I notice that all TV woodworking guys use a regular table saw instead of a sliding panel saw. I have been led to believe the panel saw is far superior, so why don’t they use them? – Bob Penilo
Tim Inman: By sliding panel saw, I’m going to assume you mean a vertical sliding panel saw like the one pictured above. If true, then the answer to your question would simply be versatility. A conventional table saw is so versatile. It can do, or be adapted to do, an almost infinite variety of tasks. And, it can do them accurately and safely. A panel saw is great for cutting sheet goods into rectangles. If that were my need, then I would use the panel saw. Cutting coped molding for a grandfather clock project, or compound miters for picture frames? Nope. I’d use the table saw. It is OK for a shop to have both! You can’t have too many tools.
Chris Marshall: Or maybe you mean a sliding table saw like the one pictured below? I’d love to try one of these out! But with prices starting at around $5,000 and going up from there, I doubt I’ll ever get the chance to have one in my shop. And, the machine would take up more floor space, too. I suspect these two reasons are why most woodworkers will never have this chance, either. These machines do offer incredible precision and versatility, from what I’ve heard and read, but they’re just not for the consumer shop market. So, there wouldn’t be much sense in TV woodworkers — or even us woodworking editors and writers in the magazine and book business — using them either. We use what our audience uses.