Laguna Tools Jointer Planer Combo and Bandsaw My Worst Nightmare In Progress

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Blog entry by Caleb James posted 05-19-2010 04:51 PM 7671 reads 0 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently purchased a 16” jointer planer combo and 18” 3000 Series Bandsaw from Laguna Tools. It has turned into my worst nightmare. I have spent $6,245.83 on this order. It arrived damaged and I properly noted it on the freight bill. I contacted laguna about the most obvious damage to the band saw. The upper flywheel had come apart in shipping. I rebuilt it and it seems to work fine now.

My nightmare starts really with the jointer. In short this machine should edge join using the fence, face join, and plane. All three functions have defects due to either freight damage of very poor quality control issues. The exception seems to be the fence. It seems to be a straight quality control problem. The way it is packaged couldn’t, in my opinion, have caused damage from shipping. It has a buckle/twist in the center throwing out the fence 3/32 of an inch. I have pictures and have sent them to laguna. Second the jointer tables are out. I spent about 3 hours trying to adjust the out feed table to be level with the cutter head. I is close but doesn’t have enough adjustment in it to make it right. I didn’t bother going on to the in feed table yet. I decided to check the planer for parallel. It cuts heaver on the left side by an 1/8” of an inch! Totally out.

Here is my complant. I feel there customer service has performed very poorly. One person seemed to show concern and actually called me back yet he had no power to make any decisions, in fact everyone so far even the “manager” has to talk to the own to authorize a return for a damaged item. What? Really? This is simple. The item arrived in an unacceptable condition. Either the unit is out from damage or poor quality control. I don’t care but it is not my problem. Yet it is. I am also not going to start drilling out pins as I was told to give more adjustment room for the out feed table. They seem to expect me to do all this work for free. I want to know from others if you think this is right. They have so far refused to take the machine back and give a refund. Which is what I have demanded and I still do. I was threatened or reminded more than once that I would have to return the damaged/defective machine at my freight cost ($400?) plus take a 25% ($1561.45) restocking fee??! That doesn’t sound like standing behind your product to me. I did get and offer finally, after me calling them over and over, of a swop out. They send me a new one and I return the old one. If I don’t accept then too bad for me I guess.

I am now waiting to hear back from them to talk to the owners to see if they will do the right thing. They where already supposed to talk to them and get back to me which didn’t happen. I am totally frustrated and want to know what YOU the woodworking community suggest I should do. Please give me some realistic feedback. I don’t want to bash Laguna I just want them to do the right thing and accept that they have not satisfied this customer and should just take this return.


30 comments so far

View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 4211 days

#1 posted 05-19-2010 05:02 PM

Laguna Tools: 1-800-234-1976. Call to comment if you think they should hear feedback from the community. Leave your feedback for me here. I want to know what you think.


View woodsmithshop's profile


1425 posts in 4827 days

#2 posted 05-19-2010 05:19 PM

I know it is too late for you Caleb, but after hearing so many complaints about Laguna, I feel that any order from them should be inspected before acceptance from the freight co. and if any damage is found, do not accept, and have it returned, if they get enough returns / not accepted they might change their tune . also report them to the Better Business Bureau.

-- Smitty!!!

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4858 days

#3 posted 05-19-2010 05:25 PM

My experiance with Laguna was much the same buy you tools some were else.


View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 4211 days

#4 posted 05-19-2010 05:28 PM

I had stumbled upon one bad review before I purchased and wish I had taken it seriously. I just thought it was a one off kinda thing but I am getting the feeling this is how they operate.


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Caleb James

149 posts in 4211 days

#5 posted 05-19-2010 05:29 PM

What happened a1jim? If you feel like hashing it up that is.


View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 4211 days

#6 posted 05-19-2010 05:34 PM

View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 4211 days

#7 posted 05-19-2010 05:37 PM

Smitty I think I will report them if they don’t accept this return and do the right thing. There has to be a way for businesses to be held accountable. I want to give them the opportunity to do the right thing first though.


View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 4211 days

#8 posted 05-19-2010 06:15 PM

I just talked to my salesmen and I think that may help me to get this fixed. I really like this guy. I think he can help. I will post something on this later.


View RBWoodworker's profile


442 posts in 4633 days

#9 posted 05-19-2010 06:27 PM

Oh man!!.. I feel bad for you..I really do.. sounds exactly like what me and my cousin went thru when we bought our sliding tablesaw and edge bander.. both were nightmares and the edge bander ended up being scraped, never to be used again.. as far as I’m concerned..Laguna Tools are horrible..their products are awful, poor designed, and the customer service is non-existant..even though they are located within an hour from my shop..I shun them like the Bubonic Plaque..and if anyone ask..I’m not bashful to tell them my feelings.. I love my Powermatic 66 and it’s been my workhorse for the last 10 years with ZERO issues..

if possible.. try and return them and get a full refund..or threaten them with a Lawsuit.. companies must stand behind their products especially if they arrived damaged!!..I would find it hard to believe a judge would rule in a company’s favor after something like what happened to you..

-- Randall Child

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4396 days

#10 posted 05-19-2010 06:36 PM

when the new tool arive and doesn´t have a payd fraight return for the other machine
you simply just don´t return that and let them pic it up when they feel for it
maybee that will teach them a little lesson
that what we do here in Denmark the companis simply have to pay for the return fraight
if the machine is damaged or not what they have adveticed it shuold be able of
nomather if it´s poor quality control or anything ells as long it´s not yourself that have
damaged it as long it in the time of garanti periode


View Troy's profile


186 posts in 4344 days

#11 posted 05-19-2010 07:00 PM

Smitty, I am not sure that not accepting a shipment would help solve this. Nothing says that you’ll get your money back and a nasty incident could occur.
Like many, I’ve had several machines shipped, and it’s not easy or practical inspecting them at the shipping nodes. Beyond obvious shipping container damage, what are you supposed to do with tiny defects like a 3/32” untrue fence at a shipping site? How could anyone even figure that out at a shipping site?
I feel James’ pain cause it’s quite an ordeal just getting a machine like that from point A to B, not to mention the days of set up and tuning, just to find your new machine has lame flaws.
Up here in Alaska, I don’t order anything that isn’t guaranteed to arrive perfect and has consistently positive feedback stating such.

-- Troy Bouffard || Master Sergeant, US Army (Retired) ||

View FatScratch's profile


189 posts in 4584 days

#12 posted 05-19-2010 07:04 PM

Sorry to hear about your disappointing experience. I don’t understand one thing – if the manufacturer has offered to finally replace the products, then what is the problem? Are they trying to charge you something for a replacement? If I misunderstood and they are not following through or trying to charge you additional fees, then I would do a few things:

1) Start documenting every interaction you have with this company – specific dates and times you called, who you talked to, etc. Always get names or employee numbers.
2) Don’t do anything to alter the machines, unless it is from written instructions sent by the manufacturer (see documentation above)
3) Get a copy, if you don’t have already, of the freight bill where you noted the damage.
4) Start communicating in writing, preferably a well written complaint letter, sent certified mail, to the company’s President/CEO of US operations (take the issue directly to the top where the decision can be made) addressing the specific problems with the machines, what you have done to try and remedy the situation (calls to customer service, etc.), and the specific problems you have encountered with their customer service (freight charges, restocking fees, etc.). Make sure you also highlight any safety issues which are present as a result of damage/manufacturer’s defects.
5) You could attempt to dispute the charge, if you paid by credit card (this can get a bit tricky, but could be worth pursuing)
6) If the manufacturer continues their course of dealing over the next couple of weeks/months and you have documented everything as I mentioned above, then contact your State Attorney General’s office ( ). There are a lot of consumer protection laws that exist, you just have to be willing to do some homework.

You have spent a significant amount of money on products which are damaged and/or defective, at no fault of your own. You need to pursue this problem as a legal matter if you want true restitution. Do not settle for restocking fees or paying shipping charges if these damages are not your fault. Well written communication is better than phone conversations, and try not to get combative with the manufacturer. If necessary, consult an attorney – you spent $6,200 on defective/damaged equipment, you may need to spend some money to get this problem fixed; I would just make certain not to pay any more money to the manufacturer.

View dbhost's profile


5812 posts in 4513 days

#13 posted 05-19-2010 07:24 PM

I’ve heard so much about Laguna Tools that even if I were in the market for professional level tools instead of the Harbor Freight route, I wouldn’t give Laguna the time of day… Low quality products, and extremely poor customer service for a high price tag. No thank you… Sorry you got shafted. Just goes to prove how much you spend doesn’t guarantee quality or good CS…

Now there ARE companies that have excellent reputations, and work hard to protect those reputations… Grizzly, Powermatic, Delta, Steel City all market good tools with good customer service. Heck, for the most part, although this DOES seem to vary by store, Harbor Freight’s customer service is usually pretty darned good, with a fair return policy. Since you are willing to pay for Laguna though, I figure HF isn’t what you want in your shop…

If the owners and management of Laguna have half a brain, they should Google their own company name from time to time and check out threads like this… They really need to get on the stick, or they will eventually run themselves out of business.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View dalec's profile


612 posts in 5169 days

#14 posted 05-19-2010 07:34 PM

Sorry to read about your issues with your new machinery. I suppose the shipment should have been refused when delivered, but all of us operate with some hope that slight damage to the crating is only. We only find the full extent of the problem(s) once we begin to uncrate and begin to assemble the machinery. This is particularly true where poor design and/or poor quality control is concerned.

I think giving the company an opportunity to make things right is an appropriate way to go, but knowing when to say “enough” and going to the next level whether is is going directly to Laguna or your State Attorney General – Consumer Protection Division.

They have accepted your money and not given you fair value in exchange.


View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4930 days

#15 posted 05-19-2010 07:55 PM

sorry to hear about your experience. looks like we’re about to dwell into yet another Laguna bash party thread.

why does everyone that has a problem with Laguna join LJ and start bashing them and trying to get the “community involved”? no offense -but this IS your first posting on this site – also you double posted this very same post both as a blog, AND as a review word for word… I have seen the exact same thing happen about a year ago – guy joined in here just to post a negative post about Laguna, double posted it here, and also triple posted it on another site. then – we never heard from him again. his sole purpose was to ignite the fire.

now, I’m not saying that thats your goal, but I do find it an interesting point to mind.

that aside – I do notice that Laguna is really not up to par with their quality control and customer service. such a shame. they used to be referenced with high quality back in the day.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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