one I checked the table was very good but had the trunnion issue and I explained that problem to him and he called “His” Ridgid rep to come over and look at it. About 20 minutes later the rep showed up and started going over everything with me and documented it all for a report he was going to file with Ridgid. The second unit we checked had a good table and no trunnion issue, they helped me load the new table / motor assembly back into my vehicle and I said thank you very much!

    After taking the rest of this afternoon finishing all the set up and double checking everything, I have to say setting up the 2 piece guide assembly was a pain. The blade was parallel with miter slot within .001 – .002″, the fence was within .001″, The blade angle at 0 degree was off by about .1 degree and the 45 was off about the same. The miter track to miter gage fit was less than .001″ side to side on the left miter and less than .002″ on the right one. Over all table flatness was great, I measured less than .0015″ deviation everywhere I checked.

    Hopefully this will last me for many years.

    I have to say HD went above and beyond for me.

    1. umpire20

      @ Todd …….. Your account of the events was great. Thanks for posting it. I have this saw since June 2011 and I love it. I didn’t have the blade and miter problems mentioned. I did, however, upgrade my fence rails from the 2-piece to a Vega Pro 40 fence system. In retrospect, I wish I had gotten a T-Square Style simply because they “seem” to be the best option available. 20 / 20 hindsight. None the less, I still love this saw.

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