If I was to ask you which factor is the most important when choosing a best scroll saw for cutting metal, what do you think it would be?
The answer: its cutting power and speed! Of course!
But did you know there are other factors that can influence your decision making process as well? Such as dust removal, noise levels etc. We’ll talk about those as well.
So what is it that you really need? What kind of metal do you want to cut? Look no further than our review below, where we picked the best scroll saws for cutting both thin and thick materials.
Table of Contents
- Choosing a scroll saw for metals
- Here are my top 4 picks when it comes to scroll saws:
Choosing a scroll saw for metals
What are your needs?
Before you start digging trough reviews and buying guides, you should decide what type of material do you want to cut with the machine. Different types of metal require different blades and settings so make sure you know what material you’ll be cutting.
If you want to cut thin materials, such as sheets of metal, then the best type of scroll saw for that is a variable-speed machine since these are much easier to adjust in order to achieve clean cuts. Also look for models with linear ball bearings (these attributes make better quality machines), or at least read some user reviews to see if the machine you’ve chosen has any quality issues.
What type of blade?
The type of material that will determine what kind of blade should be in your toolbox. If you plan on cutting through hardwood, then go with bi-metal blades that are tough and flexible. These blades tend to be thicker than metal, but don’t start breaking when they hit a knot in the wood.
If you plan on cutting through thin metals or plastics, then go with thin blades (0.001in). If you work with sheet metals thicker than 1/4in then use a hacksaw drill.
Things to consider before buying a scroll saw for cutting metal!
When looking at the various models, each manufacturer will claim their saw is the best in terms of power or accurate cuts. These are just some of the things you should consider before making your final decision:
Variable speed control- this allows cutting through both hard and soft materials without having to replace blades.
Vibration- too much vibration will cause the blade to move while cutting, which in turn could mar the surface of your workpiece. Better quality machines come with an anti-vibration system.
Table size- bigger is better! If you plan on working with long pieces, go for a machine that has a bigger throat capacity.
Blade tension- there are 2 types of blades, push and pull. The former is perfect for thin materials and plastic while the latter cuts metal better. Make sure you get a saw with blade tensioning control so that your blade doesn’t snap due to excess pressure or loosen from vibrations.
Dust removal- if it’s not a vacuum unit then you’ll need to get yourself a good dust mask and make sure there are some sort of dust collection features on the machine.
Sturdiness- this is an important factor for both the blade guard, if it’s flimsy you won’t be able to use it while working (which in turn could cause accidents) and the table that will make your work smoother.
Noise levels- as with every power tool, it gets loud. If you plan on working in a sound sensitive area then go for a scroll saw that has good noise insulation features.
Factors to consider when choosing the best scroll saw.
And now we’ll talk about each of these factors in more detail.
Vibration, vibration and more vibration
If you’ve used cheap scroll saws in the past then you know what I’m talking about. If the machine doesn’t have an anti-vibration system then it’s definitely not worth your money (and might even cause accidents). A sturdy unit with a good build means no vibrations, or at least very little so that the blade isn’t affected.
Variable speed and constant speed
The latter type is best for cutting metals since you’ll need as much power as possible to get through harder surfaces. Variable speeds are better for plastics and thin metal sheets. If you’re looking for a tool to cut wood then it’s best to find a scroll saw with both speeds.
And now table size and throat capacity. The larger the better, in other words! There’s no point buying a small machine that can only hold smaller pieces of wood unless you plan on not using it much. If you think this might be the case then go for a mini model instead (I’ll talk about these in more detail below).
Variable speed control and blade tension are also two important features to consider. Variable speeds are great for when you need different types of blades, push or pull ones. Blade tensioning control is best since it prevents snapping the blade due to excess pressure and makes your work smoother (no vibrations!). Dust collection I’ve already mentioned, it’s a vital feature to have on any scroll saw.
Some people claim that an expensive machine is always a better choice than the cheaper ones. But this isn’t always true, as in some cases you could just be paying for the brand name. That’s why I chose to include both high-end and budget models so that you can pick what fits your needs best, whether it’s due to price or features.
I also want to mention mini models. These saws are usually smaller than the average ones and come with a small table (you can’t hold big pieces of wood in them). If you’re not going to use it on a regular basis, this might be an option worth considering as they don’t require much space nor electricity.
Here are my top 4 picks when it comes to scroll saws:
1.WEN 3921 16″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Flexible LED Light and Cast Iron Table
The WEN scroll saw is a great choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive but quality model that can get the job done. It has a variable speed from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute (spm) and features an LED light that will help you work even in dimly lit areas. The 16″ table is big enough for cutting large pieces of wood and the blade can be tensioned easily thanks to its system.
2.Shop Fox W1872 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Cast Iron Table
Shop Fox might not be as popular as other brands but their scroll saw is a great choice if you’re on a budget. It has the same features as the WEN, but it’s actually slightly cheaper.
3.Delta Power Tools 40-694 20″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Delta is a known brand for making high quality tools. Their scroll saw has similar features as the previous models with a few additions that make it one of the best in its range. What I like about this model is that it’s very powerful (1/3 HP motor) and quiet, even in higher speeds. There’s an arm that reduces vibration and you can adjust the speed at which the blade rises up or down (which is great for detailed cuts).
4. SKIL 3335-07 16″, Scroll Saw With Light,Red
If you’re looking for a mid-price range model then I would recommend SKIL’s unit. It has all the basic features that you could need, including variable speed (between 400 and 1600 strokes per minute), an adjustable blade holder for tensioning and a dust port to collect debris during cutting.
If you have any experience with these models or know a better one, please let me know in the comments below.