Laguna Fusion 3 review

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CDFR

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I bought this saw to use in a shared woodworking space. It replaced both a cheap Einhell 10 inch table saw as well as a large SCM format saw with a sliding table. I was looking for something medium duty, not too big, but powerful ans stable enough to cut thick hardwood. I also wanted the solid feel of cast iron.

I am Canadian, but in France, so am more used to the American style saws than European ones. I looked at the used market for about 6 months, and also seriously considered the SIP, Axminister trade, Charnwood and Jet table saws. Many other European saw such as SCM Minimax and Felder are excellent, but out of my league (and price range) I think these would all have done the job, but the combination of features on the Fusion 3 seemed right for me. It was also under 2000 Euros delivered from IGM.

It took about a month to arrive and was well packed on a single pallet. I was happy to find that it was more fully assembled than the Laguna videos show, as the table wings were already attached. So basically just the fence rails had to be added, and a few adjustments made. The table was perfectly aligned with the blade, but the wings needed a bit of alignment to be perfectly flush. I did not check the flatness of the cast iron, but it looks good, and besides I could not change it anyway. The fence is solid but needed a bit of adjustment. All in all, I think it took about 3 hours from unboxing to use, including the tuning.

I have been using it for about 4 months now, and it has been a pleasure from the start. Then again, I replaced a cheap Eihnell with a stamped steel table. But all of the other users are also very happy with it.

Things I like:

The 3 hp motor is plenty for what I do, and also quite quiet. The motor brake is also very useful as the blade stops after only a few seconds.

The Zero tolerance throat plate is good and solid, and works for bevel cuts. Easy to remove too. Only downside is that the leveling screws can scratch the cast iron top, so you should put it upside down on the table. With a wider 5mm blade, I made a new plate from oak, as I did not want to widen the original.

Blade changing is quick with the rotation lock, although you must remember that it only works when the blade is at maximum height.

Blade height and angle adjustments are quick and smooth.

The quick release clip for the quickly removing the riving knife is a great idea, but has been giving me some trouble - see below.

Built in wheels are excellent as we store the saw against the wall, and move it every time we use it. Only issue is that it is tempting to lift the machine by the fence guides which is not a good idea. Best to lift from the table itself.

The fence is pretty solid and accurate, with a good lock. It is also easy to adjust, but needs some silicone spray from time to time to keep it sliding well. The sliding aluminum rail on the fence is great, either for extending the fence for large panels, using the fence as a length guage, or flipping the rail for a lower profile fence.

Good finish all over good paint job and no sharp cast iron to file down.

The blade that comes with the machine is serviceable for general work. I leave it on and change to a better blade when needed.

Comments and things that could be improved:

The mm markings on the fence scale can be a bit hard to see - inches are easier to see, but I don’t use them.

Riving knife is not included. 20 Euros extra, plus shipping. An essential extra in my opinion.

While I really like the two built-in wheels, I feel that the lifting and pivot motion could eventually throw the table out of alignment (as opposed to a rolling cart) no proof of this though.

The angle mitre guide is OK, but would have been better with some set screws in it give it a tighter fit in the rails. I made a more accurate crosscut sled.

Note that the fence does not clamp under the rail, just on the sides, so it is possible (fairly easy) for it to lift slightly and not remain at 90 degrees if you don’t pay attention, or if sawdust gets under it.

Dust collection is mediocre. In 3 months I have had to clean out the cabinet twice. OK, sometimes it gets used with no dust extractor, but I think it would fill up eventually anyway. Not that hard to clean out, but I just expected it to be better.

The outfeed table is pretty useless for people who move the machine around. No reason the support could not have been attached to the cabinet with an angle brace instead of having legs with no wheels.

The push stick that clips on the fence is another thing that looks like a good idea, but I never used it, and the clips were in the way when brushing sawdust off the fence so I took them off.

I have never used the brackets or slot on the saw that hold the fence and mitre guide.

The only real problem I have had is with the riving knife clip. I have been unable to lock the riving knife, and ended up using the saw without it. Not good. To be fair, IGM sent a replacement relatively quickly, but it was still a bit of a pain to change the part and adjust it, and I fear that the problem may reoccur. I made the swap and it seems OK, but I have still used a can of spray brake pad cleaner to clean the clamping slot out a few times. Still more diagnosis to be done. I will put the details in a separate post if I figure it out.

Conclusion:

Overall, is the Laguna Fusion 3 a better saw than the SIP or Axminister, or other similar saws? Not sure that it has any real advantages, other than maybe looking slicker, like a black car with chrome trim. But in general, this saw fits well in our shared workshop. It is east to move around, easy to change the blades, and easy to adjust. If I were in a production shop, it would maybe prove itself inadequate, but to be fair, it is not designed or marketed for that purpose. Of course, anyone that works mainly with panels would want a sliding table. For general purpose woodworking though, I think it will last a lifetime.
 

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Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
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Thanks for the revue, very interesting. Did you get the saw direct from the US/Canada or was it from a European/UK agent? I ask as I was under the impression that table saws of all types could not be sold withing EU/UK without a pre-installed riving knife. Perhaps a question for @Nick Laguna UK
 

CDFR

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Got it from IGM in Prague. It comes with a splitter with air extraction, but not a flush riving knife.
 
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