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Laguna Tools 14/12 Review

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Review by DMiller posted 03-02-2019 10:31 PM 3721 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Laguna Tools 14/12 Review Laguna Tools 14/12 Review Laguna Tools 14/12 Review Click the pictures to enlarge them

A little while ago I had the privilege to purchase one of Laguna’s 14/12 bandsaw, a saw I had been wanting to buy for the past several years. First off, as a sixteen year old woodworker I feel very privileged to own and be able to use this saw; I really appreciate my customers who have purchased wood products from me and ultimately provided me the saw. Second, I had been watching craig’s list for quite a while for one of these- people just don’t like to sell them though!

Through my search for a saw I stumbled across Laguna’s Outlet store. There were no 14/12 demos available for purchase at the time, so I signed up to be on their waiting list. About a two weeks later, I received a call from Mr. Morgan Helshoj at Laguna Tools. He said he had a demo available for purchase if I was interested. When he told me what they were asking for the saw, I was shocked! It was cheaper than I could have got a used saw off Craigslist! All said and done, I got the saw shipped to my door for around $120 cheaper than the saws list price; this was including tax and shipping, and the shipping certainly wasn’t cheap due to the saw being already assembled.

I received the saw about a week later- and was pleasantly surprised at the condition of the saw. Mr. Morgan Helshoj at Laguna Tools said the saw was a demo; however, I couldn’t tell the difference between my saw and the floor model saw I had seen at Rockler! I emailed Mr. Helshoj and he said that their demos are not used, just displayed; he also said that he had made sure I got one of their nicest demos! In my opinion, if that isn’t customer service, I don’t know what is. Every time I emailed him I received a reply extremely quickly, sometimes within minutes. I have heard that Laguna has had bad customer service, but I received the best service I think I have ever had from a company.

Now to how the saw actually works. Blade installation is fairly simple; the lower guides are a little difficult for me to adjust though. I wish they could have put a little more room under the table. I will mention I haven’t had this saw for a long time, but have done a decent amount of cutting with it. This morning I resawed a 10.5” walnut board easily into a 1” board; it worked well; It probably would be better to use a larger blade than the 5/8” Laguna Shearforce blade I used. I have been able to cut veneer fairly easily also. If you get the saw and plan to move it, get a $30 moving “dolly,” the one I’m using works great and is a lot cheaper than Laguna’s $150 mobility kit.

What I like about the saw:
Pros:
>It cuts well. While resawing a 10.5” walnut board, I was not able to tell that the motor was being bogged down.

>It has a large table. It is fairly easy to cut long boards; trimming an inch of a 1×3x8 pine board was fairly simple with the large table.

>The guides- they are pretty simple to adjust, aside from not enough room for your hands under the table.

>Customer service- Laguna has excellent customer service along with great tools.

What I don’t like about the saw:
Cons:
>Probably my biggest gripe about the saw is that the guides DO spark. On my first cut, I noticed some sparks coming from the top guide (and I assume the lower guide also, I just can’t see it though) when the blade touched against the guides. I am surprised that I had never heard of sparks happening before I purchased the saw. I emailed Mr. Helshoj and he said that sparks are normal, and will lessen with use.
Why I don’t like the sparks is because I do not have or use a dust collector with the saw. Because of this, sawdust does collect on the lower guide. While I have never heard of the sawdust igniting, I really don’t like knowing there are sparks at all. This is one “feature” I am NOT impressed with. It seems like a safety issue to me that Laguna really ought to fix.

>Another thing I’m puzzled about is the tension meter. It has areas on it to tension an 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4 inch blade but no marking for a 5/8” blade. This really puzzles me being that Laguna makes a 5/8”, which happens to be on my saw now. It’s not a huge deal, but I really don’t get why it’s not on there.

> The last thing I don’t really like about the saw is the lower guide. It is a little tricky to adjust, partly because its hard to see what you are doing and get your hands in the tight area.

Thank you all for reading, I hope this review will help you in your woodworking. Overall, I am really impressed with the saw. I will mention that I have never owned a bandsaw, so I really can’t compare it to anything other than my ancient scroll saw, which really doesn’t compare. (:
Thanks,
Dale Miller

UPDATED EDIT:
Since writing this review I have had a few things happen that make me extremely impressed with Laguna. Mr. Morgan Helshoj contacted me to see how I like the saw, and I had a little time to talk with him about things iv’e noticed. First, the sparking from the guides has decreased; I think the blade I had just needed to wear in a little more. He agreed and said that sparks are normal, but lessen as the blade gets worn in.
Second, Mr. Helshoj very generously said he will send me a complimentary Laguna King Resaw blade! I will also say that I don’t think I have ever came across a company with as good of customer service as Laguna; I highly, highly recommend them!

-- Dale Miller Modesto, CA "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. "Woodworking minus patience equals firewood."




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DMiller

539 posts in 1357 days



10 comments so far

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Davevand

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#1 posted 03-04-2019 08:30 PM

I have this same saw and I totally agree with you about the bottom blade guides, major pain to adjust. As far as the sparks go, I have only seen them when I use a new blade, I think this is caused by the blade having minor imperfections and the ceramic guides just smoothing the blade, be sure the teeth do not contact the guides.
I only use the tension scale for to approximate the tension, I seem to use more tension then the scale shows for all the blades I have used

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DMiller

539 posts in 1357 days


#2 posted 03-04-2019 09:38 PM



I have this same saw and I totally agree with you about the bottom blade guides, major pain to adjust. As far as the sparks go, I have only seen them when I use a new blade, I think this is caused by the blade having minor imperfections and the ceramic guides just smoothing the blade, be sure the teeth do not contact the guides.
I only use the tension scale for to approximate the tension, I seem to use more tension then the scale shows for all the blades I have used

- Davevand

Thanks David! I appreciate knowing that!

-- Dale Miller Modesto, CA "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. "Woodworking minus patience equals firewood."

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DMiller

539 posts in 1357 days


#3 posted 03-06-2019 02:21 AM

^^^Edit made, I feel it is worthy enough to share it with you.
-Dale M.

-- Dale Miller Modesto, CA "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. "Woodworking minus patience equals firewood."

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Hondo03

60 posts in 713 days


#4 posted 12-24-2019 04:05 AM

Dale great to see someone of your age getting involved with wood working, It is something that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

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DMiller

539 posts in 1357 days


#5 posted 12-24-2019 09:34 PM



Dale great to see someone of your age getting involved with wood working, It is something that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

- Hondo03

Thanks! (:

-- Dale Miller Modesto, CA "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. "Woodworking minus patience equals firewood."

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tvrgeek

1054 posts in 2533 days


#6 posted 02-09-2020 09:35 PM

Folks, not making my decision any easier. Laguna or Rikon. Having only used my 10 inch Delta, I am sure I would love either, but… Leading to Rickon as I can get ceramic guides for $75 if I want them ( Use them on my Delta) but bearing guides for a Laguna are $350.

Laguna table comes off easier and is said to have better dust collection, but the adjustment of the Rikon guides couldn’t be easier. I like the Jet table tilts with a crank, but Laguna and Rikon beat it in most other areas. Why Laguna did not make the base a cabinet I don’t know. Easy to do that though.

Sure is good to hear about customer service. The forums are full of really bad service reports. Good business is , well good business! When looking for anything to break a tie, it matters.

Dale, with no dust system, please be diligent with a good dust mask. Lungs are hard to replace. Good masks are cheap.

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Furnone

20 posts in 1020 days


#7 posted 02-29-2020 04:24 PM

I’ve had my Laguna 14-12 bandsaw for 3 years now and I still love it….but.. I’m going to buy Carter guides for it at the woodworking show in NJ next week. The sparking ceramic guides have always worried me and last week it finally happened. I had just finished resawing a piece of pine and when I looked back at the saw, smoke was rising from the lower guides. Had I left the shop right after shutting off the saw, disaster would probably ensued.

I have not had much trouble adjusting the guides as others apparently have. It is a pain to have to tilt the table to adjust the lower guides, but a minor nuisance.

I do still consider it a great saw, but I would like to see them offer a Carter type guide as an option.

-- I will not lower my quality standards, so up yours!

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Unclewood

4 posts in 237 days


#8 posted 03-03-2020 09:06 PM

Anybody have any experience with the Laguna14bx?

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DMiller

539 posts in 1357 days


#9 posted 03-04-2020 04:15 AM



Anybody have any experience with the Laguna14bx?

- Unclewood

I personally do not, it would be best for you to post this question on the main forum instead of under this review, as many more people will see it and be able to answer your question better.
-Dale

-- Dale Miller Modesto, CA "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. "Woodworking minus patience equals firewood."

View Furnone's profile

Furnone

20 posts in 1020 days


#10 posted 03-08-2020 02:08 AM

Well, I went to the woodworking show in NJ yesterday and sprung $300 for the Carter guide kit for my Laguna.
I installed them last night and am happy with the change. I only made one cut so far, a 2” diameter circle in 4/4 pine with a 3/8” blade, I can already tell that they will meet or exceed my expectations.

Installation was simple, about 30 minutes using the 2 supplied allen wrenches.

No more sparks!

-- I will not lower my quality standards, so up yours!

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