Best Scroll Saw: Comparison, Reviews & Buyer’s Guide 2018

Best Scroll SawIf you land to this page you probably want the best scroll saw for your important project to make. So let’s get into it.

A scroll saw is a small saw with a fine reciprocating blade used for cutting delicate curves. Purchasing the right scroll saw can be challenging if you are not familiar with their features, or if you are new to this type of tools.

It is similar to a jigsaw, fretsaw and hand coping saw. All these tools are capable of creating curves with edges. We will be featuring the best scroll saw below including scroll saw reviews to give you a more in depth information on scroll saws.

A scroll saw is often confused with a jigsaw but what sets it apart is that it’s more heavy duty compared to a jigsaw and it can be used to cut different materials. It is also quite similar to a band saw but it uses a reciprocating blade instead of a continuous loop.

It is similar to a hand coping saw because its blade can be removed and put through a pre-drilled starting hole which allows cutting interiors without having to make an entry slot. The fineness of its blade and in the tooth count allows one to drill more intricate curves compared to even the narrowest gauge band-saw blade.

Best Scroll Saw 2018 Compared

Scroll SawSpeedThroat DepthSupported Blade Type

Availability

WEN 3920 Scroll Saw
WEN 3920 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Flexible LED Light
400 – 1600 SPM16-inchPinned and pinless blades Check Price
DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw
DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw
400-1,750 SPM20-inchPinless blade Check Price
Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw
Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact Scroll Saw Kit
1500 – 2250 SPM9.84-inchPinned blade Check Price
Delta Power Tools 40-694 Scroll Saw
Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw
400-1,750 SPM20-inchPinless blade Check Price
SKIL 3335-07 Scroll Saw
SKIL 3335-07 16
500-1,700 SPM16-inchPinless blade Check Price
General International EX-16
General International EX-16 16
400 to 1,400 SPM16-inchPinned and pinless blades Check Price
ShopSeries RK7315 Scroll Saw
ShopSeries RK7315 16
500 – 1700 SPM16-inchPinned and pinless blades Check Price

Uses of Scroll Saw

Example designs cut by a scroll saw
Example designs cut by a scroll saw

Unlike jigsaws, scroll saws are more often used in crafting than for everyday use. Many woodworkers do scroll sawing as a hobby because scroll saws are quiet, using them is relaxing, and they are fun to work with. You can be creative and artistic with them.

Scroll saws are frequently used in cutting intricate joints and curves that can be done easily and with great accuracy. A scroll saw can be used for pierce cuts or cuts that are done from the inside out, 3-D fractals, marquetry and intarsia or collage-type artwork. They all require intricate and super delicate cutting and they allow an infinite possibility for creativity and artistry.

Best Scroll Saw Reviews: Our Top Picks for 2018

WEN 3920 Scroll Saw, 16-Inch – Editor’s Pick

WEN 3920 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw

The first scroll saw that we are featuring is the WEN 3920 Scroll Saw. It has a unique design that allows blades in two directions, the standard and the 90 degree blade. You can adjust the speed from 400 up to 1600 spm (strokes per minute)  by simply turning the knob. It can cut through hard woods that are thick by about two inches using a 16-inch throat depth that is in the standard position.

It has a cast iron base that keeps it from moving and vibrating during use while its table is spacious enough and tilts up to 45 degrees to make angled cuts. The one of a kind blade holder of this scroll saw accepts pinless and pinned blades while letting you change the direction of your cut. The pinless blade holder is removable and it tightly grips the blades to stop them from becoming loose while using the tool. It also features an adjustable air pump that clears the dust from the work space to be able to cut precisely with a clear sight.

This scroll saw has a flexible LED light that can be easily moved and adjusted to illuminate workpieces of any size or shape.

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WEN 3920 Saw Detailed Review

Specifications

Motor120V, 60 Hz, 1.2A
Speed (No Load)400 – 1600 SPM
Blade TypePinned and pinless blades
Weight28 pounds (shipping weight)
Blade Length5″ Pinned & Pin-less
LED LightYes
Throat Depth16 inch
Blade Stroke9/16 inch
Cutting Capacity2 inch at 90°
Cutting Capacity0° to 45° Left
Warranty2 years

Pros

  • Best value for the money
  • Good performance in general
  • Works quite well for its price
  • Can cut different materials such as maple, pine, metal, mahogany, ply, and ABS plastic

Cons

  • Mounting the blades may take a few minutes
  • The table is not that stable
  • The higher the speed that you choose, the worse the vibration gets

The Final Verdict

Overall, the WEN 3920 Scroll Saw is very affordable and performs well for its price. It does a great job for general use but maybe not so much for more complicated or intricate designs. This scroll saw is great for small woodworking projects especially if you have a small shop and limited room.

In addition, WEN 3920 is also very easy to use which is friendly for beginners or first time users. The LED light, two-direction speed, and the air pump are great features. Changing into pinless blades can be quite a challenge though and can take some time to do so. There is also a little problem with vibration. It gets worse with a higher speed.


DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw, 20-Inch – Editor’s Pick

DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw

The DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw is our next featured scroll saw. It operates smoothly, quietly and accurately. It is devised to help create accurate and detailed workpieces. This saw is easy to use and is user-friendly. It has controls that are easy to access, a design that reduces vibration and varying speed. It has a built in cast-iron table that acts as support and is able to incline up to 45 degrees to the left and to the right for added durability and convenience and a dust blower that is flexible to help keep your working area clean.

This scroll saw has an arm design that cuts down or limit the noise and vibration in order to have accurate cuts. The arm design reduces under or over cutting, rotates from the back to the front, and lifts to allow the blade to be easily fastened through the material to do inside cuts. It has a blade clamp that is tool-free which allows you to quickly and easily change the blades in just a few seconds. The scroll saw is easily adjustable because of the convenient placing of the dust blower, saw adjustments, variable speed, blade-tensioning lever and power switch on the liftable arm.

Do note that this scroll saw is heavy.

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DeWALT DW788 Scroll Saw Detailed Review

Specifications

Motor120V, 60 Hz, 1.3A
Speed (No Load)400-1,750 SPM
Blade TypePinless blade
Dust BlowerYes
Weight56 pounds
Throat Depth20 inch
Blade Stroke3/4 inch
Cutting Capacity2 inch
Warranty3 years

Pros

  • Extensive warranty
  • Operates quietly and smoothly
  • The tabletop and blades are easy to attach
  • Easy changing of blades
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Comes with a hefty price
  • The upper blade is made of cheap aluminum
  • The blade has a tendency to bend or tilt
  • The machine cuts at an angle even if the blade is installed straight

The Final Verdict

The DEWALT DW788 20” Variable-Speed Scroll Saw works flawlessly on any material. The assembly and setup of this scroll saw is easy. You get quality performance for its price. There is just a slight problem with the blade alignment. The blades are also quite cheap but they still cut accurately. The side to side movement of the blade is fine but the front to back movement is wobbly. What is really good about this scroll saw is that it works quietly and smoothly. The top arm swing is a good feature that allows you to do inside cuts but the problem is it doesn’t have a spring which can cause accidents.


Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Scroll Saw

Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact Scroll Saw Kit

Next up is the Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw. This can be used to cut different materials flawlessly such as metal, wood, laminates and plastic because it allows you to cut in varying speed. It has a dust port adapter that keeps your workspace tidy and clean and your line of vision clear. It also features a means that allows you to easily change accessories, keep the blade firm and for optimal blade tensioning.

The Dremel Variable Speed Saw has a function that can detach parts to make it work like a stationary scroll saw or to be a portable motorized coping saw once it is removed. It has a fast clamp base that allows the scroll saw kit to attach to different surfaces, tables and benches. The scroll kit comes with different blades as accessories and each of these blades are used for corresponding materials such as fine wood blade, side cutting blade, metal blade, and wood & plastic blade.

Specifications

Motor120V, 60 Hz, 0.6A
Speed (No Load)1500 – 2250 SPM
Blade TypePinned blade
Weight2.4 pounds
Throat Depth9.84 inch
Blade Stroke0.31 inch
Cutting Capacity1.5 inch
Warranty2 years

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Compact
  • Good quality
  • Light use saw for small work
  • Easy to change blades
  • Bearable noise

Cons

  • It might be tough in cutting through thick wood
  • The mounting clamps do not mount on some surfaces
  • The vacuum attachment is a little too loud
  • It’s quite challenging to cut a straight line

The Final Verdict

The Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw works well for its affordable price but it can be considered more of a light use saw that you can use for doing small work. It can cut through thick material but you would have to adjust the speed to a slower one. You can use this speed saw without encountering any problems. The blades do not break and they are also easy to change.

It is a great tool for its small size. You can use it anywhere you want to because of its portability and its size so that even if you don’t have a dedicated workshop, you can still use it. It may be a bit noisy but the noise is bearable.

It would have been a lot better if the package came in with a miter gauge which can be used to cut straight lines as it is really hard to cut straight lines using this scroll saw without a miter gauge. This scroll saw also comes with pinned blades which means that you won’t be able to cut little pieces unless you drill a pilot hole for the blade to get inside the little areas before you are able to cut them.


Delta Power Tools 40-694 Scroll Saw, 20 Inch

Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw

We are featuring the Delta Power Tools 40-694 Scroll Saw as the next scroll saw in our list which comes in two styles: one with a light and stand and the other without a light and stand. Like other scroll saws, this scroll saw also has variable electronic speed that you can adjust from 400 SPM up to 1,750 SPM for various cutting applications. It has a dual parallel link arm design that lessens the vibration and the under and over cutting in order to approve the quality and accuracy of your work.

The Delta Power Tools Variable Speed Scroll Saw has an upper arm that you can lift and locks when in the raised position to easily and conveniently change blades or adjust the position of the blade for doing fret work. It also has a blade clamp that is tool-free which makes it easier and faster to change blades in just a matter of seconds. A unique feature of this scroll saw is an on-tool blade storage area where you can keep blades organized and protected. The package includes two straight blades.

As for the style that comes with light and stand, the package includes a work light, a stand and a dust blower along with the scroll saw. The adjustable dust blower blows dirt and debris to clear your work surface. It also has an oversized table that can tilt to both the left and right which you can adjust to find the perfect angle.

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Delta 40-694 Scroll Saw Detailed  Review

Specifications

Motor120V, 60 Hz, 1.3A
Speed (No Load)400-1,750 SPM
Blade TypePinless blade
Weight70 pounds
Throat Depth20 inch
Blade Stroke3/4 inch
Cutting Capacity2 1/8 inch at 90°; 1 5/8 inch at 45°
Warranty5 years

Pros

  • Less or minimal wobble, noise and vibration
  • Dust blower and work light are great features
  • Easy to change the blades
  • Has many adjustment knobs
  • Has a pin that holds the arm while it is lifted to change blades or to use the blade to do inside cuts

Cons

  • Assembly of the scroll saw is a little bit more complicated than what is shown in the manual
  • Does not come with a vacuum port

The Final Verdict

The Delta Power Tools 40-694 Scroll Saw is not cheap compared to other scrolls saws but its price is definitely cheaper than other brands that are of the same level when it comes to the quality of the product and what it can do. The assembly of this tool may be a bit complicated as given in the manual but once the tool is all set, you will be amazed at what it can do. It also produces minimal or no wobble, noise and vibration at all compared to other scroll saws. It’s great that you have a choice of going for the scroll saw with a stand and light.


SKIL 3335-07 Scroll Saw, 16-Inch

SKIL 3335-07 16-inch 1.2 Amp Scroll Saw

Another affordable scroll saw that we are featuring is the SKIL 3335-07 Scroll Saw which is recommended for beginners and intermediate woodworkers who would like to experiment on creating or making intricate patterns and cuts.

This scroll saw features an LED light to ensure that your workpiece is clearly lit for more convenience and for your own safety. It also has a dust port to keep your work space clear of dust.

Like the first three scroll saws, this scroll saw also has variable speed control to help you cut different types of materials in a more efficient way. Just like the WEN 3920, this scroll saw has 16 inch throat that lets you cut materials that are thicker efficiently. The work table which is made of aluminum can tilt from zero up to 45 degrees to let you do more precise and intricate cuts.

Specifications

Motor120V, 60 Hz, 1.2A
Speed (No Load)500-1,700 SPM
Blade TypePinless
Weight34.6 pounds
Throat Depth16 inch
Blade Stroke7/8 inch
Cutting Capacity2 inch at 90°
Warranty3 years

Pros

  • Accepts pinless blades
  • Less noise and vibration
  • Easy to set up
  • Excellent for beginners and hobby woodworkers

Cons

  • Pinless blades tend to be unstable
  • Some parts of the scroll saw snap after using it for a couple of times

The Final Verdict

The SKIL 3335-07 Scroll Saw works well especially for beginners, first time users and intermediate woodworkers. It has enough power to cut thicker materials, thanks to its 16 inch throat. It has a great price, not too expensive for a scroll saw.

Although the scroll saw accepts pinless blades, it still works best with pinned blades because the pinless blades do not stay in its place. It has a tendency to move which might be a problem when trying to create precise cuts.


General International EX-16 Tilting Head Scroll Saw, 16-Inch

General International EX-16 16

The General International EX-16 is the next scroll saw that we are featuring in this series. It is one of the scroll saws of the highest quality in the industry of scroll saws. This scroll saw has a lower and upper blade guard that prevents accidents that can be brought about by contact of the hand with the blade and a switch protection device that helps prevent starting the tool unintentionally.

Some scroll saws have a table that can be tilted to the left or to the right but for this scroll saw, instead of having a tilting table, it has a unique feature of a tilting head that can be tilted 30 degrees to the left and 45 degrees to the right to keep the workpiece level for more accurate cuts and also for better control. The table does not tilt but it has a large surface which measures 12 x 18.5 inches.

Like all the rest of the featured scroll saw blades, it also has variable speed from 400 up to 1200 SPM and the speed control knob can be easily accessed and adjusted because it is located on the front of the tool. It also has a dust blower for extracting dust.

Read more

An In-Depth Review on Excalibur Scroll Saws

Specifications

Motor120V, 1.3A
Speed (No Load)400 to 1,400 SPM
Blade TypePinned and pinless blades
Weight54 pounds
Throat Depth16 inch
Blade Stroke9/16 inch
Cutting Capacity2 inch
Warranty2 years

Pros

  • No tools required to change the screws
  • No vibration
  • The tilting head can cut at an angle without having to tilt the table
  • Operates smoothly
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • The table tends to scratch easily
  • There is a little problem with the lower blade clamp assembly as it tends to pop blades out
  • The wood pieces from fret work get caught in the holes in the table that are actually meant for the vacuum system and to be able to solve this problem, you would have to stop often and lift the wood piece
  • Comes with a hefty price

The Final Verdict

The General International EX-16 Scroll Saw has a high quality and it is also highly rated in the community of woodworkers. The packaging is great and it is also easy to assemble. The price is a little bit expensive but its quality matches its price. There are just some flaws in this scroll saw but overall, it has a good quality, a general good quality of construction, is easy to use and has a simple assembly and operation.

The tilting head is definitely a unique feature that is great for cutting at a certain angle and the large surface of the table and its throat depth are also great to be able to cut larger work pieces more efficiently. This scroll saw is definitely not just for beginners and intermediate woodworkers. It can be used by experts.


ShopSeries RK7315 Scroll Saw, 16-Inch

ShopSeries RK7315 16

The last scroll saw that we are featuring in this series is the ShopSeries RK7315 Scroll Saw that has variable speed and a 1.2 amp motor which allows you to create various intricate curves, joints and cuts on various materials in a precise, clean and accurate manner.

The package includes two sturdy blades that are 5 inches long and that have a throat that are 16 inches deep. It also has a built-in storage that lets you keep the blades and protect them from damage or from being lost. This tool offers a two year warranty to be able to have it repaired or replaced if necessary within two years from the date that you bought it.

The scroll saw has a built-in blower to blow away the dust that blocks the view of what you are working on and also a dust collection port to keep your work space clean and tidy. The blade guard that is also included in the package is to ensure that you will operate the tool in a safe way without harming or injuring yourself. The table that is made of aluminum can tilt from zero up to 45 degrees for a more precise and accurate work.

Specifications

Motor120V, 1.2A
Speed (No Load)500 – 1700 SPM
Blade TypePinned and pinless blades
Weight27.1 pounds
Throat Depth16 inch
Blade Stroke3/4 inch
Cutting Capacity2 inch at 90°; 1-3/16 inch at 45°
Warranty2 years

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to operate
  • Cuts fairly clean and quickly

Cons

  • There are vibrations which means that you have to adjust your work piece constantly
  • The changing of blades is a bit of a burden
  • The shoe holding the stock against the table moves a lot, is thin and has a tendency to shift out of square with the table unless it is screwed tightly
  • The table only tilts in one direction

The Final Verdict

The ShopSeries RK7315 Scroll Saw is an average scroll saw that can be bought at an affordable price. We recommend it for beginners who haven’t tried using a scroll saw before or if you are someone who wants to own a scroll saw but you have a tight budget. It has quite a number of flaws as mentioned above although it still does its job fairly and quickly and it is easy to operate compared to other scroll saws.


How to choose the best scroll saw?

Here are the most significant elements of a scroll saw which you should review, compare, and assess prior to buying one.

Blades

The blade is the primary functional element of a scroll saw, which is why manufacturers have designed a number of distinct blade types. We recommend you choose the scroll saw with pinless blades. Those include the following:

  • Pinned or pinless blades. Both of these blades have advantages and disadvantages. Pinned (also known as Pin-End) blades have pins on both ends to hold the blade. It is easier to change the blade but the availability is becoming and becoming rare. On the other hand, the pinless blades (also known as Plain-End) are widely used by most scroll saw manufacturers and has a wide array of availability. Scroll saws with pinless blades have an upper and lower clamp to hold the blade.
  • Standard wood and metal blades. These blades have teeth of an equal size, which are located at the same distance from one another. The former type has large teeth set wide apart, meant to clear the sawdust, while the latter is louder, with smaller and narrower teeth.
  • Skip tooth blades (and double skip tooth blades). With these blades, every other tooth is missing, so the gap between the teeth is twice as wide. They are very user-friendly.
  • Spiral blades. These blades are twisted so that they have teeth in all directions. They are only used for special applications.
  • Two-way tooth blades. The advantage of these blades is that they cut on both the upstroke and the downstroke, so when you use one up, you can just turn it around.
  • Steel and diamond blades. These special blades are used for cutting metal and glass, respectively.

First-time scrollers should pay attention to the following information when picking a blade:

  • Large blades are better with thick materials. For hard materials, you need hard blades with large teeth.
  • Intricate cuts require blades with small teeth.

Dimensions

Here’s how to pick a scroll saw according to its dimensions:

  • Throat size. Scroll saws are classified according to the size of their throat – the distance between the rear frame and the blade. The size of a scroll saw throat determines how large an object can be cut by it.

Most individual users need a scroll saw with a throat ranging from 12’’ to 20’’ since the larger models are mainly industrial tools. However, make sure you determine the size you will need prior to making a purchase.

  • Work table dimensions. The work table should be large enough to support the material, ideally between 16’’ and 20’’. Furthermore, it should be heavy and sturdy enough to cancel out the vibrations of the saw. Finally, it has to be smooth to be functional, which you can improve by waxing it.

Many scroll saws come with tiltable tables, which allow you to make angled cuts. Some allow tilting in only one direction, while others allow both.

Motor and vibrations

Scroll saws make intricate cuts, which is why they don’t need powerful motors.

  • A motor which ranges between 1.0 Amp and 1.5 Amp is typically good enough for a scroll saw. However, making deep cuts in hard materials requires a scroll saw with a more powerful motor. With that in mind, the primary concern when buying a scroll saw should always be accuracy, rather than power.
  • Vibrations can greatly disrupt the functionality of a scroll saw, which is why minimizing them should be your primary concern. The more powerful the motor, the greater the vibrations are. However, some manufacturers make motors with reduced vibration. Likewise, you can cancel out vibrations with a sufficiently heavy work table.

Ready to get your first scroll saw? Get also your first scroll saw book!

Scroll Saw Workbook, 3rd Edition: Learn to Master Your Scroll Saw in 25 Skill-Building Chapters (Fox Chapel Publishing) Ultimate Beginner's Guide with Projects to Hone Your Scrolling Skills
Scroll Saw Workbook, 3rd Edition: Learn to Master Your Scroll Saw in 25 Skill-Building Chapters

Conclusion

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a scroll saw. First of all, it depends on the budget or how much you are willing to spend on a scroll saw. The price ranges from affordable ones amounting to less than $100 up to more expensive ones that cost around $700 -$800.

It also depends on your level of woodwork like if you are a beginner, intermediate, or an expert woodworker. There are some scroll saws that work well for beginners and intermediate users but have functions that are too basic for the experienced ones. Also consider the other factors mentioned above before you buy a scroll saw but what is really important is that you buy a scroll saw that you have already seen, tried, and tested in person to really know how the scroll saw operates and how well it works.


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