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Laguna 14|12 - Great Saw with fantastic customer service to back it up

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Review by BoardsByBullard posted 01-20-2018 06:35 AM 5132 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Laguna 14|12 - Great Saw with fantastic customer service to back it up No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Late in December I started to look into a few options for improving the shop, I was tossing ideas around getting a few more Festool toys and I realized I was quickly outgrowing my Craftsman 1hp 14” band saw. I was looking for a reasonably priced saw with more power and I saw that my local Rockler was not only running a special for 10% off Laguna products but that they also had the 14|12 in stock. I was strongly considering the 220v 14bx as a solid option but realized that the break was not a feature I would frequently use and that while I could run another 220v tap in the garage I would rather get a mobility base and Resaw King blade for less money…

I picked up my new 14|12 December 31st with the Laguna Mobility kit and a few blades including a fancy 3/4” Resaw King. Unboxing and setup only took a few hours with little fuss. All you have to do is assemble the stand and attach it to the saw. Once you set up your blade squaring the table to the blade and setting up the guides is very easy. I do need to mention that there were a few small defects that gave me a bit of pause but out of the box the saw was usable (note that the saw does not come with a blade)

The issues I ran into were as follows:

  • The Table was tilted away from the spine of the blade (fore/aft tilt, not side to side)
  • The Resaw Fence was bowed vertically about .007” making it difficult to square the fence to the blade
  • The Throat Plate was cupped by about .015” making it impossible to get it flush with the table.

I sent an email to Laguna Customer Service at about the issues with the fence, plate and table about 2PM on Tuesday, at 2:30 my phone was ringing with a very helpful Laguna technician (Jacob D.) asking for a copy of my receipt so he could ship me a new fence and throat plate and some instructions on how to square the table to the blade (which took about 15 minutes with an allen key and a wrench) After replying with a picture I had a notice saying what was being shipped about 15 minutes later. My new fence and throat plate arrived Friday and the replacements were in much better shape.

Pros:
  • Blade changes are a breeze with the tool less ceramic guides
  • Dust Collection on a band saw done right! There is a 4” port right below the table and thoughtfully designed baffles to direct dust. There is very little mess when using this saw.
  • Tuning the saw was not complicated at all, especially after watching the setup videos Laguna provides.
  • The mobility base is fantastic and makes moving the saw around a breeze.
  • The saw has plenty of power for everything I have thrown at it including peeling a few 1/16th inch sheets off of a 10” wide piece of 8/4 hard maple as a test.
  • Customer Service responds FAST and very easy to work with.
Cons:
  • A few small defective pieces out of the box (as far as I can tell only aluminum components), quickly resolved by Laguna
  • The table tilt is really chewy, I added some paste wax to the trunnions and that seemed to help a little bit but overall I think I’m going to have to pull the table off and take a closer look. I don’t do much work with the table tilted so it may just need to be broken in a bit.
  • I’m not a fan of the scale that comes on the fence it is difficult to read and . I almost immediately pulled the scale and replaced it with another I had on hand.

After using the saw for a few weeks I found that the saw is a charm to work with, the pro’s far outweigh the cons and the customer service more than makes up for any shortcomings. I would not hesitate to recommend Laguna and the 14|12 to a friend.

I wanted to take a moment to mention the Resaw King Blade:

I was using the saw this past Wednesday and after feeding a few pieces through the saw I turned around to grab my next workpiece and out of the blue the blade snapped, it went off like a shotgun and nearly required a change of pants… Once the shock of the blade snapping started to wear off I started to realize a 2 week old $150 blade just grenaded in my saw. In a panic I called Laguna customer service hoping for a hail Mary. I spoke with a gentleman named Adam C. and quickly found out the Resaw King blades have a 1 year warranty and that I most likely received a blade from a defective batch. After exchanging a few pictures Adam let me know that he was shipping me out a new blade with priority. The new blade arrived today, two days later… The part that really caught me off guard with the phone call to Laguna, their first question… How is the saw? I believe these guys really care about their products.

And another brief moment to touch on Laguna’s Customer Service:

Both times I have reached out to Laguna for customer support they have responded within 30 minutes. I really am blown away by how Laguna stands behind their products without any fuss. I read about poor customer service experiences in the past but I can say with confidence that whatever issues they had in the past, they are clearly prioritizing customer service today.




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BoardsByBullard

20 posts in 505 days



16 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3605 posts in 2165 days


#1 posted 01-20-2018 12:47 PM

This is a well written review…thanks.

It is good to hear of such good customer service and a great bandsaw.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1624 posts in 1391 days


#2 posted 01-20-2018 05:08 PM

good review——-

-- Desert_Woodworker

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1765 posts in 2525 days


#3 posted 01-21-2018 12:41 PM

Quite a difference in customer service from a year ago when I bought a DC from them. I certainly wasn’t alone in the criticism of their customer service. Maybe all of the complaints made a difference.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Hermit's profile

Hermit

209 posts in 1502 days


#4 posted 01-21-2018 01:33 PM

I purchased the same saw about 2 weeks ago. I will review it after more use and experience but can say for certain that adjusting the lower guides are a real pain. They could of designed a little more room to get your hands in there to turn the back knob.

-- I'm like the farmer's duck. If it don't rain, I'll walk.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2344 posts in 1399 days


#5 posted 01-21-2018 03:51 PM

Side question, did your blade break at the weld?

You might be able to get it rewelded an shave a nice spare (if it didn’t get kinked).

View hotncold's profile

hotncold

784 posts in 1721 days


#6 posted 01-21-2018 04:03 PM

I have had this saw for 2+ years and I am happy overall but I have to agree with Hermit…adjusting the lower guides is a real pain.
I purchased it originally because I could get the size/horsepower in 110 v and I didn’t want to have to run another 220v circuit.

-- Dennie - Tennessee

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BoardsByBullard

20 posts in 505 days


#7 posted 01-21-2018 05:06 PM



Side question, did your blade break at the weld?

You might be able to get it rewelded an shave a nice spare (if it didn t get kinked).

- splintergroup

Negative, there were actually a bunch of little fractures and the tech at Laguna mentioned a bad batch.

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BoardsByBullard

20 posts in 505 days


#8 posted 01-21-2018 05:29 PM


Quite a difference in customer service from a year ago when I bought a DC from them. I certainly wasn t alone in the criticism of their customer service. Maybe all of the complaints made a difference.

- EarlS


I was concerned about the CS based on previous reviews but noticed a trend moving in a positive direction lately here, on reddit and sawmillcreek.


I purchased the same saw about 2 weeks ago. I will review it after more use and experience but can say for certain that adjusting the lower guides are a real pain. They could of designed a little more room to get your hands in there to turn the back knob.

- Hermit


I have had this saw for 2+ years and I am happy overall but I have to agree with Hermit…adjusting the lower guides is a real pain.
I purchased it originally because I could get the size/horsepower in 110 v and I didn t want to have to run another 220v circuit.

- hotncold

I definitely dont want to get into defending my review territory but I dont think the lower guides are that bad, the first few times they were frustrating because I could also barely get my hands on the thumbwheels. After watching one of their bandsaw setup videos they pointed out two tips:

  • Tilt the table to ~45 this makes adjusting the thumbwheels easier – This is what I do and it makes a night and day difference.
  • The thumbwheel controlling the rear guide can be switched to the other side (matching the top) this does however limit how far you can tilt the table…

Compared to the bearing guides on my old bandsaw (a Craftsman Rikon clone) that required allen keys and box wrenches these guides are much faster and easier to set up.

Hopefully this is helpful

View edapp's profile

edapp

145 posts in 1606 days


#9 posted 01-22-2018 12:48 PM

Thank you for the review. I am anxiously awaiting my Laguna bandsaw and it is always nice to hear reports like this of Customer Service taking care of people.

View graynet's profile

graynet

3 posts in 1384 days


#10 posted 01-23-2018 06:08 PM

I bought this saw a few weeks ago as well, except from Woodcraft, where they were happy to price match Rockler’s 10% off. I chose not go with Laguna’s mobility kit, as $150 for some wheels did not seem worth it to me. Instead I bought a Portamate mobility kit that was on sale for about $40. I also bought a couple standard blades (1/2in and 1/4in) instead of the Resaw king.

I found assembly simple enough and was able to do it all myself without any assistance. Unfortunately, I either got a bad blade, or damaged it somehow, and struggled for over a week trying to get a decent cut in 6in walnut. I watched every set up video I could find on bandsaws and tried everything, and no matter what my cuts were fine in softwood, but as soon as I tried a hardwood of any decent size, the blade would cut horribly and eventual dive toward the fence. I tried adjusting for drift and always got a different amount, and then struggled to get the fence to actually adjust properly. It would move to where you wanted it when loose, but as soon as you tightened down the bolts, the fence would move back towards being straight on. I think I found it really only had about 1-2deg of adjustment in either direction. Not near what I seemed to need. It drove me nuts! All this was with a 1/2” timberwolf blade. Finally I broke down and bought a cheap Starret 5/8” blade. I finally got a chance to throw it on, and BAM! perfect cuts and not a hint of drift. Last night I was able to cut 1/8” strips of 6in wide walnut that I’ll be using to make a bent lamination curved drawer front. The saw works like a champ.

So a note to anyone else struggling to set up a bandsaw and get decent resaw cuts, make sure you have a backup blade and give that a shot fairly quickly in the testing process. Would have saved me hours of frustration to realize that the brand new saw blade was actually my problem.

For refence, this is not my first bandsaw, as I was upgrading from a cheap 14” delta knockoff, that I had had some moderate success with resawing on.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1624 posts in 1391 days


#11 posted 01-23-2018 11:31 PM

Good advice

-- Desert_Woodworker

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

847 posts in 1761 days


#12 posted 01-24-2018 12:09 AM

I considered this saw and studied it a lot, along with others.
After reading tons of bandsaw reviews, I wanted to say thanks to you for a well written and thoughtful bit of writing.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1390 posts in 780 days


#13 posted 01-24-2018 01:48 AM


I purchased the same saw about 2 weeks ago. I will review it after more use and experience but can say for certain that adjusting the lower guides are a real pain. They could of designed a little more room to get your hands in there to turn the back knob.

- Hermit


I read in some review that you can move the knob to the other side of the lower guides. I’m about to buy the same machine so I’ve done a lot of research.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1390 posts in 780 days


#14 posted 01-24-2018 05:05 PM

Which Portamate stand model did you buy? Can’t seem to find the one shown in your picture.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View BoardsByBullard's profile

BoardsByBullard

20 posts in 505 days


#15 posted 01-24-2018 10:17 PM



Which Portamate stand model did you buy? Can t seem to find the one shown in your picture.

- Andybb

I purchased the Laguna Mobility Kit, it bolts on directly during assembly with no fuss and is very stout. I have a Delta base for my jointer that is very similar to the Port-A-Mate kits, my issue with the aftermarket kits is getting your heavy tools onto them, with a bolt on, I literally just stood the saw up and it was done.

I purchased the same saw about 2 weeks ago. I will review it after more use and experience but can say for certain that adjusting the lower guides are a real pain. They could of designed a little more room to get your hands in there to turn the back knob.

- Hermit

I read in some review that you can move the knob to the other side of the lower guides. I m about to buy the same machine so I ve done a lot of research.

- Andybb

I can confirm this, however, tilting the table is easier, moving the knob to the other side limits your ability to tilt the table all the way.

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