Author Topic: Ridgid TS2400 Bench-Top Table Saw  (Read 24195 times)

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Offline Matthew Schenker

  • Posts: 2619
Ridgid TS2400 Bench-Top Table Saw
« on: May 13, 2007, 08:17 AM »
Dan Clark recently started a discussion about what table saw is good for Festool owners.  Early on in my Festool ventures, I decided a bench-top saw was the perfect answer, since I do not need a full-size contractor, hybrid saw, or cabinet saw.  In searching for a bench-top saw, I looked at models by Ridgid, Bosch, DeWalt, and Makita.  I narrowed it down to the Bosch 4000 and the Ridgid TS2400.  But still I could not decide, so I went to Lowe's to pick up the Bosch, then went to Home Depot to pick up the Ridgid.  I brought both saws back to my shop and compared them side by side. In the end, the TS2400 proved itself to be far superior.  I've been using the Ridgid in my shop, very happily, for the past two years.

Below is my comparison of the Ridgid TS2400 and the Bosch 4000:

Introduction
I am amazed that tool reviews in woodworking magazines almost always put the Bosch 4000 ahead of the Ridgid, or say the two saws are equal. I have no hesitation in saying that either these reviewers are not looking very closely, or the Bosch 4000 I tested was a major lemon.  I own a few Bosch tools, and have found them to be of excellent quality.  However, when it comes to bench-top table saws, Ridgid wins.  Of course, many elements are in the realm of opinion, but there are numerous elements in the realm of facts and measurements.  That's what I wanted to focus on when I did my comparison.

So I did a side-by-side test of the two saws.

Housing and Table Surfaces
The Ridgid TS2400 looks and feels like a heavier-duty machine. The housings of both the Bosch and the Ridgid are plastic, but Ridgid's is heavier. Both table surfaces are aluminum, but the Ridgid's is more substantial. Measuring with a dial caliper, I found that the aluminum table of the Bosch is 0.161" thick. The Ridgid table is 0.238" thick. That's a substantial difference.

Power Switch
The power switches of both saws is a paddle style, situated on the left. Both designs are fairly easy to access and switch on and off smoothly.  Both companies could do a better job of having an easier-to-access power switch, but they are roughly equal.

Weight
The Ridgid TS2400 weighs 122 lbs.
The Bosch 4000 weighs 109 lbs.

Rip Fence
The rip fences on both of these table saws lock down securely, but beyond that, the Ridgid far excels the Bosch. The Ridgid fence is as good as any you'll see on any contractor saw, and even some cabinet saws. It rides elegantly along its track and locks down very easily.  It has a micro-adjust wheel, which works fine but I don't find myself using it very much.

Even before you tighten it down, the Ridgid fence remains parallel with the blade. By contrast, the Bosch fence moves clunkily in the rail, and it is never parallel to the blade before tightening. The Ridgid fence is a solid section of aluminum extrusion, 2 3/4" high and 2" wide. The Bosch fence is lighter aluminum, 2 1/2" high and 1 1/2" wide. Holding the Bosch fence in one hand and the Ridgid in the other hand, you can really feel the difference in weight. The Ridgid fence has two T-slots on the top surface and two in the sides. The Bosch fence has one T-slot at the top.

Both saws use nuts to adjust the fence square with the blade. I found that both systems work well for adjusting the fence.

Both saws have a rip capacity of 25" to the right. With the Ridgid, to make rips beyond 13", you simply extend the table and continue reading off the fence cursor. When ripping beyond 13" on the Bosch, you extend the table, set your fence at 13", and then read the actual measurement off a second indicator on the table. Not only is this confusing, but having two indicators compounds the possibility for error.

The cursors for the rip fence on both machines have a magnifying glass for easier reading. Both saws allow adjustments by loosening a screw and moving the cursor left or right. The Ridgid ruler is a tape; the Bosch ruler is a scale glued to the fence rail. The Ridgid ruler has 1/32" gradations; the Bosch ruler has 1/16" gradations.

Checking the fences for squareness against the table surface reveals the first of what I consider a major flaw in the Bosch design. Using a 2" engineer's square, I tested to make sure each fence was 90 degrees to the table surface.  The Ridgid is absolutely square with the table throughout its entire length. The Bosch fence, by contrast, was twisted. At the front of the fence, it was twisted towards the blade; at the rear, it was twisted away from the blade. There is no way to fix this.

Space in Front of Blade
The TS2400 has a big advantage here. To compare the two saws, I raised the blades to maximum height, then using a ruler measured from the tip of the forward-most blade tooth to the edge of the table. The Bosch 4000 measures 6 3/4". The Ridgid TS2400 measures 8 3/4". Having an extra 2" of space before the blade makes a  noticeable difference when cutting.

Miter Slots
Checking the miter slots of each of these saws brings up the second of Bosch's major flaws.

I tested each miter slot with my Incra 1000SE miter gauge. In the Ridgid, I could easily calibrate the Incra so it ran smoothly throughout the entire length of both the left and right miter slots with absolutely no slop -- from the front of the miter slot all the way to the back. Using a straight edge, I measured the walls of the miter slots. The Ridgid slots were perfectly flat throughout their entire length.

With the Bosch, I could not adjust the Incra miter gauge to run inside the miter slots without slop. Even worse, the slop varied at different points inside the slots. At the front of the left miter slot, the slop was about 0.019" measured with a feeler gauge. Near the rear of the miter slot, the slop was about .010". I detected the same range of discrepancy in the right Bosch miter slot, although at different spots. In addition, when I held a straight-edge up to the walls of the Bosch miter slots, they were crooked in various spots. This, in my opinion, is simply unacceptable.

The Ridgid miter slots are T-slot design. I do not use the T-slots, but the Ridgid at least allows the possibility.

Blade Guard
Here is the one element where the Bosch 4000 outshines the Ridgid TS2400. I am very big on safety, and believe it or not I actually use the guard and splitter that come with the saw, so this is important to me.

The Ridgid guard has a standard sheet-metal splitter. It feels a bit large and heavy. However, the Ridgid has a great system for removing and replacing the guard assembly: you simply unscrew a star knob at the back of the machine to take the guard off and then tighten the star knob to put it back on.

The Bosch guard is more compact. But most importantly, the Bosch splitter rises and falls with the blade, keeping the splitter at a constant distance from the blade for better safety. This is the feature that most drew me to the Bosch initially, and I give Bosch a lot of points here. But this one highlight is overshadowed by the list of weaknesses I encountered with the Bosch.

Blade-Height/Bevel Mechanism
Both saws employ a dual-function wheel for blade height and bevel angle. But there are several key differences. The Bosch height-adjustment wheel is stiffer than the Ridgid. With moderate pressure I can flex the stem of the Ridgid blade height/bevel angle assembly. With the Bosch, I was not able to flex the assembly.

Over two years of use, I have never had a problem with the Ridgid height-adjustment wheel.  It has never broken or jammed, despite the fact that it does flex more than the Bosch.

The Bosch, like many other bench-top saws, has no height lock. By contrast, the Ridgid has a blade-height lock.

To set the bevel angle on the Ridgid, you loosen a lever, then turn a dial to set the blade angle. I find it to be very smooth and easy to turn the dial a bit one way or the other to zero in on a precise angle. To set the bevel angle on the Bosch, you loosen a lever and push the whole assembly one way or the other until you get it to the right setting. This is typical of bench-top saws, but it is not as precise, and more frustrating.

Dust Collection
Both of these saws have exhaust ports for dust collection. I didn't see much of a difference here between the two. They both do a fair job collecting dust when hooked to a vacuum. The Bosch exhaust port is aluminum, the Ridgid is plastic.  However, the Ridgid port has held up perfectly in the past two years of use.

One oddity with the Ridgid: it has a series of vertical plastic ribs inside the dust port.  I'm not sure about the purpose of these ribs, but because little chunks of wood will not fit through the ribs, it didn't take long for the port to get clogged.  I used a set of clippers to cut the ribs away, opening up the dust port.

Alignment and Calibration
Out of the box, I had to tweak both of these saws to get them just right. But I had to do a lot more tweaking with the Bosch, and several things about the Bosch were just un-tweakable (like the miter slots and the leaning/twisted fence I mentioned above). In general, the Bosch is much more frustrating to adjust. The Ridgid system for adjusting the main table, extension table, fence, and blade angle are all easier to do and more precise.   It took me exactly half the time to loosen the screws on the Ridgid table surface, align the table, and tighten the screws again.  The same goes for the table extension and rip fence.

After using the Ridgid for two years, I have never had to adjust the table or fence again after the initial setup.  I have no way of knowing whether the Bosch holds up its alignment after two years, since it was not the saw I eventually kept!

In Operation
The Bosch has a soft-start and electronic-feedback system. The Ridgid lacks these features, and it does make a noticeable different when you flip the power switch.  However, I did not really see any difference in actual use.

Both saws cut smoothly, and have enough power for my uses.  Cutting through 3/4" plywood and solid oak was smooth and easy with both saws, using the factory-installed blades.  I ran a couple of test cuts on each saw with 2x oak, and again both saws cut smoothly and cleanly, with apparently equal power.  I did not test them on anything thicker than 2x.

However, when it comes to accuracy, the Bosch simply falls behind.  The Ridgid system made it much easier and quicker to adjust the blade angle for a bevel cut.  And, being safety-conscious, I like the fact that the Ridgid fence is square with the table surface.  When using a miter gauge, it's nice to know that the miter slots on the Ridgid are true and consistent.  I felt very uncomfortable with the Bosch, knowing that the rip fence is twisted one way then another, and knowing that the miter slots are sloppy.

Mobile Base
Both the Bosch and the Ridgid come with mobile bases that are equal in quality and usefulness. Both mobile bases are stable during cutting. However, if you are buying one of these saws to save space in your shop, you may be disappointed. The mobile bases are both somewhat difficult to maneuver and require a wide turning radius.  I plan to build a mobile cabinet under my saw.

Conclusion
This might sound like stretch, but in my mind the Ridgid TS2400 is a bench-top saw that competes with contractor saws in quality and capacity, especially in its fence design.

I own several Bosch tools. I like the company's products, and I thought the Bosch 4000 table saw would be a close competitor with the Ridgid TS2400. I actually came into my test favoring the Bosch, because I really liked its blade guard and splitter.  While doing the tests, I admit I was pulling for the Bosch to win, because I like these safety features a lot.  But as the tests progressed, the Bosch simply fell further and further behind in almost every important category, and in some regards I found the Bosch to be surprisingly sub-standard.

My conclusion is, except for a clear advantage in the splitter/blade guard, and a slight advantage in the stiffness of the blade-height assembly, the Bosch was unimpressive in its overall fit and finish, its cutting accuracy, its  capacities, ease of adjustments, rip fence, and miter slots.

So, after the test was done, the Bosch 4000 went back to Lowe's.  The Ridgid TS2400 stayed in my shop, and it has been the saw I go to, when I need a table saw, for the past two years.

Addendum
When I rip full sheets of plywood, I use my Festool TS55 and guide rails.  I do my crosscutting on the Festool MFT.  This means I don't use a table saw for much in my shop, which is why I opted for a bench-top rather than a contractor, hybrid, or cabinet saw.  But when I do need the table saw for something, I want it to be reliable, and the Ridgid has come through for me many times.  It's been a good partner to my Festool equipment.

Bosch has recently announced a new version of the 4000 bench-top saw (the 4001).  It has several new enhancements, including an even better blade guard and riving knife.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 11:28 AM by Matthew Schenker »
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Offline James Metcalf

  • Posts: 208
Re: Ridgid TS2400 Bench-Top Table Saw
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2007, 09:52 AM »
Matthew

Good report. Well done.Thanks for taking the time.

Offline mastercabman

  • Posts: 1852
  • NORFOLK,VA
Re: Ridgid TS2400 Bench-Top Table Saw
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2007, 10:03 AM »
nice review Matt! i have the bosch for about 7 years now,and i'm still happy with it.(i had to put new bearings and brushes a couple of years ago).i hear good thing about ridgid tools,but i'm scare to invest on ridgid.i don't know why.i did use the ridgid saw a few times,and it was ok,but i didn't feel like it was that much better than my bosch.(i guess i'm use to my bosch).i also have the gravity rise stand,nice!,very nice!i will look at my bosch saw and check for the fence to be square with the table.i will also check the miter slots.  i will let you know what i found.
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline Lou Miller

  • Posts: 482
  • North Wales, PA
    • Some of my work
Re: Ridgid TS2400 Bench-Top Table Saw
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2007, 10:22 AM »
Matt, excellent comparison. However, you could have just asked me ;D

To be fair to Bosch, you obviously tested a machine that had some manufacturing flaws. I've used a bunch of Bosch table saws (they are a huge favorite with contractors and I see them on jobsites all the time) and they have all performed very well when I used them. Having said that, I own one of the original TS2400s that was made by Emerson (more grey instead of orange) and I couldn't be happier with the way its held up through very heavy use.

The one knock I read about the Rigid on woodworking forums is that its currently made by Ryobi. A lot of people seem leary of trusting it due to the association with Ryobi. While I understand that, its not made to Ryobi specs. Its made to Rigid's specs and its still very close to the same build quality of when they were made by Emerson. As you pointed out above, its a very well made saw.

Offline Matthew Schenker

  • Posts: 2619
Re: Ridgid TS2400 Bench-Top Table Saw
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2007, 09:46 AM »
i hear good thing about ridgid tools,but i'm scare to invest on ridgid.i don't know why.i did use the ridgid saw a few times,and it was ok,but i didn't feel like it was that much better than my bosch.(i guess i'm use to my bosch).i also have the gravity rise stand,nice!,very nice!i will look at my bosch saw and check for the fence to be square with the table.i will also check the miter slots.  i will let you know what i found.

I felt the same way you did at first -- I believed the Bosch had to be better, because I just had this mental block about buying anything of quality from Home Depot.  But I can honestly say that the Ridgid line is a star of my otherwise lackluster experiences at the BORG.  Not all their tools, of course, but the TS2400 has been good for me!

As I mentioned in the review, I was in favor of the Bosch at first.  I like the Gravity Rise system.

To be fair to Bosch, you obviously tested a machine that had some manufacturing flaws. I've used a bunch of Bosch table saws (they are a huge favorite with contractors and I see them on jobsites all the time) and they have all performed very well when I used them. Having said that, I own one of the original TS2400s that was made by Emerson (more grey instead of orange) and I couldn't be happier with the way its held up through very heavy use.

Perhaps I did get a lemon from Bosch.  As I was doing my testing, especially with the sloppy miter slots and fence issues, that thought occurred to me many times.  However, things like the thickness of the aluminum table and the space in front of the blade are essential characteristics.  If it were not for the Bosch's defects, I would probably have been able to ignore the table thickness and space in front of the blade.  I really do like Bosch's blade guard/splitter assembly better.

The one knock I read about the Rigid on woodworking forums is that its currently made by Ryobi. A lot of people seem leary of trusting it due to the association with Ryobi. While I understand that, its not made to Ryobi specs. Its made to Rigid's specs and its still very close to the same build quality of when they were made by Emerson. As you pointed out above, its a very well made saw.

I did not know the Ridgid was made by Ryobi.  I owned a Ryobi BT3100 prior to buying the Ridgid.  Actually, I had the BT3100 prior to owning Festool tools!  Didn't like it, although I know a lot of people swear by this table saw.

Matthew
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Offline Lou Miller

  • Posts: 482
  • North Wales, PA
    • Some of my work
Re: Ridgid TS2400 Bench-Top Table Saw
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2007, 06:04 PM »
The one knock I read about the Rigid on woodworking forums is that its currently made by Ryobi. A lot of people seem leary of trusting it due to the association with Ryobi. While I understand that, its not made to Ryobi specs. Its made to Rigid's specs and its still very close to the same build quality of when they were made by Emerson. As you pointed out above, its a very well made saw.

I did not know the Ridgid was made by Ryobi.  I owned a Ryobi BT3100 prior to buying the Ridgid.  Actually, I had the BT3100 prior to owning Festool tools!  Didn't like it, although I know a lot of people swear by this table saw.

Matthew

When the Rigid line of tools first hit the shelves at HD, they were all made by Emerson. After some time went by, they switched over to Ryobi's parent company for all manufacturing and the tools became predominately orange. Other than the motors, I don't think there's any drop off in overall quality. IMO, the Emerson motors were better though. To this day I push my saw quite a bit harder than I should be and its never skipped a beat. I spent half the day today resawing 2x4s on it with a full kerf blade. Never even bogged down.

You can't compare anything that says Ryobi on it to the Rigid line of tools. Even though they may come out of the same factories, they are entirely different lines of tools. Ryobi is a very cheaply made tool with low standards on their specs. Rigid is basically on par with Bosch, Porter Cable, Dewalt, etc. Ryobis are only an entry level tool. Other than the TS2400, I'm not the biggest fan of Rigid tools (mostly because I despise Home Depot so much... just being honest), but I do have to admit they are made quite well.