Ridgid r4512 vs SawStop JobSite Pro & Contractor - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 69 Old 09-12-2019, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Ridgid r4512 vs SawStop JobSite Pro & Contractor

I was thinking to save money to go with a Ridgid r4512 because I heard it was a good saw to go with for the money (cast iron top / cast iron / has wheels, etc..).

However I'm concerned about my digits and well was thinking about getting the JobSite Pro Sawstop instead.

I'm just wondering if the SawStop JobSite Pro cuts would be as accurate as the Ridgid r4512. And what if I made a solid stand for the JobSite Pro, would that help with the vibrations and what not improving the cuts?

How does the Ridgid r4512 compare to the SawStop Contractor saw? (base model without the T-glide).

EDIT: I'm a newbie woodworker. I'd like cuts accurate enough to say make a chessboard if I wanted.
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post #2 of 69 Old 09-12-2019, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by woodgeekess View Post
I was thinking to save money to go with a Ridgid r4512 because I heard it was a good saw to go with for the money (cast iron top / cast iron / has wheels, etc..).

However I'm concerned about my digits and well was thinking about getting the JobSite Pro Sawstop instead.

I'm just wondering if the SawStop JobSite Pro cuts would be as accurate as the Ridgid r4512. And what if I made a solid stand for the JobSite Pro, would that help with the vibrations and what not improving the cuts?

How does the Ridgid r4512 compare to the SawStop Contractor saw? (base model without the T-glide).

EDIT: I'm a newbie woodworker. I'd like cuts accurate enough to say make a chessboard if I wanted.
Accurately calibrated and with a good blade installed, any of the saws you mentioned will make a fine chessboard.

I am concerned about my digits because I work on computers, play musical instruments, and I need help remembering the number that comes after "nine." :-)

I had a Bosch REAXX jobsite saw, which has a safety mechanism like a SawStop. (SawStop sued them over patents and they are no longer available in the US.) I replaced it with a SawStop PCS-175 cabinet saw.

The drawbacks of a jobsite saw are:
* Short lead-in distance from the front of the saw to the blade.
* Aluminum top is not as smooth, and it scratches and dents easily.
* Typically, fences are not as good as the ones that come on larger saws.

The new SawStop Jobsite Pro saw has a 2 inch longer lead-in distance, an improved T-track style fence, and better dust collection, along with other minor changes. Those differences (especially the lead-in distance) make it worth the higher cost over the old SawStop jobsite saw. They would have to discount the old saw a lot more before I might consider it over the new one. A LOT more.

I have not used the Ridgid 4512, but it gives a lot of saw features and capability for the money. Ask others about the fence to see if they like it. I imagine that it cuts "better" than any jobsite saw, just because of its size, the nice beautiful flat cast iron top, and more. By "better", I mean less effort to set up and line up an accurate cut than a jobsite saw, with more consistent results. Everything would be smoother and easier, including the cut itself.

I would not consider a table saw without a safety mechanism. The huge loss caused by one slip or mistake in terms of pain, grief, and finances is worth the cost of the "insurance" penalty that you must pay up front to buy a SawStop, in my opinion. I know enough really good woodworkers who are missing pieces of themselves, not removed by elective surgery. I am not arrogant enough to think that I will never make a mistake over decades of woodworking. That's me.

Others argue that you must follow good safety practices regardless of which saw you use, and that is the path to avoid injury. They are right. I acknowledge and respect their points, but feel that we are all human, and mistakes happen. I respectfully disagree on the path to achieve adequate safety, and we go back and forth here often. I want you to know that not everyone agrees with my opinion about table saw safety mechanisms.

Table saw safety mechanisms won't protect you against kickback, either. You can be seriously injured by a kickback from a SawStop saw just like any other table saw.

I replaced the Bosch REAXX jobsite saw with a SawStop PCS-175 cabinet saw. Considerations included storage space and mobility. It turns out that the SawStop cabinet saw has a smaller footprint for storage than their contractor saw. The contractor saw has a motor hanging off the back, so it stands further from the wall when stored.

If you buy a SawStop cast iron saw, get the 36 inch T-glide fence, not the 30 inch fence. If you get the cabinet saw, buy the Industrial Mobile Base for mobility. It is far superior to their simple mobile base and it is so worth the high extra cost.

If you are on a tight budget, I understand the temptations of buying the Ridgid 4512 over a SawStop Jobsite Pro saw. Because of my feelings about safety, I would buy the SawStop anyway, but most people would recommend the Ridgid, and they would be equally right. One consideration might be whether you have children or others who might use the saw someday. It is a personal decision.

If you have the money, a SawStop cast iron saw with a T-glide fence is a joy to use. But then you face the same decision - there are many excellent contractor and cabinet table saws from many manufacturers, for less money than their SawStop equivalents. Also consider "oldies but goodies" - the old cast iron saws of the past are practically indestructible and cut well, but lack many safety features.

Good luck!

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post #3 of 69 Old 09-12-2019, 11:34 AM
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I've been using a R4512 for 6-7 years. It's worked very well for me. That said, there are some pretty poor reviews. I've heard many complaints about the fence system and frankly, it could be better. If you're not careful when locking the fence it can lock in a little cockeyed. After a few times being out of square a bit on a cut I realized what I was doing and got in the habit of pushing the fence tight to the rail before locking it in place. It's hard to beat for the money and certainly a capable saw for a small home shop.
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post #4 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 02:21 AM
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Please let me be very harsh and pointed.

The cost of a Ridgid r4512 plus one ER visit is about the same as the cost of a SawStop. The choice is yours.

That is coming from someone that absolutely detests the marketing and sales tactics of the inventor of the flesh sensing saw.

I've has three saws over the last almost 50 years. Each one was to be the last one I ever bought. A 1970s Craftsman RAS, a Jet Contractor and a Delta UniSaw. If the situation ever arises for me to buy a new saw, it will be a SawStop. (You can't imagine how much it pains me to say that.)
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post #5 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 06:25 AM
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No contest

There just isn't any other decision about a table saw. Saw Stop. Period. I have seen many hand injuries from table saw accidents. They are all devastating and lifelong. You are worth the extra $600 to get the best. (I have been using table saws for 40+ years. Accident free. Bought a Saw Stop. Then one day.....it saved my hand. Forever a proponent of their saws). And if that isn't enough, if you ever do have an accident, Saw Stop will replace your cartridge for free. Just call them.
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post #6 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 10:15 AM
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P.S. I bought a SawStop. You saw my post, one of the three posts above recommending a SawStop.

-> I want to add that I agree 100% with the others about SawStop marketing and sales tactics. In addition, I detest and oppose their political activities.

SawStop has been continually lobbying the US government to impose regulations requiring that all table saws sold in the US have safety mechanisms. Because they hold the patents, it would give them a very strong, effective monopoly on table saws. They failed to lobby Congress to pass legislation, so their new tactic has been to convince the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to impose mandatory regulations on table saw safety, to give them the monopoly they want.

Dr. Steve Gass is the original inventor and patent holder. I do not know the full story, but I have been told that he tried to negotiate licensing arrangements with the other table saw manufacturers, but the price per saw was so onerous that no manufacturer could agree to the pricing terms. Steve Gass could not come to any kind of reasonable arrangement that would have seen his technology widely deployed across all table saws. I note that table saws have many safety mechanisms in common - riving knives, blade guards, anti-kickback pawls, to name a few. Why not blade touch sensing and retraction?

A direct result of not negotiating any kind of deal has been vast numbers of table saw injuries. Each one of those life-altering injuries could have been prevented with a deal in place. There is nothing illegal about it. The patent belongs to Steve Gabs, and it is his to license under whatever terms he wants. Nevertheless, I question the morality of someone so greedy that they could not find a way to negotiate in good faith, and find terms acceptable to all, that would prevent such injuries. I feel sad whenever I see the results of those injuries, injuries that could have been so easily prevented.

The hypocrisy of failing to negotiate a deal and then trying to use the government to bully and club the other manufacturers into submission (or face the loss of the entire table saw market) is appalling, and reveals the true feelings of SawStop's founder. He isn't about saving people from injury. He doesn't care about people or their life-altering injuries per se. His sole focus is maximizing the money he can extract from his invention. It is his right, but that doesn't make it right.

(Having written the above, I still recommend SawStop. Their table saws are superb - they cut with ease and precision, and they can prevent a life-altering injury. Yes, you pay a lot for that insurance, but you would pay a lot more for an injury, and even after you are done, you may be scarred for life. For those reasons alone, I recommend SawStop, while still detesting and opposing their patent licensing and government-relations policies.)
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post #7 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 12:25 PM
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I also detest what Steven Gass tried to pull off, it was nothing more than a money grab. I also am getting rather tired of the scare tactics he and those that drank his cool-aide have instilled in the woodworking community. I come from a family where many members are involved in woodworking and construction, table saws have been used by them for decades without one serious life altering accident, touch wood.

Should someone buy a SawStop, by all means if they think it is the way to go, will they be involved in a serious injury if they don't, probably not if they observe the same safety precautions they give to the other machines in their shop.
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post #8 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 01:04 PM
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What has made the situation worse is SawStop seems to have patented the ďideaĒ of flesh sensing technology, keeping other approaches to the same problem from competing in the United States. Bosch has developed their own flesh sensing technology but they arenít allowed to compete in the United states because it wasnít their idea, even though it isnít the same technology and doesnít ruin your blade.

Could you imagine how that would have held back competition in so many areas over the years, to the detriment of our country.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #9 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
I also detest what Steven Gass tried to pull off, it was nothing more than a money grab. I also am getting rather tired of the scare tactics he and those that drank his cool-aide have instilled in the woodworking community. I come from a family where many members are involved in woodworking and construction, table saws have been used by them for decades without one serious life altering accident, touch wood.

Should someone buy a SawStop, by all means if they think it is the way to go, will they be involved in a serious injury if they don't, probably not if they observe the same safety precautions they give to the other machines in their shop.
This is a perfect example of someone who disagrees with my point of view about SawStop's safety mechanism. @FrankC feels that the extra cost of SawStop "insurance" is not worth the money, and he feels that by following proper safety practices, you can remain safe and uninjured. Frank is right. SawStop saws are overpriced, and you can live your entire life with a different table saw and not get injured.

With respect, I disagree and say that accidents can happen to the best of us. I argue that the consequences of one mistake can be so severe that the SawStop is worth the extra cost.

I resent FrankC's comments about "drank his cool-aid". I believe that many of us have a good understanding of the situation, the risks, and the hype. We reached our own independent conclusion. FrankC may not agree with that conclusion, but it is very rude and incorrect to say that we "drank his cool-aid" rather than coming to a rational decision after careful review and due consideration. You can disagree without insulting the other person by implying that they cannot think independently for themselves.

I sincerely hope that FrankC and his family continue their perfect record of table saw safety for the rest of their lives. I hope that I can do the same and never trigger my SawStop, indirectly proving FrankC right, but at least I know that I have a safety net, just in case. :-)
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post #10 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Q View Post
What has made the situation worse is SawStop seems to have patented the ďideaĒ of flesh sensing technology, keeping other approaches to the same problem from competing in the United States. Bosch has developed their own flesh sensing technology but they arenít allowed to compete in the United states because it wasnít their idea, even though it isnít the same technology and doesnít ruin your blade.

Could you imagine how that would have held back competition in so many areas over the years, to the detriment of our country.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
It has happened in other industries, in 1895 George Seldon patented an internal combustion road engine that barely ran and collected royalties from every other gasoline powered vehicle manufacturer until Henry Ford refused to pay him and ended up in a court battle that took years to resolve.

Gass could have made his invention an industry standard by issuing a FRAND patent but he was too greedy to accept a fair and reasonable royalty. Had he done this any manufacturer could voluntarily added his improvement to their saw.
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post #11 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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I personally would like it if the Federal Government stepped in a regulated this safety issue, virtually voiding the patent and making it freely available; also requiring all saws have this technology. It's too important. I can't believe they wouldn't let Bosch use their flesh sensing technology, just because it wasn't their idea.. doesn't seem right at all.

Anyways, I am considering getting the SawStop JobSite Pro but I am wondering if it is possible to do very fine woodworking on it despite it being so lightweight? The Ridgid r4512 has a cast iron top and weighs twice as much. I'm just wondering how much better the cuts would be on the Ridgid.. would they be less rough and more accurate due to less vibrations? I am a beginning woodworker and I want to be able to ultimately be able to make anything and wondering if I can get away with the JobSite Pro SawStop. The ripping capacity seems to be fine.. for larger things I can use a sawboard with my circular saw. I mainly want the table saw for all the jigs I can make with it.. like cross cut sled, box joint jig, tennon joints, and other jigs.. so many things one can do with it.. Is the JobSite Pro good enough for most jigs?
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post #12 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by woodgeekess View Post
I personally would like it if the Federal Government stepped in a regulated this safety issue, virtually voiding the patent and making it freely available; also requiring all saws have this technology. It's too important. I can't believe they wouldn't let Bosch use their flesh sensing technology, just because it wasn't their idea.. doesn't seem right at all.

Anyways, I am considering getting the SawStop JobSite Pro but I am wondering if it is possible to do very fine woodworking on it despite it being so lightweight? The Ridgid r4512 has a cast iron top and weighs twice as much. I'm just wondering how much better the cuts would be on the Ridgid.. would they be less rough and more accurate due to less vibrations? I am a beginning woodworker and I want to be able to ultimately be able to make anything and wondering if I can get away with the JobSite Pro SawStop. The ripping capacity seems to be fine.. for larger things I can use a sawboard with my circular saw. I mainly want the table saw for all the jigs I can make with it.. like cross cut sled, box joint jig, tennon joints, and other jigs.. so many things one can do with it.. Is the JobSite Pro good enough for most jigs?
The Jobsite saw is what it says it is, a saw that is portable enough to take to a construction site.

It was never intended to be a workshop saw, you can use it but there will be limitations, particularly the small table area.

Woodworking is a hobby with many sharp things that can do damage, it is up to you to educate yourself about safety, no legislation or gadgets will protect you as well as good work habits.

At the last place I worked there were more man hours lost due to Exacto knife cuts than machine injuries.
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post #13 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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I have educated myself about table saw safety. I've watched probably a dozen different videos on it. I'm aware of what I need to do and would feel confident with the Ridgid r4512.. however I still worry about some unforeseen accident, like a slip or passing out etc.
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post #14 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 03:50 PM
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Wood working safety is important. There are numerous tools and pieces of equipment that will, if given the opportunity, injure you. Table saws may lead the list in number of accidents because they are used by more people more frequently. One of the worst accidents I seen was done using a miter saw. Guy lost most of his thumb and index finger. Most dangerous job site I worked on was because of distractions. It was a remodel of a restaurant with floor to ceiling windows facing a busy walkway full of tourists during summertime. After the third guy got injured in only a few days on the project we convinced the job super to let us cover the windows with craft paper.

With that said if I could afford a sawstop I would get one. I can’t so I have a Ridgid r4512. I’m a casual hobbyist and the saw does everything I need it to. It might be the most dangerous tool I own. I don’t know. I do know I probably have come closer to injuring myself on my lathe than on my saw. More reading. More videos. Understand the tool and the dangers it presents better. Better awareness. Better safety.
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post #15 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 04:20 PM
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I can give you some tips .....

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Originally Posted by woodgeekess View Post
I have educated myself about table saw safety. I've watched probably a dozen different videos on it. I'm aware of what I need to do and would feel confident with the Ridgid r4512.. however I still worry about some unforeseen accident, like a slip or passing out etc.

As someone who has owned every type of table saw from a contractor belt drive, to a job site, to a full blown 5 HP cabinet saw, here's what I would advise that you get or do:


The throat plate that surrounds the blade should be a zero clearance. no gaps around the blade. There are You Tubes on how to make them. Make one and paint it red. This is now the "danger zone" where no hands or fingers are allowed! ... at least until you have 10 years experience......



The riving knife or splitter that supports the blade guard does two important safety functions. It will maintain the rear of the workpiece lightly against the fence so it can't rotate around up and over the spinning blade causing a kickback. It will also prevent the kerf you just cut from closing up on the rear of the blade causing the saw to stall out OR causing you to use additional feed pressure which is not a good idea.
http://www.raygirling.com/kickback.htm





You need a proper push shoe to apply downward and forward feed pressure simultaneously. You should always use a push shoe when the distance between the blade and the fence is less than a hands width. I have about 5 different push shoes, some of with are only 1/4" wide. I use them routinely when ripping narrow pieces. It is a different animal than a push "stick"....



You need a proper outfeed support table to catch all the off fall and workpieces after the cuts are finished. Do not reach around or over a spinning blade to catch any loose pieces! It will also support large and heavy sheet good so you can safely and accurately cut them without a helper.


Ripping and crosscutting are completely different operations and require different approaches. An extended 20" fence of 4" tall by 3/4' thick wood screwed to the face of the miter gauge is a must. Dimensions can vary from those slightly. By cutting right through the wood you know exactly where the cut will be and you can line up your pieces easily to the kerf. A stop block can be clamped to the fence for making duplicate pieces. It's a very handy addition.



Ripping a curved board along the fence will result in a curved cut on the off fall. A straight edge ripping guide will eliminate this issue. Jointers are a companion machine to the table saw because they will create a straight edge to register against the fence. If you place a wobbly edge against the fence it may twist and bind causing a kickback. You should never place a twisted or warped board on the table surface for the same reason. A jointer will flatten the face that goes down on the table. So, a flat surface and a straight edge are necessary on the workpiece for safe cuts on the table saw.


A complete table saw safety lesson is beyond the scope of my post, but those are some of the basics that have kept me safe for 50 some odd years of using one.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #16 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 06:05 PM
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FWIW - according to Wikipedia, [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SawStop]

"The SawStop patents begin to expire in August 2021, with filed extensions this could extend until April 2024 for the early patents. Given that there are about 100 patents, patent protection for this product line may continue for some years."

Jim

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post #17 of 69 Old 09-14-2019, 07:44 PM
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In my experience you should not be allowed to use use a drill bit, they are extremely dangerous.

If you hold a board in your hand supporting it a while you are drilling the hole there is a good possibility you will drill into your hand causing serious injury.

The bits will catch in thin strips of metal spinning them into your hands causing multiple cuts as they fly around.

Ships augers will catch when drilling thin material causing the augers to advance rapidly in an uncontrolled fashion.

Large bits will catch causing the drill to rotate out of control possibly breaking your wrist as you try to control it.

Seriously, what is the answer, we have to drill holes, legislation or common sense?

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post #18 of 69 Old 09-15-2019, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
..

A complete table saw safety lesson is beyond the scope of my post, but those are some of the basics that have kept me safe for 50 some odd years of using one.
Thanks for sharing all that. I used what you said as a checklist from what I have learned in the past few days, and you just about covered everything :). Yah I feel pretty confident. I know pretty much all the dangers associated with the table saw.

E.g. I'd never make cross cuts running piece along fence.. I'd use a sled instead (or at least a good miter). I'd never run curved edge along fence, I'd run it through the jointer first. I'd never use without a riving knife if I don't have to (e.g. dado is an exception). I'd use the blade guard (with dust collection) as much as possible. I'd do steady speed feeding the lumber in, no jerking. Plan on getting a Grr-ripper and making some nice push sticks which allow more downward force. Push the wood between the fence and blade pretty much in the middle etc.. I'd make sure to stand to one side being out of the line of the blade in case of some unforeseen kickback.
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post #19 of 69 Old 09-15-2019, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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In my experience you should not be allowed to use use a drill bit, they are extremely dangerous.
..
Yeah I realize there are lots of ways to hurt yourself in the workshop. I don't usually like my hands near a drill bit and do clamp things down if I can't be far enough away from it.
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post #20 of 69 Old 09-15-2019, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Another saw I am looking at is the Delta 36-725. It's $599 at Lowes and they do honor Harbor Freight coupons. I have a 20% off coupon for HF. So with any luck I can get it for $479 plus tax.

It's similar to the Ridgid r4512, but it has a really nice fence and enough cutting depth to rip a 4 x 4.

This would be $900 cheaper than the SawStop JobSite Pro saw. With that extra money I could buy a nice jointer. Btw, what is the Ridgid r4512 of jointers? Is it possible to get a really nice one for $500?

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