<<Do you know what the problem is/was and which models are affected? >>
We were talking about the 14 and 16 inch models which are probably
their most popular sellers with the small pro shops. This will sound
strange, but they were not having problems so much with the machines as
with the people that were supposed to support them. To try to clarify,
if a machine came with a faulty switch, it might take a month and a lot
of follow up (even under warranty) to get a new switch. BTW, the
problem they were having at the time was indeed some kind of switch
(footswitch?), and something to do with the guides. We weren't
specific as I wasn't buying, just looking and asking.
I was impressed that this guy actually admitted it, but he was sure
that they had, or were in the process of making changes that would fix
the customer support problems. It was refreshing to hear someone not
create a story on the spot to cover my concern.
Turning around customer service can be done... I use a lot of Bostitch
nailers as the local lumberyard I go to sells them, and will service
them once a quarter for free. But over the years, if you needed a part
such as a driver, latch or anything specific to your gun, you left a
message on their New Jersey number and then it just went away. I
waited over a year to get a part for one of my roofing coil nailers, so
I went out and bought a Hitachi to replace it.
Now they have live people answer the phone, people that have been
trained to read the schematics. I needed a part that is not considered
routine service, and they had it to me in about 10 days. Not super
fast, but they did get it done.
You might call Laguna and just see if someone live actually answers the
phone. I have a buddy that has a custom cabinet shop here in town that
I go see from time to time went with the 18" MiniMax. He thought the
saw looked better engineered and seemed to him to have more low end
torque when resawing than the other saws he tried. He also called
their customer support line and asked the Minimax people specific
questions about the saw, and like their responses the best.
On one hand, I was surprised he did this... he works at WoodCraft part
time and I thought for sure he would take a Rikon or Jet and get his
employee discount. He pointed out to me that he has two dead Jet 18"
bandsaws in his shop now (broken motor shaft on one and the other saw
that was about 20 months old needs bearings top and bottom as well as
the fact it seems like it is coming apart when it is running) and was
pretty well finished with the Asian stuff.