Pros & Cons of a Laguna 18BX vs 14BX or 14SUV

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Forum topic by BattleRidge posted 01-09-2018 01:09 PM 388 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 146 days

01-09-2018 01:09 PM

I am considering the purchase of a Laguna 18BX bandsaw but prior to doing so would appreciate input on the pro’s & con’s of a larger vs smaller machine.

Regular bandsaw tasks will consist of a variety of general woodworking activities including crafts, furniture (more of the primitive variety and not necessarily fine woodworking) and for creating other items and general wood uses.

I would also like to do occasional resawing and have an old one-room school (unfortunately beyond economically feasible renovation) that has an addition that was used for a barn/farm building with a variety of 2”x 4”-10” and other lumber that I would like to re-purpose, some of which I would like to resaw into thinner stock. Additionally I have a 103 acre tree farm and have plans to at some point acquire a portable sawmill (EZ Boardwalk Jr, smaller Woodmizer or similar) to make use of the trees that occasionally fall or die and to mill & dry the lumber for a variety of projects (including creating items for sale), and while the timber will be processed into a multitude of sizes, I anticipate the need to still do occasional resawing to further process some of these boards. I may also do some small-scale tinkering around with the shop bandsaw in regard to smaller (easy to handle 1-2 ft long, less than 12” diameter) log sections for a few project boards and ‘cookies’ or such. Much of my focus is on remaining within the realistic capabilities of my equipment and any heavier log work would be with the portable sawmill. I am not interested in anything larger than a 18” bandsaw or those much over the $2,000 price point.

I have looked at a variety of saws in the 14” range (Laguna, Jet, Rikon) and while I was originally focusing on that group, upon having the opportunity to view the 18BX (as well as the 18” Jet) and comparing the different saws side-by-side, I began to lean toward the 18BX.

On the plus side, the Laguna 18BX offers a much longer blade – thus lasting longer between sharpening, the option for a wider blade and less overall stress on the blade due to the larger diameter wheels. The table size and fence is also considerably larger on the 18” vs the 14”, and additional horsepower comes with the 18”. The 18” is also a substantially more beefy machine in all areas and I would be less likely to ever push the upper limits of it’s capabilities in comparison to the 14”, particularly when utilized for resaw use. While I may be (slightly) open to other manufactures, I very much appreciate the design and features (guide system, brake, etc.) and overall quality of the Laguna.

On the concerning side is that the 18” is a lot more machine in comparison to the 14”. While each saw can run similar smaller width blades, I was wondering how much of a hindrance (if any) the larger machine would be for everyday use or in smaller projects and cutting. I realize that bigger isn’t always better (but can be nice when you need it), and want to look at the intricacies and possible advantages of a smaller over a larger machine too – or whether the larger machine can perform satisfactorily.

For further background, I am retired from the fire service and looking for something to fill my free time and to possibly supplement our income with products sold at an active local craft establishment (basically we would set-up / restock our display space and they handle everything else) or to possibly individually market and sell select items elsewhere. I have a 30’ x 40’ x 10’h workshop (that also houses my tractor & pick-up), a radial arm saw (crosscutting / miter work), table saw (ripping and such), router & table, scroll saw, and well as a variety of hand and portable power tools. I also have an older 10” Craftsman bandsaw that I acquired when my father passed away (I believe he may have bought it at a yard sale or such), but the tires are toast and while the motor runs, I don’t know how good of an overall machine it is, and have been reluctant to replace and invest in the three tires that would be required – thinking it could be better to just upgrade to a new machine (Rikon 10” – $250) for small tasks if I would decide to go that route.

Any input would be appreciated and while I am feeling pretty confident in the direction I am leaning, before shelling out a couple thousand dollars, I’d like to hear and learn all I can.

In a nutshell, are there disadvantages in having an 18” saw in comparison to a 14”?

2 replies so far

View jimintx's profile


696 posts in 1515 days

#1 posted 01-27-2018 07:38 PM

Hi Battle, I read your other thread about blades for the band saw, and then found you had started this one. My first reaction is to be somewhat surprised that this one didn’t generate a raft of replies, as I know from my own internet and LJ research that bandsaw topics are among the very most visited and discussed (or so it sure seems).

I also know you already got the 18BX. Thus, I wanted to say
1. congrats on making that selection and having it sitting in your truck!

2. I agree with the very useful idea to have a smaller bandsaw in the shop, as well. I sure enjoy that combo in my shop, although my big one is small relative to yours. My set is the Rikon 10-326 and my old 12” craftsman that I bought new in the 1984 time frame. I agree that the 3-wheel Craftsman is not likely the best choice.

3. As to your original question, I don’t think there is any reason not to go for a larger machine if you have the cash, the space, and the 220 power source.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View BattleRidge's profile


13 posts in 146 days

#2 posted 01-29-2018 05:13 PM

I appreciate the comment, Jim. Thus far I truly love the bandsaw and each of it’s features. I have only been able to do some tinkering with the 1” Resaw King blade which arrived several days ago, and am quite impressed.

My first foray was to do a variety of different cutting on some scrap pieces of lumber just to set-up and become familiar with the machine and when I came into the house for the evening I showed my wife several of the pieces. She quickly snatched some of the wood and it is now on her crafting table in our sunroom where she has already put it to use, so it will be interesting to see things evolve as I actually work on pre-planned projects.

I have two Lenox Diemaster 2 blades (1/2” & 1/4”) due to arrive today and am looking forward to putting them on the machine and expanding my capabilities.

With the RK, I went through the set-up while checking and double checking everything (the blade looks like it could do some serious damage in the event of an error) and I wanted to be sure that all was right. The more time I spent though, the more comfortable I began to feel and while I never let my guard down on any possible hazard points, all is feeling pretty good now.

The 18BX will probably be my only bandsaw for a while and I have several other items on my wish list, including possibly purchasing a dust collection system to replace my Shopvac / Dust Deputy arrangement (which actually performs well considering they recommend 1,000 cfm for the saw).

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