Scroll Saw Blade: Understanding & How to Choose
There are many types of scroll saw blades available on the market. In fact, it can quickly become confusing to beginners who have no prior knowledge or experience working with different types of blades.
Knowing which type of blade to use makes you much more productive when cutting wood. It also renders the whole process more enjoyable.
Today, we are going to cover much ground on scroll saw blades. This should help you always pick the right type of blade on the job.
7 Types of Scroll Saw Blades
Here is a quick rundown of some of the most popular types of blades used in the workshop. You probably own a few of them already.
- Standard-Tooth Blades: This is the most popular type of blade and the default blade found in most scroll saws upon purchase. Standard tooth blades are of 2 types: 1- Standard wood blade: The tooth of a standard wood blade is of equal distance to one another. The big gap allows sawdust to move easily when cutting without clogging the motion. They are great for any general purpose wood cutting. 2- Standard metal blade: The tooth in a standard metal blade is much closer together. This makes the act of sawing metal more efficient, but it is also noisier.
- Skip-Tooth Blade: In this type of blade, a tooth is missing for every other tooth. There is a much wider gap between the teeth. This type of tooth lacks precision and is generally used to cut material quickly and easily, normally best found on beginner scroll saws because of their ease of use.
- Double-Tooth Blades: This looks very similar to the skip-tooth blade above but a tooth is missing after every other pair. This type of tooth has a great smooth finish but it more difficult to handle and slower to cut.
- Reverse Skip-Tooth Blades: It has the same gap as a skip-tooth but after every 3 teeth, they are reversed. This is ideal for cutting sensitive material like plywood without leaving splinters.
- Precision-Ground Blades: As its names suggest, this is a great blade where precision is required. It looks like a mix of a skip-tooth blade and a reverse-skip blade, but much thinner and smaller. A certain level of skill is required when operating a scroll saw with a precision-ground blade. It cuts through material very easily and is less forgiving than other types of blades. However, the end result is a very smooth, professional and splinterless cut.
- Spiral Blades: The blades twist upon themselves in a spiral blade and it has small teeth. One main advantage of a spiral blade is that it cuts in all directions with equal ease. This type of blade has few applications in the workshop as it leaves a wide and rough cut.
- Crown-Tooth Blades: With teeth shaped like a crown and even spacing between them, crown tooth blades are a fairly new type of blade. They have no up or down. It is mostly used to cut plastic material like Plexiglass instead of wood.
Factors to Consider When Buying Scroll Saw Blades
These tips will help you choose the most appropriate blade for the job and help make you more productive when cutting wood using a scroll saw.
- Material Thickness: As a rule of thumb, the bigger your material thickness, the bigger the saw. Small teeth saws will have difficulty cutting thick material and more prone to breaking under stress.
- Material Density: Denser (or harder) material will require larger teeth for a smoother cut. Larger teeth blades also prevent wood-burn, since it generates less heat.
- Precision and Maneuverability: If you are cutting an artsy pattern with a lot of contours, a small-teeth blade will be the ideal choice. It will generate less splinters and cut more smoothly at a slower pace. This gives you more control and maneuverability over your cut.
- Blade Diversity: It is important to have a few different types of blades handy in the workshop. By default, scroll saws are equipped with a standard-tooth blade by manufacturers. You will quickly find that swapping this blade with other types makes cutting more efficient and easier, depending on the type of material you are working on.
- Exclusivity: Do not use the same blade to cut through different types of material. Always used a dedicated and specialized one. For example, use a metal blade to cut metal exclusively and not wood or plastic, and vice versa.
- Lubrication: Scroll saw blades move very fast and they go through a lot of wear and tear, even after a short amount of time. A good way to prolong the life of a blade is to lightly lubricate it with either mineral oil or coconut oil.
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