Scroll saws are often overlooked in favor of larger, sharper, and more eye-catching-looking cutting tools, but they are actually an extremely convenient way to cut very precise curves and shapes in sturdy material.
They act a bit like a sewing machine, using a vertical blade that allows for much quicker adjustments compared to a normal hand saw, with the added benefit of being much faster than manual cutting.
Of course, like all tools, scroll saws come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
Tracking down the best scroll saw for your needs isn’t as simple as buying the first model you find, and it’s important to look across more than one brand.
Below are ten of the best scroll saw models we could find for general purpose cutting, as well as their specific features and what makes them stand out from other saws on the market.
1. WEN 3921
This uniquely designed bi-directional saw can perform between 400
and 1,600 cuts per minute, depending on the configuration and materials used, making it perfect for both gentle cuts and softer materials.
The 11 ” by 16 ” cutting table can be left beveled up to 45 degrees,
making angle cuts much easier and offering a 16 ” throat depth with the ability to cut up to 2 ” of wood (or similar material) at the same time.
Not only that, but you don’t even need tools to change the blades –
it uses a screw system that can be loosened and tightened by hand.
2. DEWALT DW788
This variable speed scroll saw uses a special pair of parallel arm links to dramatically
reduce the amount of vibration you will feel to allow for more precise cuts, as well as to reduce the overall noise level of the saw.
The simple on/off switch and electronic speed setting gives you full control over its behavior,
while the built-in dust blower makes it easy to clean the cutting table in seconds.
Thanks to the clamp design used to hold the blade in place,
you can easily remove and replace the current blade without the need for additional tools, and you can even raise the arm for additional cutting precision.
3. General International BT8007
The dial-based adjustment system on this scroll saw makes it easy to choose the exact cutting speed and speed you need,
allowing you to take on a wide variety of materials without feeling too overloaded to get the job done right.
The 16 ” throat depths and 2 ” cutting size mean you can quickly cut large pieces of wood and metal with ease, while the flexible sawdust blower helps clear the cutting table quickly.
There’s another flexible tool too – an LED light,
which you can use to highlight key areas to make cutting and trimming different materials much easier in less than ideal lighting conditions.
4. Shop Fox W1713
This variable speed scroll saw uses a 1/8 horsepower motor to provide consistent cutting power on almost any material.
The design allows for both normal and pointed blades, allowing you to choose how to cut different items, while the 16 ” width of cut allows you to cut large pieces of wood or metal with ease.
Its high overall speed (reaching up to 1700 SPM) ensures it doesn’t easily get stuck, and the included dust blower and adjustable work light help keep your workspace clear and visible
if you’re creating a large amount of sawdust from metal shavings in a darker environment
5. Delta Power Tools 40-694
This heavy duty scroll saw has a special arm design that can reduce its overall vibrations and noise production while cutting,
as well as allowing you to lift it up to change the blade on the fly.
The design is made so that you are tool-free unless you are doing repairs,
which means you don’t need to hold onto a screwdriver to make small adjustments or change blades.
The entire cutting table can bevel 45 degrees left and right,
making incredibly easy and consistent angled cuts. Lockable arms to facilitate blade changes.
Best Scroll Saws – Buying Guide
Cutting tools can be extremely difficult to buy if you’re not sure what to look for, and it’s easy to miss out on some key details that can be important in choosing the piece of equipment you really need.
Scroll saws are generally quite similar on paper, but still have a wide range of different features and optional parts that can affect their operation, their limitations, and the way they are supposed to be used.
Almost all cutting tools are designed in a speed-dependent way to cut different materials, and scroll saws are no exception.
Regardless of the situation you’re using them in, a faster saw will almost always have a much higher cutting power, which could allow them to cut harder materials as a result.
The speed of the blades will generally be set by the motor each saw uses, although some will have artificial limits representing how fast they can actually move to prevent breaking.
For example, a specific model may have a speed range between 500 and 1800 cuts per minute, which means that you will need to stay between these two limits. In many cases, a saw will have a dial-based speed system that can be slowly increased to obtain a precise amount of cutting power.
The “throat size” of a scroll saw can be confusing for new users, but it is a very important measure to know if you are doing large-scale cutting jobs.
In almost all cases, the scroll saw will have a cutting surface with a raised strut or arm that supports the actual blade.
The throat is the amount of space between the blade and the arm that holds it – the larger the throat, the more you can push it back, which means you can cut larger objects or surfaces without having to cut it into separate pieces
For smaller jobs, you won’t need to worry as much about throat size as long as it’s between 14 “and 18” overall.
However, if you are engaging in very specific types of work or have to regularly cut large pieces of wood, metal, or other material, you will need to make sure you get the correct throat size to avoid future problems.
There are two main types of blades that you can use with scroll saws: standard blades and point blades. While both are roughly the same in terms of cutting power, they are designed for different types of cuts.
Standard blades are, as the name implies, similar to a regular saw blade – they cut very well and can be used for virtually any cutting job, as long as you are using ones that are truly durable and reliable.
The tip blades are slightly different and made with a new type of connection – any scroll saw that accepts them will work with them, and they are designed to be easy to remove and can be changed or replaced quickly.
However, they are less available than standard blades, and can sometimes be more difficult to use for precise turns, making them a niche option for very specific situations.
Almost all scroll saws have a built-in tab or cutting board that you can use to properly align whatever you are cutting. However, the size of the board will vary depending on which model you’re using, and you really can’t easily change them without some extreme DIY.
Since the blade is generally in the center of these cutting surfaces, it’s not always that important to get the largest available, but having one that’s too small will make any type of cut more awkward.
Remember that some saws can be attached to tables or other surfaces, increasing their stability much more than usual.
Others may have drop-down stands or legs that also help them stay upright for much longer. This is not something you will find very often, but it can be extremely useful if you often need to use your scroll saw in multiple different locations.
Many scroll saw cutting tables will also chamfer or rotate a certain amount to allow you to create angled cuts.
Different models will have different limitations and bevel systems, and not all of them will give you a true level of “free” rotation, relying on pre-setting points instead.
Easy to use
All tools will have multiple different levels of complexity, and some will be much easier to use than others, even if they are from the same manufacturer.
Because of this, it can take a while to find something that is perfect for your skill level, and scroll saws are no exception.
Finding the best scroll saw is not just a matter of choosing one with the best features or components, but choosing a model that is ideal for your skill level and the tools you have available at the time.
An important feature worth noting is the “tool-less” knife holder designs, which give you a way to remove the knives without removing the screws or using any other tools.
Not only does this take much less time, but it also makes the scroll saw more of a standalone tool that can be used on its own, rather than forcing you to carry a toolbox in case you need to change blades or adjust its angles