King Industrial 16 Inch Scroll Saw Review (2023)

Updated 3/10/2023

Are you looking to buy a new tabletop scroll saw? If you have a limited amount of space but still want the best performance possible out of your scroll saw, then the King Industrial 16 Inch scroll saw is the one for you!

This machine will fit perfectly into a workshop of a smaller size while retaining all the capabilities, features, and performance that a larger scroll saw would offer you. 

This King Industrial scroll saw is able to cut a wide variety of thicknesses, everything from thick compound cuts to thin, delicate fretwork, as well as wood with varying degrees of hardness, everything from hardwoods like hard, thick hickory to softwoods like pine. 

This King scroll saw is suitable for all levels, from beginners in woodworking to seasoned veterans.

Even my tester with the least experience using a scroll saw was able to create a scroll saw pattern that looked professional.

And now, the experts are falling in love with it all over again. 

During our testing phase, the King scroll saw just leapfrogged over all the other saws to become everybody’s new favorite scroll saw.

Its incredible ease of use and buttery smooth operation made it easy for all of our testers (and for everyone else who uses the saw) to love it.

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King Industrial Saw Background

Okay. Just to be clear, the seemingly newfound love for this saw did not just come randomly out of the blue. There is actually an excellent reason why we all love it. 

Where is the King scroll saw made? Well, remember those Excalibur Saws? Of course, you do. They were award-winning, industry-leading saws that we all knew and loved.

And one day, they seemed to disappear. And then they popped up again a while later, but they just weren’t quite the same. 

So what exactly happened? Well, to make a long story short: the manufacturing rights, naming rights, and distribution rights to the Excalibur saws changed hands a number of times.

The end result is that the King Industrial saws are manufactured by the original manufacturer of the Excalibur saws (a Taiwanese manufacturer) using the original design for the Excalibur saws. 

So King Industrial saws are essentially exactly the same as Excalibur saws (just with a different brand name).

The saws currently on the market with the Excalibur name are actually different saws made in China using a different saw design, so the parts on the new saws with the Excalibur name will not fit the original Excalibur saws.

The parts from the King Industrial saws will fit the original Excalibur saws. 

The King Industrial saws, which are identical in design and manufacture to the original Excalibur saws and are made by the same manufacturer in Taiwan, are sold in the U.S. as King Industrial saws and in Canada as Excelsior.

So both King Industrial saws and Excelsior saws are made in Taiwan by the original Excalibur saw manufacturer using those original Excalibur designs.

There’s a more detailed explanation of exactly what happened and a rough timeline of the saw’s history later on in this article. 

So it makes perfect sense why we all love the King Industrial 16 Inch scroll saw so much. It’s just the old green, or black Excalibur saw that we know and love… but with a different name.

King Industrial Scroll Saw Features

King Industrial 16 Inch Scroll Saw
  • 120V 1.3 amp constant torque, permanent magnet motor
  • Large 12” x 18-1/2” table surface
  • 16 variable-speed
  • Accepts 5” pinless blades
  • Features easy access speed, tension controls and onboard dust blower

The King scroll saw uses plain end blades, which are adjusted using a quick tensioning lever and fixed in place with thumbscrews.

Basically, it allows you to set the arm height of the saw once and not have to reset it since you can use the quick tensioning lever to release and to tighten the blade.

This system is probably familiar to you due to its use on the Excalibur saws.

Once you get used to it (which takes only a few minutes), the blades can be changed and tensioned in seconds. 

The top of the arm of the saw bears the power switch and the variable speed control. Sixteen variable speeds are available.

The dust cover that protects the power switch was a bit stiff when the saw was brand new, but it softens over a period of time.

The blower functions quite well. As is the custom with most other scroll saws, the hold-down arm was removed by us before we began our cutting. 

In order to make an angled cut, the arm has a tilting feature, which makes a lot more sense and is easier to use than a table that tilts.

A rack and pinion mechanism controls the tilting system, featuring a spring-loaded pin that allows you to lock into frequently utilized angles (like 45°) and return the blade to its vertical position with ease.

We checked the angle using a gauge, and the set angle of the arm is accurate. When lifted up, the arm stays up, allowing for easy feeding of the blade from the top or the bottom.

The movement of the arm is also quite smooth, which is nice. 

The table of the King scroll saw will be suitable for all but the very biggest clocks or fretwork portraits, as it measures 18 ½ inches deep and 12 inches wide.

To facilitate the collection of dust, the table is pierced. The scroll saw is powered by a 120 volt 1.3 amp permanent magnet motor, which offers constant torque. 

The King Industrial features small feet that are intended to help with leveling on a benchtop.

A stand compatible with the King Industrial may be purchased separately, should you desire one (using stand-in conjunction with the scroll saw makes the operation smoother and reduces vibration even further).

The saw does not come equipped with its own light. 

Overall Usage Experience

All of our testers agree… using this King scroll saw is a pure delight! It makes cuts in an exceptionally quick, effortless, and smooth fashion.

The saw blade was a cinch to control, held tension appropriately and firmly, and was easily able to be brought back to the proper line if we happened to drift off course. 

If the saw is bolted down or clamped down, its vibration will be minimal and run incredibly smoothly.

Using a stand compatible with the scroll saw will limit vibrations even more and somehow make the operation of the saw even smoother.

The saw is so quiet that those around you might not even realize that you are operating it (until the wood begins to chatter). 

The King scroll saw is a joy to use. The only thing that any of the testers complained about was the dust collection system.

The holes pierced in the table have a plastic sleeve underneath them, which is connected to a plastic port that is sized for a dust collection nozzle or a shop vacuum.

Unfortunately, the holes in the table get clogged more often than we liked, and the vacuum also sometimes suctioned the board we were cutting to the table.

The sleeve also makes life harder in terms of changing blades and complicates feeding the blade from the top. The nozzle port prevents the saw arm from tilting fully to the right.

In short, if the dust collection system is giving you as much trouble as it gave us, we recommend removing it entirely and using a shop fix that will function better and allow for a smoother, more seamless operation overall. 

What We Like

– Compact to fit into smaller workshops, sturdy, powerful, efficient

– Smooth, quiet, practically free from vibrations

– Straightforward to operate—a dream to cut with for beginners, experts, and everyone in between

– Tilt arm that stays aloft when raised; spring-loaded pin sets fixed angles

– Easy feeding of the blade

– Intuitive, seamless operation

What We Don’t Like

– On the pricey side

– Dust collection system

The Bottom Line

This saw is downright fantastic in basically every way (aside from one flaw, which can be easily remedied). It has quickly become our favorite scroll saw.

We cannot recommend this saw highly enough, especially if you have a workshop with limited space. Try one at the store and see for yourself!

Timeline of the King Industrial Scroll Saw

Peter Kennedy, the vice president of King Industrial, provided a rough timeline of the saw with some explanation of the brand name changes.

This shows clearly that the King Industrial 16 Inch scroll saw is equivalent to the original Excalibur 16-inch scroll saw (EX-16).

This also means that if you are looking for parts for your old Excalibur saw, they will be available from King industrial. We have duplicated his explanation below in its entirety (everything in italics):

  • 1982 – Somerville Design introduces the Excalibur scroll saws manufactured in Toronto, Ontario
  • 2003 – General International acquires the assets of Summerville Design, including the Excalibur brand. G.I. sends the 21″ scroll saw to Taiwan to be manufactured and adds the 30″ version.
  • 2008 + or – G.I. adds the 16″ version.
  • 2010 – EX-21 awarded “Editor’s Choice” by scroll saw Woodworking and Crafts magazine.
  • 2012 – the EX-21AE 30th-anniversary edition is introduced. 1000 units available. Color changed from green to black, and dust collection added to the table, stand, and footswitch is included.
  • 2012-13 – G.I. goes back to the models EX-16, EX-21, and Ex-30 retaining the black color and other Anniversary options on all saws. No more General green.
  • 2014 + or – G.I. is sold to DMT holdings of Seattle, WA. Including the Excalibur brand but not the manufacturing rights for the scroll saw. The manufacturer in Taiwan holds them.
  • 2015-16 – JPW (Jet)designs their 22″ saw and has it manufactured by the same Taiwan maker as the original Excalibur saws.
  • 2016 + or – The original Taiwanese manufacturer seeks new North American distribution for the original design scroll saws.
  • 2016 – King Canada is granted distribution rights to the original 16″, 21″, and 30″ saws for the Canadian market. They are branded Excelsior in Canada and King Industrial in the U.S.
  • 2016 – Due to the Jet 22″ design similarities, the manufacturer restricts King’s U.S. distribution to the 16″ and the 30″ versions.
  • 2016 – Woodcraft commits to national U.S. distribution of the King Industrial 16″ and 30″ scroll saws.
  • 2017 – Seyco introduces their version of the saw manufactured by the same maker as the Excalibur, Excelsior, King Industrial, and the JPW saws.
  • 2017 – The European saws Azxminster, Pegas, etc., are all made by the same Taiwanese maker. These saws were previously supplied to them by G.I.
  • 2018 + or – General International (DMT Holdings) begins to market a Chinese-made version of the 21″ saw under the Excalibur name and model number.

In summary, the only original Excalibur saws are now branded either King Industrial (U.S.) or Excelsior (Canada).

Currently, no original design 21″ is available in the U.S.

The Seyco and the JPW (Jet) saws are designed after the Excalibur saws, with proprietary differences.

So, the King Industrial/Excelsior saws are the original design with a different name, and the saw branded Excalibur is a different saw with the original name.

The many manufacturing nuances and extreme tolerances make these saws virtually impossible to copy and function as originally designed.

Note: When I use the term “original,” I refer to the original manufacturer, original design, components, parts, motors, and specifications.

North American King Scroll Saw Model Numbers

  • Original EX-16 is now Excelsior XL-16 in Canada
  • Original EX-16 is now King Industrial KXL-16 in the U.S.
  • Original EX-21 is now Excelsior XL-21 in Canada (not available in the U.S.)
  • Original EX-30 is now Excelsior XL-30 in Canada
  • Original EX-30 is now King Industrial KXL-30 in the U.S.
  • General still uses model #EX-21, “made in China” on the box, and 16″ or 30′ is no longer available.
  • Seyco Model ST-21, 21″, no other sizes available to my knowledge
  • Jet Model #727299K, 22″, no other sizes available to my knowledge

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