Vertical Panel Saw, Features and Benefits

We don't make a panel saw that is easy to build.
We make a panel saw that is easy to use!

panel-sawsWe make the panel saw that we would want to buy.  That is why these more functional features are incorporated into our panel saws. 

A Saw Trax Vertical Panel Saw is the only vertical panel saw using sealed steel bearings giving a more accurate, smoother, easier and reliable cut. Other vertical panel saw manufacturers use plastic bearings attached to a U-bolt, not sealed bearings. Though vertical panel saws may look alike, the devil is in the details. These details will be explained in more detail below.

We have 3 “series” of panel saws using 3 different saws to custom fit the proper saw to the cutting needs of our customers.  By using off-the-shelf saws, customers do not have to pay a premium price for saw replacement or repair.  It also prevents suffering long down times waiting for the proprietary saw of other brands to arrive.

The Classic, Varsity, 1000 series and Signmaker’s series of vertical panel saws use an-off-the shelf Makita 5007F  15 amp. circular saw that uses a 7.25″ saw blade.  This is the most common saw blade size and can be found in just about every hardware and home center store.  (Be wary of panel saws that use the obscure and expensive 8″ saw blades).  The Makita 5007F saw is a great all around saw handling most of the cutting needs of our customers.

Makita 5007F_002

The 2000 series of vertical panel saws use the Makita 5377MG Magnesium Hypoid saw.  This is also a 15 amp. saw.  The handle of this saw is removed to allow it to fit between the guide rails when rip cutting.  An electric safety switch is used to turn the saw on and off.  Like a truck that is geared down, this saw can plow through the hardest materials and can be used for longer cutting periods.

The 3000 series uses the 15 amp. Milwaukee 10 saw.   This saw can use the 10″ blades that are commonly used in most cabinet shops on their table saws.  This saw also has a greater depth of cut so thicker material can be cut.

We offer 7 sizes of welded steel frames with a powder coated finish. Two Compact (5 ft. wide) frames for 52″ and 64″ cross cuts.  Five Full Size (10 ft. wide) frames for 52″, 64″, 76″ 88″ and 100″ cross cuts.  Since all the machines can rip cut in either direction, the narrow dimension (side) of your material determines the cross cut size you need.  For instance, if the widest sheet your are cutting is a 48″ by 96″ (4′ by 8′) sheet, you would need the 52″ cross cut machine.  The wider 10 ft. machines provide better material support for all phases of cutting.  Optional Builders Extensions can be added to the Compact frames giving it 10 ft. of support after the purchase.  These extensions can also be added to the Full Size frames for 10 ft. or 12 ft. wide materials.

Three features of Saw Trax panel saws give it superior accuracy to other machines in the industry.

The first is the indexed alignment system that locks the guide tubes to the frame of the saw.  This is called the Accu-Square.  Adjustments can be made in 1/32″ indexed increments on the guide tubes and once in position, the index is locked in place with a screw.  This way the machine will be square within 1/64″  or better  over the length of the cut.  This is done at our factory.  Other panel saws are adjusted with a dead blow mallet, whacking the machine either left or right. (I am not making this up, it is in their owners manual.)

 

A similar indexing system is used when adjusting the material roller fence to the machine on our full size 10 ft. wide machines called the Accu-Fence.  The right fence is adjusted at the factory and locked into place to ensure all of the rollers are in alignment with the left fence.  Competing panel saws have adjustable inner material roller wheels on a cam hub. These must be aligned with the two outside fixed material rollers. The problem with this is that you are supposed to take off their stand, lay their machine on a table and use a 10 ft. straight edge to align the rollers.  (I am not making this up.  It is in their Owner’s manual.)  So, who owns a 10 ft. straight edge to do this or the time to take off the stand and lay it flat? Did I mention they also want you to make a squaring tool?

 

Lastly, our bearing system uses sealed steel bearings for accurate and smooth movement of the carriage.  Three bearings are mounted on two brackets on each corner of the machine.  It is not as cheap as using the U-bolt and nylon rings that makes the bearing system of other machines but does make a much more accurate machine, and that is what we are about.  Making a better machine at an exceptional value.

So if the Makita 5007F saw is so good in your Classic, Varsity. 1000 and Sign Makers Series of vertical panel saws, why did you go with the  Makita Hypoid saw for the 2000 series saw?  The answer is “Did you ever see a Corvette with a trailer hitch on the back?”  Sure a Corvette could pull a trailer but that is not what it is designed for.

  

The Hypoid Makita is designed for longer hours of operation on harder materials.  Both saws are 15 amp. but the Hyboid is geared down like a truck and spins at a lower RPM than the “sidewinder” 5007F saw (4500 vs. 5800).  Like a truck that may have the same motor as a sports car, it is geared down to plow through pressure treated lumber and other harder materials like Lexan, acrylic, solid surface or man-made marble.

Benefits

Let’s talk about those other benefits and details we referred to above.  Let’s discuss the less obvious details.  We can start with the dust collection.

Our dust collection uses a blade shroud brush similar to CNC routers to contain saw dust.  Our vacuum hose is larger to allow for greater air flow combining to give exceptional dust evacuation.  We provide a 12 ft. dust hose and even a hose coupler for easy attachment to your shop vacuum. They use a vinyl tube that has to be adjusted to the thickness of the material cut.  When you forget to adjust it up, it gets pushed into the saw blade rendering it useless.  This usually happens in the first week.

Our stop can be used on either side of the panel saw frame or on the optional mid fence.  It even comes with a strip bar that allows it to be used on the right side when cutting strips of material that are less than 6″ wide. With our packages, left and right tapes are included.  Their stop can only be used on the left side of their machine.

1000, 2000, 3000 Series
Varisty and Signmaker’s Series

Our stand uses two steel legs hinged to the frame.  They are cross braced and use ladder hinges to make folding easy, like a ladder. Ten lock nuts ensure parts don’t rattle loose.  The legs are attached in a way that even if the ladder hinges were to come off, the leg would not allow the machine to tilt any further back. The stand is attached at the factory.  Their stand is 2 pieces of angle iron attached with U bolts for their full size that you have to attach with no lock-nuts.  On the compact, it seems you need 3 hands to fold their folding stand.  One hand to hold the machine vertical, one hand to raise the telescoping arm and a third hand to pin up the telescoping arm.

 

The wheels for our frame are factory attached and pivot off the floor when on the stand to make the machine stable.  Their frame wheels are always on the floor.  

Our quick release carriage allows you to use other cutting tools like a router, pivoting razor knife, rolling ACM shear or glass cutter.  Our philosophy is this machine is just a big jig to allow for the straight cutting of materials.  By varying the cutting tool, you can get double duty out of your machine saving you money and floor space.  Their comparable machines don’t allow for tool changes.  

We use standard saws with standard saw blades.  They use proprietary saws with specialized blades.  Expect to pay 3 times as much for their replacement saw and twice as much for their saw blades.

Our saws dust bonnets have a viewing port so you can see the saw blade for cut alignment,  A light is built into the Makita saw.; theirs doesn’t have a viewing port or a light.

We have incorporated a “center step” for better material support of material, especially strips.  Without this support, strips will fall to the floor and can bounce into the saw blade damaging them.  Theirs does not have this feature.  

 

 We don’t make a vertical panel saw that is easy to build, we make a vertical panel saw that is easy to use.

Standard on all Vertical Panel Saws

Below are the standard features found on every Saw Trax panel saws including the Basic model. A specific description on each model can be found on that products page.
Put a Saw Trax panel saw to work for you today. You can order on line from our internet dealers or visit our brick and mortar dealers.

  • Accu-Glide™ Steel Roller Bearing System
  • “Set & Forget” Accu-Square™ Alignment System
  • Accu-Fence™ Alignment System (Full Size Units)
  • Center Step for better support after a cut on smaller pieces
  • Quick Change carriage to change tools in 10 seconds
  • The most Material Support Rollers in class (Compact 10  Full Size 18)
  • 10′ wide Full Size or 5′ wide Compact Welded Powder Coated Steel Frame
  • 2 Carriage locks ensure no play when ripping or routing
  • Injected Molded Plastic Material Rollers
  • Uses Standard Size Blades (Found Everywhere)
  • Saw cord holder & Spring loaded saw counter balance
  • Rip Cut Either Direction
  • Zinc plated, 1/8” wall, steel guide tubes
  • Top and bottom guide tube brackets ensure straight track

1. Accu-Glide sealed bearing system uses 12 sealed bearings for easy and precise movement.
2. Two Carriage locks secure carriage during rip cuts or when using router.
3. Makita 5007F 15 amp saw. Able to see saw blade when making a cut. Uses standard 7 ¼” saw blades. Vary your depth of cut to score material for a bend. Able to bevel cut like a table saw. Blade lock for fast and easy saw blade changes. Red Trigger lock for rip cutting.
4. Guide tube support brackets ensure guide tubes stay parallel and allow you to replace a single tube at a time.
5. Cord Holder
6. Hose Channel keeps hose aligned on roller and out of your way.
7. Dust hose is 2.5″ in diameter and 12′ long. Included hose coupler allows you to just plug it into your shop vaccuum.
8. Metal dust hood over saw has lighted blade viewing port.
9. Spinning saw insert allows for faster cross to rip changes.
10. Rip Pointers allow fast and easy rip cut set ups.
11. Guide tubes are 1/8″ thick and zinc plated.
12. The folding stand folds from the front just like a ladder for easy movement. Has 10 lock nuts and is factory attached unlike other machines where you have to put on the stand.

13. Stop Block rides on fence lip so it can be used on either side of saw. Strip bar allows you to use the stop close in by the saw for cutting strips.
14. Welded steel Frame is powder coated.
15. Side stand legs keeps machine stable when set up.
16. Fence lip has an off-set bend to allow for 1 3/4″ cross cut. There are 18 support rollers on a full size machine compared to 14 rollers on other machines. A second set of material roller holes allows the user to raise the material rollers and start their cut below the material. This is useful for thin plastics that have a tendency to shatter.
17. Five inch wheels allow for easy movement of the entire machine. When machine is tilted back on the stand the wheels are off the ground.
18. Spring on rip guage tape keeps tape straight and easy to read.
19. Strip support is standard and supports your material very close to your saw blade.
20. The patented Accu-Square™ system allows for easy one time alignment of the machine and guarantees your machine will never go out of square again.
21. The Accu Fence bracket is attached to one fence to ensure ends of fences are in alignment.