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Advice on Italian Bandsaw , Laguna or...

Greg_K.'s picture

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I've been looking at purchasing an 18 inch Italian bandsaw. I've talked with salesmen at Laguna Tools and Wilke (Bridgewood.) They both have the same saw with slightly different specs manufactured by the same company. Both salesmen insist that their particular saw is superior to the other saw (frame strength, fence quality, blade guide accuracy, ... etc.) In fact, each salesmen accused the other of lying. Somewhere between is the truth and I seek it. Which is the better saw? Or are they the same? The Bridgewood is $300 less than the Laguna Tools.

a_jepson's picture

(post #89710, reply #1 of 18)

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if you really can't decide then just call up Meber, and order it from them. that is if they sell them to people other than distributers, i'm not sure. i've got a laguna 16 sec and am very happy with it, but when it comes down to it, it's just a meber 400 with a laguna sticker slapped on the front. i don't know about the bridgewood. i've found laguna's customer service to be excellent if that helps. good luck

Rick_LoDico's picture

(post #89710, reply #2 of 18)

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Check out Steve Osman's comments from the thread I started a while back. I ended up with the Bridgewood and couldn't be happier.
< Obsolete Link > Rick LoDico "Bridgewood vs Laguna" 7/18/00 9:00pm

m._pelletier's picture

(post #89710, reply #3 of 18)

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you know you don't hear much about them anymore, but I have had a Mini-Max s45 in my shop for the last 15 years and it has been a great no-frills machine. I re-saw with it constantly, and use it for regular scroll cutting as well. I put carter guides on it a few years back, the original Jolly's were a pain to adjust with smaller blades. I run nothing but Suffolk blades, it has been a very good machine.

Jack_Woody's picture

(post #89710, reply #4 of 18)

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Johnny,
You have two dust ports on your 16"? Mine only has one on the bottom and wish it had one under the table. Wher are yours located?
Jack.

Erik_Ahlberg's picture

(post #89710, reply #5 of 18)

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Greg, I just bought the Laguna 16HD and love it. I am not sure if it the same saw as Bridgewood, but if it is you will be happy with either.

michael_wilkins's picture

(post #89710, reply #6 of 18)

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Greg. I only have experience with Laguna. I got the
LT-18 during the big WW show in Anaheim, CA for the
same price as the LT-16HD-show special. Fine machine
with enough power to saw the universe in half. The
machine from Bridgewood is made in the same factory
(I think) and both are good quality. Try to see one
in action if possible. Be wary of salesmen making
wild sales pitches, just like used car salesmen.
Any firm that bashes other companies are suspect in
my book. The majority of the Italian made bandsaws
are very good, so shop around. There are other players in the bandsaw game.
My 2 cents worth-go with Laguna. You won't be sorry.

Scott_Frankland's picture

(post #89710, reply #7 of 18)

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I just got Laguna's video in the mail yesterday and watched most of it with my jaw on the floor. I seen one at a WW show and I was impressed but the video sold me. I already own a nice 18" 2Hp bandsaw but I am thinking about upgrade to a Laguna for the better resawing. I would recommend the video, no real sales pitch just a guy cutting wood and setting up the saw.

Scott

Paul_Cresti's picture

(post #89710, reply #8 of 18)

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Greg,
I have a Agazzani B-24 and am very pleased. I looked at the Laguna and Bridgewood and felt the Agazzani saws edged out the ACM made saws (Laguna, Bridgewood, Felder) in certain items.
Good luck,
Paul B. Cresti

a_jepson's picture

(post #89710, reply #9 of 18)

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scott just so you know the guy in the video is using a $200 carbide blade, and yes the veneers it saws have little or no saw marks on them, but your saw would do the same thing with a carbide blade. i've got a laguna 16 sec and i love it, with regular carbon blades don't expect anything more than your getting from your current saw, so don't buy one just for smooth cuts. the problem i have is that i can't find anyone who will sharpen a carbide bandsaw blade, and i won't buy one until i can

Howard_Metz's picture

(post #89710, reply #10 of 18)

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Anybody have experience with the Hitachi 14 1/2 inch resaw with the 3 inch blade? How does it compare with the Laguna line? Is it significantly noisier?

Seth_Frankel_'s picture

(post #89710, reply #11 of 18)

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Howard,
It's been a long time since I used the Hitachi with the 3" carbide tip blade (and have never used the Laguna), but I recall that the motor felt underpowered for the demands of heavy resawing. It seemed to sound "cheap" - a high whine. The cutting itself was generally clean (after lots of fence alignment), but labored. Another small recollection: the table seemed very low - I was too hunched over after the 5th or 6th long resaw (I'm 6'-0"), but then again you probably won't use it everyday.

Hitachi may make different units than this one 12-14 years ago, but I'd make sure that it has at least a 3hp motor or more.

Keep in mind, this is after a long time away from the machine, so take it "cum granus salus". Good luck.

Seth

Seth_Frankel_'s picture

(post #89710, reply #12 of 18)

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Howard,
It's been a long time since I used the Hitachi with the 3" carbide tip blade (and have never used the Laguna), but I recall that the motor felt underpowered for the demands of heavy resawing. It seemed to sound "cheap". The cutting itself was generally clean (after lots of fence alignment), but labored. Another small recollection: the table seemed very low - I was too hunched over after the 5th or 6th long resaw (I'm 6'-0"), but then again you probably won't use it everyday.

Hitachi may make different units than this one 12-14 years ago, but I'd make sure that it has at least a 3hp motor or more.

Keep in mind, this is after a long time away from the machine, so take it "cum granus salus". Good luck.

Seth

Paul_Fradale's picture

(post #89710, reply #13 of 18)

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I ordered a 16HD from Laguna; they sent me an 18LT by accident, told me "Merry Christmas." I got the blades for the 16, including a carbide, they sent me new 18s to replace them and a cast iron fence by way of apology. Never asked for the old blades back either (it's now been over a year), so if any of you 16" folks are in the market for a deal on unused blades give me a holler.

Howard_Metz's picture

(post #89710, reply #14 of 18)

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John:

If AMC makes the machines for a number of companies does that mean that the machines are of the same quality. I am looking at the Bridgwood PBS-540 4.8 Hp at $ 2,200 and the Felder FB-540 3 Hp at $ 2,600. They both have essentially the same dimensions.

Could AMC manufacture to a higher quality for Felder or could Felder improve the machine with for example a better rip fence?

Thanks

Paul_Cresti's picture

(post #89710, reply #15 of 18)

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Howard,

I believe there are three major bandsaw manufacturers in Italy: Agazzani, ACM and Meber (there may be more but I do not know of them). As you know Felder, Laguna and Bridgewood all import the ACM saw. Each company has it's own versions with some minor differences. It was rumored that the Laguna's saw was ACM's lightest and less rigid saw it made. I have now heard Laguna now purchases the heavier framed saw. I do not know if this is true. If you want to see the real differences in designs look at the three manufacturers I mentioned. Some of the differences may seem minor but are quite different. I have only heard bad experiences with customer service from Laguna not from any other distributor.

Good luck,
Paul B. Cresti

Jordan_Coe's picture

(post #89710, reply #16 of 18)

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Greg, et al,
These are my complaints with the Laguna SEC:
The table is far too low for comfortable working.
The visibility through the guards is frustratingly narrow for any kind of fine work.
The 3 guide bearing system does stay in alignment w/blade when the guard is raised or lowered for different thickness cuts.
Last, but not least, after a good bit of sawing, I have to readjust the tracking, as the blade wants to run against the thrust bearing.
And, as previously mentioned, blade changes are not easy(However I still would not buy a Jet,even if they sent a scantily-clad assistant to change the blade)
I wish I had known about this forum and read Steve Ossman's comments in Rick LoDico's old thread before I bought my Laguna.

claude_connell's picture

(post #89710, reply #17 of 18)

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Anybody heard of an SCM as a top of the line Bandsaw?

a_jepson's picture

(post #89710, reply #18 of 18)

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Jordan. i also have a 16 sec and there is an easy fix to two of your problems. first, about height, all euro style bandsaws have low tables that i've seen, and all you have to do is build a little riser block for them to sit on. secondly, i fixed my blade guard by taking an angle grinder and chopping the bottom little bit off. i haven't had any major problems with the blade guard so i can't comment on that. over all i'm happy with my saw and i got a good deal on it. how ever, if i were buying another bandsaw i'd take a look at other brands in person before i decided.