Great Value in a Shop Workhorse
A good table saw is the heart of most wood shops. It’s one tool that will get used on almost every project you ever make and it’s worth investing in a good saw for the speed and accuracy that it will bring to your work. A table saw can be used for ripping, cross cutting, dadoing, rabbeting, tenoning and so much more. With the addition of either store bought or homemade jigs you can do even more with a table saw. There aren’t many tools that can compete with the table saw in terms of versatility, speed and accuracy in the shop. If your plans are to do even the most basic cabinetmaking or woodworking, I’d suggest that a good table saw is the first machine you need to get.
I had the Laguna F2 Fusion table saw for a few months to try out, and found it has some great features that make it worth a closer look if you’re in the market for a new saw. One of the first things I noticed un-boxing it was that the assembly was pretty minor. You add the guard and the fence and that’s pretty much it. The fence is a T-square-style fence that locks on the front rail only. It can be adjustable parallel to the blade, although I didn’t find that I had to adjust it much when I set up the saw.
The fence also has an adjustable aluminum extrusion that guides the workpiece. You can loosen a couple of knobs on the side and rotate the fence to a lower position. This is a tried-and-true design that allows you to adhere laminate overhanging on a plywood substrate and trim the laminate to the size of the plywood. The plywood would ride along the edge of the fence and untrimmed laminate could ride over it. You can also slide the aluminum portion of the fence back, another feature I like. If you’re using the mitre gauge, the offcuts won’t get trapped between the blade and the fence. This feature can also work well while cutting tenons.
The Fusion F2 has a 36″ capacity rip fence, generous for this size of saw and price point. This means you can cut a panel up to 36″ wide between the blade and the fence. The generous size of the table itself is a big plus. It’s solid cast iron, 27″ deep and 44″ wide. It’s nicely polished so you have a really low-friction surface for the material to slide over, reducing effort while feeding the saw. I also like the replaceable insert Laguna uses around the blade on this saw. There are a couple of competitive models in this price range that use a stamped steel insert around the blade so you can’t get a zero-clearance insert, and because of the shallow pocket they use for their insert you can’t make your own. The Laguna insert is secure when it’s in place but easy to take out. And the fact that you can make your own if needed is very handy. There’s a dado insert available for this saw, as well. The saw is also very easy to change from the guard to the riving knife for non-through cutting.
The rise/fall and tilt handles on this saw are very smooth. Inside the saw there are heavy-duty trunions. Everything goes up and down smoothly when I raised and lowered the blade or tilted the saw, which was pretty impressive. Between the motor and the trunions, there is about 100 pounds on these handles, but it operates very smoothly. Turning the hand wheels requires very minimal effort. The handles lock in place once you have your angle or height set.
You’ll notice on the front a digital readout for the tilt angle. This is a new feature on the F2, which was revised in 2021. You can zero this out or calibrate it with the onboard buttons. As I tilted the blade it read what angle I had moved to. This is easy to calibrate to make sure your blade is square to the table when the angle gauge reads zero. You can also zero the gauge at any angle and then use it to measure relative movement from that angle. There’s onboard storage for all the accessories on the side of the saw, and a spot for the fence body to store on the back of the saw. There’s also a built-in mobile base, great for small shops, making it easy to move around even though it’s about 275 pounds.
One of the things that impressed me most about this saw was the power to cut thick hardwood. I wasn’t really expecting that for a 1.75HP saw. I cut some 2″ thick red oak and even with the stock combination blade it didn’t bog down. A 40-tooth combination blade is provided with the saw that does an okay job, but if you do a lot of one task (ripping, cross cutting, sheet goods, etc.) it’s worth getting a blade designed for that particular job. Laguna uses a serpentine belt on this saw which helps transmit more power from the motor with less vibration. This saw runs very smoothly. There’s an upgrade kit available to convert this saw to 220V, but it’s not necessary in my opinion. I had the saw plugged into just a normal 15-amp outlet and I had no issues with the saw, even when I was cutting 2″ thick oak with it. One of the strengths of this saw is that you can plug it into a normal outlet without special wiring.
The saw comes with a dust-collecting blade guard. The blade guard has a vacuum port on top and a hose to connect to the cabinet down below. From there, the whole saw can be connected to a 4″ dust collection hose. A hose inside goes up to the blade with a shroud around the blade.
Overall, I was really impressed with this saw. Considering the price point, it offers great value for the user. It’s got some great features, lots of power and it doesn’t break the bank. Every shop needs a good table saw to produce accurate work and I think the Laguna F2 would be a great choice. I like its accurate, easy-to-adjust fence and big, polished top. It’s easy to slide wood over and provides lots of support while I cut. To top it all off, it’s also easy to adjust the blade height and tilt angle. It’s an accurate, well-built saw and the overall finish is very well done.
Adjustable Fence – This tried-and-true design allows the user to remove and rotate the fence depending on the workpiece being machined. It can also be slid back towards the user to eliminate kickback while performing some operations. A push stick is stored on the fence for easy access.
Digital Readout – For both accuracy and ease of reading, a digital readout showing the angle of the blade is standard on the Laguna F2 Fusion.
Dust and Blade Protection – A blade guard provides protection from injury and dust. You can also see the on-board push stick and extruded aluminum fence.