Ridgid Mitre Saw - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Tool Test

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Ridgid Mitre Saw



The mitre saw is a productive workhorse in any woodworking environment; like a circular saw on steroids. Mounted on a spring loaded pivoting arm, it effortlessly delivers accurate flush, bevel, and compound cuts.
 
What I Liked
The saw took all of 15 minutes to assemble. Its cast aluminum base is well machined and all the parts fit together properly. The turntable moves smoothly, with no creep. I liked the smoothly operating blade guard that automatically moves out of the way as the blade nears its cut, a comfortable D-shaped trigger handle oriented perpendicular to the blade, easy to read laser etched steel mitre scale, and a quick release horizontal stock clamp.

Once assembled the blade alignment was near perfect. Adjustments are easy to do if you follow the accompanying instructions.

The turntable has eleven preset detent positions. The mitre lock engages the detents securely with no slop. Strangely, the 11.25º detent isn’t marked, but there is one at 31.6 º for cutting crown moulding. The saw head tilts left for bevel cuts. The scale (mounted on the column of the saw) has a range from 0º to 45º. By moving a positive stop adjustment you can extend your bevel range to 48º.

The adjustable left fence is a generous 4 3/4" high by 13" long; the right fence is not as large. Both have a recessed surface on which you can place marks with a pencil for repetitive cuts.

Useful for transportation to and from the job site is a lockable top handle, and at only 34 pounds, this saw isn’t a back breaker.

I found that this saw had adequate power for all cuts. Adjusting the cutting arm for bevel or compound cuts is done quickly, easily, and precisely. All the knobs on the saw are large and sturdy, which is a nice touch. Rather than a lock-out safety button, the Ridgid has a safety switch integrated into the handle, which you push with your thumb while simultaneously squeezing the trigger. It also has an electric brake. As with most mitre saws, the Ridgid comes with a laser cutting guide; this one generates a single line and is non-adjustable.
 
Downside
There isn't a lot not to like about the Ridgid. The dust bag doesn’t catch all the dust, but attaching a hose to a shop vac solves the problem. The accompanying 40 tooth carbide-toothed saw blade isn’t high quality; the teeth are really small and won't last more than a couple of sharpenings. The bevel scale at the back of the saw doesn’t have any preset detents.
 
Test Drive
I cut stock from 1/4" x 1/4" up to 3 3/4" x 4 7/8"; no stalling, burning, or loss of power - just quick clean cuts. With small stock it's best to put a scrap of plywood under the stock for support. After a few dozen cuts I did replace the blade with a CMT 80-tooth ATB blade; installation took under 5 min. The difference in smoothness of cuts was worth the blade change.

Making mitre cuts with the mitre saw is quicker and easier than with the table saw, and compound mitre cuts are way easier to do. I consistently go to the mitre saw to crosscut narrow stock (anything up to 6" wide), rather than the table saw.

On long boards (i.e. over 3') use some support, as the table extensions aren't that long (the total width of the mitre saw top is 24 1/2"). Bolt the saw to your worktable, as it has a tendency to jerk a bit when you switch it on or off. And of course wear appropriate ear protection as mitre saws generate a lot of noise.

I like the Ridgid quite a bit. For under $300 you get a solidly built, precision cutting tool that should last for years. This makes it a sound investment decision. And it has an unbeatable 3 year guarantee, plus a 90 day return warranty. If you feel that you need something more robust, Ridgid also makes a nice 12" compound and sliding compound mitre saw.


10" Compound Mitre Saw with Exactline
Specifications:
ModelDiscontinued.
Visit Ridgid.com for new model listings.
Blade10"
Amps/Volts15/120
RPMs550 (no load)
Arbor Size5/8"
Weight34 lbs
Electric BrakeYes
Spindle LockYes
Cut Capacity - 90 degrees2" x 6", 4" x 4"
Cut Capacity - 45 degrees2" x 4"
Bevel - 90 degrees2" x 6"
Bevel - 45 degrees2" x 6"
Mitre Range - L&R 50 degrees
Mitre Stops (in degrees) - L&R0, 11.25, 15, 22.5, 31.62, 45
Bevel Range - L48 degrees
Pricingn.a.
Editors Note: The MS1065LZ has been replaced by the MS255SR (10" Sliding Dual Bevel w/Laser) and the R4112 (10" Dual Bevel).

CARL DUGUAY
Carl Duguay 2