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  • R4511 vs. Unisaw

    I was all set to buy a delta unisaw and then I came across the postings about the new Ridgid granite saw. It may be apples and oranges and this may not be the right place to post this dilema but i need to make up my mind before the unisaw is gone.

    The unisaw is near new with the 52" fence. I've always wanted one and i can get it for an unbelievable price. Still more than the ridgid but I want whatever saw I buy to be the last one I ever buy.

    the unisaw does not have the riving knife and its 220 which I don't have (other than the dryer outlet) installed.

    Help me tip it one way or the other!

  • #2
    Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

    It's like comparing a tractor trailer to a pickup truck IMO. The R4511 should be ample saw for a hobbyist, and is a great buy at $600. The Uni is the gold standard industrial choice by which are other saws of similar design are compared. If you truly want this to be your last saw, go with the Uni and be done with it. There's a good possibility that an aftermarket riving knife called the "BORK" is available for the Uni now...if it's not available yet, he's working on it.

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    • #3
      Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

      I have a 3650 and like it very much. But I agree with hewood, there's no comparison to the Unisaw. The granite top can't make a contractor saw compete with a cabinet saw, it just makes it a contractor saw with a different top. The Unisaw is a better machine, much much smoother, more power, much better dust collection. The only downside is size with the long rails, weight and mobility -- even with a mobile base, the Uni is a handful. But if you can afford the size, I don't think there's any doubt what's better.... and 52" rails? Handy if you deal with sheet goods. If I had room, I would definitely have chosen a Uni or Powermatic cabinet saw... totaly different class.

      Is your Uni left tilt or right tilt? The factory makes both versions. Make sure your's is the direction you prefer. Also, I would confirm that it has the single phase motor.

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      • #4
        Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

        I agree that there is no comparison to the Unisaw but IMO the biggest advantage to the Unisaw is the 3 to 5 HP you get (depending on the model). That makes a gargantuan difference.

        Other than that is Delta's build quality. There are Unisaws out there that have been around since the 1940s and are still in use with the original motor.

        What makes the R4511 unique among hybrids is the fact that the trunions are cabinet mounted rather than table mounted (like the Craftsman models). That is going to make a huge difference in vibration but also makes the saw incredibly easy to adjust.

        My ONLY question is the durability of those legs. It looks to me that the only reason Ridgid when with legs is to incorporate the Herculift system. I would have liked them to have done it with a full length cabinet.

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        • #5
          Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

          No question. Uni, and deal with the 240v.
          The Ridgid may be a fine saw, but the Uni is a known performer, and truly a life time investment.
          Steve.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

            Another vote for the Unisaw

            As mentioned...

            Real cabinet saw vs. hybrid with legs...

            More power, 3 or 5 hp vs. 1.5 hp...

            Has been the "gold standard" for years...


            Also, while the granite top sounds interesting it is unproven (to me) yet.
            More mass is good and Ridgid says -> " 1 ¾ in. Thick Granite Table and Extensions – provide a no-rust, no warp, vibration-reducing surface"
            Ahh, but is it "no chip"?
            To me some of those edges would be vulnerable (edges of table, edges of miter slots etc.)

            220 is not that difficult to deal with (don't want to start anything but it really is more efficient )
            In a pinch you could run a heavy duty extesion cord from your dryer circuit (if close enough) until you're able to add a 220 circuit to your shop...
            Any other machinery acquisitions (present or future) would benefit as well.

            Both machines are nice but the Unisaw is better and will definitely last you for a lifetime

            Just my 2¢ worth
            Cheers! - Jim
            -------------
            All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

              I have owned a right tilt unisaw model 34-450 (vintage 1960’s) for several years, and have had no issues or regrets. If 240V service is an issue you can always step down to a 1.5 or 2.0 HP motor. Both of these motors offer 120V flexibility. Typically unisaws have very little vibration, minimal run out. They are also easy to maintain, after market accessories are also easy to find.

              Good luck

              Tgomez

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              • #8
                Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

                Originally posted by Sgt Beavis View Post
                ...What makes the R4511 unique among hybrids is the fact that the trunions are cabinet mounted rather than table mounted (like the Craftsman models)....
                Sorry Sarge, but for clarification, the Steel City and Craftman hybrids have cabinet mounted trunnions, and AFAIK come from the same plant as the Ridgid.

                Craftsman 22124 trunnions:

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

                  Originally posted by hewood View Post
                  Sorry Sarge, but for clarification, the Steel City and Craftman hybrids have cabinet mounted trunnions, and AFAIK come from the same plant as the Ridgid.

                  Craftsman 22124 trunnions:
                  Your right of course the Craftsman does have cab mounted trunnions. It also has those two rods. I understand they can be troublesome, something about twisting. The 4511 trunnions have no rods and do not look like those pictured. Beyond that, I'm sure you know more about this than I.

                  Buck

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                  • #10
                    Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

                    Originally posted by BuckB View Post
                    Your right of course the Craftsman does have cab mounted trunnions. It also has those two rods. I understand they can be troublesome, something about twisting. The 4511 trunnions have no rods and do not look like those pictured. Beyond that, I'm sure you know more about this than I.

                    Buck
                    My understanding is that the rods were much more problematic for contractor saws that have a motor creating leverage on the rods, they're especially vulnerable when the motor catches on things (DAMHIKT!) The rods on the earlier Steel City and Craftsman hybrids are indexed to prevent twisting, plus the motor location doesn't pose the leverage forces or the "lifting hazards" that the outboard motors do. Since their introduction in 2004, I've not yet read of any of the Steel City or Craftsman hybrids having alignment issues caused by the rods twisting. The newer Steel City and Ridgid hybrids use a one piece cast arbor carriage, which is a more elegant solution altogether, plus they include a true riving knife.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

                      Originally posted by hewood View Post
                      Sorry Sarge, but for clarification, the Steel City and Craftman hybrids have cabinet mounted trunnions, and AFAIK come from the same plant as the Ridgid.
                      Thank you for the correction. I was under the impression that it was table mounted.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

                        Originally posted by hewood View Post
                        My understanding is that the rods were much more problematic for contractor saws that have a motor creating leverage on the rods, they're especially vulnerable when the motor catches on things (DAMHIKT!) The rods on the earlier Steel City and Craftsman hybrids are indexed to prevent twisting, plus the motor location doesn't pose the leverage forces or the "lifting hazards" that the outboard motors do. Since their introduction in 2004, I've not yet read of any of the Steel City or Craftsman hybrids having alignment issues caused by the rods twisting. The newer Steel City and Ridgid hybrids use a one piece cast arbor carriage, which is a more elegant solution altogether, plus they include a true riving knife.
                        The fact that Steel City changed their design speaks volumes. In this day, this economy companies do not make changes unless they have a reason. In my opinion the reason was there were problems and Steel City was forced to eliminated them. Multipiece trunnion supports (bars/tubes) are problematic, it has been proven over and over that the multi pieces and not where the trunnions actually mount is the problem. Ridgid has always had a superior design in both their contractor saw 3650 which is now in their cabinet saw 4511.
                        Rev Ed

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

                          Originally posted by RevEd View Post
                          The fact that Steel City changed their design speaks volumes. In this day, this economy companies do not make changes unless they have a reason. In my opinion the reason was there were problems and Steel City was forced to eliminated them. Multipiece trunnion supports (bars/tubes) are problematic, it has been proven over and over that the multi pieces and not where the trunnions actually mount is the problem. Ridgid has always had a superior design in both their contractor saw 3650 which is now in their cabinet saw 4511.
                          I suspect the motivating reason was to accommodate a riving knife.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

                            Originally posted by hewood View Post
                            I suspect the motivating reason was to accommodate a riving knife.
                            Riving knives from what I read are only required on saws (new or revised models) introduced AFTER Jan 1, 2008. Existing designs such as the 3650 could continue to be sold until the end of 2010 which is when all TSs must comply with the new requirements for tool-less guards and riving knives. To me this would seem to leave open the possibility for a mass sell of of any remaining stock as the end of 2009 approaches, but that is just a guess on my part. If manufacturers have cut back production and offer incentives to move out current stock then they may clear out any remaining old stock and be in a favorable position by the end of hate year.
                            ---------------
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                            ---------------
                            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
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                            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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                            • #15
                              Re: R4511 vs. Unisaw

                              I should have been more clear Bob. I meant that the motivating factor for Steel City making a design change was to accommodate the riving knife.

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