A table saw is the first tool any beginning woodworker should purchase. It is the centerpiece of every other tool in your shop. If you make your living in construction, finish carpentry, or you’re a do-it-yourself type with many projects around the home, it’s essential to own a good, portable table saw.
Ridgid 10 Inch Pro Jobsite Table Saw Specifications
The specifications for a table saw should meet the demands of the job it’s intended for. Cutting depth, table dimensions, power, a solid fence, a stable saw platform, and the ability to cut material up to a 45-degree angle are all important features.
The Ridgid table saw has a smaller arbor than competing portable table saws. That means it can cut deeper than other saws of similar proportions. The maximum vertical cutting depth, that is at 90 degrees, is 3 ½ inches. It might seem like a small difference, but dimensional lumber can range from a 2×4 which is actually a 1 ¾ x 3 ½ inch board up to a 2×12. The Ridgid Pro can rip a finished 2×4 in half on one pass. Other portable saws require you to cut one side, flip it over and rip it again.
The cast aluminum table top is 30 inches wide with a depth of 24.5 inches. It is one of the bigger tables you’ll find on a portable saw.
The Ridgid table saw has a 3.1 horsepower, 15 amp 120-volt motor that operates at a brisk 5000 rpm. The 15 amp power draw can be a challenge for a smaller generator on a job site, and even at home, it needs to be plugged into at least a 20 amp circuit, or you’ll likely trip breakers when you begin to work.
After the blade, the fence is the business end of any table saw. Ridgid has a solid aluminum fence that slides easily and locks into place with a single lever on the operator side of the saw. It has a metered guide, but as with every other table saw, it’s always best to use a tape to measure the exact distance from the fence to the innermost blade tooth on every new cut. The fence allows guided cuts up to 12 inches wide. Anything larger, and you’ll need to remove the fence and freehand the material through the saw.
The saw platform that is standard with this piece of equipment is a great innovation. The lightweight yet sturdy steel frame folds up easily, the two wheels to the right of the saw, with wheelbarrow style handles to the left, allow you to lift and move the saw with little effort, and the frame stays under the cutting area, out of the way.
The hard part comes in assembling the frame; it’s just not that easy to do. It takes time and close attention to the directions to get the frame assembled, and attached to the saw correctly. The biggest complaint is the frame assembly. Once it’s finished, the frame is the selling point of the table saw, but the process is far from enjoyable. Ridgid doesn’t provide clear documentation with the saw either.
When fully assembled, the saw isn’t the lightweight unit you’ll see in other brands; it weighs a hefty 95 pounds. Weight adds stability in a cutting platform, and the frame lets you move and use that added stability with ease.
A novice will complain that the angle dial on a saw doesn’t match the cut. They’ll set the angle on the dial at 22.5 degrees and discover that the cut is 24 or maybe 21 degrees. You might consider that a design flaw, but it’s really an operator error.
The angle guide is designed to get you close to the target. A combination square will set the blade perfectly at 45 or 90 degrees, and a T-bevel set tight to the desired angle of anything else with the wing nut allows you to set your saw to any other angle between 45 and 90 degrees.
The Ridgid 10 Inch Pro can cut 2.25 inches deep at a 45-degree angle. That’s one of the deepest cuts you’ll find on a 10-inch portable table saw.
Positives and Negatives
You can’t beat the function of a table saw. Yes, you can cut quicker with a chop saw on horizontal cuts, but it won’t rip the material. You can rip and crosscut material with a power saw, but you’ll measure each cut, there will be cutting errors no matter how steady your hand is, and you’ll have to set up a guide on long rip cuts. That all waste time and lowers quality.
A portable table saw makes a carpenter money on a job.
It’s not a professional, high-quality table saw. That 300 pounds, cast iron monster in the middle of every woodworking shop is stable, it is likely powered by a 240V high torque motor, it has a larger blade, a bigger fence, a wider working area, and it can go all day without missing a beat.
The best portable table saw can’t compete with that in a professional shop setting. It’s not supposed to. The word “portable” in the name tells you all you need to know.
- 3.1 HP 15 amp motor
- Best cutting depth in portable saws
- Well designed easy to use platform
- Deep angled cuts
- Assembling the platform
- Small table
- Weight – 95 pounds
Why a Portable Saw?
The Ridgid 10 Inch Pro Jobsite table saw brings the power and versatility of a table saw anywhere you can drive your truck and can get 120 volts of electricity. A table saw literally cuts your workload exponentially.
I took a contract one summer in an isolated area of eastern Wyoming. We were 15 miles from the nearest electric outlet and didn’t have a generator. An eccentric older woman had an abandoned small home on her property damaged by a tornado. She contracted my partner and me to repair the roof, build a new concrete foundation and move the home onto the new foundation.
It sounded like an easy job, just dig the footers, set the forms, pour the concrete, let it set and move the house. A backhoe and gooseneck trailer with some bridging was all it took to move the building, but the foundation was tough work.
The job site was 15 miles from electricity, but it was 42 miles to Lusk, the nearest town where our shop was located.
We ripped all the ¾ inch plywood in half for 24-inch forms in town, but when the old gal arrived, she thought they looked too high and told us to lower the walls to 20 inches. Not a problem at the shop, but ripping 24 sheets of plywood from 24×96 inches to 20×96 took most of a morning with both of us running the handsaw. It was a great arm workout once I was able to feel my hand again.
In retrospect, we should have taken the four hours to load the forms, drive to town, rip the boards on our table saw, and then return, but that was a push, the same time either way, so we ran the handsaw.
A portable saw like the Ridgid 10 Inch Pro and a portable generator would have finished the job in a half hour. That’s the power of a table saw on a job site.
Portable Table Saw in the Shop
The benefits of a portable table saw on a job site have been discussed, but can a portable do the job in your shop just as well?
The answer is yes; many home shop owners have a spot for their portable saw. A Ridgid 10 Inch Pro on its’ stand makes a nice addition to any shop or garage. The portability feature comes with a smaller footprint than a big, stationary table saw.
The drawback is that you are limited in the size of material you can cut. The fence only allows a maximum controlled cut of 12 inches. A professional-grade table saw allows cuts over 24 inches.
The 3 ½ inch cutting depth is great for the job site, but you can rip a lot larger material with a 12, or even a 15-inch table saw than you can with the 10-inch blade on a saw like the Ridgid Pro.
A table saw is indispensable on a job site. It will pay for itself in fewer man-hours the first week you own it. But, a portable saw is not the same quality as a bigger, heavier stationary table saw. You’ll have to decide which works best for you at home, but if you’re away on a remote job site, there is no question. So, buy a portable table saw.