UK-based Zapkut Limited has launched what it's describing as a ground-breaking new range of moving-column vertical panel saws.
Through a combination of innovative design and novel materials technology, the Zapkut ZM range brings the benefits of moving column vertical panel saws within reach of smaller signmaking, woodworking and other operations.
Traditionally, smaller operations have relied on table saws or hand-held circular saws, often teamed with guide rails, for sheet material cutting. These require significant clear floor space and are compromise solutions. In addition, both table and hand-held saws have exposed blades, increasing the risk of personal injury or accidental damage to workpieces.
Vertical panel saws offer a solution but with prices for all but the flimsiest machines typically starting at several thousands of pounds, they have not been a financially viable option for most smaller operations.
Zapkut says that's where its new moving-column ZM range comes in. With an innovative, no-nonsense design and leading-edge materials technology, the company has brought together a package of features at an introductory price of £2495.
A development of Zapkut's ZK range, said to be the world's first truly portable vertical cutting platform, the ZM teams a lightweight but rigid and robust frame offering outstanding panel support with a moving column for full vertical panel saw functionality. The ZM range is able to cut all timber-based and sign making materials other than ferrous metals and is available in three sizes, catering respectively for 4' x 8', 5' x 10' and 7' x 10' sheets.
The powerful saw head is mounted on the moving column by way of a custom-designed turntable mounting plate: switching from cross cutting is achieved in an instant. The mounting plate also allows for the quick and easy removal of the saw head, either to use it as a traditional hand-held circular saw, or to fit the optional router head, which will be available, with "floating" capability, in the near future. This feature is ideal for constant depth and stopped grooving especially if the workpiece is slightly bowed.
In marked contrast to the majority of lower cost vertical panel saws using portable saw units, the ZM offers plunge capability (to in excess of 1.5" depth) making it ideal for cutting apertures. It can also bevel cut (up to 45o).
The ZM's moving column means that once on the machine, the workpiece need not be moved. In particular, there is no need to feed sheets through the machine when rip cutting. This is especially helpful when cutting heavy workpieces and is a significant space-saver, as well as facilitating improved cutting accuracy.
As well as matching the capabilities of much more expensive machines, Zapkut says the ZM units actually beat them in some areas. For example, these machines are fitted with shock-proof power head carriage mountings, allowing them to be permanently installed in the back of a van, making the ZM probably the world's only fully mobile moving column vertical panel saw.
Zapkut Limited is currently expanding its international distributor network; enquiries from prospective dealers are welcome.
For further information, visit www.zapkut.co.uk or telephone 0118 970 1950.