Vertical Panel Saws Offer Social Distance Advantages Over Table Saws in the Shop

25. September 2020 14:35

By Justin Rinaldi, Safety Speed 

When cutting full-size or larger panels, vertical panel saws have begun to show one clear advantage over table saws in today's environment: no extra help is needed to assist in moving the panel through the saw.

The unique design and operation of a vertical saw allows operators to maintain their social distance when sizing down panels. Even prior to the pandemic, this aspect of vertical saws allowed for greater efficiency, something that will be true afterward as well: it eliminates the need for a second person to safely and accurately process panels.

But when you’re looking to invest in your shop, it’s important to make sure that you’re investing in a machine that will not just meet current needs, but also meet needs years from now. Many of our customers have used the vertical panel saw for 15+ years and cite a number of advantages. When we asked one of our loyal dealers if he could share what sets vertical machines apart from the classic table saw, here's what he told us:

1. Save Your Back!
Vertical panel saws allow gravity to be your friend as you pull the saw to the bottom of a panel during cutting. If you follow proper technique, and use your vertical panel saw long enough during the day, you may even get your squats in for the day! 

2. A Crosscut With a Vertical Panel Saw? How?
Most saw heads will allow you to lock your saw in place at 90-degree increments for performing rip (horizontal) or crosscuts (vertical). Load a panel on the frame of the machine. On saws we sell, our maximum cut thickness is largely dependent on our vertical panel saw model type, ranging from 1 3/4” to 2 1/8” of an inch in maximum thickness allowed.

Align the material with vertical and horizontal rulers; many vertical saws, including ours, have these rulers built in, which make measurements simpler and quicker than on a table saw. Turn the motor on and pull the saw down along the guide tubes to the bottom of the frame. Gravity is your friend and helps you to pull the saw through your cut.

3. Doing Rip Cuts on Vertical Saws

For rip cuts, unlock the motor carriage, and rotate your saw blade 90 degrees. Make sure your saw motor is facing the direction that you will be pushing your panel through. Arrows on most saw carriages will provide a reference for this.

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Pull the saw carriage down to the correct cutting height using the provided measurement indicators.
Load your panel into the machine and align it. (Most models have built-in vertical ruler indicators helping you to make a precise cut.) Now turn the saw on and push your panel through. 

 

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