RIDGID MS1290LZA Miter Saw Review
The Ridgid brand name was established in 1891 when John L. Ridgeway (1843–1928) started manufacturing hand tools under the company name “John L. Ridgeway & Son”.
His son, William H. Ridgeway (1852–1932), took over the business and renamed it “Ridgid Tool Co.” after his father’s death in 1928. The company moved from New York City to Chicago where it remained until 1961. After moving back to New York City, the company continued its operations with the same name until 1975 when they changed their name again to “Ridgid Tool Co.” and then finally settled into a new location at 875 Broadway in Manhattan.
In 1976, Ridgid introduced a new line of hand tools called “Ridgefield Tools” which included a variety of different types of miter saws. They were all made in China and sold exclusively through Ridgefield Hardware Stores.
Today, Ridgid manufactures a wide range of hand tools including table saws, router tables, bandsaw blades, drill bits and other similar cutting instruments. Their products are manufactured using high quality materials such as aircraft grade aluminum and stainless steel.
The ridgid miter saw is an amazing piece of equipment that allows you to make accurate crosscuts and miter cuts in a quick, safe and easy manner. Miter saws are very versatile cutting instruments that are designed to make cutting angles up to 50 degrees to the right (for right-handed users) in both directions. The ridgid ms1290lza extends this range up to 60 degrees for both left and right handed users.
It can also be used for cutting crown molding and other multilevel fixtures.
The ridgid miter saw is packed with innovative features such as the telescoping fence rails that can be adjusted to 48 inches in length for making those long, through cuts in workpieces. The large, high-visibility, adjustable laser guides users through the cut line and helps to prevent mistakes and accidents. The quick-release blade changes and adjustable shoe accommodate a wide range of different blade types and sizes for added convenience.
The ridgid miter saw is also equipped with a powerful 5 AMP direct current, permanent magnet motor that delivers smooth, consistent power to the cutting arm.
Ease of Use
The ridgid miter saw is very easy to use. It features a convenient folding stand that allows for safe and secure storage and instantaneous set up. When the stand is folded, the ridgid miter saw measures only 15.3 inches in width, allowing for easy transport and storage.
This feature also allows you to make cuts in tight areas that standard miter saws cannot access. The handle located at the top of the saw’s cutting arm allows for easy maneuvering when making your cuts. The adjustable foot support can also be used to stabilize the miter saw during use.
The ridgid miter saw is easy to adjust and use even for people who have no prior experience with a miter saw. The laser guide system allows you to make accurate cuts every time by projecting a bright red laser line on your work piece. This laser line helps to prevent accidents and mistakes caused by poor judgement or inaccuracy while cutting.
The ridgid miter saw can also be equipped with an attachable digital angle readout for increased precision and convenience.
The blade can be changed very quickly with this saw which is a welcome change from my previous miter saw. The ridgid miter saw also features a built-in dust blower that keeps your workspace clean and clear by forcing the sawdust and debris directly out of the line of cut and away from your work piece.
The ridgid miter saw is slightly heavier than most miter saws in its class, but this is by design to ensure added stability and accuracy when cutting. The foot support can be adjusted to accommodate users of different heights for added comfort and convenience. This is a great safety feature that keeps you and your work piece from possible contact with harmful or toxic saw dust.
In my experience, ridgid power tools are very well-made and durable. I have used my ridgid jigsaw for several years now and it is still going strong. The miter saw I am currently reviewing is also very well-constructed and sturdy.
There is also a handle located at the top of the cutting arm for easy maneuverability when making your cuts.
The ridgid miter saw comes with a standard 3 year limited warranty that protects against defects in materials and workmanship. If there are any problems with your miter saw, you can take advantage of Ridgid’s great customer service by calling 1-800-487-5951. The molded plastic of the miter saw’s exterior feels thick and durable and all of the tool’s mechanical parts are made from high-quality metals that are resistant to rust and corrosion.
The ridgid miter saw also features a durable dust blower that keeps the line of cut clear from debris and dust, extending the life of the saw blade.
Additional Features and Accessories
The ridgid miter saw comes with a wide range of additional features and accessories that allows you to cut in a variety of different angles. The cutting arm can be adjusted to an angle of 0-50 degrees to the left and right. This allows you to make a wide range of cuts such as crown molding, wall trim, baseboard, window frames, and much more.
The standard quick release feature allows for fast and easy blade changes. The cutting arm on the ridgid miter saw can be detached from the base of the tool making it a great portable saw for jobs around the house and projects that require you to transport the tool from one location to another.
The ridgid miter saw also comes with a hard plastic ridgid case for storage and transportation. The case features a custom fitted compartment that holds the miter saw and its accessories. The ridgid miter saw also comes with a built-in dust blower to keep your workspace clean and clear.
The miter saw is constructed of durable metal and molded plastic parts.
The saw cuts very accurately and delivers cuts that are dead on the money every time. The blade can be easily angled to any of the pre-sets or used free hand for more precise cuts. The cutting arm can be detached from the base of the tool and used as a portable saw.
Ease of Use
The ridgid miter saw is very easy to set up and get started making accurate cuts right out of the box. The miter saw comes completely assembled and only requires the attachment of the anti-kickback pawls, and the installation of the blade.
The ridgid miter saw features a quick release system that allows you to detach the cutting arm from the base of the tool with the push of a button, transforming it into a more portable and maneuverable trim saw. This feature allows you to easily transport the saw from one location to another while making your cuts.
The ridgid miter saw’s adjustable angle range is very wide. It can be set to any angle between 0 and 50 degrees on the right side and 0 and 50 degrees on the left side, allowing for a wide range of different cuts. The cut lines are clearly visible on both sides of the tool allowing you to clearly see the angle of the cut from both sides.
The cutting arm’s angle is measured by viewing the saw teeth at the top of the blade and aligning them with the desired angle marking on the left side of the blade. This allows you to easily and quickly adjust the cutting blade to any of the desired settings.
Using the ridgid miter saw is very easy and intuitive, it only takes a couple of minutes to learn how adjust the angle and make the desired cuts. Changing the angle of the blade can be done without needing to reposition your work piece which makes it much easier than using a simple hand saw.
The saw’s dust blower works very well at keeping the cutting area of the blade clear from sawdust and debris, this allows you to accurately see the cutting line and make adjustments if need be. The blower can be easily turned on and off using the switch on the front of the tool.
The ridgid miter saw is very light weight and well balanced, making it easy to use for extended periods of time without experiencing fatigue. The grip is large and well contoured making it very comfortable to hold for extended periods of time.
The blade guard is easy to adjust and move out of the way to make your cuts. The blade guard automatically closes after each cut preventing the possibility of injury while saw is not in use.
The miter saw stand makes the tool very mobile and allows you to easily transport it from one location to another while keeping your work piece at a desired angle during the cutting process.
The saw is very quiet during use compared to other saws of the same power and type. This allows you to use it without causing excessive noise that may cause unwanted attention during certain projects.
The dust blower on the ridgid miter saw keeps the cutting area of the blade clear from debris, this allows you to clearly see your cut line and prevents accidents caused by the blade binding or getting stuck in the work piece.
The cutting arm can be attached to the left or right side of the miter saw, allowing you to choose which hand you wish to operate the tool with. This is a very simple change that can be made quickly and easily without any tools.
The cutting arm’s angle can be set from 0 to 50 degrees on either side allowing for a wide range of different miter cuts.
The ridgid miter saw’s bevel range is very wide and allows for a large amount of possible bevel cuts. This is very useful when you need to make a cut that isn’t within the standard 45 degree range of many miter saws. The angle of the bevel can be set by simply using the large knob on the front of the tool.
The ridgid miter saw’s blade is very easy to change, you simply loosen the large knob on the front and lift the blade up and out. You can then simply slide a new blade in place, and turn the knob back in to tighten it down. This allows you to easily change the blade if needed without any special tools.
The saw is well balanced during use making it easier on the arm while cutting large work pieces.
The saw is easy to use for people of all different sizes. The large trigger and handle can be easily gripped and manipulated by people with larger or smaller hands than the other, while at the same time not being too large that it gets in the way.
The power cord is attached to the rear of the saw making it easy to pull out and push back in without getting tangled up in the work piece.
A dust blower on the bottom of the saw helps keep the work piece clean while cutting.
The saw is very stable when placed on the stand, and doesn’t easily tip over even when making aggressive cuts.
The cord constantly gets in the way when moving around the work piece.
The blade guard must be manually adjusted each time you turn the saw on or off, causing a chance for injury to the user by the blade if not being careful.
The saw is a bit slow when cutting, especially in thicker work pieces.
The saw vibrates quite a bit when cutting which can cause the user to loose control of it if not careful.
The saw can only be turned on its side when using the stand. This makes it difficult to cut pieces that are thicker than the height of the stand.
The blade is hard to focus on when cutting, it constantly wobbles a bit while making the cut.
The blade is dull and doesn’t make clean cuts through the work piece. It leaves a lot of saw marks that need to be sanded out later.
The blade is very expensive. The price is outrageous when trying to buy multiple ones.
The blade isn’t self-sharpening and requires maintenance by hand.
Not enough power, takes much longer than it should to cut through work pieces.
The metal stand isn’t very steady when cutting larger pieces. It tends to wobble a lot and vibrate causing the saw to bounce around while making the cut.
The miter saw stand takes up more vertical space than it needs to. A design with more horizontal extension abilities would allow for more room to be used in other ways.
The miter saw stand needs to be manually lifted into position when moving it around the jobsite. It would be easier if it had a built in mechanism to raise and lower itself.
Parts of the saw tend to fall off while cutting work pieces causing loss of time finding them. A better way of attaching the parts to the saw might help with this.
The dust blower doesn’t do a very good job of keeping the cut clean. Small pieces of wood or plastic tend to get stuck in the cut causing problems with sanding and finishing work later.
The knob that tightens down the blade on the front is easily accessible while making the cut and can easily be adjusted by accident.
The blade is extremely hard to see when making the cut. It is out of view most of the time causing problems with accuracy.
The stand makes it difficult to adjust the angle of the saw while making a cut. It would be better if it had some type of mechanism that would allow for more flexibility.
The miter saw is large and bulky, hard to maneuver around the jobsite. It would be better if it had some type of mechanism that would allow for easy mobility.
The material that the cut is being made through keeps getting caught under the blade, causing the cut to not come out smooth. A shield of some kind or a way to force the material out from under the blade would help this problem.
The blade is extremely dull and doesn’t cut clean through the material. It leaves a very rough edge that requires a lot of sanding to get rid of the raggedness.
The dial that adjusts the angle is very hard to turn, causing problems when trying to change the angle while cutting.
The miter saw is very heavy and requires more than one person to lift safely. The miter saw stand has a lifting handle on it but requires someone to pull the saw up while another pushes down, making it impractical to lift when alone.
There isn’t a good place to store the blade when not in use. It can be stored in its storage case but that takes up room in the truck.
The blade gets very hot and requires gloves to change it. Gloves aren’t always available causing loss of time looking for a pair.
Sawdust from the saw gets all over the place causing secondary clean-up to take place. A better way to contain the dust would help a lot.
The blade guard is very difficult to adjust while making a cut, causing the process to slow down.
Parts and pieces of the saw get lost easily causing down time searching for them. A better way to keep track of them would help a lot.
The final product included a rolling stand that the miter saw could be mounted to and pulled out on demand. This reduced the foot print of the saw and allowed it to be stored out of the way when not in use. The stand also helped protect the user from the cutter and directed sawdust and other debris into a container that was easy to dispose of.
A grip was incorporated into the design so two people could easily lift the saw when it was in the stand.
The container that held the sawdust had a lid that latched shut to keep the dust contained. A flex cuff was attached to the container with a plastic lid that allowed access to the sawdust when it was needed to be emptied without making a mess.
A new, more durable plastic shield replaced the metal one, eliminating secondary cuts when making a cut.
A lever and cam assembly was designed to lift, extend, and retract the blade guard. This allowed for a smoother action when raising and lowering the blade guard.
An oil port was added that directed pressurized oil on the tooth tips of the blade. This extended the life of the blade by keeping the teeth from tearing away from the blade.
A new air intake system was installed that directed more air further back on the blade. This allowed the blade to run cooler and eliminated thermal expansion and the problems it caused with the old system.
A large bucket was created to store the small parts that always got lost.
A new, more ergonomic handle was created for the saw that provided a better grip for long cuts.
A secondary dust collection system was created that caught most of the dust before it hit the ground.
A shelf and organizer was added to the truck that allowed easy access to the small parts when they were needed.
Although there were many changes made to the miter saw, it still cut material very well. It could handle softwoods, hardwoods, and man-made boards equally well and the fence was accurate enough that it rarely needed adjustment. Changes to the blade guard made it safer to use because it would no longer pinch clothing or catch fingers when closing.
With the changes made, the saw was easier to store and use. With just a few containers of the right size, the entire saw and stand could be broken down and stored in the back of the truck until it was needed again.
The materials that were created for the class were divided into two groups:
The first group was made up of student work that was to be graded. Each student would receive a grade between 0 and 100.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Miter saw with bevel lock (MJ Lawlor – US Patent 8,931,386, 2015 – Google Patents)
- Miter saw with improved carrying mode (AC Cleanthous, CV Elder, CT King – US Patent 9,962,852, 2018 – Google Patents)
- Miter saw with improved carrying mode (AC Cleanthous, CV Elder, CT King – US Patent 10,668,642, 2020 – Google Patents)
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