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  • Comparing TS2400 with Bosch 4000 (long)

    For a long time, I was comparing the TS2400 and the Bosch 4000. I couldn't decide which one was better, so I bought both saws and compared them side by side in my shop. In the end, the TS2400 was far superior.

    It seems to me that the Ridgid designers set out to create a bench-top saw that competes with contractor saws in quality and capacity. The Bosch designers wanted to design a slightly better bench-top saw.

    I know that a lot of people are out there looking at these two saws, trying to figure out which is better. Perhaps my experiences might be useful to those who are having a difficult time deciding.

    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 I got a major lemon. Of course, many elements are in the realm of opinion, but there are numerous elements in the realm of facts and measurements.

    Here is what I found in my side-by-side test.

    Overall Design and Finish
    The Ridgid TS2400 looks and feels like a heavier-duty machine. The housing of both saws is 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.

    The power switches of both saws is a paddle style, situated on the left. Both designs are easy to access and switch on and off smoothly.

    The Ridgid weighs 122 lbs., the Bosch 109 lbs.

    Fence
    Here is where the Ridgid begins to zoom ahead of the Bosch. Both fences lock down securely, but beyond that, there is simply no comparison between the two. 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, locks down easily, and the micro-adjust wheel works well.

    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 surfce 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. This system works well.

    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 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.

    Squaring up the fence reveals the first of Bosch's fatal flaws. The Ridgid is absolutely square with the table throughout its entire length. The Bosch fence, by contrast, is twisted. At the front of the fence, it was tilted to the left, and at the rear it was tilted to the right. 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". This is a noticeable difference.

    Miter Slots
    This brings up the second of Bosch's fatal flaws.

    I tested each miter slot with my Incra 1000SE miter gauge. In the Ridgid, I easily made the Incra gauge run smoothly in the miter slots with absolutely no slop from the front 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 tight enough 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 .019" measured with a feeler gauge. Near the rear of the miter slot, the slop was about .010". I detected the same sort of discrepency in the other Bosch miter slots, although with different variations. In addition, when I held a straight-edge up to the walls of the Bosch miter slots, I found them to be 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 outshines the Ridgid. I am very big on safety, and 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 wheel feels stiffer than the Ridgid. With moderate pressure I can flex the stem of the Ridgid blade height/bevel angle assembly. With the Bosch, it would take a lot more force to flex that stem. I don't know how important this is, so I can't say whether it is a plus in favor of the Bosch, but it is noticeable.

    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 crank to dial in the angle. I find it to be very smooth and easy to turn the crank 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 the bevel assembly just swings freely. This is typical of bench-top saws, but it is not as precise and much 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 pretty good job of collecting dust. The Bosch exhaust port is aluminum, the Ridgid is plastic.

    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). 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.

    In Operation
    The Bosch has a soft-start and electronic-feedback system. The Ridgid lacks these features, but I don't see that it makes much difference in actual use. Both saws cut well, but accuracy is where the Bosch falls behind, especially when cutting miters. And that leaning and twisted fence on the Bosch makes me nervous.

    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 difficult to maneuver and require a wide turning radius. Also, both mobile bases occupy a large area. I plan to build a mobile cabinet under my saw.

    Conclusion
    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. In the beginning, I actually came into the test favoring the Bosch, due to its better blade guard. But, after my tests, the Bosch was far behind in almost every category, and in some regards I find the Bosch to be suprisingly sub-standard. Except for an advantage in the splitter/riving knife, the Bosch did not impress me with its overall fit and finish, cutting accuracy, capacities, and ease of adjustments.

    Guess which one will be remaining in my shop? That's right -- the Ridgid TS2400.

    [ 10-18-2005, 08:12 AM: Message edited by: MSchenker ]

  • #2
    Great review, thanks for spending the time to share the details

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the review...having just purchased a TS2400 a few weeks ago it was nice to read what other users think. I have used the saw on jobsites last week and couldn't be more pleased with my purchase. For me the fence says it all.
      Harvey
      If your gonna fix it...do it right

      Comment


      • #4
        That is a great review and I thank you for your efforts. I have had a TS2400 for almost a year. I am very pleased with it and have recommended it to others. I have continually wondered if I should have gone with the Bosch and never had a chance for a side-by-side comparison. However, each time I see a Bosch I find something else I do not like, starting with the fence. The main selling point for me was the mobile base on the Ridgid (which was not available on the Bosch at the time), the fence and a good write-up in a woodworking magazine. But the main problem I had with the 2400 was R.I.D.G.I.D. – sort of the same way I feel about Craftsman, I didn’t really want one of those tools in my shop.

        Neither of these machines is cheap and I always recommend looking at contractor saws before deciding on one of these “tabletops”. For me, space and portability were the driving issues, so a contractors saw was out of the question – my “shop” is a crowded two car garage in NJ and a small shed at my summer home in Maine – and I need the saw to run between the two homes in the back of my Volvo wagon – the 2400 is perfect.

        I am adding my comments to your major review headings but I believe you missed one big point – noise – my 2400 screams – it is much too loud, in my opinion, and I wear hearing protection just to start the thing. I e-mailed Ridgid to ask if this was to be expected and got no reply – the reason, by the way, that I shy away from other Ridgid products. Perhaps a comparison with the Bosch is in order, if you still have it – maybe even a decibel meter comparison. I worry that the motor I have may be defective and won’t last – well, I’ll wait and see at this point, after all, this machine is not used everyday.

        My comments are about the TS2400

        Fence
        The cursor is easily moved if bumped, especially when storing or removing from its storage rack. It is only plastic so don’t try to tighten the thing too much (“too much” is the one one millionth foot pounds of pressure placed on it just before breaking.) Check it each time you reinstall the fence and it will serve just fine. Abuse the fence and this will certainly be the first thing to go.

        Blade guard/Splitter
        The most important thing to me is that the blade guard/splitter is one device and works very well AND is easy to take off and put on. There are many times that a blade guard comes off – actually, with my other saw it was only once – so ease of re-installation encourages its use. The blade guard also stores very easily on board the machine, so you won’t leave it behind when moving the machine.

        Dust Collection
        The plastic dust exhaust port has three plastic verticle veins, like a grate, that tend to clog and inhibit free flow ejection of the sawdust. I clipped these off and have experienced no adverse consequence. The bottom of the saw is open and lots of sawdust falls t the floor. I have placed a box beneath the unit and plan to attach a canvass chute to the bottom of the unit with Velcro to keep this dust from escaping.

        Blade-Height/Bevel Mechanism
        I have had no difficulties with these mechanisms. They operate smoothly and hold firmly.

        In Operation
        The Bosch has pull out extensions on the sides and rear – very convenient. The sliding extension right table of the Ridgid is also very convenient but on-board out feed support would be nice.

        The Ridgid does have soft start, contrary to your comment in this section.

        Mobil Base
        I think you missed the boat here. The Ridgid has a collapsible base that is very easy to move around in both the operating position and the stored (collapsed) position. The base is easy to set up and to collapse and once collapsed it takes up only twenty inches of depth so it can be stored up against a wall well out of the way. I bought this unit for this very reason!

        Conclusion
        My only complaint is the noise of the universal motor – way too loud. In all other respects I think this is a superior machine. It is very mobile, has great on-board storage for fence, blade guard, miter gauge, and extra blades. It is stable during use, the motor is powerful enough to attack anything that I have put through it so far (up to six quarter oak), the fence is great, blade guard/splitter is easy to attach and detach and the base collapses to a nice compact unit for easy storage. Just remember, it is not a contractor or cabinet saw so don’t compare it to those machines. If budget is your thing rather than portability, look for a contractor saw of similar or slightly higher price – you will be happier.

        Ray

        Comment


        • #5
          Excellent review. I have had my 2400 for a few years now and have always loved it. I never paid much attention to the noise level, my first table saw was a Skil and it was terrible. Biggest differences between the New orange 2400 and my old gray would be the micro adjust knob you mentioned on the fence and the dust chute. My saw has a 2 1/2" chute but does an excellent job with my DC system.
          info for all: http://www.hoistman.com http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/index....wwtoolinfoforu --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."

          Comment


          • #6
            I did not notice the mention of the 4" dust port in the review - not so, at least not on my year old orange machine - strictly shop vac size at 2 1/2".

            The micro adjust is very convenient. I laughed at it when I first saw it - it is just a friction wheel - but it works great.
            Ray

            Comment


            • #7
              Ray,
              Thanks for your response, and for your own review!

              This might sound obvious, but believe me you see some things better when the two saws are side-by-side. Like a lot of people, I went from Home Depot to a Tool Store and back to Home Depot, etc, trying to keep details in my head for comparison. But that just is a lot less effective.

              You are right about the noise, and I should have mentioned that in my review. Comparing the Ridgid to the Bosch, the noise level is a little more with the Ridgid. It is a louder saw, but BOTH saws scream, so you need ear protection with either one.

              I have not noticed that the fence cursor moves easily when bumped. Maybe Ridgid has improved this item on the new saws? I bought my saw just about a month ago.

              I also like those fence extensions on the Bosch, but I use a bench top with a flat surface for outfeed support. This system will support more weight.

              You might be correct about the mobile base when it is folded up, but I find it difficult to move around when opened up. It's kind of a moot point with me anyway, since I'm building a mobile cabinet with storage space for accessories.

              I agree that either the Ridgid or the Bosch are still bench-top saws. If someone really wants more capacity, and has the shop space, they should get a contractor or cabinet saw.

              Of course, this is not a contractor saw. However, I really think the TS2400 has some capacities that edge it a little closer than other bench-top models to contractor-saw level. I'm talking specifically about its superior fence and more space in front of the blade.

              Comment


              • #8
                I bought my TS2400LS in January and it also has a std. 2.5" dust port.

                Thank you RAY for the idea of breaking out those 2 plastic bars in the dust chute. I was cutting dados both cross-cut & ripping (multiple passes using the std. blade) and the ribbons of wood from ripping were catching on those bars and clogging up the dust port. It was pretty anoying, but I was hesitant to break them out until you mentioned it a while back in another thread.

                I also did some serious comparison between the Bosch and the Ridgid (well maybe not as serious as you !!). But did my more critical look at the Bosch AFTER already owning my Ridgid. Since it took 4 hours to set it up properly, I practically knew every square inch of the Ridgid !! After the more critical 2nd look at the Bosch 4000, I came away feeling like I had made the better purchase with the Ridgid.

                From various reviews, the Bosch seemed to get higher praises. But I had a H-D gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket, plus the Bosch was $60 more at the local tool store. Could have bought on Amazon.com for around $530 ($30 less) with free shipping, but then you would have possible damage to deal with.

                Doug

                Comment


                • #9
                  Of course, this is not a contractor saw. However, I really think the TS2400 has some capacities that edge it a little closer than other bench-top models to contractor-saw level. I'm talking specifically about its superior fence and more space in front of the blade.
                  I agree and that is one reason I am so happy with the saw - it exceeded my expectations. Besides, I have always said "It is not what you have but what you do with what you have." So when a weakness of the "tabletop" design shows up, I work around it - that ain't the saw's fault - and it adds to my enjoyment. I see you have the same outlook.

                  Dougmac, I don't know what those plastic pieces in the dust chute were for, but they sure got in the way quickly. When I first cut them out, I wondered if I was weakening something - but that does not appear to be the case. Anyway, shop vac hooked up, this port works very well. Now to stop the dust from falling out from the bottom - I'll address that next.
                  Ray

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    dougmac,
                    From various reviews, the Bosch seemed to get higher praises.
                    Like I said, when you look at these two saws side by side, it becomes rather clear that the Bosch 4000 is just a better bench-top, and the Ridgid TS2400 is a possible alternative to a contractor saw in a small shop. I don't blame Bosch so much for this, I suppose.

                    But I am irked by the reviews in woodworking magazines that don't make this distinction clear. Why on earth are the magazines saying that the Bosch is equal to or better than the Ridgid? I just read another review yesterday that again puts the Bosch ahead of the Ridgid. The magazine has a photo on the cover of a stack of bench-top saws piled on top of each other.

                    Are these reviewers actually using the saws and measuring details?

                    Not one review I've read mentions the extra 2" of space at the front of the table on the Ridgid. Not one review I've read mentions the fact that the Ridgid's aluminum table is 0.08" thicker than the Bosch. Even without a caliper, you can feel that difference. I can't recall any reviews mentioning the slop in the Bosch miter slots.

                    People are making buying decisions based partly on reviews. It's their responsibility to actually cover all the details you are going to encounter when you unpack the saw.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As I had said, I personally felt I had made the better purchase with the Ridgid; reguardless of the review results I had read.

                      Your efforts here have now confirmed my gut feelings ten-fold ... THANK YOU !!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I didn't see anything about the cut quality of the saw. I just read an article in Wood mag. last night that listed one of the low points of the TS2400LS was it's excessive play in the arbor ***. which resulted in noticable scoring on the cuts. I noticed the same on mine but thought it was just the crappy blade they put on the saw from the factory. The scores on the cut quality scale was Bosch b- and the TS2400LS c+ so I guess there isn't a huge advantage in the Bosch either but this does concern me. I bought this saw for my new home I'm building ( I have the TS3612 at home for my shop )and wanted it to do the finish trim and H/W floors and cabinet install but I'm not sure the cut quality is going to be there and what will it do in time, will it get worse?? just my 2 cents

                        Thanks, Jason

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This is my first post and i'm glad i found this forum. i like to read published tool reviews but like to hear it from actual users for the real deal.

                          i am in the exact position outlined in this thread. i have been debating between the Bosch, Rigid and Dewalt and was pretty much sold on the Bosch before finding this forum. Now I am seriously considering the Rigid. I was in the HD last night and took a closer look at some of the items brought up in this thread such as the thickness of the table, fence and blade guard, all of which made sense but what i found missing from the review is actual performance ie. quality of cut, power etc. The sum of the Bosch's shortfall's may not neccessarily equal inferior performance and at the end of the day, thats what is most important. Could have the tilting fence on the Bosch and issues with the mitre slots been specific to that table i.e. a lemon? I don't know.

                          Anyway I'm leaning more towards the Rigid but would like to hear more about how the performance stacks up against the Bosch and the Dewalt. One other thing I too find funny is how so many articles choose the Bosch as #1.

                          Two questions

                          1 - where is the micro adjust wheel you refer to as I don't recall seeing it.
                          2 - has anyone had any issues with the tape measure shifting or breaking? this was the only part of the saw I felt was a bit weak in design/construction.

                          Thanks for the review.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The micro-adjust wheel is on the front of the fence. It's a metal wheel with a textured (gripping) surface that rests just a few millimeters away from the front rail. When you unlock the fence you can press against the wheel with your thumb bringing it into contact with the rail and allowing you to precisely 'roll' the fence to the left or right to your desired location. Then just lock down the fence and you're set. It's like a big volume knob on a radio, except horizontal.

                            The tape measure on my TS2400 hasn't moved at all, nor do I anticipate it ever breaking. It's kind of recessed a bit and sits lower than the table surface so it rarely comes into contact with anything but the small brush I use to sweep away sawdust. A replacement shouldn't be very costly either, if you ever manage to mangle it up someday.

                            As far as performance goes, though I've never used the Bosch, I can't really imagine it doing a better job than the Ridgid as I've yet to note any area of performance that could be improved. It's a really solid machine and I'd buy another one without hesitation. I was in the same boat last year, trying to decide on which saw to buy, but settled on the Ridgid largely because of the fence; even when unlocked there's virtually no wiggle. I sometimes wish there was an outfeed extension or attachment or some kind, but other than that I'm more than happy with my purchase.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Seabird,
                              Well, I was pleasantly surprised to see my review suddenly reappear here!

                              I have now been using the Ridgid saw for about one year, and I am even more happy with it now than I was when I first got it. The saw continues to perform wonderfully, and I have nothing but praise for the design of this machine. I've cut loads of softwoods and hardwoods, miter cuts, bevels, long rips and short. The only thing I have not used it for is dadoes, but I do not do dadoes on a table saw, as a rule. It has constantly proved to be a reliable member of my shop team!

                              The saw holds it settings well, adjusts smoothly, and it has good power.

                              I agree with you that user reviews are more meaningful than magazine reviews. Unfortunately, the one thing I cannot offer you is a long-term comparison. I only had the Bosch in my shop for the testing, then it went back to the store.

                              However, what I can tell you is that, even if the Bosch did hold up, I would not have been happy with it. The way it was, new, was not good enough, in my opinion. Whether I got a lemon or not, I don't know. But some of the things I did not like about the Bosch had nothing to do with defects. For example, the fence is flimsy compared with the Ridgid. That's not a defect -- it's the way the fence was designed.

                              Likewise, the thinner material used on the Bosch table is an aspect of the machine. I'm proud to say that I'm the only reviewer who has ever pointed out the difference in table-material thickness. That extra material in the Ridgid saw makes a difference.

                              The one thing the Bosch saw has that I like is a riving-knife-style blade guard. But the Ridgid blade guard is easy to adjust, so it kind of makes up a little in that regard. I always saw with the guard on!

                              I can't imagine the tape breaking. It's made of metal, and as dingus pointed out it is recessed so it doesn't catch on anything.

                              The micro-adjust feature on the Ridgid fence is a good little addition. I use it a lot. I would not call it a major selling point, but it is nice to have.

                              Some other notes:
                              It would be great if Ridgid made an aftermarket extension table for the TS2400.

                              The dust chute has ribs of plastic that catch chunks of wood. I cut these ribs away and no longer have a problem.

                              The mobile base is very nice. I like it even more than I had said in my original review.

                              For me, the bottom line is that the Ridgid TS2400 is a very solid machine. Of course, it does not have a cast-iron table like a contractor saw, but it has a lot of the stability and accuracy of one, and I say its fence is as good as a lot of fences you see on contractor saws. The TS2400 has become one of those machines I have total confidence in.

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