Laguna Bandsaw Match-up: Reviewing the 14Twelve and 14 SUV models

The Laguna bandsaw is known for its use of high quality materials and superior craftsmanship. Laguna bandsaws utilize powerful motors, ceramic blade guides and have intuitive and easy-to-use adjustments. We look at the Lauguna 14Twelve and the Laguna 14 SUV, two of their best performing bandsaws to find out whether you’re getting value for your hard earned cash.

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Specification Line Up

First things first, these are two big bandsaws!  The Laguna 14SUV packs out an powerful 3 horsepower with an impressive 14 Inch resaw capacity.  That combination means that if you happen to do a lot of resawing, the 14SUV will see you spending a lot less time pushing work through.  Like the proverbial hot knife through butter!!

Know What You Want? The Laguna 14SUV is available on Amazon

This Laguna bandsaw, whilst less powerful, still delivers enough power and has a resaw capacity that will deal with the most challenging of jobs.  Its value is its versatility in the workshop, being able to deal with the more intricate, curved work as well as the more robust jobs.

Want to Take the Plunge Now? The Laguna 14Twelve is available on Amazon

Laguna Spec Comparison

 

The Laguna 14Twelve Bandsaw

Overview

Laguna Tools has managed to put together an extraordinary piece of equipment with the Laguna 14Twelve (or MBAND1412) bandsaw, and to do it at a relatively affordable price point is quite the feat. It’s durable, powerful and is loaded with features.

Laguna 1412

… the extra horsepower makes a massive difference, especially when it comes to resawing…

 

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This Laguna bandsaw is equipped with a very powerful, 1.75 horsepower, 115-volt motor. Many craftsmen have only had experience with 0.75 to 1 horsepower motors, as these are far more common and are generally sufficient for small shop work. It’s normal to expect that anything more than 1 horsepower is excessive and unnecessary, or even that the extra horsepower wouldn’t make a difference. However, this is not the case with the Laguna 1412 – the extra horsepower makes a massive difference, especially when it comes to resawing.

It’s capable of resawing up to 13” comfortably!!

In addition, Laguna rates the 1412’s resaw capacity at 12”, but this is actually a conservative estimate on their part – many reviews have shown that it’s capable of resawing up to 13” comfortably. Resaw precision is very accurate for a bandsaw of this class – there’s very little variation.  (NOTE: If you’d like to understand the physics of resawing and how to ensure that you approach resawing in the most effective manner, then this excellent video is certainly worth a view).

Laguna 1412 Wheels

The Laguna bandsaw frame is made of a heavy gauge, solid steel construction. Solid steel frames make a world of difference compared to the more common cast iron frames. Steel frames absorb much of the stressful forces that come about from blade tension.

Solid steel frames make a world of difference compared to the more common cast iron frames.

The Laguna 1412 is outfitted with oversize 8” by 13” cast iron trunnions. This is often an overlooked element of bandsaws, but they absorb untold amounts of vibration and ensure stabilization throughout a cut.

Compared to other bandsaw tables, the table of the MBAND1412 is huge at 21 1 / 2” by 16”. It’s also polished to a smooth, mirror-like finish, which makes feeding wood to the blade all the more fluid. This is a feature that should be implemented on far more band saws, as it provides a substantial amount of firm stability when it comes to cutting larger pieces.

The MBAND1412 has wheels made of cast iron, which is essential for stability and power in a band saw with a larger size motor. Additionally, Laguna is famous for their well-crafted guides, and they do not fail to deliver with this model. Lower and upper guides are placed at ten different points to manage and support the blade. There’s no maintenance required for these guides either; they just do their job (keeping the blade both aligned and cool) and do it well.

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Wheels made of cast iron, which is essential for stability and power in a band saw with a larger size motor.

The MBAND1412 has a magnetic blade guard mechanism. This makes the raising and lowering of the mechanism an easy and fluid process. When it’s extended to its furthest point, it still stays strong and in place.

The quick release blade tensioner is a fantastic feature that makes it incredibly easy to switch out blades. It also lets you lower the tension of your blade when it’s not in use. Additionally, when the blade is not tensioned, the lever points in the downward position. This makes it visually easy to see that it’s not in the correct position to be turned on.

The quick release blade tensioner is a fantastic feature that makes it incredibly easy to switch out blades.

There is an optional wheel kit and flood light attachments that are sold separately from the this model. These are highly convenient features to have and some would argue are must-haves. If you’re going to move this band saw around at all, and most likely anyone buying it would have to at some point or another, having the wheel kit is going to make your life a whole lot easier. Likewise, the optional floodlight is a great feature to have connected to the bandsaw for easy access.

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Many have floodlights sitting around their shop and can use those, but having a floodlight connected to your bandsaw is pretty convenient. Securing a floodlight is a concern and it doesn’t get any secure or safe than this optional one. For those who don’t have the best vision, some sort of light is basically necessary, and this one is a logical and good looking option.

The MBAND1412 has an aluminum rip fence, which is of very high quality, as its design is borrowed from the company’s higher end models. The simple design of the MBAND1412’s fence just makes logical sense and is really easy to use – just position it lower if you’re ripping or if you’re resawing, position it upwards.

 

Drawbacks

  • Dust collection is certainly good but could be improved. With an additional port for getting rid of dust, it would mostly eliminate any dust build-up issues during cutting and would make clean-up and maintenance easier. There’s already a port behind the blade – having one to one of the sides of the blade would be beneficial as well. During resawing this becomes an even greater issue.
  • This is a minor point, but the fence would be better if it could be slid on and off more easily. As it is now, it takes about ten seconds to disassemble.
  • The motor of the Laguna 14Twleve is manufactured in Taiwan. At this point there have been no significant complaints about the function and longevity of the motor so this appears to be a non-issue and that these motors function at a high level, although some may have their doubts.
  • This could be a negative or a positive depending on the way Laguna goes forward with their customer service, but in the past there have been complaints about it. Recent reviews, however, have shown that they have turned a new leaf and are providing much better customer service than before.

 

Conclusion

The price of the Laguna 14Twleve (MBAND1412) may deter some potential customers who have small home-based shops or those who need a tool like this for only a small portion of their business, but if this is how you make your living then it may well be worth the extra investment.

At just north of $1,000 on Amazon, it’s a bandsaw that will set you back some in regards to your wallet. But it’s made with better materials and better components than any other bandsaw you’ll find in its class.

Overall, Laguna did a top-notch job on the Laguna 14Twleve. This is arguably the best bandsaw on the market for its size

 

The Laguna 14 SUV Bandsaw

Overview

The Laguna bandsaw (LT14SUV) is a high end 14-inch bandsaw made with performance and longevity in mind. At its current price of $1,874.00, it’s certainly not the cheapest bandsaw of this size. However, you get a lot for your money – its performance is arguably unrivalled for this category.

With 3 HP at your disposal, this sets this model apart from its competitors…..

Laguna Main

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At 220 volts and 3 horsepower, the motor of this bandsaw cranks out a ton of power. Now, you may be thinking that 3 horsepower is excessive for your needs, but once you try it, you most likely won’t want to go back to 1 horsepower or less bandsaws.

If you do a lot of resawing, then you will know already that the size of your motor is critical.  With 3 HP at your disposal, this sets this model apart from its competitors and cuts down on your flow time particularly when it comes to resawing.

With such a powerful motor, this significantly cuts down on your flow time when it comes to resawing

Setup of the LT14SUV is mainly straightforward. All you have to do is secure the table and the motor to the frame. It’s much easier to do the assembly with someone helping you, but can be done by one person.

Some customers have complained of not receiving setup instructions with their Laguna, but with the simplicity of this bandsaw’s design, it’s not difficult to figure out on your own. In fact, there are a ton of videos on u-tube that will guide you through the process of setting up and tuning your bandsaw with ease.

It usually comes slathered in shipping grease, which is a bit of a chore to clean off before use but that’s to be expected with a machine like this.  Any decent household degreaser will do the job more than adequately.  Just make sure that you remember to reapply a product to protect that table top such as a wax, so your table doesn’t rust up when not in use.

The blade length is 125” and it has a resaw capacity of 14”. It has a throat width of 13 and 1 / 4”. It has dimensions of 36 by 30 by 76 inches and weighs a hefty 340 pounds.

Laguna Table

The physical characteristics of this Laguna bandsaw are all very pristine and are a testament to the product’s high quality. It comes painted impeccably and all of its moving parts operate smoothly and seamlessly.

It runs very quietly and smooth with very little vibration.

It has parts with solid and good weight to them that feel very professional. All of the castings are very well machined. It runs very quietly and smooth with very little vibration. It has very large iron wheels and Laguna did a superb job on balancing them out.

Laguna Wheels

It comes with very sturdy levelling feet that allow you to level the bandsaw even if you’re working in a shop that doesn’t have a perfectly level floor. The table height of the MBAND144200 is much shorter than many bandsaw users are used to at just 36”, but most come to find as being a pretty useful characteristic. It’s great for cutting larger and thicker boards.

The ceramic blade guards that come with the Laguna Tools 14SUV do their job extremely well, although they can be somewhat of a nuisance to set up. All of their adjustments are placed in fairly accessible locations – not perfect but accessible.

The ceramic blade guards that come with the Laguna Tools 14SUV do their job extremely well…

Some of them need allen wrenches to adjust. A set of allen wrenches comes with the bandsaw and there is a little rack for them on it so you don’t lose them and for easy access. Due to the design of the blade guards, the LT14SUV will emit a fairly large shower of sparks when you first purchase it. Laguna says this is perfectly normal and dissipates over time.

The dust collection of the LT14SUV is the right side of acceptable. However, some dust does accumulate in certain areas – around the brake’s wiring and on in the inside of the lower door for example. It’s not a major issue but is worth mentioning. One suggestion for Laguna would be to add an additional dust port or to move the dust port to the side – this would eliminate the need to have a turn in the dust collection pipes and be more effective in general.

Laguna have also installed on the lower wheel a brush that helps ensure that dust is prevented from building up against the blade, a feature that is becoming standard in high quality bandsaws.

Laguna brush

The lower wheel brush helps prevent dust from building up against the blade

The blade tensioning on the Laguna 14SUV is one of the best designs of any bandsaw on the market today. Its tension lever is ergonomically comfortable, long and has an effortlessly smooth action. There’s barely any force needed to adjust it. The positioning of the lever also instantly lets you know whether the blade is tensioned or not.

The brake on the Laguna 14SUV is a really excellent feature to have and one that would be nice to see on more bandsaws. Tap it slightly and it will turn the motor off. Hold it down and the wheels slow down. It doesn’t stop the wheels instantly by any means, but rotations will stop within three to four seconds, whereas without the brake the wheels may spin up to a minute or so. How often do you have to wait for the wheels to slow before you retrieve that off-cut that gets lodged in the table? Or worse still, how often do you risk loosing your fingers? 

The brake feature helps keep your fingers where God intended them!

The fence of the LT14SUV is solidly constructed and stays rigidly in place. It has a high and low position so that the fence can be closer to the blade but also still be able to have the blade guard close the table. The fence allows for adjusting for potential drift.

Laguna Fence

It connects to a round bar and can be uninstalled by tilting it in an upward position to get it around the blade and then laying it back down on the table and sliding it out. Overall a fairly simple process of mounting it or taking it off. The fence mounting rail also has a measure with both inch and centimeter markings.

 

Drawbacks

  • Mitre gauge does not come included, which is a tad tight considering the cash you are paying for this machine.
  • Price listed does not include a blade. The other side is that most other machines that come with a low quality stock blade that you end up replacing anyway!
  • Shipping grease is difficult to remove before first use. Yeah, an initial burden, but once it’s gone you’re done
  • Evidence of a small number of units with defects in blade tensioning handle. However, customer services are more than willing to put this right

 

Conclusion

The Laguna 14SUV is an absolutely excellent piece of machinery and the price you pay will easily be compensated by the value it will bring to you in your workshop. Whether you’re ripping, crosscutting or resawing, this bandsaw handles it with ease, cutting smoothly, accurately and very quickly with the help of all that horsepower.

Laguna really did not cut any corners (pardon the pun!) on quality with this bandsaw and the result is an all-around excellent performer, a machine that was built to last a very long time.

So, if you’re in the market for a new bandsaw, you can’t go wrong with the Laguna 14SUV. Yes, it’s not the cheapest bandsaw by any means, but if you are serious about your trade then why invest in cheaper, poorer quality bandsaws that break down forcing you to be constantly replacing them or their parts.

With the LT14SUV you get both incredible performance and a long lasting build quality that may actually save you money in the long run.

 

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Derek - August 28, 2016 Reply

I have owned the 1412 for a little over 2 years and I can say it’s probably the best machine I’ve ever purchased. Maybe it’s just because my previous bandsaw was a Grizzly from the early nineties.
I use it a lot for resawing and it’s great. I use the fence that comes with it and it works great too. For large cuts, I usually use a 3/4″ Resaw King. For smaller cuts which are usually with more expensive exotic woods, I use a 1/2″ WoodSlicer from Highland Woodworking. With my 1412 all tuned up and my blades sharp, I usually get my resaws within +/- 0.002″.

    Team PTQ - August 29, 2016 Reply

    Thanks Derek. Sometimes you have to pay for quality and in the 1412 you really are getting a top notch tool. It’s great to hear good things from real users. Thanks for you post.

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