There are currently three different Ridgid table saw models offered, the R4510 portable table saw, the R4512 contractor table saw, and the relatively new R45161 benchtop table saw. All three models get above-average overall reviews and are competitively priced. Ridgid has always been known for their professional-grade tools and equipment, and their table saws live up to that reputation.
In fact, all three table saw models are currently (06/2013) eligible for the Ridgid Limited Lifetime Service Agreement, which is basically a lifetime warranty on parts and labor! Ridgid has been in business since 1923, and is currently part of the Emerson corporation. Emerson designs and manufactures primarily industrial equipment, but also owns several tool companies.
Ridgid Table Saw R4510
The Ridgid R4510 is a portable table saw that comes with a folding, two-wheeled stand. It has a 15 amp motor with soft start, which keeps the saw from jerking when you first turn it on. Like most good saws these days, it features a tool-less split blade guard with anti-kickback pawls. The R4510 also has a removable, two position riving knife which curiously is not listed in the description on the Ridgid website.
The extendable fence rail allows for up to a 25" rip capacity to the right of the blade, and provides a 3-1/2" max cut depth with the blade at 90 degrees. The Ridgid R4510 uses a single hand wheel for both the blade height and bevel adjustment. It accepts the standard size T-slot miter gauge, which some cheap table saws don't. The R4510 offers on-board storage for the rip fence, blade guard assembly, push stick, blade wrenches, extra blades, and the miter gauge.
Like almost all portable table saws, the Ridgid R4510 has an aluminum table for light weight, but at nearly 100 pounds it is still heavier than many portable saws. This is a blessing when you are using it, but a curse when you are lifting it in and out of a truck on a daily basis! It also has a 2.5" dust port for easy connection to a shop vac.
Their website only has one photo of the R4510 Ridgid table saw, but you can get a better view of it in the video below:
Most owners LOVE this Ridgid table saw. They say it has a great fence that is accurate and moves more smoothly than many other portable table saws. Owners give it 4.6 out of 5 stars on the Home Depot website, with over 225 reviews at the time of this writing. It also gets 3.9 stars at Amazon with 28 reviews.
The Ridgid R4510 won the "Best Value" award in Fine Woodworking Magazine's 2011 comparison test of six different portable table saws. It is hard to find much that is negative to say about the portable Ridgid table saw, but a few owners wish it had more power. It is also louder than most portable table saws, according to several owners and the Fine Woodworking Magazine comparison test.
If you search for reviews, you will see a number of them (on Amazon.com) where people don't like the location of the power switch (up under the table on the left). Those reviews are not actually for this saw - they are for the previous model 2410.
Ridgid listened to their customers, and relocated the power switch on the newer model. The switch on the Ridgid R4510 is still on the left, but is larger, lower, and much easier to find. I haven't found any complaints about the location of the switch from folks that own the current model.
The Ridgid R4510 competes with the Dewalt DW744XRS, the Bosch 4100-09, and the Makita 2705X1. All have similar capacities and come with rolling, folding stands, but the Ridgid is the least expensive of the bunch at the time of this writing, and actually has the best user ratings (at least at Home Depot).
Ridgid Table Saw R4512
The Ridgid R4512 is a contractor saw with a 13 amp, fully enclosed fan-cooled motor. It comes pre-wired for a 120V connection, but can be rewired to operate on 240V. Unlike many contractor saws, the R4512 has a fully enclosed cabinet which helps in dust collection and lowers the noise level. It has a standard 4" dust port.
The Ridgid R4512 has a cast iron center table, with stamped steel extension wings. It offers a 30" max rip capacity, and can handle a 13/16" dado blade. There is a two piece, toolless blade guard with anti-kickback pawls, and like the R4510 above, a two position riving knife that is not listed in the description on the Ridgid website.
A feature of the R4512 that is not commonly found on contractor saws is the built-in caster system. The One-Step caster system raises the saw on four casters for easy mobility. The casters are inside the legs so they don't get in the way like they do on some add-on mobile bases.
Overall, the R4512 Ridgid table saw has very positive reviews from people that actually own it. Owners really like the heft of the saw (after they get it unloaded and set up!). The Home Depot website lists it at 232 lbs. Most owners found it to be a very smooth, vibration free piece of equipment. Owners give it 4.4 out of 5 stars on the Home Depot website, with over 210 reviews at the time of this writing.
There are a few complaints or issues that have been reported more than once on the Ridgid R4512. Some folks don't like the two-piece rail system, and it has created a little grief for some owners in trying to get it set up and working smoothly. Several people found that the brackets for the caster system were installed upside down from the factory (you just unbolt them and flip them over, no big deal). The fence can become damaged during shipping, due to a combination of poor packaging and/or rough handling in transit.
A couple of owners had difficulty getting everything aligned properly. At least one owner ended up lengthening some slotted holes in order to provide enough adjustment to get the fence indicator to read accurately, and to get the blade parallel to the miter slots. And last but not least, many Ridgid R4512 owners wish it had cast iron extension wings.
Sidenote: If you are choosing your first table saw, or need help tuning up one you already own, there are several books available that could be a great resource. The two that seem to be recommended most often on the woodworking forums are Jim Tolpin's Table Saw Magic and Kelly Mehler's The Table Saw Book. Both of these books have good ratings on Amazon, and they cover all the basic operations, as well as safety, maintenance, and accessories.
The closest competition for the Ridgid R4512 would be the Porter-Cable PCB270TS. It has similar features and capacities, but costs about $100 more than the Ridgid (at the time of this writing). Honestly, it is going to be hard to beat the R4512 in its price range. It is a good quality table saw that is priced right, has a Lifetime Service Agreement available, and has great reviews.
Ridgid R45161 Benchtop Table Saw
The R45161 was just introduced in 2011 and is a lightweight benchtop table saw. It has wheels and a retractable handle that make it even easier to lug around the jobsite. The 15 amp motor spins the blade at 5000 RPM, and there is an integrated riving knife/spreader assembly. Rip capacity to the right of the blade is 24", and it has a 3-1/4" max cut depth.
A single hand wheel adjusts both the blade height and bevel. It comes with onboard storage for the included T-slot miter gauge, push stick, blade wrench and cord. With it being so new, there aren't many reviews out there yet, but the ones that are out there so far average 4.7 stars.
EDIT 3/29/2012: Well, I just checked today to update this page, and it seems that the R45161 doesn't come up in a search on the Home Depot website. When I do a Google search for it, I find the page, but it gives me an error message when I try to check the price at the local store.
The main competitors to the R45161 are the Bosch GTS1031 and the Dewalt DW745. Both of them are more expensive and have a smaller rip capacity, but also get great reviews.
All three Ridgid table saw models are a great value. They offer pretty much the same quality, features and capability of the best saws in their respective classes, but at a significantly lower price point. The free Limited Lifetime Service Agreement (for the original owner) is a HUGE selling point, too. All in all, I don't think you could go wrong with any of the Ridgid table saws.
You can get detailed specs on Ridgid table saws at the RIDGID.com website.