My current sliding table/cabinet saw setup is becoming a pain to keep smooth and square, and I'm trying to decide what to replace it with. I'm also waiting for a CNC router to arrive, so I won't be using the new one for primary panel processing, mostly just solid wood processing. Still, there are times when you just need a slider, and I'd have it in case the router goes down. Space is a big issue in my shop and I can't afford the floor space for anything more than a 4' slider.
I've never owned or used the euro style machines like the Hammer K3 winner (the most expensive machine I'm considering), and am wondering if these are made for panel processing, with solid wood ripping taking the back seat. I could also get an industrial SawStop and add a 4' sliding attachment to it (that's similar to my current setup, so I understand the limitations and not sure I want to go that route). Another saw I'm considering is the Laguna Pro 4'. It looks solid but I wonder how it would compare to the Hammer, which costs 20% more. Any thoughts?
From contributor M:
I run a euro shop, so all we use is sliders. Sliders take up a lot of space. More than a CNC. There is no way around that. They also suck for ripping. It is not possible to stand in the right place to rip naturally. A 4 foot slider may not have the long base like a 10 footer - I don't know. If you need versatility, forget about a vertical panel saw. They are limited to sizing large square panel parts. Don't worry about the CNC breaking down. You can not manage efficient production and have fail safes for every process.
Nothing beats a good cabinet saw for versatility. If a real sliding table is necessary, you will likely still want to have a cabinet saw for ripping and other odd stuff like tenons and grooving.
They also serve as backups to CNC machines in many shops because they rarely break down, take up little space, and with only an on and off button on most of them, they can be run safely by anyone in the shop.
Sorry for the digression. We rarely chime in but felt this was an important clarification to make for folks. We do agree with the cabinet saw recommendations.