Sliding Table Saw Vs. Panel Saw: Which One To Pick?

Sliding table saws are ideal for longitudinal cutting and crosscutting, whereas panel saws are perfect for lengthwise and widthwise cutting. The first one has general-purpose blades and the latter have rotating saw blades.

Whether a craftsman or DIYer, a power saw can take your woodworking project to the next level. They dramatically reduce the working time. Here we come a comparison session on a sliding table and panel saw since both are prevalent cutting tools in the market.

A Quick Comparison Table

If you want to quick overview of both types of saws, check out this small table. Here, we listed some top important points.

SpecificationsSliding Table SawPanel Saw
SizeLargeHighly large
Cutting abilitylongitudinal cutting and crosscuttinglengthwise and widthwise cutting
Ideal usageDifferent types of wood-based panelsLarger sheets of materials
Amount of Space UsedUses a decent amount of spaceUses a huge amount of space
Blade TypeGeneral-purpose bladesRotating saw blades
Motor Power3 to 5 HP motor5 to 10 HP motor
DurabilityDecent durabilityExtremely durable
PriceSlightly lowerHigher

In-depth Differences Between Sliding Table Saw And Panel Saw

Investing in an electric saw is a long-term investment. You want to get the best bet. Below is the head-to-head discussion on various aspects of both types of saws.

  • Size
Sliding Table Saw
Sliding Table Saw

Compared to regular table saws, sliding table saws are larger.

The width and length of this saw are higher than ordinary table saws.

Their size can be around 20 inches to 72 inches or more.

Though their table is large than compact table saws, they are not as large as panel saws.

In contrast, panel saws are larger than table saws. Their size can be 50 to 100 inches or more, depending on the brand. Their bulky table can easily fit massive workpieces.

You don’t need to keep half portion on the ground.

  • Cutting ability

Sliding table saws are ideal for longitudinal cutting and crosscutting. It comes with a rip fence to make cutting tasks hassle-free. Holding the workpiece against the bench is easygoing while the unit cuts across. You can glide through a wide range of woods.

On the other hand, panel saws allow you to cut wood items based on lengthwise and width. Make sure to keep the ripping direction and placement on the right side of the cutting tool.

You can use a measuring tape to choose an accurate ripping height. 

  • Amount of Space Used

Compared to regular table saws, sliding table saws take up a good amount of space. Hence, freeing up the workplace is necessary to work conveniently.

When working for large wood planks, make sure to clear the space for your workshop or commercial space.

Panel saws will cover more space due to their larger size. But you can place them vertically to save space on the floor by placing them against a wall.

However, you can’t keep a sliding table saw against the wall in an upright position.

  • Power
Panel Saw
Panel Saw

Sliding table saws come with an electric motor.

They have ample power, ranging from 3 to 5 HP motors depending on the size.

These automatic cutting tools have a unique cast iron table, ensuring excellent stability and effectively dampening energy transfer.

On the other hand, panel saws have more powerful motors. Their motor power can be anywhere from 5 to 10 HP.

This comes in handy to supply more current through the engine to cut thicker items quickly without crawling. They can reach up to 3500 RPM to handle most woodworking tasks.

  • Ideal Usage

Panel saws are highly versatile. You can use them to cut larger sheets of materials, such as plywood, solid wood, acrylic sheets, plastic sheets, melamine sheets, etc.

Professionals generally use this type of saw to cut more oversized items into usable sizes.

Sliding table saws are incredibly versatile for cutting different wood-based panels, such as plywood board, fiberboard, veneer particle board, kerf cutting, dado cuts, bevel cuts, etc. This cutting tool comes in handy for handling wide boards precisely.

  • Blade Type

Though you can use different blades for sliding table saws, general-purpose blades are the most widely used option. This blade type allows you to cut the workpiece at once instead of taking it back and forth. It can perform rip cuts and hardwoods.

In contrast, panel saws have rotating or circular saw blades. They are effective in cutting quickly. Also, this type of blade is heat and wear-resistant.

Their sharpness remains for a long time, even after regular heavy usage. You can also cut wood precisely with these blades.

  • Durability

An electric saw can last around ten years on average, even after regular heavy usage. However, the construction of automatic saws will vary among brands.

But changing the blade after a few years is necessary to cut wood pieces smoothly.

Compared to sliding table saws, panel saws are slightly more durable if you compare them for similar use. After all, panel saws have more powerful motors and heavy-duty construction. This allows them to withstand more abuses and ensures an increased lifespan.

  • Price

Sliding table saws are more expensive than regular table saws. Their large size, powerful motor, and bulky table increase the total price.

The total cost will be higher if you want to include additional features. They have automatic loading and unloading mechanisms for better productivity.

On the contrary, panel saws are far more costly than sliding table saws. Each part of the cutting tool is larger than table saws. Their huge size increases the overall price of the unit.

They have many advanced features such as sealed bearing technology, Accu-Square Alignment System, spring-loaded counterbalance system, etc.

Which Electric Saw Is Right For Your Work?

Before choosing a particular power saw, you must determine what type of tasks you regularly handle. Sliding table saws are the best choice if you only handle small or medium-sized wood items or other thin materials.

It is perfect for DIY and professional projects. Watch this video to understand whether it’s worth it or not.

On the contrary, panel saws are the best choice for handling tougher or heavy-duty tasks. This type of power saw comes in handy for cutting bulky sheets of wood and other extremely thick-based items.

It can cut them into smaller or usable sizes with a consistence performance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is a panel saw better than a table saw?

Panel saws are a better choice for cutting large sheets as their large table can accommodate large plywood sheets. In contrast, table saws are ideal for cutting small planks of wood. They appear perfect for small or DIY projects.

What is the advantage of a sliding table saw?

A sliding table saw features a track and stop mechanism for precise cutting. Unlike typical table saws, it allows you to cut the entire wood at once through gliding. The operator leans on the table’s side to ensure optimal safety.

Can you use a panel saw as a table saw?

You can’t use a panel saw as a table saw due to different designs and using purposes. Cutting smaller planks of wood with a panel will not be as easy as with a table saw. The reverse situation will occur to cut large sheets of wood with a table saw.

What would you use a panel saw for?

A panel saw is ideal for cutting larger and thicker sheets of wood and other items to make them usable sizes. You can use it for cutting profiles, MDF, plywood, laminates, plastic sheets, solid wood, etc.

Bottom Lines

When it comes to choosing a reliable saw, you want to consider the project you are going to handle. Depending on these aspects, you will consider its size, motor power, blade type, RPMs, voltage, cutting ability, safety features, and many advanced features.

If you want to use a saw only for DIY or household-based small projects, sliding table saws are the best choice. But panel saws are better heavy-duty projects. They can take a lot of abuses. Plus, you will not see damages so soon.

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

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