Preston based sign makers, Optimum Signs are a high-quality sign makers whom pride themselves on their decades of experience and commitment to customer service. With over 40 years of combined experience, they use the latest print technology and software to provide their customers with exceptional signage. With no budget too big or too small, the skilled technicians at Optimum signs will find a solution and ensure the highest quality is provided.
So, when it came to choosing the right vertical panel saw for them to size their panels they wanted the most accurate they could find. They wanted to bring their sheet cutting in house, to reduce expenses and save time but without compromising on quality.
Optimum stated “We had been ordering our panels in cut to size, this was slowing down our process and was a great expense to the company. We didn’t have a lot of space in the workshop, so a vertical panel saw was the ideal option”
The team at Sagetech Machinery discussed their options based on their cutting requirements and Optimum Signs decided to invest in a brand new ZM16. The ZM series comes in two sizes – the ZM12 and the ZM16. The difference is that the ZM 12 will take sheets of material of 2500x1250mm while the ZM 16 will take a full 3100x1600mm sheet. Both saws have a 32mm depth of cut so will easily handle the standard 18-20mm thick sheet of manmade material.
Staff at Optimum Signs claim “The ZM has made a huge difference and hasn’t compromised the space in our workshop. We are saving money and our turnaround time has been reduced significantly”
Sagetech Machinery offer a full inclusive package with all of their machines. This includes a fully packaged machine and personal delivery to your unit. Experienced engineers will then build and install your machine while giving you full training to ensure that you can use the machine to it’s full potential and achieve the best results. All machines come with a 12-month warranty.
For more information contact us on 0191 6913044 email us at visit

A Season of Exhibitions

Following the Summer period Sagetech Machinery will be busy preparing for a season of exhibitions to include W18 Joinery and Furniture Manuafacturing Show and Euro Trophex aimed at Trophy, Awards, Engraving and Personalisation Industry. During the Spring, we exhibited at smaller more regional business shows to promote our brand and range of machinery with local businesses with an aim of growing our local network. From September at the larger national and international shows, the focus will be more industry targeted, where our team will be exhibiting alongside other suppliers and manufacturers from the industry.


Starting on 30th September to 3rd October, W Exhibition is the leading furniture and joinery event in the UK and attracts over 10,000 visitors. Held every two years, at Birmingham NEC, leading companies will be showcasing the latest products and developments. Sagetech Machinery have been exhibiting here for many years and we are looking forward to demonstrating how our products have developed over the years with the introduction of new materials and hardware to improve performance. We will be demonstrating from our range of panel saws the Zapkut ZM and Koolkut KF, introducing new lines of machinery and we will be launching and demonstrating our Desktop CNC Engraver.

Euro Trophex is Europe’s largest Trophy, Awards, Engraving and Personalisation Event and has previously been held in Amsterdam. Held over two days the 3rd and 4th November, this year it will take place at the Estrel Congress Center in Berlin, Europe’s largest hotel, congress and entertainment centre. The move has taken place to allow for the growing demand on this event from both visitors and exhibitors.  This will be Sagetech Machinery’s first European show and is an excellent way for us to respond to enquiries from Europe as this popular event is attended by companies and visitors from over 70 countries. It will give us the opportunity to meet up with some of our international re-sellers and potentially meet with some new ones, expanding the availability of Sagetech’s products across Europe and beyond. Like W18 this will be a great platform for us to be able to launch our Desktop CNC Engraver. We will be able to demonstrate how off-cuts, saved from using our Vertical Panel Saws can be utilised to make creative and useful items, helping organisations to care for the environment and turn what would usually be wasted into cash.

Why not contact our team to pre-book an appointment at one of the shows? call us on 0191 6913044 or email


Zapkut ZM from Sagetech – The Saw You Can’t Afford NOT to Use!

By Peter Brett

We have all heard stories of how investment in expensive tools is so great that you can’t afford to have any downtime on them. Well, how about a British designed and made vertical panel saw that is accurate, easy to use and is reasonably priced – so reasonably priced in fact, that small workshops can afford to buy one and find a place for it in the premises.

The saw I am talking about is the Zapkut ZM series from British company, Sagetech Machinery, a company with many years’ experience making vertical panel saws for many types of users.

The ZM series comes in two sizes – the ZM12 and the ZM16. The difference is that the ZM 12 will take sheets of material of 2500x1250mm while the ZM 16 will take a full 3100x1600mm sheet. Both saws have a 32mm depth of cut so will easily handle the standard 18-20mm thick sheet of manmade material.

What I liked about the ZM12 when I tried it was the absolute simplicity of use. On the cleverly designed, rotatable sawhead (needed for vertical and horizontal cutting) is mounted a standard Festool plunge saw, which is included with the machine. This can be connected to Sagetech’s optional excellent dust collection vacuum, so this ticks the important H&S dust safety box. Since the saws can also be tilted for mitre cuts, accurate bevel cuts come as standard with the Zapkut ZM.

So how – when we are told that British manufacturing industry can’t compete – does Sagetech Machinery produce a saw that retails at under £5,000 that has almost pinpoint accuracy every time? The answer seems to lie in clever design, maximum use of standard components and precision laser cutting and welding.

Each saw starts its life in a modern factory near Worcester where precision laser cut components are cut and shaped. Again by using lasers to produce the components, the all important top and bottom beams of the saw are accurately placed and then the rest of the framework holds them into a well-braced whole that does not move – I tried it – it is rigid!

The all important bearings and runners are off the shelf components – obviously cheaper to obtain and replace if necessary. You might also notice that the things like the sacrificial bearers are made from strips of MDF and the stops are made of steel strips with MDF sections that are simply screwed into place. This arrangement makes it easy for end users to replace worn out pieces themselves, adding to the cost effectiveness of the whole package.

With barely five minutes of explanation and a limited experience of using vertical panel saws, I was able to get a perfect right angle cut on a piece of 18mm thick MDF board safely and easily. Because operating the saw is a two handed operation, fingers are kept well away from any dangerous bits and there was no discernible dust in the air. As usual, it took longer to load and align the sheet than it did to do the cut.

The target market? I think that any “small user” cutting between 10 to 30 sheets a week would soon recoup their investment with the greater accuracy and speed that it would bring to production. Since wall saws take up very little space and are actually much safer and more accurate than using a table saw to cut sheet materials, it seems to me a bit of a no brainer to give the Zapkut range a look. It could be a very wise decision indeed.


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?

Tel: 0191 691 3044


Sagetech Machinery become a FESTOOL dealer!

It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce that SAGETECH MACHINERY LIMITED have become an authorised dealer for FESTOOL. The agreement allows us to supply all of the machinery, accessories and consumables that are offered from FESTOOL. We will be showing some of the FESTOOL range in our showroom in County Durham, along with continuing to partner our VERTICAL PANEL SYSTEMS with the FESTOOL saws and extraction systems that we have been doing for many year’s.

FESTOOL specialise in the fields of timber construction, carpentry, painting and renovation work as well as paintwork preparation and finishing. They promise perfection. No more and no less. Aim is to guarantee the same quality at all production locations, according to the “Made in Germany” standard. FESTOOL’S passion for high-quality power tools has continued for more than 90 years. We share this fascination with our users and fans. Our products make life easier for professional tradespeople – and help them to achieve perfect results faster. We always think systematically, right down to the finest detail. Over 350 patents, 80 awards, for both the products and company. And, above all our satisfied customers are testament to our innovative success.
In the coming weeks we will be launching our very own e-commerce website where you can purchase all of the FESTOOL products directly from us, with a nice little incentive. The shop link can be found below and also on our main website

The staff at SAGETECH MACHINERY have recently been through the FESTOOL dealer training so that they have the right skill sets to demonstrate the products to you along with the knowledge to guide you to the right product for your needs. This training was undertaken at Festool UK which is a subsidary of Festool Germany. Festool UK are based in Bury St Edmunds, operating since 2003 which now has around 55 employees operating in the UK in Sales, Service, Customer Service, Marketing, Finance and Accounts and Logistics.


Sagetech Machinery are an Incubator Zone Exhibitor at Durham Oktoberfest

We are glad to inform you that we are set to exhibit at Durham Oktoberfest on October 19th at the Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. The event, which returns this October for its TENTH year, focuses on showcasing the Engineering and Manufacturing excellence in the North East with over 100 exhibiting companies, many of which are now repeat exhibitors because of the value and benefits they derive from this event.

The event provides an annual opportunity for the Engineering and Manufacturing sector to come together and demonstrate both their individual and collective capability with the aim of meeting new contacts, strengthening their network and ultimately winning new orders and generating sales.

The organisers of Durham Oktoberfest have teamed up with Business Durham’s Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP) to create the Incubator Zone and offer companies a mini exhibitor package which will mean the Incubator Zone exhibitors can have a presence within the show for first time event exhibitors.

We welcome anybody to come down between 9am – 4pm and say hello, but if you can’t make it on the day we will be showcasing the day on our social media (our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) so be sure to check us out there and interact using the hashtag, #Oktoberfest10.

Anybody who is attending, we hope to see you there and we look forward with interacting & networking with all the visitors and fellow exhibitors. We can’t wait to get started.

County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network (CDEMN)

Sagetech Machinery become a CDEMN Member

We are very glad to announce that Sagetech Machinery are now official members of CDEMN.

County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network (CDEMN) is an organisation created to support the continued growth of over 1,000 of the companies which make up the area’s thriving engineering and manufacturing industries.

Worth millions of pounds to County Durham’s economy, CDEMN’s aim to encourage firms of all sizes to inter-trade, using local suppliers rather than outsourcing to companies elsewhere in the country; and share ideas and experiences which will ensure the engineering and manufacturing sectors continue to grow.

We have decided to become a member of CDEMN as it gives us the benefits of a range of services, such as the opportunity to meet and network with other business’ in the Engineering and Manufacturing industry from the North East. We see this as a great opportunity and couldn’t resist to grab it with both hands.

CDEMN also deliver Durham Oktoberfest, the North East’s premier engineering and manufacturing show, every year. Durham Oktoberfest 2017 is on Thursday, October 19th 2017 (9am-4pm) at The Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. Now in its 10th year, Durham Oktoberfest 2017 is set to once again surpass the success of previous years.

We can also announce that we will be be exhibiting at this years show! We will provide for information on our stand and offers closer to the time. For more information on Durham Oktoberfest, click here.


FESPA 2017 Overview

Sagetech Machinery were very fortunate to attend FESPA 2017 last week in Hamburg, Germany – connecting with other great businesses from all over the world, viewing amazing 3D models & signs and learning about the amazing world of print.

FESPA is the largest international wide format event in the world, so it was an amazing experience to attend. The event lasted 5 days, Monday 8th May – Friday 12th May, but unfortunately, we were only able to attend the Tuesday and Wednesday. However, despite this, we were able to take away a lot from these 2 days and it was great fun.

The exhibition had an incredible figure of over 700 exhibiting brands on show, so it was great to have a look at them all, digest the amazing displays on show and learn about the fascinating world of print with all of the great educational information provided. As well as that, there were so many other businesses there to talk to and connect with so the experience was very valuable.

We would like to say a big thank you to FESPA for having us and putting on a fantastic exhibition as usual to not only inform and educate but also to give us the very valuable opportunity to connect with other businesses from all over the world. It was a great time!

The next FESPA exhibition will take place between 15th-18th May 2018 in Berlin, Germany and this time we are even considering, not only attending, but becoming an exhibitor ourselves – so we hope we see you there!


Now the business is expanding under the new ownership, Sagetech Machinery are becoming more customer focused, offering a tailored service, to support their clients on finding the best machine for their requirements. It is with this in mind, that Sagetech Machinery have made improvements to their ZAPKUT ZM model, to make it more efficient, for sign makers.

Prior to this years SIGN & DIGITAL 2017 exhibition the new company are extremely excited to release details about the upgraded ZAPKUT ZM VERTICAL PANEL SAW, which is manufactured by them, right here in the UK. This unique machine has been improved specifically for sign makers, which can cut sheet material such as DIBOND, FOAMEX, CORREX, PLYWOOD, ACRYLIC and PERSPEX to name just a few. This huge product development is focused on the vertical column of the machine by replacing the old bungee style system and being upgraded to the heavy duty metal pulley system similar which is also used on the industrial KOOLKUT range.

This upgrade provides a significant benefit to sign makers when cutting their 8×4 or 10×5 sheet material. The much improved system allows for a stronger, more consistent smoother cutting process across all material especially, DIBOND. Adding on the router head to the ZM machine enables the manufacture of folded DIBOND panel’s and trays on the vertical panel saw. By using the V Groove aluminium saw blade in the router head, it allows DIBOND panels to be precision cut creating a perfect fold in the tray. Sign makers then can apply their print or acrylic letters to the panel or tray and create a beautiful new sign, with little expense!

With Sagetech Machinery being FCA approved, meaning a ZAPKUT ZM VERTICAL PANEL SAW can now be purchased by sign makers on finance! With machines starting from £20 per week there is no excuse not to bring manufacturing in house with a brand new SAGETECH VERTICAL PANEL SAW.

Contact the team on 0191 691 3044 or email:




So, here at Sagetech Machinery, we are keen golfers and have purchased two tickets to the British Masters 2017 at Close House. The tournament will be hosted by Ryder Cup player Lee Westwood, who has been Close House tour pro since 2011.

The 2017 event will be a little earlier in the European Tour calendar, running from 28 September to 1 October.
Close House is situated at Heddon on the Wall, Newcastle, not far from Sagetech Machinery, based at the Lambton Estate, Chester-le-Street.

Take a look around the course here

So, with all this in mind we thought we would share our love of the game, and give you a chance to WIN the tickets!
All you need to do, if you haven’t already done so, is sign up to our newsletter, just enter your email address below and click subscribe, and we’ll automatically enter you into the prize draw, closing date is the 31st August and the winner will be drawn the beginning of September.

You can also sign up to our newsletter via Facebook (@verticalpanelsaws), you will find the newsletter signup link on the left hand side of the page (p.s. please like us while you’re there).

Remember to share the competition with your friends on social, you can find links to twitter and Facebook at the end of this blog.

Good Luck!