Home Depot vs. Lowe's - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 02-17-2013, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Home Depot vs. Lowe's

So, I am extremely close to being the happiest man on the planet. After completing our tax return and realizing we are getting back significantly more than we thought we would the wife and I decided to gift each other something "large" for Valentine's day. She got $500 to spend on clothes and shoes no questions asked, I got $500 to buy a new table saw. I had been looking at the R4512 from Ridgid for awhile after reading some great things about it on here and other places online. This weekend I was in HD for something else (tile repair supplies) and mosied over to take a look at the saw up close and personal, the kindest gentlemen came over and spent about 20 minutes talking with me about the saw and woodworking in general, answered some questions I had, and in general left me feeling very good about choosing the R4512. Since HD didn't have the tile stuff I needed I headed over to Lowe's. Just for grins I strolled up to the tool world to see if they had the Porter Cable saw that is a competitor with the R4512. Let me just say, appearances are everything. Whereas HD had the R4512 out as an endcap with plenty of space around it to look at it and put your hands on it and had the extremely congenial salesman around to talk about the product, Lowe's had shoved the PC saw underneath a half-shelf, there was literally garbage and dirt and grease all over the top, I pulled it out from under the shelf and spent about 5 minutes or so looking at it, several sales-folks walked by and not a single one asked if I had any questions about the produt. I finally gave up and went and found the tile stuff I needed and headed home. So, now I just need to (1) get the tax refund in the bank and (2) find some muscle to help me go pick-up and assemble this new toy (something the salesman at HD warned me about, specifically said "hey, I'd love you to buy it today, but unless you've got some help here with you, you probably need to find some"). I hope to have both conditions met by the end of this week!
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post #2 of 33 Old 02-17-2013, 07:44 PM
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It is always nice when you end up getting more of a tax refund than you expect. When my wife and I bought our house, I had no idea what that meant to our refund, and we treated ourselves to a Home Theater. Unfortunately, this was also before I started up woodworking, so I didn't even consider buying some much needed tools.

Congrats on your upcoming saw purchase. Can't wait to see pics of it assembled and taking up space in your shop.

One side note.... Home Depot has a program where you can fill out a questionaire with good or bad comments regarding the service you got. They do pay attention to those, and actually reward the good employees. My father actually received the highest "HOMER" award from HD that an employee can get. It came complete with a very unique bib, and a $500 gift card. He worked there for 14 years before having to quit because of health concerns. You should fill one of those questionaires out for that gentleman that helped you out.

Fabian

I used to be fairly indecisive, but now....... I'm not so sure.
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post #3 of 33 Old 02-17-2013, 07:53 PM
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I bought the R4512 with a collection of Christmas money and gift cards. I absolutely love it. For me this is a hobby and a way to make furniture for my home and make things for friends and family. For the price this is all the saw I will ever need and with the lifetime service agreement, hopefully that last one I ever have to buy. Plus, it's $100 cheaper than the PC for basically the same saw. Buy, love it and congrats on the bonus money!
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post #4 of 33 Old 02-17-2013, 08:03 PM
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I bought a 4512 and am very pleased with it. I picked it up from HD in my Toyota van. Two guys loaded it into the back from a shop cart. Once home, I opened the top of the box, and removed everything I could and carried it back to my shop. I then put the molded Styrofoam back in and tilted the box with the saw onto a hand truck. The only time I needed help (from my wife) was to tilt the saw onto it's legs once it was fully assembled. So as long as you can get HD to put it in your vehicle, you should be able to handle the rest yourself.

btw, I'm 60 so....
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post #5 of 33 Old 02-17-2013, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrgyle View Post

One side note.... Home Depot has a program where you can fill out a questionaire with good or bad comments regarding the service you got. They do pay attention to those, and actually reward the good employees. My father actually received the highest "HOMER" award from HD that an employee can get. It came complete with a very unique bib, and a $500 gift card. He worked there for 14 years before having to quit because of health concerns. You should fill one of those questionaires out for that gentleman that helped you out.
I didn't know about this program. I will certainly ask for the gentlemen when I return (he's easy to describe, his name was Tom and he's a dead ringer for Santa Claus). I'll also fill out a card. I actually enjoying giving positive feedback for folks who render great service. The other day I had an amazingly great experience with an operator on the phone with my health insurance company, when it was done and I asked for his supervisor he seemed a little shaken until I said "don't worry, I just want to let him know that you made my day a lot easier". The supe was a bit surprised when I said I wanted to compliment one of his employees, said they never get that kind of stuff. Perhaps if a few more folks did this maybe customer service would improve everywhere! Pics will come.
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post #6 of 33 Old 02-17-2013, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sailorman View Post
So as long as you can get HD to put it in your vehicle, you should be able to handle the rest yourself.

btw, I'm 60 so....
Now I feel like I've been called out LOL!
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post #7 of 33 Old 02-17-2013, 09:32 PM
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None of our HDs sell TS anymore or much of any Shop tools. The largest tool they have is a planer which doesn’t make much sense since they don’t have anything else.
Lowes still sells the contractors TS, but I don’t remember what model it was.

JohnnyB
Im a die hard DIY guy. Dont tell me to hire someone for what I can do myself.
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post #8 of 33 Old 02-17-2013, 09:35 PM
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The top is the heaviest part of any table saw. So if you remove everything from the box first and then have even a small hand truck, moving the top is easy. Build as much as you can before putting on the wheels and all you'll need is enough leverage to get it standing up right and then lift it using a car jack on one side at a time to instal the wheels. The last thing to instal will be the wings on the top and the fence.

I think you'll find that you made a good choice in buying the HD saw. Its the one I'm planning to get when my old CM dies. The PC from Lowes doesn't seem to me to be as well made as the Rigid from HD (JMO) even though the PC looks to be a Delta clone.

If Woodworking is so much fun why isn't it called WoodFUNNING?

I've made a few videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/johnnie52
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post #9 of 33 Old 02-17-2013, 09:43 PM
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This is a great saw, you should be very happy with it. Assembly was not too difficult and can be done by yourself, but moving the box around once home is very difficult without help.

Congrats and enjoy!

-Trevor
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post #10 of 33 Old 02-17-2013, 10:01 PM
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Even if your experience at the Lowes was not all impressive you should go with the ridgid saw anyway. Generally better recieved as the better between the two. I like my ridgid 3650 and wish I had bought a 4512, but found this one used at a good deal. I would like to have an enclosed motor.
Your experience at the Lowes is alot like what I experience at my local store, we don't have a HD here. The last time I was at Lowes and needed help five men who worked in the lumber department walked right by me trying to get 3/4 oak ply of a stack about head high. I ended up telling them we need a HD in this town so they would have some competition and treat their customers a little better. They seem to think you have to shop here or drive an our to a real competior so we are not going to help you out.
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post #11 of 33 Old 02-18-2013, 01:22 AM
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I bought two R4512s and returned them both (mfr defect, just bad luck I think) and I can say it was not hard to get them out of the truck. Time-consuming if you had to do by yourself, so you wouldn't want to do it in the rain; but it can be done.

Assembly will be much easier with a friend to help.

Having put together two of them, I will tell you the biggest time sink you can avoid is about an hour you'll spend just turning allen wrenches.

Do yourself a favor and make sure you have some hex bits for your socket wrench handy. Assembly requires several sizes up to 8mm if I remember correctly but even if you only have the smaller ones, it will still save you a lot of time. There are maybe 6 bolts on the out-feed side of the fence where you will need to use deep hex bits or the allen wrenches, so don't throw them away.

I used the hex bits in my electric screwdriver for quite a few steps too.

I really wanted my R4512s to work out. They didn't and I think I'm just cursed but it is a good-feeling saw and the mobile base is really nice. My saws just wouldn't line up, they were made wrong and that's why I returned them. After the second with the same defect I decided to go another direction. Seemed like really great saws for $500 though. :/

Last edited by jeffsw6; 02-18-2013 at 01:24 AM.
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post #12 of 33 Old 02-18-2013, 04:48 AM
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The are awesome saws! I was holding out to either ding a nice used one at a low price or a nice used one that was registered with the lifetime warranty or buy new to get the lifetime, but I came across one for $100 a lady was selling to get rid of her late husbands stuff. She swore he bought it about 5 years earlier and passed away only 6 months after buying it. Looked brand new, he even waxed the table.
If you buy any ridgid products, go to ridgid.com and set up an account, register the product, print the form they tell you to print, and mail it to them with the UPC and original sales receipt and wait. After about 6 weeks you will get an email telling you you were approved for the lifetime warranty. Even batteries are covered.
Oh, possible way to save an easy $100 on the ts.... Find a harbor freight 20% off one item coupon. Can't guarantee they will accept it, I have heard its up to the check out person and the manager if the check out person doesnt want to. I used one when I bought my ridgid combo pack, the check out girl wasnt sure about letting me use it, I asked her to check wig her manager, the manager told her it was only good for one item.... Bam, saved $100 on a $500 purchase.
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post #13 of 33 Old 02-18-2013, 08:11 AM
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Congratulations on your making the decision. There is just something very unique about a new machine...kinda like a first date. Around here there's a HD and a Lowes usually less than 2 miles apart, so it's easy to shop back and forth. In fact the two stores closest to me are really only separated by a I-95 overpass.

I will agree that the customer service at HD is much better. As for moving the saw, leverage pretty much works in your favor. Something like picking up a dropped motorcycle...there is a trick doing it by yourself.

Good luck when you are up and running. Use the safety gear that comes with it, and work smart and pay attention. We don't need any more of those gory pictures.





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post #14 of 33 Old 02-18-2013, 08:20 AM
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I don't know the saw and use a Delta Contractors saw with a upgraded motor, a side table and a caster wheel mount. At the time I bought it, it was about a $1800-2000.oo setup. I bought it from a contractor who was in trouble financially and he was glad to get the money.
(I would have preferred the Unisaw but this was upgraded with similar options/power)
It's more saw than I will ever need but I bought it used for ""$200.oo,"" and I spent another $110 for the caster setup so I could roll it around when needed. The saw was about 5 years old.

Check into used equipment. Many contractors in this economy/area are selling off their tools and shutting down (or have already shut down) shop.
I know. Many like to have ""new/shiny"", but the reality is unless you have major usage for hi-priced equipment, it rarely will come back to you in the end as profits until years out.
For $500, you can buy $1500.oo+ worth of saw on the used market with a little patients and looking.
I don't advocate for "cheap quality" tools but I do advocate for inexpensive pricing and good tools will last a lifetime, so when someone is selling off, I look hard and fast and keep a wad of hundreds handy.

I'm seeing many deals at pawn shops these days, like never before.
Look in the papers for auctions. Nobody here is even bidding on tools unless they are homeowners stocking their garage shop.
Look at Craigslist and Garage sale listings. Even moving sales.
I'm selling off a lot of things now (we are moving) but the tools go with me.

Tools should be able to be bought for less than $.50c on the $1.00, and I generally look for $.30c on the $1.oo or I move on. (that saw was bought @ $.15c)

Unless you do a lot of work and can see a return on your equipment in short order, it's not worth overspending for something that mostly collects room dust faster than sawdust.

Last edited by Da Aardvark; 02-18-2013 at 08:35 AM.
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post #15 of 33 Old 02-18-2013, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Something like picking up a dropped motorcycle...there is a trick doing it by yourself.

.
Now there is something I hope to never ever have to do! Love my bike, hope to never have to pick it up!
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post #16 of 33 Old 02-18-2013, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Da Aardvark View Post
I don't know the saw and use a Delta Contractors saw with a upgraded motor, a side table and a caster wheel mount.
(I would have preferred the Unisaw)
It's more saw than I will ever need but I bought it used for $200.oo, and spent another $110 for the caster setup so I could roll it around when needed.

Check into used equipment. Many contractors in this economy/area are selling off their tools and shutting down (or have already shut down) shop.
I know. Many like to have new/shiny, but the reality is unless you have major usage for hi-priced equipment, it rarely will come back to you in the end as profits until years out.
For $500, you can buy $1500.oo worth of saw on the used market with a little patients and looking.
I don't advocate for "cheap quality" tools but I do advocate for inexpensive pricing and good tools will last a lifetime, so when someone is selling off, I look hard and fast and keep a wad of hundreds handy.

I'm seeing many deals at pawn shops these days, like never before.
Look in the papers for auctions. Nobody here is even bidding on tools unless they are homeowners stocking their garage shop.
Look at Craigslist and Garage sale listings. Even moving sales.
I'm selling off a lot of things now (we are moving) but the tools go with me.

Tools should be able to be bought for less than $.50c on the $1.00, and I generally look for $.30c.
I've been watch CL for a few months now, hoping for one of these great deals to come along. The reality is, I'm replacing a 30 year old Craftsman contractors saw. I looked at things like upgrading the fence, which is gonna run about $200 and requires some time investment to retrofit a Delta T2 or a Vega, so then I'm into a 30 year old saw for the cash and the time. With my military discount the 4512 is gonna run me $450, I get a much improved saw. The motor is inside the saw, not slung off the back, the fence (while not a T2 or Vega) is greatly improved, the caster system helps since my garage is my shop and my shop is my garage, the saw has a riving knife and other safety features not on the C'man, and I get the lifetime warranty. When I add up all that I feel that I'm getting a great value on the 4512. Not to mention, I just haven't seen anything come across CL that was really an upgrade to what I have. There was one Ridgid (I think the 3600-series) a few months back but it had sold before I could even respond to the ad! I'm happy with my decision.
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post #17 of 33 Old 02-18-2013, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by craigwbryant View Post
I've been watch CL for a few months now, hoping for one of these great deals to come along. The reality is, I'm replacing a 30 year old Craftsman contractors saw. I looked at things like upgrading the fence, which is gonna run about $200 and requires some time investment to retrofit a Delta T2 or a Vega, so then I'm into a 30 year old saw for the cash and the time. With my military discount the 4512 is gonna run me $450, I get a much improved saw.

many HDs will honor harbor freight's "20 off any single item" coupon. bring one along and you may be able to get that saw for $400. i've purchased several big ticket items (including $1400 generators) using the coupon. i had one reluctant ASM who refused it for the purchase of a 4511 when they were clearanced. so i called corporate CS (800-homedepot) while in the store and the rep contacted the ASM and instructed him to honor the coupon. and HF publishes some of those single item discount coupons for 25% off. hey, if you don't ask, they can't say no. but they can't say yes, either.


The motor is inside the saw, not slung off the back, the fence (while not a T2 or Vega) is greatly improved, the caster system helps since my garage is my shop and my shop is my garage, the saw has a riving knife and other safety features not on the C'man,

correction: the 21833 (c-man clone of the 4512) also has a riving knife. the two saws are virtually identical.

and I get the lifetime warranty.

correction again: ridgid no longer offers a lifetime warranty on their stationary power tools. new tools carry a 3 year guaranty and are eligible for registration with ridgid's lifetime service agreement (LSA):

http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/Power-Tool-Warranty

be advised. if a tool isn't registered by it's owner with the LSA, the only coverage the saw has is the 3 year guaranty.


When I add up all that I feel that I'm getting a great value on the 4512. Not to mention, I just haven't seen anything come across CL that was really an upgrade to what I have. There was one Ridgid (I think the 3600-series) a few months back but it had sold before I could even respond to the ad! I'm happy with my decision.
the 4512 offers a great value @ $500. @ $400 (or possibly $375), it's a REALLY good value. the only fly in the ointment is a blade alignment issue that has plagued a few 4512s, c-man 21833s and grizzly P0715s (they are all almost exactly the same saw within the cabinet). some units' blade to miter slot parallelism changes as the blade is elevated. the blade could be parallel to the miter slot at 1" above the table, but at 3" above the table, the parallelism no longer exists. something to check when removing the cabinet from the box. little sense to invest any time with saw set up if this apparent manufacturing defect is present as there appears to be no field remedy. good luck with your planned purchase and remember to post pics here so we can all share in your good fortune.

there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

Last edited by toolguy1000; 02-18-2013 at 10:21 PM.
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post #18 of 33 Old 02-18-2013, 03:51 PM
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The are awesome saws! I was holding out to either ding a nice used one at a low price or a nice used one that was registered with the lifetime warranty

the LSA (ridgid does not offer a lifetime warranty on power tools) is only available to the original owner of a newly purchased unit:

http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/Power-Tool-Warranty


or buy new to get the lifetime, but I came across one for $100 a lady was selling to get rid of her late husbands stuff. She swore he bought it about 5 years earlier and passed away only 6 months after buying it. Looked brand new, he even waxed the table.
If you buy any ridgid products, go to ridgid.com and set up an account, register the product, print the form they tell you to print, and mail it to them with the UPC and original sales receipt and wait. After about 6 weeks you will get an email telling you you were approved for the lifetime warranty. Even batteries are covered.

it's imperative to follow the procedure for LSA registration quite closely. it's also absolutely imperative to retain copies of all documents sent to ridgid for LSA registration. the ridgid forum is replete with numerous threads from dissatisfied owners whose tools turned out to not be properly LSA registered becauase they didn't follow the procedure or, more importantly, didn't follw up with ridgid to make sure the LSA registration is recorded properly. some of my tools have taken upwards of 6 months to register with the LSA after the initial online registration. some registrations have been misplaced. when misplaced, forwarded copies of the original documents has always gotten the issue rectified. FTR, i, and other family members, own MANY ridgid handheld and stationary power tools

Oh, possible way to save an easy $100 on the ts.... Find a harbor freight 20% off one item coupon. Can't guarantee they will accept it, I have heard its up to the check out person and the manager if the check out person doesnt want to. I used one when I bought my ridgid combo pack, the check out girl wasnt sure about letting me use it, I asked her to check wig her manager, the manager told her it was only good for one item.... Bam, saved $100 on a $500 purchase.
and now that HF is publishing 25% off any single item coupons, perhaps that $500 saw can be had for $375! i've used that 20% coupon on everything from power tools accessories to portable generators.

there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.
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post #19 of 33 Old 02-18-2013, 04:04 PM
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It should be noted the craftsman and ridgid are not identical, the craftsman has a larger motor, longer riving knife, longer cord, an arbor lock, and for what it's worth, a better blade.

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #20 of 33 Old 02-18-2013, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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When I referenced the C'man, I was talking about the 30-year old one currently in my garage, not the new one. Tracking the LSA with Ridgid, have a few other tools from them with it already!
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