I'm considering buying a new Bandsaw. I currently have a Delta 14", 1hp with
a twelve in. riser block. I'm thinking of the Delta 2hp 18" model 28-682.
The other saws that caught my eye are the Laguna LT16 and the LT14SE. I
don't know much about Laguna bands. If anybody has any suggestion or
comments on these saw or something similar I would appreciate it. The
reason I want a higher hp and bigger saw is for resawing.
Six months ago I began my quest for a new, larger, no nonsense band saw
to replace my old 12" Craftsman.
I was specifically looking for a saw that was easier to adjust when changing
blades, quieter, and built well enough to resaw wide boards and cut veneers.
Around Thanksgiving of 2005 I ordered the popular 18" Rikon band saw and
waited until January 31 to take delivery. I kept the saw for 2 weeks and
returned it. Buying it sight unseen I made sure that I could return the saw
I learned to quickly dislike roller bearings although at the time of
purchase I thought it was a good idea. They unfortunately became very noisy
from sawdust build up sticking to them and the blade. Tracking was a
nightmare. I could not get the blade to stay in one spot, front to back.
Regardless of blade tension or upper wheel tilt angle the blade move forward
and backward. The top wheel has a LOT of left and right wiggle slop. Rikon
indicated that this was normal. Timberwolf said this was not normal. I
checked out the 18" Delta to confirm and found that it also had upper wheel
left to right wiggle slop.
During the wait for the Rikon to arrive, 9 weeks, I ordered a Laguna
band saw video from Laguna. This is a very informative video that points
out what to look for when purchasing a band saw. Right off the bat they
warn of a top wheel that sideways right to left wiggle slop.
Ultimately I waited to see the saw at the Houston WW show and also
compared it to the MiniMax. I actually made an appointment to see the
MiniMax in Austin at the MiniMax store to get a one on one demonstration.
Unfortunately their demo saw was missing it's guides. That left a very bad
taste in my mouth. The show models also had broken parts.
IMHO if you have an older Delta 14" model BS you will probably be
trading down if considering the larger and newer Delta or Rikon models.
IMHO both the Laguna LT16 and LT14SE saws would be a better choice.
With that said, those models are built in Bulgaria while the HD series saws
that start out with the LT16HD saw are Italian made by an old manufacturer
and are considered to be among the best built saws.
I ended up buying the LT16HD over the 2 models you mentioned
specifically for because of the lower guides. All of Laguna saws use 10
contact point ceramic guides. No moving parts and very quiet with a good
blade. The lower guides on the heavier HD Italian built models have lower
guides that are in plane site and are easily adjusted with 1 hex wrench and
thumb screws. The lighter weight series that you mentioned literally have
the lower guides located between the front and back trunnion. Unfortunately
this makes for hard to see and adjust lower guides.
Expect to pay a premium for Laguna and especially the HD series of
saws, same goes for MiniMax. I am however quite happy with the saw and with
ease resawed 11" wide white oak. The LT16HD has a 16" resaw capacity and
comes with a 4.5 hp Baldor motor. I also opted for the mobility kit that
makes moving the saw around almost effortless.
If you have any questions about the Laguna band saws I'll be glad to give
you my opinion.
If money is no object, get the Laguna.
If money is a concern, I'd have the Rikon and am happy with it.
Note that I primarily use the bandsaw for cutting bowl blanks.
Sometimes I throw a 1/4 inch blade on it for cutting curves. I have not
tried resawing on it, so unfortunatly I can not comment on the main
reason you want to buy it.
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