Craftsman 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw Review
As a general rule, budget scroll saws do not have the best quality. They offer subpar performance and often times you do not get the reliability and accuracy when scrolling with them. Almost as a divine calling, Craftsman 16” scroll saw comes to the rescue!
Despite its low price, it sports a solid build construction as well as very attractive features. It durable, dependable, and accurate when doing intricate cuts in material. Let us see how well this product stacks up against the competition, and if it is the right tool for you, shall we?
If you want to buy a scroll saw, here are some reviews that I recommend for you to read such as DeWalt scroll saw, Dremel scroll saw, Hegner scroll saw, Rockwell scroll saw, Shop Fox scroll saw, Wen 3920 scroll saw, Delta 40694 scroll saw, Excalibur scroll saw.
Craftsman 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw Review
#1. Technical Features
Despite its very low price, we were impressed to see a 1.6-Amp inductive motor in this Craftsman scroll saw. At this price point, you generally get a less performing motor but it is just nice it being so powerful. With 1.6-Amp, you can cut through a wide array of materials without suffering from stalling or kickbacks. The result is a linear and professional finish that looks machined-cut.
It has a throat depth of 16-inch, which is mostly suited for small DIY scrolling on small materials. If you are new to the game, the throat depth is the distance from the back of the blade to the back of the saw. It dictates the maximum dimension of material that it can work with.
The variable speed control in this unit is versatile and performs between 400 SPM to 1600 SPM. The lowest 400 SPM speed is very rare in a budget scroll saw. In general, only professional scroll saws like the Hegner 18” and DeWalt DW788 tend to give this low-speed setting. It is just nice that it is included because now you can scroll more accurately with high-density material like metal sheets, hardwood, and ABS plastic with great ease.
The depth of cut is not the best we have seen at only 2-inch, but it is ample for scrolling with almost any material you can buy commercially. Unless you are planning to work with material that this thicker than 2-inch, this model will work just fine.
We need to keep an eye out for accuracy in a scroll saw, especially when we review one. Indeed, the scroll saw that does not have a good accuracy is next to worthless. We are happy to see a large cast iron work table that provides a solid foundation for your scrolling tasks here. It does a good job absorbing vibrations, and at the lower speed of 400 SPM, there is almost no vibration as well as a very low noise. Even at the highest speed of 1600 SPM, the solid cast iron table dampens most of the vibrations.
Additionally, the low profile form factor also contributes to make this unit deliver even more accurate results. The table is tiltable to 45-degrees to the left for accurate beveled cuts. This makes it very versatile right there and allows you to make a wide variety of complex designs that are extremely accurate.
Lastly, this model accepts the standard 5-inch pin and plain end blades for even more accuracy and versatility when scrolling with different materials.
The build construction is what we like the most in this Craftsman 16” scroll saw. Unlike the competing Rockwell RK7315, that sacrifices quality and durability for a softer price; there is a no issue with this model. It is mostly built from a metal alloy as well as sporting a cast iron table. Many of the parts are replaceable and easily available as well. For once, we are happy to see a metal build construction instead of plastic in a budget scroll saw.
Furthermore, the solid and large 17-1/8 x 10-1/4 inches cast iron table make this scroll saw very stable, even at the highest 1600 SPM speed. We are quite amazed that such a budget scroll saw handles itself so well at this high speed.
User-friendliness is also a big highlight in this craftsman scroll saw. The tabletop is easy to adjust for angular cuts, and the variable speed control knob right at the front of this unit makes it easy to change the speed on the fly.
An external vacuum can be connected to this unit that will blow a constant stream of air in multiple directions, keeping your cut line free of sawdust.
It even has an onboard blade storage compartment for storing your blades in a convenient and clutter-free manner. Right out of the box, craftsman includes four pin blades as well as a blank-end blade to help you get started right away. It also has a detailed user manual for those who have never worked with the scroll saw before and need guidance.
As we have pointed out in our introduction, it is quite rare to find a budget scroll saw that actually delivers. This scroll saw blew us away by performing above and beyond of what we expected. For a budget scroll saw, it is not the cheapest as this title belongs to the likes of the Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw and Wen 3920.
However, it is extremely competitive especially taking into account what this scroll saw offers to the table. It will never be able to compete with models like the Delta Power Tools 40-694 even if it has a more powerful motor, but pound for pound, it obliterates any of the budget scroll saws in its price range.
#3. Expert Review
Steve Good from YouTube channel sdgood made an excellent review on the Craftsman scroll saw a few years ago. He goes in depth about the various features like that variable speed control and table tilt of this model, as well as gives a few handy advice here and there. At the end of the video, he gives a hands-on demonstration of how he uses this scroll saw. This should give you a very good idea of how it works.
You can watch his video below:
- Very affordable and competitive price. Value for money.
- Beefy motor of 1.6-Amp. No stalls when scrolling on very hard materials.
- Variable speed of 400 – 1600 SPM. A speed of 400 SPM is rare and offers greater accuracy when working with high-density material like metal.
- Multidirectional dust blower keeps the cut line clean.
- Table can quickly and easily be adjusted for angular cuts.
- Very durable with a cast iron table.
- Excellent stability.
- Table tilts only to the left for angular cuts.
This is a very versatile and powerful scroll saw with useful features normally found only in models that are more professional and expensive. We are glad that Craftsman made this scroll saw as it is one of the best budget scroll saw in existence.
#5. Who Should Buy?
It is very easy for us to recommend this model to anyone looking for a budget scroll saw. If you are short on cash, you do not have to sacrifice durability, performance or accuracy with the Craftsman 16”scroll saw. For such a budget scroll saw, it performs exceptionally well and has no competition in its price range.
Bottom-line, if you can’t afford more premium models like the DeWalt DW788 or Delta Power Tools 40-694, leave alone the Hegner 18" then this is an excellent purchase. It is most certainly a better purchase that the equally budget-friendly Rockwell RK7315, that does a terrible job being a budget scroll saw. Overall, it is great value for money and will bring you a lot of satisfaction on the job. Go get it!
Last Updated on August 30, 2021 by Tom Bradly