My Experience with Laguna Tools, Inc. and Canadian Woodworker Ltd.

This article is about my experience with Laguna Tools, Inc. and Canadian Woodworker Ltd.

I did not receive anything in exchange for writing this article and nobody but my friend and editor Mike knew that I was writing this article.

California-based Laguna Tools has been a hot-button topic in woodworking forums for as long as I can remember.  Along with rave reviews of their bandsaws, there have also been many comments about poor customer service.  Like many, I was impressed with their saws.  However, the virtually non-existent customer service that I kept reading about was enough to discourage me from considering buying one of their saws.

About two years ago when I began looking at sliding table saws, I requested an information package on Laguna’s saws.  I received some literature and a video to review.  A few days later, I got a call from Don at Laguna Tools asking if I had any questions.  I asked him about the horror stories I’d read of Laguna’s customer service.  He admitted that at one point they had some staffing problems but assured me it was in the past.  I found that reassuring, but wasn’t sure if I could believe him.  In the end, I bought my sliding table saw from Grizzly Industrial Inc.

Fast forward to November 26, 2010 – the grand opening of the new location of Canadian Woodworker in Surrey, BC.  A new woodworking tool store opening within an hour of my house?  I had to go.

Inside the store I walked up and down the aisles of machinery checking out the great selection of high-end machinery not found in most other local stores.  I recognized co-owner Cole Moore and wandered over to introduce myself (we are both active on the Canadian Woodworking forum).  I asked Cole about Laguna’s customer service.  He admitted that getting parts from Laguna can sometimes take a while but promised to take care of any issues I might have.

I went back to look at the Laguna bandsaws and got talking to Benjamin Helshoj (or Benny as his peers call him) whom I had met at the Cloverdale Woodworking Show the month before.  I asked him how the Laguna saws compared to other brands such as Grizzly.  He commented on how lightly constructed the Grizzly saws are when compared to his.  (I later looked it up and found that the Grizzly 19″ saw [G0514X] weighed 383 pounds, a mere three pounds more than Laguna’s 14″ saw [LT14-SUV].)  I got Benjamin’s business card and we continued to talk along with Kevin Guest, whom I knew from his days at Clermont’s Ultimate Tool Supply Inc.  Later, I left the store empty-handed but with much to ponder.

Fast forward five months when I had some serious milling and resawing to do.  My little 14″, 1HP bandsaw simply was not up to the task so I decided that it was time to upgrade.  After much research and deliberation I decided on the Laguna LT16-3000.  (I will post a review of the saw later.)

Monday morning I picked up the saw and transported it home.  With the help of my friend, Mike, we carefully unloaded the saw into my garage; moving it down to the shop would have to wait for a dry day.  We unpacked the saw and cleaned off most of the cosmoline.  That’s when I noticed that one of the trunnion supports appeared only partially machined.  I called Kevin at Canadian Woodworker and described the problem.  I took this picture and e-mailed it to him.  Shortly after, I got an e-mail back from Kevin confirming that he’d received my e-mail and was “forwarding [it] to Laguna and calling to see recommendations”.  About ten minutes later, Kevin called me and told me that Benny was upset that it had made it past quality control and the service tech thought that it was just powder coating that could be removed with 400-grit emery paper.  I thought to myself, “I shouldn’t have to do this on a $2000 machine”.

Despite my misgivings, I took some 400-grit emery paper to the trunnion support.  It was clearly not just powder coating and indeed only partially machined.  I called Canadian Woodworker and ended up talking to Doug, the manager, as Kevin was on the road for a couple of days.  Fortunately, Kevin had briefed Doug on my situation so I didn’t need to explain what I was seeing.  Doug agreed to let me swap out my trunnion with the one from the display model.

The next day, I drove out to Canadian Woodworker and swapped the trunnion support.  I noticed that although the trunnion support from the display model was much better, there was still about 10% that wasn’t machined.  I pointed this out to Doug before I left and asked him to order another for me.  Then I returned to my shop and installed the parts on my saw as I guessed the replacement trunnion support would take at least a week or two to arrive.

Wanting to get to work, I installed the carbide-tipped Laguna Resaw King blade that I’d bought with the saw.  I set it on the tires and tensioned and tracked the blade.  Then I noticed this: the blade barely cleared a metal flange next to the dust chute.  And I mean barely.  You could not slip a piece of note paper between the blade and chute.  While it did clear, I worried that the slightest vibration would send my $250 blade into the steel.  Not good.

I decided to try calling Laguna Tools on their toll-free number.  It was late in the afternoon and I immediately got through to Tim.  He understood my problem and put me on hold to try to figure out a solution.  I patiently waited for several minutes before he came back on the line.  He unnecessarily apologized for leaving me on hold for “so long” and explained that the technical support staff had left for the day and that he had talked it over with Torben (Torben Helshoj is the president of Laguna Tools).  Ultimately, Tim offered to check with the technical support staff tomorrow morning and call me back then.  I talked with him for another few minutes, asking him some more general bandsaw questions and talking about my experience so far.  He sounded like an experienced bandsaw user, listened to my comments and answered other questions to my satisfaction.

Thursday morning I answered my phone, expecting to hear Tim from Laguna Tools on the other end.  To my surprise, it was Kevin from Canadian Woodworker.  He explained that he and Doug had removed the trunnion support from another saw that appeared well-machined and he wanted to come and swap it out for me.  I was grateful for his offer but told him that I was waiting for a call from Laguna as well and asked him to hold off until I had heard from Tim.

About little later, I received a phone call from Brian at Laguna Tools.  He told me that the solution was to simply file or grind the protruding piece of steel back until there was 1/32″ of clearance.  Apparently, a batch of saws had arrived with that piece protruding too far.  We talked on the phone for a bit longer and he talked me through the issues I was experiencing with the saw and patiently answered all my questions.

After my conversation with Brian, I called Kevin and asked if he could come over to swap out the trunnion support.  He queried if there was anything else that I needed which reminded me of the mis-tapped setscrew hole in the table insert which I’d noticed the day before.  I asked Kevin to bring a replacement.  When he arrived, he helped me remove the table and replace the trunnion support.

I’m glad that I had a local dealer.  Otherwise, I would have had to spend my mornings sitting on the curb waiting for the mailman to arrive with parts and it would have taken longer to get the saw fully operational.  The customer service I received from both Laguna Tools and Canadian Woodworker was prompt, helpful, friendly, and courteous.  I felt like they were there to help me.

Has Laguna listened to customer feedback and put their questionable customer service issues behind them?  I can’t say for sure but I can say that I would buy from Canadian Woodworker again.  However, my shop looks complete and I’m not in the market for any more machinery.  At least for now.

You can read my review of my Laguna LT16-3000 16″ bandsaw HERE.

67 thoughts on “My Experience with Laguna Tools, Inc. and Canadian Woodworker Ltd.

  1. It still give me pause that you had that many things (anything really) wrong with a tool that is priced that far above the competition. I had one issue with my Rikon 14″ and it was resolved over the phone in a short matter of time. I’m glad to hear Paul-Marcel’s experience with the Italian made machine was better, but it is even higher priced. Hmm. I’d really like a Laguna to go with my Drift Master…but, I’ll have to hear better reports before I do.

  2. I’m in the market for a 14″ bandsaw for general joinery and curve cutting. My friend Yancy bought a Rikon 10-325, a 14″ saw. I helped him put it together, and everything went smoothly with no parts modifications necessary.

    Maybe my standards are really high, but I still expect more precise machining on tools. Things like perfectly flush insert plates in the table top should be a primary goal of any tool manufacturer, and anything else affecting the wood machining precision. That’s why I don’t understand why tool makers give substandard fences and miter gauges.

    This just shows how important the customer service element is, whether it’s the retailer or the manufacturer.

    Looks exciting to use–how’s it work so far with resawing?

    • Hi Bobby,

      This saw, coupled with the Resaw King blade and DriftMaster fence make resawing an absolute breeze. If you are only looking for a saw to cut joinery and curves, this 3 hp saw is overkill. I’ve heard many good things about the Rikon machines. My friend Mike was really happy with his until I got mine (kidding about that last part).

      I think that I made a good decision to buy the saw locally through Canadian Woodworker. Paul-Marcel (http://www.halfinchshy.com/) bought his bandsaw directly from Laguna and has not been impressed with the customer service.

      Chris

  3. Thanks for the post Chris. You certainly should not have to go through this sort of thing with a so called high end item. Every time I let my mind wander down this upgrade path, Michael Fortune issues another article stating that a 14″ bandsaw is really all you need.
    So I go back to my 14″ bandsaw and am happy.
    I wonder why Laguna didn’t show some real class and recall the saw. You were not the first to experience this.

    Shame on them.

    Don Burch

    • Hi Don,

      I was disappointed to have to deal with the issues. I chose the 16″ over the 14″ because it had more mass and a larger (heavier) flywheel for smoother resawing. Does it really make a difference? I don’t know.

      When I described the problem with the metal flange next to the dust chute to Brian at Laguna, he told me that a batch had arrived like that and I should just to file it down. The other LT16-3000’s at Canadian Woodworker had the same issue (I checked).

      Chris

    • Having worked directly at Laguna Tools I can tell you with utmost certainty, the people at Laguna simply are not qualified to conduct business in this country or anywhere else. They have no clue about what customer service is, and the owners are of the mind that yes, YOU the customer…should fix little things like welded parts of machines out of place or any number of issues. That IS the way Laguna does business. They are the absolute WORST company on the planet!!!

        • Laguna tools uses what is called reputation management techniques where they or some 3rd party post favorable comments which are purposely designed to appear online above any negative post. The most posts win a high ranking. Its utter bull shit and so are all the people that work at Laguna Tools. Its the very same core group that have been there forever. I saw a remark where Laguna mentions they had some “staff” changes and this in answer directly to questions of their terrible reputation. No. Wrong. Its the same losers that have been there for many years and the Helshoj family. Buy your woodworking machinery elsewhere. Much of the machines the public thinks is made by Laguna is not. Laguna doesn’t make anything. It is Chinese just like some you see at Grizzly. Only you get real service at Grizzly. Laguna has a deceitful company platform and absolutely incredulous group of employees that whine and piss and moan whenever one of their customers has the gall to complain about a defective piece of shit.machine Laguna sold! It really is like that. Trust me…buy elsewhere! All the positive post you see anywhere online are coaxed, polished and downright fake!

          • agree. My bandsaw from them could never start. The first two replacement switch parts were clearly defective, discovered after an hour total of installing.
            they in hindsight admit this. The new pieces were worst than the initial defective ones which I had to put back so that they could run diagnostics on the entire electrical system, via phone calls. I left my job (physician) for a total of 6 hours so they could talk me thru electrical diagnostics, over 6 weeks, parts coming and going and wrong parts sent. the crap still does not start and the woodcraft dealer has abandoned me. I offered to buy the piece at cost and do my own wiring and starter switch without the fancy power cutoff gizmos and they refuse to tell me the cost price – they now give me a new blade which is only useful if i one day repair or replace their crap. I have lived off my upgraded jet 14″ for 30 years with a 2 hp motor rigged in Bangkok. Even if i get their crap running – doubt if I have patience when any of their fussy, complex mechanical stuff fails. Having self taught myself woodworking in Rio, Geneva and Bangkok -resawing chunks of “scraps” I have come to learn that the process and stories behind each piece is just as valuable as the piece itself. Back to basics.

  4. At the last Cloverdale Woodworking show I looked at all the bandsaws and decided that when I made the financial comittment it would be with Laguna, I would be buying my first and last bandsaw. Being a first time purchase (with no real experience with bandsaws), could you imagine me dealing with these issues 5 hours drive away from the “local” dealer? I probably would not have recognized the blade clearance issue and blown up my Resaw King (that would be my buying decision too). I can imagine the conversation with the dealer ” inexperienced users sometimes have problems with blades, unfortunately, there is no warranty for operator error”. After the second blade broke, maybe someone would figure out there was a problem. I imagine it taking me months to actually get the tool to perform as designed.

    Can you imagine the kind of review I would be writting?

    With these kind of problems in mind, does this indicate I should buy a General because I have a KMS 45min from my shop? Do you put local service over “quality” tools when making the high $$ purchasing decision? I would be interested to hear the response from Laguna to these questions.

    • Hi Garth,

      I treat most currently-manufactured today as “kits” – a collection of parts that you have to fine-tune to get a machine operating at a high level. This is not always the case, but I don’t trust any manufacturer to provide a ready-to-use tool, especially when shipping is involved as things can be dislodges and alignment lost. If the tool IS ready to use out of the box, great – but I will still check it over so that I know it is ready. I allow a few days to set up new machinery. However, if parts need to be shipped, the timeline suddenly stretches to a week or more.

      Having a local dealer is a huge asset, but I don’t think it should be the deciding factor (unless perhaps you need the tool operational right away). In your case, you might consider making the 5-hour drive to your nearest Laguna dealer and spending a couple hours thoroughly inspecting the actual saw you would be buying.

      Chris

      • Chris,

        For thirty years I have been telling fellow woodworkers that every tool is just a kit. It’s validating to find you offering the same words of advice here. It’s not a popular concept.

        Years ago, dismayed that a brand new Freud biscuit jointer wouldn’t cut a parallel slot, I soon discovered that most tools do not perform at their best without tweaking, tuning and even some heavy modification. Fast food and fancy cars have spoiled today’s consumer with turnkey expectations at discount prices.

        My best tools are Laguna. After a wonderful visit with them in Irvine, I came to understand the root of their customer challenges. Company dynamics aside, problems still lie on both sides of the customer-supplier relationship in this market. But the customer is always right. Right? We have a presumptive expectation.

        I cautiously submit a hard-to-defend concept: if you buy a Mustang GT, you have higher reliability expectations than if you buy a Lamborghini for 5 times more money. Should that be? Maybe not, but it’s the nature of trying to adapt European high dollar “kit” to our North American expectations. Part of the pride of ownership of my Knapp combo machine is that I can actually make it work!

        I was surfing Laguna info when I found your site – searching for anybody who has converted their 16″ jointer planer to a new index cutter head. I was pleased to find your site and very impressed with your projects. Great job, Chris!

        Jeff

        • I have had the Laguna Fusion Table saw for 3 months. Still haven’t gotten it together because the instructions are awful. Finally figured out the fence because it came half assembled wrong. With no directions. It didn’t say anywhere that the riving knife had to be taken out to put in the guard. Now am trying to figure out how to set the stops. If all tools are kits, then they should come with decent directions. So…..Where are these directions you speak of?

          • I purchased a Luguna Bandsaw. It for some reason runs backwards. Has any one had this issue and been able to correct this. It is a single phase 220. I also have a variable speed control.. I need help.

  5. Good review. It’s sad that a tool maker is putting out this level of quality for that level of price.

    But then if the customer service is sub par, I don’t care how good the tools are. It’s a test I make them pass before I give them the cash. :)

  6. Experiences like yours were the reason that I bought an Agazzani B-18 from Eagle tools. The price difference was minimal at the time and the saw came assembled, clean aligned and ready to work. Have had not a lick of trouble.

    Sorry to hear your experience.

    Cheers,
    Chris C.

  7. I have had problem with Laguna on troubleshooting almost everytime I have tried to use them. I bought a LT-16-HD… came with a three HP motor. I tried getting a new capacitor after ten years of use… they could not find the replacement… said they would call me back… did not call me back… Bought Carbide Rewsaw blades and they sent me some cheap blades -not carbide blades… took a letter in writing to the pres. to get that straightened… they say the guy was fired.. but then 2 days later I called back and the fired guy answered the phone. Asked them about the new 4.5 hp motors… asked for the specs on that motor… was told to go to the website… went to the website on that motor… did not give full specs… lousy information. I am driving down to their actual Irvine center tomorrow to try and find someone who should know all this stuff. Will post and update. June 21, 2011 Los Angeles. Bob

    • Hi Bob,

      Sorry to hear of your difficulties. Stories like yours are what I’d read on forums and kept me away from their machines for such a long time. While on the phone with one of the Laguna staff, I asked a couple questions about the motor, amperage draw and recommended breaker sizes and I got good answers immediately.

      Thanks for sharing your story and please let us know how you make out tomorrow.

      Chris

  8. The spec sheet shows the Grizzly G0514X2B weighs 427 lbs, not the 383 like you posted. The G0513X2B weighs 352 lbs. Either way, the Laguna 14 SUV is quite the heavy machine. I’m guessing that Lesson motor adds a lot of the weight.

    Nice saw by the way.

    I’m at the stage where I am trying to decide if I should go with Grizzly or go with Laguna. So many people have such great things to say about Grizzly bandsaw’s their service and cababilities. The Grizzly seems to be more saw for less money. Both are made in the same region of the world and I would suspect they are of similar quality.

    I will likely pull the trigger on either the G0513X2B or the G0514X2B soon.

    • Hi Peter,

      Thank you for the correction. The Grizzly saw that weighs 383 lbs is the G0514X, not the G0514X2. It is now correct.

      One thing I really like about the Laguna is the guide system. You can buy the guides separately though.

      Chris

  9. Thanks for your interesting summary of having dealt with the Laguna dealers here in BC. Sounds like good service, if you live nearby. When I spend good dollars on a piece of equipment I feel I should not have to seek service for possibly several years, not right after I purchase it. I purchased a General International 20″ 2 hp band saw going on 7 or 8 years ago. Even though my helper and I dropped the saw as we were struggling to unload it off my truck (read the manual after we dropped it and discovered it weighs 771 lbs) it has never missed a beat. It wasn’t cheap… $3700.00 with taxes, but has never given any problems after doing a lot of re-sawing with a 1.25″ blade. I expect no problems when I purchase a new piece of equipment and so was surprised to read about your experiences with what I believed to be a higher end product. I think I’ll stay with with General. Thanks again for sharing your experience with Laguna products
    regards
    Richard

  10. I own one of the 16″HD Italian made band saws. I actually won it in a contest back in 2007. As for the build, it is an excellent saw. I did have one very serious issue however, that made the saw absolutely useless IMO until I figured out a way to make it work.

    The issue was, I got the saw outfitted with a 5HP Baldor 240V three phase motor. I wanted the saw for re-sawing (as I already have a large bandsaw for general use). Right off the bat, every time I tried to do any resawing – even in softer woods like basswood and poplar (which I use for my drawer boxes) the small V belt on the motor & drive pulley would start slipping and burn up. No matter how the tension was set this would happen within minutes. The saw was effectively useless! Looking the Machinist Handbook, the provided belt was good for about 1HP, totally under rated for the saw. What is the point of having a 5HP motor, when you cannot transfer that power to the saw blade?

    I took off the lower wheel (the casting has the pulley machined into it as one piece) and brought it to the local machine shop. The owner and I figured a second V groove could be machined into it, and a new drive pulley could be made for the motor. Basically have two belts side by side to try and see if that would work.

    After $300 worth of machine time, I assembled the saw, and put on two new matched length belts. Started to resaw, and it worked out! Been using the saw now for 5 years and it really is a nicely made saw that otherwise is perfect. However, I cannot understand how any designer would pair up a HD saw designed to cut 16″ thick material, with an excellent Baldor 5HP motor, and then ruin it with a dinky power transmission set up. I wonder if anyone else had any issues, and if they have improved things.

    • Andrew,

      That’s a very interesting story and is not exactly surprising. It seems that while Laguna can put out a good machine, the overlook and ignore small but sometimes critical details such as the belt in your case or the dust collection flange or trunnion in my case.

      Did you contact Laguna? If so, were they able to help or have anything to say?

      Chris

      • Chris,
        Since I had not paid for the saw, I felt very awkward and did not want to call and complain. I was lucky, after sitting idle for a few months, the saw was “fixed” as I said, with the re machining of the lower wheel, and a new drive pulley. The $300 it cost me seemed very cheap. Had I had to pony up the initial several thousand dollars, I am sure I would have been extremely irritated.

        All things considered, the saw is a real gem in every other respect. I use it in the shop regularly, and it is a great resaw, and very accurate as well for cutting tenons, etc.

        I never did talk to Laguna after I had the saw “fixed”. Although I have to say I often wonder if anyone else had (or is having) the same issue. Lucky for me, the lower wheel casting is very beefy and had more than enough room for a second V belt groove. They could have easily made the drive a single, but much heavier/wider belt for greater traction.

        I have looked at other Laguna tools in the past several years – but have always opted to go with something that is more easily obtained here in Ontario, and has some easier recourse if a problem occurs.

        Regards,
        Andrew J. Coholic

        • Hi Andrew,

          I’m glad that the saw is working well for you now. It’s always nice when things work right out of the box, but that doesn’t always happen and I think that troubleshooting is a very important skill to have.

          I, too, always prefer to buy machinery locally. Besides supporting local businesses, it means being able to examine things first hand and go pick up parts instead of waiting for them to arrive by mail.

          Chris

  11. PS I see in your achievments section, that you have written for Canadian Home Workshop. I won the Laguna saw as a prize for being selected the 2007 CHW Woodworker of the year. I was nominated by a friend, and it was a complete surprise. Pretty cool, I have to admit!

    AJC

    • Being the Canadian Home Workshop Woodworker of the Year in 2007 is quite an accomplishment. Good for you! It’s very important to have good friends to help and support us.

      Take care, Andrew.

      Chris

      PS: I guess that I can say that the CHW 2007 Woodworker of the Year reads my blog! :)

  12. I have purchased the Laguna Fusion Table saw from Rockler. Rockler will not even talk to me about the saw, but instead passes you on to Laguna. Since the only one who ever answers the phone at Rockler is female, and I applaud their = opportunity hiring policies (sarcasm, more women have retained their jobs and are working today than men since the George Bush plan on taking money from middle class and adding it to those poor 5% of the high class, wealthy people of America). And Laguna’s help line has got to be the closest thing as loaning money to someone who doesn’t want to pay it back. In other words, Laguga’s help line is worthless, and their instruction literature is worthless. Mine was printed for 3 different saws, and never seemed to even have a picture of the back of the machine, where all the difference’s go. I have been assembling it for 2 weeks so far. It doesn’t address any of the things I have questions on. It looks like it was written by someone who knows about table saws in general, but never saw mine!!

  13. Warning to those thinking about buying a Grizzly–DONT ! Spare yourself the frustration that I went through. Not one thing precise. I sold it on craigslist, brand new at a $400 loss. Worth it to get rid of that pile. worthless junk. you’ll be sorry.

  14. I am in the camp that believes that when you buy machinery, regardless of the cost,, your going to be pulling some wrenches and fixing things. I have a Felder RL-160 Dust collector that has burned up 2 x run capacitors. My Laguna / Griggio Jointer needed parts from Italy the day it showed up .. I purchased a new General Int 20″ Planer that came with a burnt up motor.

    I could go on and on about the troubles I have had with new machinery .. but I don’t blame the seller.. You make the adjustments, pull some wrenches.. adjust belts and learn ..

  15. Hi all, I am enlightened by this forum and thank everyone that has made a contribution. I am certainly better educated on purchasing a Laguna bandsaw or any product for that matter. I, like all of you, work very hard for my money and would have been extremely disappointed to have encountered ANY of these issues on what I thought was a well a carefully researched decision to buy an 18″ HD Italian made Laguna bandsaw for general shop use as well as some heavy duty timber re-sawing. Ha! It would appear that my own intuition has perhaps failed me in assuming the Laguna name meant the highest quality. “Quality” is a quantitative term that explains “to produce to exacting standards of repetion with predictability” This process seems to be lacking in so many products out there but not all. Perhaps Torben , when deciding to choose an off shore shop to produce his hard earned established brand name should have also been looking for the “Quality” he has spoken of over the years. I am extremely curious to know his thoughts on what we, the consumers of his products, the ones that rely on integrity of brand in order for us to carry on our own work integrety…errors in production do and will occur…but when they do, fix the problem…don’t put a band aide on it! As for my purchasing a Laguna product, I though it was a hands down decision…now I am considering alternatives even if it means spending more in the short term…
    Thanks again to all contributors, we do make a difference when we voice our experiences! As for Torben… Hope your paying attention. I can’t think of anyone having good things to say about that new delivered Mercedes Benz sitting in the driveway, leaking oil and not starting or having to “pop the hood ” to reconnect the spark plug wires!
    …Well you did invite me to comment!

    • I am surprised to hear that you aren’t happy with your Italian-made Laguna saw. I believe that the LT18, like the LT16 (not to be confused with the LT18-3000 and LT16-3000), are only branded for Laguna, but made by ACM.

      Chris

    • Since you must not have done your homework, Or really spoken with anyone credible I must disassociate from you. I have found my Laguna saw a mixture of bad thinking and inferior part manufacture. If you recommend them, then you must have some sort of repayment or alliance. But you surely cannot be trusted.

      • Mot,

        I am guessing that, based on the content of your comment, you meant to direct it at me, not Cal. If so, I can assure you that I have no alliance with Laguna nor did I receive any compensation for writing the review.

        Mot: “Since you must not have done your homework, Or really spoken with anyone credible I must disassociate from you.”
        Right back at you. Your judgement of me is completely inaccurate.

        Spend some time reading my other 400+ articles on this site and see if you still don’t think I can be trusted. And if you don’t think content on the web is worth salt, track down one of my magazine articles or ask any of the hundreds of people I’ve taught.

        I hope you have fun building projects in your shop.

        Chris

  16. Personally, I’ve decided to go a completely different way. While looking at new band saws at my local tool merchant, I was approached by another customer. He has a 1908 36″ Crescent Tools bandsaw that I’m getting for a song. It’s in an old car barn that looks like it could be on an episode of American Pickers (or Canadian Pickers in your case).

  17. I have been using my Laguna SE14 powered by a 3HP Baldor for about ten years now and it has been a good saw for resawing and tenon cutting. When I first received it I had to spend some time tuning it up. The fence rail holes needed to be elongated so the fence would slide parallel to the table. I also had to shim the throat plate. No big deal. It was originally wired for 110V and I installed a 220V line to the shop. I called Laguna and the rep said I needed a new switch. When I opened up the original switch, it was already capable for 220V. I ended up sending the new switch back to them. IMO Laguna makes tools that are capable with a little bit of work. Castings are rough but the parts are beefy. In contrast, my Swiss made Inca machines and Sawstop are precise and ready to go right out of the box. I know if I ever buy a Laguna tool again, it will take some work and time to get things running right.

  18. Just wondering if your LT 16 is still working good for you as I see you mentioned earlier of a update with Laguna and Canadian Woodworker. I am looking at a lightly used LT-16 3000 saw in Winnipeg that apparently came from there store in BC.

    • Hi Sparky,

      Long story (I’ve been meaning to write a follow-up blog post) short: I got fed up with the saw and worked a deal to swap it for an LT18-3000. There were no major faults with the saw, and certainly nothing that I couldn’t have remedied on my own. Bottom line: if the saw is a good price, I’d consider it.

      Chris

      • What flaws do you think need remedying? The price they are asking seems reasonable, I just don’t want to get stuck with a lemon. I have a Minimax SP500 and want to use this saw for everything but resawing.

          • So nothing to really be concerned about then in your opinion? As it sounds like this is your old saw. And they are offering it for about $900 less then new.

    • OK Wayne, Let us know the problems you are having. It’s one thing to say you have headaches, but you you need to explain the problems that you are having so that someone on this forum can help you…If you don’t elaborate, we can only assume that you don’t know enough about what you are dealing with.

  19. Hello,

    My name is Steven Alvarez and I am the Sales Director at Laguna Tools. I have spoken to Wayne and his partner. They claim that we have mislead them on how fast the machine can cut. In our literature we state the machine can ” rapid at 300 inches per minute”. They took this to mean that they would be able to cut at 300 inches per minute. I explained thoroughly that it is the material and the bit that ultimately determines the cut speed. They purchased the IQ to primarily cut acrylic. Acrylic is typically cut at no more that 140 inches per minute. Any faster and cut quality is diminished. This limitation applies to any CNC regardless of size, cost or horsepower. They also mentioned that they could not cut a circle when the machine arrived. This machine shipped from California to St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Every machine is tested and the test board sent with the machine. They called customer service and we were able to trouble shoot the machine and fix any issues due to shipping. Finally, Laguna Tools has offered Wayne a full refund on his machine purchase. Instead Wayne would like us to pay him $3000 to keep the machine. We kindly declined and the offer for the full refund still stands.

    • Sounds like a misunderstanding regarding the capabilities and that you’ve treated the customer fairly by offering a full refund.

  20. Must be three years ago now I bought a Laguna 1412 bandsaw from Woodwerks online, great company, and have used it extensively to rewaw with the resaw king blade I bought with it. I’ve shaved 1/8 inch veneers off walnut, hard and soft maple, hickory, you name all at or around the max throat depth. I have to lean into it to make it bog down but it will. If that’s an issue they offer higher hp but I haven’t found it to be an issue personally.
    Set up and assembly was great, I honestly can’t remember an issue as mentioned in the initial article so my experience with their customer service is nonexistent which I guess is good right?
    Well hey, just my take. I have a friend who bought the same bandsaw after playing with mine a few times and if he had any issues I don’t know either. The 1412 bandsaw was probably the highest rated I’ve seen in reviews and I would like to add to that.
    I’m ordering a Laguna Fusion tablesaw in a two weeks too and getting an incra fence for it off ebay so if I have issues with that I’ll be thinking about this article…..lol
    Thanks,
    Dave

  21. Hi I purchased a laguna bandit H2 edge bander well named (made By Bandits) this is the biggest Pile of Sh#T I have ever purchased and the customer service is 0% they have no one on the east coast to service. and if i need service i would have to pay a min of $1,600 and if it broke down a week later its my tough luck.
    every time i turn it on it gives me a problem I would not buy a hammer from laguna. I have ordered a new K360 from SCM I have a bunch of machinery form SCM and it is just fantastic and they’re customer service is excellent. The service guy even drops by the shop when in the area you just cant beat that, If any of us guys out there had customer service like laguna we would have No business.
    Please note I give people a 1st 2nd and 3rd chance but Laguna have horrible service and simply don’t deserve customers.
    Paul

  22. I purchased a new Laguna TSS saw that has had a few “issues.” I bought it with every option, hoping I had a really great centerpiece for my wood shop. My biggest challenge has been how incredibly frustrating it is to get the fence-to-blade runout dead on. It has taken me three different episodes with other experienced machinists and woodworkers, armed with several hundred dollars of measuring tools to get close. I’m still off somewhere between .0015″ – .002″. I also sent off my fence extrusion to have it milled flat (it was convex) and take .003″ full taper off the run-out end.

    To date, I probably don’t have 10 hours of continuous run-time on the motor. For the second time now, I am having electrical problems with it (now, it won’t start), and their Technical Support doesn’t work evenings and weekends – You know, during that time whereby full time people who work other jobs so they can buy tools for their evening and weekend hobby. (UPDATE: I just got a call back from Adam, who isn’t very familiar with the TSS. Hopefully, tonight I can get home in time to run some diagnostics, but he doesn’t sound very positive.)

    Also, what is with the cheesy stick on logos and panel fronts that start to peel and fall off? I’m actually a little embarrassed to show off my saw to someone.

    I think someone would have to talk a pretty good line to convince me to buy another Laguna-anything.

  23. I just bought and returneda laguna 1412 ut was an unbelievable bad experience the tires were so badly out of alignment u couldnt turn tire more than a quarter turn without bladecoming off called laguna whick was a nightmare they wouldnt stand behind there product at all customer service is really bad buyer beware

    • agree. My bandsaw from them could never start. The first two replacement switch parts were clearly defective, discovered after an hour total of installing.
      they in hindsight admit this. The new pieces were worst than the initial defective ones which I had to put back so that they could run diagnostics on the entire electrical system, via phone calls. I left my job (physician) for a total of 6 hours so they could talk me thru electrical diagnostics, over 6 weeks, parts coming and going and wrong parts sent. the crap still does not start and the woodcraft dealer has abandoned me. I offered to buy the piece at cost and do my own wiring and starter switch without the fancy power cutoff gizmos and they refuse to tell me the cost price – they now give me a new blade which is only useful if i one day repair or replace their crap. I have lived off my upgraded jet 14″ for 30 years with a 2 hp motor rigged in Bangkok. Even if i get their crap running – doubt if I have patience when any of their fussy, complex mechanical stuff fails. Having self taught myself woodworking in Rio, Geneva and Bangkok -resawing chunks of “scraps” I have come to learn that the process and stories behind each piece is just as valuable as the piece itself. Back to basics. I am so glad to read your post for what new tortures are in store for me when the damn thing actually begins to run. To avoid this I have decided to stop wasting time and return to the dealer. No sense trying to resuscitate something dead on arrival.

  24. It’s interesting to read your experience with a new saw. About a month ago I purchased a used Italian Resaw Master bandsaw. The price was fantastic. Got it to my shop and ordered some replacement ceramic guide blocks as the saw guides were missing the ceramic pieces. The order wasn’t shipped for almost 2 weeks and then they shipped the wrong parts. I called Laguna and after blaming me for ordering the wrong parts after some pictures they admitted they were mistaken. Then the negotiations on how I was going to get the parts. They initially wanted me to send the parts back before they would send me anything. After a few stern words letting them know that being a production shop and having a saw down for 2+ weeks didn’t put me in a good mood. They finally agreed to send me the correct parts. In the meantime I also contacted a company called Space Age Ceramics. I told them what I needed the sizes and they sent me the parts in 2 days. I had the saw up and running and a day later the correct Laguna parts arrived after almost 3 weeks total. I stowed the Laguna parts for spares and have been happily resawing since then. Laguna did offer to send me one of their Pro Force blades for the inconvenience. The blade hasn’t shown up yet so I’m not holding my breath.

    As far as the saw construction goes, I owned a Grizzly 17″ bandsaw the G0513ANV. The saw was awesome for ripping, cutting bowl blanks, and doing small resawing jobs. The Italian Laguna Resaw Master makes the Grizzly feel like a toy. I’ve got a Lenox Woodmaster CT blade and couldn’t be happier with the results and the saw now that it’s up and running.

  25. Laser machines are not what I hoped. The pics and posted cutting parameters are impressive up front but the SmartShop EC 100 watt tube just does not cut through wood I thought it would even with sharp alignment. Not even close! I wouldn’t recommend their co2 lasers.

    • Hello Tom, it would be nice to know a few more details. I have a Laguna laser and get great results. Perhaps I could help you get better results. We need to know what kind of wood/thickness are you trying to cut? Also, what were your power and speed settings? Are you sure you have the laser focused correctly through the mirrors etc. Any information would greatly help to pinpoint an issue, but just saying your not happy doesn’t help much.

I would be delighted if you left a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s