I drove about three hours north into the Seattle area to get my hands on one of the new PX series planers from Laguna. The PX20 boasts a 20” capacity for wide planks and panels. The catalog photos looked impressive, so I had to see it for myself. It’s a little smaller in stature than I expected, and for a wide planer it really is a compact package. It’s loaded with features that make this capable planer easy to operate.
There’s a clear window offering a view into the ShearTec II cutterhead. Two latches secure the hood, which opens for excellent access to the cutterhead for inspection and routine maintenance. The helical head presents the carbide cutters to the wood at a shearing angle, to virtually eliminate tearout… even on my favorite hardwood, quartersawn white oak. And because the cutters are carbide, you’ll get lots of mileage before rotating the 4-sided inserts.
One really nice feature is the 4” dust chute can be easily positioned to the left or to the right of the machine. This provides the best dust collection layout, so you can position the planer however you like in your shop. Everything about the PX20 feels robust and solid. So much more than a sheet metal exterior, it has thick cast iron walls inside the planer that add to the machines rigidity and keeps noise to a minimum.
An emergency stop is always withing close reach, as well as the regular power switch. Roller supports on top of the planer help with material handling and processing large stacks of lumber without undue strain on your back. An integral Wixey DRO ensures accurate dimensions on every board.
The cabinet design is quite sleek, and I was impressed by the overall build quality. I feel like the new PX16 and PX20 planers will become a mainstay in most medium sized wood shops. And, since they have such a compact footprint with retractable infeed and outfeed rollers, they’ll even fit in smaller shops too! Imagine the efficiency of hogging off material with ease, thanks to the powerful 5hp 220V motor. In fact, the maximum depth of cut is an incredible one-quarter inch!
With the serrated infeed roller and pressure bar located so close to the cutterhead, Laguna was able to virtually eliminate snipe. The slide-out infeed and outfeed rollers also help in that regard, especially when planing long stock. The wide mouth of the PX20 not only accomodates a 20” panel width, but aslo handles an impressive 8” timber thickness.
Every detail of the PX planers proclaims a sleek, modern look and clever features. The large height adjustment crank sports a folding handle that tucks away when not in use. Depth of cut adjustments are effortless, and extremely accurate. The PX20 also features a two-speed gearbox that allows you to choose your planing speed. Select 28 FPM for rough dimensioning, or 16 FPM for the ultimate finish in tricky grain.
Whether you run a one-person shop or operate in a large production environment, the new PX series planers have you covered. Every shop can afford a premium planer with carbide inserts, thanks to the PX12 portable planer. Step up to the PX16 or PX20 for truly industrial milling capability. Or – if you’re the type that settles for nothing but the best, go for the PX22 with its variable speed feed rate and 7.5 hp single phase or optional 10 hp three phase powerplant.