Scroll saws come in a variety of types and it can be overwhelming when trying to choose the right one for your needs. Factors to consider include throat length, tabletop tilt, blade type, power speed, and more. Don’t worry, though – we’re here to make things easier for you. In this article, we’ll provide you with a detailed review of the top 8 scroll saws on the market, along with useful information to help you make an informed decision. Let’s dive in!
What is a Scroll Saw?
A scroll saw is an electric saw that operates using a foot pedal. Unlike a band saw, a scroll saw uses a reciprocating blade that moves up and down for cuts. This unique design allows for nimble and flexible cutting. One of the standout features of a scroll saw is its ability to cut from the center of the material. For example, you can cut outward from the center of a wood piece without any cuts from the edge. This allows for greater design flexibility.
How to Choose the Best Scroll Saw
Choosing the right scroll saw for your needs is crucial to avoid any regrets. Here are some factors to consider:
When purchasing a scroll saw, it’s important to understand the different types of blades available. There are two main options: flat blades and pin-end blades. Flat blades are difficult to change out but can work well in tight spaces, making them suitable for a wide range of projects. Pin-end blades, on the other hand, are easy to change but have limited options. They are more prone to breaking during tight turns. Some scroll saws can accommodate both types of blades, but they tend to be more expensive. Choose your blades wisely based on your specific needs.
The tensioning of the scroll saw blade plays a crucial role in cutting performance. Look for a scroll saw with a tensioning knob or lever that is easily accessible. Some models have the tensioning lever at the rear, which can be challenging for beginners. Consider the type of materials you’ll be working with, as different tensioning levels are required for different types of blades and materials.
The speed of a scroll saw is determined by the stroke per minute (SPM). Most standard scroll saws have a single speed mode ranging from 400 to 800 SPM. Keep in mind that the speed you choose should be suitable for the type of materials you’ll be cutting. If possible, opt for a scroll saw that offers adjustable speeds to meet your specific needs.
Throat size refers to the distance from the blade back to the rear of the scroll saw. This measurement is crucial as it determines the size of the material you can cut. For beginners, a 16-inch throat size is recommended, as it allows for detailed work with small pieces.
Some scroll saws feature a blade or table tilt for making cuts at certain angles. Most saws have either a left or right tilt, while some offer both. Make sure the scroll saw you choose has a fixed angle. It’s a good idea to bring a sample material to the store and test the tilt to ensure it meets your requirements.
Consider your budget when purchasing a scroll saw. While you can find quality scroll saws for around $200, you may also come across cheaper options at flea markets or pawn shops. However, prioritize the features of the scroll saw over the price tag, as a high-quality saw can significantly improve your work speed and overall results.
While you can work with a basic scroll saw, there are several add-ons that can make your work easier. One essential add-on is a dust blower, which helps clear dust from the cutting area for safer and cleaner conditions. Work lights can also be useful for improved visibility, although they may not be necessary if you have a well-lit workspace. Consider your specific needs and avoid spending money on unnecessary extras.
Best Scroll Saws of 2021
Now that we’ve discussed the factors to consider when choosing a scroll saw, let’s review the top 8 scroll saws available in the market:
Best Scroll Saw Under $100
- HF Tools 16in Variable Speed Scroll Saw
The HF Tools Scroll Saw is an affordable option for those on a tight budget. It offers a balance of durability, performance, and versatility, making it a great choice for beginners. With variable speeds ranging from 400 to 1,600 SPM, this scroll saw can handle both larger and smaller tasks. It can cut intricate designs and curves accurately, thanks to its sturdy cast iron base that minimizes vibration. The HF Tools 16in Scroll Saw is compatible with both flat and pinned blades, providing flexibility for your projects.
- Affordable price
- Easy to use and beginner-friendly
- Variable speed for versatility
- Suitable for various materials
- Provides a precise cutting experience
- Some users reported issues with the tension spring connection
- The blade quality could be improved
- WEN 3921 16-inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw
The WEN 3921 Scroll Saw is a successor to the popular 3920 model. It offers enhanced functionality and features that can make your work easier. With a flexible work light, tool-free blade changes, an air pump, and a variable speed control that ranges from 400 to 1,600 SPM, this scroll saw is a great choice for those on a budget. Its large table provides ample space for cutting various materials. While it may not compare to higher-end models, the WEN 3921 is still suitable for intricate and small-scale projects.
- Extraordinary features and functionality
- Workable flex light
- Variable speed adjustment
- Can handle various materials and tasks
- Construction quality could be improved
- Some users experienced issues with stability
Best Scroll Saw Under $200
- Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
The Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw is a specialized tool designed for finishing work. Its variable speed adjustment, sturdy cast iron construction, and extraordinary cutting capacity make it a top choice in the under $200 category. This scroll saw comes with a flexible work light for improved visibility and a dust blower to keep your work area clean. It offers a table tilt feature and can handle both pinned and flat blades, allowing for greater versatility in cutting various materials.
- Flexible work light
- Dust blower for a clean workspace
- Affordable price
- Suitable for intricate cuts
- Compatible with different blade types
- Some users reported issues with vibration at high speeds
- Lack of tilt function for creating beveled cuts
- ShopSeries RK7315 16″ Scroll Saw with Variable Speed Control
The ShopSeries RK7315 Scroll Saw is a lightweight option that’s perfect for workshops. It offers a table flexibility of 0-45 degrees and a blade that can turn by 90 degrees, allowing for various cutting angles. With variable speed control ranging from 500 to 1700 SPM, this scroll saw is suitable for a wide range of projects. It can cut materials up to 2.5 inches thick. While the blade may require frequent resetting and the table inserts could be improved, the ShopSeries RK7315 is still a reliable option in its price range.
- Lightweight and portable
- Blade can turn by 90 degrees
- Variable speed control
- Can handle thick cuts
- Blade may require frequent resetting
- Table inserts could be improved
- BUCKTOOL 16-inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
The BUCKTOOL 16-inch Scroll Saw is known for its vibration reduction and stability. This scroll saw offers flexibility in working with various materials and features a dust blower to keep your workspace clean. The variable speed control allows for precise cutting, ranging from 550 to 1650 SPM. With a 16-inch throat depth, it can handle cuts up to 2 inches thick. The BUCKTOOL 16-inch Scroll Saw also features a convenient pedal switch design for hands-free operation.
- Vibration-free and stable operation
- Can work with various materials
- Dust blower for a clean workspace
- Convenient pedal switch design
- No reported issues
Best Scroll Saw Around $300
- Delta Power Tools 40-694 Scroll Saw
The Delta Power Tools 40-694 Scroll Saw offers precise cutting capabilities with its electronic variable speeds ranging from 400 to 1750 SPM. It has a 20-inch throat length, allowing for cuts in large, sturdy wood materials. The scroll saw features a 1.3-AMP motor for more power and a cast iron base for stability. It can bevel up to 45 degrees on both sides, a feature not commonly found in other scroll saws. While it comes with a higher price tag and may be challenging to assemble, the Delta Power Tools 40-694 is a reliable option for those willing to invest.
- 45-degree tilt on both sides
- Variable speeds of 400-1750 SPM
- Little noise and vibration
- Suitable for large wood cutouts
- Challenging assembly process
Best Scroll Saw Under $500
- DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw
The DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw is a high-quality product from a reputable brand. Its tool-free blade changes make swapping out blades a breeze, and it offers a cutting depth range of 0.75 to 2 inches. The DW788 is known for its minimal vibration, thanks to its cast iron structure and double parallel-link arm. With a 20-inch throat length, it provides ample space for cutting different materials. The scroll saw boasts variable speeds from 400 to 1750 SPM, powered by a 1.3-AMP motor. While the placement of the blade may not be centered and there is room for improvement in that regard, the DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw is a top choice for those willing to invest in a high-quality scroll saw.
- Minimal noise and vibration
- 45-degree table tilt
- Easy threading of cuts
- Tool-free blade changes
- Blade placement may not be centered
- Excalibur 16″ Tilting Head Scroll Saw
The Excalibur 16″ Scroll Saw is a versatile tool suitable for various applications. Its tilting head blade allows for stable material support during cutting, enhancing control and accuracy. The scroll saw features variable speed control ranging from 400 to 1400 SPM, accommodating a wide range of materials and tasks. The cast iron construction reduces vibration, resulting in more accurate cuts. The Excalibur 16″ Scroll Saw also includes a Flexi-shaft dust blower and offers a large work table for added convenience. However, the table’s durability and resistance to scratches could be improved.
- Special tilting head blade
- Variable speed control
- Cutting depth of 2 inches
- Table is not highly durable or scratch-resistant
- Cleaning can be time-consuming due to table holes
We’ve provided you with an in-depth review of the top 8 scroll saws in the market, as well as essential factors to consider when choosing the best one for your needs. Each scroll saw comes with its own pros and cons, so it’s important to carefully evaluate the features before making a decision. Remember, investing in a quality scroll saw will significantly enhance your work speed and overall results. If you have any other suggestions or questions, feel free to reach out. Happy scrolling!