The RTS12 is a Ryobi table saw designed to handle a broad range of different cutting projects. Ryobi is heralding it as their most refined model yet. But does it measure up to your demanding tastes? Let’s take a look at this saw to find out. I’ll examine the specifications of this tool, review many of its features, weigh the pros and cons, and give you a good idea of whether this machine is suitable for you.
Ryobi RTS12 Table Saw
This Ryobi table saw is a surprisingly powerful little beast, something that I personally loved about it when trying it out the first time. It has a 15 amp motor that can get up to 5,000 RPMs. That kind of power makes it great for various jobs, something that I’ll talk about more later in the following sections. Just know that it’s both solid and reliable, it’s motor among the finest.
What about the size and shape of this model? Does it feel too bulky for most modern workspaces? That probably depends on your situation. I personally found the 36 by 28 by 15-inch design to be suitable for many types of jobs. And the included 10-inch blade is one of the better pack-in options I’ve seen in recent years. It’s just as good as any other Ryobi saw blade, meaning you can get cutting right away.
And the durable design of the saw was impressive, primarily using high-quality stainless steel on things like the rip fence and guarding assembly. Making these parts metal helps protect users from accidental cuts and minimizes damage to the saw at the same time. However, a few things about the design didn’t quite sit well with me, mostly the use of plastic in places.
While plastic can be a durable material and is unavoidable on most modern tools, the plastic on this saw felt a little less reliable than other options from Ryobi. It’s not that the plastic felt cheap, but it has a lighter feel that didn’t sit right with me. Other users may find this a minor problem. I won’t talk about it too much here, as a few other concerns must be discussed before giving my final rating.
Features of This Ryobi Table Saw
Once I got my hand on the RTS12, I tried it out on a few simple projects. This kind of hands-on action gave me a better idea of its features and how they benefit you. And there is a lot to like here! So when going down the list of these features, we’ll briefly explain why they are so important. In this way, both advanced and beginning carpenters can better understand their options here:
- Integrated storage option that lets you store all of your saw accessories, including lubrication oil
- Folding stand that is easy to operate and which is also relatively light, meaning you can take your saw
- Strong aluminum tabletop that provides a solid and durable work surface that never feels too heavy
- Accessible push-stick operation helps to keep your saw operating and your work safer
- Dust chute that takes care of sawdust, minimizing the dirty feeling of your work area
- Tool-free guarding that keeps your hands safe and minimizes any potential cutting risks
- Robust steel cage design that enhances the durability of the frame and its overall strength
- Miter gauge that helps to make your cuts more accurate when angling them
- Rip fence that further protects you from various types of saw issues
- Anti-kickback protection that stops your board from jumping back at you while you cut it
- A detailed operator’s manual that provides essential maintenance information for you
All of these features help the RTS12 stand out compared to other Ryobi table saw models. While it is true that many other cutting tools had some or even most of these features, no other integrated them so smoothly. But before giving my buying decision, it is vital to look at a few of the most common benefits of this saw and a few complaints that I can’t help but raise.
Pros and Cons of This Unique Option
While some of these pros are things I’ve touched on already, I think it is good to go more in-depth on them here. So I’ll briefly touch on each of these benefits and give you an idea of why they’re so critical to consider. The RTS12 will provide you with advantages and features, including:
- Very Strong Construction – Confession time: I dropped this saw while using it more than a few times. Thankfully, its durable design helped to keep it damage-free and minimized scuffing issues.
- Multiple Accessories – If you want an all-in-one saw option, this is pretty close. While it does have some limitations (that I’ll discuss below), its many accessories and features help minimize concerns.
- Rolling Stand – Do you know how nice it is to have a rolling stand for your table tools? I could get this saw to just about anywhere in my workstation, cutting back on a lot of back and forth time.
- Storage Options – All of the doors and storage drawers on this model were adorable. Though I didn’t have time to store much with them, knowing they were there was excellent.
- Lightweight Design – With a light feel to the saw and the table, it should be easy for most people to handle this tool without ever feeling weighed down.
- Adaptable Uses – With its simple-to-adjust design, you can cut boards at exact angles and get the kind of deep and angled looks that you want and need for your items.
Do these benefits outweigh the negatives of this tool? I think so, yes. However, that doesn’t mean the RTS12 is a perfect tool. Perfection is nice in theory but impossible when designing table saws or other similar items. So, let’s take a look at a few of these concerns to give you an honest look at this machine.
As for negatives, the briefly mentioned plastic parts do drag this saw down a bit in my eyes. However, I wouldn’t have a significant problem if the saw was better at cutting small bits and pieces. Unfortunately, table saws of this type and design are not always good with tiny and precise cutting processes.
While you can cut parts around 1-2 inches in size, doing so is more complex than necessary. That said, it should be able to handle most of your carpentry needs. Just make sure to bring a jigsaw, or a similar specialty saw to your gigs to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes with your cuts.
Who This Multi-Use Tool Would Benefit
What kind of buyer will find this Ryobi table saw a good purchase? Personally, I think it is probably best for the weekend warrior, those builders who like handling a few projects on their days off. It is a robust saw, yes, and it has many benefits. I particularly like the solid and consistent blade design. But how well would it work for the serious or professional carpenter who handles many gigs?
Well, I’d say that this model is portable enough for most experts. The table is exceptionally light and folds up nicely. The machine isn’t necessarily that lightweight, but taking out the blade can help to lighten the load. It should take no more than one strong person or two people of general strength to handle this saw and set it up. But is it powerful enough for most professional carpenters?
Yes, for the most part. It handles most simple cutting jobs with ease and aplomb. That said, it may lack the power that more specialized saws possess. For instance, I put on a metal-cutting blade and compared it to a specialty metal cutter. The RTS12 does the job just fine but was slower than the other option, meaning that the edge is worn down more quickly than expected.
In the end, I believe this carpentry tool would benefit a majority of carpenters. Its potent power and easy portability make it an excellent choice for various carpenter gigs. And its price is under $200, which is particularly lovely. But, of course, don’t expect the kind of durability and power you’d get with more expensive saws. But if you know what you’re getting into with this model, you should be in for a treat.
Making a Choice
My final verdict on the Ryobi RTS12 table saw is very positive. It may not be suitable for beginning carpenters, I admit. However, I think that experienced woodworkers will find it more than ideal for their needs. Is it top of the line? Maybe not entirely, but it is an excellent option for the price (often below $200).
If you’re not sure, it is worth checking out a model at a store near you to see how well it runs. Some shops will let you practice with them, though that is becoming increasingly rare. However, seeing the saw in person should help you get a better feel for whether it is right for your needs.