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Forum topic by b2rtch posted 05-11-2010 10:49 PM 1750 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4861 posts in 3073 days

05-11-2010 10:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

As I get older fighting with sheet-goods becomes less and less fun, more and more tiring and more and more dangerous. Last time I struggled with some especially heavy 3/4 melamine.
I have been thinking about different solutions to this issue.
Today I saw this panel saw with excellent reviews on Amazon ( and a reasonable price:
Milwaukee 6480-20 15 Amp 8-Inch Complete Panel Saw System with 50-Inch Crosscut

Do you have any experience with it?
Would you recommend it?
Is is overkill for someone who will use it only from time to time?
Thank you.

-- Bert

19 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#1 posted 05-11-2010 11:16 PM

They have one were I teach. It’s hard to be real accurate but it works for rough cutting full sheets.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Radu's profile


330 posts in 3068 days

#2 posted 05-11-2010 11:25 PM

I can’t tell you much about that panel saw. It’s nice to have if you want to spend the money and have room for it. I was just looking at some projects and I saw this:
Have a look. It might be worth and also save some bucks. There are some other home built ones.

View dbhost's profile


5725 posts in 3257 days

#3 posted 05-11-2010 11:31 PM

FWIW, if you are just rough cutting sheet goods, have the guys at your local BORG cut your sheet goods for you before you get out the door… A guide system or a plunge saw is another option. A full blown panel saw like that IMHO is overkill for a hobbyist shop, and takes up too much room… Festool, DeWalt, and I am sure others make guided plunge saw systems that will do what you want, and there are folding jigs out there you can make a panel saw out of your circ saw for temporary use that is every bit as safe as that big commercial rig.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3073 days

#4 posted 05-11-2010 11:42 PM

My main objective is to not have to carry a full sheets, and yet when I buy them I do not always know what I am going to do with them so I do not know how wide I want them cut.
I have been cutting them on the floor on a piece of insulation with an home made guide.
It works quite well but I still have to carry full sized sheets, this is what I try to avoid.

-- Bert

View Radu's profile


330 posts in 3068 days

#5 posted 05-11-2010 11:45 PM

Wouldn’t you need to carry them anyway, with or without the fancy panel saw?

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 3290 days

#6 posted 05-11-2010 11:53 PM

Im with Radu, wouldn’t you be carrying the sheets from the truck to the saw? Why not just have your plywood storage near your cutting area?

You can may yourself a mobile sheet goods cart so that you can load it from the truck and roll it into your shop and just have your full sheets stored fulltime on the cart. Then get yourself a Festool tracksaw and your good to go. The thing is supposedly dead accurate and well worth the investment. I got mine in the mail about a week ago and still haven’t used it. Been using up some of my scrap and haven’t played with my new toy yet.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4004 days

#7 posted 05-11-2010 11:55 PM

Hi Bert;

Have you considered these units” They truly will make your life easier.

Here is an unaltered letter I just received from a retired fellow, who had some plywood to cut, so he ordered our units:


Thank you for your prompt support with my issue with the back of my
contractor saw and pointing out the adjustment in the ladders. I never
noticed the adjustment holes.

After utilizing the Ezee-feed input and output tables, I am totally
impressed with the system. As you say, it is everything as promised. It
made the job of handling full sheets of plywood a breeze. I wish I had found
you sooner!! It was well worth the affordable price! Set up and strike
down is now only a few seconds, instead of minutes and the struggle with the
boards is now a thing of the past. Truly amazing was the ease in which the
material moved across the roller balls. Unlike the roller stands I have been
using, once in place, the output table never needed to be re-adjusted or go
out of square with the table saw. The ability to fold them up and store them
in minimal space is something I am always on the look out for.

With the combination of the product and your high service level, you have
set the bar way higher than others are willing to go. We need more companies
and people like you! It was a pleasure dealing with you.

Thanks again,

Dan Braun

Madison, Ohio

Depending on the table saw you are using, it may be possible to use the infeed and outfeed tables we manufacture.

These units would save you a fair amount of floor space, as they go on and off the saw when needed, in under a minute, and fold so you can hang them on the wall.

They offer amazing accuracy in addition to being less money than the saw you’re looking at. And they can be used on multiple machines, like a router table or shaper, when making large moldings.

I hesitated in writing a response to your post, but I feel you would be doing you a disservice by buying the saw you are considering. You will get far less use out of it.

My apologies if you feel I am out of line here.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View hazbro's profile


109 posts in 3015 days

#8 posted 05-11-2010 11:57 PM

panel saws are great but rough cutting and not very accurate. I’ve got a Bora 100” wide track clamp edge that I use with my skillsaw that has a diablo 7 1/4 finish blade. It can rip full sheets of ply.

It cost $110 plus another $20 for the blade. I don’t have to fight full sheets on the table saw, and I also usually get table saw quality cuts.

It’s a much cheaper and more accurate set up than a panel saw. (saves on space too).

-- measure once, keep cuttin' til it fits

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3295 days

#9 posted 05-12-2010 12:00 AM

There are also lots of plans for making your own panel saw using a common circular saw. Lots cheaper then the commercial rigs.

I bit the bullet and purchased the track saw system from Festool…it was one of my best purchases. I use it constantly….the guide rails are high quality and so is the saw (on sale until the end of May – 10% off) – I didn’t get it on sale but it has more then made up for this in time saving and in its versatility. I use it for cutting slots, dados, mitres (there is a mitre angle meter for the tracks – but I just use the one from my TS).....tapered legs…and on it goes…I also have a jig I made so my plunge router can use the rails – at least until it dies and I can justify a Festool replacement.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3511 days

#10 posted 05-12-2010 12:12 AM

maybe I’m confused. You buy sheet goods and lug them home, and store them, before you know what you want to build with them? why?

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View hazbro's profile


109 posts in 3015 days

#11 posted 05-12-2010 12:14 AM

I forgot to add, since my shop is so damn small moving sheets around is harder than fighting them on the table saw. I, as a rule slide the sheets out of the truck bed right on to my saw horses and cut right in the driveway. It makes life so much easier.

-- measure once, keep cuttin' til it fits

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3786 days

#12 posted 05-12-2010 12:27 AM

Not all “big boxes” have panel saws. Last year at Menards in Escanaba I asked if they could cut my sheet with their panel saw. He gave me a dazed look and said, “what’s a panel saw?”

Today’s plywood has veener so thin (I measured a chip at only 10/1000” thick), that a specialty blade is necessary in order to get tear out free cuts. This will likely be a 10”, 80T, HATB blade with a low hook angle.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Ger21's profile


1074 posts in 3156 days

#13 posted 05-12-2010 05:23 AM

First, everyone who says panel saws are not accurate has never used a good one. Although I work with saws costing $5000-$15000, even my $200 homebuilt saw is very accurate. It has a Forrest blade on the circular saw it uses, and it cuts very clean on both sides. If I want to make sure a panel is square, I throw it on the panel saw and trim the edge. Instant square panel.

Second, they really take up very little floor space, but do take up a bit of wall space.

Anyone cutting more than 2 or 3 sheets at a time doesn’t know what they’re missing if they haven’t used a panel saw. When I first started working in a cabinet shop with a panel saw about 16 years ago, the first thing I did was build one for my garage, after seeing how useful they are.

Every now and then I’ll do a job requiring 10 or 15 sheets of material. I can’t imagine how much longer it would take using a track saw.

-- Gerry,

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3073 days

#14 posted 05-12-2010 02:13 PM

Well, thank you all for your replies, suggestions and for your questions.
I got last night the building permit for the shop I am going to build.
I think that I shall install a lifting device to lift the sheet-goods out of my trailer and to lower them on my table saw.
I buy my “wood”in a lumber store where they do not cut anything for you and yes I store lumber and sheet-goods before I need them, I do not think that this is very unusual.
In addition I might buy or make an Ezee-feed and a sliding table for the saw.
Thank you all.

-- Bert

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3073 days

#15 posted 05-12-2010 04:23 PM

I like the panel handler but the price is pretty stiff.

-- Bert

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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