If you plan on making beautiful, intricate and unique cuts on your wood pieces, then there is no better way to do it that with a high-caliber scroll saw.
Scroll saws are specialty tools which are used to make intricate details with precise and fine cuts. They are incredibly accurate that the result is fine, you probably need minimal to no sanding.
Top 6 Best Scroll Saws 2019
6.Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw
Who wouldn’t recognize the brand name, Dewalt? It is a name that every tool collector has heard of and trust. Dewalt products are known to last, and their scroll saw offering is no exception to the rule.
To start, the DW788 model is the best scroll saw for beginners to expert. Its various features allow even the most novice handymen cut out intricate and detailed pieces on any projects. This scroll saw features specially designed blades which pivot from front to back to cut down on the overall movement. It helps produce smoother results and is also quieter than most tools. This model keeps the saw blade perpendicular that will cut down on miscutting and overcutting.
Also, it also has variable speed controls that range from 400 – 1750 SPM. Whether you need to speed up or slow down, the Dewalt scroll saw gives you an increased range of choices on how you cut your projects. The scroll saw also features a double parallel-link arm that helps dramatically reduce the vibration, allowing you to make a more accurate and precise cut without worrying about vibrations. Its flexible dust blower efficiently blows dust away, offering you more clarity to what you are cutting.
The DW788 has a heavy-duty feel which you will want in your workshop without all the weight. Weighing only 56 pounds, this is relatively compact, light and is easy to move from place to place. Also, it does not require tools to change the blades. For risk-free buying, Dewalt offers a warranty package which includes a 3-year limited warranty.
- Variable speed control
- Flexible dust blower
- Double parallel-link arm
- Lightweight and compact
- 3-year limited warranty
- 90-degree cuts are challenging
5. Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw
Shop Fox is another excellent brand. Although it does not have the same reputation as Dewalt, Shop Fox has proven to be capable of producing high-quality tools as the W1713 scroll saw. What’s best about this saw is that it is so simple in the best possible way. It does not have a lot of distracting features— it is just a right scroll saw built to help you do the best scrolling possible.
It does this in various ways. For one, this scroll saw can accept both unpinned and pinned blades, offering you a wide variety of choices in terms of scrolling. Besides, removing the blades is fairly easy with the tools that Shop Fox provides. Just like Dewalt, this model also features variable speeds that allow you to adjust to the projects that you are working on.
Another great thing about this scroll saw is its gooseneck work light. This is particularly useful for those who work in basements or garages that do not have enough light, giving you the accuracy and safety that you need. In addition to the favorable light, this one has a fixed dust blower along with a dust port that helps keep the dust to a minimum, so you have better visibility.
Not only that, but the W1713 also comes fully equipped with a variable tilt table. This table can tilt at 45 degrees so you have a broad variety of angles which you can cut with it.
Also, it comes with a set extraction port which you can hook a shop vac with and suck any dust in so you can focus on your handiwork. Built on cast iron, this scroll saw is durable, but light and compact enough for you to move it around from place to place with ease. Lastly, Shop Fox offers a 2-year warranty for a risk-free buying.
- Dust blower
- Goose-neck light
- Accepts pinned and unpinned blades
- Variable speed option
- Built from cast iron
- Tilt table that can tilt up to 45 degrees
- Dust blower is not adjustable
- Requires a tool to change blades
- Struggles with dense woods
4. Dremel MS20-01 Scroll Saw
A reliable tool which fulfills the needs of serious woodworkers who are on a tight budget, the Dremel MS20-01 Scroll Saw is perfect and offers excellent value to your money. But do not let the cheap price tag fool you— although this may be a great scroll saw for beginners, it has rich features and is of good quality to impress even the experienced woodworkers.
This model is user-friendly with features like the adaptable dust port, which allow you to utilize a dust collection system. Not only does it keep your workspace clean and clear of debris, but it should protect the motor of any debris as well as keeping you from inhaling the dust. The scroll saw also features an auto-tension component which makes it quite easy to change the blade and accessories. In addition to making easy changes, it also allows you to quickly and easily change the blade tension.
Another great thing about this scroll saw is its size and the detachable function. This should allow you to bring the scroll saw anywhere you go, giving you plenty of mobility with your projects. It is also easy to fasten the tool to benches, tables, and other surfaces for stationary use.
In terms of performance, this scroll saw boast a relatively quiet and motor with its adjustable speed function so you can match your project. It can be used to cut various materials such as plastic, aluminum, PVC, Plexiglas, laminates, wood, and metal.
Besides, the scroll saw kit comes with various blades as accessories with ease blades used for multiple materials like a plastic and wood blade, metal blade, side cutting blade, and wood blade.
- Bearable noise
- Easy to change blades
- Easy to adjust and mount
- Adjustable speed
- Lacking in power
- It is quite difficult to cut straight line
3. Rockwell BladeRunner X2 Tabletop Scroll Saw
Another great scroll saw model. The amusingly named BladeRunner is a tabletop mounted scroll saw that is lightweight, portable and versatile enough to cut miter, aluminum, plastic, tile, metal, wood and more. The BladeRunner X2 is an excellent value tool that is quite affordable but still gives you detailed and quality cuts.
This scroll saw can be set up in seconds, and you can even change the blades without using any tools. Rockwell also offers you with five different blades to cut metal, ceramic and wood.
What makes this scroll saw standout is its portability. Thanks to its lightweight design and even onboard storage and a handle, you can carry it anywhere and quickly set it up wherever you want to work. This tool is compatible with any 4 inches T-shank jigsaw blades and is even capable of performing miter cuts, scroll, cross and rip.
It has a rip fence mounted on either side of its blades as well as a hold-down guard and splitter to give you total control as well as ensuring your safety. Also, it has a steady blade mount that frees both hands to feed the material being cut with great precision, regardless of the material type or cut. Lastly, Rockwell offers a 3-year warranty on this model.
- Low to no vibration
- Easy to set up
- Lightweight design and handle for portability
- Miter gauge and rip fence
- Onboard storage for blades
- Tool-free blade changes
- Made of plastic
2. Delta Power Tools 40-694 Scroll Saw
The Delta Power Tools 40-694 offers a variety of features which make it an excellent scroll saw. First off, it features an electronic variable speed which can be adjusted from 400 – 1,750 SPM, allowing a broad variety of cuttings to be performed. Also, it also comes fully equipped with dual parallel link arms that work effectively to reduce vibrations when cutting.
Also, the scroll saw also has a tile table which allows you to tilt the scroll saw and make sure that each cut is done at the right angle. Also, it requires no tools when changing the blade and takes a few seconds for a quick and uninterrupted changing. The unit comes with a storage space where you can fit two blades to keep them from getting lost as well as retaining their sharpness.
Meanwhile, the adjustable dust hose does a pretty great job at blowing dust from your work area, so you have a visible sight as well as not having to worry about a dirty shop when you’re done. It also has a built-in adjustable light that provides ample illumination when working in poorly-lit spaces.
Made to last, this model is quite heavy at 60 pounds. However, with 16 x 24 inches cutting table, the Delta Power Tools 40-694 allows larger projects that it can even cut through a 2 11/8 inch woodblock. With high confidence in their products, Delta Power Tools offers an extended 5-year limited warranty on this tool.
- Tool-free clamp
- Electronic variable speed
- Dual parallel link arms
- Dust blower and work light
- 5-year limited warranty
- Assembly is quite complicated
- Does not come with a stand
1. WEN 3920 Scroll Saw
WEN is a reputable brand in the world of woodworking and offers a high-quality, but an affordable scroll saw with lots of features to keep you happy. Boasting a unique design, the WEN 3920 Scroll Saw accepts blades at two angle— the standard and at 90 degrees— offering you the virtually unlimited ripping capacity and provide more choices for your projects. This scroll saw can cut different materials such as ABS plastic, ply, mahogany, metal, pine, and maple.
Along with its multidirectional blades, the WEN 3920 also offers an adjustable speed component from 400 – 1,600 SPM with its easy to turn the knob, so you give every workpiece the exact setting it requires. It can even cut through hardwoods which are at least 2 inches thick with its 16 inches throat depth. What’s more, is that it comes with a good table that is generally spacious and can bevel up to 45 degrees. Well-built, it has a cast iron base ensuring that you will have a stable workspace with minimal vibrations.
Its unique blade holder accepts pinned and pinless blades while allowing you to change the direction of the cut. It has removable pinless blade holder that tightly grips on the blades to prevent them from slipping when using the scroll saw. It also includes a hold-down clamp so you can securely lock your projects to prevent moving and sliding, ensuring accurate cuts every time.
The scroll saw features a flexible LED light which can be easily adjusted and moved to illuminate workpieces of any shapes or sizes. Meanwhile, the adjustable air pump clears the dust and debris from your workspace so you will be able to cut accurately with clear sight.
- Controlled variable speed
- Two different blade positions
- Includes a spacious table which can be adjusted up to 45 degrees
- An adjustable LED light and air pump
- Durable cast iron base
- The table is not that stable
- Mounting blades is tie consuming
- The higher speed comes with greater vibrations
What’s a Scroll Saw Used For?
The blades of a scroll saw can cut more delicately and smoothly than any other types of saw, which makes it perfect for tiny details.
Some of its uses include:
- Creating jigsaws
- Crafting dovetail joints
- Creating curves
- Cutting angles
- Collage-type artwork
Why You Need A Scroll Saw?
Scroll saws are quite versatile tools, making them a great addition to any DIY tool kit. This tool fills a vital gap by cutting intricate designs which just can’t be achieved with other types of saws. Here are some of the main reasons why you need to invest in a good-quality scroll saw:
- Scroll saws are the best choice for crafts— from carvings to jigsaws
- They are suitable for intricate cutting
- They can be used to cut the inside of materials
- They create smooth and fine cuts which usually do not need to be sanded
- They can be used on various materials such as crock, metal, plastic, wood and more
- They are suitable for thin and small workpieces
Expert Guide: Factors To Consider When Choosing A Good Scroll Saw
With hundreds of scroll saws available, choosing the best one can be quite confusing. So, before you splurge some money, here are some factors that you need to consider when looking for the right one.
<< Dimensions >>
Here is a guide on how to pick a scroll saw according to the dimensions:
- WORK TABLE DIMENSION
The work table needs to be large enough to support your materials— preferably between 16 and 20 inches. Also, it needs to be sturdy and heavy enough to cancel out any vibrations of the saw. Lastly, it needs to be smooth to be functional, which you can improve by waxing.
Most scroll saws feature a tilt table that allows you to create angled cuts. Some allow tilting in only a single direction, whereas others allow both, so take note of that before purchasing.
- THROAT SIZE
In general, a scroll saw is classified according to their throat size. The throat size is the distance between the blade and the rear frame. The size of the saw throat determines just how large material or object can be cut.
Most individual woodworkers and users require a scroll saw with a throat size ranging from 12 – 20 inches since the larger models are used mainly for industrial purposes. So, make sure that you determine the size you need before making a purchase.
<< Blades >>
The primary functional elements of a scroll saw are the blade. This is why manufacturers designed various distinct blade types:
- PINLESS AND PINNED BLADES
Both blades have their pros and cons. Also known as Pin-End, pinned blades have pins on both ends to hold the blade. It is quicker and easier to change the blade. However, the availability of pinned blades is becoming rare.
Pinless blades or Plain-End, on the other hand, are more commonly used by most scroll saw manufacturers and offers a broad array of availability. Scroll saws with a pinless blade have a lower and upper clamp to hold and secure the blade.
- DOUBLE SKIP TOTH BLADES AND SKIP TOOTH BLADES
With these kinds of blades, every other tooth is missing, making the gap between the teeth twice as wide. Also, these blades are user-friendly and so easy to use.
- STANDARD METAL AND WOOD BLADES
Metal and wood blades feature teeth of equal size that are located at the same distance from one another. The metal blade is louder with narrower and smaller teeth, while the wood kind has a larger set that is wide apart and are meant to clear the sawdust.
- TWO-WAY TOOTH BLADES
Two-way tooth blades can cut on both downstroke and upstroke, offering you the convenience that you can turn it around without worrying.
- SPIRAL BLADES
This kind of blade is twisted so that it has teeth in all directions. Spiral blades are only used for special applications.
- DIAMOND AND STEEL BLADES
These are special blades which are used for cutting glass and metal, respectively.
For the first-time scroller, it is essential to take note that intricate cuts require blades with smaller teeth. Meanwhile, for thick and hard materials, you will need those with larger blades and teeth.
<< Motor and Vibrations >>
Scroll saws are used to create intricate cuts. This is why they do not need powerful motors. A motor that ranges between 1 – 1.5 Amp is usually good enough for a scroll saw. But, to make deep cuts in harder materials, you will need a scroll saw with a more powerful motor.
Vibrations, on the other hand, can significantly disrupt the functionality of scroll saws. This is why you need one with minimum vibrations. The more powerful the motor is, then the greater vibrations it has. But, some manufacturers create motors with reduced vibration. However, you can always cancel out heavy vibrations with a sufficiently heavy work table.
<< Scroll Saw Blade Tensioning >>
There are some scroll saws with levers, some have knobs, while others have a cam. These are all for loosening or tightening the blade of the scroll saw. It is crucial that the location used for tensioning the blade is convenient for you.
Most 16 inches scroll saws have a tensioning knob or level at the back of the saw instead of the head. This can be quite difficult when you are trying to do a cut. You will be tensioning the blade often in every cut you make you need to consider its position along with the material used, what form, and how easy it is to tighten the blade.
<< Variable Speed Motor >>
If you are planning to use a scroll saw on a broad range of materials, then it is worth getting a model which offers various cutting speeds. This should help you optimize the setup of the saw and best match the project that you are working on.
Speed varies measure in SPM or strokes per minute and varies from model to model. The low average speed is about 400 SPM while the fastest is at 2,500 SPM. In general, high speeds are used for paper, leather and most woods whereas slow speeds are used for soft plastics, veneers and thin woods.
<< Tool-less Blade Changes >>
When shopping for scroll saw, you will need to look specifically on how the blade mounts. Different blades are designed for various tasks and materials, so if you want a scroll saw for a variety of tasks, then choosing a scroll saw with a quick-release blade is a great choice.
<< Tool Stand >>
Most scroll saws already come with their stand. Commercially available stands usually have adjustable legs. However, you want to be sure that you can work at a height that is comfortable for you— not too low or not too high.
<< Rip Fence >>
This is a guide which helps you cut safely, precisely and evenly. Most scroll saws have their built-in rip fence. However, some require you to purchase it separately. Whichever choice you have, you need to be sure that you get a rip fence since it does a lot to protect those hands from the scroll saw’s blade.
<< Parallel Link Arm >>
This is design to help reduce the noise and vibrations produced by a scroll saw. If you plan on using a scroll saw for particularly intricate projects, then this feature is worth taking. Fewer vibrations should help in improving your cutting accuracy and quieter machines mean you got fewer distractions.
<< Dust Collection >>
In order to help improve accuracy and visibility, most scroll saws are fully equipped with dust blowers. As its name suggests, a dust blower blows dust and other debris from your workpiece, improving your visibility and keeping potentially harmful particles away from the motor.
There are some with blow tubes. Others are fully equipped with compressors. However, what you need to be sure of is that the blow tube is highly flexible so it can be moved and it does not blow dust directly onto your lap when cutting.
<< Work Lights >>
As basic as it sounds, built-in work lights can offer big help. When you work in dim conditions, this targeted work light can give you a much better view of the work surface, preventing eye fatigue, and improving your accuracy.
Most Common Questions Answered – FAQs
Q: How do I use a scroll saw?
A: First, turn on the saw and roughly cut around the pattern that you have drawn. Adjust the speed according to the kind of wood that you are cutting. Note that hardwoods need to be cut at a slower speed.
Aim the blade and use your hands to guide the material into the blade. Use both your hands to move the wood through the blade. Just be careful not to lift your entire hand since the material might jump and make an inaccurate cut. Go back through the cut line, then remove the material after making the cut.
Turn the material so that the next line to cut is in front of the blade. Make gradual and small cuts by moving the material slowly. Cut all the edges and work the whole piece of the material until all outside cuts have been made. Lastly, you can use fine sandpaper to finish any edges which may still feel rough.
Q: How can I tell if the tension is right?
A: To check if tension is right, apply a light tension to the blade with your finger and listen to the tone that it produces. A low pitched tone indicates that the pressure is too loose, whereas a high-pitched tone indicates that it is too high.
Also, if the blade bends to the side when sliding wood, then the tension is low. However, if the blade breaks, then it means that the tension was too high.
Q: Can I cut a Plexiglas with a scroll saw?
A: You can. However, you will need to take special precautions.
The oscillating blade of scroll saw produces enough heat that can melt a Plexiglas instead of cutting it which makes a potentially damaged blade and a messy finish. You can prevent this mess by following these tips:
- Use a fine blade to avoid shattering and chipping
- Use a dry lubricant like WD-40 to lubricate the blade and reduce the friction
- If you have a compressor, make sure to aim a jet of cool air at the blade as you cut
- Leave the backing paper on the Plexiglas when cutting. You can also apply masking tape to dissipate some heat
Q: Is it possible to keep the blade lamp from slipping?
A: If the scroll saw is in good condition, then you need to follow the manufacturer’s instruction without having an issue of the blade slipping out of place.
If you notice that the blade is slipping, then make sure that it is properly installed, in good condition and is at the right tension. Slipping tends to be an issue with plain-end blades, so if this is a concern, you need to focus on the latter.
Q: How do I cut corners?
A: Cutting tight corners with scroll saws can be quite tricky. However, nothing like practice can do.
For the tightest corners, you need to pull back slightly once you have cut to where the corner should be. Then, quickly spin the material 180 degrees with one hand while using your other hand’s finger to make a stable pivot point.
Making the perfectly detailed cut can only be achieved with a good scroll saw. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced handyman— there is a scroll saw for you out there. The models mentioned above are among the most reputable and high-quality models you can find that allows you to make those intricate patterns needed on your projects.