Ridgid - Miter Saw

First off I want to say that I have been if not impressed certainly not disappointed with most Ridgid power tools. I've had my Ridgid table saw for 14-15 years, and I use it all the time. I use it for wood and aluminum cutting and it does as good a job today as it did when I bought it. I've got a Ridgid bandsaw, and Ridgid 1/2" drill in my service truck, and Ridgid pneumatic framing nailer. All of them "just work!" No issues. No headaches, and except for the bandsaw which I used a different blade on were acceptable out of the box. All of them are better than "cheap" tools, and to some degree better than some more expensive tools like my extremely expensive Delta Piece of Shit RAS which I hate and almost never use. I have or have had other brands of all of those tools, and without a doubt I am most satisfied with my Ridgid tools. Certainly for the price. If I want a tool to deliberately abuse I'll buy a Black & Decker, but I am about 95% convinced for a reasonable price for a decent tool you can't go wrong with a Ridgid.
Today I setup a Ridgid Compound Radial Miter Saw. Out of the box you could plug it in and run it. Nothing to assemble, and all well packed in a form fitting styro foam shell. I assembled a new miter saw stand for it, and mounted the saw. (I am going to put my Ridgid chopsaw on my old miter saw stand).
Then I opened up the manual and found where it said it was precision adjusted at the factory. I smiled to myself and pulled a small machinist square out of the tool drawer under my first little CNC mill and proceeded to check it. The first thing I did was move the both compounds out of zero and back to the stops. Then I engaged the locks and started to check. I slid the square on the table and moved it over against the blade. I had to check twice because light between the blade of the saw and the blade of the square disappeared uniformly from top to bottom. At first I feared I had slid over to aggressively and flexed the blade, so I backed off and tried again making sure the based was firmly on the table. As the blades approached the little band of light between them winked out instantly over its full length. Wow! I was kind of stunned. Then I did the same test between the fence and the blade. That's a little harder due to the stick out of the carbide teeth, but when I aligned the blade so two teeth lined up with the blade of the machinist square they touch at exactly the same time. By that time my wife who had helped me assemble the stand was paying close attention as well. She said, "check it from the other side." Exactly the same results. Not only is the fence already pretty darn close to perfectly square with the blade at zero it is straight. This saw is atleast 10X better than the old Hitachi I have been using for the last 18 years ever was. The Hitachi still works by the way if anybody wants a cheap miter saw with steam punk looking repairs to keep it going. LOL.
Anyway, all of that was interesting enough, but the thing that really got my attention was when I finally pulled the trigger. It has a soft start like a lot of routers. I thought it was broken until it spun up to speed and I made a couple test cuts. No jump or jerk. That will be really handy when fitting trim in tight spaces. Then only error will by the operators. No jump to move the stock. The last thing may be subjective. It seems to cut quite nicely, but it does seem to me to be a slightly lower RPM at full on than any similar saw I have ever used. That surprised me. Its subjective of course although I guess I could paint a white spot on the blade and break out the old optical tachometer. Why would the blade be slower? Within normal machine speeds I didn't think you could spin a blade too fast for wood. (Obviously I'm not talking about running a 3phase motor at 400hz or anything extreme like that.)
My biggest only initial complaint about the saw is the amount of plastic on it. I knew that when I bought it though.
I didn't get to play with it too much though. As soon as I decided it was another decent machine the wife started pushing me to haul it over to the house to start cutting trim for some shelves we made yesterday. She hasn't come back out to the shop, so I can only assume she is happily turn sticks into sawdust with it.
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On 2/16/2014 1:36 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:

whew! For a second there I thought you were going to call that thing a Radial Arm Saw. There is a certain TV personality that had his own woodworking show for a very short while that insisted on calling his SCMS a Radial Arm Saw.
Out of the box you

Good to hear that you are pleasantly surprised and thanks for the detailed report.
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On 2/16/2014 2:36 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:

I'm going to assume it's a 12" blade, rather than a 10" blade, and that is the reason it doesn't rotate so fast. It doesn't need to rotate as fast, the tooth speed will still be faster than a 10"
So I guess you are happy. Too bad that saw requires 4 feet of space front to back... Hoping to win the lottery and get a festool, since it has all around the best features and best dust collection.
The bosch is good but many complaints about not being perfectly square and dust is less than optimal.. the lack of a laser (fixed type) is an issue too. For that price it should have a good one. I use the laser for rough cutting, I use my TS for fine cutting usually.
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No, its just a 10". I would have thought the same thing if it was a 12". My passion lately has been metal machining and I am very in tune with the difference in surface speed with different diameter cutters.

Atleast until the rose colored new tool glow recedes from my vision.

The space front to back isn't too bad since I can turn the saw to minimize that when storing it. I only need that much front to back when actually using it. I put it on a roller stand (lift one end to roll it around) so I will be able to just push it out of the way like many of my other wood tools. I do wish I had a roller base on my band saw. Someday I'll get around to that.

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