Laguna - 12" Parallelogram Jointer Model: MJOIN12X86-5-1-0130 (Rating: 5)

Update: 7/16/2021
More than 2 years and still just as pleased with this jointer as the day I got it. Simply performs fabulously!! I honestly have had zero issues with this jointer. Still using the original side of the four-sided cutters (have not rotated them yet) and still consistently provides smooth flat surfaces and edges. Love the suction a freshly jointed face has on the outfeed table resulting from this well designed jointer head and outfeed table combo. The fence continues to hold true at 45° to 90° - I'm not recalling needing to make any fence angle adjustments since the initial setup. The vibration mentioned in the original review is still present but hasn't worsened fortunately. The "packing" doesn't show any signs of wear and the fence still glides easily fore and aft when adjusted. I have enjoyed the height of the fence - proven useful time & time again working board edges. This is a great jointer - long term relationship for sure!

Original Review: May '19
After 2 months of significant use, my assessment is this jointer is OUTSTANDING! I am incredibly pleased. It's an awesome beast of a jointer and is a pleasure to use. I've spent nearly 3 years researching and testing out every 8" jointer I could lay my hands on. I've used 12" & 16" jointers (thanks to a woodworking club a few hours away) and even some European models. But never could I find this one to test out. I've visited the regional authorized repair center that works on various manufactures' large woodworking machines to hear what those guys had to say about Laguna's jointers and the competitors. (BTW, they had mostly very positive things to say about Laguna products.) Even still, and with only one review online, it was a sizeable leap for me to pull the trigger on buying this expensive tool unseen. Very happy I did! I hope this lengthy review helps you in your research.

Cut quality is superb; no tear out at all. To date I've jointed white oak, basswood, poplar, cedar, hickory, walnut and padouk, a few hundred bd.ft. in all, with excellent results. No problem handling 1/16" cut into 9" cherry or 9" mahogany. Obviously new knives so time will tell how they perform over the long haul. But all empirical data suggests eternal jointing bliss. For those new to jointing, I'd like to mention that the jointed surfaces of wood will not be "finish" ready - surface prep will still be required, IMHO. When I first used helical cutters I was under the mistaken impression I'd be left with finish ready surfaces - that's not been my experience.

Purchased online through a woodworking retail chain, took about 8 weeks to arrive, via UPS freight. O.D. of crate measured 91"L/33"W/47"H and was listed at 1250 lbs. Crated well - 4 large lag bolts driven into 3×5 timbers mounted jointer to crate floor; crate walls were ?" ply over 1×1 & 1×2 framing; crate top was 3/16" ply. Driver used a pallet jack to maneuver the crate into the shop, getting it close to permanent location (about 8' away). Some damage to the crate was evident. Driver obliged my request to wait until I could mostly uncrate the machine and do a cursory inspection before signing the bill of lading. Fortunately machine was unscathed. TWO SUGGESTIONS while you have access to the pallet jack: (1) peek into the crate to determine front of jointer and position crate in most advantageous orientation; and (2) place crate where you'll have enough space to remove the crate floor from beneath the jointer when you get to that stage. I lifted the jointer and slid the crate floor out from underneath it. Also give consideration how you plan to move the jointer to its final location (I used a "knockdown" hoist) - and leave space enough to maneuver your chosen moving device.

Jointer was well packaged in heavy plastic and cosmoline (that rust inhibiting oily coating covering cast iron surfaces). I cleaned the majority of the cosmoline off before moving the machine to it's permanent place.

Fit & finish of the machine is quite pleasing. Feel and operation are excellent - solid, smooth, no vibration. (Update: there is a little vibration at the very outside ends - say the last 3-4" - of each table. I'm working with Laguna to see if there's anything that can be done to eliminate it altogether.) Tables and fence are polished very nicely; no pitting which is great given the large surfaces, and just one small area on the outfeed table with light overspray. No rust. Using a precision 50" straightedge and flashlight, the fence and both tables proved dead-flat in length and width, and each was without any twist. This was my primary concern and I was delighted. Out-of-the-box setup was pretty spot on - initial measurements showed the tables to be parallel and coplanar, needing about a 3/1000" adjustment. The fence stops were less than ½° off. There are 66 four-sided knives, aligned in six rows of 11 knives each, situated slightly skewed to provide true shear action when impacting the wood. Laguna provides 5 replacement knives and 10 extra screws. The knives are etched with a reference mark to help keep track of their rotations. Table adjustment is silky smooth & precise using the hand wheels (which I prefer over adjustment arms). The lock handle for the infeed table is inconveniently cramped between the hand wheel and another knob that I've yet to figure out it's purpose. Fortunately I generally leave my infeed table set and do little adjusting of the depth of cut setting, so that will be an infrequent issue. The fence adjustment arm (used to set the fence from ±45° to 90°) is great - reachable, smooth motion and good leverage. However, I do not like the fence fore/aft adjustment wheel - its small diameter makes it less easy to turn plus there's easily an inch (YES, 1 whole inch) play in the wheel handle when reversing turn direction. Not at all going to affect anything; just nutty to me. Initially, getting the fence's ±45° & 90° Stops adjusted was very challenging until I determined the provided "adjust bolts" did not have flat ends. After correcting that issue, adjustment was easy. Using a precision angle gauge, I tested the repeatability of moving the fence back-n-forth between ±45° to 90° to test the stops, and they've stayed true after more than 2 dozen adjustments. The fence moves fore and aft across the outfeed table riding on something called "packing" (it looks like hard plastic so we'll see how it wears over time). I like this - helps smooth the movement as the fence moves fore & aft. Plus, the fence ends up being a generous 5½"+ high as measured from the top of the infeed table. One negative is that if you aren't careful when moving the fence all the way back, it can slip off the backside of the outfeed table and drops about ¼", making it inconvenient to get back up and onto the table (awkward & heavy). It's pretty darn quiet at 84dB - this is a wonderful improvement over my benchtop jointer's 92.5dB. The 6" dust port provides excellent collection but you will need a very good DC unit (shop vac or small machine isn't going to do). The ON/OFF controls are conveniently placed. Comes with an 8'+ power cord - you supply an appropriate plug. The owner's manual states there is a "key-operated power switch." Not so - no removable key. You'll need 3mm & 8mm allen wrenches + 13mm crescent wrench; all other tools are provided. Owner's Manual is unfortunately quite poor. Tool features and explanations are very basic and in some cases not accurate or are missing altogether. Fortunately minimal assembly is needed - just attach fence handles and guard.

Moving the jointer, rented a "knockdown" hoist ($55 for a half-day rental). Had to buy a load leveler, chains and hooks separately. Never done this type of operation before so here are some considerations. (1) Laguna provides 2 lifting bars, each has a large washer on one end. I installed one bar "in" from the back and the other "in" from the front, resulting in there being one washer in the front and one washer in the back. This proved helpful because it essentially provided a stop to prevent the chain / strap / rope used to lift the jointer from slipping off the lifting bars if the jointer became unbalanced when raised. (2) The previous point works because I chose to run the load leveler crosswise over the jointer (front-left to back-right) to match where the washers were. After trying a few variations, I chose this approach since it kept the chains from rubbing the sides of the jointer and used half the chain length than had I'd gone with a 4-point connection approach.
Wood Gas Machine Engineering Window


(3) Initially, only raise the jointer a fraction, then adjust the load leveler as needed. You'll do this in increments until the jointer is fully airborne (but only about 1" high - no need to go a foot into the air) and level. I raised it only high enough to clear the pallet out from underneath it, then lowered it to the floor. When ready to move the jointer, I raised it again to just clear the floor (about ¼" high). This way if anything went wrong, it wouldn't be terrible. (4) I just got lucky with this knockdown hoist; its stance was wide enough to straddle the crate. So keep the 33" width of the crate in mind when selecting yours. (5) It was unnecessary for me to cut off the left side of the crate floor since the hydraulic arm part of the knockdown hoist provided the offset needed; and, the stance of the knockdown was square-ish (opposed to splayed). But your scenario my require you to dismantle part of the crate floor. (6) Caution to those thinking they'll simply disassemble the crate floor in sections and tip the jointer onto the floor to take advantage of the wheels to roll the jointer into place. The base is sheet metal and IMHO will easily bend & dent if tittered on edge of the 3×5 timbers.

The wheels are fixed (do not caster) and oriented so the machine can move left & right (not forward & back). Front edge of jointer (with adjustment wheel handles stowed) is 39" from wall, and the lifting bar inserted from the back can still be removed once the jointer is in its permanent place. With the fence all the way back, there's about a 1/4" gap between the rack and wall.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Machine tool Wood


I've contacted Laguna Customer Service for help regarding a few miscellaneous things found in or missing from the owner's manual. First - they answered the phone, which is great! Second, I talked to real tech support which was great! That's the positive; the negative is the owner's manual is amazingly poor. While the tech support folks acknowledge this, unfortunately Laguna shows little interest in correcting this serious inadequacy. But it's good to know that I can call the 800 number to get help when needed, although I'd prefer to reference a well writen and thorough owner's manual.