Shopping for a Sliding Table Saw

Cabinetmakers recommend top-grade equipment with large-panel cutting capacity. February 13, 2009

We are looking to purchase a sliding table saw for our shop. We are most likely looking at a 5 '-6' model - a Felder or an SCN. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor R:
The local shop I work with has an Altendorf with digital, powered, rip fence and crosscut stops. Whatever you buy, spend the extra and get the powered fence and stop. The accuracy and repeatability rival that of their CNC machine.

From contributor E:
Get an eight foot or larger so you cut panels and straight-line lumber. I like my Minimax 315s.

From contributor CD:
Do not get a 5 or 6' table. It is a waste of money unless you are a novice or serious hobbyist. I have a Felder 6' slider and am constantly irritated by not being able to cut an 8' sheet without removing the slider fence.

I too am used to the Altendorf with digital capability. It is awesome and worth the 30k easily. I worked in Germany as a cabinet maker and have spoken with many other cabinet makers and the consensus is Altendorf is a bit better than Martin due to the zero maintenance required.

From contributor J:
I second what contributor C said. Get the longest slider you can squeeze in the space. You'll never regret the extra length, but you'll kick yourself everyday if you don't have it. Our Felder can't crosscut a sheet of plywood unless the fence is in the position it is least found.

From contributor Y:
I just bought a hammer winner with scoring and a 6 foot slider for $5,600.00. I like it a lot for that price except it does not have an 8 foot slider.

From contributor J:
The maintenance on our Martin slider is involved. We pump the oiler twice a month and check for square every six months. If the scoring saw needs adjusted that takes less than five minutes.

From contributor E:
My vote is for the Martin also. Ive been running one for over a year and the cross-cut fence has never needed adjustment. A pump of oil once a month in the central lubrication system is all it takes.

From contributor Z:
Ive got a 10 foot Casolin with a tiger rip fence. Ive had the saw for four years without an adjustment.

From contributor N:
I have a Minimax and have a mixed opinion on it. I have posted here several times with issues. I admit a lot were related to user error and after a lot of trial and error I do believe it is a good product but obviously the Altendorf and Martin are the best so take your pick. For high production I don't know if I would choose the Minimax.

From contributor U:
You have to get a slider at least as long as the sheets you buy. Otherwise you rely on the factory edge of the board which at very least, partially destroys the purpose of the sliding table. I've got a 5' Minimax and I use 8' boards; believe me it's not good! You can make a table which slides in the groove of the slider to give you more capacity, but it's a mistake best avoided.

From contributor J:
Buy at least a 10' slider. As mentioned before it comes in handy when your strait lining lumber and plywood. I had a chance in the 80's to buy a funky Aldendorf F90 with a 8' long slider, that and it had a 5 hp main motor. I'm glad I didn't buy it as the 8' bed would have been a problem being too short. I bought an EMA ks3000 with a 9 hp motor. It's still going strong. I clean and oil the ball bearing guideways often and have never had to adjust anything at all in almost 20 years of hard use. I replaced the mag. Starter and one main bearing for the arbor. I call it a poor mans Martin (same type of slider setup). You also need the big motor, it comes in handy when ripping hardwoods like hickory, maple and etc.

If and when I win the lottery I'll buy a Martin with all the extras, and become a hobby guy and only make stuff for my family and friends, and never deal with a builder or customer as long as I live!

From contributor I:
I had an SCMI 10' slider for twelve plus years, bought new and was very satisfied with the saw. I see these on the used market for a good price and would take a look at these saws, very well built. I moved to a smaller shop and got a vertical saw which works better for me for what I am doing now and takes up less room.