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on March 3, 2011
I am an experienced woodworker and found this saw to be a very good value once tweaked. On initial assembly, the saw has unacceptable levels of vibration. It's now very smooth. Here are the tweaks.

1. Cut a 1/2" sheet of plywood to 14"x24" and mount it on top of the stand. Use the stand top as a pattern to cut the bolt holes. This will stabilize the stand and provide an even mounting surface for the saw and motor. You will need 4 5/16x1.5" bolts for the motor and 4 5/16x2" bolts for the saw.

2. Replace the belt that comes with the saw. I used a Dayco 15395 Fan Belt (http://www.amazon.com/Dayco-15395-Fan-Belt/dp/B000C0TAJ0). You could also use a link belt, but the fan belt is excellent.

3. Line up the pulleys with a straight-edge. The motor pulley is designed for a straight-edge on the outside edge.

4. Tension the belt by using a quick clamp to push the motor away from the saw. You can apply the pressure directly between the pulleys. This will also hold it in place while you tighten the bolts on the motor.

5. REPLACE THE BLADE. The ridgid blade that comes with the saw is very bad. Mine had a weld the bumped every rotation. I found the Bosch 1/2"x93-1/2" to be very good on this saw, and inexpensive.

6. Optional: I put 3" locking rubber casters with stems in place of the feet. Works great for moving the tool around the shop.

Overall, I think it is a very good tool once tweaked. With the cast-iron frame and beast of a motor, it should be something I can pass down to my kids.
88 comments| 70 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 13, 2011
I bought this saw in 2008 from the big box homedesperate. After spending hours setting it up following the manual, the saw was up and running. But the vibration was terrible. But since I only needed to rough cut some logs, I didn't really care at the time. The saw then spent most of its time in the storage. Lately I took it out for another project, I noticed the saw would jerk violently upon start up. Then after a few cuts, snap, the hinge that's holding the top wheel broke in half. I'm not a novice to woodworking, and know how to take care of my tools and not over tension the blade. Seems that the part just broke under nominal tension. I took the broken part to an iron work shop trying to weld it. After many unsuccessful attempts, the shop technician told me that it's made of bomb metal--brittle metal with high impurity that can't be welded. I just can't believe such critical load baring part is made of such inferior material.

I then called Ridgid service, since the tool is still under warantee. After a 15 min wait, finally some gal picked up and asked me for the usual purchase and registration info. I then explained to her the hinge broke and asked for a replacement. To my surprise, she refused to send me the part, and asked me to take the tool to their "nearest" service center, which is 50 miles away. I was furious, asking her if she is aware that the tool weighs over 200lbs. She just don't give a damn, citing the usual customer policy.

What a lesson! You'd think with their "life time warantee" the tool would last a while. Well, this will be the only, and the last Ridgid tool I'll ever buy.

P.S. I did repair the saw with part I bought from ereplacementpart.com which costed about $25. And I promptly got rid of it on CL. My advise to potential buyer: if you think you've got the muscle to hurl a 200lb tool into their "nearest" service center, this saw is definitely for you. Oh, and if you are shy of the weight, try their table saw, which is only 70lb. Anyone can carry that on their back and just breeze into their service center right?
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on April 30, 2017
I've had it several years. I use it less than once per month. It works great every time. I mostly use it to resaw 2X6 boards. I have heard about vibration, but it runs smooth for me.
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on February 17, 2010
I am an avid woodworker. Out of the box this saw will take care of routine hobby cutting needs. However, if you are looking for a machine that will do precise work, you WILL need to shell out a lot of extra dollars to get this saw to perform.

I purchased this saw and have been disappointed in many areas. Vibration is the #1 complaint. I am no woodworking rookie and have tweaked everything multiple times. At the end of the day, unless I build my own stand, this machine will always have what I consider to be unacceptable vibration levels. I planned to perform some re-sawing in excess of 6" so I called Ridgid to inquire about the 6" riser accessory. They are trying to charge $218 plus $22 shipping. The part is available for ~$100 elsewhere and Grizzly (which I have read fits this saw) sells theirs for $67. The fact that Ridgid would charge over HALF the cost for this kit is an outrage. Also, you will have to shell out more money to buy rails and a fence for this saw which will put you way over the cost of other competitors saws such as a Grizzly. If you are an intermediate+ woodworker then I would suggest you spend the extra $100 on a far superior machine which already includes accessories such as a fence! Please do not be short sided by the slightly lower price of this saw... Ridgid wants to rake you over the coals on the accessories.

This thoroughly disgusted me and I have sworn never to purchase another Ridgid product and informed their customer service as well.
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on December 27, 2016
Bought this saw about four years ago. Have several other rigid products but this saw is the worst,cheapist, badly made piece of junk. I even had a Harbor Freight bandsaw better than this Chinese junk. Save sanity and run away from this fraud.
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on October 6, 2013
I bought this saw less than two years ago. I don't use this machine that often, so there aren't very many hours of time on it. I used it today, and the tracking adjuster which is a cast metal part snapped in two, making the saw on usable.
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on October 11, 2011
I found this saw at a GREAT sale price at my local big box. So even with knowing about the vibration issues this saw is famous for, and knowing the issues could be cheaply/easily fixed, I bought it. I'm glad I did. As mentioned before, the saw vibrated horribly out of the box. My remedy:
1- Stiffened the top of the stand with a piece of plywood.
2- Got a few stick-on wheel weights from Pep-boys (free), and balanced the upper wheel.
3- Glued the upper tire to the upper wheel with rubber cement (hard to believe the factory didn't do this).
4- Bought a couple of premium blades (all stock blades are terrible, this is mandatory on any saw).
Blades aside, I spent about $5 and about 90 minutes on the fixes. I was rewarded with a VERY capable bandsaw at a GREAT price. I'm not sure I'd pay the normal asking price for this saw, but if properly discounted, it represents a great value for a buyer thats willing to make the necessary tweaks.
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on February 26, 2011
I have used this tool extensively over the past year. It was the only 14" bandsaw available to me locally at the time, and had researched and used other ridgid products and assumed it would be fine. A bandsaw, especially a cheap one, is unlike other power tools in that setup is more critical. By the time there is minor vibration from inferior belt, pulleys out of plane, slightly unbalanced wheels, bandsaw wheels out of plane, wheels slightly out of round, unsolid stand... you have an unuseable machine for resawing that will trip breakers from too much load on motor and not saw much. It is important to learn tool setup, and this saw will teach you that, but the problem is at the end of the day, you will pay for some aftermarket stuff just to get it to run right, spend a ton of time, and then you still wont have a fence, a table with positive stops or a good stand. The wheels will always be aluminum even if you get them balanced and get good ones. I wont give mine up because I could not find a good home for it and would not abandon it to landfill, but must recommend something with better quality control, alignment, a nice table and fence, a 1 HP motor is nice, but not essential if saw is stable, and a good stand. Grizzly sounds best if very price conscious, steel city seems good too but more money. Hate to disrespect my own machine, but that is what reviews are for I guess. Good luck.
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on December 30, 2012
The first band saw was damaged in shipment and replaced with only time frustrations. The second went together very smoothly. The directions were complete, accurate and sensible (unusual in today's world). Pay careful attention to the blade-guide-adjustment instructions. This is a solid, precise and smooth tool. I am satisfied. (I would like a fence and will buy or build one for this saw.)

Note: An earlier review mentioned "balance" and I followed up. While assembling I took off the factory-installed blade and tried to balance the upper and lower main wheels. It took 30 cents to balance the upper and 26 cents to balance the lower (that is a quarter and a nickel taped to the upper and a quarter and a penny taped to the lower). I marked the wheels, took off the coins, and finished assembly and started running the saw. The upper section vibrated with about an inch and a half displacement of the section (major shake). I got stick-on wheel weights from the tire store and hand-estimated the weight of the quarter and nickel as about 1/8 ounce (1/2 of a 1/4 oz lead weight). I put this small weight on the upper wheel and similar weight on the lower wheel and started to saw. The upper section had a VERY LITTLE vibration! It was essentially smooth. My point is a relatively small unbalance will make a big difference in operation! Five minutes dismounting the blade and balancing the wheels will be time well spent.

Note: The main deck comes with a protective coating. This can be easily removed with Brake & Parts Cleaner from you local auto supply store.
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on September 8, 2012
I purchased this band saw based on my prior experiance with Rigid tools. After having this saw for a little over a year, I have completely stopped using it. No amount of adjusting will get this saw to track even close to straight. I'm completely discusted with this tool.
The packing was so bad that when I took it out of the box, two of the mounting tabs that mount it to the base were broken from lack of packing support.
Save your money and get something that won't ruin so much material. Basically, I hate this thing and can't wait to replace it with something better made.
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