You may have noticed some different Ridgid table saws at your local Home Depot. As part of the NEXT series that also includes miter saws, a belt sander, and a planer, we were curious to see what the flagship Ridgid R4550 portable jobsite table saw has to offer.
Check out our best portable jobsite table saws article for even more great recommendations
Ridgid R4550 Portable Jobsite Table Saw Performance
Ridgid’s 15-amp motor is capable of 5000 RPM and the saw has the power to cut hardwoods effectively. Just keep the pressure steady and feel/listen for the RPMs to make sure they’re staying high. As long as you do that, you don’t have to worry about burning your material as you cut.
Even with the stock blade, we were very pleased with the stability of our cuts. There’s no chatter or blade wobble as long as you don’t try to feed too quickly.
If you want to cut dadoes, you’re in business. You can swap the 10-inch standard blade out for 8-inch dado stacks up to 11/16 of an inch.
The table has a generous size with 32 1/2 inches of rip capacity to the right and 22 inches to the left. This should be more than enough to make the cuts a portable table saw excels at.
Ridgid R4550 Portable Jobsite Table Saw Design
Rack and Pinion Fence System
Overall, there’s a lot to like about the design, starting with the rack-and-pinion fence system. If you haven’t used that style before, it eliminates some of the squaring issues that come with clamping styles and it makes adjustments faster.
If you’re familiar with this fence style, Ridgid does have a few differences to look out for. The main thing is how you attach the fence. The hooks need to come up from below to grab hold of the attachment points and then pivot down to lock the rails in place.
Where this can get confusing is that there are slip-over points on the inside of the fence rails that will also lock onto the same attachment points. This is for storage, though, and attaching the fence that way puts your measurement marks way off.
As with most rack and pinion systems, there’s an additional fence support that flips around. When you’re set up for wider cuts, it sits flush with the table and acts as your outside support. When you’re set up for narrower cuts, it sits on top of the table and gives the main fence structure some breathing room that makes for better sightlines and less risk of hitting your push stick on the way through.
Ridgid doesn’t have the easiest accessory connections we’ve ever seen, but they are far better than what comes on basic saws. Start by bringing the riving knife up to its through-cut position and then install the anti-kickback pawls. Of the three slots/holes you see on the riving knife, the pawls go on the middle one. Pinch in the sliver button as you slide it on and then release the button. You should feel/hear it click into place. Give it a gentle tug to make sure it’s secure.
The blade guard is even easier. There’s a support bar running through the back that needs to hook into the last slot on the riving knife. Once you pull that into place, tilt the guard toward you until the forward support rests in its slot. Push the orange lever on the guard down and it locks into place.
Every table saw manufacturer has to deal with how you store the accessories and we like the design that Ridgid came up with. The blade guard, anti-kickback pawls, and miter gauge have easy-to-access spots underneath the table.
The fence stores upside down and locks onto the same attachment points it sits on when you’re cutting. The difference is you don’t use the hooks. Instead, find the slots on the inside of the rails and slide those onto the attachment points. You’ll hear/feel them click into place and you’re good to go.
The push stick stores on the fence.
Table Saw Stand
The Ridgid R4550 comes with a table saw stand and it’s easy to use. From the vertical storage position, grab the handle and press the release with your foot. Push the handles down the saw easily lifts into position as it tilts forward.
When you’re done cutting, just reverse the process.
The stand has 8-inch wheels and you can roll around easily in most conditions. There are some sloppier environments (as I listen to the thunder rolling outside right now) where we’d like to have the larger wheels we’ve used on other stands.
- No-fall bevel adjustment
- Lockable on/off switch
- Won’t automatically turn on if you lose power
Ridgid R4550 Portable Jobsite Table Saw Price
What’s great is that Ridgid isn’t getting away from its high-value pricing structure. The table saw with a stand runs $499 at The Home Depot. Our local store doesn’t have them in stock, but if you order online, they’ll ship it to the store for pickup or to your home/business for free.
Ridgid covers the saw with a 5-year warranty.
The Bottom Line
While the fence system takes a little getting used to, we really like the overall package that Ridgid offers with the R4550 portable table saw. Its stable cutting performance, overall design, and attractive price point put it near the top of our list.
- Model: Ridgid R4550
- Motor: 15-amp
- Power Source: 120V AC
- Blade Diameter: 10 inches
- Max Speed: 5000 RPM
- Rip Capacity: 32 1/2 inches right, 22 inches left
- Bevel Capacity: 45°
It looks like these Ridgid NEXT tools are rebranded Delta tools. This looks like a rebranded 36-6023, the R4241/4251 looks like a rebranded Cruzer, the R4560 contractor saw looks like a rebranded 36-725T2, etc. Not saying that is bad. Actually it is good knowing the origin of these tools, as delta makes some very good saws.