SFA: What's the Answer?

5-Axes Saw - Buying Advice


We are looking to add a 5-axes saw to our shop. If anyone has recommendations, referral, or any other suggestions it would be appreciated. Just starting our search and have no idea which way to go with this. Thanks.

Darryl Miller SFA Member

We purchased a Sasso K600 a few years ago and love it. There are several great options available. Darryl Miller USA Stone and Tile 3203 Powell Avenue Nashville, TN 37204 615-383-7585 www.nashvillegranite.net

Justzack SFA Member

I have a Denver and love it. Everyone’s favorite will be the one they own. The Sasso is a solid machine and very capable. I went with the Denver because I like the ISO 40 cone and vac lifter. Justin Zacherl Creekside Granite 814 657 3294 Reno, Pa. http://www.creeksidegranite.com Team Bubba Boater

mark s SFA Member

I just spent considerable time researching this. Here are some attributes I found important: All have a 5-axis motion with an arrangement to use a step-cutting bit for inside corners. This bit can also be used to cut out sinks but it is slow; taking an estimated 40 minutes for a typical 2-bowl kitchen sink. Most vendors claim you can saw more than 10 slabs in an 8-hour shift. To maximize production of the saw, the part layout and programming is done in the office. Part layout for stone with movement requires a photo-imaging system like Slabsmith and the time and effort to photograph the slabs. quote on a new machine typically includes the machine, options, shipping, installation, and training. When you are buying is a good time to ask about necessary spares and lean on the sales guy for a discount. New machine bids typically do not include rigging or the utility services in your building ,\,with electrical being the most expensive. 1. Guarding - all the European machines meet the "CE" guarding spec that requires an interlocked physical barrier between the operator and the machine’s work envelope when machine motion is enabled. US code is satisfied by an electronic "barrier." (If you choose to not install the CE guards and defeat the interlocks the employer is exposed to significant legal liability in the event of an injury.) 2. Saw motor HP - this ranges from 17hp to 25hp. Since a saw motor only draws slightly more current when sawing that when it is idling IMHO the extra hp of the larger motors is a questionable advantage. 3. All the current offerings have remote software support. Park, Northwood, Baca, Thibault and Sasso all have technical resources here in North America. (It sucks to have a European machine and have to wait until the middle of the night to talk to some, possible with poor English, to solve a problem.) 4. Most current offerings also have remote technical support that can look into the actual CNC controller and the I/O. This means in most cases a problem keeping you down can be diagnosed from afar and a part can be on the way to you same day. A tech might also be able to remotely "jumper out" a bad limit switch that is keeping you down until you get the replacement part. The important question here is whether or not the OEM has a sufficient parts inventory here in North America, such that any part you need can be overnighted to you. A given for USA machines but a necessary question for European machines. 5. Minimizing the path (and time) of step-cutting inside corners can be done by "super-plunging" the saw blade deep into the machine bed. This allows the saw cut to get closer to the corner and reduces the step-cutting path. Super-plunging does increase the bed maintenance but the people with those saws do not see it as a big issue; maybe 1/2 hour per week. Thibaut has an innovative reciprocating saw blade that connects the circular saw cut to the step-cutting bit path. I watched this in operation and it worked well. Machine-bed maintenance was essentially zero. 6. Some machines are 100% galvanized construction. For me that's a big plus, given rust issues I've had over the years with painted machines. Mark S. Custom Stone Interiors St. Cloud MN "I spent most of my money on motorcycles, women, and beer. The rest I wasted." author unknown

Bocephus SFA Member

Mark has a lot of great info there ... I would add two things. European brands like CMS and Breton have large stateside infrastructure to support machines here during our normal working hours. I own a CMS 5-axis saw and have never had to wait more than an hour to speak with an American tech support rep or tech about an issue, even on a weekend. As far as cutting inside corners there are several ways to do it. Sasso and now Park have the super-plunge, others utilize a fingerbit, and CMS utilizes a corner blade. Different ways seem to have their own pluses and minuses. Davis Linder Solid Designs Macon, GA 478-405-7842

Thibaut_NA SFA Sponsor - Guardian

Good afternoon, To help you in your research please visit our web site www.thibautna.com and take a look to our solution the Thibaut TC625. As you will see we have a very special tool that nobody else have. It is called ACS and it make you save time, money and material. Please feel free to reach to me by email or on my cell phone 418-905-2030, gdion@thibautna.com. Best regards Guillaume Dion Thibaut North America Thibaut -- Together we shape Innovation http://www.thibautna.com

HELIOS ITALY SFA Sponsor - Guardian

You may have a look into Helios Automazioni cutting solutions. It would be important to understand your needs to advise the most-suitable solution for your workshop. Moreover, if you want, I can give you several references in the U.S. market. Feel free to email us on overseas@heliosautomazioni.com or have a call with the Sales Manager, Mr. Daniele Cordesco, on +393485411551 (Whatsapp also). Have a great day. Francesca Catena HELIOS AUTOMAZIONI SRL 66050 San Salvo (CH) - Italy whatsapp:0039-3485411551 (Sales Manager Daniele Cordesco) overseas@heliosautomazioni.com http://www.heliosautomazioni.com

Titan SFA Member

We purchased the Baca Boss last September and we love it. It has a lot of nice options and it is very user-friendly. I have been very impressed with their support!

Distinctstoneworks SFA Member

We went the Sasso route and have not looked back. We now currently own 2 k600 series saws. In conjunction with Slabsmigh we can program several projects and stack them in the saw. If you feel like taking a trip to Florida you are welcome to see how we do things.

BellaTerra SFA Member

Donatoni owner here and we love it. With their partnership with Intermac there is great support. If I’ve ever had a question I simply text my tech and he replies often within a minute or two. We love the camera and vein-match software. Thickness probe and tool probes are awesome. Milling sinks does take longer but we bury our router in work so don’t mind the extra time as it still helps the router. We fell in love with the Donatoni line of machines after a visit to the factory in Italy. If you can swing a trip it will really open your eyes to the people and software behind each machine. In the very least make sure you get a visit to a shop with a saw you are looking at. Get some alone time away from the sales rep and with the sawyer. They will open up about the pros and cons. Just my $.02 Colby Douglas Bella Terra Stone North Bay, Ontario, Canada 705-358-3039 www.BellaTerraStone.com

That's it for this issue.