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Best Scroll Saw – Reviews & Buying Guide

Are you looking for the best scroll saw that fits your budget and requirements? All scroll saws have the same function, and that is to make curves when you cut copper, brass, plastic and wood and other materials. However, the design varies significantly: older models are powered by pedals, while the modern ones are electric, and the features vary as well. These are somewhat similar to band saws in terms of function, but instead of a loop blade uses a reciprocating blade.

With so many scroll saws, deciding what to buy can be difficult, but we have saved you the trouble of going through the thousands of scroll saws, as we picked out the top 5. Without further ado, here they are.

Best Scroll Saw - Our Top Picks

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Picture

Scroll Saw

Brand

Class

Review

Editor Rating

Delta

High End

HF Tools

Mid Range

DeWalt

High End

Proxxon 37088

Proxxon

Mid Range

Dremel

Low End

Our Top Scroll Saw Reviews

Delta 40-694

Throat depth: 20 inches

Dimensions: 30 x 20 x 13 inches

Read some of the expert opinions and you will see that the Delta 40-694 is almost always mentioned near the top. Equipped with electric variable speeds, this saw gives you a lot of ways to work with different cuts while providing a good deal of adjustability.

Design and Features

The Delta saw table can tilt on either side, and it’s this feature that makes the saw more flexible and easier to maneuver compared to other scroll saws. The design makes the Delta one of the more versatile scroll saws as it cuts through wood, plastic and other materials with ease.

The blades are sharp and should last a long time, and when the time comes that a change is necessary, it won’t take long as the change doesn’t require the use of hardware. In fact the change clamp kits are already bundled with the product.

Usability

The Delta saw’s table is a bit on the large side but does what it’s supposed to. Regardless of the material you’re working with, the Delta won’t generate any vibration, essential if you’re going to use this extensively. The Delta doesn’t produce a lot of noise, and the adjusting the blade tension is convenient.

Delta saws are known for their durability, and the ease of use makes it ideal for a wide range of projects. Spiral saw blades are especially good for cutting curves, a process that usually takes a long time. The actual cutting is smooth and the hold down mechanism works just fine. The adjustable air blower is also a nice feature and keeps the saw humming.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Cuts through different materials

Cons

  • May need some lubrication out of the box

What Does it Usually Come With?

The Delta 40-694 usually comes with multiple electronic variable speed settings, and the compact design makes it ideal for use by DIYers. The package includes a dust blower, a work light, a stand and the saw. The bundled table is generally sized at 16” x 24” and overall the Delta 40-694 is very dependable and the design should suit beginners and advanced users alike.

HF Tools 16″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw

Throat depth: 16 inches

Dimensions: 24 x 11 x 14 inches

The HF Tools scroll saw combines power, usability and precision. One of the first things you will notice with the HF scroll saw is the stability of the base, and it is this feature that prevents the scroll saw from vibrating.

Design and Features

The table is stamped steel, but even though it’s not the same as aluminum or cast iron, it’s still functional and doesn’t affect the stability. The saw comes with an air bellow and that helps keep your project flowing smoothly. As a lot of customers have noted, the air blower ranks high in the efficiency department, and the table has plenty of holes for easy mounting.

Usability

Marketing and price wise the HF is aimed at budget users, but don’t let the word budget mislead you: the HF Tool is a powerful scroll saw and allows you to cut complex curves and shapes with a degree of accuracy not found in other low cost scroll saws. The scroll saw also lets you use a 5 inch blade, and removing and inserting blades won’t present any problems.

The speed range is from 400 to 1600 strokes a minute, more than enough for extended workloads, and being able to cut through two inch thick wood should more than suffice for most. The saw also lets you work on bevel cuts as you can tilt the table by 45 degrees, something you don’t often come across in other saws.

Pros

  • Easy to change blades
  • Variable speed control
  • Good for bevel cuts

Cons

  • Table is not aluminium

What Does it Usually Come With?

The saw usually comes with the blades, a table, add on clamps, a shoe and a blower. There are more powerful saws but the HF is more than enough for DIY tasks and if you’re a beginner.

Dewalt DW788 1.3 Amp

Throat depth:  20 inches

Dimensions: 29.5 x 19.5 x 12.1 inches

The Dewalt DW788 1.3 Amp is one of our top choices for best scroll saw for the money, as its features and functions are suitable for the professional yet easy enough for DIYer to learn. 

Setting up the DW788 on the cast table won’t take long, and it helps that the saw doesn’t have a lot of complex components or inserts to work with.

Design and Features

Changing the blades is a straightforward process and adjusting the tension is easy as the control is accessible. Design wise the DW788 makes it convenient to cut at the proper angle, and the top arm provides some of the highest degree of flexibility that we have come across in scroll saws, and this helps when it comes to cutting and handling.

The front and rear blades are fixed, and there’s no need to worry about burning wood edges as the blades are precise. Speaking of which, Dewalt has always been known for their durable blades, and the DW788 is no exception. In terms of construction the saw puts a lot of stress on bearings, and while that adds to the weight this is more than compensated for by its anti-vibration feature.

Usability

As noted above, the DW788 is vibration free so you’re not going to feel any jarring even if you use this on a continuous basis. The DW788 doesn’t produce a lot of noise, and for that a lot of DIYers will be grateful. As far as general usability goes this is one of the easiest ones to operate. The on / off switch and the variable speed provide just the right number of options without being too complex.

Pros

  • No vibration
  • Cuts smoothly
  • Well designed

Cons

  • Advanced users may want more features

What Does it Usually Come With?

The Dewalt DW788 usually comes with a couple of blades and a cast table. It’s easy enough to position this on a workbench, but in many cases the stand will suffice and provide the mobility you need. As far as features and capabilities are concerned, the Dewalt DW788 is a winner.

Proxxon 37088

Throat depth:  12 inches

Dimensions: 13.3 x 8.6 x 5 inches

The Proxxon is on our list of the top scroll saws because it packs a lot of power. Easy to assemble and capable of cutting through two inches of wood, the Proxxon is suitable for any number of DIY tasks.

Design and Features

The design is compact and runs quietly, with only a slight humming heard and the air blower nozzle is adjustable so you can maintain sight of the cutting line. The base is made of cast iron and provides stability to keep the saw from vibrating during operation.

The table is die cast and can tilt up to 45 degrees, allowing you to create a wide range of special effects such as marquetry, lettering sawing chamfers inlays and more. Furthermore the arm with ball bearing is fitted with a handle so you can adjust the blade handle with no trouble.

Usability

The Proxxon cuts cleanly and is useful for construction projects, die making, model building and more. It can cut different types of materials including cork, rubber leather, polystyrene foams, fiberglass or acrylics. The cutting capacity is 25/64 for non-ferrous metals 1 3/16 for plastics and 1 ½ for wood.

The saw has a compartment where you can store pin blades, and the clamping jaws lets you use the blades with plain ends. A T-Allen key is included for easy adjustment and the inclusion of several blades for coarse and fine work is a nice touch. There’s also an adapter for a dust extractor or a vacuum cleaner.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Easy to use
  • Adjustment is quick

Cons

  • A bit expensive

What Does it Usually Come With?

The saw usually comes with 5 blades for fine cutting and 5 blades for coarse work and an air blower.

Dremel MS20-01

Throat depth:  10 inches

Dimensions: 18.5 x 14.5 x 4.8 inches

The Dremel MS20-01 is one of the top scroll saws for sale today, ideal for the hobbyist as well as the craftsman. As you’ll see, the Dremel isn’t lacking in features and should be more than sufficient when it comes to performance.

Design and Features

The Dremel is equipped with a unique dust adapter that should keep your workspace clean, and the automatic tension adjustment system optimizes blade tension and accessory use. The tensioning is also well implemented and simplifies a lot of your work.

One of the biggest strengths of the Dremel is the variable speed control as it allows you to set just the right speed for the material you’re working on. A look at the package reveals there is a quick clamp feature that attaches to surfaces, benches and tables. Of course none of these features will matter if the Dremel didn’t do a good job with cutting, but fortunately it does.

Usability

The Dremel MS20-01 goes through metal, laminates, plastic and wood with no trouble, and the detachable coping feature means you can switch from a fixed scroll saw and use it like a coping saw, something that’s not possible with other saws.

The side cutting blade is ideal for large curved and straight cuts on plastic or wood, and the pin end design allows for quick blade changes. The plastic and wood blade is the best tool for cutting carpet, foam, plastic, soft wood and other soft material. The fine wood blade on the other hand, is for creating precise curved or straight cuts in an assortment of materials. There’s also a metal blade included.

Pros

  • Auto tension adjustment works well
  • Cuts through various materials
  • Powerful

Cons

  • Only accepts specific blade pins

What Does it Usually Come With?

The Dremel MS20-01 usually comes with 1 MS53 metal blade, 4 MS52 fine wood blades, 4 MS51 wood & plastic blades, 1 MS50 side cutting blade and a vacuum adapter.

Scroll Saw Sizing

When you read scroll saw reviews, sizing is often mentioned and this is obtained from measuring the blade all the way to the saw frame’s rear. The throat depth is from 12 inches to 30 inches, though the longer ones are usually found in commercial scroll saws.

For DIY projects, at least 10 inches will be required, and a 16 inch throat can reach the center of a 30 inch workpiece, and rotating the material during the operation means you can cut the pattern quickly. As far as depth capacity goes, the majority can cut from 1-3/4 inches and 2-1/4 inches.

Speed

The speed of a scroll saw varies among models with the basic ones running at 400 strokes per minute while those in the high end reaching 1800 SPMs. As you would have noticed in the reviews, the newer models have variable speed selection so you can set the speed accordingly.

Cutting metal for instance, requires high speed while working with complex shapes and patterns often requires the speed to be slowed for better control.

  • Slow speed : For soft plastics, walnut, veneers, brittle materials, thin materials
  • Medium speed : Non-ferrous metals, thicker wood
  • High speed : Most woods, paper, leather

The Blade

When you ask the question what is the perfect scroll saw for you, several things need to be considered such as the controls. The ideal position of the controls is in front for easy access, and there should be a quick-release mechanism so you can change the blade quickly.

The blade clamp controls should not require any extra hardware or tools, and for the sake of versatility, get a saw that is compatible with pin end and plain end blades. You will also notice that majority of scroll saws come with parallel arm drives, something that’s possible because of the motor’s rear mounting.

Other scroll saws have a parallel link wherein the saw is fitted with rods in the lower and upper arms to keep the blade secure. The parallel link set up is popular with many users because it helps reduce noise and vibration when running.

Scroll Saw Blade Types

Using the best scroll saw blades for the task at hand is crucial, therefore knowledge of the different blade types is essential for your success.

  • Standard : Teeth are uniformly spaced and identical and made for general cutting. The smaller teeth are for metal and the bigger teeth for wood.
  • Ultra : The blade has one tooth up and several teeth down. Useful for complex pattern cuts while removing dust, they can also cut through plastics and wood.
  • Reverse tooth : Three quarters of the surface is covered with reversed teeth down the bottom. This blade is suitable for fine cutting and tearing bottom cuts and top prevent splinters. Reverse tooth blades work especially well with plywood and hardwood.
  • Diamond : These consist of diamond dust coated wire and ideal for cutting glass and Plexiglas.
  • Metal cutting : The name is self-explanatory and is also used for cutting aluminum, silver, copper, brass and other hard materials.
  • Two-way or crown : The blade consists of teeth facing both down and up so it can cut strokes both ways. Crown blades are used for cutting corian, soft wood, hard wood, Plexiglas, plastic and other materials.
  • Spiral : the spiral blade is twisted and flat and cuts through every direction and an assortment of materials including jewelry metals, wax and wood.
  • Double skip tooth : Double skip tooth blades have a gap every two teeth, resulting in smooth cuts for plastic and wood.
  • Skip tooth : There is only one gap for the teeth and cuts through fibrous materials, plastic and wood. This is a good choice for beginners.

Aside from the blade types you should also consider the tooth size and the blade thickness. A thick, large blade is ideal for thick materials, and blades with large teeth are ideal for cutting hard material. If you’re going to do intricate work however, smaller blades are necessary.

Essential Scroll Saw Parts

To be more specific, the components you will need to simplify your work setting. For instance you will need a frame to support the scroll saw, and you also have to factor in the adjustability, dust disposal, lighting and control placement.

  • Table or cast iron support frame : Either one must provide stability to minimize the vibration and let you cut with accuracy. Some scroll saws have the saw stands mounted while in other cases you have to purchase them separately. There are also clamps on most scroll saws that you attach to a work bench or table. You’ll also find three legged scroll saw stands that distribute the weight of the saw so it’s stabilized. You’ll also want to look for adjustable legs as it makes operation easier.
  • Controls : When it comes to controls, simplicity and accessibility are paramount. Make certain you choose a scroll saw that has easy access to the on / off switch and adjustable speed control.
  • Scroll Saw Lighting : Lighting is important when you’re working on details, and if that is what you will be doing most of the time, get a scroll saw that has light built in so the materials platform is properly illuminated. The lighting needs to be adjustable as well.While not all scroll saws have light built in, they do allow for lights to be added later in case you need it. Some of these lights are attached to the frame and plug to a power source, while others are wired onto the motor.
  • Dust Disposal: All the time you spend working on those materials lead to dust accumulation. Disposable particle masks keeps the dust out of your face and lungs, but what you really need is a scroll saw with quality dust disposal. When choosing a scroll saw, look for one that is equipped with a dust catchment system. The dust disposal system that these scroll saws use vary, with some fitted with detachable zipper bags that gather dust while you saw. Most of the focus is on the cutting but the manner in which dust is collected cannot be ignored for safety reasons.
  • Adjustability : Modern scroll saws can be adjusted in various ways, but generally you will do fine with tables with support for 45 degree tilting for bevel cuts. If you’re going to do a lot of beveling, get a scroll saw with adjustable arms so you can keep it flat while doing the bevel work. You will also find scroll saws equipped with arms that lift the saw when the blade is being positioned for interior cutting. This can be a handy feature as it does away with the need for handling the blade. If you’re going to do a lot of interior cutting and designing, look for a scroll saw with a lifting arm that can be locked in place.

Final Words - Picking a Scroll Saw

If this is your first time to use a scroll saw, take the time to learn how it works. Secondly, make sure that you have a good idea of what you want to do with it: this point is very important because that is what will keep you from buying a scroll saw that has more features than you’ll ever need. If your needs are specific, like if you want to primarily build wooden pull toys for children, then you need a less powerful scroll saw than what you'd need if you wanted to design wooden sculptures, for example.

As to what you ought to buy, we have made the process simpler by providing you with detailed reviews of the top 5 scroll saws today. As to which of the five you should get, it is up to you and your particular needs. It all starts when you make a list of the features you’re looking for and using that information to find the ideal scroll saw.

  • November 12, 2016
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Alberto Nencioni - April 19, 2017

Proxxon 37088 is almost a toy. It cuts 1 cm wood, it has no tilting of any sort (look at the picture !) and it’s made of PLASTIC!

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