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.
What You'll Learn...
- 1 No Time to Read? Here are Our Best Scroll Saw Picks!
- 2 What is a Scroll Saw Used For?
- 3 Different Sizes of Scroll Saws
- 4 Scroll Saw for Beginners- Terms to Know
- 5 Choosing the Best Scroll Saw Blades
- 6 Types of Scroll Saw Blades
- 7 How to Use a Scroll Saw
- 8 Top 5 Tips for Working with a Scroll Saw
- 9 So What is the Best Scroll Saw?
- 9.1 DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw
- 9.2 WEN 3921 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
- 9.3 Delta 40-694 Scroll Saw
- 9.4 Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
- 9.5 Excalibur EX-21CRB 21 in. Tilting Head Scroll Saw
- 9.6 Hegner 18″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw
- 9.7 King Industrial 16″ Scroll Saw
- 9.8 WEN LL2156 21-Inch Scroll Saw
- 9.9 WEN LL2156 Features
- 10 How Do I Change a Scroll Saw Blade?
- 11 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 11.1 Is a scroll saw worth it?
- 11.2 How thick of wood can a scroll saw cut?
- 11.3 What is the best wood for scroll sawing?
- 11.4 Why does my scroll saw blade keep breaking?
- 11.5 What’s the difference between a scroll saw and a bandsaw?
- 11.6 Is a scroll saw better than a jigsaw?
- 11.7 Can a scroll saw cut Styrofoam?
- 12 Wrapping it Up
No Time to Read? Here are Our Best Scroll Saw Picks!
*Disclosure: This site earns a commission from Amazon for qualifying purchases*
|Top||DEWALT Scroll Saw, Variable-Speed, 1.3 Amp, 20-Inch (DW788)||Prime||Check Amazon Price||3-Year Limited Warranty|
|Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw||Prime||Check Amazon Price||5-Year Limited Warranty|
|WEN 3921 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Work Light||Prime||Check Amazon Price||2-Year Manufacturer's Warranty|
|Hegner 18" Variable Speed Scroll Saw||Prime||Check Amazon Price||7-Year Manufacturer's Warranty|
|King Industrial 16 Inch Scroll Saw||Prime||Check Amazon Price||N/A|
|EXCALIBUR 21" Scroll Saw Kit - 1.3A Variable Speed Woodworking Saw & Stand with Tilting head & Foot Switch Controller - EX-21K||Prime||Check Amazon Price||2-Year Limited Warranty|
|WEN LL2156 21-Inch 1.6-Amp Variable Speed Parallel Arm Scroll Saw with Extra-Large Dual-Bevel Steel Table||Prime||Check Amazon Price||2-Year Manufacturer's Warranty|
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 will be able to 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.
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 frame of the saw itself.
There is a depth to the throat that 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 like to call it these days.
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.
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.
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 to use and the 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.
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 needs to be as sturdy as possible since it holds down your material.
Check to ensure that it’s made from a solid metal material; 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.
See if the blade has a table tilt for angular cuts. Bear in mind that the “table” itself 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 both a comfortable cutting experience as well as allow you to make clean cuts.
The bottom line is, you need to perform some experimentation before you finally find the right blade. Make sure you purchase additional blades just to be safe.
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 just starting out with your scroll saw, it’s important 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 woods, 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 opposite end. 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’s used to cut intricate curves into both 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.
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 since they are so small, they can easily bend and break. It would help if you had a really steady hand and quite a bit of experience before using them.
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, as well as 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 have to 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 woods 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 will have the ability to adjust the speed of its blade. This means that 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 a lot of motions while still maintaining the precision that is most likely required when working with woods.
3. Guide the blade with your forefingers
Using the forefingers of both of your hands, you will be able to guide the blade through the wood that you are working with.
Making sure that you use both hands means that you are not going to 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 might have been created by the scroll saw blade.
Making sure that the wood that you have finished working with does not have accidental sharp edges will prevent you and other folks who might be holding your work from getting cut.
This is also a great way to check out your work if you want to add a little 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 just 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.
So What is the Best Scroll Saw?
There are a lot of scroll saws on the market right now, and it is important for you to find one that is of the highest quality.
Efficiency, precision, and stability are at the top of the list when deciding what the best scroll saw is.
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
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 gives you an accurate overall experience and means that you will increase the quality of what you are designing.
The tool-free blade clamp lets you change the blades in seconds while maintaining the safety that you require.
The on and off switch can easily be toggled and there are add-on features such as the electronic variable speed, flexible dust blower to keep your workspace clean, and a blade tensioning lever.
All of these are located on the front upper arm for easy control.
What We Don’t Like…
For people who are thinking of 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 that this is the best that you can get within its price range.
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.
With so many features for you to take advantage of, there are many things that you can do and the functionalities already provided are maintained in a certain level of quality that you can depend on.
It does so many things right, so we are not even going to point out that there are units that came out with manufacturing issues since those can easily be addressed soon.
WEN 3921 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
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.
There is a wide variable speed that you can change, varying from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute.
This gives you a lot of range in how you want to work with different types of wood.
You have to make sure that all of the designs that you put out are done with precision, so you are not going to have any regrets as long as you take advantage of the features of this unit.
What We Like…
With the range of strokes per minute that this scroll saw comes with, you are going to be able to work with both harder kinds of wood and softer woods.
For those that may not know, it is best suited for softer woods to make sure that the blade strokes are faster while for harder woods, you have to take control of the pacing by making it much slower.
You can cut different wood types at up to 1.9 inches in terms of thickness 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…
Some people have reported that the neck easily broke even after light use. You are going to have to make sure that you take care of how you use the machine if you want to make it last if that is truly the case.
We do, however, want to note that we did not experience any breaking at the neck area of the machine itself, so it’s very possible this might have been an isolated issue that applies only to a few of the units put out.
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.
This means you must be as accurate as possible with the machine you use.
Delta 40-694 Scroll Saw
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.
The dual parallel-link arm design is something that you can take advantage of to make sure 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.
You can use the variety and range of the speed for the different kinds of wood that you might want to cut. For softer woods, we suggest that you use peak speeds or something faster.
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 that you can put your faith into.
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 are going to 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 are going to be able to improve the overall quality of the final output of your works.
The upper arm lifts and locks which mean that as long as the position is raised during blade changes, you are not going to have to worry when adjusting the position of the blade.
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 will be able to assist you fully with the replacement of the needed components.
We to 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.
There is a lot of power that you will be able to take advantage of, and the amount of precision that you are going to get cannot be compared to other cheaper units that do not provide as many features as this one does in an efficient manner.
Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
With so many unreliable scroll saws on the market right now, the Shop Fox W1713 saves the day. In this price range, you are not going to find anything better or packed with more features than the W1713.
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.
The precision that this unit gives you is unparalleled. You are going to make the most accurate cuts possible and you are not going to have any regrets in the end.
- 1/8 HP, 1.2 Amp, 120V, Single-phase, 60HZ
- No-load speed: 550-1650 SPM
- Maximum cutting thickness: 2 inches, Maximum cutting width: 16 inches
- Blade stroke: 3/4 inch
- Variable speed motor cast iron table and a gooseneck work light
- Dust blower and 1-1/4 inch dust port
What We Like
If you do not have tenure, then you are probably wondering what it feels like to work with an accurate scroll saw.
You are going to get exactly that with this model. The Shop Fox W1713 has a lot of great features to offer- and the no-load speed of 550 to 1650 strokes per minute is one of them.
It features ⅛ HP, 1.2 Amp, and 120V in a single-phase type of scroll saw. The machine runs at 60HZ and has a maximum cutting thickness of 2 inches.
It has a maximum cutting width of 16 inches, which is more than enough for the thick woods that you are also thinking of chopping down.
What We Don’t Like
If you are not used to the unique design of the scroll saw setup by Shop Fox, then 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, a lot of people could not help but notice how different this particular scroll saw unit truly is when compared to other standard designs in the market.
This fourth placer gets a lot of props from many craftsmen all over the country, and it is undoubtedly effective in being an accurate scroll saw.
However, you have to take into consideration that it was designed differently compared to other scroll saws that you might have used in the past.
As soon as you adjust to the changes, we can guarantee you’ll have a smooth experience in the long run.
Excalibur EX-21CRB 21 in. Tilting Head Scroll Saw
Without a doubt, Excalibur is the returning conquering hero- one of the more well-known brands regarding scroll saws. 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.
You will get a lot of power and accuracy from it, and you will be able to rely on it under intense situations where you have to have as much precision as possible to make sure that all of your cuts are as precise and accurate as you want them to be.
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 fret work
- Tool-free blade clamp allows for quick, easy blade changes in seconds
What We Like
Excalibur did not disappoint with the electronic variable speed add-on that can easily be adjusted.
You are not going to have any issues with trying to cut harder woods and softer woods since you have a wide range of strokes per minute that you can choose from.
You can choose a setting from anywhere between 400 strokes to 1,750 strokes per minute.
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.
It is possible for you to do what you are attempting without having to worry about the vibration since this scroll saw gives you less vibration and more efficiency overall.
It is truly one of the best experiences that you can get on the market right now in terms of the base price.
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 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
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 plate design of the plates, arms, and base 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
King Industrial 16″ Scroll Saw
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
- 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
WEN LL2156 21-Inch Scroll Saw
With all the fun we had in testing the WEN 3121 scroll saw, we were excited to finally take the WEN LL2156 scroll saw for a spin. Here’s what we came up with!
WEN LL2156 Features
The WEN LL2156 21-inch scroll saw is perfect for anyone looking for precision and versatility. With its 1.6 amp motor and variable speed, this saw can handle a variety of materials and thicknesses. The extra-large dual-bevel steel table provides a large work surface, while the parallel arm design ensures accurate cuts every time.
The included dust port keeps your work area clean, and the onboard storage compartment stores all of your blades and accessories.
This saw is also backed by a two-year warranty, making it the perfect addition to any workshop.
What We Like
- Very easy to change the blades. That lifter mechanism that’s so important for other saws to keep their blades up was not a factor this time around.
- Much cheaper than other parallel arm saws on the market
- Very little vibration
- The side panels open to access the lower cavity, which is a time-saver
What We Don’t Like
- At times, we felt like the blade tension was lacking. Just the feeling we got during use. But no blades ended up broken, so maybe it was all in our heads.
- The blower was ineffective unless you used it at a specific angle. Then it was ok.
The good things about the WEN LL2156 far outnumbered the negative aspects, in our opinion. We made a couple of great boxes with the scroll saw, as well as 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 WEN and the two-year warranty.
We would rate our experience with this saw, as well as the scroll saw itself, 5 out of 5.
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!