Best Scroll Saw for Beginners ULTIMATE 2024 Guide

Updated 9/12/2023

A scroll saw is a small machine either operated by pedaling or using electricity to cut intricate curves for wood, metal, and other materials.

The intricate curves are usually for design, and many different things can be done, such as having curved edges.

The machine’s name was derived from traditional use when people made scrollwork, sculptural ornaments, and other scroll head designs.

When you use a scroll saw, there are many things to keep in mind, and we’ll get into those now.

No Time to Read? Check Out Our Updated Picks for 2024!

DEWALT Scroll Saw, 1.3 Amp, 20 in Steel Blade, With Variable-Speed Trigger, For Precise Cuts (DW788)
WEN 3921 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Work Light
Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Popular with Pros
SKIL 1.2 Amp 16 in. Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Foot Pedal & LED Work Light for Woodworking-SS9503-00
General International Excalibur EX-21CRB 21 in. Tilting Head Scroll Saw with Foot Switch (Renewed)
Hegner 18″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw
DEWALT Scroll Saw, 1.3 Amp, 20 in Steel Blade, With Variable-Speed Trigger, For Precise Cuts (DW788)
WEN 3921 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Work Light
Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw
SKIL 1.2 Amp 16 in. Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Foot Pedal & LED Work Light for Woodworking-SS9503-00
General International Excalibur EX-21CRB 21 in. Tilting Head Scroll Saw with Foot Switch (Renewed)
Hegner 18" Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
DEWALT Scroll Saw, 1.3 Amp, 20 in Steel Blade, With Variable-Speed Trigger, For Precise Cuts (DW788)
DEWALT Scroll Saw, 1.3 Amp, 20 in Steel Blade, With Variable-Speed Trigger, For Precise Cuts (DW788)
Amazon Prime
WEN 3921 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Work Light
WEN 3921 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Work Light
Amazon Prime
Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Popular with Pros
SKIL 1.2 Amp 16 in. Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Foot Pedal & LED Work Light for Woodworking-SS9503-00
SKIL 1.2 Amp 16 in. Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Foot Pedal & LED Work Light for Woodworking-SS9503-00
Amazon Prime
General International Excalibur EX-21CRB 21 in. Tilting Head Scroll Saw with Foot Switch (Renewed)
General International Excalibur EX-21CRB 21 in. Tilting Head Scroll Saw with Foot Switch (Renewed)
Hegner 18″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Hegner 18" Variable Speed Scroll Saw

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What is a Scroll Saw Used For?

Scroll saws are used for freehand cutting. In other words, they’re used to carve intricate patterns in the wood that you are working with.

You can also create smaller things such as name tags, mini furniture, clock bases and other designs with the use of a scroll saw.

The scroll saw uses a reciprocating blade instead of a continuous loop. This means that you can actually remove the blade and place it through a hole you have already drilled when using a scroll saw.

This will make it easier for you to cut out and make intricate designs with an entry slot that you have already made.

There are a lot of things that you can do with this. The much-needed finesse with the movement gives you an advantage when compared to using other narrow blades.

Many people use the scroll saw to make their lives easier when working with a flexible arm. This ensures that the entire work area is lit up.

There is almost always a dust blower nozzle to ensure that the workspace is clean and clear, even while working with a piece of material.

The variety of speeds that you can run the scroll saw blade on is also one of the significant advantages that it has over many different saws out there.

You can work slower for hardwood and faster for softer wood to ensure that the intricate details you are planning do not go to waste because of a misguided blade.

So What is the Best Scroll Saw?

There are a lot of scroll saws on the market right now, and it is vital for you to find one of the highest quality.

Efficiency, precision, and stability are at the top of the list when deciding the best scroll saw.

We have compiled some of the best scroll saw models on the market today to make sure you get a healthy comparison of the best scroll saws.

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

DEWALT Scroll Saw, 1.3 Amp, 20 in Steel Blade, With Variable-Speed Trigger, For Precise Cuts (DW788)
  • Double parallel-link arm design dramatically reduces vibration and noise, for extremely accurate cuts
  • Exclusive tool-free blade clamps allow blade changes in seconds
  • On-off switch, electronic variable speed, flexible dust blower and blade-tensioning lever are all located on the front upper arm for added convenience
  • Arm design pivots from the back of the saw to the front, shortening the arm movement for smoother, quieter operation
  • Arm lifts so blade can be easily threaded through the material for inside cuts

If you are looking for a unique armed scroll saw, it’ll be hard to find one as accurate as this one.

It features an easily handled variable speed control that you can adjust to fully control how your blades cut through the materials you are working with.

The DW788 by DEWALT is one of the best scroll saws that you can get on the market right now.

It has a tool-free blade change experience which means that you are not going to have to go through too much effort to replace the blade that you are using.

What We Like

You are definitely going to love the double parallel-link arm design since it gives you a reduced sense of vibration and noise while you are working with your intricate designs.

This ensures that your creations are of the highest quality and gives you a comprehensive understanding of your experience.

With the tool-free blade clamp, you can switch out blades quickly and still enjoy total safety.

The on/off switch is conveniently accessible to toggle, and the additional features give you ultimate control.

An electronic variable speed for easy adjustments, a dust blower that keeps your workspace clean and tidy, and a blade tensioning lever make this tool an unbeatable choice!

All of these are located on the front upper arm for easy control.

What We Don’t Like

For people considering purchasing this scroll saw by DEWALT, we suggest that you wait for a while since there are a lot of reports that some manufacturing issues have been rising.

This might be because some of their factories have moved resources around. There are a lot of factors you must keep in mind for this reason.

However, we truly believe this is the best you can get within its price range.

The Verdict

The DW788 gets a well-earned spot at the top of our list, thanks to DEWALT’s attention to precision and detail. This scroll saw packs a lot of punch, and you will not be disappointed.

Check out our FULL DW788 Scroll Saw review here!

WEN 3921 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw

WEN 3921 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Work Light
  • Unique design accepts blades in two directions (standard and 90 degrees) to allow for infinite ripping capacity
  • Variable speed goes from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute
  • Spacious 16-by-11-inch table bevels up to 45 degrees to the left for angled cuts
  • Cuts wood up to 2 inches thick with a 16-inch throat depth in the standard position
  • Features a thumb screw blade adapter for tool-free blade changes, a cast iron base, an air pump, a flex light, a dust port, a foot lock clamp, onboard storage, and three blades

You will not be able to find any other scroll saw like the WEN 3921. It has an intricate specific design that you can use to let your creative juices flow.

With a range of 400-1600 strokes per minute, you can customize your speed to suit any task.

This gives you a lot of range in how you want to work with different types of wood.

What We Like

The WEN 3921 scroll saw provides a wide range of strokes per minute, making it suitable for harder and softer wood types.

For delicate materials, faster blade speeds are ideal; however, when working with tougher woods, you should opt to slow down the pacing to maintain control.

You can cut different wood types at up to 1.9 inches thick and 16 inches with the throat depth.

There are a lot of things that you can do with this measurement since you are going to be able to work with a lot of different intricate designs in the long run.

With the high quality of the Wen 3921, you will not have to worry about durability since it holds up.

What We Don’t Like…

Somebody recently told us that the neck quickly broke after light use. If you want your device to last, handle it carefully and avoid any rough treatment!

We do, however, want to note that we did not experience any breaking at the neck area of the machine when we tried it, so it’s very possible that might have been an isolated incident.

The Verdict

For something that you can get for under a hundred dollars, there is truly no beating the WEN 3921. There are so many things that you can do with it, and a lot of those things were done with great precision.

We’re for it.

Read Our Full WEN 3921 Scroll Saw Review Here!

Delta 40-694 Scroll Saw

Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw
  • Electronic variable speed can be adjusted from 400-1,750 SPM for a wide array of cutting applications
  • Dual parallel link arm design reduces vibration reducing over and under cutting improving accuracy and quality
  • Upper arm lifts and locks in the raised position during blade changes or while adjusting blade position for fret work
  • Tool-free blade clamp allows for quick, easy blade changes in seconds. Bevels 0° – 45° left and right. Motor: 1.3 Amp
  • On/Off switch, electronic variable speed dial, flexible dust blower and blade-tensioning lever are all conveniently located up front on the arm for easy accessibility

Delta 40-694 Scroll Saw Features

Delta is one of the leading brands when it comes to power tools, and it is not hard to see why. Their products are high quality, which you will not find with any other products in the same price range.

You will love all of the features packed in with the Delta 40-694 scroll saw. There is an electronic variable speed that you can easily adjust between 400 and 1750 SPM.

You can take advantage of the dual parallel-link arm design to ensure that your cuts are as precise as possible by minimizing the vibration of the saw itself.

These are only some of the things that we found that customers love and rave about with the Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 In. Variable Speed scroll saw.

The Delta Power Tools 40-694 has an electronic variable speed that you can adjust between 400 strokes per minute and 1,750 strokes per minute.

What We Like

For harder woods, it is imperative that you use a slower speed to make sure that the cuts are as precise as possible while minimizing unnecessary cutting around the edges of the holes and curves that you are trying to produce.

This gives you a lot of flexibility regarding how you want your work to come out and will mean that you have a lot of versatility to put your faith in.

The dual parallel-link arm design will reduce the vibration that you feel while you are working on cutting your wood.

This means that you will be less distracted by the sound and will be able to concentrate your hearing on how sharp the blades are.

Not a lot of craftsmen know this, but making sure that you hear how sharp or dull the cuts sound is important in making sure that all of your scroll saw patterns are as intricate and as accurate as possible.

This means that you will be able to improve the overall quality of the final output of your work.

The upper arm lifts and locks, so you can rest assured that your blade position is safe while making adjustments.

Once the arm has been raised to its new position, it will remain there until you’re ready to change blades again.

The tool-free blade clamp also means that you can easily change the blade in a matter of seconds.

There are not going to be a lot of processes that you have to go through just for a simple blade change, so you can always jump back to whatever it was that you were doing beforehand.

What We Don’t Like

There seems to be a knocking sound that you hear at all speeds, whether you are cutting harder wood or softer wood.

We do not really know what causes this, but it has been known to happen with even the best scroll saws on the market right now since there are legitimate complaints as to why a lot of folks are hearing sounds.

For those having issues with their unit, we suggest you call their customer support since they are highly responsive and can assist you fully with the replacement of the needed components.

The Verdict

We give the Delta Scroll Saw 40-694 four stars out of five. With a reasonable price tag, you are not going to get anything better than this one.

You will be able to take advantage of a lot of power, and the amount of precision you will get cannot be compared to other cheaper units that do not provide as many features as this one does in an efficient manner.

Check out our full Delta Scroll Saw 40-694 review here!

Shop Fox W1872 16″ VS Scroll Saw

Shop Fox W1872 16″ VS Scroll Saw with Foot Switch, LED, Miter Gauge, Rotary Shaft
  • Motor: 1/6 HP, 120V, 0.6A
  • Variable speed motor
  • Blade speed: 550-1600 SPM
  • Max cutting thickness: 2-1/4″
  • Max. Cutting width: 16″

With so many unreliable scroll saws on the market right now, the Shop Fox W1872 saves the day.

In this price range, you are not going to find anything better or packed with more features than the Shop Fox W1872.

There are a lot of different things that you can do with an effective scroll saw, but it all comes down to the precision that you require.

Shop Fox W1872 16″ VS Scroll Saw Features

  • 1/6 HP, 0.6 Amp, 120V, Single-phase, 60HZ
  • No-load speed: 550-1600 SPM
  • Maximum cutting thickness: 2 1/4 inches
  • Maximum cutting width: 16 inches
  • Blade stroke: 9/16 inches
  • Variable speed motor cast iron table and a gooseneck work light
  • Dust blower and 1-1/4 inch dust port

What We Like

The Shop Fox W1872 model is the complete package. Boasting an impressive no-load speed of 550 to 1600 strokes per minute, this product offers a wide range of features you won’t want to miss out on!

With a maximum cutting width of 16 inches, this saw is powerful enough to easily cut through even the thickest pieces of wood.

What We Don’t Like

If you are not used to the unique design of the Shop Fox scroll saw setup, you might have a new experience with it.

Some complaints targeted how consumers had set up the entire scroll saw piece by piece.

Though the materials were of high quality, many people could not help but notice how different this particular scroll saw unit is compared to other standard designs in the market.

But what can we say…never judge a scroll saw by its cover.

The Verdict

This fourth-place finisher garners plenty of praise from craftsmen all over the nation (including mine), proving itself to be an incredibly precise scroll saw.

Bear in mind that this scroll saw has been designed differently than other models you might have used previously. But we gave the W713 a pretty extensive test run, to ensure it didn’t impact user experience.

As soon as you adjust to the changes, you’ll have a smoother experience going forward.

Read Our Full Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw Review Here!

Excalibur EX-21CRB 21 in. Tilting Head Scroll Saw

General International Excalibur EX-21CRB 21 in. Tilting Head Scroll Saw with Foot Switch (Renewed)
  • UNIQUE TILTING HEAD – Tilt the head 38° left or 45° right while keeping your workpiece level. Ideal for enhanced control and more precise cuts.
  • ENHANCED SAFETY FEATURES – On/off safety switch and intergrated upper and lower blade guard assembly help to prevent accidental hand contact with an active blade.
  • ADJUSTABLE BLADE MOUNTING – Easily raise or lower the mounting position of the blade to make just the right cut.
  • SEAMLESS BLADE CHANGES – Finger-operated blade clamps make changing the blades quick & easy. No tool required.
  • LARGE TABLE SURFACE – The spacious work surface allows you to cut any material you need!

Without a doubt, Excalibur is the returning conquering hero. The Excalibur brand is no stranger to success, and the EX21CRB scroll saw continues its run as one of the best scroll saws on the market.

Its superior craftsmanship was evident in our tests, making it a clear-cut choice for quality over other brands. So you won’t be at all surprised when we say that it is one of the higher-quality scroll saws that we tested out.

With the Ecaliber EX21CRB scroll saw, you’ll experience exceptional power and accuracy. It’s ideal for intense cutting that requires maximum precision – rest assured knowing each cut will be precise and accurate every single time.

Excalibur Scroll Saw Features

  • Electronic variable speed can be adjusted from 400-1500 SPM for a wide array of cutting applications
  • Dual parallel-link arm design reduces vibration reducing over and under-cutting improving accuracy and quality
  • Upper arm lifts and locks in the raised position during blade changes or while adjusting blade position for fretwork
  • Tool-free blade clamp allows for quick, easy blade changes in seconds

What We Like

The electronic variable speed add-on of the Excalibur EX-21CRB scroll saw was a pleasant surprise, as it can be adjusted effortlessly.

With 400-1,750 strokes per minute available, you won’t have any problems cutting both soft and hard woods with ease.

This is great for folks who want that all-in-one scroll saw that they’ll always be able to use, regardless of the type of wood or the nature of their project.

Don’t let vibrations keep you from achieving your goals! This scroll saw is designed to minimize vibration while increasing efficiency, allowing you to confidently complete the task at hand.

What We Don’t Like

You will not have any complaints other than the annoying knocking sound you might hear.

You can change the cutter’s speed, but you will still hear the weird knocking sound.

We are not completely sure what causes it, so you may want to call the customer service hotline to see what is up with your unit if that is the case with yours.

Besides that, it was a smooth and fun experience for us to review this particular scroll saw.

The Verdict

The Excalibur EX-21CRB scroll saw packs a lot of power, and you will not have any issues with the reliability, accuracy, efficiency, stability, and durability of this product.

We can rave about many things, but you still have to accept the negatives and the positives.

The major one, in this case, is that it is noisy with the knocking sound you hear when trying to cut wood.

We hope that gets fixed sometime soon.

Hegner 18″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw

Hegner 18″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw
  • Double Quicklock Tensioning System
  • Electronic Variable Speed Induction Motor
  • Highly Precise and Reliable
  • 7 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty against defects
  • Recommended Stand sold separately on this site

If you’re in the market for a scroll saw that provides longevity and quality, the Hegner 18″ scroll saw is for you!

With a throat depth of 18 inches, the Hegner scroll saw can make quick work of almost any material. My guys loved the Hegner for its dynamic speed range of 400-1700 SPM.

Hegner 18″ Scroll Saw Features

  • Dust port that can be attached to a shop vac for easy cleanup
  • Quick-Lock Tension Release mechanism, which makes it ridiculously easy to change blades whenever you need to
  • Cast-iron plates, arms, and base design for increased stability.
  • Easy incline support for angular cuts

What We Like

  • Cutting ability covers a range of depths, from 5/8ths of an inch to 2″.
  • 2.83 Amp motor, which enables the Hegner scroll saw to cut through just about anything.
  • 7-year warranty
  • Range of speeds from 400-1700 SPM

What We Don’t Like

  • Price isn’t ideal for scroll saw beginners

Check out our full Hegner 18″ scroll saw review!

King Industrial 16″ Scroll Saw

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

Like its sister scroll saw, the Excalibur EX-21CRB, the King Industrial 16″ scroll saw has become a beloved addition to the DIY Spotlight saw family.

When we tested it, we found that even the most inexperienced members of the team were able to achieve great scrollwork and designs.

We have no problem saying that the King Industrial scroll saw is perfect for both beginners and seasoned veterans.

King Industrial 16″ Scroll Saw Features

  • Rack and pinion mechanism with spring-loaded pin for easy locking when cutting angles
  • 16 variable speeds
  • 120V 1.3 Amp magnet motor
  • Small feet for leveling on a surface

What We Like

  • Minimal vibrations when the saw is running
  • Quick, effortless cuts
  • Minimal noise
  • Easily-controllable blade movement

What We Don’t Like

  • The dust collection system got clogged often
  • Changing blades is difficult because the nozzle port prevents the saw arm from tilting fully to the right
  • Stand has to be purchased separately
  • Doesn’t come with a light

Check out our full King Industrial Scroll Saw review!

SKIL 1.2 Amp 16 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw

SKIL 1.2 Amp 16 in. Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Foot Pedal & LED Work Light for Woodworking-SS9503-00
  • FOOT PEDAL—Allows the operator to always keep both hands on the workpiece
  • INTEGRATED LED WORKLIGHT—Allows greater visibility at a variety of angles
  • INTEGRATED DUST REMOVAL SYSTEM—Keeps cut line free of debris for accurate cuts
  • ELECTRONIC VARIABLE SPEED CONTROL—Provides greater cutting control with a variety of materials
  • TILTING 16 IN. X 10 IN. WORK TABLE—Tilts 0–45 degrees for precise cuts

SKIL 16 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw Features

The SKIL 16-inch variable speed scroll saw comes packed with features designed to enhance your woodworking experience.

One of its standout features is the foot pedal, which allows you to keep both hands on the workpiece at all times, ensuring stability and precision.

To facilitate better visibility from different angles, the saw is equipped with an integrated LED worklight, a feature that is complemented by the integrated dust removal system that keeps the cut line free from debris, allowing for more accurate cuts.

The electronic variable speed control is another notable feature, providing you with greater control when cutting through various materials, making your work smoother and more precise.

Moreover, the saw boasts a tilting work table measuring 16 x 10 inches, which can tilt from 0 to 45 degrees, enabling you to make precise cuts with ease.

Additionally, the saw offers on-tool blade storage, allowing you to easily access additional blades without wasting time searching for them.

This feature pairs well with the keyless blade change system, which facilitates fast and easy blade changes without the need for any tools, saving you time and effort during your woodworking projects.

What We Like:

  • Operates quietly and smoothly.
  • Suitable for hobbyists; with practice, you can achieve precise cuts.
  • Integrated LED worklight allows greater visibility at various angles.
  • Integrated dust removal system ensures the cut line remains clear of debris for accurate cuts.
  • Electronic variable speed control offers enhanced cutting control with different materials.
  • Tilting 16 in. x 10 in. work table that tilts 0–45 degrees, allowing for precise cuts.
  • On-tool blade storage for easy access to additional blades.
  • Keyless blade change enables quick and tool-free blade changes.
  • Comes with a foot pedal, adding an element of control.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Tensioner was bent and parts fell off during use.
  • Difficulty in getting the blade tight enough, leading to deflection.
  • Pinless adapters are cumbersome for inside cuts.
  • Foot pedal lacks variable speed control; it’s merely on or off.
  • Built-in tool tray feels like an afterthought at best, and could be better designed.

The Verdict

After testing the SKIL 16-inch variable speed scroll saw, I had mixed feelings about it. Right off the bat, one of my guys noticed the tensioner was bent, and to my surprise, parts even fell off during my use.

The tensioner was a significant concern for me; I just couldn’t get the blade tight enough, which caused a lot of deflection early on.

Using the pinless adapters for inside cuts felt more time-consuming than it should be.

On the brighter side, the saw operated quietly and smoothly, which I appreciated. It’s clear to me that this saw is more suited for hobbyists.

With some practice, I managed to make more precise cuts, but it’s essential to be patient and get the feel of the machine.

Overall, while some improvements are definitely recommended for this saw, we still had a great time using it.

We made a couple of great scroll saw boxes with the scroll saw and a couple of fun kitchen signs for the wives.

There may have been a few minor inconveniences, but we’ve heard great things from our partners about the customer support at SKIL and the three-year warranty.

We rate our experience with the SKIL 16-inch variable speed scroll saw 4 out of 5.

Different Sizes of Scroll Saws

There are a lot of different sizes of scroll saws. All of them have been classified according to the size of the actual throat.

This is the blade’s distance when measured to the rear of the saw’s frame.

A depth to the throat will let you measure how big a piece of wood can be cut by it.

The smaller saws have room for 12 inches or 300 mm. Commercial saws give you upwards of 30 inches or 760 mm.

Before computer automation made it easy to use saws in general, industrial saws were commonplace in manufacturing suites since large objects can be hung on top of the mechanical link without any issues.

So what does that mean to you, exactly? It means a deep throat is to be taken advantage of with the linkage right up above the ceiling.

Depending on the size of the scroll saw, the prices may vary from about $50 to a high-end industrial-grade $2,500.

The high-end scroll saws, like the Hegner scroll saw, present a better accuracy rating for the ultimate precision needed since they have minimal vibration- or “recoil,” as many folks call it.

Scroll Saw for Beginners- Terms to Know

Some terminologies may seem daunting at first, but they are straightforward to remember once you get used to it.

Throat Size

The throat size is the distance from the blade back to the saw throat. The most common throat sizes are 16”, 20”, 21” and 30”.

  • The 16” scroll saw is a scroll saw for beginners and small jobs. It’s an entry-level machine and easy to handle.
  • The 20” and 21” scroll saw is for general-purpose cutting.
  • The 30” scroll saw is an advanced-level saw to be used by experts.

Blade Mounting

There are two basic types of mount blades;

Tooled: For this type of blade mounting, you’ll require a tool to mount and dismount the blade.

They have a more rigid and stable blade mounting but are also more challenging and time-consuming to change.

Tool-less: As you may already have guessed, you don’t require a tool to remove and replace your scroll saw blade with this type.

They are usually the easiest and most common blade mounting on modern scroll saws.

Smooth and Flat Work Table

To work with the scroll saw more efficiently, it needs to be completely flat and smooth. A rough blade will prevent you from cutting your material accurately.

Using a scroll saw, you bring the material to the saw, and since you don’t want any resistance, make sure to use a relatively broad table and one that sits perfectly horizontally.

Variable Speed

For more versatility, a variable speed scroll saw is much better for both beginners and professionals. It will be of great assistance when working with different materials.

Hold Down Foot

The hold-down foot must be as sturdy as possible since it holds down your material.

Ensure that it’s made from a solid metal; otherwise, it’s not something you want to buy.

The blade’s manufacturer should also have provided an easy way to make adjustments to the blade.

Table Tilt

See if the blade has a table tilt for angular cuts. Remember that the “table” does not tilt – only the motor, housing, and blade do.

It also needs to have a lock to position it permanently.

Choosing the Best Scroll Saw Blades

By default, most scroll saws come with a standard factory blade. However, this isn’t always the best blade to use. You should swap it out with a better-performing one.

The best way to get the perfect feel of a blade is to start cutting your material of choice with it. Switch out to different blades until you find one that best fits your need.

Be sure to get a blade that will deliver a comfortable cutting experience and allow you to make clean cuts.

The bottom line is that you need to experiment before you finally find the right blade. Make sure you purchase additional blades just to be safe.

Blade Size

The size of the blade is arguably the most crucial aspect to consider before selecting a blade.

For a clean, professional cut, you need a blade size that’s best suited to the main material you’ll be cutting.

A blade size that’s either too small or too big won’t work efficiently.

Types of Scroll Saw Blades

Scroll saws have a variety of blade types, each suited for particular types of projects or types of wood. If you’re starting out with your scroll saw, it’s essential to choose the appropriate blade.

Below are some of the most common scroll saw blades you should know about and what they are used for!

Pinless Scroll Saw Blades

Pinless scroll saw blades are a type of scroll saw blade that eliminates the need for the pin to secure it in place and provide smoother cuts.

A pinless blade is also easier to replace and less likely to break, which can be preferred by woodworkers who don’t want to deal with accidentally breaking a small piece of their blade.

Pinless blades are typically mounted on an arbor and made from high-quality carbide or diamond-like carbon material.

They can be used for cutting hard and soft wood, as well as plastics like MDF, melamine board, chipboard, and aluminum sheeting.

Pin End Scroll Saw Blades

Pin end scroll saw blades have a chisel-like point on one end and an elongated point on the other. The bevel located between these points is called the “pin.”

The pin of these blades varies in design and function, but typically, they are used to create cuts with an angled or straight edge at 90° (a right angle).

Pin end scroll saw blades are best suited for cutting mitered joints in wood, plastic, and other materials like EVA foam.

Plain End Scroll Saw Blades

A plain end scroll saw blade is a round saw blade with a flat end and a smooth, polished surface that cuts intricate curves into soft and hard woods such as pine and oak.

Plain end scroll saw blades are typically used for different materials and surfaces, such as soft woods, hard woods, plywood, and plastics.

Scroll Saw Blade Chart

The scroll saw blade chart below explains blade classifications by teeth.

Scroll Saw Blade Chart

Blade sizes range widely, right from 3/0 to 12. 3/0 is the smallest (naught blades), and 12 is the largest.

The smallest scroll saw is often called a naught blade. It’s also the most preferred blade because it delivers a very fine cut.

The only caveat is that they can easily bend and break since they are so small. It would help if you had a steady hand and quite a bit of experience before using them.

Material Thickness

The final factor to consider is the material thickness. The thicker the material, the bigger the blade you pick needs to be.

Note that this general rule of thumb also holds true for almost any other type of woodcutting.

Once again, the blade should neither be too small nor too big – perfectly suited for the material thickness.

Here’s a quick rundown of the different classes of scroll saw blades and what they’re used for

Type 2/0: Used mostly for softwood, this size has the cleanest and most detailed cut.

Type 1: This type delivers excellent detail and clean cuts a little faster than 2/0. It’s ideal for scroll saw beginners looking to make fine details.

Type 5: This is a general-purpose blade perfect for any wood cutting – from tapered wood to raw lumber.

Type 12: Used to cut material of at least 1” and above in thickness.

How to Use a Scroll Saw

1. Turn the scroll saw on

Of course, it should go without saying that you have to turn on the machine before you use it, right?

You must cut around the pattern that we assume you have already drawn or laid out on your wood beforehand.

There are a lot of different types of wood so make sure that the blade that you are going to use to put in your intricate design fits well.

The differences when it comes to the teeth of the scroll saw are incredibly important when you want to be able to be as detailed as possible with your designs.

2. Configure the speed of the saw’s blade

If you are using a variable speed model for a scroll saw, then you can adjust its blade’s speed. This means you can change the speeds for the different types of wood.

We suggest using faster speeds on woods such as maple while maintaining a slower speed when you are working with much harder ones.

This will guarantee that you are not wasting too much effort by repeating many motions while still maintaining the precision that is most likely required when working with wood.

3. Guide the blade with your forefingers

Using the forefingers of both of your hands, you can guide the blade through the wood you are working with.

Making sure you use both hands means that you will not have a piece that jumps around and nothing will be lifted by accident.

You have to make sure that you are keeping a safe distance from your fingers with the saw blade itself since your own safety is the top priority in these situations.

Depending on your skill level, you can do precision cutting relatively easy or it might take you some time to fully learn the process, so we highly suggest that you keep an open mind to mistakes.

4. Use fine-grit sandpaper to soften rough edges

Assuming that you are already finished with your sample work, you can use fine-grit sandpaper to soften any of the rough edges that the scroll might have created saw blade.

To safeguard yourself and others from getting nicked, always make sure to smooth off any sharp edges on your woodwork before handling it.

This is also a great way to check out your work if you want to add more detail or are satisfied with what came out.

Top 5 Tips for Working with a Scroll Saw

1. Turn Up the Lights

This may seem a little obvious, but good lighting is very important when using your scroll saw.

Poor lighting will negatively impact the quality of your work. You will not be able to see the pattern you need to trace.

Another problem you may encounter is perception. If the light is poor, you may not be able to see exactly where the blade is positioned along the line.

A great solution to this problem is mountable lights that you can mount directly on the saw for ideal light positioning.

2. Blade Specifics

Once you have the correct blade for your project, you need to check the blade’s tension. Too much or too little, your blade will likely break.

The tension is expected to be correct when you pluck it, and you hear a ping sound.

If there is too much tension, the blade will break when you begin to saw, and if there is too little tension, the blade will wander when you cut.

After about half an hour of working, your blades are going to become dull and possibly break.

To save time and effort, ensure you have a supply of extra blades near your work area.

A quick and simple idea for storing your blades is to attach a magnetic strip to the scroll saw’s stand and let them hang onto the magnetic strip until needed.

Before you begin working, always check the teeth of the blade to ensure they are facing forward and pointing down.

If the blade is pointing in the wrong direction, you will likely experience issues.

3. Minimize Warping

Prevent the warping of your plywood, thin varieties in particular, by storing them on a flat surface and placing a heavy piece of wood on top.

If your plywood has already warped, you can fix it by dampening the surface slightly and placing it on a flat surface, and once again placing a heavy piece of wood on top.

It may take about a week to straighten out again.

4. Prevent Splitting

When drilling holes through a piece of wood, you can prevent the wood from splitting as the drill passes through using two methods.

The first method is to place a piece of scrap wood underneath your workpiece before drilling.

This works well with thinner pieces of wood. The second method works best when you are working with thicker pieces.

Start by drilling through the wood to the point where the drill breaks through the bottom surface.

Turn the wood over and finish drilling the hole from the other side.

5. Keep Stacked Pieces Together

When you need several identical pieces, it is recommended to stack them together when sawing to ensure the sizes are indeed identical.

This can be done by using clear packing tape to secure the pieces together before sawing.

Another option is cyanoacrylate glue to hold pieces firmly in place while you work.

Always use the glue in moderation to avoid any sticky situations.

Working with a scroll saw will take both practice and patience to perfect. Use the above tips to help you enhance your scroll saw skills and better the outcome of your woodworking projects.

How Do I Change a Scroll Saw Blade?

Step 1: Before beginning, ensure the saw is unplugged. This is to prevent any electrical shocks.

Step 2: Loosen the bolts, screws, or turnable knobs holding the blade. Loosen the screws using the appropriate screwdriver sizing or Allen wrench. The position of the screws may be found in the instruction manual of your device.

Step 3: Once all the screws are loosened, you can now remove the saw blade. Carefully remove the blade with gloves on.

Step 4: On removing the old blade, select a new blade within the range specified in the instructions guide. The blade should be inserted such that the teeth face downwards, although some of the newer generation blades come with teeth facing bi-direction, which is both upwards and downwards, for a smoother cut.

Step 5: Locate the two holes on the new blade and position them as they were in the older one to hold the blades in place. The screws shall fit into these two holes for clamping the blade to the holder.

Step 6: Once the new blade is aligned with the screws, make sure to tighten the screws but allow space for future adjustments. Check that the blade is upright to avoid any kind of tension.

Step 7: That’s it! You can check if the new blade is fit in place by trying a cut. If required, you may tighten it further but remember not to tighten it beyond its limits, or else you could end up straining the blade.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a scroll saw worth it?

Yes. If you enjoy carving intricate designs, the scroll saw is the best saw for the job! We recommend purchasing one that’s guaranteed to minimize machine vibrations, has a wide range of speed drives, and comes with a configurable blade-clamping system.

How thick of wood can a scroll saw cut?

The most common scroll saws can cut wood up to 3/4” thick, and the higher-end scroll saws can handle wood that’s even thicker than this. Scroll saws can also be used to carve out minute, intricate, and complex patterns onto the wood as well.

What is the best wood for scroll sawing?

The most common scroll saws are recommended for cedar and plywoods. But going with higher-end scroll saws, like the Hegner 18-inch scroll saw, you can typically cut through any kind of wood, as per your requirement.

Why does my scroll saw blade keep breaking?

There may be several reasons for your scroll saw blades breaking quite often. The main reason would be improper tension due to the hogging of the cutting material too fast or excessive side pressure. Other contributors might be rust, defective blade and blade holders, or uneven wear due to improper installation.

What’s the difference between a scroll saw and a bandsaw?

Scroll saws are designed for making more precise cuts than band saws. This is because scroll saws have a much narrower blade than band saws. As a result, scroll saws are better suited for tasks that require intricate cuts, such as creating detailed patterns or outline shapes. In contrast, band saws are better suited for making rougher, faster cuts.

Is a scroll saw better than a jigsaw?

It depends on what type of project you’re working on. The scroll saw is ideal for making intricate cuts and shapes. It can also be used for more delicate work, such as cutting inlays or marquetry. The jigsaw, on the other hand, is better suited for making straight or curved cuts in thicker pieces of wood. Jigsaws can also cut through metal, plastic, or ceramic tile.

Can a scroll saw cut Styrofoam?

Yep! Many people that are into Live Action Role Playing (LARPing) use scroll saws to create their costumes out of EVA foam.

Wrapping it Up

Scroll saws are a great way for beginners to start working with wood. They are relatively inexpensive, and they can be used to make a variety of projects. If you are new to scroll sawing, we recommend starting with one of the saws on our list. These scroll saws have been selected because our team found them easy to use and produce good results.

So, if you’re looking for the best scroll saw for beginners (or even intermediate users), look no further than this guide!

Until next time, fellow scroller!

Check out all of our scroll saw reviews here!

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