The Laguna 14″ BX Bandsaw put to the test

Laguna 14BX Bandsaw

Laguna 14BX Bandsaw

The bestselling Laguna 14 BX Bandsaw is a tough bandsaw to beat in the Australian market, however, it’s important to know the facts before you make the investment into a new bandsaw.

Most woodwork enthusiasts are looking to purchase the best bandsaw, and it can be confusing to do the comparison on models that often look very similar.

The main bandsaws available in the 14” range that compare to the Laguna 14BX are the Carbatec 14” Heavy Duty, Rikon 14″ Professional and Sherwood 14″ Heavy Duty. Here’s a comparison on the key features across the range.

Laguna 14BX vs Carbatec 14” Heavy Duty Bandsaw (BS-X3452C)

The Carbatec Heavy Duty Bandsaw has gone through some changes to try and compete with the big boys like Laguna. This Carbatec machine offers a 2HP motor compared to Laguna’s 2.5HP. They have improved the wheel type from cast alloy to cast iron and attempted an extra high cutting capacity of 360mm, which is higher than Laguna’s 330mm. This cutting capacity is put to the test in a video demonstration with plywood, not a sturdy Australian hardwood that would truly test the bandsaw’s capacity.

What it lacks compared to the Laguna 14” Bandsaw:

  • The Laguna 14BX bandsaw incorporates Laguna’s unique disc braking system coupled with a micro switched motor means the blade is brought to a complete stop in a matter of seconds with little effort instead of ten seconds that motor braking takes.
  • The foot operated disc brake system allows the user/operator to safely keep control of the material being processed in case of an emergency. This is because both hands remain securely in control of the stock while you activate the foot brake. Opposed to being forced to release one of your hands and reach across the front of the blade to activate the emergency stop. This key safety feature is one loved by many Laguna customers, including education departments.
  • The Ceramic guide system is another massive draw card. You can say goodbye to the older technology, inaccuracy and unreliability of conventional bearing guides. Ceramic guides due to their hardness and the fact they are self-lubricating will remain cool and can be set right up against the band giving you the best possible chance of straight and accurate cutting. This is unlike bearing guides which have to be set away from the band otherwise they will burn out and inevitably allows lateral movement or play.

[Review from an Australian forum…]
“After tracking down a local that owned one [Carbatec] and going over to use his saw, I discovered that it wasn’t much better than the cheapie I already owned and the price was very much that of the Laguna…..Long story short I purchased the Laguna and I now have what is the best saw I know of in that price range with no regrets.”

Laguna 14BX compared to the Rikon 14” Professional Bandsaw (Model 10-353)

While the Laguna 14” Bandsaw doesn’t need any extra explanation, the competitors need to include details of ‘professional’ or ‘heavy duty’ to highlight it’s worth. The Rikon 14” Professional Bandsaw has a larger motor capacity than the Laguna at 3HP compared to 2.5HP and re-cutting capacity of 350mm, which is promoted as ideal for re-sawing lumber. It’s worth asking for a test of this feature to ensure it does what it says. Regardless the Laguna 14BX still offers the largest capacity motor at 2.5HP in its class that affords the simple flexibility of plugging directly into a standard 10amp circuit.

What it lacks compared to the Laguna 14” Bandsaw:

  • The Rikon Bandsaw runs conventional bearing guides which again don’t provide the same straight cutting accuracy as ceramic guides particularly over this capacity. Laguna’s unique ceramic guide system not only offer your increased accuracy as they provide not only ten points of contact compared with only six on conventional bearing guides but offer full width contact on even the widest of blades.
  • Added to this the bottom bearing guide set sits well below the table. While this offers better access making these guides easier to adjust they are effectively too far away from critical point where the cut is being made to offer any real accuracy or support.
  • This machine is manufactured in China not by the Laguna Taiwanese manufacturer that focuses on quality machinery and is continuously developing the bandsaws to be the best in the global market.

Laguna Bandsaw compared to Sherwood 14″ Bandsaw Heavy Duty

On paper the Sherwood 14” Heavy Duty bandsaw is the closest comparison to the Laguna 14” BX Bandsaw. The main difference is this Laguna copy is made in China instead from a Taiwanese manufacturer like Laguna. It has a foot brake, high cutting capacity and ceramic guides, all inline with the Laguna version.

What it lacks compared to the Laguna 14” Bandsaw:

  • The Laguna automatic disc foot brake ensures the safety of the user and the material if an emergency happens and the blade needs to be stopped instantaneously. The Sherwood bandsaw has a mechanical foot brake not providing the same level of safety in an emergency.
  • The Sherwood machine includes a ceramic guide system with 6 points of contact, instead of the seriously accurate 10 points of contact found on the Laguna machine.
  • In addition to providing 10 points of contact Laguna’s ceramic guide system offer easy tool free adjustments for quicker and easier blade changes and setting up.
  • The Laguna bandsaw has a two position high/low fence providing support against the timber for all sizes of timber sawing. This feature is not available on the Sherwood modeling and can become difficult when cutting smaller material with a large fence to awkwardly work next to.

 

Overall, there are some pretty powerful bandsaws available in the Australian market and with some impressive features on paper. The Laguna’s unique features of the disc foot brake, micro-switched motor, ceramic guide system and impression cutting capacity makes it one of best.

If you’re still tossing up, call us to arrange a demonstration and then test the same piece of wood on the other bandsaws to see the difference. We’d be happy to also talk you through some of the other key features of our Laguna 14” BX Bandsaw.

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by Gregory Machinery

2 thoughts on “The Laguna 14″ BX Bandsaw put to the test

  1. William Spencer says:

    A few more features the Rikon Professional has that the Laguna does not.
    1. Easy adjust guides that are spring loaded. Ask any Lsguna owner about how difficult the ceramics are to adjust.
    2. Micro safety switches on both doors and the blade tension. Laguna has none!
    3. A keyed power switch.
    4. Rack and pinion table angle adjustment.
    5. Micro adjusting 150mm hi lo fence
    6. Includes a blade worth $35+
    7. Leaves $140 in your pocket

    • Gregory Machinery says:

      Thank you William Spencer for your comments.
      As a past customer, employee and in the interest of full disclosure now a reseller of Rikon machinery, I know you continue to enjoy the quality and performance of your own Laguna and SuperMax woodworking machines.
      The Rikon is undoubtedly a good value bandsaw but it still it does not compete with Laguna in terms of build quality, innovation and outright value for money. Also I know how much you appreciate the quality of Taiwanese Manufacture as you still refuse to get rid of that big ole Taiwanese bandsaw of yours which you have always described as an absolute cracker. I have responded to your points below. Once again thank you for your input.

      1. Easy adjust guides that are spring loaded. Ask any Laguna (sic) owner about how difficult the ceramics are to adjust.

      Yes our Laguna customers are constantly reminding us of just how much easier it is to set up their ceramic guides over and above the older technology of ball bearing guides. Laguna customers really appreciate the practicality and tool less adjustment and not to mention the innovation and increased accuracy that only Laguna’s unique ceramic guide system affords them. Laguna’s class leading ceramic guide system achieves this by offering their customers 10 points of direct contact with the blade and due to the self-lubricating nature of these ceramic guides there is little or no heat generated at the point of contact. As if this wasn’t enough Laguna ceramic guides have the added advantage of being able to provide both full width and direct contact across even the most widest of blades. There is no more accurate or easier to adjust guide system currently available on the market until such time as Laguna’s competitors have already and will invariably try to copy and imitate Laguna ‘s innovative features at which time Laguna will have already moved on.

      o 2. Micro safety switches on both doors and the blade tension. Laguna has none!

      This is something we can easily and do provide to our educational and institutional customers as an aftermarket option if required. This is only because here at Gregory Machinery we offer an extensive after sales and service department unlike a lot of our competitors. However, more often than not, limit switches in these areas prove an unnecessary and sometimes frustrating feature for private users and home hobbyists. Particularly when they inadvertently fail preventing your customer from simply being able use and turn their bandsaw on. The Laguna has a limit switch in the one and only place where it really counts switching the main motor off before Laguna’s unique and innovative disc brake activates bringing the blade to complete stop within seconds with little or no effort. Other bandsaws on the market may have a brake but they are older friction type that push against and can distort the drive wheel requiring excessive force to bring the blade to an eventual stop.

      3. A keyed power switch.

      A useful feature until your customer or someone else loses the key leaving your customer stranded again and simply unable to turn their bandsaw on and use it. Again due to our extensive service department this is something we can easily offer as aftermarket option if requested or required particularly for our educational partners or better still we can install a keypad lockout that does not require a key.

      4. Rack and pinion table angle adjustment.

      A nice feature again but one that most woodworkers are unlikely to require or use. Like most avid woodworkers I can probably count on one hand in the last ten years how often I have needed to tilt my bandsaw table. That number would be less than two!

      5. Micro adjusting 150mm hi lo fence ~

      All Laguna bandsaws come supplied with a hi-lo fence as standard and one that often has taller reference face for resawing.
      Micro adjustment on a fence is redundant if you have a better quality bandsaw with a superior guide system and one that can be easily adjusted and tuned for accuracy.

      6. Includes a blade worth $35+

      Laguna have never supplied a blade with their bandsaws and for good reason. The OEM bandsaw blades supplied by most manufacturers are by economic necessity usually of a poor quality and/or unsuitable for their customer’s intended purpose. Laguna’s rationale is that it is far better for the customer to purchase a quality bandsaw blade to match the quality of their bandsaws. This ensures that Laguna’s customers have the best possible experience when the customer’s new Laguna bandsaw is paired with a quality blade and one that will actually performs, meets their needs and exceeds their expectations.
      Laguna has always understood the importance of this and is the reason why they also produce their own range of superior quality bandsaw blades:
      https://www.gregmach.com/product/resaw-king-blades/
      https://www.gregmach.com/product/shear-force-bandsaw-blade/

      I don’t know of any other bandsaw manufacture that offers this service? An included blade doesn’t represent value if you have to purchase a suitable, better quality and more expensive replacement. I guess you could always keep it for cutting firewood?

      7. Leaves $140 in your pocket.

      As you have already undoubtedly experienced with your own Laguna and Supermax woodworking machines, quality is and has always been worth paying a bit little more for and Laguna Bandsaws have always represented the best value for money bandsaw in the market. Quality remains, long after the price is forgotten!

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