I've read about a zillion posts on this, but one simple question
Are the high end (Laguna, Mini Max, etc.) saws worth the extra money?
I can afford it, suspect that resale value when I kick off would be
higher, but are they 2X better (approximation of cost difference) than
the Jet, Delta, Grizzly, Performax equivalents?
Major use will be hobby work, including some resawing of harvested
rough lumber as I have about 600 acres of trees (old growth pine, red
and white oak, hickory, ash, bois d'arc, etc) up in Northeast Texas.
Any thoughts welcomed.
: Are the high end (Laguna, Mini Max, etc.) saws worth the extra money?
: I can afford it, suspect that resale value when I kick off would be
: higher, but are they 2X better (approximation of cost difference) than
: the Jet, Delta, Grizzly, Performax equivalents?
I have the jet, and would like very much to upgrade to a Laguna
or equivalent, si I guess I consider it worthwhile. For resawing
the 14" machines are .... okay, but not anything like what the
bigger machines can do.
: Major use will be hobby work, including some resawing of harvested
: rough lumber as I have about 600 acres of trees (old growth pine, red
: and white oak, hickory, ash, bois d'arc, etc) up in Northeast Texas.
Do you mean resawing to gt bookmatched lumber or veneer, or do you mean
actually cutting your own lumber from logs? If the latter, I'd suggest
you get a bandsaw mill instead -- they're made for exactly this purpose.
-- Andy Barss
IMO, yes, they are. I use a 25 year old Powermatic #81 that weighs
around 900lbs. I have used a 20" Laguna and a MiniMax. I think heavy,
big bandsaws do better work than their lighter weight cousins. Just an
opinion and can't prove a thing, but I get reasonably even thickness
veneers and resawn, book matched panels.
You can do good work with smaller, lighter machines, but I really enjoy
the bigger bandsaws and find it easier to do the type of work I do with
the larger machines. I use my saw a lot. If you're the type of
individual who enjoys better machines and want to focus more on the work
you do rather than on the machine itself, then the better bandsaws will
let you work more efficiently and consistently without as much tinkering
with the saw.
Just my opinion . . . Worth exactly what it cost you.
I wanted a BS that worked correctly out of the box, no tweaking. I bough
the HD series 16" Laguna a bit over a year ago. I went from a 12" Craftsman
to a 18" Rikon for two weeks and then to a LT16HD Laguna. The Craftsman and
Rikon were very similar in terms of having to putz with settings to get the
blade to track right. The Laguna needs very little tracking adjustment if
any at all when going from a 1" to 1/4" blade.
With very little effort I was cutting veneer some where in the 1/256" thick
range in red oak with a throw in blade that came with the saw. Thin enough
that you could see lots of light come through the pores in the wood.
The saw is a dream to use. Like comparing a bench top TS to a Cabinet saw.
Money being no object and IMHO if you go the 1/2 price saw, you will still
wonder how much better the saw could be. With the Minimax or Laguna you end
up with probably better than you dreamed a BS could be and will most
certainly be your last BS. ;~)
BTY, I was very much attracted to the Laguna ceramic guides and you may want
to give ceramic some serious consideration especially if you will be cutting
green wood. The roller bearing type guides tend to get dirty with wet saw
dust and make a lot of noise as they spin and the high dirty spots bang into
the blade. The Rikon had this style guides and they were very noisy and
hard to clean. The ceramic guides tend to be self cleaning and keep the
I highly recommend ordering the free Laguna band saw DVD video as it brings
up a lot of helpful points when shopping and gives a pretty good
demonstration and explanation of their rather unique guide system. Quite
Keep in mind that you are going to need 220 volt service for the bigger 4.5+
hp motors on the BS from Minimax and Laguna.
If going with the Laguna BS I recommend to go with the HD series over the
cheaper lighter weight series.
Thanks, appreciate the input. IMHO you're right. Buy the best if you
can afford it, reduce the futz factor, and don't look back.
As I read the web for the LT16HD, the ceramic guides are standard, so
I'll give them a call to verify. Then comes the shipment into my
gara-shop - Ugh.
Tom, the 10 point ceramic guides come standard on the Laguna's. Also, the
shipping charges included lift delivery to my driveway. It only took "could
you please" to get the driver to roll the pallet jack into my garage 30'
I'll strongly recommend the promotional DVD that they have that covers the
band saws and what to look for when buying again. Regardless of what brand
you buy it is very interesting. It also covers their table saws and
combination machines. Pretty lengthy and interesting.
The Laguna band saws also come with a set up DVD that steps you all the way
through the unpacking, mounting and wiring the motor and set up.
It's all about accuracy. Band saws are a royal pain to tune up, but
any tuned band saw is better than a high-priced out-of-wack expensive
one. Resawing is best with a 1" wide blade or larger and at least 1
HP motor. I have a Delta 14" band saw, a well-built and popular
machine with under-table blade guides. Get Laguna if you have the
extra $. You may need riser blocks.
You have my interest here, are there actually band saws with out under table
Also, I am pretty sure that neither Laguna or Minimax can be modified with a
riser block although it is doubtful that you would need to increase the
When I was in the market to buy I noticed the Jet did not have the
under-table guides but the Delta did. This becomes more apparent when
sawing and dealing with blade twisting and drift. I also noticed the
differences in the heavier castings in the Delta. Both looked equal,
but they are not. But, that was years ago and things change. Look
at some comparison studies in wood magazines before you buy. Band
saws produce a lot of very fine dust--a good DC and lung protection is
Too late now LOL, I did do the shopping and ended up with a Laguna last
year. Unfortunately the magazines findings and winners left much to be
desired IMHO. For the last couple of years the 18" Rikon was taking top
honors. I bought it and returned it 2 weeks later, then ordered the Laguna
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