I searched for a Table saw for about 6 months and decided that I wanted about as high end as I could go, without requiring house electrical work. I'm in Australia, so this meant a 240v, 10 amp saw. In the Australian market, this left me with pretty much two choices. The Jet Proshop 10", and the Laguna Fusion. Both are what would be considered Hybrid saws.
Turning to the internet for research (I live about 2 hours drive away from the dealers for each brand) I found a lot of information on the Jet, but next to nothing on the Laguna. However what sold me was the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIqqwa2xJs4 and talking to the sales reps from each place. This is why I thought I'd put this review up, so that other people interested have something to look at!
This is the first table saw I have owned except for a dodgy Ryobi table top unit that I took back because it wasn’t straight. Therefore I have nothing to compare against, but fair to say I am very impressed!
I’l save the in depth specs details for the Laguna website (http://www.gregmach.com/Machinery/Saws/Table/FusionRip.html), but the quick summary is:
2hp induction motor (some info says 1 3/4 but this Australian one is definitely 2hp).
Trunnion mounted blade guard and riving knife supplied.
Bessy style T fence.
Cast iron top AND wings.
Full cabinet construction with integrated wheels and cabinet (not table) mounted trunnion.
Cost: $1590 AUD (the same as the Jet Proshop).
The saw arrived well packaged in a plywood crate, with the fence and fence rails packaged separately. This is probably to allow swapping between the 36” and 52” fence options. I got the 36”. There was also some funny Taiwanese cereal wrapper that the cabinet was resting on.
Unpacking was a simple single man procedure due to the inbuilt wheels. I just used a scrap bit of wood as a ramp a wheeled it right off the crate and into position. Note though that the wheels are braked in the crate so you want to check the manual to see how to unlock them, rather than just wonder why the wheels are so stiff like me! Everthing was in mint condition except for some scuff marks on the cabinet on one face that rubbed out easily enough.
The wings and fence attached about as easily as expected. That is to say its not easy to do solo, but is quite possible. I made maximum use of my builder’s spirit level to make sure the fence rails were flat and parallel to the table top as I screwed them into place. The wings and fence rails all just used bolts to attach. They needed a tiny bit of manipulation to hold in place as the bolts were done up but in general the alignment was very good. No bolts or washers missing and everything went together smoothly.
Next I went through the calibration. I checked the alignment of the the blade to the miter slots, the rip fence to the miter slots, the 45 and 90 degree blade stops, the vertical alignment of the rip fence, and the alignment of the miter gauge.
Overall everything was great. The left miter slot was -.002”, the right was +.001” to the blade. The 45 and 90 degree blade stops were bang on. The fence was -.01” so I adjusted that to -.005”. The miter gauge was out by only .1 of a degree at 90 degrees.
The only thing that was a bit iffy was the measuring tape on the fence. Firstly it was stuck on slightly crooked, although the effect of this over 60 cm was negligible. It was also stuck on further down the fence rail than ideal. This meant that whilst the manual said the left end of the fence should be flush with the end of the left wing, I actually had to sit it slightly further to the left to ensure that the 0 mark on the tape was sitting in the right place. The overall result is that my 36” fence is probably only about a 35” useable fence.
I fitted a Freud Fusion blade because the original blade was pants. Check out the quality of the carbide brazing (had to have the Fusion blade to go with the Fusion saw!) and prepare to power the sucker up. Damn! Turns out the plug had a 15 amp earthing pin rather than a normal sized 10 amp pin! Fair to say I was most disappointed in this, but then an idea came. I just connected it to an international adaptor plug. This had a larger slot for the earthing pin (probably for british plugs) and plugged straight in.
I know that sounds a bit dodgy, but I used a quality outdoor power board with RCD protection (only the table saw attached) so I effectively had three circuit breakers in the line in case of trouble. I also know that 2hp is just under 1500 watts and 1500 watts at 240V is an amp draw of 6.25A. Plenty of fat allowing for initial power on spike. Sure enough the saw started up no worries and I was into my first cut!
I just did a quick crosscut of some pine with the stock throat plate and wow. Just the faintest tear-out and very fine blade tracks. Tomorrow I’ll be into some Meranti and other random Australian jungle wood. That should test out the circuit breakers more but I am 100% confident that it won’t be a problem.
I’ll update this once I start ripping some hardwoods and really start to test it out but day one impressions are that this is an awesome saw. I know the US market has more variety in this price bracket (around $1300 USD). However here there are far fewer choices and the Saw Stops here are just stupidly expensive (double the price for the contractor saw). I am very impressed!