May 11, 2021

Laguna 14bx vs 18bx | To BandSaw Or Not To BandSaw? Which To Choose

If you have the difficult task of choosing between the Laguna 14bx vs 18bx, I don’t envy you. It takes an informed user to pick the right one. Comparing the Laguna 14bx with the 18bx is difficult because the 14bx is a somewhat stripped down version of the 18bx. There are no tool free features, no LED lights, no soft start, and no variable speed.

They have done away with the outlets on the sides of the saw to power the various accessories that the 18bx can use, like a vacuum. But, there are several things that are better about the 14bx. First, it has a smaller footprint, so it’s easier to move around. Also, the rip fence and blade guard on the 14bx are metal instead of plastic.

Overview of the Laguna 14bx

The Laguna 14 bx has 110 and 220 bandsaws. These two differ in the power outlet and motor sizes. The Laguna 14 bx has ceramic blade guides that are easy to set and use. The frame is solid, and that makes it last longer. The brakes are smooth, and the table is spacious. It gives enough space for wide material. The flat table allows you to make accurate cuts. It comes with a 4inch dust port that makes the dust collection system effective. The major drawback of the bandsaw is that it does not come with a blade. 

If you buy the wrong blade, it does not work on your bandsaw machine. It works with the standard 115inch blade, 1/8inch width, and 3/4inch inch blade. The bandsaw comes with a tension indicator that gives you the compression of a spring. The closed upper door does not compromise the visibility of the tension indicator. Make sure that the saw blade is parallel to the fence. Your hands adjust and align it, and your fingers are protected from the saw blade by the blade guard. 

It comes with a paper gap instruction in the manual, but it takes time to study and follow the instructions. It has a pyramid-shaped spine and a quick-release tension feature. The electric cast-iron wheels fit tires that are cool and last longer. The rear and opinion features are smooth to run. It flexes when extended. The double windows give you visibility on the tracking of the running machine. 

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Solid
  • Visibility
  • Adjustable
  • Smooth

Cons

  • It does not come with a blade.
  • The frame is heavy.

Key features of the Laguna 14bx

Fence

It has a stout aluminum extrusion fence with a low and high position. That makes the bandsaw machine comfortable to use. You do not need tools to adjust the height of the fence. It is easy to adjust.

Dust collection system

The bandsaw comes with a 4inch dust port that makes cleaning easy without practically having to clean after your work. A DC as efficiently as it also collects dust from the lower and upper cabinets. The 4inch dust hose connects to the dust port, and they have a capacity of 1,000 CFM. They are at the back of the machine. 

Mobile base

Although the mobile base is not in the package, I recommend the mobile base that is also affordable. It is stable when mobile and when fixed in one position. You encounter difficulties if you push it from the top of the saw. The design allows you to have smooth movement.

Guides

The guides are easy to adjust. The upper guide has to be parallel to the fence. No tools and more effort are needed. There is an instruction page that helps you with the alignment. The lower guides are a bit difficult to adjust due to the position of the table.

Foot brake

The foot brake allows you to turn off the motor using your foot. That helps when you want to change your cutting position. The micro-switch turns off the saw motor with a press. For an immediate stop, you apply pressure so that it quickly responds.

Power

The Laguna 14 bx comes with a 110/220Volt outlet at the back of the Pro Light System. It has a 14Amp motor and 1.75hp. The motor drives the lower flywheel through a drive belt. 

Blade and brake system

It works with a 115inch blade. It is compatible with a minimum blade width of 1/8inch and a maximum blade width of 3/4inch. It comes with a magnetic blade guide. The brake system is active by applying a bit of pressure to the foot pedal. The motor stops, and the flywheel slows down using the disc brake. The flywheel is protected from the blade by tire cushions. The lower heel drives the wheel, and the top wheel powers the saw blade. 

Blade guard

The blade guard protects the blade. You install it when the saw machine is running. The guard attached to the lower door is adjustable vertically, whilst the door is closed.

Overview of the Laguna 18bx

The Laguna 18bx is a heavy-duty bandsaw with a 12Amp motor for cutting industrial-size material. The resaw capacity is 16inches, and the blade is 145inches. That is a big bandsaw blade that rips wide and thick material. The change of blades is easy since it does not require additional tools. The bandsaw blade makes precise cuts quickly. The magnetic strip makes the bandsaw blade change quickly. 

An additional feature that does not allow the machine to start as you are changing the bandsaw blade, makes it safe to use. The magnetic starter and the disc brake make it safe and accurate. The industrial material used to make the bandsaw makes it heavy. The stable base is solid and balanced. The steel construction makes it durable. The high horsepower makes it ideal for professionals. The powerful motor is steel that is resistant to corrosion. That makes it durable. 

A replacement when the motor gets damaged is not affordable, although the chances are slim. The feature that prevents vibration makes the bandsaw comfortable and safe to use. You do not strain your hands due to vibration. That maintains precision on the cuts. However, it does not come with a mobility kit. That makes it difficult to move or transport the bandsaw machine. You need to pay extra for the mobility kit. The warranty could have been longer than 2years. 

Pros

  • Powerful motor
  • Tool-free adjustment
  • Stable
  • Fast
  • Versatile

Cons

  • It does not come with a mobility kit.
  • Steeper price.

Key features of the Laguna 18bx

Blade size

The 145-inch blade is the perfect size for an industrial bandsaw. It cuts through high volume and thick material. The lower and upper guide protects the blade. It does not move out of position during operation. The blade adjustment is tool-free.

Re-sawing capacity

The bandsaw machine does not change its quality in cuts when you switch from ripping to re-sawing. The cuts remain precise. The rip fence supports multiple cuts with identical angles. 

Dust collection system

Excess and useless material produced during ripping and re-sawing goes into the 4inch dust port collection system. The port is attached to the blade. The sawdust produced can be recycled depending on the user. You may even expand your business by selling it for mulching if you do not need it.

Powerful motor

The 12Amp, 3hp motor cuts through high-density wood and metal. That makes it a versatile bandsaw for both industrial workers who are into both metal and woodwork. It suits heavy-duty cutting projects. The anti-corrosion steel material used to make the motor makes it last longer.

Braking system

The disc brake cuts the power from reaching the motor in less than a second. It has a pump system that stops it in a single pump. In case of emergency, the machine is easy to control. 

Base

The steel base is solid and sturdy. A wide base is appropriate for the heavy-weight machine. It stays firmly on the ground, and you do not have to be afraid of falling due to vibrations during operation. 

Rip fence system

The rip fence assembly is of guide rails, cast knuckle, casting, and a high-low fence. The fence stops are for non-through cuts. You are allowed to set them on your desired length using the quick-release handle.

Similarities

  • They both use the same blade sizes.
  • They both have tension indicators.
  • They both have ceramic guides.
  • They both have 4inch dust ports.
  • They both have cast-iron flywheels.

Differences

  • The Laguna 14bx has 110 and 220 bandsaws, whereas the 18bx has only 230V bandsaw.
  • The Laguna 18bx has a bigger maximum blade than the 14bx.
  • The Laguna 14bx has a 14inch motor, whereas the 18bx has a 12Amp motor.
  • The Laguna 14bx is more affordable than the 18bx.
  • The Laguna 14bx is lighter than the 18bx.

Cost

The Laguna 14bx is under 1,500, whereas the Laguna 18bx is under 2000. 

Verdict

I am sure you have made your choice on the bandsaw you want based on the above comparison. Both models are professional bandsaws that are accurate and reliable. The 14bx is more affordable, lighter, and has a bigger motor. The question is can you pay the extra cash for the heavy-duty bandsaw? Are you a commercial woodworker or metalworker? Rip high volumes of material in a short time and achieve accurate cuts. The choice is yours, and I wish you the best with any of the above Laguna bandsaws.

David D. Hughes

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