Panel Saw/Slider Comparison

Cabinetmakers compare the advantages of vertical panel saws and sliding table saws, with special reference to ripping. November 11, 2005

I am going to buy a new saw, either a Striebig vertical or a slider. I need to cut rips (12" x 97") and then crosscut (24"). While the vertical Striebig is a great crosscutter, will it be equally as good on the rips?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
I have used both types, and would take the slider over the vertical any day.

I have exactly the opposite opinion from the post above. I can't imagine my shop without my Striebig. I suspect it's not that one machine is so much better than the other, but rather that one better fits your setup, work habits and techniques. Get what's right for what you're doing and how you're doing it.

I would take a Striebig over any slider any day. The only other saws that cut panels faster, easier, safer, cleaner and more accurately are beam saws, if you have the space and the budget. The only issue you have ripping on a Striebig is that you have to place a shim between the two pieces to keep the saw kerf open as gravity pulls the upper piece down on the saw blade. I place one shim just past the midway point. But the easier approach to cut 12x24 pieces is to crosscut the panel at 24 and then stack 2 or 3 panels on the 24 side and crosscut to 12".

I currently have both a Streibig and a slider in the shop for milling purposes, and our first choice is always the Streibig. It doesn't do mitres and angles, though, so we have the slider for that and hardwood milling. I agree with the post above on the procedure. Crosscut at 24", then recut for the 12" dimension. The vertical panel saw requires that you adjust your way of attacking the panel from your tablesaw mentality.

From the original questioner:

Thanks for the replies - they are very informative. The cuts at 24 are easy, but what about my long vertical (8ft) lengths? Do I cut my rips, then edge, then bring them back to crosscut with edge already on, or do I cut all shelves and edge them one by one?

We have done it both ways, depending on the desired result. Generally, though, we will cut our parts to size, then send the cart to the edgebander. Whenever we have doors/drawers with grain, we mill to width and oversize the height, edgeband the sides, then come back to mill the drawer fronts with continuous grain match.

"It doesn't do mitres and angles, though..."

He's right when he said the Striebig doesn't do miters, but there is an attachment you can buy that produces excellent angles from 0 to 60 degrees (I think it's 60, can't remember for sure). Basically, it sits on the bottom rack and the wood clamps onto the attachment. It has a sliding adjustable arm that is very precise with a micro-adjusting screw at the end of the arm. I'm pretty sure it's available for most if not all of the models. It's big, very heavy and pretty pricey (nothing's perfect).