FAQ – Choosing a Saw
Saw Trax Panel saws are tailored to fit a variety on needs. Contact us today and one of our experienced representatives will be glad to review your cutting needs and suggest a saw for you. Call 888-SAW-TRAX or Submit your information by clicking here.
The Varsity, 1000, 2000, 3000, Sign Maker and Classic series all include a circular saw. The basic series vertical panel saw does not include a circular saw but utilizes a universal insert plate for the end user to supply their own saw. We offer the Makita 5007F with our Classic, Varsity, 1000, and Sign Maker’s Series saws. These base model saws are appropriate for the general use industries, lower sheet counts, and smaller depth-of-cut requirements. The Makita Hypoid 5477NB in our 2000 Series is used for higher sheet count industrial applications or harder materials, like plastic or thicker MDO/MDF. The Milwaukee 10" 6470-21 in our 3000 Series is for deeper depth-of-cut, up to 2.5inches, (for Domestic use); the Bosch GKS 65 is for International use (220 volt).
Saw Trax offers welded steel frames in 7 sizes, all with a powder coated finish. Compact frames offer a 60” wide frame and vertical cut height of either 52” or 64”. The compacts are great for shops or home spaces that may not have the room for a full-size panel saw, or for those users who will be taking their panel saw out to job sites. If your cutting needs require a lot of rip, or horizontal cuts, then a full-size frame will serve you better. The full-size models are available in cut heights of 52”, 64” 76”, 88” and 100 and feature a 120” wide frame.
Saw Trax provides many components that are factory attached, like a Folding Stand, Frame Wheels, and optional Mid Fence, which means that you are nearly ready to go as soon as the machine arrives. You will be cutting in no time. For additional setup information see our videos on panel saw assembly or click here.
Yes, a compact 52” frame will hold a full-size 4'x8' sheet or, in the case of our compact 64” frame, a 5'x8' sheet. We offer our Builder’s Extensions in either 28" or 56" sizes if you find that you need extra temporary support on some end cuts or rip cuts. These extensions can be bolted on quickly for a job then removed when not needed to save floor space.
There are many different materials people use, from OSB to plywood, from acrylic to PVC, from hardwood to solid surface, and more. If you will be using several different materials, you want a machine that is flexible for your needs. Saw Trax uses a quick release carriage (change in seconds!) that allows for different cutting head inserts to be used. With the proper cutting head in your carriage, you can also cut any sign substrates you may need to. With the Pivoting Knife plate, you can cut soft, floppy materials like corrugated plastics, PVC, and foam board. The ACM rolling shear plate will cut through 3 mil Aluminum Composite Material while leaving a safe non-sharp edge on it. Pair the ACM cutter with our Floating Router plate attachment to make folded boxes. The Makita saw motor can be used to cut everything else including acrylics/plastics, wood, aluminum, whiteboard, and other rigid materials. Click here for a brochure.
FAQ – Saw Features
The Accu-Square is our patented “set and forget” alignment system. Alignment of our machines is done in the factory so they are accurate out of the crate and will get you cut accuracy of 1/64”. The Accu-Square works something like a slide rule using the Vernier principle. There is a series of 9 holes centered on the guide tube support bracket spaced 5/32" apart and there is a series of 9 holes on the frame mounting plate space 4/32" apart (1/8"). When the guide tube bracket is mounted to the frame mounting plate, only one hole will line up in the front and back and the adjacent holes will show the hole getting smaller as you move away from the front and back holes that line up. Once aligned at the factory, a set screw is inserted into the holes that line up preventing the guide tube bracket from shifting in relationship to the frame.
Because our patented Accu-Square system is factory-set, the frame should never need to be realigned. The system locks the guide tubes to the frame, and the material support wheels do not budge, so they will not go out of alignment. With both systems together, your panel saw will always be square!
No, the top guide tube bracket is mounted to the frame using square holes in the guide tube bracket and the top frame mounting plate. When attached with carriage bolts in the retraction mechanism, no shifting can occur, making the bottom guide tube bracket the only adjustment for squaring.
There are no other adjustments for the compact models, but the full-size models have a similar arrangement to the Accu-Square, only it is vertical and called the Accu-Fence system. The left roller fence is permanently fixed to the frame. The centers of both fences use square holes and carriage bolts are used to attach the fences to the frame mounting plate. The outside of the right roller fence has an adjustment up or down with the Accu-Fence using the same 1/32" increments of the Accu-Square. This alignment is done at the factory with a specially made 10-foot-long straight edge and should not be adjusted without first consulting a Saw Trax representative.
Saw Trax uses a Sealed Roller Bearing system (Patented Accu-Glide) rather than the old style, plastic nylon, U-bolt rollers system. This tracking system provides a smoother, more accurate tracking than the old-style roller system & has a longer life expectancy. The Accu-Glide system uses a special bracket that mounts two sealed steel bearings to the corner of the carriage. A bottom bracket is used with a third bearing to "load" or put pressure on the guide tubes and previously installed bearings to ensure alignment. This arrangement is done on all four corners of the carriage. Obviously, this is a more expensive way of moving the carriage up and down the guide tubes, but it provides a smoother, more accurate and longer lasting method versus other panel saws that use a U-bolt and nylon washers.
We wanted something easier for the user and take out all the variables in alignment of other machines. To do this, we bolt on our fences to our frame using CNC precision in the parts. Both fences bolt onto the bottom frame mounting plate that is welded to the frame. Because of this, we can have our wheels use a center hub and rely on perfect alignment. This makes the machine much easier to use and maintain for the end user. Cam type hubs in the rollers can be a nightmare to square. Few customers own a ten-foot straight edge that will allow them to align the cam type rollers. This method is used because the fence plate is welded to the frame and with the heating, cooling, and twisting that goes on with welding, they needed a way to initially ensure their rollers lined up.
Unfortunately, as hardy as panel saws can be, they are subject to damage in transit, or in the store, or in your shop (we have been told a number of times of rampaging forklifts killing saws….Yikes!). At Saw Trax, we know “accidents happen” and so on our saws two key components are bolted onto the frame. These are the guide tubes and fences. Both can be changes out in minutes.
First and foremost, our Folding Stand is attached when you get the machine (Optional on the Basic and Classic Series). It folds out like a ladder because it uses ladder hinges. It is cross braced for sturdiness and uses a bracket on the top of the leg to prevent the leg from going any further back should the hinge fail. It uses a total of 10 lock nuts. Other panel saw stands use angle iron U-bolted to the frame with no lock nuts and will need to be installed upon delivery.
Our panel saw does not have weight on the Transport Wheels when it rests on its stand. This is because we do not want the panel saw moving accidentally while in use. A panel saw can shift if someone feeds material too quickly from the side while rip cutting. You must stand our machine up vertically to get the weight on the wheels to move our machine.
The Varsity, 1000, 2000, 3000, and Sign Maker series all include a Dust Collection System. The Basic and Classic series do not. With the many different materials, such as cement board, and the chemicals in some substrates, air-borne particulates become an important concern. At Saw Trax, we have a dust containment brush surrounding the saw blade under the insert and a 2.5” hose attached to the dust bonnet, which can be attached to a standard shop vacuum for the extraction of the suspended particulates.
FAQ – Other Saw Questions and Information
Yes! On all our cutting heads, the blades are protected by the insert, meaning you would have to reach through the material travel space to get to the blade. With the vertical format, the substrate will stand against the frame instead of needing you to balance the material as you would on a table saw with an exposed saw blade. This makes for a much safer environment where any person with some basic training can safely use our saw.
A vertical panel saw, unlike a horizontal panel saw, allows for sheet materials, such as plywood or OSB to be cut vertically, taking up much less floor space. On a table saw, or with a track circular saw, you need a lot more horizontal space to make similar cuts. The vertical panel saw saves on shop space. In the case of breaking down large sheets of plywood, a vertical panel saw can be placed near a wall. A horizontal panel saw really needs to be placed in the middle of a space. Consider breaking down a full sheet of plywood; given how plywood is fed through a table saw, you would need twice the length, at the least. Also, it is much easier for one person to load a vertical panel saw by themselves, than onto a horizontal panel saw. The final thing is safety. Vertical saws have the saw blade guarded behind the carriage making workplace injuries by the blade practically impossible. Horizontal saws may have a guard that pivots out of the way when cutting but still allows for a finger or hand to be cut by the saw blade.
Panel saws can only make straight continuous cuts in either the horizontal or vertical axis, no angle cuts. The thickness of the material to be cut is limited by the saw blade configuration and saw – typically a maximum of 1 ¾ inches. Panel saws can generate significant dust when cutting and should be connected to a dust collection system or vacuum when operating. Plastics may require a special blade and, depending upon the cutting work, additional ventilation. A table saw is a more appropriate tool for rip cutting 2" x 4" boards.
FAQ – Purchasing and Shipping
Saw Trax panel saws arrive 95% complete. All that is required are to add a few bolted-on items which are removed for ease of shipping. Click here to see a quick video on the assembly process.
Panel saws are shipped via LTL carrier. A lift gate is available by request. Smaller parts shipments are sent via UPS ground. We can ship by third party carrier is requested.
All Saw Trax Mfg., Inc machines are crated to prevent damage. However, we encourage all customers to fully inspect the machine before signing the release. We suggest that customers write, “SUBJECT TO INSPECTION” on the bill of lading. This statement protects both our company’s and the customer’s interests. If any visible damage to the machine has occurred, it must be fully documented on the bill of lading. Contact the shipper and Saw Trax Mfg., Inc immediately to report a damaged shipment. Saw Trax Mfg., Inc. reserves the right to refuse to file claims against accepted machines. Should you, as a distributor, be notified of a damaged shipment, have the customer contact Saw Trax Mfg., Inc immediately. We will determine the extent of the damage, and the next course of action. Fortunately, Saw Trax Mfg., Inc machines are components based, and many parts can be easily replaced.