If you’re here, you are, probably, aware of scroll saws and that they are some of the most versatile tools you can opt for.
Their small reciprocating blade enables them to perform fast, accurate, and detailed cuts. In fact, they can be used to execute everything from rudimentary home improvement projects to intricate woodworking.
Before you can choose a scroll saw of your own, it is important to understand what features to look for.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a comprehensive buyer’s guide and paired it with in-depth comparative product reviews. We’ll break down the basics features of scroll saws and let you know what makes one stand out among the others.
Read along to learn more!
The List of The Best Scroll Saws
- Weighs less than 15 pounds and features handles
- Comes with five starter blades
- Utilizes standard 4-inch jigsaw blades
- Has a steel rip fence
- Can be used with a wide variety of materials
- Struggles to accurately finish cuts
- Has difficulty with thick woods and other materials
The Rockwell BladeRunner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw with Steel Rip Fence is a small but mighty scroll saw. While this tabletop saw weighs a mere 15 pounds, it provides a surprisingly accurate cut in a wide variety of materials. With a maximum load speed of 3,000 linear feet per minute.
We love that the Rockwell has a compact design with integrated handles. This makes for easy transfer in and out of storage. It also has a hold-down guard and splitter for when you need to handle large and awkward materials. Not to mention, the steel rip fence helps nail accurate straight cuts.
Beyond that, the Rockwell boasts a tool-free blade clamp that is compatible with any 4-inch t-shank jigsaw blade. The saw also comes with a 5-piece starter blade kit. These starter blades can be used to cut wood, ceramics, aluminum, plastic, and other metals. Thanks to the tool-free blade clamp, you can change out a blade in a matter of seconds.
This saw can perform a wide range of cuts, including rip, cross, scroll, and miter cuts. As such, it eliminates the need for multiple tools and helps cut down on your overall investment. Since it’s small and lightweight, you’ll have no problem dragging it to one workplace after another.
Overall, we are big fans of the Rockwell BladeRunner. After all, it’s hard to beat a portable power tool when it comes with so many amazing accessories. We love that this saw is equivalent to a handful of tools combines. We also love that it comes with five accessory blades. It’s the perfect starter kit for beginners as well as an adequate option for homeowners with little space to spare.
- The 56-pound cast-iron base for enhanced stability
- Easy-to-adjust work surface
- 40 to 1,750 cuttings strokes per minute
- Easy-to-access controls
- Extensive warranty coverage and free service contract
- Inconsistent speeds
- Back and forth blade motion inhibits detail work
We couldn’t be happier with DEWALT’s new 20-inch scroll saw. This beast of a machine boasts a user-friendly design, with all controls and switches conveniently located just below the upper arm and safety base. As such, you can easily adjust the saw from the sitting or standing position.
The saw’s speed can be set anywhere from 400 to 1,750 strokes per minute. Meanwhile, the stroke length can be adjusted from 3/4 of an inch to 2 inches. This enables users to customize their settings for better results and more control.
The DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw is designed to cut detailed designs with ease. First off, the machine has a double arm that is engineered to reduce vibrations and noise. It is also designed to move in a short back and forth motion, making complicated cuts a cinch. The arm also lifts easily to enable flawless inside cuts that are free from cut-throughs.
We’re also privy to the DEWALT’s tool-free blade changing feature. Not only does this feature make inside cuts easier, but it allows you to quickly and easily change out blades. You can even adjust the height and angle of the table to accommodate different types and sizes of materials. In fact, the table surface tilts 45 degrees on both the left and right sides.
The saw is set on a heavy (56-pound) cast-iron base. While it has the look and feel of a solid piece of machinery, it is not difficult to move. The saw includes a hex wrench that is needed for the notably quick and easy assembly.
It also comes with a series of blades, though replacement and specialty blades can be purchased separately. It is also backed by a 3-year limited warranty, a 1-year free service contract, and a 90-day money-back guarantee. As such, it is one of the most consumer-centric scroll saws on the market.
Overall, we believe that the DEWALT easily outperforms other saws in the same price range. When put to the test, it was capable of accurately slicing through a variety of materials. Not to mention, the heavy cast-iron base provided a vibration-reducing anchor.
- Table bevels 45 degrees for easy angled cuts
- Onboard blade storage
- The heavy cast-iron base that reduces vibrations and sound
- Large dust port for a cleaning work surface
- Poorly constructed tension rod
- Difficult to find adequate blade replacements
The WEN 3920 16-inch Scroll Saw is one of the most affordably priced and top-performing appliances we’ve had the pleasure of stumbling across. To start things off, the table is set on a heavy-duty cast-iron base. The base is equipped with an air pump and dust port for a mess-free performance. It also has a flexible LED light for enhanced visibility in low-light workspaces.
Not to mention, there is a foot lock clamp to help you keep your project in place. It also has an onboard blade storage compartment that helps you stay organized and make quick transitions and repairs. We are also happy to report that the table base prevents vibrations.
The WEN has an incredible cutting potential. In fact, it can accurately cut through wood that is up to 2 inches thick and 16 inches long. It also has an expansive table, which measures 16 by 11 inches. The table also bevels 45 degrees to the left for more accurate angled cuts.
We love that you can use both pinned and pinless blades in the WEN. In fact, the saw has a removable pinless blade clamp that tightly secures pinless blades. Not to mention, you can alter the direction of your blade to better suit a specific cut.
The WEN is backed by a lengthy 2-year warranty. If your saw is in need of a fix, it can be sent to any certified WEN technician for repair. In researching this, we found the WEN customer service department to be easy to talk with and receptive to customer issues.
Overall, the WEN is a competitively priced scroll saw with an attractive design. We recommend this saw for light to moderate use. It’S the ideal saw for small home improvement projects and crafts. The air pump enhances viability for more accurate results. While the machine vibrates loudly at high speeds, we felt that it was still incredibly safe.
- Beautiful black, white, and yellow-accented exterior
- Flexible goose-neck light
- Air blower and dust port
- Easy access front side controls
- Speeds from 550 to 1,700 strokes per minute
- Noticeable vibrations
- Somewhat noisy
The Shop Fox Scroll Saw has an aesthetically pleasing design with plenty of power to back it up. With a 16-inch cutting surface, few projects are off-limits. Not to mention, the table is illuminated by a flexible goose-neck work light. What’s more, it boasts a handy dust blower and dust bin for a debris-free performance.
We love the versatility of this model; it is compatible with both pin and pin-free blades. It also has an expansive variable speed setting that ranges from 550 to 1,700 strokes per minute. The table also tilts 45 degrees to enable easy angled cuts. Not to mention, it has a shoe clamp that helps eliminate the risk of the machinery lifting during cuts.
The whole device is weighed down by a solid cast-iron base. While there is enough mass to keep the machine in place, at 31 pounds, it is surprisingly easy to lift. The saw also houses a powerful 120-volt single-phase motor that pushes out 1.2 amps.
Our only concern with the Shop Fox scroll saw is that it can get a bit noisy. This tends to happen at higher speeds or with more resilient materials. Keep in mind that it is 2 inches wide and 16 inches long.
As such, you can quietly cut through most hobby materials without being disrupted.
- 16-inch tabletop for commercial-sized projects
- Adjustable right and left angles for beveled cuts
- 120-volt 1.3-amp magnetic motor
- Dust collector hookup
- 2-year warranty
- A footswitch is difficult to master
The King Industrial Scroll Saw has a 16-inch throat, making it perfect for commercial jobs. It also happens to be manufactured by Excalibur®, which is an extremely reputable saw company.
We also love that the King Industrial saw sits on an extremely heavy cast iron base. Overall, the table measures 12 inches by 18 1/2 inches. With such a sizable work surface, it is easy to accomplish large projects with ease and comfort.
This saw enables both flat and angled cuts thanks to the adjustable table. In fact, the head can maneuver 38 degrees to the left and 45 degrees to the right. Meanwhile, it boasts an adjustable speed setting that has 16 different options. Since the entire device weighs a whopping 64 pounds, vibrations and noise are barely noticeable.
The saw also features a tool-free blade clamp. It is compatible with any 5-inch pinless blades. Thanks to the clamp, removing and replacing a blade only takes a few seconds. The tension of the blade can also be adjusted through an easy front-side dial.
The King Industrial saw also boasts a dust collector hookup that enables users to redirect debris that would otherwise be a hindrance. Finally, the scroll saw features a convenient foot switch. Since scroll saws require intensive maneuvering on behalf of the cutter, it makes sense to give this saw a hands-free control option.
Overall, the King Industrial saw made intricate woodworking jobs easy. It made for easy curves, bevels, joints, and cut-throughs. Not to mention, the foot pedal allowed us to focus on our cutting rather than our hands. We also felt that the King Industrial saw’s moderate size made it the perfect permanent addition to a home workshop.
- Stands on a sturdy four-legged aluminum base
- Features a patented bevel scale
- A large 20 by 12 5/8-inch table surface
- Variable speeds from 500 to 1,500 strokes per minute
- Toolless blade holder
- Some lateral movement
- Loose blade aperture
If you have a small workspace or don’t want to invest in a workshop bench, the Porter-Cable 18-inch Scroll Saw with Stand is a great option. This reliable tool sits atop a sturdy steel frame.
The saw itself boasts a weighted cast-iron base for reduced vibrations and enhanced stability. Not to mention, it has a die-cast aluminum upper body. While we were well aware of Porter-Cable’s reputation for quality, we were happy to see that it carried over to their stand-alone scroll saw.
This model boasts plenty of adjustable controls, all of which are conveniently located on the front side of the device. For one, the table rotates both 45 and 15 degrees to both the left and right to enable a variety of angled cuts. Not to mention, it has an integrated bevel scale for increased accuracy. What’s more, you can adjust the speed between 500 and 1,500 strokes per minute.
We also love that this scroll saw has a LED work lamp for enhanced illumination. The lamp even has a flexible neck that allows you to angle the direction of the beam. This is great considering the saw features a 20 by 12 5/8-inch work surface. It also has a toolless blade holder for convenient blade change-outs. Finally, it is worth noting that it takes both pin and pinless blades.
Overall, we loved how easy it was to assemble and use this saw and stand combo. We felt that the combo is a great solution for homeowners who haven’t established a workshop. Finally, we felt that the Porter-Cable table was stable and accurate.
- Onboard blade storage
- Toolless blade clamp for easy replacements
- Includes two straight blades
- Table tilts 45 degrees in both directions
- Adjustable dust hose
- Motor shaft and blade need to be tightened occasionally
- Poor quality knobs
First off, the Delta Power Tools 20-inch Scroll Saw has a noticeably durable and sleek-looking exterior. Its stainless steel tabletop is balanced by a black metal arm and blue accents. More importantly, it houses an incredibly powerful and reliable 1.23-amp motor. In fact, the Delta scroll saw can perform 400 to 1,750 strokes per minute.
The Delta’s 20-inch throat gives users enough room to cut sizable chunks of wood and other materials. It performs solid 3/4-inch strokes. Meanwhile, the saw’s dual parallel-link arm enables smoother, more vibration-free cuts. What’s more, the arm locks in place so that you can safely adjust or replace the blade. As if that weren’t enough, the blade features a tool-free blade clamp. As such, it only takes a few minutes to change out a blade.
We also love that the Delta scroll saw has an adjustable table. The table can be tilted 45 degrees to the left or right to create accurate beveled edges. It is also important to note that the table is sold both with and without light and stand.
Not to mention, it has a built-in dust hose that eliminates the accumulation of debris on the work surface. Finally, the saw comes with two blades which can be conveniently stored in the integrated topside storage compartment.
Overall, we were impressed with the quality of the Delta’s construction. The saw appeared to be well-built and manufactured from durable materials. We also loved the integrated blade storage. While this scroll saw is not overly expensive, we felt that it is suitable for both novices and professional woodworkers.
It is important to know exactly what features to look for when selecting a scroll saw of your own. First off, it is important to consider your personal budget and needs. Small portable scroll saws can cost as low as $75, while commercial alternatives can cost several hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Meanwhile, cutting applications vary from small craft jobs to sizable contracting jobs.
Before you purchase a scroll saw, you need to know the difference between models and which one works best for you.
In the section below, you will learn about the most important components of scroll saws.
Scroll saws house powerful motors that control a fast-moving reciprocating blade. As such, they need to be rather heavy and sturdy to cut down on the level of vibration and noise. Most often, scroll saws feature cast-iron bases. These bases are extremely hefty and, therefore, keep the saw from moving. They also help support potentially angled table surfaces.
Some saws feature foot clamps that connect to the base. These enable the saw to mount to the surface of a table or workbench. If you’re someone who plans on permanently incorporating your scroll saw in your workspace, then we recommend you opt for a heavy base.
All scroll saws feature work surfaces or tables. It is important to consider the size of a table. Scroll saws are measured by their throat as well as their overall surface dimensions. The throat is the distance between the blade and the backside of the frame. Most scroll saws have a throat size that measures between 12 and 30 inches. Large tables are ideal for contractors and woodworkers, while smaller tables are more suitable for hobbyists.
The saw’s motor is what enables the blade movement. Most mid-range scroll saws boast 1 to 1.5-amp motors. This is just the right about of power to enable fast and accurate wood, metal, and other material cuts.
Keep in mind that a scroll saw’s power is also measured by its speed intentional. Since most saws have variable speed settings, it is best to look out for saws with low speed in the hundreds and high speed over 1,000. It is important to note that more power means more vibrations. These vibrations can be reduced with the help of a quality blade arm and a sturdy base.
While there is a variety of scroll saw arms, we chose to focus on products with parallel arms. This design is easily the most popular and widely seen option. Parallel blade arms rotate back and forth. As you can see in this brief animated graphic, parallel arm systems rely on a driving mechanism and fixed parallel arms.
On the other hand, linked parallel arms provide even more stability and reduced vibrations. This type of system is a bit more dynamic. It features two additional pivoting arms and a counterweight.
Id there was a single-most important feature of scroll saws, it would have to be blades. After all, blades are the one component that directly cuts materials. All scroll saws feature a small reciprocating blade. Nevertheless, some saws take pin blades and others take pinless. There are also saws that are compatible with both pin and pinless blades. These types of saws tend to feature removable blade clamps.
Beyond that, some saws feature toolless blade clamps. These clamps enable the quick and easy removal and replacement of blades. In fact, with toolless blade clamps, it only takes a few seconds to replace a blade.
It is important to note that scroll saws are compatible with a variety of blades. Usually, these blades are 4 or 5-inches in size. Common types of scroll saw blades include skip tooth, double skip tooth, crown, spiral, metal cutting, and diamond blades. Skip tooth blades are the most common. They feature a series of identically sized teeth with uniform gaps.
Blades come in a variety of sizes. They range for 10/0 to 12. These sizes correlate with the type of material and cut you plan to make. For example, a small blade would be used to cut intricate designs or delicate materials.
Since scroll saws are used in such as a wide variety of applications, it is important that you are able to adjust them. Many scroll saws feature adjustable tables. These tables tilt to the left and/or right to enable beveled (or angled) cuts. Saws also tend to boast adjustable speed settings. With these, you can adjust the number of strokes the blade makes per minute.
Many manufacturers have incorporated flexible overhead LED lights. These energy-efficient accessories increase the visibility of the cut line for more accurate results. While this accessory is not vital, it’s a nice touch.
Dust Bin and Air Pump
It is important to keep your cut line free from debris to ensure you’re cutting accurately. Air pumps are often used to redirect sawdust and other shavings. Meanwhile, dustbins adequately trap loose particles. Some saws even boast dust collection ports for connecting dust management accessories.
We always recommend that you look for a tool with a reasonable warranty. Things can go wrong. Having something to fall back on is important. We find one to three-year warranties to be standard in the tool world. Beyond that, some manufacturers offer additional service plans.
There’s a lot to think about when looking for a scroll saw. After you narrow down your budget and needs, you still need to factor in a number of other concepts. Since it’s nearly impossible to gauge a scroll saw’s ability without properly testing it, we did the dirty work for you.
After careful consideration, the DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw is our number one pick. Not only is this scroll saw a top performer, but it is also one of the most affordable options on the market. Some of its best features include its parallel link arms, cast-iron base, and pivoting table. It also has a conveniently placed control panel for quick and easy adjustments. Finally, blade changes couldn’t be easier thanks to the toolless blade clamp.
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