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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wanted to seek out some help here for a novice woodworker, not a novice to power tools. I went to Home Depot this week to pick up some MDF for a new bathroom closet, and came home with this table saw. Looking at reviews, I found they accept 20% Harbor Freight coupons, so I got the saw for $400 which I'm very pleased with. To the setup of the saw.

It took about 6 hours to set this saw up and calibrate everything. The only thing that I could not get to install properly was the anti-kickback pawl. I've attached a couple pictures to show what I'm experiencing. I've always owned smaller contractor saws or homemade circular saw jigs that didn't have this safety feature, so I'm still using the saw for now, but would like to have this safety feature for obvious reasons. I just don't know if I'm doing it right, which I don't think is the case here.

The spreader/riving knife setup is to come all the way over the blade for through cuts - DONE. The blade guard installed perfectly fine in the middle slot - DONE. The pawl was to be aligned over the furthest slot. The way this works is there is a push button that exposes a smaller diameter portion of the rod to fit inside the slot, then when you release the button, it brings the larger diameter portion of the rod back to secure the pawl into place. I pushed and pulled the lever after install, and it didn't budge, however, I didn't pull it UP to test. So, I run a board through it, the pawl raises, and shoots off and into the work area, luckily it didn't land anywhere near the blade. So, I start inspecting, and for some reason the push button is not coming all the way back out after aligning in the slot, and the angled portion of the rod where it changes diameters is partially exposed inside the slot. So the slightest force allowed the device to completely come unlocked and useless.

You can see, that the button needs to come out another 1/8" to eliminate the exposed angled portion of the connector rod from allowing a launch. Any advice?

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi Justin:

Set the anti-kickback pawl assembly down in the provided slot on the riving knife, mash in on the button and push down on the tab/lever to seat the assembly, release the button and it should spring outward securing the anti-kickback pawl assembly to the riving knife. If it does not, the saw will need to be checked by a local service provider to determine the cause and the application of warranty coverage to correct it.

To obtain warranty coverage/service or repairs if you are located within the Continental U.S., you may return the product to The Home Depot store nearest you. The Special Services Desk Representative can help you with repair process and procedures of your product. You also have the option of taking your product to your nearest Authorized RIDGID Service Center for service or repair. If you are located outside the Continental U.S., you will need to take or send your product in to your nearest Authorized RIDGID Service Center for repair.

If you have the original Lifetime warranty, you will need to provide your receipt when seeking coverage. For the newer Lifetime Service Agreement (LSA) coverage, you will need to provide your LSA verification/customer ID number when seeking coverage. For customers that have not obtained the LSA coverage for their tool, the purchase receipt or the tools serial number can be used to provide warranty coverage under the standard 3-year warranty that all new RIDGID power tool purchases carry.


MY RESPONSE....

Do you realize that this saw weighs 300 pounds? You want me to load it back into my trailer to have a guy at Home Depot that isn't remotely educated on how your saw works try to fix it. The same people that couldn't even tell me how the anti-kickback worked? They gathered around the floor sample and patted at it like a group of curious monkeys.

I literally bought this thing on Saturday morning, I haven't filled out any of the paperwork for warranty because I just got it set up. Can't you just send me a new riving knife and pawl to see if the slot was not stamped properly during manufacturing process?

This is the first power tool I've purchased from Home Depot, and definitely the first Ridgid product. If your company thinks it's feasible or acceptable to just transport a 300# saw back and forth because of a 50 cent stamped riving knife from China, or a ~$3 pawl, your company is crazy and it will be my last purchase.
 

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That's just level 1 customer support. You probably could just send the blade guard itself to them or a service center (obviously not HD). I don't know if mine has the same issue as I never use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm going to take the riving knife off and take it in to HD to see if their floor models pawl snaps into place. If it does, I'm going to have them swap me. If it doesn't, I'll do like I've always done, and roll without one.
 

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I have a Ridgid 4512, and the other day I had my riving knife off, what a mistake, cutting some oak, and it ending kick back hit me in chest. At all cost try and keep riving knife on, Happy Holidays
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
RJ, did your stock riving knife/spreader seem awfully dull? Also, I have the spreader installed, it's just the kickback pawl that won't lock on...not sure of that works for kickbacks without the pawl accompanying it..
 

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I don't use the pawls, but I do use the splitters

I'm going to take the riving knife off and take it in to HD to see if their floor models pawl snaps into place. If it does, I'm going to have them swap me. If it doesn't, I'll do like I've always done, and roll without one.
I have a Ridgid 4512, and the other day I had my riving knife off, what a mistake, cutting some oak, and it ending kick back hit me in chest. At all cost try and keep riving knife on, Happy Holidays
My older 1990's Craftsman saws came with the blade cover and pawls mounted on the splitter. I didn't like the pawls because the were always hanging down in the way and I could not back out a piece for a test cut or other partial cut., so I took them and the blade cover/guard off. I like that set up fine now. Here's why the splitter is so necessary as the kickback above shows. The splitter keeps the saw kerf open AND it prevents the piece from rotating away from the fence at the rear of the blade. This slight rotation will allow the work to ride up and over the blade and shoot back at you. It's like have a third hand to keep the work against the fence. IF the kerf closes on the rear of the blade because the internal tensions are released, the same thing can happen. The work will grab the blade and if your saw is powerful enough it will kick back. If it just stalls out then you will have time to shut the saw off...maybe.

I don't like the pawls, but I do want the splitter all the time.
 

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I keep riving knife always on table saw but I removed anti-kickback pawl. At least until I upgrade the fence. Stock fence has a little play and it's hard to keep it always parallel to blade. The play is 1/64 upto 1/32 with my saw. And the pawl creates more dangerous situations together with the fence in my opinion. I had several cases when the pawl locked a wood and I couldn't push it futher. So I had to turn off the saw and remove the pawl to unlock the wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay, that makes me feel better then. I did feel like I had to use extra force just to get the board to lift the pawl up, so I didn't like that feeling.
 

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The pawl will not go on properly without squeezing the button then placing it on the saw and the pushing the lever down. The pushing of the back lever down is what will make it seat properly.

That all being said, the pawl just makes using the saw more difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Brentley, I did all that, when releasing the button to secure the pawl, the button only partially comes back out. It seems the slot is too small for the large side of the connector rod, or the layer of powdercoat is too thick or something.
 

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I don't like the pawls, but I do want the splitter all the time.
x2. The only time I take the riving knife off is when I'm using the dado stack.

Was ripping a bunch of 2x4's yesterday and they kept pinching the riving knife as the stress was released in certain spots. Would have been in a world of hurt without it.
 

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The tension from the spring on the pawl can press down to hard on the piece you're cutting, leaving a nice little annoying line on it that requires extra unecessary work. Having it on at all times does get annoying, it is good for added safety, but as long as your riving knife and fence is setup accurately it can be left off. I don't recommend. Only making a suggestion. Safety devices are invaluable.
 
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