Bandsaw Blues, and a made in the USA decision!

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Forum topic by Superfuts posted 06-24-2013 07:42 AM 3116 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 2036 days

06-24-2013 07:42 AM

I purchased the Laguna 14 SUV with the deciding factor being that the Leeson 3 hp motor was made in the USA, among other design features. I was very enthused about the fact that Laguna at least invested in American made. To my dismay when I got the machine home I looked down and the motor tag clearly stated made in china! I then called Laguna to ask them why in a National add they stated,” our legendary bandsaws are equipped with American made Baldor or Leeson motor’s,” without getting into the ugly details of a very contentious and argumentative conversation that ensued, Laguna pridefully denied that their add campaign was either dishonest or misleading but they, “saw my point.” THE AMAZING THING THAT FOLLOWED WAS THAT WHEN I REVISITED THE LAGUNA SITE IN THE TIME BETWEEN MY PHONE CALL THEY AMENDED THEY’RE ADD CAMPAIGN AND ADDED AN ASTERISK NEXT TO THE LESSON NAME, and with this is now stated clearly below that these motors are manufactured in an Asian plant. I’m not tooting my horn here but rather writing to let readers know that arguing with customers is not right! And for those who are considering Laguna as prospect that Benjamin Helshoj whom I had words with and assume is related to the President of the company because of the last name as well as the possible manager of the Irvine headquarters, is a very prideful man and stated via email that he was,” not interested in swapping out motors for me,” to make this overtly unethical add and hence fouled purchase right.
He did offer Laguna’s re saw king and an extended warranty on the motor. The thing that bothers me the most is that one employee actually argued that the “or” in the prior add clearly differentiated the 2 motors, denying that American made was NOT implied here at all. Furthermore, Benjamin in his email to me start’s with , We do not in any way feel we are trying to misrepresent the truth. We do see your point, but it is a matter of interpretation.”
Obviously their lawyer’s can read english and they made the proper change! So there you have it. Now I ask, what would you do? return the saw and buy the Rikon with USA motor? or simmer down see that a change was made and some kind of offer made and stick with Laguna. Their are a few vexing reasons for my careful consideration’s here, 1. is I don’t want to buy into a lessor saw, ( is the Laguna built better, motor aside), 2. Time, hassle, and money are factors, but do you guy’s think it would be worth it?
and finally 3. do you think I’m over analyzing this experience? thanks for your help!

16 replies so far

View jdmaher's profile


440 posts in 2817 days

#1 posted 06-24-2013 11:56 AM

If I relied on the statement that I would receive an American-made motor, I’d return the saw – because I did not get what I wanted. I would expect “time, hassle and money” costs, that would NOT be compensated; but I would return it anyway. I would not feel that my reasonable interpretation of the ad was “over-analyzing”. That is, I wanted American-made (motor), but did not get that – so I’d eat the costs and go for what I wanted. I would view it as MY mistake and I would not pursue any legal action; but I definitely WOULD hold a grudge.

The separate question is whether I would initially feel that the American-made motor was enough of a difference – in the first place. For me, maybe not. I’d probably have gone for the Rikon (asian motor), because of the price difference.

But if I HAD made the purchase and did not get what I wanted, I’d fix my mistake right away. Otherwise, I’d be crabby every time I used the saw for the next 20 years. I ain’t proud of it, but that’s how I’d feel. And I don’t want to screw up my enjoyment of woodworking by feeling “buyer’s remorse” every time I use a tool. The short-term costs to resolve the matter are far less than the long-term chronic aggravation.

I’m glad you shared your story. It warns to me that Laguna is probably not a company I want to deal with or ever recommend to anyone.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Makarov's profile


102 posts in 2043 days

#2 posted 06-24-2013 12:27 PM

Our legendary bandsaws come equipped with American-made Baldor or Leeson motors* and Laguna guides.

Heavy-duty cast-iron tables provide excellent support making your sawing smoother, more stable, and accurate. Come see why our bandsaws are the very best.
Made in Leeson Asian plant
I see your point, It could have been a company’s failure to update their website when supplier changed factories on a motor, but when they leave up the American made motors statement and then put an asterisk with a small statement underneath stating it isn’t, that is weaseling. If I had the money and time I would send it back on principle, only you can decide if you can live with it.

I also went to their website and sent an email expressing my displeasure at this dissipative practice.

-- "Complexity is easy; Simplicity is difficult." Georgy Shragin Designer of ppsh41 sub machine gun

View Wildwood's profile


2527 posts in 2372 days

#3 posted 06-24-2013 01:11 PM

LT14×14 SUV Bandsaw Details

LT14 SUV Bandsaw – Who said that you cannot improve on perfection?
The LT14 SUV is an upgraded version of the LT14 3000 series bandsaw – in other words, we have taken something great and made it even greater!

Full of powerful features and massive resawing capacity – fourteen inches – this European style bandsaw has an additional 1 HP Motor (to the LT14 3000 Series) to give you a strong 3HP Leeson motor for tough resawing. Plus we have added rack and pinion upper guide, a convenient foot brake with micro-switch and easy tilt system. If you are looking for the fully loaded Bandsaw, look no further – you have reached woodworking utopia!
PS – SUV stands for Souped Up Version!

LT14×14 SUV Bandsaw Specs
• Motor: 3HP Leeson
• Volt: 220 1 phase
• Recommended Breaker: 30 Amp.
• Min-Max blade width: 1/8”-1”
• Resaw Capacity: 14”
• Throat: 13 ¼”
• Blade Length: 125”
• Foot-brake w. Micro Switch: Yes
• Rack & Pinion Upper Guide: Yes
• Rack & Pinion Table Tilt: Yes
• Quick Release Tension: Yes
• Laguna Guides: Yes
• Cast Table Size: 19 ¾” X 15 ¾”
• Table Height: 35 ½”
• Footprint: 16” x 24”
• Dust Ports: 2 X 4”
• Machine Height: 70”
• Weight: 340/375 Lbs.
• Shipping Dimensions: 30” X 36” X 75”

Just came from the web site and copy/pasted this information and if read that would definitely want to buy at price listed $1,595. Did not see asterisk, maybe did not look hard enough.

-- Bill

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2684 days

#4 posted 06-24-2013 01:18 PM

I was going to say why be surprised by deceptive advertising but I know it becomes personal when/if I’m the victim ,also the fact that it’s happening all the time does not make one feel any better,I would still feel cheated.
BUT,since these Laguna bandsaws are supposedly great saws and a pleasure to use,I would keep it and enjoy it although I would also make others aware of my experience of their deceptive advertising and subsequent “weaseling”, every chance I get .

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Superfuts's profile


8 posts in 2036 days

#5 posted 06-24-2013 02:36 PM

I really appreciate the feedback. Anyone experienced with the Rikon 10-350BAL (with the American made Baldor)? As for Laguna, a simple apology along with the (questionable) offer would have went a long way with me. That said they did act accordingly and amended their world wide website add with lightning speed! Equipped with more research I question if Rikon is worth my hassle and time. I’m mainly concerned about the guide bearings and wether the heft of the wheels,as well as overall build matches those of the Laguna. I don’t want to invest in a lessor saw and compound my dilemma further.

For Wildwood, the misleading add was on Laguna overall bandsaw description page and once stated without the asterisk and fix,”Our legendary bandsaws are equipped with American made Baldor or Leeson motors.” Also the bandsaw showcased in the above picture is the 14” SUV. In addition even the page you copied and sent makes no mention of motor origin. Clear deception, but what was more disconcerting was how Laguna responded. With this I’ll just say due to the difficulties, time and money, associated with a return if I decide to keep the Laguna at least others will not be deceived by the false add and my future dealings with the company will for sure be documented. I will not hold a grudge because some effort was made on their part and I’ll have to find some peace in knowing that at least Laguna sees the value in offering and supporting American made on some of their machines. Thanks, I’m glad I have this forum to shed some light!

View Mark E.'s profile

Mark E.

387 posts in 3980 days

#6 posted 06-24-2013 02:52 PM

Laguna could have fixed their ad very easily with no asterisk needed. Just reverse the order in which they tell us which motors are used:
“with a Leeson or American Made Baldor motor.”

-- Mark

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2411 days

#7 posted 06-24-2013 09:45 PM

That’s too bad. I saw leeson motors that are made in usa. Are all their motors now made in China?

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Superfuts's profile


8 posts in 2036 days

#8 posted 06-24-2013 09:51 PM

I don’t think so, Ellis has Leeson motors on their horizontal bandsaws and I know they are made in the USA

View MrRon's profile


5264 posts in 3481 days

#9 posted 06-24-2013 11:17 PM

I believe Baldor motors are also now made in China. I would suspect that both Leeson and Baldor have the same motors made both in the U.S. and in China. The U.S. made motors costing more, would go to the industrial market and the cheaper Chinese made motors would go to the consumer market.

View Superfuts's profile


8 posts in 2036 days

#10 posted 06-25-2013 03:03 AM

I believe your right they probably do manufacture both places, it is unfortunate that American made items are few and far and costs twice or three times more. Makes it nearly impossible for the smaller hobbyist able to support.

View Superfuts's profile


8 posts in 2036 days

#11 posted 06-25-2013 05:23 AM

here’s an inspiring link that could possibly help ignite the made in the USA fire.

View Wildwood's profile


2527 posts in 2372 days

#12 posted 06-25-2013 12:32 PM

When think of Lesson electrical motors always think made in USA.

While did not find same page you ordered from simply posted that Laguna web page. As you can see nothing there had an asterisk!

I know their Italian Resaw Master Bandsaw list a 6 HP Baldor motor. So just assumed they put American made motors on their Chinese machines here.

Guess maybe and maybe not!

-- Bill

View Tim78's profile


16 posts in 2815 days

#13 posted 06-25-2013 04:23 PM

I purchased my Laguna SUV knowing it was made in China. I went to my local Rockler store and looked at the plate on the tool and the motor. I find it a superior machine in many ways. The cost is because it is made in China. I wish I could buy American. I read a great deal about this issue. Chinese factories are brand new factories! It is difficult to compete with good quality machines made in a new factory in China designed by Americans and Italians. The global economy is different. I could not find as good a resaw capacity on anything close to the cost of the Chinese made Laguna. You will be amazed at the quality.

My two cents.

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2752 days

#14 posted 06-25-2013 06:38 PM

Having worked in China for sixteen months, and visited multiple Chinese factories, it all comes down to what kind of process and quality checks the foreign ownership sets up in the factory. That’s why GM is so successful in China, mainly Shanghai and Beijing, because the Buicks they make over there are great cars, to be honest. I drove one for over a year while there. There are many great factories, such as the Samick guitar factory, and lousy factories, such as a lot of the stuff we see in HF and other places. All comes down to the quality and process adhered to, and how much the owners care.
I would think Laguna would really care, so I would not be too scared of a Chinese motor on a Laguna saw.

But…knowing what I know,
that’s why I was not too afraid to buy my two big Grizzly units, the 15” spiralhead planer, and my G0513X2BF Grizzly bandsaw. All made in China.
Yesterday, making a tree of life jewelry box, I had my big Grizzly bandsaw running for over a 1/2 hour straight cutting out the 12 drawers. When I was done, I walked around the shop, (which the air was running about 84’ since I like the view out the garage door better than my AC), and felt the motor on the back of the saw which was warmer of course, but I could easily hold my hand on it. And I had just tightened the belt first time, and I was happy.
These things are very hard to determine, of course, but I would think Baldor and Leeson motors would not be allowing true junk to leave China.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2411 days

#15 posted 06-25-2013 09:25 PM

How would a Chinese feel if they buy something here in USA and bring it to China without noticing the mark “I am made in China” . Just wondering.
I own few tools from Taiwan though.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

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