Best Scroll Saw Reviews 2018 Buyer’s Guide
Last Updated on
Looking for the best scroll saw for you garage or woodworking shop? If you are not sure on which scroll saw to buy or are looking for how to best use a scroll saw then have a look through our scroll saw guide and we should have all the answers you need.
A scroll saw is used for cutting detailed shapes usually into thin wood. It is motorized and is like a power coping saw. It is more accurate than a jigsaw or a reciprocating saw but cannot cut wood as thick as those two.
Best Scroll Saw Reviews
The right scroll saw for you may not be the best for someone else. Are you a hobbyist that just needs the saw for some light finishing work or do you intend to take your hobby to the next level and start to produce your projects in greater volume for sale?
If you are a beginner then you should opt for one of the cheaper models. There is no point in paying out top dollar for a piece of equipment only for it to lie there gathering dust because you are busy learning how to use hand tools or have started to lose interest in your woodworking.
Just because a saw doesn't have all of the advanced features of a more expensive one does not mean it will produce inferior work. As with any decent tool the results are down to how well you use it and your skill as a craftsman.
However if you do require some better features and a more versatile scroll saw there are some great higher end models available.
Best Scroll Saw
Dewalt DW788 1.3 Amp 20 Inch Variable Speed
The Dewault DW788 is a 20-inch 1.3 Amp variable speed scroll saw.
The C550 DW788 is aimed at those looking for a high quality, durable scroll saw that can take some heavy use.
- Tool free blade clamps makes blade changing a breeze
- All controls located on upper arm for easy usage
- Double parallel-link arm reduces noise and vibration
- Easy lift arm means blade can be threaded through materials for inside cuts
- Table bevels 45 degrees in both left and right directions
- 1.3 amp gives 400 spm to 1750 spm
- Variable stroke length between 3/4 inch and up to 2 inches deep
- Weighs 56 lbs
If you are looking for a quality, heavy duty scroll saw that can handle a lot of work yet still deliver on cutting accuracy then the DeWault DW788 is probably the best scroll saw.
At 56 lbs without the stand thanks to a cast iron board it is incredibly stable and low on vibrations.
The cast-iron table and cast-iron frame construction is responsible for the users of the DeWault feeling hardly any vibrations during operation. Any reduction in vibrations on any kind of powered saw will greatly increase both the accuracy of your cuts and make the use of the saw a lot more comfortable.
The DW788 is also extremely easy to setup straight out of the box so you can be up and running in no time at all.
The ease of use and quality of cutting means that both beginners and more experienced woodworkers can get the most out of these scroll saws for their given skill sets. If you are looking to only ever purchase one scroll saw to last you decades of use then the DW788 is it.
The DW788 is also available with a stand and work light should you not already have them. The best scroll for the money you won't be disappointed.
Wen 3920 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed
The Wen 3920 is ideal for those that are either starting out or don't do a lot of intricate finishing work. It is a great low cost option if you are stuck for money when you are first starting to fit out your woodworking shop or garage.
The Wen has a throat depth of 16 inches and is capable of cutting wood up to 1.9 inches thick. Capable of taking either pined or pinless blades the blade holder can be rotated through 90 degrees which now means that your cuts are no longer confined to 16 inches.
The Wen also includes and adjustable air pump and built in LED light so your workspace will be both clean and easily seen. Unlike the DeWault the Wen 3920 has all of it's controls mounted on the front underneath the table which is probably the second best place for accessibility after the upper arm.
- Accepts both pinned and pinless blades
- Table bevels 45 degrees to the left
- Variable speed 550 spm to 1600 spm
- Blade can be rotated through 90 degrees
- Adjustable air pump
- Two year warranty
Comes backed by a two year warranty. A perfect starter scroll saw the Wen 3920 offers decent performance at a low price point.
Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Variable Speed
Another standard 16-inch throat scroll saw the Shop Fox W1713 is a great mid-range choice for those that are torn between the features of the higher end DeWault and the lower cost alternative Wen.
Powered by a 110-Volt motor the Shop Fox can handle just about anything a home woodworking could throw at it.
The W1713 has the added safety bonus of a see through plastic housing that surrounds the blade so you fingers are that little bit safer. The adjustable hold-down shoe has the air nozzle mounted on it which means you only need to make one adjustment to have both of them set optimally for your desired wood thickness.
The tilting table on the Shop Fox has a locking mechanism that also has a scale on it, providing your work surface is truly horizontal you can now make angled cuts with quite a degree of accuracy.
- 110-Volt 60Hz motor
- Accepts both pinned and pinless blades
- Table tilts through 45 degrees
- Variable speed 550 spm to 1700 spm
- Work light and dust blower
Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed
Dremel have made quite a name for themselves in the hobby world by producing high quality tools that can cut, drill and sand with great accuracy.
The MS20-01 is portable scroll saw so it's weight at 9 lbs should not be seen as a negative when compared to heavyweights such as the DeWault.
The main feature that differentiates the Dremel from the others in our other scroll saw reviews is that the table is detachable. This means you can now take the saw to the wood and not the other way around. For convenience sake this is a real plus. The MS20-01 is about as close as you can get to a power coping saw or electric coping saw.
- Detachable base means converts to a motorized coping saw
- Fast clamps attach easily to most work surfaces
- Comes with 4 types of blades for different materials, 10 in total
- Great value for small jobs or light work
Delta Power Tools 40-694 20-Inch Variable Speed
When it comes to low vibration ad quietness the Delta Power Tools 20-inch variable speed scroll saw ranks on a par with the DeWault.
It has a 1.3 Amp motor that has a variable speed controller allowing the scroll saw to operate at 400 spm to 1750 spm.
With a tilting table that can be tilted 45 degrees on either side makes this a very versatile tool. A built in blade compartment means that you can store your blades in the machine reducing the chance of losing them in your workshop.
- Parallel link arm reduces vibration
- Variable speed from 400 spm to 1750 spm
- Table tilts 45 degrees to left and right
- Light and stand also available
- 5 year limited warranty
Scroll Saw Buyer's Guide
Often people will purchase their tools based solely on price. This is a mistake however. The best approach is to consider the features from two or three different scroll saws and then make your judgement based on that.
Choosing the right scroll saw means that you get the best value for your dollar. There is little point in purchasing the cheapest one if you intend on doing a lot of cutting and intend on putting a big demand on the saw..... the cheaper ones generally won't last.
So you need a balance of features and price to find the best scroll saw for you. Below are some of the features of a scroll saw you should look out for when making your decision:
- Build quality - generally the heavier a scroll saw is built the less noise and vibration it will create. You should look for a heavy cast iron saw if possible. If you plan on doing a lot of work with the saw then the sturdier the construction the better.
- Adjustable Speed Control - There is an optimal speed at which to cut the majority of materials. Not being able to adjust the speed on any kind of saw means that you may end up with a cut that is not perfect and requires extra finishing work such as sanding.
- Tilt - Having the option to tilt the table on your scroll saw means a bit more versatility. However if you choose a model that does not tilt you can just tilt the wood as you cut. This can be tricky at times depending on what you are cutting so a tilting table can make life easier. In general tables will tilt from 0 to 45 degrees. Some of the better models will allow the table to tilt in both a left and right direction.
- Throat Length - Throat length is the distance from the back of the scroll saw to the blade. A standard scroll saw throat length is roughly 18-20 inches. Some scroll saws have a feature that pivots the blade through 90 degrees thus allowing you to make much deeper cuts across the scroll saw table.
- Blade Change - Having the ability to quickly and easily swap out a dull blade or change one for a different material is an essential feature to have. If you wind up wasting time changing blades out you will not only get less work done but your frustration levels will increase also.
- Dust Removal - Reducing the amount of saw dust in your workshop is definetley a big help to your respiratory system and any decent scroll saw should come with such a feature.
Scroll Saw Blades
Choosing the best scroll saw blades can be a little confusing. Like any saw not matching the right blade to the material will leave you with less than ideal results. Here are some important factors to help you choose the right scroll saw blades:
- Pin or Pinless - Pinless or plain-end blades are the more modern of the two. A lot of really old scroll saws can only accept pinned ones. However, the majority of modern saws can accept both. Pinned blades are generally much faster to change out when they go dull.
Just be aware that when using pinned blades for fretting work you will need to drill a larger hole to account for the diameter. This is a big disadvantage if you plan on doing a lot of very small detailed inner cutting.
- Blade Specifications - All blades should come with a size rating on the package. The blades are number as per the size of the material they are used to cut and the number of teeth per square inch. A#12 blade is more suited to cutting thicker pieces of wood and will have fewer teeth than a size #0.
When using bigger blades on thicker wood you can run the scroll saw at a faster speed. When cutting delicate pieces with smaller blades you should run the saw at a slower speed as the finer blades can end up burning and scorching the wood if they are run to fast.
- Blade Teeth - There are a variety of different tooth configurations on blades and this will influence what kind of cut they are best suited to:
- Regular - Regular blades are uniform and in a straight row. The teeth for wood cutting will be larger than for cutting metal.
- Double-tooth - Have a space between a pair of teeth. They tend to leave a very smooth cut but cut slower than other blades.
- Skip-tooth - As the name implies every second tooth is missing. They have a lesser tendency to burn during cutting, suitable for beginners.
- Reverse skip-tooth - same as a normal skip tooth except the reverse teeth on the end can help to leave a less splintered look on the bottom of the cutting surface.
- Crown - These blades cut in both directions and can be used on plastic
- Precision Ground - Much sharper and not suitable for a beginner.
- Spiral - Spiral blades are like a regular blade that has been twisted so that the teeth are on all sides of the blade. They are not very accurate and best not used on detailed work.
As a general rule the thinner the material you need to cut the finer the blade you should use.