October 01 2018

Koolkut KF Vertical Panel Saws from Sagetech Machinery – Accurate, Capable and British Made

By Peter Brett – independent machinery tester

 Sagetech Machinery is a well-established British company specialising in making vertical panel saws – from heavy duty models that are at home in a very busy professional joinery workshop right down to the portable ZK8 that can be folded up and taken on site.

I know from questioning regular users of vertical panel saws (most often used from timber yards and joinery shops to signmakers and plastics distributors to cut up sheet materials) that they can be very difficult to load up and adjust. I have had sheets of MDF cut for me that can be as much as 10mm out of square from corner to corner – but if you read the fine print you have no comeback.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy a vertical panel saw that came at an affordable price, was inherently accurate due to the use of strong frames and robust bearings and was made in the UK? Well you can – and I was given the opportunity to try out the new Koolkut KF12 at the W16 Show at the NEC.

My first examination of the Koolkut KF range focussed on strength and rigidity of the frame. It goes without saying that any flexibility in the frame would make for an inaccurate saw. It is very clear, even to the naked eye, from the stand and frame and the top and bottom bearing runners, that strength is simply built in. The steel is thick and rigid enough to support the heavy sheets of MDF etc that will be the daily diet of these saws. This is all achieved by using the most modern laser cutting and bending methods at a factory near Worcester.

The use of lasers for precision cutting once again makes a vital difference, ensuring that the top beam and column bearing surfaces are precise, with the bottom supports exactly parallel to the top beam. In this way Sagetech Machinery is able to achieve astonishing accuracy for its machines. Of course we know that due maintenance is required to maintain accuracy, but it is comforting to know that accuracy is intentionally designed and built in.

I also examined the bearings on the sawhead closely. These are standard off-the-shelf components that are not only well tested, but also reasonably priced, making maintenance easier and cheaper.

The sawhead itself uses a Festool TS75 plunge saw with some clever but simple masking on it to increase dust collection to almost 100%. The beauty of this saw arrangement is that bevel cuts are made by simply adjusting the protractor on the saw base. The sawhead itself is made from robust pressed steel with built in adjustments that are easy for end users to make, thus ensuring ongoing accuracy in use.

Horizontal cuts are made by simply releasing the catches and turning the saw to the click stop – it really is that easy to use. While in use, hands are kept well out of the way of whirling blades because the plunge and movement mechanism requires two hands to operate it.

Another feature of accurate saws is the quality of the material supports and rests. The Koolkut KF answer is as simple as it is practical – the rests are steel sections to which MDF sections are bolted so that they are easily replaceable by end users. The supports are similar but stronger, since they carry the weight of very heavy sheets.

Typical users of the Koolkut range would be smaller workshops, shop and kitchen fitters and signmakers, it is clear that the level of investment is well within the bounds of possibility and will be easily recoverable in greater productivity. And it won’t take up loads of space in the workshop either!

Time to Google SAGETECH MACHINERY maybe?