18" Bandsaw: Do I Need 3hp & Brake?
#11
  
The three 18" bandsaws I'm thinking about are:

1) Jet JWBS-18 (110, 1 3/4hp motor)
2) Jet JWBS-18-3 (220, 3hp motor)
3) Laguna 18 BX

I'll use this saw to cut straight lines in mostly plywood and 2X stock. I'll RARELY use it for resawing. 

I'm leaning towards the 110 low powered Jet since I never resaw and my shop is underpowered. 

The beautiful Laguna has an inspired brake and killer dust collection, great guides (but with flimsy plastic knobs that reduce confidence), a surprisingly mediocre fence, a toy-like power button design [sorry to be petty but this bugs me] and customer service that has a bad reputation. This machine is so attractive and simultaneously irratating. 

The Jet doesn't have a brake but has nice guides, similar dust collection and a great fence. 

Questions:

1) Am I correct that I'm a good match for a 1 3/4hp 18" saw or will I regret not getting a 3hp (I intend to upgrade my shop power some day...)?
2) Is a brake good enough to justify a fence that begs to be upgraded, flimsy plastic guide knobs and probably poor customer service (if needed--and I'm under the impression it will be)?

Thanks
Murray

PS
I'm biased against:
1) Rikon 10-342 because of the comparably inferior dust collection.
2) Powermatic PM1500 because I need an 18" saw to compliment my 14" and it's just too expensive.
3) Grizzly or ShopFox saws in this price range because I hate rear bearings mounted in the wrong orientation [Grizzly: please get on this]
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#12
  Re: 18" Bandsaw: Do I Need 3hp & Brake? by Murray M ([size=small]The thre...)
I would agree with your assessment. Big HP is a great asset for cutting thick stock but of no use for your common usage.
Cellulose runs through my veins!
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#13
  Re: 18" Bandsaw: Do I Need 3hp & Brake? by Murray M ([size=small]The thre...)
I have the Laguna 18BX and love it.  I did a tremendous amount of research and traveled multiple directions (50 - 100 miles each) to get my hands on various machines and in the end decided on the Laguna.

The brake is convenient and a good safety feature.  It is surprising how long a blade can continue to silently spin and it can be entirely possible to complete a cut and step away, then return to set up for a new cut or to reach to remove a piece of wood beside the blade and come into contact with a still moving cutter.

The brake is good when making a partial cut and you can bring the blade to a stop before backing the wood out from the saw.  There are also times in which I will begin a cut on the infeed side of the saw, then end up on the outfeed side to complete the cut - where it is simple to step on the brake to shut the machine off without the need to go back to the switch position.  It is also nice to be able to stop the blade to make adjustments for the next cut or to remove a piece of wood, without having to wait on the blade to stop spinning.

I love the guides and while I have never had a saw with traditional guides to compare it with, the ceramic guides have been so trouble free and easy to set up that I see no reason to ever go with the alternative.  

The dust collection is great and I am running a length of 4" pvc to a section of 4" flexible dust collection hose, that is wye'd to two 4" flexible dust collection hoses to the dust ports on the saw.

I am not sure what plastic knobs you are referring to and haven't had any problems in that area.  

I have no complaints about the fence and it has performed well and it is easy to convert from one position to the other, depending on the height of the material being cut and the distance from the blade to the fence.  The stop on the fence is also nice, particularly for repeat cuts in multiple pieces of wood.  

I have never given any thought to the power switch, then again, perhaps the difference in the designs has something to do with the Laguna having the blade brake / shut off and the Jet not having the option.

I have never had any lack-of-power situations with the Laguna and it has never had an issue with any cutting - always plenty to spare.  If smaller horsepower would work for your intended purposes, 1-3/4 hp might be enough - though should your future needs change and you decide to do some more intensive cutting, you might appreciate something bigger.  If a power upgrade is in your future, that should alleviate some of the concerns.

I can't speak for Laguna's customer service, though for that matter can't really speak for the customer service for any of the woodworking equipment I have and have never found the need contact them.  The Laguna seems to be of great quality and I am quite satisfied with it's durability.

The reason there are so many different saws and designs is because there are a variety of different purchasers and needs in the market and what works for one person, might not be quite the best for someone else.  In my case, I truly love the Laguna and while I could probably be satisfied with a different saw / manufacturer, I am very happy with my purchase and it's performance and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it or buy it again.


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#14
  Re: 18" Bandsaw: Do I Need 3hp & Brake? by Murray M ([size=small]The thre...)
(04-10-2020, 08:53 PM)Murray MI would look at the Rikons in that size range. My 2hp has been plenty. Wrote: The three 18" bandsaws I'm thinking about are:

1) Jet JWBS-18 (110, 1 3/4hp motor)
2) Jet JWBS-18-3 (220, 3hp motor)
3) Laguna 18 BX

I'll use this saw to cut straight lines in mostly plywood and 2X stock. I'll RARELY use it for resawing. 

I'm leaning towards the 110 low powered Jet since I never resaw and my shop is underpowered. 

The beautiful Laguna has an inspired brake and killer dust collection, great guides (but with flimsy plastic knobs that reduce confidence), a surprisingly mediocre fence, a toy-like power button design [sorry to be petty but this bugs me] and customer service that has a bad reputation. This machine is so attractive and simultaneously irratating. 

The Jet doesn't have a brake but has nice guides, similar dust collection and a great fence. 

Questions:

1) Am I correct that I'm a good match for a 1 3/4hp 18" saw or will I regret not getting a 3hp (I intend to upgrade my shop power some day...)?
2) Is a brake good enough to justify a fence that begs to be upgraded, flimsy plastic guide knobs and probably poor customer service (if needed--and I'm under the impression it will be)?

Thanks
Murray

PS
I'm biased against:
1) Rikon 10-342 because of the comparably inferior dust collection.
2) Powermatic PM1500 because I need an 18" saw to compliment my 14" and it's just too expensive.
3) Grizzly or ShopFox saws in this price range because I hate rear bearings mounted in the wrong orientation [Grizzly: please get on this]
Reply
#15
  Re: 18" Bandsaw: Do I Need 3hp & Brake? by Murray M ([size=small]The thre...)
(04-10-2020, 08:53 PM)Murray M Wrote: The three 18" bandsaws I'm thinking about are:

1) Jet JWBS-18 (110, 1 3/4hp motor)
2) Jet JWBS-18-3 (220, 3hp motor)
3) Laguna 18 BX

I'll use this saw to cut straight lines in mostly plywood and 2X stock. I'll RARELY use it for resawing. 

I'm leaning towards the 110 low powered Jet since I never resaw and my shop is underpowered. 

The beautiful Laguna has an inspired brake and killer dust collection, great guides (but with flimsy plastic knobs that reduce confidence), a surprisingly mediocre fence, a toy-like power button design [sorry to be petty but this bugs me] and customer service that has a bad reputation. This machine is so attractive and simultaneously irratating. 

The Jet doesn't have a brake but has nice guides, similar dust collection and a great fence. 

Questions:

1) Am I correct that I'm a good match for a 1 3/4hp 18" saw or will I regret not getting a 3hp (I intend to upgrade my shop power some day...)?
2) Is a brake good enough to justify a fence that begs to be upgraded, flimsy plastic guide knobs and probably poor customer service (if needed--and I'm under the impression it will be)?

Thanks
Murray

PS
I'm biased against:
1) Rikon 10-342 because of the comparably inferior dust collection.
2) Powermatic PM1500 because I need an 18" saw to compliment my 14" and it's just too expensive.
3) Grizzly or ShopFox saws in this price range because I hate rear bearings mounted in the wrong orientation [Grizzly: please get on this]

I'll just offer you a different perspective. Were I in the market (and I'm not) I'd take a hard look at this bandsaw. I know you said you "hate" the bearing setup on their saws, but that wouldn't deter me from buying one. For what you said you were going to use this saw for, this would do everything you need and more, AND has a brake. In addition it would save you some dough, it that's important.

I have one of the other saws on your "do not like" list, the Rikon 10-340, the first 18" saw Rikon introduced. Bought it 15+ years ago at Woodcraft mainly because they had a special running that got it in my vehicle at their store for less than $1K at the time. With a 2HP motor it is my "big" bandsaw and I use primarily for heavy cuts and resawing. It has two dust ports that in my estimation do a pretty nice job. With a Lenox 1" carbide blade it has little trouble with anything I've run through it thus far. I have a 16" classic Walker Turner I use for everything else. 

What's my point? Grizzly has a very stellar line of bandsaws that many here have purchased over the years. I've heard very little, if any complaints about any of them. If the 2HP motor on the Grizzly saw is anything like the one on my Rikon, it has more than adequate power for straight line cuts in plywood and 2x material. 

It's your money, you decide. I have no affiliation with any bandsaw manufacturer.

Good luck,

Doug
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#16
  Re: 18" Bandsaw: Do I Need 3hp & Brake? by Murray M ([size=small]The thre...)
I think you've worked through the points fairly well and have assessed things correctly. So, the 1.75 motor will be more than enough for your use. The foot brake is nice, but lets face it...we collectively did without them for a long time without problems...so passing on it won't be that big a deal.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
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#17
  Re: 18" Bandsaw: Do I Need 3hp & Brake? by Murray M ([size=small]The thre...)
I have the Laguna. There are things I love about it, and things I hate about it. But I really love having the brake. So much so that I don't know that I'd purchase another large bandsaw without one. I suppose like heated seats in a car, if you've never had them, you haven't felt like you've missed anything. But once you do have it, what was formerly a luxury now feels like a necessity.
Math is tough. Let's go shopping!
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#18
  Re: RE: 18" Bandsaw: Do I Need 3hp & Brake? by JohnnyEgo (I have the Laguna. T...)
You want a brake.  My 17" Grizzly G0636X will spin for several minutes if I don't step on the brake.  Not good from a safety standpoint.  And I agree with Doug, you should reconsider the Grizzly.  I've never heard anyone before reject a saw because they thought the bearings were located suboptimally.  I've never heard anyone here report having a wheel bearing fail early, or any failure for that matter, on a Grizzly bandsaw.  FWiW, the hi/lo fence system on my saw is outstanding.  

John
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#19
  Re: 18" Bandsaw: Do I Need 3hp & Brake? by Murray M ([size=small]The thre...)
(04-10-2020, 08:53 PM)Murray M Wrote: I'm leaning towards the 110 low powered Jet since I never resaw and my shop is underpowered

What do you mean by "underpowered"?  You don't have 240V available?  Or you have 240V but a low-power subpanel?

If you already have at least one 240V circuit, you can tap off of that as long as both loads don't run at the same time, or at least not such that it would put excessive load on the circuit.  

As to power, the saw will only draw current (aside from startups) based on the load you put on it, so working a 3 hp saw with the same cutting load will put essentially the same load on your service as working a 1-3/4 hp saw just as hard (or lightly).

Having a bigger motor allows you to move faster while doing heavy work than a smaller motor will.  But if you never do heavy work, you don't need it.  But do be aware that a 1-3/4 hp motor running at 120V can put a big load on a 20A circuit when pushed hard, so you'll want to have a dedicated circuit, or a shared one with just the saw running on it when cutting.  And if you don't have that and have to add it, then it makes no difference whether it's 20A 120V or 20A 240V, except for the cost of the two-pole breaker over the single-pole breaker (a few bucks at most).  Same wire or cable for either, also.
Tom

“This place smells like that odd combo of flop sweat, hopelessness, aaaand feet.”







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#20
  Re: RE: 18" Bandsaw: Do I Need 3hp & Brake? by JohnnyEgo (I have the Laguna. T...)
Laguna folks:

I hear you that you love your 18BX's. The unity makes a strong case. And indeed there is lots to be impressed by... 

1) I'm nervous about the guide rear ceramic pieces (the upper and lower discs)--they receive a lot of pressure for a non-moving element. Is this really not an issue? 

2) Are the flimsy plastic knobs on the guides not an issue? Do they really hold up?
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