Apart from having a bandsaw or jigsaw, many woodworking enthusiasts and professionals go for the scroll saw for cutting intricate intarsia or marquetry in a detailed manner.
However, the challenging part is to decide and select one from the many scroll saw models that are readily available on the market. There are certain specifications you must check before making the purchase. Your chosen product should meet your purchase of buying it. That's why we have added a buyer's guide below the list of 10 best scroll saws.
Reviews of Top 10 Scroll Saws
1. Rockwell ShopSeries RK7315 Scroll Saw Best for beginners
Rockwell ShopSeries RK7315 Scroll Saw is a lightweight, yet sturdy tool and is fit for a wide range of woodworking projects. This product is the best choice for the beginners because of the simplicity of its maneuverability. The saw table is made of die-cast Aluminum which bevels anywhere between 0° and 45°.
The product package comes with two long-lasting tungsten carbide blades, each of 5 inches, having a throat depth of 16 inches. The cutting depth of the blade ranges from (2 to ½) inch. The saw features variable speed control with ⅘ inch cutting stroke ensuring precise and cleaner cuts and all of that makes it the best scroll saw for beginners.
2. WEN 3921 Variable Speed Scroll Saw Under 200
Wen 3291 Scroll Saw incorporates a unique design which allows it to attach blades in two directions (that is, standard and 90°). This feature facilitates unending ripping capacity. The tool speed varies within the range of 400 to 1600 strokes/minute. The spacious cutting table of the scroll saw is 16 inch x 11 inch (in dimension) that bevels up to 45° towards the left for making angular cuts.
The tool has a throat depth of 16 inches while in standard position and so, it can rip a wood of 2-inch thickness very easily. It features a thumb screw adapter for fixing the blade and the blades can be changed at ease. A sturdy base of cast iron, an air pump and a dust port, a pedal lock clamp, three saw blades, a flex light for better visibility followed by an onboard storage are the other added features cum benefits of Web 3921.
3. Delta Power Tools 20 Inch Scroll Saw Value for money
Delta Scroll Saw is another variable speed control featured electronic saw, which has flexibility in its speed adjustment within a range of 400 to 1,750 strokes/minute. The tool is fit for making varieties of wooden cuts. The double parallel link arm build minimizes vibration generation, thereby improving cutting quality and its precision. The upper arm hefts and locks the heightened position while changing the saw blade or during the blade position adjustment for fret work.
Tool-free blade clamp facilitates swift blade changing. The motor is powerful enough to carry an electric current load of 1.3 Amp. The saw table bevels from 0° to 45° to the left and right. The power switch, flexible dust blower, an electronic variable speed dial followed by a blade-tensioning level; all of which are conveniently placed on the upper arm for quick accessibility.
4. DEWALT DW788 Variable Speed Scroll Saw Most practical
DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw has a double parallel link arm construction which substantially minimizes both noise and vibration and delivers extremely precise cuts. The tool-free blade clip allows swift blade changing. The cutting depth of the saw is 2 inches.
The power switch, an adjustable air pump for dust cleaning, an electric speed dial, and blade tensioning lever are situated on the upper arm of the saw. The arm is pivoted from the back to front of the saw which reduces the arm movement to make faster and smoother cutting. The arm can be raised to thread through the wood piece for making internal cuts.
Check Out: Buying guide for a chop saw
5. Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact Scroll Saw : Easy to Use
Dremel MS20-01 Scroll Saw comes with a pre-built dust port adapter which keeps the work spot clean, allowing better visibility. The auto-tensioning swift-change feature allows quicker changing if the saw accessories and optimizes blade tensioning/clamping.
This scroll saw is detachable for handheld application or to take the tool directly to the required work material. The variable speed dial allows managing the speed for optimal cutting of a variety of material jobs. The fast-clamp saw base is compatible with most table or bench types and surfaces.
Note: The blue-colored edge guide locks do not come within the package kit as their absence do not upset the tool performance.
6. Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw Plane and Pin-end blades compatible
Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw features a motor of an electric load current of 1.2 Amp with a power rating of ⅛ Horsepower. The maximum cutting throat of 16 inches. The gooseneck flex light, an air pump and a dust port; all the three parts together make the cutting task cleaner and more visible.
The cutting speed can be adjusted from 550 to 1700 strokes/minute. The W1713 supports both standard pin or plain-end blades. The tool is designed in a way such that it allows faster blade change. The adjustable hold-down shoe/stopper keeps the work material in position from flying with the cutting force of the moving blade. Due to its great price point, shop fox W1713 is the best scroll saw under 200 dollars.
7. PORTER-CABLE Variable Speed Scroll Saw With Massive Table-top/stand
Porter-Cable Scroll Saw includes a massive saw table made of Aluminum and 20 inch x 12 inch (in dimension). The ⅝ inch double tilt table facilitates bevel cutting of up to 45°. The patented table top scale allows accurate and easy beveled cutting.
Tool-free blade clamp makes blade changing quicker and convenient. The best part is that the tool supports both plain and pin-end blades. The default flex light renders better visibility to the work space. The speed dial allows speed variation within the range of 500 to 1500 stroke/minute.
8. Rockwell BladeRunner X2 Scroll Saw Versatile Choice
Rockwell Bladerunner X2 Scroll Saw is a portable product along with its table/stand. You can easily carry it to your required work spot. The riving knife followed by a standard guard system makes rip, scroll, miter or cross cuts easier and safer.
The blades are suitable for cutting any material job, including plastic, wood, metal, ceramic, and Aluminum. The on-board storage kit at the base of the tool keeps the saw accessories (including rip guide, miter gauge, and extra blade) conveniently housed inside.
Note: There is a safety switch which prevents accidental cranking of the tool.
9. WEN 3922 Variable Speed Scroll Saw Best for intarsia
Wen 3922 Scroll Saw includes an exceptionally designed side panel that flips open allowing easy accessibility to quick blade changes. The variable speed dial allows speed adjustment within 550-1600 strokes/minute.
The spacious saw table of 16 inch x 10 inch (in dimension) can be beveled up to 45° for making angular cuts. The tool has cutting depth of up to 2 inches and throat-width of 16 inches. The saw base is made of cast and the dust blower coupled with a vacuum port makes the sawing task cleaner. The pedal lock clamp system and a set of three blades of 5-inch each are the other added benefits due to which it's the best scroll saw for intarsia.
10. BUCKTOOL Variable Speed Scroll Saw Pedal Switch Design
Bucktool Variable Speed Scroll Saw features a motor that allows an electric load current of 1.2 Amp. Plus, the motor is responsible for a smooth and quiet device performance. The in-built LED light with zero light bounce as the motor starts provides clearer work view while cutting.
The pedal switch design allows easy motor start and stop just at a single tap of your foot. So, be it drilling an inner cut, blade change, or other emergencies, the pedal switch makes it all convenient. The heavy duty iron table sizes 16-by-9-inch which bevels up to 45° towards the left for angular cuts. The throat depth and cutting depth of the tool are 16 inches and 2 inches, respectively.
Buying Guide: What to Consider While Buying a Scroll Saw
Here are some of the important considerations to make your product purchase purposeful:
Better the throat capacity, more wider the wood piece or material can be used for sawing. While some scroll saws have a shallow throat depth of only 12 inches, the commercial ones may go up to 30 inches deep. For an occasional woodcrafter, 16 to 18 inch throat depth is sufficient.
Check if the tension control system on your chosen scroll saw model is optimal or not. Too much tension on the blade can break, whereas too loose tension can cause the blade to create rough edges/cuts on the job. Going with the saw that has the tension control located in the front is preferable as it's less time taking.
Choosing the one with tool-free blade changing feature is preferable.
Talking about blade types, there are two types of blades used in a scroll saw: plain-end blade and pin-end blade.
Plain-end blade requires using the tool accessories that come along with the product, for tightening or loosening the clamps. The blade is fit for cutting any material including plastic, wood, metal, etc.
Pin-end blade is clamped between hooks and is the simplest one out of the two blade types. However, the cross pin at the blade's end might stop you from cutting through a narrow slit in a job (if that's the requirement).
For softwood projects, 400 SPM is sufficient. However, for hardwood/ commercial projects, 1800 SPM or more is perfect. So, always go for a product with a variable speed control system to experience both the facilities as per the requirement.
Saw table that bevels up to 45° is preferable. Most tables bevel towards left, whereas some tilt on both left and right. Nowadays, a new type of scroll saw is available that allows a head tilt rather than tilting the entire saw table.
Choosing the model with in-built LED lighting is preferably better in terms of working on dark/dull work spots. The light tube should be flexible to turn directly on to the work spot to make the most accurate cuts.
The air pump/dust blower clears out the cutting debris during the operation by accumulating them inside the dust collector. This combination saves your time from wasting on cleaning work space separately.
There are several scroll saw manufacturing companies. And, all these manufacturing companies manufacture scroll saws with various features and specifications. According to our recommendation, the best type of scroll saw will be that comes with pinless blades. We are not recommending pin blades because the broader and thicker blades are not very suitable for inside cutting. Also, pin blades don’t fit across a small-drilled hole. So, try to choose a scroll saw with pinless blades.
You can use both softwoods and hardwoods in a scroll saw.
For softwoods, you can’t use all softwoods. We recommend avoiding pine for any type of fine work. You can use plywoods and cedar for the scroll saw. We suggest Poplar will be the best softwood that you can use with a scroll saw. Poplar is ideal as it has more fine grain than pine. So, with a scroll saw you can cut at a consistent speed without changing the blades.
You also can cut plywood or solid wood as plywood has sufficient tensile strength and it is very stable as well. But if you are using inexpensive plywood like fir and luan you have to be careful enough. Also, keep in mind that the glue layers in plywood may dull the blade of your scroll saw.
Now, come to the hardwoods. Ash and Maple are the most suitable hardware for keeping the proper shape of a pattern. For beginners, both of these two hardwoods are not that suitable as they need some skills to work with these. Apart from these two hardwoods, red oak, cherry, and walnut are also very suitable. Overall, we recommend using oak for any scroll saw art.
Sometimes you may face a problem with the blade slipping from the blade clamp. You will face this problem mostly with the upper blade, and it happens due to two reasons. Firstly, when the inner portion gets very smooth, the blade can slip from the blade clamp. Secondly, it happens if you apply little oil on the surfaces.
Still, manufacturers apply a small amount of oil on new blades to keep them away from getting rusty. And, when the oil gets on the clamp. The clamp becomes slippery. To deal with this issue, you can take sandpaper and use it inside the clamp; the sandpaper will make the blade clamp a little rough. Or you can use alcohol to clean the oil from the blade clamp.
To eliminate burning you can use 2 inches clear package tape. People usually face the burning issue with some particular woods with oil like Purple Heart. We recommend you first to put the pattern on your choice of wood and then apply tape over the pattern. Some people also put the tape on the wood first. So, it will be your choice of how you would like to do it. Mostly, people use the package tape. If you apply tape on the wood, the tape will lubricate the blade as it has a chemical like silicone. Also, keep in mind that if there will be no chemical on the top of the tape, you can’t ever un-roll the tape.
As per our opinion, foot switches are beneficial for a scroll saw. The foot switch is useful in such condition when a blade breaks or any other emergency occurs. If these happen, you don’t have to search for the on and off switch if you will have a foot switch. Moreover, some switches are not dustproof; so these switches may quit after some time. But, if you have a foot switch, you won’t have to worry about all these issues. Many scroll saws come with foot switches. However, these scroll saws are a bit expensive.
We consider scroll saws to be the safest woodworking tool. It is suitable for beginner woodworking students as well. As this tool cuts slowly, you don’t have to worry. Still, if you get stuck ever, you can shut the power off and restart the process. But the problem is all power tools can be dangerous. So there are some safety precautions that you need to follow.
You need to be careful while handling a scroll saw. To prevent any hazardous accident, you should be alert always while operating any machine. Always remember to put on safety goggles and safety masks before starting work with a scroll saw. Also, make sure that the workspace has adequate ventilation.
Make sure to keep your fingers at a safe distance from the cutting blade. Also, keep your hands away from the reciprocating arm of the scroll saw as it can be dangerous for your fingers; It can break your fingers. Presently, most of the scroll saws come with a spring in the arm. This spring prevents the broken top from coming out if a blade breaks. So before purchasing, make sure to choose a scroll saw that comes with this spring.
Also, there are some more precautions that you need to follow such as;
- Use a workpiece guard before starting any cutting
- Make sure to wear safety glasses
- Don’t leave the loose cord laying around
- Use a good quality mask that will prevent the sawdust
- Take short breaks during the work hours to avoid repetitive motion injury
All the products listed above are unique with their exceptional features, pros and cons. Yet, here are our top recommendations from the list of best scroll saws:
- Wen 3291 Scroll Saw
For those looking for a budget-friendly (under $200) scroll saw with noiseless performance.
- Dremel MS20-01 Scroll Saw
For those looking for an easy-to-set-up-and-use type scroll saw with greater portability.
- Rockwell Bladerunner X2 Scroll Saw
For those looking for a versatile scroll saw in terms of serving any type of cutting requirement; mitering, bevels or cross cutting, marquetry etc.