Ridgid R4516 Portable Tablesawcomments (5) August 3rd, 2009 in Blogs
In early 2007, Fine Homebuilding reviewed the Dewalt DW745 compact tablesaw. Tipping the scales at just 45 lbs., and still pleasing perfectionists with a solid rack-and-pinion fence, it’s easy to see why we were pretty excited about that little saw. Now Ridgid has entered the game with a compact portable tablesaw of their own; the R4516.
To be blunt, the Ridgid R4516 crushes the Dewalt model’s 16-in rip capacity, providing the 24 in. that I’m used to seeing on larger saws. Unfortunately, the fence isn’t quite as dependable as on other models. It’s not a throw-away, but despite clamps on both the front and back of the table, the fence doesn’t always sit parallel to the blade. It’s easy to remedy, but may add another step to your pre-cut checklist. To me, it’s an acceptable trade-off for the ability to make wider rip cuts in sheet goods.
At 55 lbs, the Ridgid model also weighs a bit more than its yellow competitor, but it is far from cumbersome thanks to a pair of 6-in. wheels and a pull-out handle. For situations where I need to carry the saw, the R4516 is still very manageable—especially compared to the 122-lb. so-called-portable behemoth that I’m used to lugging around.
Aside from the obvious appeal of a tablesaw downsize, it was also time for a safety upgrade. With tablesaws beginning to include kickback-preventing riving knife systems, I felt less and less comfortable with the awkward blade guards on my old saw (which, honestly, I don’t use because of the hassle involved). The R4516’s safety-setup—which includes a split blade guard, anti-kickback pawls, and riving knife—easily adjusts to different cutting operations. This versatility makes them more likely to actually stay on my saw.
Under the table, the saw features a 15 amp motor, the usual blade/wrench storage, and an easily accessible, oversized paddle switch. Depth and bevel settings are controlled by a seemingly standard 2-in-1 wheel, but I was pleasantly surprised by the ease and precision of the adjustments.
The $100 price difference between the Ridgid and Dewalt is, for me, the icing on the cake. I’m selling my old “portable” saw, effective immediately. Any takers?
Editor's Note: I just found out that this saw is "while supplies last" - Ridgid has produced it as a limited run; look for clear-out sales at Home Depot. Maybe the price will take a dip?
posted in: Blogs, safety, tablesaw, riving knife, portable, blade guard, compact, pawls
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