When it comes to selecting the best scroll saw for cutting metal, what do you think is the most crucial factor? The answer is simple: cutting power and speed! However, there are other important considerations that can influence your decision-making process. In this article, we will explore those factors and provide a comprehensive review of the best scroll saws for cutting both thin and thick metals.
Choosing a Scroll Saw for Metals
What are your needs?
Before diving into reviews and buying guides, it’s essential to determine the type of material you intend to cut with the scroll saw. Different metals require specific blades and settings, so it’s vital to know the material you’ll be working with.
For cutting thin materials like metal sheets, a variable-speed machine is ideal. These machines are easier to adjust for achieving clean cuts. Look for models with linear ball bearings, as they are of higher quality. Don’t forget to read user reviews to ensure the machine you choose has no quality issues.
Choosing the right blade
The type of material you plan to cut will determine the blade you need. If you’re cutting hardwood, opt for tough and flexible bi-metal blades. These blades are thicker than metal but won’t break when encountering knots in the wood.
For cutting thin metals or plastics, go for thin blades (0.001in). If you’re working with sheet metals thicker than 1/4in, a hacksaw drill is recommended.
Key factors to consider
When evaluating different scroll saw models, manufacturers may claim that their saw is the best in terms of power or accuracy. However, there are several crucial factors to consider before making your final decision:
- Variable speed control: Allows cutting through both hard and soft materials without changing blades.
- Vibration: Excessive vibration can cause the blade to move and mar the workpiece’s surface. Look for saws with anti-vibration systems.
- Table size: A larger table and throat capacity are beneficial for working with long pieces of metal.
- Blade tension: Different types of blades require specific tensions. Choose a saw with blade tensioning control to prevent snapping or loosening.
- Dust removal: Look for scroll saws with dust collection features to keep your workspace clean.
- Sturdiness: A sturdy blade guard and table are essential for safe and smooth operation.
- Noise levels: If you’re working in a sound-sensitive area, select a scroll saw with good noise insulation features.
Top Scroll Saws for Cutting Metal
In our search for the best scroll saws for cutting metal, we conducted thorough research to identify the top-selling models. Here are our top picks:
Porter-Cable 18″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw
The Porter-Cable scroll saw features a massive 12-5/8 by 20-inch dual-tilting metal table, allowing bevel cuts at various angles. The tool-free blade holder and cam-action blade tension adjustment make blade swapping a breeze. With a speed range of 500 to 1,500 strokes per minute (SPM), this saw offers versatile cutting power. It also boasts a robust steel stand, blade storage, and an adjustable LED work lamp. Porter-Cable provides a 90-day money-back guarantee, one year of free servicing, and a three-year limited warranty.
Rockwell RK7323 Blade Runner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw
The Rockwell Blade Runner X2 is a portable and lightweight tabletop saw, making it easy to transport. It can cut through metal, wood, aluminum, tile, and plastic, making it highly versatile. This saw offers various cutting options, including inside cuts, rips, miters, and scrolls, with a no-load speed of 3,000/min. It comes with a five-piece blade set, vacuum port, steel rip fence, and miter gauge. The Blade Runner X2 also features a three-year warranty.
Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
The Shop Fox W1713 offers all the features you could possibly want in a top scroll saw. Its cast-iron structure, variable speed control, and increased cutting capacity make it a perfect choice for both coin cutting and light woodworking. Although blade changing can be cumbersome, this saw’s overall performance compensates for it. With a no-load speed range of 550 to 1,650 SPM, it can handle cutting widths up to 16 inches and thicknesses up to two inches. The saw also includes a dust vent, blower, and gooseneck work light.
My Top 4 Picks for Scroll Saws
Here are my personal recommendations for scroll saws:
1. WEN 3921 16″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Flexible LED Light and Cast Iron Table
The WEN scroll saw is an affordable yet reliable option that gets the job done. It offers a variable speed range from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute (SPM) and features a flexible LED light for enhanced visibility. With its 16″ cast iron table, you can easily work with large pieces of wood. The blade tensioning system ensures easy adjustment and blade replacement.
2. Shop Fox W1872 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Cast Iron Table
Shop Fox may not be as well-known as other brands, but their scroll saw provides excellent value for the price. It offers similar features to the WEN model but at a slightly lower cost.
3. Delta Power Tools 40-694 20″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Delta Power Tools is a reputable brand known for producing high-quality tools. Their scroll saw combines power and precision, making it one of the top choices in its category. It features a 1/3 HP motor, an adjustable blade speed, and an arm to reduce vibrations. The saw enables detailed cuts and comes with a three-year warranty.
4. SKIL 3335-07 16″ Scroll Saw With Light, Red
For a mid-range option, the SKIL 3335-07 is a solid choice. It offers variable speed control (400 to 1600 SPM), an adjustable blade holder, and a dust port for debris collection. This user-friendly scroll saw is perfect for beginners and comes at an affordable price.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is a scroll saw suitable for cutting metal?
No, scroll saws are not ideal for cutting metal. Instead, consider using an electric or air-powered jigsaw specifically designed to cut through tougher materials. However, a scroll saw can handle precise cuts in thinner metals.
Which saw is best for making scroll cuts?
When it comes to making intricate scroll cuts, a scroll saw is one of the best tools for the job. These saws have small blades that allow for precise and intricate cuts. The design of scroll saws allows for easy maneuverability and control while working with the material.
What is the best scroll saw blade?
Several blade types are available for scroll saws, but the finest blades typically have at least 16 teeth per inch (TPI). These blades provide smooth and precise cuts.
Is buying a scroll saw worth it?
Absolutely! Scroll saws are perfect for making detailed cuts and can be used on various materials, including wood, plastic, and even metal. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced craftsman, a scroll saw is a valuable investment. They are affordable, versatile tools suitable for a wide range of projects.
If you have any experience with these models or know of better ones, please share your thoughts in the comments below or contact us through Tools Working.