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Thread: Why don't people buy Panel Saws

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Why don't people buy Panel Saws

    I rarely see anyone here discuss panel saws. I own one and have found it to be a great way to break down sheet goods, especially 12 foot long Corian sheets. It's also the reason that I have stopped using my table saw since the panel saw and band saw have been doing all of the work in my sign shop for the last few years. A panel saw does take up a lot of wall space but almost no floor space which seems to be the most valuable in most work shops. My only complaint is that I wish my panel saw was computer controlled

  2. #2
    In my case there would be two reasons not to own one. First, I really don't have the space it would need to be set up. Second, I don't do that much work with panels that would justify the money and space it would take.

    I think a panel saw would be more useful i it could also do rip cuts on the length of a panel.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 11-29-2019 at 10:11 AM.
    Lee Schierer
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  3. #3
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    Keith

    It's the cost versus benefit for me.
    I don't do enough work with sheet goods to justify. Actually, if I never had to cut another piece of plywood, or MDF, in my life, that would be just fine with me.
    I've also watched the threads on track saws and wondered why some of the folks don't have panel saws. Every cabinet maker I know that makes their living at it, has a panel saw in their shop. I don't know a single cabinet maker that doesn't have one. They are expensive for a quality model from what friends have told me, but these guys cut will cut more sheet stock in a week than I will in 20 years.
    Generally, when I do have a project that involves sheet goods, I have a "basic cut list" and have the plywood cut down at the lumber yard, or at Home Depot if it's just for some cheap project with their junky plywood.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  4. #4
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    Feb 2015
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    Beantown
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    Well Im a cabinet maker.

    I work in a shop without a panel saw. But you know we are a small shop. I know of many small shops that dont use them. On the flip side my shop mate seems to have a Woody for one over a slider.

    Personally if I could have one of everything I guess Id have one. But you know I see a slider as a multi purposed machine that does the same thing as a panel saw.

    Having never used one maybe Im just not in the know.

    I agree if I never cut another piece of plywood again Id be just fine with that. I hate the stuff!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cutler View Post
    Keith

    It's the cost versus benefit for me.
    I don't do enough work with sheet goods to justify. Actually, if I never had to cut another piece of plywood, or MDF, in my life, that would be just fine with me.
    I've also watched the threads on track saws and wondered why some of the folks don't have panel saws. Every cabinet maker I know that makes their living at it, has a panel saw in their shop. I don't know a single cabinet maker that doesn't have one. They are expensive for a quality model from what friends have told me, but these guys cut will cut more sheet stock in a week than I will in 20 years.
    Generally, when I do have a project that involves sheet goods, I have a "basic cut list" and have the plywood cut down at the lumber yard, or at Home Depot if it's just for some cheap project with their junky plywood.

  5. #5
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    As above-- for the perhaps a dozen sheets of plywood that I need to cut in a year it's just not worth it. I used to think about one when I broke down sheet goods on my table saw, but now my track saw works perfectly for the purpose. In my shop wall space is at a premium and I wouldn't want to give up a significant fraction of what I have for a so seldom needed tool.

  6. #6
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    Good panel saws (think Streibig) are definitely the non-cnc way to go for making big rectangles into small ones with square edges- much better ergonomically for a straight cabinet shop or sign shop than any kind of tablesaw. I think most of the people on this site need more versatility and are not using as much sheet stock. Personally, I have room for only one dimension saw, so I have an 8' stroke slider. It does take up more space and is harder to load than a panel saw, but I can easily do odd angles and bevels with it.

  7. #7
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    I see panel and beam saws in shops, as well as sliders.

    A panel saw can be a great way to process sheet goods, especially if the edge bander has pre-milling............Regards, Rod.

  8. #8
    My small shop is also wall space limited. Like others, I don't use enough sheet goods to justify the space impact. So a track saw was a good fit for me. But I'd have preferred a panel saw.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  9. #9
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    The biggest reason there is little discussion of these excellent machines is...demographics. They are a tool that does what they do extremely well, but the majority of community members here are not pro shops that use a lot of sheet goods in a short period of time. Personally, I have essentially zero wall space to put such a machine and probably only use a dozen or two sheets a year. My slider, track saw and now my CNC machine take on the task...the latter pretty much exclusively for anything that can fit on half-sheets. And honestly, even many of the small to mid-size pro shops are adopting CNC, too. That reduces the market for the more traditional panel saws, IMHO.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
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    I'd be interested in info about good used panel saws. A commercial grade 10' slider can be found for less than 5K used and a little more gets a really heavy build in very good condition. What is the range for a used panel saw and what are the things to watch for when assessing one? What does a panel saw do well and what is a slider better at? Dave

  11. #11
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    I always thought they could be mounted outside against the shop wall with a simple lean to dog house to keep the weather off.
    Bil lD

  12. #12
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    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    I think a panel saw would be more useful i it could also do rip cuts on the length of a panel.[/QUOTE]

    They do rip cuts but you need 16+ feet horizontally. They can also use a router instead of a circular saw.
    Bil lD

  13. #13
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    Sacramento, CA
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    Wouldnt want to give up so much wall space when my track saw can do everything a panel saw can do and more with the guide rails. I also dont break down that much sheet good to justify owning a one trick pony.
    If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

  14. #14
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    " What does a panel saw do well and what is a slider better at?"

    A panel saw is good at making square-edged rectangles out of sheet goods. They can do v-grooving as well with the proper cutter. Putsch-Meniconi has a model that does beveled edges but that is the only one I am aware of. The ergonomics are better because you can slide a sheet from storage on edge onto the saw easily, and gravity holds it in place. Good saws have a mid height shelf for smaller parts to eliminate stooping. Long rip cuts are accomplished by moving the cutting head horizontally, although the upper piece has to be held up manually or with wedges to prevent pinching the blade. Most cuts can be made by locking the horizontal travel and cutting vertically. Some makers have an angle cutting device available, but sliders are generally more capable of odd angles and bevelled edges. Sliders require more operator attention and effort to keeping the material aligned to the fences.

  15. #15
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    Here is a nice Striebig to watch, I used to work here years ago. It was used in the veneer dept in which I worked in at one point , only used to break down substrate for boardroom tops , mostly 1 - 1.25 MDF and baltek light weight panels, was used with a vacuum lift.

    http://www.thcauction.com/auction/35...-plant-assets/

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