How To Choose The Right Panel Saw

Determining which panel saw is right for you is the equivalent of opening Pandora’s box and often leaves you asking more questions. Our founder, the late Gene Olson invented the vertical panel saw in 1958 and we’ve been America’s Leading Producer of Vertical Panel Saws ever since. Our machines are proudly made in Minnesota, and built to order. Click here to download this article in PDF format.  

Core capabilities:

Inventor of the Vertical Panel Saw, Gene Olson

Safety Speed Founder and Inventor of the Vertical Panel Saw,  Gene Olson

  • Cut depths ranging  from 1 3/4″ to 2 1/8″ allowing you to cut multiple panels at one time.
  • Cut accuracy (tolerances) ranging from 1/32″ to .005″ straight and square, giving you an accurate cut every time.
  • A rotating saw head allowing you to lock it in place at 90 degree increments for performing rip (horizontal) or crosscuts (vertical).
  • Easily adjustable, horizontal and vertical rulers for measuring cuts.

With the right saw blade, our vertical saws provide the ideal solution for processing panels of:

  • Oriented strand board (OSB)
  • Hardwoods
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Aluminum Composite Panel (ACP) and Aluminum Composite Material (ACM).
  • Veneer
  • Corrugated Plastic
  • Laminate
  • Foam board
  • Aluminum up to 3/4″. – If you’re cutting thick aluminum, we recommend choosing our 7000,7400 or 7400XL
  • Melamine
  • Acrylics

Our vertical saws are most frequently utilized by:

  • Sign shops
  • Woodworking shops
  • Cabinet makers
  • Furniture builders
  • Crate and box makers
  • Lumber yards and home centers
  • Plastic processors
  • ACM fabricators
  • Store fixture builders

 

The questions you must answer prior to buying a saw are:

How many hours per day do you use your saw?

  • Lower Production: (Recommend usage of 3 hours per day, 15 hours per week)
    • C-Series Machines
    • H-Series Machines
  • Intermediate Usage (around 5 hours per day, 25 hours per week)
    • 6400
    • 6800
  • Continuous Usage (8+ hours per day, 40+ hours per week)
    • 7000
    • 7400
    • 7400XL

How much room do you have in your shop? What size panels are you processing? It’s important to have one side open to load panels in for processing.

  • 15 sq ft (5’ frame, and 3’ depth of machine from front to back) – C-Series
    • Ideal length for processing up to 4′ by 8′ panels. Frame Extensions are available for processing larger panels.
  • 30 sq ft (10’ frame, and 3’ depth of machine from front to back) – H-Series, 6400, 6800, 7000 and 7400
    •  Ideal length for processing panels up to 10′ wide.
  • 39 sq ft (13’ frame, 3’ depth of machine from front to back) – 7400XL
    •  Ideal for processing panels 16′ wide

Do you need an interchangeable router head with your panel saw ?

  • If you do, our Saw and Router combination machines are a better fit for you

Key

Lower production panel saws
Intermediate production panel saws
Continuous usage panel saws

Lower Production Panel Saws

C- Series Panel Saws:best portable saw

Featuring a 5′ frame, the C-Series Panel Saw is the ideal saw for those that move their panel saw around their shop, or even outdoors. It features 8 rollers, and a maximum rip cut length of 96″. The key differences are bolded below. Recommended accessories include: Saw Blade, Stand, wheels, Mid-Way Fence™, QUICK STOP™ Gauge , Hold Down Bar, extensions, dust kit (vacuum is additional), folding portable stand.

Please note that we have different variations of accessories for our different machines. Please be sure to review this before placing an order.

Model Frame Length Max Crosscut Max Cut Depth Cut Accuracy (Straight and Square) Motor Options
C4 Panel Saw 5′ 50″ 3/4″ 1/32″ 15 amp, 120V7.5amp, 220V
C5 Panel Saw 5′ 64″ 3/4″ 1/32″ 15 amp, 120V7.5amp, 220V

 

H- Series Panel Saws:

Featuring a 10′ frame, the H-Series Panel Saw is our flagship panel saw. As you can see, it’s a mirror image of our 1961 model! Safety Speed Founder, Gene Olson invented his first vertical panel saw in 1958! It features 14 rollers, and allows you to feed panels into it with an unlimited maximum rip cut length. The key differences are bolded below.

Top woodworking tool for cabinet and furniture makers

Vertical Panel Saw inventorRecommended accessories include: Saw Blade, Stand, wheels, Mid-Way Fence™, QUICK STOP™ Gauge , hold down bar, extensions, dust kit (vacuum additional), fixed stand.

Please note that we have different variations of accessories for our different machines. Please be sure to review this before placing an order.

Model Frame Length Max Crosscut Max Cut Depth Cut Accuracy (Straight and Square) Motor Options
H4 Panel Saw 10′ 50″ 3/4″ 1/32″ 15 amp, 120V7.5amp, 220V
H5 Panel Saw 10′ 64″ 3/4″ 1/32″ 15 amp, 120V7.5amp, 220V
H6 Panel Saw 10′ 74″ 3/4″ 1/32″ 15 amp, 120V7.5amp, 220V

Intermediate Level Production Panel Saws

6400 and 6800 Panel Saws:6400 Panel Saw. Top vertical saw.

Featuring a 10′ frame, the 6400 and 6800 Panel Saws offer a tighter cut tolerance compared to our H-Series machine, cutting within 1/64″, straight and square.  It features 14 rollers, and allows for an unlimited length rip cut. The key differences are bolded below.

Recommended accessories include: Saw Blade, Stand, wheels, Mid-Way Fence™, QUICK STOP™ Gauge , hold down bar, extensions, dust kit (vacuum additional), fixed stand.

Please note that we have different variations of accessories for our different machines. Please be sure to review this before placing an order.

 

Model Frame Length Max Crosscut Max Cut Depth Cut Accuracy (Straight and Square) Motor Options
6400 Panel Saw 10′ 64″ 3/4″ 1/64″ 13 amp, 120V7.5amp, 220V
6800 Panel Saw 10′ 74″ 3/4″ 1/64″ 13 amp, 120V7.5amp, 220V

Continuous Production Panel Saws

Our continuous usage vertical panel saws are built  to be used all day, every day, cutting up to .005″ straight and square.  The 7400XL is ideal for those utilizing the 13′ frame.  Each of these three machines include a saw blade, however the 7400 and the 7400XL Panel Saw includes our Midway Fence ™  for processing small panels at waist level. The key differences are bolded below.

Model Frame Length Max Crosscut Max Cut Depth Cut Accuracy (Straight and Square) Motor Options
7000 Panel Saw 10′ 64″ 2“ 1/64″ 2HP, 1~ 230V3HP, 3~ 230V

3HP, 3~ 460V

 

7400 Panel Saw 10′ 64″ 2 1/8″ .005″ 2HP, 1~ 230V3HP, 3~ 230V

3HP, 3~ 460V

7400 XL Panel Saw 13′ 64″ 2 1/8″ .005″ 2HP, 1~ 230V3HP, 3~ 230V

3HP, 3~ 460V