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Laguna Revo 18|36 Initial review

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Review by rizzo posted 03-05-2018 11:41 PM 2334 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Laguna Revo 18|36 Initial review Laguna Revo 18|36 Initial review Laguna Revo 18|36 Initial review Click the pictures to enlarge them

Before this review begins, let me first start by saying this is a combination review of the purchase process, the pickup/delivery, the setup and the first 30+ days of use. This is not meant as a full review of the lathe. In a year (or so) I will follow up with a more thorough review as I use the tool more and report back any findings, that may differ from this review.

So with that “fine print” out of the way, let me say that while I feel like I decided quite quickly what lathe I wanted, it was not without its deliberations.

The first choice when researching lathes and trying to narrow down the endless slew of options was to start with that of size. “What size lathe should I get?” was a question I posed to many people, which was quickly replied to with “Well… what do you want to make?”. I didn’t have a great answer to that question… “everything? I guess” is what I usually responded with. As such, I was not much help to the people trying to help me…

I realized quickly that I did not want to become hamstrung with the size of lathe I chose and wanted to make sure that it had the flexibility for me to be able to make a variety of projects (both large and small) as well as have the opportunity for expansion if I so desired. I weighed the different options and boiled it down to Jet, Powermatic and Laguna.

In reading reviews of the previously mentioned lathes, most are positive across the board. I made a trip to my local woodcraft and was able to look and a few different lathes there. They had the laguna and a few jet’s. They did not have the powermatic, but a friend of mine has one and I have been over to his shop to see his lathe.

I really liked the laguna when I saw it and started messing with it in the store. However as I commonly do when I am looking at a new tool, I went online here to read reviews. I was surprised to see very few reviews on this site for what seemed to be (on other sites at least) and very highly praised lathe.

This gave me pause I have to say. But the pair of reviews that I did read here were so positive that they pushed me over the edge and I decided to pull the trigger on the 220V Laguna 18|36. Big shout out to ‘MOKE’ for helping me with a few questions I asked him.

I picked up the lathe in a pickup truck (Honda Ridgeline) from my local woodcraft. They were able to load it into the back with no issues at all. Everything was in one very well packaged box, which was very nice, however this posed an issue… how to get the box out of the back of the truck..

I decided that this would be next to impossible so I just opened the box in the back of the truck and took out all the parts one at a time. Watch the laguna youtube videos online for tips on removing parts from the box / assembly. They were super helpful and I did not have to open the manual at all. Especially the tips for how to cut away parts of the packing foam to slide off the tail and headstock.

As many others have stated “this thing is a beast” and that is true, it is, however in individual components it was actually quite manageable. My Shop is actually located in the basement of my house, so not only did I have to get the parts down out of the truck, but I had to haul them all through my house and down into the basement shop. First came the legs. I decided to carry both of them at the same time (to even out the weight) and this worked well. It was quite heavy, but I got them downstairs without any issues. The rest of the parts were moved quite easily, expect for the headstock… It’s not the weight that is the problem (although it is very heavy) it is the awkward nature of trying to hold this strangely shaped thing… Any who, I made it downstairs without dropping it, so that was good.

Assembly is straightforward and very easy. Again watching the videos was helpful, but it is really just bolting on some leveling feet and the legs, so its pretty easy.

I went with the 220V version so I had to run a new circuit for that from my breaker but that wasn’t a problem. It comes pre wired with a 220V plug which is really nice, so as long as you have an outlet ready, you are set to go.

This lathe is very well built and the attention to detail really stands out. Everything feels very well made and robust. The travel of the banjo on the bed is very smooth. There was a tiny bit of paint chipping on the tool rest, but I guess its not really a big deal, as I assume this part will take some abuse over time.

So after arriving at home with the box, I had the lathe up and running with a piece of wood in about 2 hours or so. Now having done it once, I could have done this faster, but I was taking my time cleaning all the parts from their shipping grease and taking pictures etc..

The lathe is very very smooth and super quite. (while I guess I don’t have anything to compare it to, I can’t imagine it could be much better)

I really like the controls. A few other seemed to have some issues with them, but I really like them They are in a good place and the readout is clear and easy to read. The speed adjustment knob has arrows that for some have been confusing, and while I agree it is not a very good label, it has not caused as issue for me at all and I immediately felt comfortable with the direction I had to turn the knob to increase and decrease the speed.

The tailstock with depth markings is a really nice feature and makes it simple to bore holes to a specific depth. The tool storage is nice. Belt changes to jump from one set of speeds to the other is very easy. There is a quite elaborate indexing system integrated into the head stock, but I don’t know if this is really something I will use.. (but its nice that it is there for me I guess if I need it).

In no time I was making chips fly and was having a blast doing so.(except for getting my shiny new lathe all covered in chips and dust haha, but wood chips are just man glitter so its ok).

I have made quite a few bowls, platters and some smaller spindles as well as a couple French rolling pins. It has been really fun, getting into turning and for anyone looking for a lathe I can’t recommend this one enough. It has the power and the capacity to suite my needs for sure and if for some reason in the future I need to turn something larger, I can adapt this lathe with accessories to do that also (though I don’t foresee doing this).

While certainly not a cheap lathe, it is by no means an expensive lathe (compared to what is out there). I really think as was said by another reviewer it is the best full sized lathe for the dollar you can buy. This is the second laguna tool I own now, as I have one of their bandsaws as well, and I really like both of them. Built very well and have had no issues to date with either.




View rizzo's profile

rizzo

68 posts in 1456 days



12 comments so far

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2481 posts in 2338 days


#1 posted 03-06-2018 11:25 AM

Nice review thanks for sharing and good luck with new lathe!

-- Bill

View RandyinFlorida's profile

RandyinFlorida

257 posts in 2271 days


#2 posted 03-06-2018 01:25 PM

Very thorough. Wish I had room. It’s what I’d buy.

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1631 posts in 1418 days


#3 posted 03-07-2018 04:17 AM

Laguna +1

-- Desert_Woodworker

View SysEng's profile

SysEng

1 post in 827 days


#4 posted 03-07-2018 12:59 PM

Nice review. I’ve been thrashing about trying to decide what new lathe to get. I really want the Laguna, but have been afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get it off the truck and assemble it by myself – I’m 69 years old and most of my neighbors are either older than me or not well. My cuurent lathe is a Jet JWL-1222VS and it’s just about all I can lift. Your review makes me believe I can do it.

-- Rob Cotton, Smoky Mountains TN

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8561 posts in 2532 days


#5 posted 03-07-2018 01:53 PM

Nice review…. thanks for taking the time to do a thoughtful write up.

I didn’t even know Laguna made a full size power house lathe.

One detail that would help readers understand your perspective better…. is this your first lathe?

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View rizzo's profile

rizzo

68 posts in 1456 days


#6 posted 03-07-2018 05:01 PM



Nice review. I’ve been thrashing about trying to decide what new lathe to get. I really want the Laguna, but have been afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get it off the truck and assemble it by myself – I’m 69 years old and most of my neighbors are either older than me or not well. My cuurent lathe is a Jet JWL-1222VS and it’s just about all I can lift. Your review makes me believe I can do it.

- SysEng

Make no mistake the parts of this lathe are very heavy.. Each leg by itself is probably 90 lbs or so.. I was able to manage carrying all the parts, but I wouldn’t call them light. What I was trying to convey in my review is that unboxing / assembly etc is doable by yourself, but it would certainly be easier if your had help. If you don’t have to haul things downstairs like I did, and got a friend to lend a hand, it is very doable.


Nice review…. thanks for taking the time to do a thoughtful write up.

I didn t even know Laguna made a full size power house lathe.

One detail that would help readers understand your perspective better…. is this your first lathe?

- Mainiac Matt

This is my first lathe, in fact short of the recent turning that I did on this lathe, the last thing I turned was 18 years ago back in high school. I was pretty sure that I would really enjoy turning and I’m glad that I went for a full sized lathe off the bat, instead of buying a midid lathe only to have to buy a full sized one in the future. Just felt that the dollar to value ratio was better for this lathe than other choices, but it is only my options.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1975 posts in 2193 days


#7 posted 03-07-2018 11:28 PM

Any particular reason you did not include grizzly in your lathe search? The g0766 is about $700 cheaper with 4” inch more swing. Its my current pick once I get 220V wired.

View rizzo's profile

rizzo

68 posts in 1456 days


#8 posted 03-07-2018 11:47 PM


Any particular reason you did not include grizzly in your lathe search? The g0766 is about $700 cheaper with 4” inch more swing. Its my current pick once I get 220V wired.

- OSU55

No great reason I suppose, other than I guess you have to draw the line somewhere when considering brands otherwise there will always be “one more brand” to consider. Also I have multiple powermatic, jet and laguna tools already in my shop and have been really pleased with them so far, so “brand loyalty” I guess.. The other factor was years ago when I was looking at a cabinet saw, I looked at a grizzly (which was as at a colleague of mine’s shop) it really just didn’t impress me and I much preferred the build quality of the powermatic that I needed up going with.

Those are just my opinions however and I’m not saying that grizzly makes bad tools, just that I was impressed more by these other brands and with the great experience I’ve had so far (with the other tools I own) I felt more confident in my decision. Honestly seeing the laguna in person is what really sold me. The attention to detail and the fit and finish of the lathe really blew me away.

View moke's profile

moke

1270 posts in 2980 days


#9 posted 03-08-2018 07:43 PM

Awesome review, my friend…...thanks for mentioning me, but I just wanted to help another LJ’er. You put everything in very common sense terms…..except…carrying both legs downstairs at once? OMG!!! You must be a very stout gentleman….remind me to not pi$$ you off! Next big purchase I make, I’ll invite you over to do the heavy work!!!!

It is a great lathe, and I’m glad you like it. Thanks for taking the time to do this fine review.

PS…that is a fine looking bowl!

-- Mike

View rizzo's profile

rizzo

68 posts in 1456 days


#10 posted 03-08-2018 07:47 PM



Awesome review, my friend…...thanks for mentioning me, but I just wanted to help another LJ er. You put everything in very common sense terms…..except…carrying both legs downstairs at once? OMG!!! You must be a very stout gentleman….remind me to not pi$$ you off! Next big purchase I make, I ll invite you over to do the heavy work!!!!

It is a great lathe, and I m glad you like it. Thanks for taking the time to do this fine review.

- moke

What I lack in stout-ness I make up for in stupidity.. haha.. Yes combined they were very heavy, but at the time it seemed like a good idea… Loving the lathe so far, knocking out projects left and right. Can’t thank you enough.

View wrenchhead's profile

wrenchhead

224 posts in 3367 days


#11 posted 03-09-2018 01:55 AM

Great review. I have a few years on my harbor freight lathe and am starting to research a new one. Thorough reviews like this really help. Thanks for taking the time!

-- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkRuFxW8HhRfyhbTP4SY5UA I could quit if I wanted

View greatview's profile

greatview

133 posts in 3361 days


#12 posted 03-12-2018 07:16 PM

I was able to get mine off my truck in sections. The only really heavy item is the headstock and I believe you can disassemble that to make it manageable. And, don’t let you age be a factor. I’m 76 years old and was able to set it up all alone.

-- Tom, New London, NH

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