Table Saw Question

rcarmac

Robert
Corporate Member
Does anyone have experience with Laguna Table Saws. I am looking at getting a new saw and was just doing some online research. The Laguna saws are priced really competitive, especially compared to Saw Stop. Thoughts
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
The only real things I have heard from people who have owned them is this: They are good quality tools. Comparable to many other in that semi-pro / pro class of saws. Everyone that I know that owned a Laguna did state the customer service is not good. This is just 2nd hand info I got, But I have used a Laguna, liked it.
One other thing one guy mentioned is it was a lot slower to switch out the blade to dado. Like I said all 2nd hand comments.
 
Last edited:

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
I did a LOT of research online as none in a store to look at. F1 and F2 are very light weight aluminum trunnion saws. It looks like the same basic saw is sold under several other brands as their entry level. F3 is much heavier. The feature I did not like is the distance from blade to table front edge. It is much shorter than others. Other than that, the F3 looked like a very good saw and value. Some say good dust collection, some say poor. I found a couple comments the F3 "ran as smooth as a Powermatic"

Download the owners manuals for any saws you are considering and see how they are built. Weight is another hint.

There are two blade lift mechanisms. Curved rack and pinion or a jack screw. Not sure there is much difference other than if the blade moves fore and aft as it moves up and down. One pivots on a shaft, the other moves in ways. Maybe a small convenience is marking where on the table the blade center is for accurate height measurement. There are differences in how wide the support of the trunnion is. I love the front tilt wheel on the Delta, but it would be a great step forward if their service and support was only terrible.

Then I discovered HARVEY. I just bought their C-14 band saw and it is a freaking tank! Over on lumberjocks is a new review of someone who just got his Harvey table saw. The Ambassador looks like the trunnion of one of the heaviest Grizzlies and their top line looks like the Powermatic trunnion. My eye is on the 3 HP Ambassador.

All this is assuming you do not want to put out the expense for a Saw Stop. Also very nice saws, but an equipped SS 3 HP runs close to 4 grand delivered, where the Harvey is less than half that. If you have the money, SS is great. Good tools. If not, well...
 

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
Forgot to add. I was all set to buy a Laguna 14-12/220 band saw until I found the Harvey. I like the guide adjustment the best of any.
 

rcarmac

Robert
Corporate Member
I did a LOT of research online as none in a store to look at. F1 and F2 are very light weight aluminum trunnion saws. It looks like the same basic saw is sold under several other brands as their entry level. F3 is much heavier. The feature I did not like is the distance from blade to table front edge. It is much shorter than others. Other than that, the F3 looked like a very good saw and value. Some say good dust collection, some say poor. I found a couple comments the F3 "ran as smooth as a Powermatic"

Download the owners manuals for any saws you are considering and see how they are built. Weight is another hint.

There are two blade lift mechanisms. Curved rack and pinion or a jack screw. Not sure there is much difference other than if the blade moves fore and aft as it moves up and down. One pivots on a shaft, the other moves in ways. Maybe a small convenience is marking where on the table the blade center is for accurate height measurement. There are differences in how wide the support of the trunnion is. I love the front tilt wheel on the Delta, but it would be a great step forward if their service and support was only terrible.

Then I discovered HARVEY. I just bought their C-14 band saw and it is a freaking tank! Over on lumberjocks is a new review of someone who just got his Harvey table saw. The Ambassador looks like the trunnion of one of the heaviest Grizzlies and their top line looks like the Powermatic trunnion. My eye is on the 3 HP Ambassador.

All this is assuming you do not want to put out the expense for a Saw Stop. Also very nice saws, but an equipped SS 3 HP runs close to 4 grand delivered, where the Harvey is less than half that. If you have the money, SS is great. Good tools. If not, well...
Where do you Harvey thru. I know I can get Laguna thru Klingspor
 

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
Direct. One of the nice things is with no state presence, no sales tax!
GOOGLE is your friend. Don't always expect a forum to have the last word.

Woodcraft also sells Laguna. Heck, Amazon , Home Depot, Lowe's and I assume Manard's sells a lot of tools, so search! It was Woodcraft where I was able to look at a Laguna, Rikon, and Jet band saw side buy side. Darn tough decision as all three are very good machines. No one's support is perfect, so I considered that a wash. But the $1400 Harvey is about the same spec as the $2000 Laguna and Rikon. The Ambassador line is their less expensive one. When you move to their top Alpha line, they are closer in price to the big names. For example, looking at their top line table saw vs Powermatic, it is only a couple hundred different.

They are not real quick right now on messages due to the virus problem. I think there are only a handful of folks at most in the US. Before things got bad, they were quick.

Over on LJ, there was a lot of info on who they are. They have been doing OEM for SawStop, Grizzly and others for quite a while. They are a real company. They also own BridgeCity tools. On the WEB they have big pictures of a factory, though it sure looks like come CGI involved. So who knows how they actually build things. For me, it is the result that matters.

If anyone is wondering, I have no associations with anyone, just do as much research as I can being basically a cheap old guy who is very picky about tools. Seriously, picking a band saw was hard as we have a choice of good machines. I only dismissed the Grizzly for what I consider sloppy old style guides I don't like much. But overall, they too are a good machine and you will find many happy owners. A few people complain about Laguna guides holding their set, not you can't pry one out of their hands. A few have complained about guide bearing failures on Rikon, but again, no one is dumping one.

Back to the table saw, the F3 really impressed me except for the front table distance. The new "euro" fence solves some problems, but creates others. I use several jigs that ride my fence I would have to re-make to ride the slot. I did not look really deep into the 1 3/4 class hybrid machines as my Ridgid contractor actually does it's job very well and a new saw just to get a riving knife is a lot of money unless I can justify something else. Going to a 3 HO cabinet saw that weighs 200 Lbs more gives advantages in smoothness and ease of ripping full 3 inch hardwood. So a F1 or F2 is just not really an upgrade for me. F3 is. So is Powermatic 2000 or maybe the Harvey. There is a Grizzly in the running, but kind of scared. Seems if you get a good one, you love it, but it is hit or miss on a good one. Realize, we hear about every bad one, but only a few good ones. Only Delta (Shame, the new Unisaw looks really nice) can I find almost no positive comments on. If they were hit or miss, I would have bought their drill press instead of a 25 year old one. Hindsight, maybe I should have bought a Plamgren. If I won the lottery, I would buy a Nova.

Maybe it was just the one store. More than one salesman at the local Woodcraft played down the F3 reliability and availability. I called Laguna and they said heck, they had 100 of them in the SC warehouse. I have seen no negatives on the forums. ( I dismiss various shipping issues as that can happen to anyone and has nothing to do with the machine quality) My conclusion is the profit margin on SawStop is higher so they really only want to sell them. Good saws if you can afford them. I can't. If I was a commercial shop or contractor where anyone other than myself touched the saw, it would be a SS. If I was an insurance underwriter, I would demand a SS. They did have an F1 ( I think, maybe F2) at the triangle store.

Too verbose? Well we are talking about a lot of money.
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
@tvrgeek yes you have been selected to win the verbosity award !!! . Well said Seriously, I have been looking at the Harvey both their Table and Band Saw. Thank you for your insight.
 

Tim Sherwood

Tim
Corporate Member
I hope you consider the extra cost versus safety on the saw stop. One small fingertip lost convinced me that it is well worth it.
 

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
What Tim says is valid. But only if you have the $4000 in the first place. Let's consider the bigger picture. A riving knife I consider to be the most important feature. From what I can collect and from my experiences, the majority of accidents are caused by; stupidity, kickback, or trying to clear a bit after the cut. Not many are actually running your fingers in by just not watching. Very few are without a guard. ( well most cuts are without a guard. Duh! )

Unfortunately, most guards are so bad we don't use them because we can't see the work or they are in the way of push blocks and push sticks. I am not feeding with my fingers just to have the guard in place!

So, to mitigate, I try to think. If it feels risky, it probably is. A good example is the typical taper fence thing. I use a crosscut sled when I can. I find a way via push blocks, feather boards, and sticks to never be close to the blade. As I have an older saw, I have multiple inserts with DIY splitters in them. Most cuts are rips with a splitter or on a jig of some type. I need to add hold-downs to a sled for small pieces.

Most accidents seem to be with small pieces. Jigs, clamps, etc. Now I have a clone Lyon miter trimmer, a few more crosscuts where the miter saw was not good enough I can trim by hand. ( Now, THAT little tool could do a number on a finger!) My last big safety feature is my new band saw. Turns out there are a lot of the "quick jobs" you can do on a BS. On small stuff, it seems much safer. Next shop project is an outside drop-down table to use my Skill saw to knock sheet goods to size. Safer to deal with pieces I can handle. No more double pass on the TS to cut a big thick leg as I can do it on the BS now.

A feature we don't not have available here in the US, but I have been told is required in the EU, is a blade brake. Even my contractor saw takes forever to spin down. I believe a lot of accidents are from impatience and clearing stock before the blade has stopped. Easy if a 3-phase motor. A bit harder with single phase. It can be done my applying a DC voltage after the AC is off. I tested this on a band saw and it reduced the spin down by about 2/3. A more aggressive brake may require a more positive arbor nut. I have been told it is an issue with dado blades.

Now, if you want a really nice saw and have the money, the SS is a very nice saw. As a pure saw, I still like the Powermatic 2000 better, but it it is close. If you have the bucks, by all means. I will leave my thoughts on their business practices out of this. Just commenting on the actual product. But a Harvey, Grizzly, Jet, whatever, 3 HP cabinet table saw is $1400 to $3000 and a similar SS is $4000. That leaves the money to buy a really good dust collector AND ambient air filter. You can live without a couple of fingers. You do not live very long without a couple of lungs. Sawdust kills.

Woodworking is dangerous. Look at the big picture and mitigate the biggest risks first. Do not assume the tool will save you. The safest SawStop saw is the one with the oldest brake in it.
 

UncleJoe

Joe
Senior User
I own a Saw Stop. Feature for feature it is the best saw I have ever owned. If it did not have the safety feature it would be priced with the rest of the market and in my opinion it would quickly become the number one saw in the market, it is just that good. Of course you should do what you feel comfortable with but I would tell anyone that is in the market to find the extra money in the budget and get a saw stop. I fully understand that some shop budgets have no room for a saw like this. I get it, but if you can find the money step up, I doubt you would ever regret it. Accidents happen to safe woodworkers too. Just sayin.....
 

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
I agree it is a very good saw. I suggest their aggressive in-store marketing would probably keep it as the top seller if it only competed as a saw without the brake. When putting out serious money, we do actually want to look-touch. Some of the high premium is for the extra retail margins that the direct-only do not have to pay. Having been in manufacturing, I also strongly suspect they are greatly over-pricing their feature and getting away with it by spending all their money on lawyers. If it was only protecting their property rights, I am all for that, but they continue to spend trying to make their technology mandatory. I have no love for the company business practices, nor for their parent company who makes grossly overpriced proprietary-everything tools. In that class, making you pay extra for a decent fence? Extra for wheels? Extra for a dado head? Extra for a guard/dust collector that actually works? That's how a $500 premium becomes $1500. But it is a good saw. I bring up the other points so one can make an objective decision.
 

UncleJoe

Joe
Senior User
I always wonder about all the woodworking forum, social media stuff said about the business practice. I wonder if anyone ever has a legitimate source for all these rumors of evil doings. I do know that when Bosch tried to have a saw with the same feature they lost in patent court and had to pull the product. I have no idea of the legitimacy of all the claims that someone was forcing their technology to be mandatory. It would be a smart policy of competitors to undermine the integrity of a company in social media, oh that never happens.

Like I said I have no knowledge of any of that stuff. I do think much of it is rumor and mis-information. I just have never seen any source for all these rumors so who do you believe?? For me, they make a high quality product and that is what I want.
 

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
I always wonder about all the woodworking forum, social media stuff said about the business practice. I wonder if anyone ever has a legitimate source for all these rumors of evil doings. I do know that when Bosch tried to have a saw with the same feature they lost in patent court and had to pull the product. I have no idea of the legitimacy of all the claims that someone was forcing their technology to be mandatory. It would be a smart policy of competitors to undermine the integrity of a company in social media, oh that never happens.

Like I said I have no knowledge of any of that stuff. I do think much of it is rumor and mis-information. I just have never seen any source for all these rumors so who do you believe?? For me, they make a high quality product and that is what I want.
The legal history is available on the WEB if you search/ Public documents. I did and read them. One more time. Yes they make a very good saw and if you can afford one, a good choice. If I had the extra money, I would. As far as Festool and their proprietary every thing game, just read their catalog. As far as SawStop playing games with extras that are not really extra, again just read the catalog. No mysteries. No dirt from competition. No conspiracies.

The OP was talking about $1000 class table saws. Not $4000.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
What Tim says is valid. But only if you have the $4000 in the first place.
The OP was looking at Laguna table saws and he didn't give a price range that he was looking for. You said "4000 in the first place" about the SawStop. That's all.
 

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
A PCS with the good fence, dado brake and insert, wheels, working dust collector, etc. is roughly $4000. Even an F3, which looks like a very nice saw is roughly $2000. Only issue I have with the Laguna F3 is the short distance from front edge to blade. A couple less than everyone else. The F1 and F2 have a much lighter aluminum trunnion shared with several other entry cabinet saws. I have not heard complaints about them but for me in wiid machines, the more iron the better. Euro fences mean you may need to convert your fence riding jigs to t-slot jigs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oka

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
I couldn't agree more. The lobbying and aggressive tactics SS does made me think I'll never buy one just because of that.

Someone actually made a very good point. If you follow normal safety protocols and are not a production outfit, then the emergency stop is belt and suspenders. IF .... you are rich enough that the cost does not matter, then get the SS. To me, the table accessories make cutting safer. Just having a table saw with just a rip fence and Tee is basic start point. It is all the other jigs that make cutting safer and more accurate.



A PCS with the good fence, dado brake and insert, wheels, working dust collector, etc. is roughly $4000. Even an F3, which looks like a very nice saw is roughly $2000. Only issue I have with the Laguna F3 is the short distance from front edge to blade. A couple less than everyone else. The F1 and F2 have a much lighter aluminum trunnion shared with several other entry cabinet saws. I have not heard complaints about them but for me in wiid machines, the more iron the better. Euro fences mean you may need to convert your fence riding jigs to t-slot jigs.
 

Our Sponsors

LATEST FOR SALE LISTINGS

Top