Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published Jan. 22, 2019

A scroll saw is a versatile tool and a great resource for those who frequently work with wood. Because its tip is small compared to other types of saws, it’s perfect for working with intricate designs — the wooden jigsaws you may have played with as a child were probably cut using a scroll saw.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a scroll saw, you may feel a little overwhelmed by how many options you have to choose from — and that’s where we come in. We’ve handpicked the top scroll saws on the market and provide the lowdown on each. To help you stay safe and get the most out of your new tool, we’ve also addressed some common questions and concerns about scroll saws. With this information, you’ll be able to find the right saw for your needs in no time.

The Best Scroll Saw

This Delta scroll saw features a variable speed motor, which can be adjusted from 400 to 1,750 strokes per minute, making it ideal for a wide variety of cutting purposes. The dural parallel link arm design has been created to reduce vibration and noise, preventing distraction and significantly improving accuracy.

The upper arm easily lifts and locks in its raised position during blade changes and while adjusting the blade position for simple alteration. This mechanism makes the blades easy to change, too. Delta Power’s saw also has all the useful features you’d expect: a hold-down shoe for improved accuracy and a handy dust blower to keep your work surface clear. The surface can be easily tilted with an adjustable knob, so you can access your workpiece from almost any angle.

Key Features
  • Variable speed scroll saw
  • Speeds can be adjusted from 400 to 1,750 strokes per minute
  • Dual parallel link arm design reduces vibration and noise
  • Blade changes are easy
  • Hold-down shoe keeps work in place and improves accuracy
  • Dust blower keeps work surface clear
  • Surface can be tiled with an adjustable knob
Specification
  • Brand Delta
  • Model 40-694
  • Weight 60 pounds

Next on our list is Rockwell and its amusingly named BladeRunner. The tabletop mounted scroll saw is light enough to be portable and versatile enough to cut wood, metal, tile, plastic, aluminum, miter, and more.

The device is compatible with four-inch t-shank jigsaw blades, which can be changed without any tools in as little as three seconds. The saw is capable of performing rip, cross, scroll, and miter cuts, while a rip fence mounted on either side of the blade keeps you in total control even during long cuts. The steady blade mount frees both hands to feed the material for excellent accuracy, no matter the material or type of cut.

Key Features
  • Table top mounted, portable scroll saw
  • Features a useful carry handle
  • Capable of cutting wood, metal, tile, plastic, aluminum, and miter
  • Compatible with any 4 inch t-shank jigsaw blades
  • Blades can be changed in as little as 3 seconds, without the need for tools
  • Capable of executing rip, cross, scroll, and miter cuts
  • Rip fence helps you stay in total control of the cutting
  • Firmly mounted blade for confident two-handed guiding
Specification
  • Brand Rockwell
  • Model RK7323
  • Weight 17 pounds

No list of top scroll saws would be complete without at least one entry from DEWALT – a powerhouse of the tool manufacturing world. This particular DEWALT scroll saw features a variable speed motor, so it’s easy to adjust no matter what type of material you’re working with.

Its sturdy design may not be portable, but the saw more than makes up for this with its solid build and ease of use. The tool boasts a double parallel-link arm design, engineered to drastically reduce vibration and noise as you work for distraction-free, highly accurate cutting. It also comes equipped with a flexible dust blower, keeping your view clear, and an easily accessible blade-tensioning lever located on the front upper arm. DEWALT even made blade changes convenient. Thanks to its tool-free release clamp, blades can be switched out in a matter of seconds.

Key Features
  • DEWALT scroll saw featuring variable speed 1.3 Amp motor
  • Sturdy table top design
  • User-friendly configuration
  • Double parallel-link arm is designed to minimise noise and vibration during use
  • Equipped with a flexible dust blower
  • Tool-free blade release mechanism makes blades quick and easy to switch out
  • Includes hex wrench and blades
  • Comes with a 3 year limited warranty
Specification
  • Brand DEWALT
  • Model DW788
  • Weight 56 pounds

The next tool on our list is this WEN scroll saw. The saw’s unique design can accept blades in two directions – standard and at 90 degrees – so it has excellent versatility. Also, its variable speed motor can be easily adjusted to fit the material you’re working with and the cut you’re using.

The saw’s spacious table can be adjusted up to 45-degrees left, allowing you to perform angled cuts with ease, and its durable cast-iron base means you never need to worry about slippages. The saw has other useful features too: a flexible LED light makes it easy to see your work, and an air pump and dust port combine to keep debris at bay. The hold-down clamp also helps prevent your material from sliding, reducing frustration and vastly improving accuracy. Every WEN saw includes three blades to get you started, a hex wrench, and a two-year warranty.

Key Features
  • Unique saw design can accept blades at two angles – standard and at 90 degrees
  • Variable speed motor
  • Spacious table can be adjusted to angles up to 45 degrees
  • Durable cast iron base
  • Flexible LED light helps you see your work surface perfectly
  • Air pump and dust port blow sawdust and other debris away from your work space
  • Hold-down clamp keeps work in place and prevents slippage
  • Includes a hex wrench and three blades
  • Two year warranty included
Specification
  • Brand WEN
  • Model 3920
  • Weight 26 pounds

At under six pounds, this Dremel scroll saw is one of the lightest on the market.  It’s attached to a tabletop or bench through a simple-to-use clamping system, making it easy to install wherever you are. By removing the saw from its base, you can also use the device as a handheld motorised coping saw.

The versatile tool can cut through almost anything – from wood and laminate to PVC, plexi-glass and aluminum. Blade changes are quick and easy, thanks to auto-tensioning, while its variable speed makes cutting different materials a breeze. Each saw comes with a selection of 10 blades that are suitable for wood, plastic, and metal, as well as a hard case for easy transportation and storage.

Key Features
  • Lightweight design is under six pounds
  • Can be clamped to any tabletop or bench
  • Tool can be removed from base and used as a handheld, motorised coping saw
  • Cuts through almost anything; wood, metal, and plastic
  • Quick and easy blade changes thanks to auto-tensioning
  • Variable speed
  • Includes a selection of 10 blades
  • Includes hard case for easy transportation
Specification
  • Brand Dremel
  • Model MS2001
  • Weight 5.29 pounds

The next saw on our list is by SKIL. Featuring a rip fence and articulated LED light, the saw makes accurate cutting a breeze. A 1.5-inch dust port keeps your work area clear of dirt and dust, so you see what you’re doing no matter what.

A simple-to-use rack and pinion table make it easy to adjust the angle and height of the table, so it’s simple to work on intricate cuts no matter where they’re positioned. The saw also includes a three-year Benchtop Warranty, showing the faith it puts in its product.

Key Features
  • Tabletop scroll saw with single speed motor
  • Rip fence helps improve accuracy
  • Flexible LED light for better visibility
  • Dust port keeps work area free of sawdust
  • Simple rack and pinion table can be adjusted to different angles
  • Includes a three year warranty
  • Includes one saw blade
  • Perfect for wood crafting projects
Specification
  • Brand SKIL
  • Model 3386-01
  • Weight 36 pounds

Shop Fox made it onto our list with its durable, variable speed scroll saw. The tool features a variable speed motor and 16-inch cutting surface, making it an incredibly versatile tool. An adjustable work light mounted atop the saw means seeing your work is easy and significantly improves accuracy.

The saw also features a dust blower and port, keeping sawdust and debris out of your way so you can easily see what you’re doing. A tilting table also makes it easy to work on your project from any angle, operated easily with a knob. Meanwhile, an adjustable hold-down shoe prevents your workpiece from slipping out of place for improved accuracy. Blade changes are easy, and the saw can accept both plain and pin-end saw blades.

Key Features
  • Durable variable-speed scroll saw
  • 16 inch cutting surface
  • Features an adjustable work light
  • Dust blower and port keeps sawdust and debris at bay
  • Tilting table allows you to access workpiece from various angles
  • Adjustable hold-down shoe keeps work firmly in place
  • Easy to change blades
  • Can accept both plain and pin-end saw blades
  • Quiet to operate
Specification
  • Brand Shop Fox
  • Model W1713
  • Weight 37.5 pounds

This Ryobi scroll saw also caught our attention. It’s capable of cutting workpieces of up to 16 inches and features a variable speed motor that can produce between 550 and 1,600 strokes per minute. This adjustability makes it an ideal choice if you tend to work on a wide variety of materials.

The work surface can be titled from zero to 45 degrees, allowing you to access your work from whatever angle you need, while a fully integrated dust blower keeps your cutting line clear, significantly improving visibility and accuracy. The tool-free blade change mechanism makes it easy to change between blades, so you can rest assured the saw is up for whatever job you need it for.

Key Features
  • Scroll saw featuring a variable speed motor (550 to 1,600 strokes per minute)
  • Work surface can accommodate workpieces up to 16 inches in size
  • Surface can be tilted from zero to 45 degrees
  • Integrated dust-blower keeps your line of sight clear
  • Tool-free blade change mechanism
Specification
  • Brand Ryobi
  • Model SC165VS
  • Weight 26.5 pounds

Best Scroll Saw Buying Guide & FAQ

These 10 scroll saws represent the best of the market right now – whether you’re a professional woodworker, DIY enthusiast, or somewhere in between, we’re confident you’ll be able to find a saw in this collection to meet your needs.

We’ve also answered some common questions about scroll saws, so you can rest assured you’ll end up with a saw that meets your needs, and get the most out of it too.

Features to Consider When Buying a Scroll Saw

Not all scroll saws are created equal – from Porter Cable scroll saws, to Craftsman scroll saws, they often have very different features. We’ve listed some common scroll saw features to bear in mind below:

  • Variable Speed Motor

If you’re planning to use your new saw on a wide range of materials, it could be worth investing in a model that offers adjustable cutting speeds. This feature will help you optimise the saw’s set-up, to best match the job you’re working on.

  • Dust Blower

To help improve visibility and accuracy, many scroll saws are equipped with a dust blower. As the name suggests, this feature blows sawdust and other debris away from your workpiece, improving visibility and helping to keep potentially harmful particles away from the saw’s motor.

  • Work Light

As basic as it sounds, having a work light installed on your scroll saw can actually be a huge help. When working in dim conditions, this targeted light will afford you a much better view of your work surface, improving accuracy and preventing eye fatigue.

  • Tilting Work Surface

Another feature to bear in mind is the tilting work surface. Scroll saws that can tilt allow you to work on your project from different angles, which can be useful when it comes to carving those more intricate designs.

  • Parallel Link Arm

The parallel link arm design helps to reduce vibration and noise produced by a scroll saw during operation. If you plan on using your new saw for particularly intricate jobs, this could be a feature worth splashing out for. Fewer vibrations will improve your cutting accuracy, while a quieter machine means fewer distractions.

  • Rip Fence

The rip fence is a guide that helps you to cut evenly, precisely, and safely. Many scroll saws come with their own rip fence, but you may have to purchase one separately. Whichever option you choose, be sure not to go without a rip fence – it does a lot to protect your hands from the saw’s blade.

  • Tool-Free Blade Release

When shopping for a scroll saw, it’s also a good idea to think about the scroll saw blades that accompany it. Different blades are designed for different materials and tasks, so if you need your new saw for a diverse variety of tasks, choosing a scroll with a quick-release blade could be a good option.

What is a Scroll Saw Used For?

The blade of a scroll saw can cut much more smoothly and delicately than other types of saws, making it perfect for smaller details.

Some uses include:

  • Cutting angles
  • Creating curves
  • Crafting dovetail joints
  • Marquetry
  • Creating jigsaws

Why Do You Need A Scroll Saw?

Scroll saws are a versatile piece of ki, which make a great addition to any DIY tool kit. They fill a vital gap by cutting intricate designs that just can’t be achieved with other saws. Below are some of the main benefits that come with investing in a good quality scroll saw:

  • They’re are ideal for intricate cutting
  • These saws are the best option for crafts – from jigsaws to carvings
  • Scroll saws create fine, smooth cuts, which often don’t need to be sanded
  • They can be used to cut the inside of a material
  • They are ideal for small, thin workpieces
  • Scroll saws can be used on a variety of materials; wood, plastic, metal, cork and more

Scroll Saw Vs. Band Saw

If you’ve been thinking about buying a powered saw for woodworking purposes, you’ve probably come across the band saw. They’re useful to have around, and perform essentially the opposite function of a scroll saw.

  • Scroll Saw

Perfect for making intricate cuts, the scroll saw utilises a thin, short blade, which moves up and down during use. These saws are especially good at making circular cuts and plunge cuts. However, they’re not suitable for cutting material any thicker than an inch.

On the other hand, band saws offer a lot more power. They’re ideal for cutting material that is at least two inches thick, and use a continuously rotating blade rather than an oscillating one. They’re ideal for cutting straight lines quickly and accurately, but produce rougher edges than a scroll saw, and can’t make inside or plunge cuts.

Clearly, each type of saw has its own special function, and dedicated woodworkers may require both for certain projects.

Best Scroll Saw FAQ:

Q: How can I tell if the tension on my scroll saw is right?

You can adjust the tension on your scroll saw’s blade through either a lever or screw – the instruction manual will provide more information. To check the tension, apply light tension to the blade with a finger and listen to the tone it produces: a high pitched tone indicates that the tension is too high, whereas a low pitched tone indicates it is too loose. If in doubt, you can check the tone against an online video. If the blade bends to the side when you slide wood through the saw, the tension is too low. If the blade breaks, the tension was too high.

Q: Is it possible to stop the blade clamp from slipping?

If your scroll saw is in good condition, and you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, you shouldn’t have an issue with the blade slipping out of place. If you do notice your blade slipping, ensure it’s in good condition, and has been properly installed, at the right tension. This tends to be an issue with plain end blades rather than pinned end blades, so if you’re concerned, be sure to use the latter.

Q: Can I cut plexiglas with a scroll saw?

You can, but you’ll need to take special precautions. A scroll saw’s oscillating blade produces enough heat to melt the plexiglas rather than cutting it, making for a messy finish and potentially a damaged blade. You can prevent this by taking steps to keep things cool:

  • Leave the backing paper on the plexiglas as you cut, and apply masking tape too – this dissipates some of the heat
  • If you have a compressor, aim a jet of cool air at the blade as you cut
  • Lubricate the blade to reduce friction, using a dry lubricant such as WD-40
  • Use a fine blade to avoid chipping and shattering

Q: How do I cut corners?

Cutting tight corners with a scroll saw can by a tricky affair, but luckily it comes with practise. For the tightest corners, be sure to pull back slightly once you’ve cut to where the corner will be. Next, quickly spin the wood 180 degrees with one hand, while using the finger of another to create a stable pivot point. Related Posts: Reciprocating Saws, Tile Saws and Pole Saws

Our Top Pick

The top scroll saw is by Delta: the Delta Tools 40-694. You can adjust the speed based on the application, and it’s designed to minimize vibration as well as improve accuracy. The tool-free blade changing system allows you to switch between blades in just a few seconds, and once the blade is in place the tool bevels zero to 45-degrees left and right. The saw also features a flexible dust blower, electronic variable speed dial, and blade-tensioning lever that are located on the arm for added convenience. With all these features at an affordable price point, the Delta scroll saw is an excellent option.

If you’re looking for a dependable, user-friendly, and versatile saw, look no further than Delta. Related Post: Best Bench Vises

Sources:

  1. How to Use a Scroll Saw – wikiHow
  2. Scroll saw – Wikipedia
 

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