A Guide To The Best Scroll Saw 2018-2019: Ensure Your Money Goes Well Spent
Scroll saws, one of the must-haves if you’re into woodworking at home. There are lots of applications for scroll saws but they usually are acquired by wood crafters.
Why is this so? Well, the small blades in scroll saws are perfect for cutting those hard-to-reach areas, other raw power tools simply can’t do that. On top of that, a scroll saw is a fixed tool which would mean both your hands can freely maneuver for accurate material cuts.
With that said, accuracy is a scroll saw’s best feature. DIY craftsmen and women, wood artists, and hobbyists prefer scroll saws for cuts that require a lot of maneuvering and accuracy.
Best Scroll Saw 2018: Editor's Top 10 Picks & Reviews
To narrow down a plethora of available options out online, we pick our own top 10. This is to help you out narrow your own list of scroll saw suitable for your woodworking needs. Take a look at our best picks for scroll saw below.
What Make Us Impress
For Beginners and Pros Alike
A scroll saw is ideal for professionals and beginners. They are also the tool of choice to introduce children and first-timers into woodworking. This is because a scroll saw is safe enough and also easy to use for cutting wood.
Using a scroll saw for the first time would draw you in and make you more interested in the wonderful world of crafting wood. This is one of the best alleys to express artistry and craftsmanship.
Tips When Getting a Scroll Saw
Before you could ever decide what’s best for you, there are a lot of factors to look into when getting yourself a scroll saw. For one, the price won’t be a determinant. This article helps you out narrow down your list so that you can be guided towards the right path for your own best scroll saw.
A controllably varying speed for your scroll saw is important when doing woodwork. Different materials will cut at different cutting speeds.
As a result, your craft would have a good or terrible output depending on how you match the speed with the type of wood you are cutting.
If you cut a piece of wood and it would require less to no sanding at all then you have found yourself one of the best scroll saws.
Paired with skill, the control for optimal speed for scroll saws is essential for that professional looking cut.
As the word says itself, vibration can be a factor in your wood crafting when using the scroll saw. Low vibration means fewer distractions on your accuracy and productivity. Keep an eye on low vibration features.
One of the great things about scroll saws is that they are very quiet when used. Noise isn’t a big factor to look out for, however, some cheaply done scroll saw may produce very loud noise during operation.
So, when getting one, be sure to read the noise unit, they are measured in decibels.
Tiltable Boards or Tables
Why tilt a board on a scroll saw? It makes angled cuts a lot easier. Your best bets would be those that can tilt up to 45 degrees. Traditionally woodworkers would tilt the wood itself for angled cuts, Tilting boards just make things a whole lot easier.
Universal Blade Fob
Different projects require different blades. On top of having a very good blade changing mechanism, you will need several blades that can accommodate a range of blade size needs. For that, start with that blade that is within your usual use, then expand from there.
Stand or Support
Scroll saws are usually made with heavy duty cast-iron. This is to limit the vibration and provide stability and support. A scroll saw with weak stands or support is not advisable, this is usually found on cheaper offers that have light support beams.
Obviously, if you cut wood, there would be a lot of sawdust to manage after working with your scroll saw. While scroll saws usually don’t produce a noticeable amount of sawdust, it will pile up sooner or later. Getting the models with dust-disposal mechanism will come in handy.
Length of the throat
Don’t get any funny ideas about it, throat length is the distance between the scroll saw’s front and the blade. The greater that distance is the bigger the wood that can be inserted into the ‘throat’. For general usage, a throat length of 18” is usually plenty of room to go around.
There would come to a point when you need to change the blades, no matter how expensive your model is. With that said, you need to look out for brands that offer blades assemblies which are easy to replace.
Great models make sure that changing blades can be done in a flash. Avoid brands that require third party tools as you’ll end up looking for them when needed. The keyless mechanism is the keyword.
Choosing the Blades for Your Scroll Saw
Learning how to pick good blades for your scroll saw is important. This is because most of the engagement happens at the blade. There are several aspects when considering what makes a good blade for your scroll saw.
A lot of blades are available in the market. You may get a standard tooth blade by default, however, there are also other types specific for each material to cut. The finish on your cut would also depend on what blade type you are using.
Standard tooth blades have their teeth placed in a way that they are spread out evenly. Skip-tooth blades have teeth placed alternately, as the name would suggest. Double-tooth blades have their teeth greatly spaced out and are perfect for low-speed usages.
To check this out, read the labels on the packaging or better yet, the user manual. Most spare blades will be bundled with information on how to use them.
Decent models will have a built-in blade tensioning mechanism. It is important to note that blades should not be installed too tight or too loose. Tight blades will most likely snap out while loose blades will not have that accurate cut.
There is no proper schooling on how to tighten your scroll saw blade. Experience is needed to master this so sooner or later, you’ll get the hang out of it and properly tune into the tightness of the blade. A blade with proper tension will have a very good finish that you won’t need to sand the wood.
Top 10 Scroll Saw Reviews
The top picks above are among a shortlist of our tested scroll saws. We took notes on each product review to help you out on picking your own top list. Below is our review on each of the scroll saw.
Best Scroll Saw for Beginners
Built compact, light, and cheap. This would be your portal towards the ultimate hobby of wood crafting.
Rockwell BladeRunner X2 Review
Not just wood
This scroll saw works on wood, tile, metal, aluminum and plastic. This can perform scroll, rip, miter, and inside cuts. It proves to be an overall tool for basement work.
The X2 is compact and portable and weighs less than 15 pounds. The built-in tabletop handle allowed me to carry it anywhere. This makes it the best scroll saw to perform cuts virtually all around the house.
The tool-free blade replacement feature allowed me to change the blades in no time. Paired with portability, this makes it very versatile which makes it reasonable to include this cheap scroll saw on our best list.
This certainly is the best inexpensive scroll saw. Not guaranteed to deliver premium quality and premium build but it does make a great introductory tool into wood crafting.
Rockwell BladeRunner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw with Steel Rip Fence, Miter Gauge, and 7 Accessories – RK7323 via Amazon
Rockwell BladeRunner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw with Steel Rip Fence, Miter Gauge, and 7 Accessories – RK7323 via Amazon
Best Rated Scroll Saw
With tons of positive reviews, we find it convincing to try the Dewalt DW788. It didn’t break our hearts as the scroll saw proves to be of excellent quality.
Dewalt DW788 Review
The DEWALT DW788 scroll saw double parallel-link arm feature helps a lot in vibration reduction. The specially designed arm can pivot from the back off to the front with less effort. This shortens the distance that the arm needs for smooth and quiet operation.
The intuitive design makes controls very convenient. I like the way the saw’s on and off switch, speed control, and blade-tensioning lever is being set up. It didn’t take me to read through the user manual to be familiar with the controls.
The scroll saw's flexible dust blower is conveniently located on the arm’s area where you can direct the sawdust directly. With that said, the workplace is easily cleaned up since dust management is very easy. I like the way it is positioned.
A minor drawback, though, when the unit arrived, it seems that the movable parts needed some oil to properly be adjusted. Other than that, no issues whatsoever.
Best Scroll Saw for the Money
Aside from its awesome features that could compete with scroll saws at premium prices. This particular model still delivers premium cutting quality for such an affordable price.
WEN 3920 Review
Blades from both directions
The WEN 3920 unique design can accept blades from two directions which are 90 degrees and standard. This allows infinite ripping capacity. With 400 to 1,600 strokes per minute, we find the cutting power to be of awesome quality basing on its price.
Spacious and maneuverable
Although most would prefer an 18” inch scroll saw, the 16 x 11 inch table still has enough room to run around. Tried it with mid-sized wood and there were no hassles cutting it. The 45- degree bevel is very convenient to use too.
The price for this scroll saw might make you doubt if this could deliver well. If you have enough budget to buy a premium scroll saw, then you should go for them. Personally, this scroll saw is great for garage work or hobbies.
Overall, this scroll saw delivers its premium performance at an affordable price.
Best Scroll Saw for Woodworking
This scroll saw is not too expensive, not too cheap either. If you’re serious about your woodwork and not want to spend that much, then this may be for you. The wide range of stroke-per-minute speed is an instant takeaway.
Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 Review
The electronic variable speed feature can adjust the scroll saw from 400 to 1,750 strokes per minute. This is a very wide range of speeds, perfect for various cutting applications. This means that you can work through a lot of wood.
The dual parallel link arm design showed us how it reduces the machine’s vibration during operation. We were impressed by how it accurately cuts wood with little effort. Sanding wasn’t required for most outputs too.
The scroll saw’s upper arm lifts and locks in a raised position while changing blades. A very good feature for adjusting blade positions for fret work.
This can be done without third party tools too. This is one of the wow factors we had with this scroll saw, you no longer lose those adjustment tools since you don’t need one in the first place. Very convenient for adjustments.
We only have one minor complaint about this particular model. It probably isn’t the manufacturer’s fault too. When the package arrived, it lacked an extra blade.
Best Scroll Saw for Crafts
This scroll saw has a built-in work light that has a gooseneck. Perfect for those meticulous crafty cuts you want to be done perfectly. The 16-inch table is also roomy for most craft projects.
Shop Fox W1713 Review
Variable speeds and less vibration
With the variable speed control feature, you can tune into that perfect cut for various materials. It has cast iron construction which cancels most of the vibrations too. Both these features make it easy to cut wood for crafts.
Standard or pin-end saw blades
The W1713 can be attached with either pin-end or standard plain and with its included adapters, we find it easy to change blades anytime. It also has this adjustable hold-down shoe to prevent the wood from rising up.
Tilt and work
The Shop Fox Scroll Saw also has the ability to cut at zero to 45 degrees via its table tilt feature. With that, we find it very easy to do angled cuts.
The only thing that we don’t like about this model is that it can’t do well with thick wood. But, if you’re into light crafts with sophisticated little designs, this one is for you
Comes with an Adjustable Stand
The compact design is complemented with the adjustable stand. This makes it perfect for a shared work environment. Your height won’t matter anymore.
Jet 727200K Review
Your height won’t matter
This particular model is built compact making it easier for height adjustments. And with the addition of an adjustable stand, you can operate this scroll saw at ease with your height. We tried using the adjustable stand and it’s just convenient.
With the premium price for this model, you can expect premium quality too. The build does not come cheap and it certainly aids a lot on complicated cuts.
Storage is not a problem
I used the advantage of an adjustable stand to tuck this away in a corner below a counter. Fits just right. The compact design makes it easy to drag around when it’s time to use it.
We expected premium quality at a premium price and we got it with this model. The build is sturdy and we had no problems so far
Best Scroll Saw Blades for Thick Wood
Ths monstrous scroll saw can take in up to almost every wood thickness. For a premium price, this scroll saw has to perform the toughest tasks.
Jet 727200B JWSS-22B Review
Thick wood is not a problem
This particular model is can cut through the toughest wood. With its 22” throat capacity, we tried cramming in the thickest wood we can test and the scroll saw just works wonders.
With the premium price, we expected that the performance would also be great. It didn’t fail us, premium price equals premium material used for the scroll saw. It does not feel cheap at all.
Cast iron table
The durable cast-iron table ads to its reliable build. We tried a bunch of wood to cut and it did perfectly well. The slotted table also made it very easy for me to switch blades.
Overall, this has been a wonderful premium scroll saw experience. For the price you are paying, this certainly is worth it.
Best Scroll Saw for Fretwork
This particular model is so versatile that we find it to be great with fretwork. Provided you have enough basic skills, fretwork is so easy with the Hegner 22”.
HEGNER 22" Review
Double Quicklock Tensioning System
This feature is very fun to use. My beginner skills ranked up to semi-pro when I used this merchandise. The premium price is worth it, you don’t have to do professional maneuvers to make perfect cuts.
As said in the previous paragraph, part of the premium price you paid for is the precision cuts this particular model produces. No sanding needed for 90% of my tries. For pros, this would be the ultimate tool that makes wood crafting very easy.
Great for fretwork
If I were to choose what this scroll saw is good for, it’s for fretwork. The cut is so accurate and easy to do that you can do this little fretwork tasks in no time. Accuracy being paid at a premium price.
The only thing I do not like about this product is that you have to separately buy the stand. Good thing I’ve got other stands lying around in the garage.
Best Scroll Saw for Marquetry
Just like the 22” model, the versatility and quality are outstanding. The smaller board makes it perfect for smaller wood work like initiation on marquetry.
Hegner 18'' Review
Still the same as the 22” model, this has precise cutting qualities. I don’t have to sand down the cut parts, or at least most of them.
Great for marquetry
This one is good for fretwork and marquetry. The 18” board makes it a good fit for the latter. Marquetry requires a lot of accurate and clean cuts.
Double Quicklock Tensioning System
Like its big brother, the 22” model. This too has a Quick lock tensioning system. For a premium price, this scroll saw also upgrades your skills. Smooth cuts are a result of that perfect tension.
Same as the 22”, this one does not come with a stand so you need to buy one separately or use any stand that’s been lying around.
Best Scroll Saw Blades with Big Working Space
Its table size is one of the biggest in the market. This makes it one of our best choices, plus the premium builds paid at a premium price.
PS Wood Machines 21" Review
Huge working space
The 21” working space is perfect for larger projects. It also works great with smaller ones too. It fits perfectly with our mid-sized garage with still some elbow room to move around.
One thing I like about this particular model is that it has noticeable variations on its speed dial. Most saw blades would just be practically on and off. With this one, I noticed there’s a huge difference in between dials.
Along with its premium price is the premium warranty. I am impressed by its 5-year warranty. No more worries for a long time.This big scroll saw with its premium build and quality is probably one of the best scroll saw that I tried. It can take on large materials with minimal effort.
Well, there’s our top list for the best scroll saw. We hope that you have picked out some notes for your own list of choices. It is important to note that you would still need to dig more if you want your choice to be perfect for your needs.
If I have to choose which among these would be my best pick and recommended scroll saw, I would choose two of them.
The first pick would be the WEN 3920 16-Inch Two-Direction. Despite it bearing a cheap price among the rest of the scroll saws online, it is still built tough. The 16-inch working space is just perfect for small and medium size tasks. The cheap price makes it also good for beginners.
The second top pick would be DEWALT DW788, not too expensive, not too cheap, and on top of that, it has generated a lot of positive reviews. It has its minor drawbacks but I still like it for its accurate cuts, easy controls, and dust management.
Feel free to drop your thoughts in our comments section below, share your scroll saw stories with us.
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