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Does Your Wood Shop Need an Industrial Panel Saw or a CNC Router?

An industrial panel saw and an industrial CNC router can both cut panels. Consequently, many people wonder which machine would best meet their panel production needs. For basic production needs, CNC routers and saws seem practically interchangeable, but there are several scenarios to consider before you decide which type of commercial woodworking machinery is right for your shop, such as training time, production capacity, the cost of waste material, and other types of pieces you may produce.

Training Time

Using a CNC router typically has a steeper learning curve than operating a saw. If you need to have the equipment up and running as soon as possible – and you do not have experience operating CNC routers – implementing a saw may be the best option. With that said, be sure to consider your long-term production needs. If a CNC router would give you better production capacity in the long run, consuming some production time for the sake of training would be worthwhile.

Production Capacity

An industrial CNC router gives you more production capacity than an industrial panel saw, but do you need it? For example, you could use a router to perform tasks such as drill shelf peg holes for cabinets, or route dados and rabbets for a bookcase. With a saw, you would have to perform these tasks with other types of equipment after the pieces were cut. If you have a low production demand, using a saw would probably work fine. If you need to crank out pieces fast, though, investing in a CNC router would be the best idea.

Cost of Waste Material

CNC routers are ideal for nested-based manufacturing—a discipline in which the manufacturer uses equipment that transforms the most amount of flat raw material into useful products. If you are producing pieces from inexpensive material such as low-grade pine or maple, saving all of the raw product you can might not add much to your bottom line. However, if you are producing luxury cabinets out of cherry or oak – and you are producing a high volume of pieces – you should use commercial woodworking machinery that creates the least amount of waste. In most situations, a CNC router would be the best choice.

Additional Work

If you only produce panels, buying a saw probably seems like the best idea, especially if it costs less than a CNC router. If you produce several types of work, on the other hand, investing in a router may be the best move. The router will produce panels, but it will also let you produce components such as stair risers, doors that have intricate cutouts, and even cutouts for musical instruments. If you plan to diversify your work, you will probably need a CNC router at some point.

Need Woodworking Equipment?

If so, RT Machine is the place to get it. For over a decade, we have supplied woodworkers with new and used commercial woodworking machinery. Whether you need an industrial panel saw, a CNC router, or both, when you shop with us, you will find the equipment in great condition and at an affordable price. To learn more about our inventory and services, call us today.

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