Poor quality and even worse costomer service

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Review by samiam posted 09-22-2010 06:34 PM 9109 views 0 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Poor quality and even worse costomer service Poor quality and even worse costomer service Poor quality and even worse costomer service Click the pictures to enlarge them

Got this unit home and uncrated after it took 3 weeks to get from Laguna. When I ordered it the unit was on the floor ready to ship and when it was all said and done it hadn’t cleared customs yet.

First thing that I noticed is that the plug on the end of the power cord was only rated for 15 amps. This unit has a 4hp motor so I thought that was underrated. It didn’t matter to me though I had already planned to cut the end off and put one on that matched my set-up with locking plugs. It did seem to have 10gauge wire which should be adequate.

Next was the fence. Wow what a piece. The bolt holding the fence in place does not match the hole that it goes into. Because of this there is an incredible amount of slop. One time you lock it down and the front edge of the fence may be at the edge of the table and the back end will be 1 inch off the back side of the table. This makes it practically impossible to set the fence square to the table or even more exaggerated is when you set the fence at 45. One end may be 42 and the other 48.

The actually fence is made out of light aluminum which is ok I guess but it is not completely flat. If you pay a precision square on the face of the fence it touches on the top and bottom and gaps in the middle. Using a precision straight edge it seems that the fence is straight enough but with all of these issues it is absolutely impossible to get square to the table and the stop used to return the fence to 90 is useless. All of this was reported to Laguna customer service with pictures. I got a call back asking me to send pictures which I did. Following this I got an email saying that they would look into it. I haven’t heard another word from them even after several emails asking for updates.

The next issue I have had is that after running less than one hour the unit threw both of it’s belts off while planning a piece of wood. Replaced belts, started it again and eventually it did it again. I replaced belts third time and turned by hand. It seemed one belt was not tracking right so I removed it and have been running on one belt every since that seems to be working.

The third issue is the mortising attachment that is completely out of square with no reasonable way to adjust it.

I sent there customer service this email:

Tried to set up the mortising attachment on this unit last night for a job that I am doing. First of all I want emphasize my earlier concerns about how heavy this unit is considering it is advertised as “easy to take off and put on with just 3 bolts”. This was even more of a consideration last night as I had to hold it up with one hand while making adjustments with the other hand. Not something I would be able to do very often.

I want to start off with the first picture. It is a front view of the planer/jointer/mortiser with the mortising attachment set into place. As you can see the right hand side is quite a bit lower that the left. In order to correct this you have to hold the unit up with one hand to a point that at least seems level and tighten the bolt with the other hand (No small task in its self). Then you check it for levelness and do it all over again several times until you finally get it level. Practically wore out by the time I get that done.

The next 2 pictures are of the bit alignment with the table. As you can see there is a fence at the front of the table which should be perpendicular to the bit in order to do a mortise square with the wood. This fence is way out of alignment and the is no way to make adjustments. The only way to this and bring it into alignment would be by putting in a bunch of shims under the bolts as you mount the unit (Again while holding in place, hopefully kind of level and tightening with the other hand while placing shims). I don’t have that many hands.

The last picture is of the table and bit which should be parallel to each other. As you can see again they are not even close. There are allen wrench screws beside the bottom two bolts that can be moved in and out to adjust this but unfortunately they are all the way in and actually it is the top that needs to be held out to make the adjustment to bring this in alignment. Again I could make a shim and place it behind the top bolt of the unit and again hold it in place with one hand.

The great part about all of this is that while tiring to make adjustments I’m sure I’ve done a pretty good job of scratching up the front of a brand new machine. A $5000 machine I might add. I have to say that I am very disappointed with this unit as a whole. At least with the mortising attachment I would like to return it to your group and you should pay the shipping. I buy tools so that I can do woodworking not spend all of my time working on them.

I have still not gotten any response about the fence issue or the belts that were ruined during the first hour of running because the both flew off the pulleys. Please respond to all of these issues.

No response!!!

View samiam's profile


28 posts in 3574 days

26 comments so far

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 3798 days

#1 posted 09-22-2010 06:47 PM

Just ordered parts from Delta for my Spindle sander 15 Min on the phone to the tech guy and the parts are in shipment right now :) this is why all of my tools are Delta,Dewalt, or Porter Cable :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path [email protected]

View samiam's profile


28 posts in 3574 days

#2 posted 09-22-2010 08:10 PM

I do agree with what you are saying Sawblade but there were specific reasons that I wanted the 16” planer/jointer with the helical blades. A peice of equipment not offered by many. Next time it will be a unit like a Felder or Hammer that has a better reputation

View PurpLev's profile


8574 posts in 4419 days

#3 posted 09-22-2010 08:28 PM

3 weeks to deliver machine – sounds reasonable as it’s imported. I wouldn’t worry about the plug, and since you replaced it anyways, I wouldn’t worry about it.

fence and pullies – that’s an issue for customer support indeed.

no response to the email… ok, but have you called them? I only email if I have a general question that does not require immediate reaction, but if I have a technical issue that needs response – I always call in.

yet again a complaint against Laguna from a 1st time poster – no offense, It’s just interesting that all those complaints are from 1st time posters. as if people register to just to complain about this 1 company :)

hope you can get this resolved soon. for $5K machine, I would expect some prompt responses – but you’d have to show initiation and call them in.

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

View samiam's profile


28 posts in 3574 days

#4 posted 09-22-2010 08:43 PM


I’m sorry it didn’t indicate in my post that my contact with Laguna was first by phone. My first contact was a call and an email describing the issue followed by another email that Laguna asked for with pictures of the issue.

You are also right I should have registered with this forum a long time ago. I read portions of these blogs daily and have for a long time but I do tend to be “off the radar” when it comes to posting anything. Practically takes an act of God but in this case I wanted to let everyone know what has been going on so they can avoid the same problems I have had. The thing that really sucks about this whole thing is that i own a Laguna bandsaw and if someone would have asked me what I thought about that company before now i wouls say it was great. But I never had to deal with there customer service on the bandsaw either.

View PurpLev's profile


8574 posts in 4419 days

#5 posted 09-22-2010 09:51 PM

that does shed more light on the story. I wasn’t trying to come off negative – just was my observation. I do agree they should answer email in general, but I also notice that phone and a live person on the other side gets things done quicker – in general.

for what it’s worth, All these reviews keep on painting a rather similar picture – Laguna is a 1 tool company – a Bandsaw company.

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

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4863 days

#6 posted 09-22-2010 10:19 PM

I thought Laguna was a very good brand. This certainly doesn’t sound that way. Please keep us posted on how this fiasco plays out.

You may want to mention to them that you are posting this on a woodworking board with more then 20,000 members. Even tell them the site so they can check it out. If they want to stay in business, that may get their attention.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View denovich's profile


30 posts in 3594 days

#7 posted 09-22-2010 10:43 PM

If you paid by credit card, I would look into dispute that charge ASAP. You need to get the process started in X number of days (where X is probably 30 days after purchase, depends on the card.) Disputing the charge gives you a lot of leverage… Soon as the money is theirs for good you are left with a very weak hand to play.

View Mario's profile


194 posts in 4167 days

#8 posted 09-23-2010 02:30 AM

Samiam…... send it back and buy a Hammer

View thiel's profile


410 posts in 4063 days

#9 posted 09-23-2010 03:56 AM

I called Laguna to ask about a product I’d like to buy—and I told them I was ready to purchase. I was promised a spec sheet and manual via email that very morning.

That was three days ago.

Not going to call back. Haven’t heard a single good thing about them.

-- --Thiel

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 3808 days

#10 posted 09-23-2010 05:14 AM

Ouch. I keep waiting to hear from someone having a GOOD experience with Laguna, but it doesn’t ever seem to come. Sorry to hear of your woes, and good luck getting them resolved.

-- David from Indiana --

View ocwoodworker's profile


209 posts in 3775 days

#11 posted 09-23-2010 05:35 AM

I bought a 14 SUV band saw and used my own trucking to get it home (rented a lift gate truck and drove it myself). It fell off the back lift gate as I was lowering it to the ground :( (DARN JERKY HYDRAULICS!!!). After I consoled myself on my wife’s shoulder, I called Laguna and they told me to send photo’s of the parts broken. I did and they promptly called back with the parts needed to repair. Since I live locally, I drove down and they scavenged the parts off the other machines to get me up and going. To me, they went through hoops they didn’t have to. My hat is off to Laguna for their service.

-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4041 days

#12 posted 09-23-2010 08:17 PM

With all the negative reviews and nightmares, I still see folks getting ripped off by Laguna. I am amazed that the company stays in business? Yet seeing folks still buying from them is probably the answer. I always ask the ones that have the service nightmares…was it worth the cheaper price?

The companies I buy from are the ones that have good service and the best quality machines….Service is very important…because after you buy the machine…you need attention…and definitely do not want your equipment sitting in the background collecting dust when you need it…certainly not for a miniscule part.

I recommend folks read the reviews about a tool and the company prior to purchase. There are too many nightmares reported on Laguna for my comfort level…and knowing about some of them first hand from very good friends….I will not buy from them until I start seeing rave reviews about their quality and their service….

The other thing that is puzzling is the LJ’s still has their add…stating free shipping in June? What is with that?

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 4074 days

#13 posted 09-24-2010 03:14 AM

Haven’t heard a single good thing about them.

The same here. I don’t think I would purchase a machine from them.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3962 days

#14 posted 09-25-2010 07:59 PM

Laguna, seems to have a bad customer service relationship. This is the 3rd LJ’s post I have seen in relation to
Laguna, not stepping up to the plate to make things right. You might want to print up this post and Fed Ex
it with a letter to the CEO of Laguna, and let us know if they are a company we would want to do business with.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to work out your problems with them.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Albert's profile


542 posts in 4360 days

#15 posted 09-26-2010 07:20 PM

Yea, but they have very pretty pictures in the magazines.

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