Laguna 1412 Bandsaw: A Cut Above

Review of the Laguna 1412 BandsawI’m not the most patient soul, but after a long search for a band saw upgrade I finally found the one that I wanted; the Laguna 1412 Band Saw. The problem was that it was still in the prototype phase when I learned about it and would not ship for another year. Could I wait this long? Well, I already had a pretty nice band saw, and I didn’t need an upgrade (my wife will corroborate this), so although it was not my happiest year, you will be pleased to know that I got through it and I now have 1412 on my shop floor.

So, why the upgrade?

My previous band saw, a 14” 1 HP American-style band saw, was performing well and doing nearly everything I asked. Between my father and me, this saw has gotten plenty of use, and we were reasonably happy with it, but it was not great at resawing. Yes, I could resaw my old saw, but the setup process required delicate tuning, and the results were hit-and-miss for me. I would describe it as finicky, and because of this, I found that I avoided resawing for the most part. I will accept that some of this was due to operator error, as I have seen George Vondriska make resawing look easy on a saw less powerful than mine, but I was looking for a “resaw easy button.” To be clear, I don’t feel a need for blinding throughput speed when I am resawing because I don’t do it that often, and when I do, I am typically milling only a few board feet for a project. But when I need to resaw, I would like to do it with minimal fuss and experience sweet success every time. No waves, no tapers, no barrel cuts, just flat, consistent hardwood slices.

Why Laguna?

After following this evolving market for years, I gravitated to Laguna band saws for several reasons. The Laguna guides are simple and effective; they seem like the right design. Their fences are solid, versatile, and straightforward. Also, these guys have an evident passion for band saws and have led much of the innovation in this tool category over the past decade or so. And I will also admit that the stylish design of their band saws was a small secondary factor. I had never seen my wife so excited about a woodworking tool as when I invited her into the shop for a peek at 1412, and she exclaimed, “Oh my gosh! It looks like a BMW!”.

Why the 1412? This design has all the capabilities I have been looking for. I believe that it was designed with the “occasional resaw” in mind, with a thick European frame and ample capacity for resawing (the specifications say up to 12” but read on, and I will show you that I successfully pushed that a bit). The same guide system is found on Laguna’s higher-end band saws. Another appealing attribute for me was the ability to run the saw on 110V power. I have 220V power available in my shop, but once I wire an outlet for a 220V tool, I feel it is locked into that location. The 110V option allows me to move it around the shop easily. The saw can also be wired for 220V, but I don’t see any reason to do this. With a 14 amp motor, there is plenty of electrical headroom to run this saw on my 20 amp circuits.

My favorite aspects of the tool

Resaw simplicity. As high as my expectations were for this saw, it has exceeded what I had hoped for on the resaw front. After setting the saw up for the first time, I installed a ¾” Resaw King blade and made a test cut on a 6” plank of hard maple without tuning on the saw other than checking the blade tracking and squaring the table to the blade. The cut quality was astounding. I measured .003” of variance across the freshly sawn plank. I was also impressed with the performance, as the motor indicated no sign of strain through a fairly aggressive feed rate. Additional testing with a standard high-speed steel ½” 3 TPI blade produced similar results.

13 inch resaw action shotRemarkable Power. With a 1-3/4 HP motor on 1412, I expected to find some improvement over the ¾ – 1HP 14” band saws on which I have had most of my experience. Still, the actual difference was more noticeable than I anticipated. The saw has 13” between the table and the upper blade guide (although Laguna conservatively rates it at 12” resaw capacity), but could it resaw a 13” plank? I had a 13” wide plank of 4/4 cherry in my lumber rack, so I tried it. Honestly, I didn’t think it could perform this task in a way where I would ever want to do it again, as I have attempted this on other saws with an unpleasant outcome. I figured that would be the compromise and why many people with similar requirements to mine buy more powerful 220V band saws. I was on Cloud Nine when the saw completed this task without a sweat. Seriously, a 13” resaw with no tweaking, no wrecking stock on the first three attempts? And no indication of strain during the cut? I originally planned to publish a recommended “real world” maximum resaw cut height to set expectations properly. I expected that this value would likely land in the 9-10” range, which would call Laguna onto the carpet for a bit of marketing exaggeration. Still, I find that Laguna has sandbagged a bit on this front, and the saw can comfortably exceed their specification.

13 inch resawResaw results. Even with a plank as large as 13”, the variance was .004” – .005” across the entire plank. Which exceeded my expectations. A couple passes through the planer, and I had two perfect 13” wide book-matched panels.

curvy cutExcels at curved cuts, too. In addition to solid resaw performance, 1412 works well at cutting curves, as the Laguna Guides steer the blade and minimize deflection while the workpiece steers through the cut. The project in the picture is a cutting board that I like to make by stacking two boards and cutting the pattern on a band saw. When building this design on other band saws, I used to perform an additional step where I would have to sweeten up the joints using a router with a template and guide to eliminate the gaps left where the blade would flex as it changed direction in the cut, using 1412 I can go directly from the saw to the glue-up table because the guides hold the blade so solidly that there is virtually no blade deflection when the workpiece changes direction during the cut. This was an unexpected bonus with 1412.

Quick blade change. The blade change process is quick and painless on 1412 due to the quick-release lever, the nicely designed magnetic release blade guard, and the easily accessible blade path.Quality components throughout.When I first heard about the Laguna 1412 Band Saw, and the low price point, I was concerned that I would find some compromises in quality upon close inspection, but this has not been the case. Here’s a look at a few standout attributes of 1412:

huge tableTable. The 21-1/2” x 16” table is massive, dead flat, and ground to a mirror finish. A large surface like this on a band saw is a nice luxury as it provides enhanced stability when cutting larger pieces.

fence flatFence. I love this fence. Kudos to Laguna for incorporating fence features from their higher-end band saws into 1412. The design is simple and ingenious, allowing the fence to be positioned upright for resawing, or switched in seconds to a low-profile orientation for ripping operations. One downside; I prefer if the fence could be easily slipped on and off the saw, but it only takes about 10 seconds to perform the necessary partial disassembly, so I can live with that.

trunion“Man-size” trunions. This underappreciated design element on a band saw is often overlooked but is a critical component. These are beefy and refined, which helps absorb vibration and minimize flexing during the cut. The table tilt mechanism is controlled with convenient lever action releases that engage solidly to whatever angle is selected.


The sturdy frame is heavy gauge welded steel for serious rigidity compared to cast iron, which flexes under stress. This is key for reliable, hassle-free resawing, as the frame absorbs much of the stress from blade tensioning.

cast iron wheelCast iron wheels. Big band saws perform better with cast iron wheels to provide stability and power through heavy resaw cuts. These wheels are well-made and nicely balanced. Laguna did not take any shortcuts in the wheel department.

laguna guide

Laguna guides.

These upper and lower guides use a ceramic surface to control the blade at 10 points. The brilliance of this design is in its simplicity. There are no moving parts or maintenance required, just solid support to keep the blade cool while preventing it from wandering under pressure.

Dust collection. With a 4” port positioned behind the blade just below the table, dust collection on 1412 is decent. I am admittedly a bit obsessed with dust collection. If I designed this saw, it would have a second 4” port directly to the side of the blade, also below the table. Resawing produces a huge volume of fine dust; corraling it for health and nuisance reasons is important. But the dust collection results I experienced during my tests were quite good. I suspect that most hobbyists don’t have good dust collection to draw from two 4” ports simultaneously, so Laguna probably felt that adding the additional port was not worth the expense. During one resaw test cut, I forgot to turn on my dust collector before starting the cut, and I immediately figured it out after cutting into the plank as a cloud of dust appeared directly in front of my face. That gave me a good indication that the dust collection, as designed, is accomplishing its intended task pretty well.

lever release

Quick-release blade tension lever. This is a great convenience for de-tensioning the blade at the end of a shop session and speeds up the blade-changing process. The mechanism engages solidly in either position, and there is enough travel in the action that blades can be slid easily on and off the wheels when the blade is de-tensioned. I also appreciate that de-tensioning the blade leaves it in the 6 o’clock position, providing a nice visual queue to the user standing in front of the saw so that it is not accidentally turned on without first tensioning it.

Blade guard mechanism.

The rack and pinion system used to raise and lower the blade guard is extremely smooth, and I am equally impressed with how rigid this mechanism remains even when fully extended. This is one of the key attributes for maintaining good cut quality.

lightHalogen work light (option). If you get the saw, I’d suggest you also choose the optional light. It is a thoughtful feature, and if you are over 40 (or ever hope to be), you will appreciate having the task lighting readily available. Whenever I do band saw work that requires accuracy, I set up a portable task light, so it will be a nice convenience to have one attached. I also like the onboard outlet for the light, so an extension cord isn’t required, and it can be turned on when the saw is not running. Plus, like everything else on this saw, it looks cool.

Any downsides?

I’m hard pressed to name a signifhard-pressedonal downside for a saw at this price point. Although not uncommon, the motor is made in Taiwan (I’m sure that’s the only way that Laguna could deliver a saw of this quality at such a low price point), so that will be a question mark for me, and only time will tell whether that becomes a problem. As I continue to use the saw, I will provide updates if I experience any problems with the motor or anything else related to the saw.

Customer support experience

I encountered some minor hiccups during the setup of 1412 that I could have worked through on my own, but when writing a story on a stationary tool, I like to get some exposure to the customer service for the company. I called in and was immediately transferred to a technician who spent a half hour on the phone with me, answering my questions and explaining some additional tips for band saw work. He was extremely knowledgeable and seemed to know 1412 pretty well, even though it had been on the market for less than a week, and I was the first customer to call in with a question. If this saw performs over the years as well as I expect, I won’t be spending much time on the phone with Laguna’s support, but it’s good to know that they have both the ability and the commitment to take care of any problems that may arise.


This saw is a great value and was a tremendous upgrade from my previous band saw. For professionals with volume production resaw requirements, you’ll probably want to step up to a saw with bigger wheels, larger blade capacity, and more power. But for my needs and those of most hobbyists and small shop professionals, the capacity, performance, and value of the Laguna 1412 are superb. Laguna has knocked it out of the park with this band saw regarding its design, construction, performance, and value.


Laguna Tools


14/12 Bandsaw $1599

14/12 Pro Light $125

14/12 Pro Wheel System $175

¾” Resaw King $149

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20 Responses to “Laguna 1412 Bandsaw: A Cut Above”

  1. James McLaughlin

    That is a sweet looking saw, good luck.

  2. Tim Snider

    Well mine must of been "built on a Friday" & dropped off a truck. I've had nothing but issues with this. Setting this up I couldn't get the blade to track at all. Laguna had me adjust the bottom wheel by loosening all the bolts ... Then the teeth on the blade guide bar got stripped - the rack and pinon was completely loose when turning it. I had to send a video to Laguna to ilustrate the situation. They sen a new guide bar but that didn't address the root cause in the gear box itself. I finally determined that a clip on the shaft hadn't been installed. Problem still remains. Now to issues with the upper guide blocks. They aren't / won't become square to the blade I've shimmed them but... and the upper ones won't stay tight now matter how hard I tighten in knob. So all in all I've never been real happy with this expensive machine and (sort of) regret purchasing this. Maybe a lemon - maybe operator error I don't know. Yeah -- I've rtfm and watched numerous videos.

  3. Jeff Bremer

    Hi Paul, Just purchased the 14 12, in part because of your review. Can you describe how you set-up the guides? I'm getting mixed messages from Laguna. The manual says some of the guides should touch the blade, a series of YouTube videos (I believe produced by Laguna) says all the guides should touch the blade, and when I spoke to customer service, I was told that none of the guides should touch the blade. Thx, Jeff

  4. Andy

    My experience was EXACTLY the same as the above review. Great tool!

  5. ts

    I've had issues with mine. 1. Guide bar pinon box wasn't manufactured correctly. It fell apart, mangled top and bottom 3" of guide bar teeth. After prolonged discussions and email with Laguna customer service they agreed to replace both. 2. Tracking wheel/mechanism isn't easily adjusted. Yes, the locking knob is completly loose. Mechanism seems to fall apart when the wheel is loosened, and only is correctly by tightening it very tightly. 3. The guide blocks aren't square to the blade and work loose very easily. I've shimmed the upper ones. The lower ones are pretty much inaccessible. I've given up trying to square the lower ones. Tightening the lower ones take a pair of long reach water pump pliers for me to get at them. I'm disappointed that I've had issues with this saw. Maybe I got a lemon. I don't know if all of them have problems.

  6. Dennis O'Shea

    This is going to be a Birthday present by my Family to me I guess 70 is a magic number I have been looking for a while And it can be a little overwhelming .But after reading this review it's done for me I just now have to relay the info to my family thank you for such an in depth description of the Band Saw and all it's features

  7. Chicago Bandsaw

    Just purchased one of these guys, this review helped a lot. Can you tell me the height of the stand? The specs only have the height of the table and the height of the total machine. I'm planning on building my own mobile base.

  8. Joe

    Hi, It's been two years since this review. Any long term updates you could share? I am going to buy a bandsaw soon and this is my likely choice. I too worry about the dust collection. Do you think I would be able to add another 4" port myself?

  9. willy consalvo

    could u send me dealer info and models

  10. dario

    quiero comprar una para mi taller;tienen despachos a MEDELLIN COLOMBIA