Ahh, the scroll saw. The perfect saw to bring artistic designs to life from just about any piece of thin wood. The scroll saw is your go-to tool if you need to cut something with a precise design or if you need to focus on minute details. From creating beautiful wooden landscape displays to layered wood sculptures, the scroll saw is exactly what you need. Unfortunately, scroll saws, like all complex saws, aren’t easy to buy. There are so many different features, like unique blades, tables, arm types, and more, that you need to consider before you make your next woodshop purchase. If you don’t know what to look for, don’t worry; we’re here to help. Check out this buying guide which discusses the ins and outs of scroll saw shopping and our five favorite scroll saws of 2023.
Our first scroll saw is the WEN 392 16-Inch Scroll Saw. This bad boy weighs 24.45 pounds and features a large tiltable table for all of your cutting needs. Keep it completely flat or raise it up to 45 degrees; whatever angle you need, this table can make it happen.
Capable of cutting extremely fast, this scroll saw has a customizable cutting speed of between 400 to 1600 strokes a minute. It, additionally, boasts a unique design that accepts blades in two directions, doubling cutting capacity. With all of these benefits, it’s shocking that this scroll saw runs on just 120 volts. We’re giving it our best overall pick for its great quality, cutting speed, adjustable angle, and great value.
Our next scroll saw comes from every workshop’s beloved brand Dewalt. This model features a double parallel arm for sharp, accurate cuts and minimum noise and a massive 20-inch table for large pieces of wood and top-notch support. In addition to its great hardware, this scroll saw has variable speed control, meaning you can adjust your cuts to the material you are working with. It also comes with a powerful light (with the purchase bundle) so you can see exactly what you are doing (definitely worth it, in my opinion).
Interested in this scroll saw? You should be. It is a great addition to any workshop or garage and is easy to use. Order yours today!
Delta Power Tools 20-Inch Scroll Saw is our next contender on our list. What makes this scroll saw unique? It’s incredible quality, of course! This scroll saw is brilliantly designed and boasts a dual parallel link arm which means you’ll get the perfect cut every single time. It also has a dust blower, variable speed selection (400- 1750 SP), two straight blades, an intuitive quick-changing blade system, and a 1.3 amp motor. I love that this scroll saw has so much included! It makes it such an easy purchase. If you want all the goodies in a great quality package, pick up this scroll saw!
The Skil Variable Speed Scroll Saw is the perfect tool for any precision cutting job. This saw has many great features, from the foot pedal to the electronic variable speed control, that make it perfect for any woodworking project. The built-in foot pedal lets you keep both hands on the workpiece as you cut and provides greater control of your cuts. The integrated LED work light allows greater visibility at a range of angles and can help you maneuver intricate designs with ease.
This saw includes an integrated dust removal system that keeps the cut line free of debris for accurate cuts. Along with the electronic variable speed control, you have greater control of your cuts when working with a variety of materials. Its tilting work table also tilts 0-45 degrees for precise cuts and has an on-tool blade storage compartment so you can easily access additional blades without taking the saw apart. Another bonus, it allows for fast and easy blade changes without the use of tools, so you can get back to cutting right away.
What does every woodworker and handyman know? That dust is not your friend. Luckily it also isn’t the friend of this scroll saw either. Shop Fox’s 16-inch scroll saw includes multiple sawdust combating features, including two-way dust control, dust extraction, and an integrated dust blower. With these three features and accurate cutting for minimal dust creation, you’ve got quite the sawdust fighting machine. Besides all of those features, this scroll saw boasts some other worthy qualities, such as a tiltable table, a powerful motor, and the ability to accept pin or flat blades. We know this scroll saw is a winner. Try it out to really see why.
Includes gooseneck work light and dust blower
2-inch maximum cutting distance
Dimensions:12.8 x 26.4 x 15.9 inches
Machine vibrates while cutting
The Ultimate Scrolling Saws Buying Guide
If you have a mechanical background or any interest in woodworking, then there is a great chance that you have seen a scroll saw. Scroll saws are one of the essential tools for complex detailed woodworking. Modern scroll saws are very easy to use and produce less vibration and noise than older models.
If you need precision cutting complex designs into wood, you should get a scroll saw without any delay. Not aware of the essential elements and features to look at when buying it? Don’t worry; read out buying guide to learn.
Picking The Right Type of Scroll Saw
Let’s start off by discussing what type of scroll saw you should pick. The type of scroll saw is determined by its arm, and each type has its pros and cons. Irrespective of perks or disadvantages, each scroll saw is corded and needs a power outlet.
Rigid arms are not too common on the market today, but they are still used in some shops and sold secondhand. This device is an extension of the jigsaw design, which was popular in the 1930s. Rigid arm scroll saws have a frame made from a single piece of cast iron. This saw includes an arm that moves through a spring-loaded mounting point. Unfortunately, due to low blade tension, this saw has problems with clean and straight cuts.
The most popular type of scroll saw on the market is the parallel arm scroll saw. It works by quickly moving a blade vertically and synchronizing the upper and lower positions. This reduces vibration while making clean and controlled cuts.
The majority of these saws possess a variable-speed motor which allows for smarter cutting for various materials. Some models have a connecting arm that you have to set its tension with your hands. In other models, a link sets the tension automatically.
This device improves upon the parallel arm system by adding a horizontal link. This link attaches the arm to a pivoting beam on the back of the blade. This system allows the motor (usually a variable speed) to move parallel arms back and forth quickly and accurately. Afterward, motion passes to the horizontal link, which will convert the vertical signal at the tip of the arms.
An additional moving part adds more potential failure points to the machine but allows manufacturers to make scroll saws with shorter arms. This, in turn, leads to less vibration and more consistent, straighter movement. If I were focused on as much precision as possible, this is the type of scroll saw I would select. For example, If I were making wooden artwork of a forest, I would want a parallel link scroll saw.
This model is different from the parallel arm model as it features a single C-shaped arm. Essentially, this scroll saw features a C-shaped arm with a vertical blade at the very end. It then pivots up and down from a single point on the C-arm resulting in an arching cut. Since the blade oscillates from one point, it allows you to cut more material faster. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of accuracy. If I had a large shop and needed to go through would quickly, the C-arm would be my choice.
What Are the Different Blades Available for Scroll Saws?
Generally, there are two main blades used by scroll saws. The first is pin-end blades, and the second is plain-end blades. Your saw’s mounting system determines which blade you need.
Like traditional blades, pin-end blades are thin and feature one sharp side for cutting. Unlike most other blades, they are held in place by using a pin that attaches to the arms of a scrolling saw. These pins can decrease a scroll saw’s accuracy, and unfortunately, the selection of pin blades is fairly limited.
Plain-end blades speak for themselves. They are simple blades that attach to scroll saws through a clamping mechanism. Plain-end blades are very fine and accurate. They also come in more varieties than pin-end blades.
Scroll Saw Features to Look For
Scroll saws are straightforward machines, and due to new technology, they are becoming easier to use. Let’s review the great features of modern scroll saws you want to understand before buying your new machine.
Variable speed control
The speed of your scroll saw is determined by its motor and dictates how fast a blade moves up and down. A saw with variable speed control can change how fast a blade will move and, by extension, how it will cut. Since some woods work better at slower speeds and some cutting requires different speeds to execute, a scroll saw with variable speed control is a great idea. I personally enjoy having as much control as possible over my power tools, and this is exactly the feature that I love.
Table tilt or blade tilt
Table and blade tilting explain themselves; either the table on which you are cutting or the blade with which you are cutting is angled to change the direction that your cuts take. Such angled cuts are essential for things like parquet projects. A tilt system that places the blade at an angle is preferable since it keeps the horizontal table fixed and stable. If your machine uses a table tilt mechanism, don’t be concerned, though. It will also be safe and effective.
Stable base with clamp system
Some scroll saws securely clamp onto heavy benches, which provides a good stable base. An effective clamp will keep you safe and reduce noise and vibration.
Levers, knobs, and cams
Scroll blades have various ways to alter the tension of the blade they are holding. Some saws use levers, while others use cams. Unlike with a power saw, you can tense your blade whenever you need to, for example, when you need precise cuts. It doesn’t really matter which blade tension mechanism your saw uses; just pick a durable system built from quality materials.
Dust blowers are very nice features that will help you keep your working area clean. The majority of the saws also have flexible blow tubes that will keep the dust and debris away. Dust blowers are a must-have for me. I hate working and not being able to see all that I am doing. With a sawdust blower, I will have a better notion of what where my cuts and how deep.
Integrated LED lights are great for cutting since they illuminate your workspace. When working with wood and cutting tools, you need to be able to see where you are cutting, how far, and how deep. An LED light will help you do just that.
What Is The Price Range For Scrolls Saws?
You should always purchase a product that lies within your budget. Also, never go for a low-quality product to save your money because it will create problems for you down the line. When buying scroll saws, you should expect to pay between $100 to $2000 (we know that is a large price range). The higher-priced models come with extra features that jack their prices up significantly. Obviously, they are very expense, but consider that high-quality machines can be relied on for years!
People Also Asked
Q: Which materials can be cut by a scroll saw?
Aside from wood, you can use a scroll saw for working with metal, fiberglass, ceramic tile, bone, leather, and acrylic. Note that the thickness of the material on which you work should not be to much.
Q: Which type of designs and cuts can you make using a scroll saw?
In contrast to other saws, scroll saws can perform hyper-precise cuts and designs. Some of the cuts or designs present on the list are curved, plunge, dovetail, thick, and angled cuts.
Q: What's the difference between band and scroll saws?
A scroll saws move a blade up and down very quickly to make cuts in some sort of material. Band saws can be thought of as large scroll saws, which are more powerful and less precise. Scroll saws are weaker but more precise.
Q: What is a scroll saw good for?
Scroll saws are good for cutting intricate curves in wood, metal, or other materials.
Q: How thick of wood can a scroll saw cut?
Most scroll saws can cut wood that is a maximum of 1.75-2.25 inches thick.
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