In Tool Reviews

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Tool: 18V Brushless Cordless 6-1/2 in. Track Saw R48630B Shop Now  

Manufacturer: Ridgid

MSRP: $399 (includes saw and two 27.5″ tracks)

Ridgid is the latest tool manufacturer to throw their hat into the ever-growing track saw field. On paper features like the brushless motor, full scope of adjustability including bevel range of -1 to 47 degrees, and anti-tip lock check all of the right boxes. And priced at just $399 means it’s a bargain as well. To see if it’s made up of all the right stuff we needed to run it through our tests first though.

Out of the box impressions were positive — the plastic parts seemed to be of high quality, and the base was made of magnesium, which is lightweight but strong. The track itself is also particularly robust, using a thicker-gauge aluminum than some competitors. It comes in two 27.5″ sections that can be put joined together with the included bars. I do wish you could get a kit with a longer track right of the box, however, Ridgid sells tracks separately in 55 and 60-inch sizes.

First impressions aside, there were some issues once I started testing. When I went to cut the edge strip to size, the saw cut into the track a bit at the very end, and the edge strip ended up a scant 1mm wide. Now part of this is on me — I should have checked closer for squareness before making the cut, though generally a tool like this should be square out of the box. However, the blade was actually pretty close to square; the bigger issue was that the entire saw base was shifted as close to the blade as possible right from the factory. The instruction manual didn’t have troubleshooting steps for this specific issue, but by playing around with the screws to set squareness I was able to make the needed adjustments so the entire blade was positioned correctly.

Close up of damaged track.

Oops. Thankfully I had another track.

With the initial adjustments out of the way I found the saw to be a fine all-around performer in our tests. I really appreciated the design of the depth adjustment slider which was intuitive and easy to check at a glance. The brushless motor had plenty of power for sheet goods and softwoods, though you’ll definitely have to go slow in harder or thicker stock. I was initially unsure about the retractable riving knife, but it performed flawlessly for normal cuts and plunge cuts alike. Any safety feature that does its job without my having to worry about it is a win in my book. At the end of the day, the saw performed exactly to it’s price point — no better or worse. It’s a nice upgrade over entry-level saws without knocking any of the premium offerings off the podium. 

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