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Have you ever wondered how the holes in a guitar or violin are made? This is all the work of the safe and smoothly equipment that has been in existence since the 1500s. The general idea of this this saw is a vertical blade that saws materials by moving up and down. If you are looking for a tool to make unique, intricate and beautiful cuts on wood, you need to get a scroll saw.
Please note that no saw is equal to the other. Scroll saw technology has gone through a huge metamorphosis since those years of inception to today when the products come with state-of-the-art features such as electrical dials, LEDs and ports for air. With the numerous offers in the market and life’s demands, we understand that you may not have adequate time to do all the research and window-shopping. That is why we have prepared this informative analysis for you. We start with several categories of scroll saws, and then follow up with a buying guide.
Best Scroll Saw Reviews
Best Scroll Saws Under $100
1. WEN 3920 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Flexible LED Light
Unique design accepts blades in two directions (standard and 90 degrees) to allow for infinite ripping capacity
Cheap does not have to translate into junk. WEN products always live to this mantra. Their combination of high quality and affordability is unbelievable. A glance at the WEN-3920 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw with its sturdy cast iron base and ingenious design makes one doubt the price. The product may not carry bursting power, but it is the best you can get on a budget if you consider overall quality.
For superb handling of most basic cutting tasks, the WEN-3920 comes with a variable speed feature that covers 400- 1600 strokes per minute. Use the sizeable dial on the saw front to take full advantage of this amazing feature. You are at liberty to use a wide range of blades for these applications because this scroll saw comes with a relatively powerful 1.2A motor. To cater for angled cuts, the table tilts 45º to the left – unfortunately, there is not right tilt. If you need multidirectional tilting, you probably want to try a higher end model.
Another characteristic that impresses about this product is the simplicity in design that the manufacturer demonstrated. Even if you are a novice in cutting applications, there is nothing intimidating about the WEN-3920. Apart from being lightweight, the machine measures a mere 24 x 11 x 13 inches. Using it is simple. For instance, it comes with a tension release switch for effortless blade changes. Alongside this is a Flexible LED Work Light, which comes in handy for illuminating work pieces of all styles and shapes.
The product does come with an Adjustable Air Pump that will make your sawing experience enjoyable by removing all debris from the blade. Another feature that enhances user experience is the hold down clamp, which puts the work piece in a steady position as you cut it. To prevent instances of lost time during blade changes and installations, the WEN-3920 comes with handy onboard blade storage.
Ergonomics on the 3920 are faultless, with controls placed conveniently. The airport is at the front, which allows for easy connection to the vacuum if you detest blowing debris into the air. Also at the front of the saw are the speed controls.
If you are on a budget and want to do basic scrolling, you will love this tool as we do for its variable speed, sturdy base and several good add-ons. Despite the few negative reviews about this product, we recommend it for its combination of affordability and multiple features.
2. Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact Scroll Saw Kit
Detachable coping function for handheld use to take the tool to the work piece
Sometimes, dropping a lot of money needed for serious scroll saw can be difficult, so you may have limited options. We present to you the reliable and affordable Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact Scroll Saw Kit. It may not be as intimidating as the Jet 727200K Scroll Saw or some of the sawss that we have already reviewed, but it does offer features that any woodworker would look keenly.
We specifically included this product in the list because of its unrivaled combination of performance, price and appearance. Most woodworkers look for such for the sake of cost efficiency and quality. The low price may confuse many would-be buyers, but we do not want you to dismiss this product yet. Even if you are past the beginner stage, it has some amazing features for the experienced user.
Where is your work piece? You do not have to drag it to the scroll saw. One of the notable features is the Detachable Coping Function, which the mobile user will find very appropriate. This feature enables the tool to function as both a stationary saw and a portable one once it is detached from the base.
You will also love the fact that this product is user-friendly. Unpacking and setting up should take just a few minutes. A sturdy table and basic scrolling skills is all you need to get the job done. Its swift clamp base fixes to various surfaces, tables and benches. As you work, the dust port adapter does the fine job of cleaning the workspace and keeping the line-of-sight clear.
The auto-tension component is another user-friendly characteristic of the Dremel MS20-01. First, it makes blade and accessory change a walk in the park. It also enhances blade tension manipulation.
As you would expect from a fine looking and lightweight tool, the Dremel MS20-01 runs smoothly. The reliable motor lets its work do the talking. Featuring a variable-speed knob and with controls in perfect sight of the user, the machine is safe to use.
Since the motor on this machine is not so powerful and its construction looks a bit wanting, you do not want to use it for thicker or harder materials. It may still cut through such woods, but we doubt it would offer the best accuracy.
Despite the low price, this set comes with a few accessories including one side-cutting blade, one metal blade and four fine wood blades. The shipment also contains a vacuum adapter.
3. ShopSeries RK7315 16″ Scroll Saw with Variable Speed Control
Powerful, lightweight 1.2-amp scroll saw ideal for a variety of woodworking projects
Your search for a budget friendly yet reliable scroll saw should stop at this simple product from Rockwell. Let us cut the chase; this scroll saw is for basic applications, which is suggestive from the price. However, the quality of the product is amazing.
Of course, one reason this product is topping lists of best scroll saws in 2018 is the variable speed capability. It features a powerful 1.2-amp motor that is ideal for a wide range of precise jobs including curves, joints and cuts. Use the variable speed feature to find your way through tight corners.
Cut quality is under control: the product comes with nicely designed and produced blades, each bearing a cutting capacity of 2 inches. The product also features on-board storage to prevent blade loss and damage. A 16-inch throat depth and the ¾-inch stroke are enough to make blade work at its optimum. Moreover, this scroll is capable of making up to 45-degree turns for some of the cleanest cuts you can ever achieve from a scroll saw in this category.
In the ShopSeries RK7315 16″ Scroll Saw with Variable Speed Control, you are getting a lightweight machine that is so easy to move around, as it weighs in at only 27.1 pounds and the largest dimension is 26 inches. The change blade feature further enhances ease of use on this product. Even if you are just starting out as a hobbyist, you will still be able to maximize the innovative features and precision of this saw.
No power tool is perfect so this scroll saw is no exception. Unlike the DeWalt we checked out above, it does vibrate, but only a little bit. If you are one of the scrollers that detest this, you may want to consider another item. Otherwise, you could live with the tool, especially if you fix it to a sturdy platform using the pre-drilled holes.
With a sturdy Die-cast aluminum construction that is characterized by a 0 to 45 degrees beveling table, the ShopSeries RK7315, can withstand the knocks of a busy workshop. Note also that 2 year limited warranty accompanies the product for defects emanating from workmanship and materials. Apart from the vibration, we do not see any other serious drawback that should discourage you from acquiring this affordable tool. Furthermore, the motor is good and all this comes at an affordable price.
Best Scroll Saws Between $100-$200
1. Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Includes a gooseneck work light, dust blower and dust port
We love this brand-immensely actually. We have come to relate the renowned Shop Fox with high quality but expensive products. They may not be in the league of Dewalt in terms of reputation, but they are making some serious strides. The Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw is on the affordable side considering the usual pricing. The best thing is that this scroll saw will offer you anything you are looking for in an entry-level product.
First, you have limitless material options with this product that not only packs adequate power, but also offers an admirable measure of control. Sometimes, high speeds can spoil work so the variable speed feature is something you will love. The speed ranges from 550 to 1700 strokes per minute. Check below the table for the variable speed knob; it is next to the ON/OFF switch.
Part of the reason you will be able to do a lot with this scroll saw is the exceptionally smooth and sturdy cast iron table. You will be pleased to note that you can do a wide range of angles because the table can tilt up to 45-degrees thanks to the table tilt mechanism. That tilt scale and table lock knob on the side of the saw is all you need to achieve this versatility. Also close to these controls is the vacuum port, which does the splendid job of extracting dirt. In short, all controls are placed next to each other for ease of operation.
To make the product even easier to use, Shop Fox has made blade change effortless with a blade change mechanism. The knob for this blade tensioning is at the rear of the arm. While you will need to reach over every time, but it is worthwhile to note the arm is only 16 inches long.
When you need to work in a dimly lit area or on an intricately shaped piece, the gooseneck work light comes in handy. Also making your experience exciting is the dust blower nozzle. Unfortunately, you will have to put up with the dust blowing towards you since the blower position is fixed.
Another thing that catches attention is the simplicity with which this saw manages to do a lot. The W1713 works with pinned and unpinned blades for a wide range of cutting options. This blends excellently with the other features already mentioned to make cutting super- easy. We cannot hesitate to recommend a product of this level to professionals and novices alike.
2. Craftsman 16″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Package Dimensions: 25 x 14.8 x 12.5 inches
Are you wondering why this simple-looking scroll saw makes this list? The Craftsman 16″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw continues to amass admiration for its amazing balance of features and price. Indeed, that is why we will recommend this product for you if you are novice in woodworking.
Even if this product does not come with “wow” features, it has some outstanding characteristics. We are not just taking a quality variable speed scroll saw. Craftsman is popular manufacturer that never disappoints. It will allow you to learn all the tricks of scrolling, something you will not find in other saws of its price range.
The Craftsman 16″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw 00921602000P may cost only slightly over $100, but its performance is impressive. You will probably not find a better tool for this price. A 1.6 amp inductive motor is enough for cutting through a wide array of materials without kickbacks. What you get is a professional cut and finish for less.
The 16 inches refer to the saw measurement from the throat to the blade, so this equipment is flexible for small materials. It is also versatile, featuring a variable speed capability of 400- 1600 strokes per minute. Just so you know, a low-speed setting of 400 spm is rare in low-cost scroll saws. With this quality, the machine is ideal for cutting a wide range of high-density materials including ABS plastic, metal sheets and hard wood.
If there is one thing that puts off every woodworker, it is the idea of cleaning up after cutting. We are pleased that the manufacturer designed this product with this fact in mind. The dust blower does this task for you, preserving the sight of the cutting line so you can focus your effort on precise cutting.
What do you look for when you purchase a scroll saw three times costlier than the Craftsman 00921602000P? If it is the extra perks, you will agree that you rarely use them. This product comes with all the necessary features for cutting. Unless you are looking for a higher spm rating for your professional work, this product offers an affordable choice.
You must love the quality of construction on this product considering the price. Often, we find competing products compromising quality for budget price. This model has set the pace, featuring a cast iron table and a metal alloy build. In case a part wears out, the simple design allows you to replace easily. When you consider the almost absent perceivable, you appreciate the overall quality of this product. Do not worry about the problematic blade changes- you should find it smooth after a few rounds with the saw.
3. SKIL 3335-07 16″ 1.2 Amp Scroll Saw with Light, Red
Electronic variable speed control helps cut a variety of materials
The SKIL 3335 is the final product we are checking out in this category. SKIL has carved out a popular name for providing reliable power tools since 1924. When you come across any of their products, you have a reason to pause and look. That is what happened when we found the SKIL 3335-07 16″ 1.2 Amp Scroll Saw with Light. We were not disappointed, by neither the reviews nor the various features in the saw.
If you are a newbie, this model is one of the best options for you. Why are we confident when saying this? We found the features of the SKIL 3335-07 easy to understand. The product is affordable giving you the chance to learn a lot in a fun way. This SKIL model deserves to be on the list owing to its excellent features despite the budget price. You will find similar perks in high end scroll saws.
A notable feature from similarly priced models is the presence of an articulating LED on this product. The light is ideal for lighting up the work and enhancing accuracy. When you do not need the light, you can always turn off using the knob.
To enhance accuracy further, the product comes with a circular worktable. The 16″ x 10″ table can tilt 0-45 degrees so you can make a wide range of angled cuts. For such applications, the scroll saw features a gauge on the side. Its dust removal system keeps dirt away from the work.
Novices looking to cut complex arrangements will love the capability of this scroll saw. The product can make accurate twists and turns- like those of custom jigsaw puzzles. It demonstrates versatility for its ability to cut thicker pieces too, thanks to the 16-inch throat.
Perfect! The model even features variable speed control capability. There is no limit to the type of material you can cut using this scroll saw.
Why pay more for the same features? If you are new to the woodworking world and want a budget-friendly scroll saw that is loaded with essential features, check out the SKIL 3335-07 16″ 1.2 Amp Scroll Saw with Light. If there were any complaint about this scroll saw, then it would be the little noise. Otherwise, this is a wonderful tool.
Best Scroll Saws Above $200
1. DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw
Double parallel-link arm design dramatically reduces vibration and noise for extremely accurate cuts
Dewalt has been consistent in their quality so this product being on this list is expected. A look at the internet reveals many positive reviews about the DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw and it is easy to understand why. Although the product is a bit pricey, it is both high quality and user friendly. While it will easily fit any professional’s workshop, it is also a favorite to Do-It-Yourselfers. The product’s balance of versatility and performance would make its price look like a joke.
For a scroll saw, vibration is expected because of the design. What you will notice in this 65.6 pounds product is that a bulk of the weight is concentrated in the table, which could be as heavy as 20 pounds. We do not know whether you consider this a disadvantage, but we find it crucial in vibration arrest. Moreover, the saw’s vibration is restricted to the blade. These two features combine excellently for one of the most smooth-running scroll saw.
There is no way you are going to pick the best scroll saw without checking out its capacity. Considering the Dewalt DW788 features a motor of 1.3 amp rating and capable of producing 400-1,750 cutting strokes per minute, it is fair to say that this machine is ideal for cutting wide range of materials- from thin metal sheets to hardwood.
The best scroll saw comes with an excellent throat depth- usually at least 18 inches. What does this variable-speed scroll saw from Dewalt give? A massive 20 inches. This means that it can cut large carpets, plastic sheets and plywood. No matter what material you throw at the machine, it will most likely make light work of it. Add this to the 2-inch depth of cut and you have a scroll saw that can cut any commercial material- available materials rarely exceed 1-3/4-inch thickness.
Even by scroll saw standards, the DEWALT 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw is extremely precise. You will not find many power tools that are more accurate than this amazing tool. Probably the relatively poor quality blades that come with the saw may be an injustice, but you have a solution- dig slightly deeper in your pocket to order better blades. This will help get the best out of the machine. Its spacious work area allows for angle cuts.
All electric saws have one problem- they create fine dust that could spoil them or affect the user. If you choose this machine, you do not have to worry about dust thanks to the adjustable dust blower. This long component is ideal for keeping the area free of debris. Although this form of dust management is not as cool as that of the Rockwell RK7321, it does make the machine desirable.
We cannot forget to mention the variable-speed control feature, which is one of the most remarkable things about this scroll saw. Thanks to this feature, you can take advantage of the machine’s speed of between 400 and 1,750 strokes per minute.
2. Delta Power Equipment Corporation 40-695-Scroll Saw-20-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Includes saw, stand, work light and dust blower.
Those who owned or used the Delta 40-690 are probably already familiar with some features on the Delta 40-695 because the two share some similarities. However, the new one comes with some excellent updates, just to make your cutting experience better. For instance, unlike the previous models, the 40-695 incorporates a moving and locking arm. If you got a previous model, you would need to buy add-ons for this kind of performance.
In case you have not gotten wind of this information, this product’s design is based on the now unavailable DeWalt 788. Like its predecessor, this variable speed scroll saw works perfectly for mid-range sawing.
The 40-695 is slightly costlier than the 40-694, obviously because of the added light and stand. At which point we reiterate how cool these two features have made the newer product. The stand, with its three legs, minimizes vibration greatly. The back leg doubles as a table angler for better sight of the cutting process. Accompanying the table is an adjustable arm with a light at the end. With it, you can light any part of the project for the best results.
We like the design of tension arm and the speed control. It is easy to use, something that the DIYs will appreciate. The swift blade changes add to the value of this scroll saw. The On/Off Switch sits on top of the blade so it is both easy and safe to operate. For even more ease of operation and application for a wide range of materials, the product features an electronic variable speed dial for a range of between 400 and 1,750 SPM.
The attractive oval table can twist through 45° on both sides, allowing for the perfect angle cuts. Most sawers uninstall the hold-down during set-up. If you do the same thing with the 40-695-Variable Speed Scroll Saw, you will be able to cut as much as 1 ½ thick using the 20-inch arm.
You have the choice to get this scroll saw without a stand and light for less. These features may look small, but they give users who do not have them a chance to get them. In all honesty, the Delta 40-695 does not have any glaring shortcomings. Unless they do the packaging carelessly leading to broken parts as some buyers have experienced, this product should meet or even exceed your expectations.
3. PORTER-CABLE 18″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Stand
Large aluminum 20
PORTER-CABLE is also excellent in their trade, so it is not a surprise for this variable speed scroll saw to make the list. This brand features almost everywhere the best power tools are listed. We especially recommend it for those with superb artistry skills as the tool will help them achieve the smallest details and curves.
Let us look at some of the features that give this saw a head start over rivals. Within this attractive device is a powerful 1.6 Amp induction motor capable of delivering a speed of 1500 strokes per minute. Although this is less than what Dewalt DW788 and several other top performers may offer, the best part about it is variability. Do not forget this product costs you half the price.
This Porter Cable scroll saw offers an 18-inches throat, which is easily a deal breaker for many users. Beginners will find this more than enough. Another notable dimension is the cutting height, which is at a maximum of 2-1/4 inches, starting from 1-1/4 inches. When you factor in the table-tilting capability of up to 45 degrees, you realize the versatility offered here. The table itself is sizeable, measuring a decent 20″ x 12 5/8″.
Looking at the control, you have a reason to appreciate the various features put by the manufacturer. Access to the knobs is the easiest you can wish for, with the blade tension adjustment and variable speed controls all placed in front. However, the cam locking blade tension lever puts an icing to the cake. Less time will be lost during blade changes no matter your experience with this type of tool.
Another notable feature on the Porter-Cable scroll saw is the dual tilting table that can tilt up to 45 degrees to allow for bevel cutting. It can tilt 15 degrees to the right. The tool sits on sturdy stand, which enhances stability of work. This is important because the variable speed allows you to cut all manner of materials including wood, plastic and aluminum.
Other notable features include the dust chip/ extraction port and adjustable LED work lamp. The port connects to the standard vacuum cleaner to enhance cleanliness of the working surface. Some users have expressed dissatisfaction with the table citing roughness, but then this is not a widespread concern. The experienced users will tell you that sanding eliminates that problem.
Buying Guide For The Best Scroll Saw
While the scroll saw is simple to use, it is one of the more expensive power tools in the workshop. It demands prior research and knowledge before you buy one, especially if you are a novice. As a beginner, you need to acquaint yourself with a few aspects of the scroll saw.
Power for a scroll saw is necessary, but it does not have to be too high. Most of these saws carry up to 1.5 amps, which is enough for detailed cuts through a wide range of materials. If you want to stretch the limit of your tool by cutting intricate cuts in thick materials, then you might want to invest in a more powerful motor. We would say that a 1.2 amp motor is decent for anyone, including a professional.
Table Design and Size
This is an important variable to consider when buying the best scroll saw. How spacious is the table to handle the project comfortably? Consider different angles of the work piece so you can rotate it and fix it as necessary.
You also need to consider the construction of the table. While the surface should be smooth, it should also be hardwearing so it can withstand knocks, scratches and so forth. The most popular materials for scroll saw tables today are cast iron and aluminum.
Scroll saws that are accompanied by tables tend to cost more for obvious reasons. If you do not have a workbench, you want to insist on this crucial component.
Some people will never touch a scroll saw that does not have a variable speed feature. You need to decide depending on the demands of your project. Cutting softer materials could do with slow speeds (400 SPM), but you need faster speed to do fine cuts or cut hard materials.
A one-speed could be all you need, although having one with variable speed gives cutting flexibility. For beginners, we recommend a two-speed scroll saw because it is both affordable and easy to control.
This refers to the distance between the mounting point and the blade cutting edge. It determines the size of material that the machine can cut. As you cut a material, it reaches a point where it cannot go any further. An 18-inch throat capacity scroll saw will rarely cause problems unless you have real professional needs.
To be honest, any woodworker will outgrow a 16-inch saw at some point. To be on the safe side, we recommend you get 20-inch and above. Okay, there is the largest option in a 30-inch saw, but not many people need that kind of versatility.
Most scroll saws use a parallel arm system for reciprocating mechanism. Two arms swing to move the blade up and down. Because of this constant movement, these components need to be made from durable materials. How can you tell wheat from chaff? Brand names seldom lie, but it is also important to follow user reviews.
Vibration and Noise
No one wants a perpetually vibrating saw because this affects the quality of cuts. The power of the saw is one of the factors of vibration. The more powerful saw is likely to vibrate more and vice versa. Fortunately, manufacturers are now incorporating vibration reduction features, so the powerful saw is not necessary undesirable in this respect.
Check the quality of worktable because it does play a role in vibration. Cast iron, being a thick material, is the most preferable material for worktables.
Because of the reciprocating mechanism, the scroll arm is another source of vibration. You must know by now that scroll saws with Double Parallel arm are popular. This setting produces minimal vibration as compared to conventional designs.
Scroll saws are designed to work quietly; not anywhere to the noise of the power saw. However, they still produce some noise. Some are quieter than others are. Depending on the level of serenity you need, this factor might be a deal breaker. For quiet operating scroll saws, insist on sturdy tables and double parallel arms.
The blade suspension mechanism determines a number of things including type of project, blade availability and machine operation. While there are two Options- Plain-End and Pin-End- the Plain-End (pin-less) is more acceptable.
You cannot discuss the table for the best scroll saw and fail to consider the tilt. Most tables allow for tilting, either single-direction or multi-directional. This is important for beveled cuts. Unless we have specified in the reviews, the tilt goes to a maximum of 45 degrees. When you are choosing a scroll saw with this feature, ensure it is the best quality because some manufacturers do not put enough effort.
Accessories to Consider
When it comes to scroll saw features, there is no limit to what you can get. Some add real value to cutting while some are just there to catch the buyer’s eye. One of the accessories we value is the blower, which prevents the buildup of debris. You can still live without it, but this will mean some pressure on your lungs.
Projects that are more serious need the highest level of accuracy. If you are avid of such projects, consider buying a scroll saw that features a magnifier and a light. Even if you do not get the magnifier (makes pattern lines easier to follow), at least have a good lamp.
Other important accessories are:
- Foot switch
- Blade release
- Blade holder
- Safety push stick
Scrolling is one of those user-specific activities. Each user has different approaches in terms of blades used, technique used and so on-so you will have to base your choice on personal preference and experience. That is why if you are a beginner, you might find yourself changing saws severally before settling. Fortunately, we have shortened the lineup with this list.
Apart from price, brand can be a big guide for new users. Dewalt is excellent, Craftsman is superb, WEN is wonderful, but maybe you have already made your decision about these or other names. It is difficult to point at a brand as the best.
After going through all the listed products, you probably have decided which one to take home. Take care of the saw so that you can get the most from it. Finally, remember that USER safety matters most. Read the manuals and observe usage guidelines.