Bandsaw advice Laguna 14bx or Jet 15"?


Alan G

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I am going to be upgrading my current bandsaw (old craftsman) with a new model soon. I have been looking at the Laguna 14bx 2.5hp 220v model. That unit normally sells for 1499. I have read thru lots of reviews / testimonials on this board about the laguna bandsaws and 99% of the time everyone really likes them. The higher end (Italian) models are out of my price range. 

I was pretty much set on the 14bx 2.5HP model and then I saw that Jet came out with a new 15" Model, the JWBS-15-3. That is the 220v 3hp version which normally sells for 1799. I saw the 1.75hp model at my "local" hardwood suppliers showroom. It looks like a nice machine. The fit and finish look pretty nice.

I searched the wood talk boards to try to find anyones opinion on this machine but found none.

Anyone have any experience with the new Jet? Should I just stick with my original choice and go Laguna?

Thanks!

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Just in looking at the Jet it doesn't look like you are gaining much, if anything for the extra money.  The Laguna has the brake, I don't see that on the Jet.  Yea the Jet has a little more re-saw capacity but in reality how much lumber are you going to have to re-saw that is 15 inches wide.  I have the Laguna 1412 which will re-saw almost 13 inches but I have never had a need for that much. 

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1 hour ago, Chet said:

Just in looking at the Jet it doesn't look like you are gaining much, if anything for the extra money

The Jet looks to have a more robust frame than the Laguna. It is a substantially heavier saw (Laguna 270, Jet 380). Looks like you can get a 1" blade on the Jet and a 3/4" on the Laguna. Weather I would need that or not is another topic for discussion!

 

1 hour ago, Chet said:

The Laguna has the brake, I don't see that on the Jet

 

The brake on the Laguna seems to be a nice feature.

 

I am all for the 14bx  but was just curious if anyone has or has used the new Jet 15" saw and their thoughts.

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21 hours ago, Alan G said:

The Jet looks to have a more robust frame than the Laguna. It is a substantially heavier saw (Laguna 270, Jet 380). Looks like you can get a 1" blade on the Jet and a 3/4" on the Laguna. Weather I would need that or not is another topic for discussion!

 

 

The brake on the Laguna seems to be a nice feature.

 

I am all for the 14bx  but was just curious if anyone has or has used the new Jet 15" saw and their thoughts.

In my recent buying experience, there is always going to be "a different tool" that is either a little more expensive, or has different options. Between those two saws you likely will never see a difference in daily use. 

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1 hour ago, Alan G said:

So is the consensus to not over analyze this and stick with the original decision of purchasing the 14bx?

The Laguna saw has some nice up-grades from it proven 1412, I think you would be real happy with it and $300 still in your pocket.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am in a similar situation to Alan with an interest in either a Laguna 14bx (2.5 hp), Rikon 10-353 pt a Jet JWBS-15-3, and finding info on the Jet has been somewhat elusive, though this could likely be due to the saw being a somewhat newer model.  I have a 103 acre tree farm and would like to harvest the occasional trees that fall, process the logs (thus requiring adequate resaw capability) and utilize the boards in a variety of woodworking projects (again using the bandsaw for the project work).  I like the brake option on the Laguna & Rikon and it seems like it could be nice to have, though I'm not sure it is completely necessary.  The extra 1/2 hp of the Rikon & Jet can be nice, though not a huge step up from the Laguna.  The additional 2" of resaw with the Rikon & Jet can be a plus, as is the ability to utilize a 1" blade over the 3/4" max on the Laguna - though each saw could likely perform the task.  A local dealer is partial to the ball bearing guides (Rikon & Jet) over the ceramic (Laguna) - though at the same time he liked some of the Carter guides, and I also have some concern over the wear and replacement cost of the ceramic guides.  Many other features are somewhat similar except for the weight difference: Laguna 270 lbs, Rikon 315 lbs & Jet 382 lbs.  Right now the weight aspect has my attention and with a bandsaw, it would almost seem that more weight would be better - perhaps an indication of more heavy duty construction & components.  Digging deeper, the fourth saw that has my attention is the Laguna LT14 x14 SUV (souped up version) with 3hp, 14" resaw and 380 lb weight and it seems like it would be a more fair comparison to the Jet 15".  The Laguna SUV and Jet 15" are also the same price.  On the subject of price, the Woodcraft presently has Laguna at 10% off through October 26th (though I don't see where the SUV listed on their website).  Last wintertime, it looks like Jet had a 15% discount, though that's not to say the same offer will occur this winter.  Shipping cost is another consideration and depending on which saw you choose, it can add $75 - $280 in shipping / handling costs - which while it is delivered to your home, in my case, I have a 2,000 ft driveway without room for a tractor trailer to turn around and with previous delivery (rear blade for my tractor), I met the truck at the road to unload and I took it to the house from there. 

While I am still researching (and very much open to any input anyone has), I am leaning toward the Jet JWBS-15-3 with the edge going toward the horsepower, option of using a 1" blade for resawing, and the extra weight.  Additionally, I can order the Jet through Home Depot and pick it up at my local store (with no shipping / handling fees - a savings of $115) and have the convenience of pulling my pick-up into my workshop for easier unloading.  My hope is that Jet will again have a winter discount (15% would be nice) and that would likely cause me to pull the trigger.  For now though, I'm still window shopping and researching.

 

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If you want to make boards out of logs, you need much more saw than either one of these.  Horsepower is near the bottom of the list of things that matter.  Blade tensioning, and blade speed is what matters when speed is important.  Both of those things come with size.   Either of these saws is for someone who wants to make a piece of furniture, now and then.  

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Free Spirit, I agree with Tom. All of the saws you listed are fine saws for doing what they're designed to do. They will all make veneers out of dry boards, cut the occasional blank into turning stock, etc. You're wanting to put wet trees through whichever saw you go with. That's a different application and one that calls for a different saw altogether. You need to consider a bandsaw mill for harvesting trees into lumber.

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We got the 14SUV a couple of years ago and it is one fine saw.  It will resaw about 14.75" and I have resawed a board of Sinker Mahogany that was 14" wide.  Our saw has the 1" Resaw King blade and it tensions just fine but it is a thin blade.  If you want to see it in action on that particular cut here's a short video (I've posted this before but I like the video - LOL!)-

David

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That's a nice cut.  What was the actual time of making the resaw cut though?  That's why I was saying either would be a fine saw for making an occasional piece of furniture, but not really for producing a lot of resawn lumber.

I tried to find a youtube video of someone using a large bandsaw with a 1" Woodmaster CT 1.3 tpi blade, but couldn't find one.  I'll try to remember to make one the next time I use mine.

I tried every good blade there was on my 14" bandsaw, and when I bought the 24", that really could tension the Woodmaster blade, I sold all the carbide tipped resaw blades for the 14".  The same cut that took 20 seconds (or maybe it was 30-not remembering clearly), took 2 seconds on the big saw, with no loss of cut quality.  I don't remember the tooth count on the Resaw King I had for the 14", but the Woodmaster is 1.3 tpi of smooth cutting carbide teeth.

I'm not trying to run down the smaller saws, but there is much more to it than simply size and hp.   When people say it can't really tension a 1" blade, I think they are thinking Woodmaster, rather than Resaw King.  I don't remember the thicknesses of the Resaw King, and the Woodmaster CT, but the difference is significant.

I don't see significant difference between a 14 and 15 inch saw.  I put a 1-1/2 hp Baldor on the old 14", and it was never too little.  The 24" has about a 4 hp, and it never gets warm, even pushing it hard for a couple of hours.

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Thanks, Tom.  I went back and looked at the original video and both cuts took right at 1:30.  I could have cut it faster but there were several factors involved - this was the first time I had cut anything that wide, it wasn't my piece of wood (someone sent it to me to cut), and it was expensive and there were no backup pieces if I messed this up.  But, this is just our little home shop and not a production facility so 90 seconds is fully acceptable to me. 

The saw has a 3 HP motor on 240V and it also doesn't get warm although the longest I've cut at one time is about 30 minutes resawing 7 boards of Walnut and Curly Maple, 13/16" thick into two 3/8" thick boards, and the boards were about 7' to 8' long and ranged from 6" to 9" wide.  For us in our little setup that represented some cuts that demanded our attention.

It's a good saw that I only use for resawing so the 1" Resaw King blade never comes off; I don't even have other blades other than a backup for this one.  I have a 1950 King-Seeley 12" that I use for everything else.

David

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In my particular situation, there are two issues that lead me away from a bandsaw mill and to one of the bandsaws I listed.  The first of which is economics and being retired & on a fixed income, the $2,000 price point is really pushing the budget at this particular point in time (I am looking at the Resaw King blade also), but we should be able to make it work.  The second is that you can't always have everything (at least at once), and given the choice between a bandsaw mill with one primary purpose and a bandsaw that can perform routine bandsaw work and additionally do some mill work (within it's capabilities), the later option seems like the best place to start.  I am keeping in mind the option of a planer / jointer and other goodies at some point in the future too.  I have a 30' x 40' shop with 220 volt / 150 amp electric, and houses my tractor and oftentimes my pickup or other items, workbenches and work areas, various wall and shelf storage, radial arm saw, table saw, and a variety of hand & power tools.  

My personal log milling will generally be the occasional fallen or dying tree as well as any cull trees (trees harvested to allow more valuable nearby growing timber to prosper) and consist of logs less than 14" in diameter and typically cut into a 4'-6' section for easy handling.  Back at the shop, they will likely turn into 1" (maybe up to 2") thick boards and stickered (perhaps in a homemade solar kiln) until dry and ready for use in whichever projects that happen to develop.  Larger logs and more valuable timber that are not part of a scheduled harvest would be taken to the nearby commercial hardwood sawmill (less than 4 miles away) and sold, or perhaps a local Amish or similar mill for sale or processing. 

I'm not looking at a lot of dedicated home milling and am basically focusing on utilizing what I have readily available and preventing it from simply becoming a piece of firewood or left to rot as forest debris.  Being retired, time isn't a huge factor and thus I can deal with a slower speed of cut (as well as a longer drying time for thicker stock before being resawn at a later date).  The additional shop-time and intricacies involved in home-harvested wood and processing can be rewarding in itself and my goal is to continue enjoying my retirement status and not become overly involved in a high production operation.  From what I've been able to find online (videos, forums, etc.), and for my intended purpose, size class of the Jet 15" (or Laguna LT-14" SUV - Great Video, Difalkner) seems like it would be a good starting point and adequate for the majority of my present and future needs.

I truly DO appreciate all of the feedback and the other posts on this forum and the insight presented.  The brain cells have kicked in to weigh each point and I am continuing to refine and further my research with the hope that the end result will bring many years of pleasure.  

 

 

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Check Craigslist near you to see if you can find a used, big bandsaw.   I bought a 24" Centauro for $600 off ebay, and after replacing what needed to be replaced, buying a dedicated dust collector off of Craigslist for it, and a new Woodmaster CT (carbide tipped) 1.3 TPI blade, and a VFD to run the 3-phase motor,  I have about $1400 in it.  We used it to resaw 10, 000 lineal feet of Cypress shingles with it, as fast as the wood could be pushed through the saw-boards to a heaping pickup load of shingles in 2 hours.  I've used it for resawing other stuff with it multiple times since that job, and am still using the same blade.

A saw like that would have an easy time with what you want one to do.   I'm afraid you will be dissapointed with the new saws you are looking at, as far as their capability goes.

I also have a 14" Delta, that belonged to my Dad, that has every available upgrade, so I am pretty familiar with what a 14" saw will do.  I sold all the little used resaw blades I bought to try after the first day of use with the big guy. I leave the 24" set up for resawing.   Your shop has plenty of room for one.

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It didn't take 10,000 lineal feet to fill up a pickup.  I didn't count how many truck loads we got out of it.  First we ripped it on a tablesaw without a fence to get rid of sapwood, and put a cut in the center of the arc of growth rings.  

The next step was to cut the 8' boards into 2' lengths.  I tied the switch on a chop miter saw.  One helper pushed the board to the stop.  I chopped the cut as fast as I could slam the saw down with my left hand, and handed the cutoff to the other helper who stacked them next to the bandsaw.  All tools were stationed so fewest footsteps possible were made.

I made a sled that the 2" board rode on to cut two tapered shingles out of it.  I pulled the sled back, first helper put a 2' board on, I pushed it through (maybe 2 seconds-took 20 to 30 seconds on the 14" saw), and other helper took the two shingles off the sled, and stacked them in the truck, that was backed up close to the saw.  The sled has safety stops on it, so no hand was every anywhere near the blade.

The finished work can be seen on the Cypress shingles page on my website.  This is not a hobby for me.  The work is expensive, even at high efficiency.  If I wasn't efficient, no one could afford it.

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 I don't want to hijack Alan's thread but wanted to share an update on my bandsaw search...

I have been unsuccessful in finding the Jet JWBS-15-3, but a dealer had the Jet JWBS-18-3 with similar features (though larger size) and I was able to give it a good look and touch.  I found the Jet to be quite nice and I was feeling very comfortable with a possible purchase. 

Another dealer had the older Jet 14" on the showroom floor which seemed okay, and the Laguna 14" SUV right next to it which was also okay and I was able to give each a look and touch.   Stopping at this point, I was leaning toward the 15" Jet (still sight unseen).  Then a complication set in.......

Sitting alongside these two saws was the Laguna 18 BX with the same 3hp motor rating,  an overall larger machine, nice features that appeared to be of very good quality (I think I liked the fence better even without the micro-adjust feature of the Jet, the foot brake pedal can be nice, and the ceramic guides seem like they might be okay,) with a price tag of $1,999.  The more I looked, the more I began to like the 18 BX.  Following a walk around the store to look at the many goodies (the first time I had been there), I stopped back at the machine and conversed with the salesperson.  Needless to say, I am giving very serious consideration to the Laguna 18 BX to the point that I think I am leaning toward it.  An additional factor that is coming into play is that the salesperson will match a 10% discount on Laguna that another dealer presently has (until October 26th) which would make the price of the 18BX actually cheaper (by 89 cents) than the Jet JWBS-15-3 - plus there would be no shipping fee for store pickup.

Anyway...  The search and research continues.  In the end, I don't think there is necessarily a bad choice between the Jet JWBS-15-3, the Laguna 14 BX or SUV, or the 18 BX, and each appears to be of good quality and with a reasonable price-point for the machine.

Have you made a final decision, Alan?  I'd be interested in your final / present thoughts (or with your experience with your choice if you now have one sitting in your shop).

 

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7 hours ago, Free Spirit said:

 ...the foot brake pedal can be nice...

I really miss not having this on my Laguna 1412 since I have been using a Laguna 16HD for years that does have it. It's one of those features that if you've never used it no big deal but once you have you will really miss it, at least in my opinion.

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9 hours ago, Free Spirit said:

and the ceramic guides seem like they might be okay

The ceramic guides are one reason I picked the 14 SUV over other models in this class, of which there really are none, not to me, anyway.  After using the saw for two years I can tell you they are still holding up well and don't show any signs of needing to be replaced.

David

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9 hours ago, Free Spirit said:

Needless to say, I am giving very serious consideration to the Laguna 18 BX to the point that I think I am leaning toward it.  An additional factor that is coming into play is that the salesperson will match a 10% discount on Laguna that another dealer presently has (until October 26th) which would make the price of the 18BX actually cheaper (by 89 cents) than the Jet JWBS-15-3 - plus there would be no shipping fee for store pickup.

I'm leaning the same way. Northern NM is kind of a no man's land for woodworking machinery, with the exception of Woodworkers Supply in Albuquerque. I'm not a big fan. I'm heading out to the Felder open house at the end of the month and plan on stopping by Laguna Tools to get a touchy feely with all their bandsaws. The 18 BX really looks like a lot of bang for the buck.

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