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Considering Panel Saws

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by jimbug72, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. jimbug72

    jimbug72 Member

    Oct 25, 2008
    South Carolina
    We are considering getting a vertical panel saw. We are currently looking at SawTrax 64" Full Size Sign Makers Package, because that is what Grimco offers and I know almost nothing about panel saws.
    Here's the link:

    Anyone have any input on this saw, or others? I like the knife and coro-claw holder and the ACM shear addon options as well as a couple other addon options of the SawTrax model.

    Any input appreciated.
  2. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    I love our Safety Speed Cut. If those knife/coro options were available when we bought it 30 years ago I would have got them
  3. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    The ACM shear for the SawTrax doesn't work well unless you have dual clamps as it causes the material to bend. For ACM a router track is better.

    Also on the SawTrax, it's pretty easy to knock it out of alignment when moving, so be cognizant of that.
  4. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    These things are great if you are handy enough to keep them square. Just caused us alot of issues, but a small shop with a technical operator would probably be just fine.

    We really liked our Keencut Steeltrak if you can get away with blade cut materials. They have an ACM and Aluminum attachments.

    FireSprint is a wholesale sign printer to the trade.
  5. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    Keep your eyes open. Panel saws pop up for sale online all the time and they can go pretty cheap because most people either don't need them or don't have the space for one. They're just not the easiest thing to sell.

    We found a barely used Milwaukee 15 amp 8 foot panel saw w/ 8 foot extensions on Facebook marketplace a few months ago. We snagged it up for $600 and it's been a great saw. We cut aluminum, polycarbonate, ACM, and MDO all with the same 60 tooth carbide blade and the cuts are super clean.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. ChaseO

    ChaseO Premium Subscriber

    May 3, 2012
    I have a Safety Speed saw. The only regret I have is not buying one sooner. I have purchased both of my saws used, WAY cheaper than buying a new one. I sold my 54" model in favor of a 61.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. We got the same saw, the same exact way for the same price! Best $600 I ever spent! We make some PVC box signs that used to take all day to cut using our POS table saw. Now we get them cut AND assembled in less time than just the cutting used to take - with much better results!
  8. jimbug72

    jimbug72 Member

    Oct 25, 2008
    South Carolina
    Thanks for all the input. So it looks like Safety Speed Cut is generally preferred over SawTrax... Anyone have any suggestions for "additions" or "package options" worth looking into from SSC? I see a Sign Saw Package on nglantz.com but their site is so janky the description is brief and the image is too low res to really get an idea of what's there either.

    We will primarily be cutting ACM (3mm & 6mm) & Coroplast (4mm & 10mm) but will also cut the odd piece of acrylic, PVC, MDO, foam board, etc.

    The owner generally tends to prefer to buy new equipment. He's always worried he's going to end up buying someone else's headache if he buys used, so I doubt I'll be able to convince him to shop used panels saws.
  9. Lindsey

    Lindsey Not A New Member

    Jan 17, 2013
    We've had our H5 safety speed cut saw for over 20 years...and still going strong. If you need to keep the shop clean, I'd recommend the dust collection system (vacuum). If you're like me and need to move the saw from time to time, I'd definitely recommend getting the wheels. There's also a handy attachment, I think it's called the "midway-fence" that allows you to cut smaller pieces at waist height instead of down on your knees at the floor.

    There's lot's of info about the packages on the SSC website. I think you can purchase directly from SSC if you don't want to buy through nglantz.

  10. John Miller

    John Miller Member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Branford, Connecticut
    I bought a Safety Speed Cut used in 1984 it's still going strong.
  11. karst41

    karst41 Member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Stone Mountain, GA
    I had a Milwaukee for years and loved it.
    IMHO This should be the bench mark to compare all other to
    for quality and Price.

    Grainger carries them.

    A lot of companies DO NOT support the equipment they sell.
    They will only give you the mfg phone number,

    You would get better support from Grainger.
  12. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Middleburg, Florida
    My safety speed cut is over 20 years old and on its second blade. Never had problem with it being out of square or even measurement off. As long as you know how to use the tool properly you should have no issues. I did get the utility blade attachment when purchased, have never used it as I also have a fletcher terry wall cutter. That needs to be adjusted regularly.
  13. greysquirrel

    greysquirrel Active Member

    Aug 13, 2015
    West Berlin, NJ
    I have one for sale in NJ...just bought a router...
  14. jagsouthern

    jagsouthern Member

    Apr 21, 2006
    I have had both. Safety Speed Cut is by far better! Forget the SawTrax if you cut ACM.
  15. VTSigns

    VTSigns Member

    Jul 15, 2010
    I've had both. Started out with Sawtrax and just didn't like the way it worked so bought a Safety Speed Cut about 17 years ago and it's been great.

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