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Laguna wide belt sander3/13/18
Looking to get a new Laguna 37" 1k sander, and was curious if anyone had any experience with them?
Some years ago, Laguna was not thought to be a very reliable vendor. Their niche was the garage guy moving up. They relied on the customer not being too sophisticated as to what to look for, and where to look.
At that time they had an online forum, and the owner's wife would get on there and call anyone disrespecting their machines names and worse. Louder than a flurry of Trump tweets, he could not get her to stop. She could really line up the insults and shout them out. Not very good for business.
Parts changed and were inconsistent. Manuals were nonexistent. Motors had odd voltages and capacitors to make them run. Switches melted. Laguna never had parts. We had a larger bandsaw that almost burned down the shop in the middle of the night due to the way they had an odd capacitor wired to where it was always hot.
They were building in Eastern Europe, with cobbled electrics but some solid metalwork back then. I know that they are now in CNC and related, so I would think they would have to get their ship in order. I know a nearby shop a few years ago bought a panel saw and edgebander, but the buyers could not get spare parts. Whenever they called in to check on the parts, the salesman tried to sell them a larger piece of equipment.
I had a Butfering from Stiles that was a great machine. Parts from Stiles was a nightmare, but I could find them elsewhere before Stiles could call me back to say they did not have them.
I think the fears about Laguna remain (for me as well) but they seem to have, at least in some areas, stepped up their game.
We had a very rough experience with them on a machine but I will say that they went above and beyond and in the end (while it was still an inconvenience I would not want to repeat) they made it MORE than right on their own accord without me even belly aching.
They are often times clearly in the re-branded import world (maybe all the time other than their cnc line).
I have found their customer service to be very tentative and they have even shipped me replacement parts at no cost (likely because of the issue mentioned above).
I cant honestly say I would venture into another offering but thats mainly because our business model has changed someone somewhat and it no longer fits.
They have a pretty stellar reputation with some equipment and you will find a lot of people using their CNC's that love them and even have multiples.
I cant get on board with Kilgore's reply based on their "old" reputation but without a doubt, someone done very wrong will likely never deal with them again. I have a feeling there are many Grizzly consumers out there that have written off cheap, step-above-harbor-freight, importers and re-branders of tools (I look at the green paint even below Laguna).
I find myself given my experience with them willing to give another shot (we still have a machine on the floor that runs every single day for hours on end without issue that came from them).
I think the issue becomes how much of a roll of the dice it is with them. I have read absolute NIGHTMARES of brand new equipment coming from Stiles, SCM, and many more. So it can happen anywhere.
Oddly, when we had searched for input on Laguna tools you couldnt find a ton of outspoken direct accounts of good or bad anywhere. You always find the same-ol-same-ol or you find the handfull of users that have had very good success.
In the wide belt world I'd think with the constant flow of great used equipment here and elsewhere, you could find a major upgrade of a machine for cheap money from a shop that is moving up the ladder.
Id seriously be considering used in the wide belt market. They seem to be a dime a dozen.
Thanks for the feedback. I bought a used scmi uno and have had nothing but trouble and swore I would never buy a used sander again. I'm really torn between getting a less expensive new sander and a higher quality used sander
Check out Apex. Pretty sure it comes out of the same factory as Timesavers with a few less options.
Cheap tools cost too much
We replaced our SCMI 1K (uno) with a new Timesavers. It was a huge upgrade for us and worth every penny.. I was looking at used ones for quite a while, but in the end for what the payments ended up being it wasn't worth the gamble on a used one.
Hen Bob I am leaning towards a new one for the same reason
Ben, As with any machinery purchase do you homework. Power supply ,air, and dust collection usually all need to be upgraded. Good luck on your decision..
Buying the right configuration for your use is a huge deal. Far more important than just buying a bigger sander. You can email me if you need guidance.