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Laguna Tools 14/12 Review

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Review by DMiller posted 03-02-2019 10:31 PM 1504 views 0 times favorited 3 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

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3 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

508 posts in 978 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

508 posts in 978 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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