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How to Buy a Panel Saw

10 min read


Panel Saws for DIYers Table

Portability Panel Saws are lightweight and portable, allowing you to move them from one job site to another without much hassle.

| | Versatility | With a wide variety of blades and cutting settings, you can use your panel saw for complex cutting jobs, making it a great value for DIYers.

| | Precision | With a properly-calibrated panel saw, you can cut with accuracy and precision, which means perfect cuts every time.

| | Cost-effectiveness | Panel Saws are one of the most cost-effective saws on the market, allowing you to get professional-level results without breaking the bank.


Defining the Panel Saw

A panel saw is a specialized type of saw made specifically for cutting long pieces of wood or metal.

The saw typically has a heavy-duty frame composed of either aluminum or steel.

It also has an adjustable cutting angle and guard which help to tightly control the cutting path of the saw blade.

Furthermore, the saw blade can be set at a specific angle to provide angled cuts and precision trimming.

The saw uses a specifically designed blade which is sharper and more durable than standard blades.

It can also be outfitted with various other accessories to make it even more versatile.

Our Goal

Our goal is to help you understand how to buy and properly use a panel saw.

Panel saws can be an incredibly useful tool for a variety of DIY projects around the home.

From cutting precise lengths of wood to making intricate miter cuts, a panel saw is the go-to choice for crafting and woodworking.

We’ll discuss the types of panel saws, the features you should look for when shopping, and the different safety measures to take when using one.

With the right panel saw, you can confidently tackle any project!

What Sets Panel Saws Apart


Panel saws have many advantages that make them a smart choice for many woodworking projects.

For starters, panel saws typically have powerful motors that provide plenty of cutting power, so they can usually handle larger projects without an issue.

Panel saws are also much more precise than other saws, making it easier to cut complex shapes and patterns.

Plus, panel saws usually come with a wide variety of settings so that you can manipulate the saw to make specific cuts.

Having a panel saw can also help you save time on certain sawing tasks, because you can usually work quickly and exactingly without having to readjust each time.

Overall, panel saws are a great tool to have for any woodworking project, big or small.

How Panel Saws Work

Panel saws are a type of power saw that can accurately cut large pieces of material into a variety of shapes and sizes.

They are commonly used to create cabinets, flooring or any other type of woodwork.

Panel saws use either a vertical or horizontal blade that is mounted to a track.

The blade is then pushed on the track to cut through the material.

The vertical blade is used for ripping long pieces of material and the horizontal blade is used for crosscutting material into shorter lengths.

Panel saws also have an adjustable squaring arm that sets the material in place, so it can be cut with the highest accuracy.

The squaring arm may also be able to be moved out of the way so a larger panel can fit onto the table.

Features to Look For

When looking for a panel saw, there are plenty of features to consider.

It’s important to make sure the saw can make accurate cuts and has a motor with enough power.

Look for a saw with a large cutting capacity and plenty of adjustable features such as fence, blade height, blade width and tilt.

Check to see if there’s a dust collection port and a sturdy stand that can hold the saw and any attachments.

Other useful features are an onboard control panel, rip fence or extension table.

Be sure to check reviews to find out how easy the saw is to set up and use.

It’s also a smart idea to look for models that offer extra features like a scoring blade.

Shopping around for the right panel saw can save you time and help you find the perfect saw for your needs.

When to Use a Panel Saw

Common Applications

A panel saw is a great tool for a variety of applications.

It’s perfect for woodworking projects, especially when you need to create large panel cuts.

It’s also ideal for cutting large pieces of plywood, particleboard and other sheet goods into perfect pieces.

Panel saws can also be used for specialization like creating dovetail and box joints and for other precise angles.

They work well on any material that can be cut with a saw blade, plus can be used to accurately cut angles for picture frames or other joints.

Panel saws are also great for creating curved cuts in wood materials.

Panel Saws In Your Workshop

Panel saws are the perfect addition to your workshop! Not only can they be used as a stand-alone tool, but they can also be used in combination with other tools for a variety of tasks.

For example, a panel saw can be used to crosscut lumber to size before other tools take over.

Panel saws are also great for rough-cutting long pieces of lumber and sheet goods.

Not only that, but they can also be used to cut complex shapes out of materials, and for miter cuts.

Panel saws can even be used to trim and shape plywood to fit in a tight spot.

With a panel saw in your workshop, you’ve got the versatility you need to tackle a variety of projects.

Techniques and Tips

To effectively use a panel saw, be sure to pay attention to the work area.

Keep the saw blade sharp and always make sure the area is clean from clutter and unnecessary debris.

Be sure to use the correct blade for each specific material.

Utilize a careful, steady approach when pushing the saw, as this will help reduce errors while making your cuts.

Also, make sure to wear protective equipment, such as a face shield, gloves, and appropriate footwear.

Make sure to secure your material firmly to the table while cutting.

Lastly, always read the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations before using the saw.

What To Look For In A Panel Saw

Panel Saw Options

When you’re shopping for a panel saw, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Technically-inclined saws may come with features such as laser guides or moving tables.

If you’re more experienced, consider getting a two-speed motor.

The higher speed is best for smaller cuts, while the lower speed is great for larger, deeper cuts.

Some panel saws come with adjustable tensioner systems, which let you control the amount of pressure exerted.

And no matter what type of saw you buy, make sure it has a protective blade guard.

This simple addition can save you time when it comes to making cuts.

Choosing the right panel saw is all a matter of knowing your needs and being mindful of the available features.

Choosing the Right Panel Saw

When buying a panel saw, it is important to consider the size you need.

Panel saws come in different sizes that vary in width, height, and depth.

It is also important to consider the features the saw has, such as a scoring system for evenly cut sheets, a vacuum option for dust collection, and a height adjustment system.

It is particularly important to note if the saw has a saw rail that is suited to your specific saw, as the saw rail is what ensures straight cuts.

Last but not least, the saw should come with its own reliable and durable stand, as this makes the saw easier to work with and ensures that it is secure when in use.

Consider all of these factors when choosing the perfect panel saw.

Brand Reliability

When it comes to panel saws, certain brands are known to be reliable and long-lasting.

Bosch and Makita are two of the most popular brands and both offer saws equipped with cutting-edge features and advanced technology.

Dewalt also offers high-quality panel saws for woodworking projects, and Festool is another popular choice.

All of these brands are well known for building dependable tools that will stand up to the test of time.

Other more economical brands like Skil and Ryobi are widely available, but may not be as durable and may not last as long.

Safety Measures and Precautions


When using a panel saw, problems are common.

Checking the blade is the first step.

If it is dull or the teeth have become damaged, it may need to be replaced.

Other common issues are the blade becoming loose, the guard not being in place, or the saw isn’t aligned properly.

If loosening occurs, the blade needs to be retightened.

The guard should always be in place when the saw is in use.

To make it properly aligned, use a level and adjust the blade height as needed.

Poor alignment can lead to inaccurate cuts.

If any of these issues occur when using the panel saw, troubleshooting can help.

Maintenance and Upkeep

It’s important to maintain your panel saw to keep it running smoothly.

Regularly check the power cable for any rips or wear, and replace it if necessary.

Check lubricant levels on the machinery, and ensure that the saw blade is sharp.

Keep your work area neat and clean to prevent blockages and unnecessary strain on the machine.

Make sure to inspect the machine and its components regularly and replace any necessary parts immediately.

Make sure to read the owner’s manual for any specific maintenance and inspect the blades for signs of wear or dullness and lubricate them often.

Lastly, always unplug the machine before performing any maintenance or repairs.

Staying Safe

When working with a panel saw, safety is key.

Always make sure to wear safety glasses and thick leather gloves.

Keep fingers and clothing away from moving parts.

Before turning on the machine, double check that all safety guards are in place and secure.

Never leave the machine running unattended.

Turn it off if leaving it for any length of time and unplug it.

Make sure the saw blade is clear of obstructions when initiating the saw.

Make sure loose material and the material edge is stable and secure to avoid kickbacks.

Finally, remember to always practice good housekeeping habits in the work area to avoid any hazards.


Buying Your Panel Saw

When looking to purchase a panel saw, DIY enthusiasts should consider a few key features.

First, think about the size of the saw’s cutting table, to make sure it fits your project needs.

It’s important to check the blade’s adjustable angles: some panel saws let you lock the blade into place for repeat cuts.

Additionally, ensure that the table is square and even in order to get accurate cuts.

It’s also important to make sure the motor has enough power to cut through thick material.

Other features to consider are dust collection, safety features, and blades that can easily be changed to accommodate different materials.

Taking the time to research and compare different models will help ensure that your panel saw can handle all your projects for years to come.

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