Hi Guys. I'm seriously considering purchasing a panel saw and would appreciate your opinions.
I'm a general contractor, cabinet making is not a full time business for me, although it's what I really enjoy doing and wouldn't mind if it became full time work. I've built cabinets for quite a few custom homes using just a unisaw. With a large job coming up I'm considering upgrading, mainly for increased quality, safety and production.
I take good care of my equipment and would be the operator or be close by. It's a little tough to choke down the initial cost but am guessing it will last me the rest of my career.
For cabinetmaking, and cutting sheet goods, is there any reason that I need more than the 5x10 capacity of the Striebig Compact?
I've considered purchasing used but am leaning towards new.
Any input appreciated.
I to am a GC for the last 30 year....15 years ago I purchased a new compact and never regretted it....And still have it even though it doesn't get used much anymore do to bringing in a CNC into the shop. I would by a used one and save for a CNC..... You would be amazed what you can use it for when building homes.
I was fortunate to use a Striebig Compact for 5 years. Its most efficient use is to stack cut rectangles on the X axis. It nears a beam saw in efficiency there. The least efficient use is to angle cut anything if you do not have the angle jig. Its next least efficient use is ripping long lengths, either narrow (2” or less) or wide (over 20”) pieces. I set up optimizing software to cross cut on the X axis as much as possible.
You can easily process 4 X sheet stock on a Compact. It helps to be taller (6’ or better) if handling 5 X material. You can handle longer lengths if you can crosscut large pieces first. The limitation is to have more on the rollers than hanging off. I can’t think of a way to rip longer than 10’ material.
I would lean more towards a sliding table saw for making face frame cabinets due to part processing of the face frames. The Striebig is the cat’s meow for frameless cabinetry short of a CNC.
Once you become accustomed to the Striebig, you will fear the safety aspects of a table saw.
The best value option in my opinion is the digital readout for the Y axis as that is the most difficult dimension to set accurately for repetitive cuts. You definitely want to set as many repetitive stops up as possible on the Y axis. I had 5. The next option nice to have would be scoring if you cut two sided laminate. I would rather buy used with these two options (or add them) than buy new without them. I believe both can be retrofitted fairly easily to any machine that offered them as an option. If well maintained it will last forever. Now is probably a good time to find a well priced used one since so many cabinetmakers are switching to CNC routers.
I have a Compact Plus. I couldn't be without it. I use mine to rip sheets in half, or a half inch oversized for width, then finish the rip on a tablesaw. I stack up however many rips I think I need of that size, then l cross cut my parts of that width.
If you can stack parts it's all the better. I don't find myself doing it with box work that much. ¼" door panels it works well, but I really love it when I can cut six drawer bottoms in one swipe.
For a small shop that can't afford the space or cost of a cnc for busting up sheets, it's an excellent choice. You can't make square parts on a cabinet saw, just smaller versions of the original out of square sheet. I'm working towards adding a router in the next couple of years, I have no plans to sell the Striebig when I do get one.
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