Why a best scroll saw, are you asking? Because if you take an interest in woodwork projects, and in scrolling especially, you’ll find a scroll saw a really nice and handy tool to have by your side. From cutting basic patterns on wood to carving intricate designs for advance level projects, a scroll saw will always come handy to you. It makes the job faster and easier and also helps you to get finer and more precision cuts, especially when we are talking complex and intricate patterns. That is, scroll saw is fully unparalleled woodsawing power tools other than chainsaw, band saw, pole saw, circular saw.
So, if you are choosing to go for a scroll saw, obviously you’ll want to have the ‘best scroll saw’ out there. However, with all the different models out there from a large number of different brands as well, anybody will find it difficult to zero on one single product. So, logically enough, the next question that will visit one’s mind, is
What Are The Best Scroll Saw?
Here’s a list of the best scroll saw we found on the market:
- Best Scroll Saw For Beginners: Rockwell ShopSeries RK7315 Scroll Saw Review
- Best Rated Scroll Saw: WEN 3920 Scroll Saw Review
- Best Scroll Saw For Marquetry: Shop Fox 1713 Scroll Saw Review
- Best Scroll Saw For Cutting Metal: Best Dremel MS20-01 Scroll Saw Review
- Best Professional Scroll Saw: Delta Power Tools 40-694 Scroll Saw Review
- Best Tabletop Scroll Saw: PORTER-CABLE 18″ Stand Scroll Saw Review
- Best Scroll Saw For Beginners: Rockwell ShopSeries RK7315 Scroll Saw Review
- Best Scroll Saw Patterns: HF Tools Variable Speed Scroll Saw Review
- Best Scroll Saw For Fretwork: SKIL 3335-02 Scroll Saw Review
- Double parallel link arm design dramatically reduces vibration and noise for extremely accurate cuts
- Exclusive tool free blade clamps allow blade changes in seconds. Depth of Cut (inches): 2 inch
- On off switch, electronic variable speed, flexible dust blower, and blade tensioning lever all located on front upper arm
This Dewalt model happens to be the most frequently bought scroll saw at Amazon and that is hardly a surprise given the versatility of the model and the array of convenient features it comes with. This heavy duty model weighs 65 lbs and you can use it as frequently as you want without any concern of wearing it out. This makes the product ideal for professionals. The model is priced around $490, so it is definitely a high end product but with the amazing performance the model delivers, you can rest assured that you will get full value for money with this one.
- Unique design accepts blades in two directions (standard and 90 degrees) to allow for infinite ripping capacity
- Variable speed goes from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute ; Motor : 120Volts, 60 Hz, 1.2Amps
- Spacious 16-by-11-inch table bevels up to 45 degrees to the left for angled cuts
WEN is a reputed name when it comes to scroll saw manufacturers and as such, they have an array of models falling in many different price ranges. However, we pick it as the best Wen scroll saw primarily for the reason that the machine gives off great performance considering its low price and there aren’t too many models in this price range ($70-$100) which can offer all that this Wen scroll saw does. Having said that, please keep it in mind that this saw is best used with softer wood stocks and using too thick materials on it may damage the machine.
In the mid-range category, Shop Fox 1713 (price around $170) is one of the best scroll saw you are going to get. You can work in a speed range of 500-1700 SPM with this saw. Features such as table tilt mechanism, extra cutting capacity, a comfortable workpiece, variable speed control, etc.—all of these make it a very handy and comfortable model to work with. The model also comes fitted with add-ons such as a dust blower and a dust port, a gooseneck work light, and more. In short, this is a model that will fit the needs and requirements of both amateur scroll or marquetry workers and professionals. However, it is recommended that you do not use too thick wood pieces on this model. The model works best with relatively thinner wood stocks.
- Dust port adapter keeps line-of-sight clear and work space clean
- Auto tensioning quick-change mechanism for easy accessory change and optimal blade tensioning
- Detachable coping function for handheld use to take the tool to the work piece
Priced at $80, this is another budget scroll saw we highly recommend to scroll work enthusiasts. One of the telling advantages of this particular scroll saw is the detachable coping function it comes with. This enables the user to use the machine either as a standard stationery scroll saw or, if you want, you can detach this best Dremel scroll saw from its base and use it as a handheld portable coping saw.
- Electronic variable speed can be adjusted from 400-1,750 SPM for a wide array of cutting applications
- Dual parallel link arm design reduces vibration reducing over and under cutting improving accuracy and quality
- Upper arm lifts and locks in the raised position during blade changes or while adjusting blade position for fret work
Priced at $400, this is another high end model that is in many ways similar to the above Dewalt model reviewed here. It is also a heavy and sturdy machine that is designed for heavy duty work. The saw also comes with a parallel arm design that helps reduce vibration and noise. One thing to note is that this best Delta scroll saw does not accept pinned blades, so it might not be ideal for starters in the field. However, for all intermediate and professional level scroll artists, this is as good a model as you will get any in this price bracket.
- Large aluminum 20" x 12 5/8" dual tilting table allows for bevel cutting up to 45 degrees
- Patented table top bevel scale for accurate and convenient readings
- Tool-less blade holder makes quick and easy 5" pin or plain end blade changes
As the name suggests and as is clear from the picture, this scroll saw is different from most all other models in that it comes with a well-built stand. The stand allows you to work with it directly without the need to place it on a work surface. However, if you do not find that convenient, you can easily detach the main body of the machine and clamp it to a surface of your choice. According to customer reviews, the stand is solidly built and goes together easily with the machine.
- Powerful, lightweight 1.2-amp scroll saw ideal for a variety of woodworking projects
- Die-cast aluminum table bevels from 0 to 45 degrees
- Includes two durable 5" tungsten carbide blades with a throat depth of 16" and a cutting depth of 2-1/2"
Again, this is a scroll saw that will be ideal for beginners. At its price (around $100), the machine packs in quite a few features. The lightweight die-cast aluminum table (that can be beveled up to 45 degrees) also makes it portable and ideal for on-site jobs. Which means even professionals may profit from having this model in their collection. With variable speed control and a cutting depth of 2 -1/2 inches, the saw is good to go with a variety of materials as well.
Another scroll saw we would highly recommend to people who are starting out with the hobby of scrolling. When working with softer wood materials, this scroll saw with variable speed control does a great job of doing precision cuts for many types of intricate patterns. The table is made of cast iron to reduce vibration which is pretty awesome considering the fact that the model is priced at a paltry $87. You also have the option of tilting the table for making more precise cuts. And as for accessories, there is a built-in air pump which helps to keep the work station dust free.
This is another mid-range category scroll saw (price $240 at Amazon currently) which delivers great performance. The variable speed control allows you to work in the range of 500-1700 SPM which means that you can cut a variety of materials with the saw. The 16 inch throat capacity also ensures that you won’t face any problem cutting thicker materials. The saw comes with a number of integrated add-ons as well, but special mention must be made of its integrated dust removal system. The dust port of the system accepts any standard vacuum hose, so even if you need to replace the original hose at some point, you won’t face any difficulty.
Why a Scroll Saw?
Simply because it is so much more convenient to use it and you can finish jobs 3 to 4 times faster if you are using a saw than if you worked all manually. This is the primary reason, but many also prefer scroll saws for the precision cuts they are able to provide, especially when it comes to intricate designs and patterns. The sophisticated technology the scroll saws of today comes with (different varieties of blade patterns, etc) makes them highly versatile and thus an indispensable tool for a scroll artist.
What Makes a Scroll Saw The Best?
As with any machine, this is THE most important thing to consider when you are in mind to purchase a scroll saw. Different features, add-ons, etc. (we will come to them soon) are important and they add value to a particular product—but the primary consideration should always be: how well the machine works? This is regarding to its smooth and no-hassle operation during the job but also how well it performs over time. You certainly don’t want to get stuck with a scroll saw that works well for the first few times and then starts to gradually malfunction from thereafter!
Speed & Other Features:
SPM or the speed-per-minute is perhaps the most important feature of a scroll saw. 1200-1800 SPM is considered high speed for a scroll saw while a low speed scroll saw will typically allow you to work at 400-8oo SPM. Normally, you scroll at a low speed when working with softer wood pieces while higher speeds become necessary when scrolling on thick wood stocks.
With a scroll saw, you also have the option to work with scroll blades of different sizes and patterns. For example, some of the common scroll saw blade patterns include standard/non-reverse blades, reverse tooth blades, skip tooth blades and double tooth blades. What kind and size of blade you will use, that largely depends on the project you are working at. As for best scroll saws, most of them will allow you to work with pretty much all of these different varieties of blades.
Other important features to look for include throat capacity, quick release blade clamps, forward mounted tension adjustment, and so on. And as can be expected, the greater the number of convenient features, higher the price of the machine. However, it is important not to confuse features with scroll saw accessories or add-ons. The latter include lights and magnifiers, dust blowers, foot-mounted power switch, etc. Keep in mind that you can always add these accessories to your saw as and when required. If some of them come compact with your machine of choice, nothing can be better. However, do not put too much of an importance on the number of add-ons a scroll saw comes with.
For intermediate to advanced level scroll workers, flexibility becomes an important issue when choosing an adequate saw. For example, most professional scrollers would definitely want their machine to have an adjustable speed control. This is important since professionals work on a large variety of projects and for this reason, the ability to control the sped of the machine becomes critical.
We have already talked about saw blades of different patterns and sizes, but the two basic types of saw blades are pin-end blades and plain-end blades. Pin end blades come with their own advantages and are especially convenient for beginner level or recreational scrollers. However, pin-end blades have their limitations too, and as and when you turn to more ambitious projects, you’ll find plain end blades indispensable for a variety of reasons. So, ideally a good and high-end scroll saw should allow you the option to use both pin end and plain blades.
How to Choose The Best Scroll Saw?
- Less Vibration
It is important that when you are in the market for a top scroll saw you consider choosing on that has as little vibration as possible. The scroll saws do have a very huge difference among them; hence, it is advisable that you always check this feature. When considering the vibration feature, there are a number of accessories you also have to put in mind. For instance, the stand does never skimp a stand while the lightweight stand will always add extra noise and vibration.
- Depth of Cut
The depth of the cut will always determine how thick the pieces of wood your scroll saw will be able to cut. Most of the scroll saws have a standard depth of around 2 inches. However, there are models which will always come with a pretty large capability when compared this saw model. Majority of the scroll saw woodwork that is used on a finish wood does not however require a larger depth cut. A depth of 2 inches is what most of the scroll saws will cut although there are some which will never go past 31/4 inch in thickness
The scroll saws can always have a table or a blade tilt that will help in cutting of particular angles. A good number of saws in the market are known to have either a left or a right tilt. However, there are a number of saws which can tilt in both directions. It is important that you ensure it does have a definite angle. You can easily know this by bringing a construction square along to test it out from the store before you make any purchase. Although it might appear weird, remember that it is your hard earned money you are spending.
The large work table will be in a position of accommodating much larger projects. It is therefore advisable that you always think about this on the basis of your job size. This means that you always need to consider the saw table that your saw will come with before making any purchase. Ensure you have a look at the material used in making it and get right measurements to know its size. This will enable you to tell if the size is big enough for your projects or you will have to go for another with a fitting size. Ensure you check the type of material used as it will determine how durable the saw is.
- The Scroll Saw Arm
The scroll saw arm refers to the connection that is between the motor and your work where the blade will be mounted on. The arm makes it possible for the right cuts to be made. The scroll arms are usually available in three main types of arms. The arm types are, Parallel type, parallel linked arm and the C arm. One of the best types of arms that will help in reducing vibration when you are cutting to ensure that you get a fine cut is the parallel linked arm.
- Throat Size
It is important that you also consider the scroll saw throat size when shopping for the high quality scroll saw in the market. A bigger throat will be in a position of accommodating a bigger work piece. You can always find out what is the throat length by determining the distance between the scroll saw back and the blade. The longer the throat size, the more space you will always have to work with a larger piece of wood. Most of the scroll saws have throat length varying from 16-20 inches.
- Scroll Saw Blades
There are several types of scroll saw bladed in the market. This has made it confusing to most saw buyers especially those without any knowledge or experience when it comes to working with different blade types. It is important for one to know the blade type that will make the saw more productive in regard to what and where it will be used. Going for the right type of blade will help make the entire cutting process more enjoyable.
- Variable Speed Control
It is one of the most important things to choose the scroll saw. Various speeds are needed to you when you will perform with different material and specific cut.
It is advisable that you go for saws that have speeds of between 400-1,600 RPM. The exact RPM target is never that important as having the ability to adjust speeds. When in the market for a scroll saw, you will always come across those scroll saws that have a single speed. They are never the best. It is advisable you go for those with variable speed.
- Magnifiers & Lights
Both Magnifiers and lights are given you the extra advantage during the precise cut. So, don’t forget it to buying you saw. A good number of scroll saws in the market do come with an adjustable lighting option as it will make it possible for users to work well in workspaces that are a bit dark. Going for scroll saws with magnifiers and lights will not only help illuminate brighter lighting for the surrounding but it will also help you make detailed cuts. It will help offer you more visibility when working on different shapes.
How to Use Scroll Saw?
Here is a step by step guide on how to correctly use a scroll saw to ensure you get the best cut.
- Wear a protective gear
The first thing you need to do is put on a dusk mask and protective glasses. Ensure you wear a hat to help cover the long hair or hold it back. Ensure that your sleeves are not close to the saw.
- Prepare wood
Ensure you cut the wood to the size which you will need to make the pattern from. Remember to sand the wood on the rough edges before you transfer the pattern which you want to cut on the wood using a pencil. Ensure the lines marked are visible enough.
- Prepare the saw for cutting
Ensure that your scroll saw is clamped on the working surface. You can thereafter install the right blade for the delicacy and size of the pattern you intend to cut. Ensure that the size fits firmly on the saw. Materials which are thick normally need blades that have small teeth. You can thereafter turn the saw on. There are scroll saws that come with light; you can turn them on too. There are some with a dust blower which you can use to blow away the dust to clear the surface of work while cutting out your pattern.
- Start Cutting
You can always speed the saw depending on the type of material you are cutting. Materials which are thick together with hardwoods will always need a higher speed while thin materials will need slower speed. Direct the blade with the scroll saw on towards the first line. Ensure that use both hands to help control the saw along the line you have marked on the wood.
- 90 Degree Turn
It is not a must that you switch off your saw when making a 90 degree turn. When making the turn, ensure you take the blade of the saw back through the already cut line and remove the wood piece from the saw. Thereafter, insert again on the adjacent line that meets the turn.
- Finish the Pattern
After cutting the pattern, turn off the saw. San the rough edges of the pattern and remove the saw blade.
What We Recommend as The Best Scroll Saw?
As we have already mentioned, there is no one model that can be termed as THE best. What scroll saw works best for you depend pretty much on your own requirements and budget. In the above reviews, we have tried to include 9 best scroll saws from nine most popular brands and we believe the models pretty much covers the whole spectrum of scroll saws. Of course, we purposely did not talk about the $1,000 scroll saws since they are meant exclusively for experienced professionals and anyone interested in models of that range would pretty much know what he is doing and exactly what model would fit his requirements.
Having said that, if we were to recommend one scroll saw to our readers, it would be the Dewalt DW788 model that we’ve also placed at the very top of our review list. Apart from all the handy features, sturdy construction and so on, the reason we pick this one is that there is hardly any negative reviews that can be found about this model. Again, it is a difficult choice and we could also have picked the Delta model which is quite as good. However, one crucial difference between these two models is that the Delta model does not allow you to insert pin end blades something you can do with the Dewalt model. This means that even beginners (who find it difficult to work with plain end blades) can work with this model without any difficulty. And as they gradually hone their skill and graduate to more difficult projects, having the Dewalt model will mean that they won’t need to invest in a higher grade model later on.
The only thing that can be said against the Dewalt product is that it is too heavy and is therefore not portable. But when you consider that this very heaviness contributes to the smooth and vibration-less functioning of the model, then we don’t think there is much room for complaint. Also, portable or on-site machines are normally required for professionals. And typically, if you are a professional, you will already have a portable model handy for your on-site jobs.
In conclusion, we will like to talk about a few best scroll saw accessories that all scroll enthusiasts will find handy.
The three accessories or add-ons that we think all scroll workers find more or less essential are:
- A blower: A blower or an air hose is typically positioned at the point where the saw blade comes in contact with the wood. A blower is essential since it keeps blowing the sawdust away from the wood and thus helps you get a clear vision of the cutline all the time.
- A foot-mounted power switch: Another helpful tool, especially for the starters since the foot switch allows him to turn on/off the machine in the middle of a job without needing to use his hands (you need your hands to hold the wood piece in right position).
- A work light & a magnifier: Proper lighting is essential when you are sawing, so the magnifier & lamp add-on is important for beginners as well as advanced scroll artists.
Some and other of these accessories come built-in or integrated with a few models. With others, you will need to buy and add them separately.
What is the best scroll saw for beginners?
There are a number of scroll saws which can perfectly suit a beginner. Beginners will always be in need of an easy to use saw. The top three best scrolls saw that any beginner can have trust in include; Shop Fox W1872, Porter-Cable 18” and Delta 40-694.
Which is better band saw or scroll saw?
For sure, there is no clear winner between the scroll saw and the band saw. This is because while they might be having some similarities between them, they do have their own uses. In case you are an individual who is always looking for precise cuts, then it is advisable you use a scroll saw. However, if you are in need of making effective and quick cuts, then band saw fits the bill.
How thick can a scroll saw cut?
A scroll saw is capable of cutting between 1 ¾ and 2 ¼ inches. Saws with 16 inch to 18 inch capacity are the most ideal for home users. The cut depth determines the material thickness you are able to cut.
What is the best wood for scroll sawing?
Some of the best wood for scroll sawing is the plywood and cedar. There are people who also find the Baltic birch as a good quality wood for scroll sawing. However, the most outstanding type of wood is the poplar since it comes with more even grain that pipe. When using the poplar, you can always put an even speed without having to worry about changing blades.
Can a scroll saw cut 2×4?
Scroll saw is a precise tool which can cut very small and delicate parts out of a 2 by 4. When you are skilled and take your time, you can always cut out parts which need very little or no sanding at all.
Why does my scroll saw blade keep breaking?
If your scroll blade keeps on breaking, then there is high chance that you are using too much tension when suing the saw. Whether you are using too much tension or using too little tension, using improper tension is one of the main reasons why your scroll saw blade keeps on breaking.
Should I use Pin blades or Plain blades?
Pinned blades are primarily meant for beginners since they are easy to use and change. But as you slowly master the skills of scrolling, you would need to upgrade to plain end blades. For a first, you cannot get all the varieties in blade patterns, types and sizes in pinned blades that you can get with plain end blades. Also, pin blades are wider and thicker and are not at all ideal for inside, intricate cutting. It is also difficult to find pinned blades that you can insert through small-drilled holes.
What is a Gross?
Gross is a term for a package of scroll saw blades that contain 12 dozen or 144 scroll saw blades.
When Should I use a spiral blade?
Spiral blades are difficult to control, so it is recommended that you never start with a spiral blade. You need to understand that a spiral blade is actually a standard plain end blade with no reverse tooth and which has been twisted around so you have blade teeth across all directions. So, what happens when you use a spiral blade is that it tries to follow the natural grain of the wood and tends to move toward the softer spots in the wood. This is what makes a spiral blade pretty difficult to control. So, unless you are an experienced scroll saw user, it is best to keep away from the spirals. However, if you are working with plywood, you may try your hand with spirals since plywood does not contain soft spots and therefore you will find the blades easier to control with plywood.
How to set the right tension for my blade?
Tensioning your blades is one of the trickiest parts of using your scroll saw and proper tensioning will take you some time and experience. That said, it is always better to have what you feel too much tension than having not enough. Not enough tension will result in your pushing the blade too hard and that way, you’ll run the risk of breaking your blades more frequently that you would like!
What adhesive is best for attaching a pattern?
Most scroll saw users prefer the adhesive 3M 77, so we would recommend that one.
Last update on 2022-01-16 at 10:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API