What is a jigsaw good for? If you're going to ask this question, take note—once you understand what a scroll saw can do, it can take your woodworking projects to a whole new level. With that disclaimer out of the way, let's dive right in.
At the risk of oversimplifying things, a scroll saw is basically like a top saw turned into a power tool. In short, it is used to make the most complex cuts. If you visit a craft or art show and see very fine curves cut into wood or metal, chances are the artist used a scroll saw to make it. Thanks to this professional tool, I once saw an American silhouette made of cypress trees with impressive detail around the New England coastline.
While the basic features of a scroll saw don't vary much between models, the sizes of material you can work with do. Small ones start with tables around 12 inches and you can find professional models all the way up to 30 inches. Most serious woodworkers and professionals use a table saw in the 16 to 21 inch range.
How does it work?
The most popular form of this type of tool uses two arms parallel to the table. Between them, there is a thin blade that moves up and down to create a sawing action. You place your workpiece into it while the tool operates the blade.
Most models have a variable speed dial to help you vary the speed. Many have a pedal switch, so when the blade starts moving, your hands are free to handle the material.
Like the mockups we used in the photos? You can read more about the Skil 16" Scroll Saw in our review, or click the button below and pick one up for yourself!