DeWALT DW788 Scroll Saw Review: The Best Choice for Entry to Mid Level Woodworkers

DEWALT DW788 Variable-Speed Scroll Saw
DEWALT DW788 – Best Entry and Mid Level Scroll Saw for Woodworkers and Hobbyists

The art of scrolling is a challenging technique for any carpenter to master. The versatility of a scroll saw makes an easy task of cutting the most intricate designs in a variety of raw materials. Scroll saws allow for increased control during freehand cuts, turning the novice into an expert woodworker.

The Dewalt scroll saw creates DW788 crisp fretwork and detailed patterns in metal, wood, or plastic. Designed by the Canadian manufacturer, Somerville Design, this scroll saw is the ideal machine for serious hobbyists and DIY cutting tasks. We put this scroll saw to the test, read through our review and use the information to assist you with making an informed purchase decision.

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Quick Look

  • 1.3-amp motor provides 400 to 1,750 cutting strokes per minute.
  • The front upper arm has convenient access to controls.
  • Unique arm design offers quiet operation, reduced vibration, and accurate cutting.
  • Arm design keeps blade perpendicular to the material, eliminating under or over cutting.
  • Lifting arm makes it easy to thread blades.
  • Electronic variable-speed control for improved cutting performance in any material.
  • Change blades in seconds with tool-free clamping system.
  • Supportive, oversized, cast-iron table bevels 45 degrees right and left.
  • 90-day money-back guarantee with three-year limited warranty, and one-year free service.

Reviewing the Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw – Defining the Criteria

What are the characteristics of a good quality scroll saw? Is it worth investing in this machine for your workshop? The review of this model against five criteria will give you a comprehensive view of the saw. We looked at any design innovations and unique features that make it stand out from competitors as well as its operation and versatility in cutting wood, plastic, and metal.


DEWALT DW788 Oversized Work Table

Woodworkers of any skill level will appreciate the innovative design and engineering of Dewalt DW788 scroll saw. The intuitive positioning of the controls on the front upper-arm allows for a smooth workflow. The control panel features the saw’s on-off switch to the 1.3-amp motor, as well as the adjustable speed control, and tensioning lever for the blade.

The heavy-duty cast-iron work table measures out to 16″ x 23-3/4″, and the saw’s adjustable dust blower, located on the upper-arm, removes dust and debris from the table surface. With a total weight of 56-pounds, it’s not easy to move the machine around the workshop. However, the optional table stand lets you set up the machine in any area and provides stability during use.

Dewalt builds tools that deliver results. All components used in the design and manufacturing of this scroll saw meet OSHA standards and are CSA approved, as well as U.L. Listed.

Unique Features

A scroll saw must perform accurately with consistent reliability, whether you’re crafting trim pieces, intarsia, segmentation, or jigsaw puzzles. The double parallel-link arm delivers on both counts by reducing vibration during operation. The arm pivots from the rear of the saw to the front, shortening the arms range of motion, allowing you to exceed the 20-inch throat depth.

The innovative design of the arm keeps the saw’s blade perpendicular to the cutting surface, eliminating the chance of overcutting or undercutting. The blade holder is compatible with both pin-less and pinned blades while also allowing users to change the direction of their cut. For pinned blades, release pinned blades quickly with a 90-degree twist.

For added ease of operation and accuracy, the table bevels on a 45-degree angle to both the right and the left.


Carpenters and woodworking hobbyists work with a variety of materials. Different woods require different cutting rates for a precision finish. Plastics are notoriously challenging to handle during cutting if you don’t have complete control over the cutting speed.

The ability to select optimal cutting speeds allows the Dewalt DW788 to seamlessly navigate any cut path without any slippage or blade bend.


 DEWALT DW7880 Scroll-Saw Stand
DEWALT DW7880 Scroll-Saw Stand

The Dewalt DW788 scroll saw gives you full control over your creativity and designs. You’ll be surprised with how easy it is to line-up a cut and maintain control over the blade, even when navigating the most intricate cuts.

Its user-friendly configuration with easy-to-access controls and variable-speed performance provide outstanding precision for your projects.

The saw draws power through its durable 1.3-amp motor, delivering a variable stroke length between 3/4 inch and up to 2 inches. When the machine powers up, there’s little recoil felt through the body of the unit, and every cut feels effortless.

The electronic variable-speed control provides fast, accurate adjustments to speeds ranging between 400 to 1,750 strokes per minute. Easily adjust speeds to suit your application using the speed knob located on the front-arm of the machine. The saw cuts through steel, wood, and plastic with ease and it’s possible to transition between materials like wood and metal in the same cut.

Value for Money

It’s a standard unboxing experience. Inside the box, you’ll find;

  • Scroll saw.
  • Hex wrench and blades.
  • User manual and warranty card.

Dewalt issue a three-year limited warranty on the machine, coupled with a one-year free service contract. The service contract is an excellent add-on, make sure you check for authorized service agents close to your area. If you’re not completely satisfied with the machine, Dewalt offers a 90-day no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee.

Advantages of the Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw

  • Cut through a variety of materials including plastics, different types of wood, and mild steel.
  • Precision cutting with no slippage or blade bend.
  • Unique features – tilting cutting table and blade quick-release functionality.
  • Built to international quality standards with high-end components.
  • Minor assembly required.


  • Support stand sold separately.
  • Not suited for industrial use.
  • Pricey.

The Bottom Line

The Dewalt DW788 Scroll saw is an ideal machine for the active woodworking hobbyist. The saw can take care of the most intricate cutting tasks, and it’s forgiving on the novice. This machine won’t last if its put to work in a commercial shop, but it will provide a long service life if used as instructed. Be covered for any breakdown with the Dewalt one-year service warranty.

Comparing the Competition – DEWALT DW788 vs. WEN 3920

Design – Dewalt has the edge in brand reputation and customer service satisfaction.

Unique Features – Both machines feature beveling tables with quick-release blade action.

Operation – The Dewalt gives higher cutting speeds and a smoother feel to the cut with better control than the WEN.

Versatility – Both machines are suited for cutting a wide variety of materials.

Value for Money – The WEN offers a cost-effective solution for DIY woodworkers.

The Bottom Line

The Dewalt scroll saw is the superior machine concerning the design, service, and user functionality. However, it does have the superior price tag as well. Hobbyists who don’t regularly use a scroll saw may benefit from the lower cost of the WEN machine while still receiving a machine with the same level of functionality.

Wrapping Up –A Summary of the Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw

  • Designed and manufactured by Somerville Design , the creators of Excalibur, before it was acquired by General International.
  • An excellent entry to mid-level scroll saw for the hobbyist or woodworking enthusiast.
  • Unique features including a table that bevels 45-degrees to either side.
  • Reduced range of motion in the blade transfers to smoother cutting motion and enhanced control over the material cut.
  • User-friendly with well-designed controls.
  • Not suited for industrial or commercial use.
  • Steel support stand sold separately.
  • Pricey compared to machines like the WEN 3920.

Buy the DeWALT DW788 on Amazon

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