Laguna Tools - LT 18 Bandsaw (Rating: 5)

My sales rep at Laguna was great: helpful, knowledgable, willing to deal, patient with some difficult delivery demands to my very remote shop. The saw, which weighs I think about 600 lbs crated, arrived on a truck with no lift gate. First thing the driver asks is "you got a forklift?". Uh oh. Two hours later, with no sprained backs, we had it off the truck. You can use a pair of Jorgensen bar clamps as a reverse winch! But I don't recommend it.

Setup was a bit of a hassle. The video was clear, but the instruction manual was poorly, if entertainingly, translated from Italian, apparently by a native speaker of Japanese. But the drills and parts are very well laid-out, and it was pretty easy to figure out the bits that weren't clearly covered in the manual. I managed to do all the assembly alone, including jockeying the massive 4.5 HP Baldor motor into place and setting the cast-iron table. Sort of a workout. I recommend two people for these parts of the job. As is usually the case these days, the machine arrived without a cable. I made a 36" 6-ga cable and plug and bolted it with a strap and self-tappers through the very-heavy steel cabinet. Keep those screws away from the tires and blade! The mobility kit installation was pretty easy, even working alone. I like this rolling kit with removeable handle. Works great. The wheels are bigger than any others in my shop, so I can roll the huge saw right over sawdust and scraps without a problem. Nice.

The test run was outstanding. Not only was the table dead flat, but the wheels were perfectly aligned [this must be a first, or maybe my experience with crappy Jet machines had lowered my expectations]. I installed one of Laguna's own carbide-toothed resaw blades, tensioned it with the outstanding hand-wheel tensioner, and set up the fence for some rips. The fence was perfectly square right out of the box. No adjustment necessary. The guide blocks come pre-installed and were a breeze to adjust. The blade had a slightly bumpy weld, but was easy to grind flat. I cut some fir first. The motor is almost dangerously quiet, so be careful. Within a few cuts I had resawn some 1/40" veneer off a 2×12. The tall fence, wide table, and dead-steady machine made this a breeze. The motor did not perceptibly slow.

All told, a great machine. Powerful, steady, and beautifully designed and built. 5 stars.