Best Panel Saw Reviews and Buying Guide 2018

Best Panel Saw Reviews and Buying Guide 2018

Best Panel Saw Reviews and Buying Guide

Main Features:

  • 435 pounds
  • Overall dimensions: 120 x 86 inches
  • 3HP worm drive motor
  • Blade diameter: 8 inches
  • Maximum rip cut: Unlimited
  • Maximum cross cut: 50 inches
  • Maximum thickness of material: 1 ¾ inches
  • Cut accuracy: 1/64 inch straight and square
  • Casters + Leg assembly
  • True counterweight system
  • Amazon's Choice
  • 2+ Reviews
  • by Powermatic

It’s big and heavy. Cuts plywood awesome. Well made piece of equipment and definitely worth for the money!

Best Panel Saw Reviews and Buying Guide 2018

Best Panel Saw Reviews and Buying Guide 2018

Vertical panel saws are an increasingly popular way to sidestep the more regular sliding table models.

Vertical panel saws are also known as wall saws for the way in which the design allows you to position them hard up against a wall. This space-saving aspect makes panel saws great if you have hardcore cutting needs but rather limited workshop space.

Most panel saws have 3 main components:

  1. Frame
  2. Saw beam
  3. Saw head

You support the panels vertically when you’re cutting hence the name of the equipment.

Once used pretty much exclusively for rough-sizing, more and more small shops are now seeing the versatility provided by the best panel saw and they’re becoming increasingly popular.

It’s not just wood you can cut through with a panel saw. You’ll be able to work with plastic and non-ferrous metals assuming you have the right blade in place.

Today, we’ll look at 5 panel saw reviews so you can familiarize yourself with the very best products in a crowded marketplace. After that, we’ll walk you through how to choose a panel saw the easy way.

Before we get down to business, what type of panel saws are there at your disposal?

The focus of our panel saw reviews today, vertical saws take up less floor space.

Used by cabinet shops and sign shops alike, vertical panel saws come in higher cost and lower cost guise…

For cross cutting, both types of saw call for the blade to travel through the short side of the sheet.

The difference comes with rip cutting. Cheaper models force you to slide the material through the saw while more expensive panel saws have the saw moving through the material while it’s stationary.

These are effectively large table saws.

You’ll get a sliding feed table that serves to push the material through the blade.

If you don’t have the feed table in place, you’ll still be able to cut sheet goods with a horizontal panel saw.

The Best Panel Saw Reviews 2018 – Comparison Chart By Mitersawjudge.com

If you’re looking for the best panel saw, you might find yourself overwhelmed by possibilities. We’re here to simplify your buying decision every step of the way.

Here’s a snapshot of 5 of the very best panel saws up for grabs…

Detailed Panel Saw Reviews

We’ll kick off these panel saw reviews with an incredibly hard hitter from Powermatic. This wall saw is not cheap but the best things in life rarely are.

We’re not here to sell you on a saw like the Powermatic. You’re either in the market for a line-topping panel saw or you’re not. If you see the value a true powerhouse like this wall saw would bring to your business, you’ll appreciate the Powermatic makes a smart investment.

If you regularly need to cut big panels down to size in a commercial setting, you’ll need a panel saw fit for the job. The Powermatic is built to run all day long without intereference so you can put it through quite a challenging workload even with heavier applications.

Check out a snapshot of the main features then we’ll break down how this colossus stands apart from the competition…

The first thing to mention about the Powermatic after you’ve taken that elevated price tag on board is the weight. At a whopping 435 pounds, this is no lightweight for the casual hobbyist. Measuring up at 120 x 86 inches, the design might be space-saving, but you’ll still need plenty of space to house this beast.

Once you’ve got yourself unboxed and your Powermatic is in place, you’ll see that everything about this panel saw reeks of quality.

Kicking off with the highly capable powerplant, the drive motor develops 3 horsepower and is specifically designed to shoulder heavy loads under challenging conditions. The weight of this potent motor is neatly supported on a sturdy one-piece steel carriage.

Although this is an undeniably bulky unit at over 400 pounds and 120 x 86 inches, you’ll get casters so you can move it around when you need to. If you need additional stability for bigger jobs, there’s a fully adjustable leg assembly to help you out.

With any panel saw, you’ll end up with a serious dust issue if you haven’t got the proper precautions in place. Powermatic takes care of everything so you can enjoy a safe and debris-free workplace. Firstly, you can hook up this saw to a regular 4-inch collection port. There’s some extra dust collection built into the base of the machine. This takes care of the dust kicked up while the nylon brush means there’s less created in the first place.

The saw head sits on top of a base you can rotate. This lets you spin the power head through 90 degrees if you need to rip cut and cross cut at the same time.

As far as those all-important stats go, there’s no boundary to the maximum rip cut you can make with the Powermatic while you’ll be able to cross cut up to an impressive 50 inches. You’ll be able to work with materials up to 1-¾ inches thick.

One of the key selling points of this panel saw is the fact you’ll be able to work with unerring accuracy not just incredible pace. Obviously not a piece of kit for beginners, skilled woodworkers will bring out the best in this saw with very little effort.

Although this is a massive unit, it comes all enclosed in a single crate streamlining delivery for you.

Before we round out with our verdict, take a glimpse at the chief advantages and very limited drawbacks of this superb vertical wall saw…

Pro's

  • The ideal combination of build quality, accuracy and raw performance in a range-topping industrial panel saw from an industry giant
  • Heavy steel box tubing so you’ll enjoy incredible structural stability along with unrivalled accuracy
  • Extremely powerful 3HP worm drive motor delivering all the grunt and torque you need whatever the application
  • 8 precision rollers riding on stainless steel shafts for a very smooth and effortless cutting experience
  • Steel shroud encloses the cutting assembly and motor and you can hook up the saw to a standard 4-inch dust collection port keeping you and your machinery debris-free
  • Additional dust collection at the base of the machine to make sure your workspace remains spotless
  • Impeccably balanced saw head with the nifty counterweight eliminating any movement when the saw head is stationary
  • Dual gauges to either side of blade enable you to cut quickly without sacrificing precision
  • 14 adjustable aluminum rollers help you maneuver your material with ease
  • Nylon brush around the blade leads to improved visibility and less dust kicked up
  •  

Con's

  • The price tag might be eye-watering but we’d argue this saw represents outstanding value for money
  • Obviously, this is not a lightweight saw so you’ll need help unloading the crate and you’ll need space to accommodate it

Conclusion

The first thing you should do when you’re considering a panel saw like this mighty Powermatic is to flip your thinking…

Do not start looking at the price tag and thinking of that as an expense. A saw like this is an investment. All that counts is what return you’ll get on that investment and with this beast installed, you’ll be powering through far more work in far less time generating a potentially enormous ROI.

If you’re looking for the best panel saw in its class, the Powermatic with the clumsy name 1510007 511 is unrivalled. Road test one of these incredible panel saws and you’ll simply never look back.

While we seldom allot more than a single slot per manufacturer when we look at any selection of the best products, it’s impossible to escape the way Safety Speed dominate the vertical panel saw space.

Next up in our panel saw reviews is the first of a pair of Safety Speed, the classic C4. While panel saw and wall saw are often used interchangeably, you should know straight off the bat the C4 is in no way a wall saw and is not suitable for sign work.

If you’ve got a small or mid-sized workshop and you need to regular process high volumes of sheet material, read on to see how this panel saw delivers in fine style.

First, though, we’ll list out the core features on this mighty saw…

Main Features:

  • 148 pounds
  • Overall dimensions: 60 x 36 x 75 inches
  • 1600-watt industrially-rated motor
  • 230 volts
  • Blade diameter: 5/8 inches
  • Maximum depth of cut: 1 ¾ inches
  • Maximum cross cut: 50 inches
  • Maximum ripping width: 96 inches
  • Fine-toothed saw blade
  • Panel Saw
  • 500+ Reviews
  • by Safety Speed Cut

Ok saw. Hard to line up for vertical cuts. Also, the saw guide next to blade can get bent. Must have the extensions and wheels to make it easier to use. Good use of floor space.

You can fix the C4 to a wall if you want a permanent set-up in your workshop. If you invest in the wheel set and use either the fixed stand or folding stand, this is also a highly portable saw suitable for use out on site if needed.

This is a far lighter proposition than the Powermatic tipping the scales at less than 150 pounds. It’s a compact unit as well considering the exceptional performance so it makes sense if space is too tight to mention.

The motor is extremely poky and rated at 1600 watts. You’ll need a 230-volt supply for this saw.

All the requisite stats are impressive from the 50-inch cross cutting capacity through to 96 inches maximum ripping width. You’ll get exactly what you need if you want to break down lots of larger sheets in a hurry without a bead of sweat.

You’ll get a fine-toothed blade thrown in with the C4. You can also get a blade tailored to slicing through non-ferrous materials. You can easily burn through cash with add-ons so you need to think clearly about your needs and budget accurately so you don’t end up overspending.

The midway fence comes as standard. Quick-release clamps hold a pair of horizontal supports in place and there’s a precision stop to speed up repeat length cutting. There’s an optional multi-position length stop with 8 presets if your intended scope of work would make this useful.

A spring-loaded counterbalance system allows you to flit rapidly between horizontal and vertical cutting. You make vertical cuts by placing the sheet on the frame and running the saw blade down through it. To cut horizontally, you rotate the saw unit through 90 degrees, lock it into place the move the sheet through the blade.

Take a look now at a summary of the pros and cons of this enduringly popular vertical panel saw then we’ll serve up our verdict…

Pro's

  • Powerful and agile commercially-rated motor gives you all the grunt you need at 1600 watts and runs on 230 volts so you’ll be able to take the most demanding applications in your stride
  • Optional wheels and stand gives you the complete panel saw package
  • C4 offers a generous bundled package including a midway fence tailor-made for narrow boards, a wheel kit, fixed stand and dust extraction kit so get going directly out the box
  • Horizontal cutting nicely simplified thanks to rollers on the lower guide rails
  • Midway fence helps you to handle narrower boards with ease
  • Space-saving design means you’ll get all the functionality you’d expect from a full-sized panel saw in an extremely portable 5-foot frame
  • Non-marring rollers are perfect if you’re working with thinner and more vulnerable material
  • Although the support boards are fitted, you can remove them fuss-free if required
  • Works equally well in shops with more limited interior real estate or out on the worksite
  • Unbeatable value for a commercial panel saw of this quality

Con's

  • Assembly takes time and patience
  • If you invest in the optional extras, it’s easy for the price to ramp up

Conclusion

If you want to buy into a brand you can trust when it comes to panel saw, Safety Speed makes a very safe bet.

Although it’s a touch awkward to get up and running, once you’re fired up this panel saw will save you time and money to a degree you didn’t think possible. When you factor in how much you could pay for a saw like this, the price tag seems reasonable even if it’s still a stiff proposition. Look beyond the bottom line and the C4 is a very smart investment.

We would urge you once again to consider exactly what you’ll need from this panel saw and how much you’ll need to spend on the extras not included.

Check out the Safety Speed C4 and think seriously about the folding stand and the wheel set.

Next in our panel saw reviews is the second superb Safety Speed wall saw, this time the pricier and slightly bulkier H5, another industry classics and a staple in small workshops across the world.

If you’re looking for everything that a full-sized panel saw has to bring to your business without bankrupting yourself, although not cheap, the H5 represents outstanding value and brings an industrial panel saw into the sights of even smaller businesses.

You can enjoy the productivity gains you’d expect from a hulking Goliath while still staying within budget. Then all that remains is to watch that modest investment keep on saving you time and money for years to come.

Check out the features at a glance. They’re broadly similar to the C4…

Main Features:

  • 220 pounds
  • Overall dimensions: 84 x 60 x 9 inches
  • 1600-watt commercially-rated motor
  • 230 volts
  • Blade diameter: 8 inches
  • Maximum depth of cut: 1 ¾ inches
  • Maximum cross cut: 64 inches
  • Maximum rip cut: unlimited
  • Maximum ripping width: 96 inches
  • Panel Saw
  • 5+ Reviews
  • by Safety Speed Cut

This is a fine tool that will really improve safety in my student lab. One person can easily cut full and partial sheets of plywood, OSB, or MDF with accuracy and speed. Highly recommended. Make sure to order the stand and dust collector–you will have to attach the saw to a wall or column if you don’t order the stand.

As with all Safety Speed kit, don’t be fooled by the marketing pictures including every available optional extra. Price up what you’re interested in, whether it’s the folding stand or the wheels, and factor this into your budget before you get started. The alternative is to end up wildly overspending or going without so make sure you can get what you need without going into the red.

If you’re happy, the H5 packs the same powerhouse engine as its smaller brother, the C4. The 1600-watt unit allows you to work at full clip without ever losing out in terms of accuracy or finish. The primary purpose of any panel saw is to get more work done in less time and the Safety Speed H5 will help you accomplish this goal in spades.

Like with the C4, all the vital stats are as you’d expect from a commercial panel saw. Unlimited rip cuts and generous cross cuts up to 64 inches give you plenty of latitude whatever the application. You’ll get 96-inch maximum ripping width from this 8-inch blade so you’ve got all main bases covered.

Thinking of the blade, Safety Speed includes a fine-toothed blade with this panel saw. If you intend to work with non-ferrous workpieces, you’ll need to buy a dedicated blade separately.

If you’re looking for an even cleaner, safer workshop – and let’s face it, who isn’t? – you can purchase a kit featuring a lengthy hose that slips over the rollers. The saw itself hooks up to a dust collection port so you should be perfectly braced alongside whatever dust extraction system you use.

Build quality throughout is rock-solid despite the relatively lightweight nature of this wall saw.

We’ll underscore the leading benefits and very few downsides of this hard-hitting saw before pushing on with our panel saw reviews…

Pro's

  • A winning combination of performance, affordability and exceptional brand heritage
  • Works well in a fixed position or used out on site with the wheels and folding stand available separately
  • Precise, nimble saw cutting within a tolerance of 1/32 inch on all types of panel materials up to 1 ¾ inches thick
  • Zinc-plated steel guide tubes offering a lightweight solution that doesn’t compromise durability
  • Very user-friendly even if you’re not the most experienced operator
  • Extremely strong and dependable motor cut out to be punished for extended spells without letting you down
  • Class-leading depth of cut along with unlimited rip cuts giving you a great deal of flexibility
  • Cuts aluminum with a backboard and holding bar in place
  • A great price to performance ratio from a brand you can rely on
  • Parts guaranteed for 1-year and the frame is covered for life so you can buy with complete peace of mind

Con's

  • Absolutely not the cheapest panel saw at your disposal
  • Just like with the C4, you’ll need to dig deeper if you want anything beyond the basic saw and fence

Conclusion

No power tool is perfect. You should simply look for those tools that best mesh with your needs, tools that will turn out to be wise investments returning many happy years of service.

The Safety Speed H5 might be costly and you might need to pay more for extras like a folding stand or wheels. The thing is, if you’re cutting great volumes of larger pieces down to size, it’s both time-consuming and, ultimately, expensive anyway. Throw your hand in with the H5 and you’ll soon be saving plenty of time and money and wondering why you didn’t take the plunge years back.

As we near the end of our panel saw reviews, we’ve got a hard-hitting and novel take on the tool from Saw Trax.  You’ll get a full-sized frame along with a heavy-duty Makita saw on a spinning insert. This will give you the power a worm drive motor would provide without the need for tasky oil changes.

If you’re cutting down 50 or more sheets every week, you’d certainly benefit from adding this panel saw to your workshop. With a strong base package and a very wide-reaching series of accessories, you can make this panel saw work in most production settings.

Check out a breakdown of the core features then we’ll explore this top-notch panel saw in a little more depth…

Main Features:

  • 336 pounds
  • Overall dimensions: 122 x 42 x 76 inches
  • Makita 5007N circular saw included
  • Folding stand
  • Cross cut capacity: 64 inches
  • Accu-Square Alignment System
  • 5800RPM
  • Trigger locking mechanism
  • Dust collection hood with viewing port
  • Dual rip gauge / 24-tooth carbide tipped blade
  • Panel Saw
  • 5+ Reviews
  • by Saw Trax

This saw is great, cuts straight and square. I bought the 52″ cut full size ( 10′ wide) so it is massive and heavy as it had to go in my basement through a 36″ door. Much pushing and lifting later and it’s in and working it’s tail off in my small business. I Love this saw, but the upside down saw handle is weird to use and pull down on ( getting used to it) i wish Sawtrax would find a better system for a stop block for repeat cuts ( you have to set it about 1/32″ above the measurement you want because the block will walk itself back as you tighten the set screw. I’ll have to design my own and make it. Other than that it’s a GREAT saw and worth the money!

By Amazon Customer

This kit comes with the option of a wide range of add-ons and accessories to ramp up functionality as needed. Choose from the following…

  • Wheels
  • Folding stand
  • Full midfence
  • Spinning saw insert
  • Extensions
  • Wall Mounting
  • Laser pointer

If you’re after a panel saw calling out for very little by the way of maintenance, the design of this unit is tailor-made. By using the raw power of a Makita circular saw, you can get oomph to rival a worm drive motor without all those tedious oil changes.

With a healthy 64-inch cross cut capacity and rip cutting unlimited, this saw is a solid choice for most applications. As long as the sheets you’re working with are lighter weight and thinner than 1-¾ inches, you’ll be powering through piece after piece and wondering why you didn’t throw your hat in with Saw Trax years back. We cannot emphasise often enough when looking at panel saws that you need to look firmly at the tangible benefits this equipment will bring rather than obsessing about the stiff price tag.

Transport wheels allow you to maneuver what’s actually a pretty bulky piece of kit should you need to.

From the powder-coated frame through to the robust and precision-engineered componentry, you’ll know where the money went if you treat yourself and your business to this magnificent panel saw set-up.

Much like all the best panel saws, we’ll now outline the shower of benefits served up by the Saw Trax Varsity Package along with very few drawbacks.

Pro's

  • Designed for anyone needing precision cuts on thinner sheet goods less than 1 ¾ inches thick
  • Outstanding overall value considering the brand heritage and exceptional performance
  • Innovative Accu-Square alignment system means this panel won’t go out of square
  • Extremely slick carriage action and tight tolerances made possible by sealed roller bearing system
  • Pair of carriage locks ensure you won’t get any play when routing or ripping
  • Class-leading number of material support rollers so you can focus on the job art hand without worrying about stability
  • A very generous spread of accessories is available if you really want to max out
  • Unlimited rip cut in either direction twinned with 64-inch crosscut capacity
  • Stop bar speeds up and simplifies making repetitive cuts
  • Horizontal and vertical measuring systems in place so accuracy remains uppermost

Con's

  • As with just about any panel saw, this is not a cheap addition to your workshop
  • You need to be sure what you’re getting going in since this is a panel saw with a twist

Conclusion

Not all panel saws are created equal and if you’re looking for a flexible solution to breaking down large sheets of material double-quick, the Saw Trax Varsity Package is the obvious choice.

Once you’re in the situation of needing to cut down scores of panels week in, week out, you really need a good panel saw or you’ll end up breaking your back. As with any worthwhile model, you’ll need to commit to a considerable investment but you’ll never regret the decision if you roll with a Saw Trax.

Check out this Varsity Package at your earliest convenience and you’ll be slashing costs and saving labor time before you know it.

Last but absolutely not least in our panel saw reviews is a beast of a workhorse from the legendary Milwaukee. As with all panel saws, it’s blessed with the pedestrianly technical name 6480-20.

Main Features:

  • 175 pounds
  • 15-amp motor
  • 3 ½ HP
  • Circular saw blade
  • Blade wrench
  • Blade diameter: 8 inches
  • Cutting accuracy: 1/32 inch
  • Maximum depth of cut: 1 ¾ inches
  • Panel Saw
  • 20+ Reviews
  • by Milwaukee

Just finished assembly, set up, and running saw through some checks. Saw works well. Good square rips and crosscuts. I did not get the extensions for the saw, but plan to do so very soon. I can quickly see where they would come in handy. I will echo a common thread that I have read in several reviews, and that is Milwaukee seems to nickle and dime their customers to death with all the costly add ons. Seems these add ons would be a little cheaper since they are going on a saw someone just paid over a thousand dollars for.

As with most of the best panel saws, the information you can unearth online about the Milwaukee is pretty skimpy. The product listing leaves plenty to be desired but this returns us to our original point…

You don’t need to be sold on a product like the Milwaukee 6480-20. You either want one or you don’t and you’re unlikely to purchase a saw like this on a whim.

Assuming you are in the market for the optimum way to cut down piece after piece of large sheeting, you’re in safe hands as always with Milwaukee. Price should always be secondary in a purchasing decision of this magnitude. Without brand quality, build quality and performance, an attractive price is useless. And while the Milwaukee is not cheap, it’s an incredibly efficient saw from an industry titan so look at the overall picture.

The 15-amp, 3 ½ HP motor gives you more than enough firepower. You’ll be able to cut comfortably and widely in either direction.

With a tight tolerance of 1/32 inches, you won’t end up getting stiffed for accuracy just to get the job done quickly. This panel saw rolls out pace and precision in one enticing package.

You might want to work with particularly long pieces over 6 feet. If so, you can pay a little more for an extension table so you’ll be able to confidently lengthy workpieces without any stability or support issues. That said, the manufacturer suggests adhering to an upper limit of 4 x 8 feet.

Sometimes it’s the small things that count. The horizontal handle allows for very simple on/off operation so safety remains at the forefront when you’re sawing away at speed.

Since the bearings don’t need any oiling whatsoever, the Milwaukee is mercifully maintenance-free so you can spend more time on your business and less time tinkering with your tools.

Everything about this saw is rock solid from the intelligently engineered and incredibly durable frame through to the commercial-grade paddle switch. If you plan to undertake sustained, heavy-duty cutting, you’ll need to pay out for the privilege. With the Milwaukee, you’re getting a hard hitter that will just keep on hitting.

Check out where this awesome panel saw stands and falls before we move onto our panel saw buying guide…

Pro's

  • A quick and easy way to cut down 4 x 8 sheet material without compromising accuracy
  • Super-tough frame made from electrically-welded steel means you’ll get no twisting or warping at all
  • Flip the saw through 90 degrees then fix to make vertical cuts as well as cutting horizontally
  • If you need to work with even larger pieces of material over 6 foot long, there’s an extension table available separately
  • Nylon roller bearings maintenance-free and need no lubrication at all
  • 20-amp paddle switch meant for use in an industrial setting and robust enough to stay the distance
  • Whether cross cutting or ripping, you’ll enjoy a close tolerance of 1/32 inch so you won’t be stiffed for precision in the pursuit of speed
  • 5-year limited warranty lets you buy without a headache

Con's

  • Large, heavy and costly so not a panel saw for everyone
  • Extremely expensive but we would argue still great value

Conclusion

The Milwaukee is absolutely not a panel saw for everyone. It goes unsaid a giant like this is not designed for the casual home woodworker. If, however, you need a labor-saving device to streamline your shop setting and cut down large volumes of sheeting super-quickly, this saw makes perfect sense.

Put the 6480-20 and you’ll be itching to add it to your arsenal.

Best Panel Saw Reviews and Buying Guide 2018

OK…

Now we’ve wrapped up our panel saw reviews, why should you even bother getting one in the first place when they’re so damn expensive?

Who Needs Panel Saws?

Where panel saws were once considered only really much good for rough sizing, modern wall saws often come out to play alongside saw benches and sliding table saws.

If these saws look immediately familiar, they’re a staple fixture in lumber yards and DIY stores.

Panel saws are also invaluable for shop fitters looking to process large panels.

This type of industrial panel saw is not suitable or necessary for use in the home workshop.

If you’ve got lots of bulky panels you need to cut down to size in a hurry, though, there’s no substitute for the best panel saw.

Buying Guide

The first thing you need to consider if you’ve been tempted to invest in a panel saw is whether you really need one in the first place?

Panels saws are not cheap or portable. This should absolutely not be a whim purchase you might regret.

If you do have more robust commercial cutting needs and you’ve decided to hunt for the best panel saw, you should start off by thinking of price relative to what work you’ll get done rather than simply obsessing about the bottom line. A great wall saw is a true workhouse that can be a profitable addition to your business. Don’t look for the cheapest option.

Once you’ve decided on you budget, you’ll immediately have far fewer models within your chosen parameters. This is a great lazy approach to buying a panel saw since your options are whittle down before you’ve even done anything.

Having established that you would benefit from a panel saw and fixed down your budget, here are a few simple pointers to bear in mind to get the best saw for your needs…

What To Consider When Buying a Table Saw

Mobility and Portability

You need to think about weight, particularly if you need to use your panel saw out on site.

Perhaps more important than poundage is whether or not the saw comes with wheels to simplify transportation. If you need to use your saw in a mobile setting, this is crucial.

You can also find folding stands available for many panel saws so you can use them outside the workshop as required.

You need to focus firmly on the circumstances of your business and make sure you get a unit in line with those needs.

All About Alignment

Most decent panel saws come assembled for good reason. You’ll get an incredible level of accuracy straight out the box.

While you’ll need some input when it comes to set up, you won’t be stretched into aligning the saw yourself. Think about whether the few dollars you might shave off by buying a component saw are worth the time spent and accuracy potentially forfeited by taking the DIY route.

If precision matters to you as much as speed, you should look for a panel saw that needs neither alignment nor calibration.

Frame

The best frames are welded from a single piece. A strong and durable frame will also play an instrumental role in overall accuracy so this is no area for corner-cutting. The frame is the cornerstone of your panel saw.

If you opt for a bolted frame, think about corrosion and loosening and factor this into your maintenance.

With the best frame in place, a panel saw won’t warp or twist over the course of time and you’ll enjoy superior performance along the way.

Rip Cut Capacity

Since rip cuts go along the grain, they tend to be slightly easier on your equipment.

Some panel saws offer you unlimited ripping capacity while others are not cut out to deal comfortably with sheets larger than 4 x 8. As with all aspects of this buying decision it’s about intended purpose so laser in on the type of work you need to carry out and make sure you get this right.

Cross Cut Capacity

Creating a little more work for your saw, cross cuts usually run to 50 inches as standard with panel saws and can often exceed 70 inches.

Think closely about the work you do now and the work you might do further down the line then buy accordingly.

Guiding System

When the guide tubes are fashioned from fabricated steel, they won’t just work like a dream but they’ll last for years.

As always, avoid bolts if possible for no other reason than the wear-and-tear they suffer over time and the way in which they degenerate.

Blade Size

Blade sizes run from 7 inches through 8 inches and there’s no right or wrong answer here.

As a general benchmark, the heavier and more industrial your cutting needs, the bigger the blade you should prioritize.

Price and ROI

The bottom line is clearly important, especially when you’re dealing with something as expensive as the best panel saw.

While this is true, you should think about this purchase in terms of the direct and impactful benefits it will bring about from day 1 in your business.

Budget for the very best panel saw you can justify even if your first instinct is to shy away from the price tag. The last thing you want is to pour money into what looks like the steal of the century only for it to let you down a year in.

Your overarching consideration should be the value you’ll receive. Investing in a panel saw will yield massive dividends if you have a pressing need to cut down sheeting quick-smart.

Usage and Maintenance Tips

While you obviously wouldn’t cut loose a complete beginner on a panel saw and expect great results, there’s a very narrow learning curve and you’ll be up and running in no time.

Since you don’t want to be replacing your panel saw in a hurry, it pays to make sure everything is clean and dust-free and that you monitor your saw so it doesn’t degrade.

If you have any bolts in place on your chosen saw, make sure they’re always fully tightened and that they aren’t starting to corrode.

Make sure blades are always cleaned and replaced as needed.

If you exercise a light touch, the best panel saw should last for years on end.

Closing Words

We very much hope you’ve enjoyed these industrial panel saw reviews.

If you’re on the point of adding a beast like this to your business, it might be the smartest investment you made all year. The best panel saws are by no mean cheap but if you consider the ROI that make perfect sense for anyone needing to chop down large panels in a hurry without undue physical effort.

Come back next week as we dive down into the world of drill presses!

Before we close for today, we assembled a list of the 10 most frequently asked questions about panel saws so you have all the information you need at a glance…

Share this guide - and help somebody today!

Facebook
Google+
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest

FAQ

1) WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PANEL SAW AND A WALL SAW?

Nothing, it’s a different name for the same equipment. Panel saws are named for the way you can position them up against the wall.

2) HOW DO LIGHTWEIGHT MOBILE PANELS DIFFER FROM THE FIXED VERSIONS?

With mobile saws, you’ll get a fixed saw beam and you need to push the panel through the machine. Non-portable models have a static panel and the saw head travels vertically and horizontally with the saw beam.

3) WHAT’S A CROSS CUT?

This is when you cut a wood across its grain.

4) WHAT’S A RIP CUT?

A rip cuts through the wood parallel to the grain.

5) WHERE ARE PANEL SAWS USEFUL?

In any kind of small shop where you need to cut larger sheets down to size. Sign shops and point-of-sale manufacturers also make use of panel saws but this is not  a tool for a casual home hobbyist.

6) WHAT’S THE POINT OF KEEPING BOARDS VERTICAL WHEN YOU’RE WORKING?

You’ll reduce the working area needed while also finding the sheets easier to handle for a win-win.

7) WHY IS IT WISE TO GET A PRE-ASSEMBLED PANEL SAW?

This means you won’t need to mess around with alignment and will make your life much easier as well as allowing you to get going after unboxing.

8) WHAT IS A ROTATING CARRIAGE?

This is found on many panel saws and lets you move quickly and without ceremony from horizontal to vertical cuts.

9) WHICH IS MORE ACCURATE, THE VERTICAL PANEL SAW OR THE HORIZONTAL SLIDING MODEL?

Horizontal saws win out in terms of precision but the cost is taking up far more floor space.

10) WHAT SORT OF VOLUME OF ROUGH SIZING WOULD MAKE BUYING A PANEL SAW WORTHWHILE?

A sensible rule of thumbs is that if you cut down over 50 sheets a week, it would pay to seriously consider a panel saw.