I'm in the early stages of shopping for a bandsaw, looking for the deal that
will loosen my wallet at the show. Any comments about these would be
Laguna 14SE $1145 with some extra blades (not really a discount)
Jet 18" $990
Powermatic 14" $765 (riser blocks add $63)
Delta 18" (26-682) $1080 (one only)
By the way, the Laguna 14" is a bit unusual and should not be compared to
other 14" saws. It has a 2 HP motor and can reliably handle a 1" blade It
has the same ceramic guides as their much larger saws.
Thanks for the input Bruce. The GO555 is a bit lighter than I was looking
for.Its 1 hp. All the saws I'm interested in are 1 1/2 or 2 hp. But I'll
look at the other Grizzly's to get some perspective of their offerings. Do
you know anything about their warranties? I cannot find it anywhere on their
website. Maybe I just missed it.
Thanks, Rob. You just pointed out something I did not realize about the jet
18" resaw capacity. Its the lowest in the group I selected, although I doubt
the powermatic would have the power to take advantage of its full height
The Delta, Laguna and Powermatic have 12" resaw capacity. If I were going
to pick a tool based solely on impressive looks, it would have to be the
Delta. Its definitely the beefiest of the bunch (weighs 400 lbs, 80" tall).
It even has dual dust collection ports. It appears that the show price is
about $100 lower than any place else I could find, and of course there is no
shipping. Its already fully assembled and I'd need to find someone with a
pick up to help me get it home.
I recently purchased the Delta 18" bandsaw. I really didn't do my
research before purchasing. I now think a minimax 16 would have been the
better saw, but I have no data to back up that choice.
My two complaints on the delta are: 1) it has roller bearing guides, OK
for long term use, but it would be better to have European style guides
for better control close to the wood. The distance between the guide and
the wood is increased by the radius of the bearings. 2) I put a 1/2"
blade in and tensioned it with a Lenox tension gauge. To get the tension
even close to 15000 psi required maxing out the tension spring. The saw
is suppose to handle up to 1 1/4" blade, but it barely tensions a 1/2"
blade. A resaw capacity of 12" without proper blade tension may be a
problem with this saw. Unfortunately it is hard to find out tension data
from manufacturers. I'm open to suggestions on how to improve this issue.
> I have been very happy with my Jet 18".
> The new Delta 18" looks good. What is it's resaw capacity. That is
> complaint about the Jet.
> Good luck!
Put in a Iturra extra strong spring in to help get the tension you
want/need. DO NOT fully compress the spring in the Delta, it's gotta
have a little bit of compression left to work properly
Wow, that's good to know, Wayne. Its quite amazing that such a beefy looking
saw would have the shortcomings you described. Looks aren't everything I
guess. If it were, nobody would buy those ugly wood bodied handplanes that
work so well.
No I haven't tried a Timberwolf. I have some Lenox blades, some that
want 25,000 psi. I'm assuming the Lenox tension guage is an accurate
way to measure tension? It basically measures the blade stretch. I'm
not an expert on blades, and I assume different blade metals stretch
I'll have to check into a heavier spring. Are there Iturra springs
that will fit the 18" Delta bandsaw? Highland Hardware only shows
one for a 14" saw.
Anyone know if you can change out the guides. I'm relatively new with
this bandsaw. It would be nice to be able to use a narrow blade, but I'm
not sure the bearing guides can be adjusted that fine.
Bob Davis wrote:
I have used blades as small as 3/8" in my Delta 18" bandsaw, and they work
just fine. Adjust the bearings to ride just behind the gullets, and keep
them just _barely_ touching the blade...no heavy pressure or the blade will
be squeezed out of them.
Re your assumption concerning blade tension...they all do not require the
same tension. Timberwolf blades, specifically, require considerably less
tension than do carbon steel blades, for instance. Forget your tensioning
gauge and follow the instructions on the back of the Timberwolf card that
comes with each blade. Using the "flutter test" as they call their method,
I have been able to run a 3/4" 3TPI Timberwolf blade on the Delta and resaw
11" wide Walnut and Oak beautifully...no cupping and a really smooth cut.
Finally, Euro-style guides (the round metal discs) do not get you much
closer--if any closer--to the work than do roller guides (at least on the
saws I have used). Perhaps you're thinking of traditional square guides
like are found on most 14" saws? On my two Jet 18" saws, one with Euros and
the second with rollers, I noticed no practical difference at all.
My only other band saw experience was the Delta 14" with square guides.
Ive only had the Delta 18" for a few weeks. I would like to be able to
tension a lenox carbide blade that I have for it, so more spring tension
would be desirable. I have a 1/4 inch blade on the saw at the moment. It
took some careful adjusting.
Bob - For me it would depend on the one that had the largest depth of cut
since resaw capacity is the most important feature for me. Is the Laguna
made in Italy like their larger models? It sounds like a nice saw.
I am currently looking very closely at the Bridgewood BW-17BWS 17" from
Wilke Machinery. It's 2 hp has a 11.5 inch resaw capacity and can handle a
1" blade. It's $900 +shipping, but since I'm not close to any shows I'm
going to have to pay shipping on whatever I get. The retail mark-up from
local dealers is incredible. I'd love to hear from anyone who has purchased
this saw. I've been very pleased with the other tools I've bought from
All Laguna bandsaws are impressive. They all use cast iron flywheels and
the same Laguna designed ceramic guides. The 14SE is "only" a 14" saw, but
it has 2 hp motor, handles 1" blades and has 12" resaw capacity. In
searching the archives, I read lots of praise for their performance and
customer service. But there's nothing like seeing one perform in person.
Check their February special and compare to the Bridgewood you mentioned.
You said its $900 + shipping. The Laguna is $1145. But that includes a
mobile kit, shipping, and three blades. It sounds roughly comparable to me.
Laguna band saws are made in Italy and Bulgaria. Their smaller saws
(including 14SE) are made in Bulgaria. In the Laguna video, Torben talks
about the manufacturing. The Italian factory (ACM) and Laguna collaborate on
designs. The Bulgarian factory "does what we tell them to and they do it
well -its a good arrangement".
All of the engineering design is done by Laguna tools. The only difference I
saw between the 14 and 18 Laguna's was that the larger had a rack and pinion
upper guide adjustment. The 14 simply had a lock knob that you released,
then moved the guide up and down with your hand. It moved very easily and
did not seem like a disadvantage to me.
It seems to me that band saws are very, very competitive in the sizes a
serious hobbyist or small shop might use. You get what you paid for. I
looked at all the Grizzly line last night and found you had to move up their
line to get an apples to apples comparison. After shipping, the Grizzly line
was slightly cheaper.
When I talked with Torben yesterday, he indicated all his bandsaws were
equivalent in cutting performance and features - its a matter of choosing
capacity and horsepower. The only saw which he called out as different was
one especially designed to do nothing but resaw. It uses a 2" wide blade.
Keeping in mind that Laguna is designed to be as good as it can be, its
interesting to note that the bandsaw tires are glued on and they appear to
be thicker than other machines I looked at. Torben says they glue them
because its the best way to ensure their stability with higher powered
Are you sure that price includes the mobile stand, shipping and the blades?
I checked out the Laguna website and it looked to me like the base price for
the 14se is $1145 but that in order to get the free shipping you also have
to order the mobile base, the stand , a resaw King blade and 3 other blades.
The resaw King blade lists for $141, the stand for $90 and I did not see a
price for the mobile base and the other blades. If Laguna is really
throwing in several hundred dollars worth of extra's and free shipping then
I agree it's a heck of a deal. My guess is though, that the entire package
is going to run about $1,400 to $1,500 when everything is said and done. I
tried calling the 800 number but it's closed on Sunday. I'll definitely
check tomorrow. It seems that the larger Lagunas and the larger Bridgewoods
are both made in the same factory in Italy, although Laguna adds a few extra
features to the finished product. As you mentioned the smaller Lagunas are
made in Bulgaria and the smaller Bridgewoods are made in Taiwan. Eastern
bloc vs.pacific rim is kind of a toss up, imo. My guess is that they are
both good saws and if the price differential is really only $100-$200 then I
would probably lean towards the Laguna. If the difference is more like $400
to $500 then I think I'll get the Bridgewood and spend the extra on some
cool blocks and some really good aftermarket blades.
Curmudgeon in Training
1/4, 1/2, 1" Bladeses
Boy, did I read it incorrectly. You are absolutely correct! Apologies to
all for misposting information. Call Laguna to confirm exactly what the deal
is. By the way, as I understand it, everything on the Laguna comes from
someplace in Europe. Torben said the exchange rate (euro/$) has been killing
them on competitively pricing in the US.
From what I've read, many people looking for a bandsaw seem to be interested
in the resaw capability and the maximum size of blade it can hold. What
about the reverse? I remember a few years back when Lee Valley Tools was
advertising blades for (Inka bandsaws I think), that they were offering a
1/16" blade for fine work. Is this not a desired option for a bandsaw, a
really small blade for fine work? Or, would someone that needs something
like this be looking at scrollsaws instead?
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