Sizing up Ridgid's new tile saw - Fine Homebuilding
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Sizing up Ridgid's new tile saw

comments (8) May 1st, 2009 in Blogs
JFink Justin Fink, Senior Editor


A few weeks back I sent one of Ridgid’s brand new tile saws to our go-to tile author, Tom Meehan. Now, Tom has been in the business for over 30 years, and he has more tile saws than most woodworkers have hand planes. Also, like most guys that still make their living out in the field, he has a few less-materialistic things to show for his experience: hands as rough as 60-grit sandpaper, a bad back, and a low tolerance for tools that don’t perform.

I checked in with Tom yesterday to see how he liked the new saw after a couple of weeks on various jobs. Here are Tom’s general thoughts (filtered sarcastically through me):

  • The assembly is beyond painful. The instruction manual packaged with this saw is about as useful as it is appetizing. Only with a little bit of help from a full pot of coffee, an impressive vocabulary of curse words, and his two best employees, did Tom manage to get the 121 lb. saw and stand assembled and ready to go.
  • The power switch, which is surrounded by plastic on all but two sides, is too hard to turn on. Hell, with this many saws in a fleet its hard enough just to remember where the switch is, never mind having to think about how to use it.
  • The water tables are flimsy. How flimsy, you ask? This editor is surprised they manage to hold the water they are supposed to collect. Still, they seem to do a passable job at reigning in overspray and keeping the work area dry.
  • The laser is cool, but once the tile is in position against the sliding table, is it really necessary? For plunge cuts, maybe…yet it doesn’t project back far enough to be used during those cuts. But come on…what consumer in their right mind can resist a laser? Oh, I almost forgot: There’s also a light right next to the laser…a combo that would be especially useful when working in or around a light-sucking cosmic event such as a black hole.
  • The water collection system is clever, especially the spray hose for cleaning the saw and the removable under-table reservoir with anti-tile-sludge protection. But the downside is a setup that has more hoses and valves than a cardiopulmonary bypass pump.
  • The collapsible stand makes setup and take-down a snap, but the saw can’t be removed from the stand. So, even in the folded position the combo takes up a huge amount of space. Also, the protruding handles and wheels force you to stand too far away during use, sort of like trying to drive a minivan from the backseat. Finally, when a stand this large is erected in it's working position it occasionally needs to be moved around the site. Good luck. The wheels on this stand are on the same side as the handles; about as helpful as a forklift with a seat that faces backwards.

Still, this $700 saw offers a lot of power and features in a category where competitors are selling for $1,000. Ridgid may have missed the mark in a couple of spots, but they also got creative with several features, and are sure to be noticed (and duplicated?) by other tile saw manufacturers.

Tom’s summary: “You have to give Ridgid credit, they are really trying”.

The saw should begin to hit stores sometime this month.

**EDIT: SPECS JUST IN FROM RIDGID**

      • WSUV™ Wet Saw Utility Vehicle integrated work stand folds easily for transport and unfolds to a convenient, sturdy tile saw platform.
      • Tankless Main Tray – Water is channeled down the table, trapping debris and passes through the Sediment Separation System™, filtering the water before it is recycled into the tank, extending the pump lifespan.
      • Deep Well Water Tank - Easy-fill tank container provides extended work period before water needs to be replenished.
      • Rubber coated die-cast aluminum work surface provides non-slip material support.
      • Particle Trap captures small chips and debris before they enter the main tray.
      • Cleaning Nozzle easily cleans table and rails with water flow from the pump.
      • Span-Deck Clamp – Supports mosaic tile for trouble free cutting.
      • 15 Amp heavy duty motor powers through natural and manmade tile and pavers.

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posted in: Blogs, kitchen, bathroom, saws, tile, tilework, entryway, patio, laundry room, hallway

Comments (8)

BSlone BSlone writes: I liked this saw. I agree that setup was a bit of a pain, but it only happens once and you'll never have to do it again. I installed 850 sf of porcelain in my rental and felt this tool was up to the job.

I did not use the water table, as I used the saw outside. However, I cut a lot of tile and found this saw did a great job. The cuts were accurate, the saw design seemed to be well thought out: rubber pads to keep the tiles in place, the water was sort of filtered to keep the pump clear, the foldable table was easy to fold up and move the saw to storage until the next day.

I used a Kobalt (Lowes $450) saw first but returned it because I kept cracking my tiles right at the last inch of the cut. Next, I used a Dewalt, which was nice, but then switched to the Ridgid because of the Lifetime Service Agreement. I felt that the saw worked great and I found all of the features were well thought out.

I used the laser more for the initial line-up and didn't find the 1" gap between the end of the laser and the blade was an issue.

I recommend this saw.

Disclaimer: I purchased the Kobalt and Ridgid for just under $500. The Dewalt was $650 as I recall, so you can determine which model I bought on that info. Also, I'm not a pro, so I can't speak on the durability of the saw, but I've completed 2 large 'jobs' and two bathrooms with it, and it seems to be doing fine. I'd estimate that I've cut maybe 150-200 12" porcelain tiles, and maybe 200 6" porcelain tiles so far. Still like a new saw.

Oh, and I hate doing tile now. Much harder on the back and knees than one would think. Hats-off to you guys who do this stuff full-time.
Posted: 10:28 pm on February 4th

Captainfun Captainfun writes: Sorry for the bad spelling. I forgot to spell check
Posted: 1:56 pm on January 23rd

Captainfun Captainfun writes: Just picked up the saw yesterday. I'm hoping for the best.I'm sure home depot sells most of there tools to lazy guys like me. And Tom if you need three guys and a day to put this tool together, I suggest you find another way to make a living.
Pro's: Square out the box.The bells and whistles are pretty cool the laser is dead on,it sits to the right of the blade so its like leaving the line on the material.Water stoage is smart. With the pump fully submerged gives good flow.

Cons:
Water flow to the blade is poor even after fussing with the ajustment scerw. I'm getting a lit up blade. The tray when fully extended back for 2 ft. rip is shacky at best.Plastic hose fitting suck.

For the money I'm hoping for the best. I'm going to give it one more day if I can't solve the blade water flow it's going back to home mo depot.
Posted: 1:54 pm on January 23rd

JDMjosh JDMjosh writes: Oh yeah, and the stock blade sucked. It wobbled and bent and left chips along the edges, but who uses the stock blades anyway.

Buy an MK HotDog and start workin'.
Posted: 12:25 am on December 11th

JDMjosh JDMjosh writes: I bought this saw and love it. I found the write-up you guys did to be narrow minded and uninformed.

You took all your information from some caveman named Tom who needed the help of two other grown adults to assemble it? I assembled mine in under 30 minutes. Strange.

The only points he made that I agreed with were the power button being difficult to grab (with wet fingers especially) and the wheels being on the other side ( which makes it difficult to move when unfolded).

The water trays are more than adequately strong to support the amount of water the pump puts out, any heavier and they would be too much of a bother to cart around.

The laser comes in handy on a daily basis and I wouldn't want to be without it now that I'm used to it.

The water hose is awesome. Flick a switch, turn a knob and you can clean your tile off immediately after cutting it. It's brilliant.

The saw adjusts to cut bevels as well, all by itself. eliminating the need for fancy, useless jigs.

And what other company makes a tile saw that has a folding stand? NOBODY! That's why this is genius.

Among other things.

The motor has plenty of power, you have to treat it badly to slow it down. Changing blades, cleaning lines, cutting mitres are all easy as pie with this saw. Steels wheels as opposed to rubbed ones that disintegrate over time. The motor has a brake which stops the saw dead after the cut. It cut clean and square with ZERO adjustmennts right out of the box. Very impressive.

My only complaints are, if you don't clean it after use, you will notice rust build up in the holes that keep the rain trays in place. When you fold it up, rusty water dribbles out.. which I'm going to address soon.

For the money, this saw is GREAT! It's not an MK, but it doesn't cost $1,500 either.

Sold and very happy.








Posted: 12:06 am on December 11th

diymarkandmatt diymarkandmatt writes: Definitely like some features about the saw but some I don't. I am with Tom on several comments, however the ones he left out which make it a nice saw are the Ridgid warranty as well as the brake on the blade. The saws table is not as nice as the Dewalt and definitley a light grade saw. The stand is nice for portage but does suck once it's set up on the job, love the clean up spray feature, which could be added to any ohter saw. Also the idea of putting you water and pump underneath is logical, and how we use our Dewalt. I like the filters to catch the debris on the trays but agree that the trays aren't as big as the Dewalt, but like Tom said fairly adequate. The laser is useless, if it was accurate it may be useable and I agree needs to extend further back towards blade. The LED light however is useful, many times on jobs the lights aren't trimmed out yet. So it adds a much needed light to line up with our pencil marks. For $628 w/stand at Home Depot it's not a bad buy.
Posted: 5:32 pm on May 3rd

JFink JFink writes: Hi Jamie - The saw hasn't been released yet, but I'm hoping to receive a features list and pictures of it today (the pentagon keeps a short leash on these things). And yes, there are plenty of great things about the saw, but the best is probably the price. A $300 savings compared to the Dewalt is nothing to balk at, even if there are some chinks in this saw's armor.
- Justin
Posted: 8:52 am on May 4th

jamiep jamiep writes: sounds like there was more time spent thinking up clever ways of dissing this saw than actually looking at it. it sure would be nice to see a PHOTO of it, or a feature list, or something.

Is there anything good about it? because from the sounds of the review, it's a heavy, hard to use, cheap, flimsy, gimiky, massive heavy thing that is actually pretty good for the price.
Posted: 10:18 pm on May 3rd

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