The 8 Best Scroll Saws of 2017 – Scroll Saw Reviews
A scroll saw is an incredibly versatile and fun woodworking tool to work with. Reminiscent of sewing machines, you can make a lot of delicate artistic wood renditions with a scroll saw. Their accuracy gives you perfect control over your work and their low noise will not distract you or anyone else in the workshop. With our scroll saw reviews and guide, we will attempt to help you find the best scroll saws for the money.
Table of Contents
- 8 Best Scroll Saws - Reviews
- 8. Dewalt DW788 1.3-Amp 20-Inch Scroll Saw
- 7. Delta Power Tools 40-694 20-Inch Scroll Saw
- 6. Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Compact Scroll Saw
- 5. Ryobi SC165VS 16-Inch Corded Scroll Saw
- 4. WEN 3920 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
- 3. Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
- 2. Proxxon 37088 Scroll Saw
- 1. Rockwell RK7315 Shop Series 16-Inch Scroll Saw
- What are Scroll Saws Used for?
- What to Look for When Buying a Scroll Saw
- How to choose Blades for Your Scroll Saw?
- Question & Answer
8 Best Scroll Saws - Reviews
Now, let use dive straight into the meat with our scroll saw reviews. Hopefully, you will be able to find a good woodworking tool at the end of it.
Our comparison of scroll saw specs below
|Shop Fox W1713|
8. Dewalt DW788 1.3-Amp 20-Inch Scroll Saw
Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)
The DW788 is among one of the best scroll saws on the market. It is a saw ideal for moderate to heavy users. Its heavy quality-construction also packs a series of very welcoming features. This unit can quickly be set up right out of the box by anyone with little or no experience. It has an intuitive interface that you cannot go wrong with.
Its general cast-iron construction, along with a cast-iron board limits vibrations and enhances your productivity. Consumers have found zero give on this model’s table, so you can concentrate on your work.
The front of the Dewalt DW788 hosts the blade control mechanism. You can quickly adjust the throat depth cut or blade with a simple lever and tool-less mechanism. The table equally provides ample space, so that, along with the blade and excellent throat cut distance, you are able to manipulate your material with great precision.
This scroll saw is very heavy, at 65.6lbs but that is by design. We find that specs-wise, this saw is perfect for fret work along with intarsia work. Beginners will love this model, not only because it is a high-performing scroll saw, but also because it is simple to operate. Anyone of any age can use this device with great satisfaction – even your kids!
>> Read More: Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw Review
7. Delta Power Tools 40-694 20-Inch Scroll Saw
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
The Delta Power Tools 40-694 has a complex and technical name. But really, this model makes working with wood a cinch! It has a pretty shiny finish and a professional look that will make a nice addition to your workshop.
It offers an easy-to-operate electronic speed controller that is able to make the blade go from 400 SPM to 1,750 SPM in a jiffy. This allows you to experiment and quickly find the optimal cutting speed for the material you are working on.
We also appreciate the tool-free blade clamp mechanism. You can quickly replace used blades in a matter of seconds with it. If you are performing some fret work, the upper arm is movable and can easily be locked in position, at any angle you choose. Nifty!
The general heavy construction of this scroll saw, along with a dual parallel link mechanism makes this model almost vibration-free. What you will also appreciate is the quietness of its operation. Consumers vouch for this model because of it! High-performance, low-vibration and quiet – what else do you need?
>> Read More: Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 Inch Scroll Saw Review
6. Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Compact Scroll Saw
Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)
One of our favorite brands out there. Dremel makes good quality power tools that are also very affordable. The Dremel MS20-01 is a light and portable scroll saw that looks like it comes from the future. It has a lot of features that a scroll saw this price shouldn’t have.
It even includes a handy dust port adapter so as to keep your workspace clean. The unit comes equipped with an in-house tensioning system that allows you to quickly change and adjust the blade on the go.
This portable device is light enough to be handheld and take it to the material instead of the other way round, as with most other conventional scroll saw models. Along with an electronic speed control that can do a decent SPM for such a small device, it also sports a base that can be easily clamped to anything.
At 9.lbs, 101 features and a price that will not break the bank, you simply cannot go wrong with this versatile scroll saw. It makes a nice addition to the workshop, and a nice backup scroll saw in case of emergency.
>> Read More: Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Review
5. Ryobi SC165VS 16-Inch Corded Scroll Saw
Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)
Another quality and professional corded scroll saw at a very interesting price. The Ryobi SC165VS is a good quality scroll saw that has a lot to offer, especially at its offered price point. It’s not mean to rival the more expensive and premium scroll saws reviewed above, but it’s still a very good contender, especially specs-wise.
It has a decent 16” throat depth which means that you can easily work with different materials or different sizes. 16” is big enough for most jobs and it is plenty for the average DIYer.
This model even comes retrofitted with a dust blower that helps keep your cut line clean and visible at all time. Gone are the days of you having to blow on your cut. What we also like about this scroll saw is that the variable speed control can jump the blade from 550 SPM to 1600 SPM in an instant.
The saw can also be tilted up to a 45-degree for more precise angled-cut. All in all, we find that this is a very good beginner scroll saw. If this is the first time you are buying a scroll saw, this model will simply be perfect. Best, it’s also very affordable and packs a punch!
4. WEN 3920 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
If you are interested in power tools, Wen is a brand you come across often. They make excellent quality tools at very competitive prices. The Wen 3920 scroll saw is certainly no exception.
We like the design of the 3920. It’s black and orange color scheme gives it some presence in the room. The blade speed is easily controllable and can perform from 400 SPM anywhere to 1,600 SPM with the flick of a button.
Its 16” throat depth allows you to cut wood up to 1.9” in thickness, which is pretty good for most DIY and carpentry jobs. The table stands perfectly flat, but can be tilted to a 45-degree angle to get that perfect angled-cut. We like how intuitive and easy Wen made this tool. Anyone of any experience level can quickly start operating this device.
The cut line is well illuminated with a movable led hose. Now you will never lose track of your work, even at night! It’s also good to mention that it is a relatively silent scroll saw that will never annoy you or your neighbor.
It even has a cast-iron base to add some weight to it and limit vibration. All in all, consumers of this model found it to be very comfortable to use, offering plenty of power and features like an air pump, flex lighting and a dust port. It also comes at a very competitive price and backed by a 2-year warranty.
>> Read More: WEN 3920 Scroll Saw Review
3. Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)
The Shop Fox W1713 has an interesting name for an interesting design. On first look, the W1713 looks like it belongs in a science laboratory. However, it is a stellar scroll saw that belongs in the workshop.
It sports a powerful motor that can cut its way to almost any wood or plastic material you throw at it. With a standard throat cutting depth of 16”, it can accommodate most general purpose cutting. What we like about this model is the matching color scheme. Everything in this scroll saw is there to make it look like a very professional scroll saw – and it is!
The tool-less key fob allows you to easily and quickly change blades while the translucent hand protection case around the blade does an awesome job getting the blade away from your fingers. We also like the retractable and adjustable gooseneck flex light. It is a nice addition to it.
The powerful motor, along with a variable speed control that can do 550 SPM to 1,700 SPM offers a versatility that allows you to work on almost all projects with any material, soft or hard. For the money, the features and the good looks, we find that his model is one of the best scroll saws on the market – bar none!
>> Read More: Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw Review
2. Proxxon 37088 Scroll Saw
Editor's Rating: (3.8 / 5)
The Proxxon 37088 has a heavy “militarized” look. This, or it is a scroll saw that comes from the past. We like the simplistic and nostalgic design, reminiscent of old industrial machines. Along with its green-yellow color tone, it is an appealing model for those who want a simple looking scroll saw and yet still has some presence to it.
The table is made from die-cast aluminum, with a throat depth of 11”. Quite small, considering most models in this review have a 16” throat depth, but it still manageable for most of us.
The Proxxon 37088 comes with a myriad of features that makes it well worth it. The keyless fob allows you to easily change the blade in a matter of seconds. The cutting slit is guided and allows you to perform highly accurate straight or angled cuts.
We appreciate Proxxon integrating a blower at the cutting tip, which keeps the cutting tip always clear of debris and visible at all time. This model has a thing for cleanliness, as it also has a vacuum cleaner adapter.
The electronic variable speed control of this model allows the blade to perform from 150 SPM to 2500 SPM. This is the only model we know of that allows for such a low spindle rate, and should be enough to cut through even the most tenacious materials.
It is not hard to like this model. Many scroll saw reviews websites also highly rate this model highly. It’s quite likeable, has a good price with an elegant and simplistic look. We love it!
1. Rockwell RK7315 Shop Series 16-Inch Scroll Saw
Editor's Rating: (3.8 / 5)
The Rockwell RK7315 is an elegant scroll saw. It uses lightweight construction materials and bills itself as being easy to transport. In fact, it still weights a solid 28 lbs, so it is hardly “portable”. It is good to note that Rockwell did not skim on the base construction, which uses a cast-iron base. This gives it a solid footing and limits vibrations.
The tiltable table is another nice addition to this saw. It can be angled from 0 to 45 degrees, allowing you to perform angled-cuts with great ease. The blades are easy to change with its keyless fob mechanism and it has a nice and standard throat depth.
Rockwell included a nice dust blower directly over the blade cut, which is handy and keeps the cut clear and visible at all times. It even has an additional dust port in case you need it.
The blade mechanism uses a solid fixture that has no give, and greatly improves the efficiency of cutting. Those are the nice and subtle features you tend to find in almost all Rockwell line of products.
At the price this saw is offered, we think that it is a bargain. Especially taking into account it’s features and specs into consideration. If this is your first scroll saw, you will welcome the beginner-friendly form factor and features of this woodworking tool that scores very highly in many scroll saw reviews online.
>> Read More: Rockwell RK7315 Scroll Saw Review
What are Scroll Saws Used for?
There are many usages for scroll saws. Evidently, by design, the most common one is making crafts. Its small blade allows it to reach and cut spot more crude power tools cannot. Furthermore, since the scroll saw is a fixed tool, you use your hands to maneuver the cut on the material. This greatly adds accuracy and allows you to perform extreme level of details. Wood artists and DIYers use the scroll saws to make all sorts of commercial or personal artisanal crafts.
Scroll saws are also ideal to initiate young children to the wonderful world of woodworking. Since it is a very safe and easy to use tool, young children will quickly develop an interest in working with wood and allows them to creatively express themselves while learning a valuable skill at the same time.
What to Look for When Buying a Scroll Saw
There are many aspects to look at before buying a scroll saw. Price is not the most determining factor. This short buyer’s guide will help you steer in the right direction if you are on the lookout for a good, if not the best scroll saw for your budget.
- Adjustable Speed Control: A varying speed is important when working with tools that cut materials. This is simply because different materials need different cutting speeds for a smooth and professional cut. The best scroll saws out there output a finishing cut that requires little to not sanding because the cut is already splinter-free and shiny. You can adjust your optimal speed by taking visual cues on the finished cut.
- Noise: Scroll saws are known for their low noise. However, keep an eye out for manufacturers blatantly posting the noise unit (decibels). This assures you are getting a quality scroll saw that was properly engineered.
- Vibration: Low vibration enhances both your productivity and accuracy when working with a scroll saw.
- Board Tilt: Many scroll saw models have a tiltable table to make angled cuts easier. They can often be tilted to a 45 degree. Although, you do not necessarily have to choose a model with a tiltable table. Since you can easily tilt your material for the same result, it can be a good idea to have this option. You never know.
- Blade Change Mechanism: As with any tool that requires cutting, you will come to a point where you need to replace your blade with a new one. Choose a model that makes it easy to replace blades. Good models make changing blades in a jiffy, and that too without using any third party tools as they have a keyless mechanism.
- Throat Length: This is simply the distance between the blade to the scroll saw’s front. A bigger throat length will allow you to work with bigger objects. On average, for general purpose cutting with a scroll saw, an average throat length of 18” is plenty.
- Universal Blade Fob: When working with different projects, you will need different blades. In addition to having a good blade changing mechanism, you also need one that can easily accommodate a slew of blades of different sizes.
- Tool Support: Scroll saws are made from heavy cast-iron to limit vibration and provide more stability and support. Never go with one that is not made from cast-iron or use a cheaper and lighter support frame.
- Dust Disposal: Working with wood will invariably create a lot of saw dust. While scroll saws do not necessarily create a lot of dust due to their small blade, a lot of wood dust will eventually accumulate if you do a lot of cutting. Keep an eye out for models that have a dust disposal system. It will come in handy.
How to choose Blades for Your Scroll Saw?
Since most of the action happens at the blade level, learning how to choose good blades for your scroll saw in important. But also, there are certain aspects to consider that makes a good blade on a scroll saw, well, good.
You should care some point below
Types of Blade
There exist many types of blades for a scroll saw. By default, you may get a standard tooth blade. However, each blade type is adapted for a specific type of cutting on specific materials. The finish cut also depends on the type of blade you are using. Standard tooth blades have teeth spaced out evenly. Skip-tooth, as their name suggests skips one tooth every other. They are great beginner blades. Double-tooth blades have greater spacing and ideal when using lower speeds. You can refer to the packaging of the blade to get a general idea of the exact usage of the blade. Most good spare blades come with information on what to use them for.
Most decent models have an in-house blade tensioning mechanism. It is important that the blade in a scroll saw is not too tight, or too loose. A blade that is too tight is only seconds away from snapping. A blade that is too loose will have some give which will make you lose accuracy and not give a professional straight cut.
As with anything concerning scroll saws, the blade tensioning is a skill that you learn with experience. There is no exact way of knowing if a blade is perfectly adjusted other than using it.
If, however, you get an optimal tension for the material you are working on, you will find that it will cut through material like butter and deliver a very professional finish. Many times, you will not even need to finish sand it because of the polishes and glossy cut.
Blade speed also plays a detrimental factor in a scroll saw. A slow speed is ideal for cutting tough and thick material while a fast speed thin and soft materials. By playing with the variable speed control and testing, you will quickly find the optimal cutting speed for the material you are working on.
Question & Answer
Here are some common questions we get about scroll saws.
Do you need a Band Saw or a Scroll Saw?
It is a difficult choice, as both the band saw and the scroll saw looks and performs almost the same task.
Generally speaking, the band saw is more for commercial usage that need quick and efficient cutting that delivers a professional finish. They are also bigger, taller and bulkier power tools compared to their smaller counterpart - the scroll saw.
The scroll saw does the same job, but can go above and beyond and deliver more precise cuts that are vital in making wood designs and shapes. The ability to make intricate patterns fast and efficiently is why the scroll saw is preferred among hobbyist, carpenters, artists and DIYers.
What is the best kind of wood for Scroll Saws?
Since the scroll saw is a fixed device with an oscillating blade, the best type of material to cut with it is most definitely hard materials. Hardwood, Oak, PVC, Baltic birch, etc. deliver a perfect cut in a scroll saw. The thickness of the material is also an important aspect. A thicker material will be more pleasurable and offer greater efficiency of cutting than a thin one.
For this reason, thin and soft material like plywood are not the best choices to use with a scroll saw. Mostly because of the splinters and unattractive edges of the finishing cut. Those materials will need further polishing with a sander for woodworking.
What is the best blade to use?
Generally speaking, the standard blade is the most general purpose blade. Sure, there are dozens of blade types for each kind of material and cut, but general purpose blades (shipped by default) can do it all. Spiral blades, for example, are bad blades to beginners to use. Mostly because they are so difficult to control and can easily ruin your cut with a slip of the hand or moments inattention. If you want a consistent and good cutting experience when using a scroll saw, stick with a standard blade. You can always try different blades later on once you get the hang of it.
What blades to use when cutting Plexiglas?
The best blade for cutting Plexiglas is the Corian blade. Corian blades run in numbers of 3, 5, 7 and 9 and are engineered specifically for cutting Plexiglas without leaving any edge residue. They vary in number and appropriate for the thickness of the material.
How to get the perfect blade tension?
Blade tension is a tricky proposal in scroll saws. It largely depends on the material you are cutting and the blade type you are using. Generally speaking, a properly “calibrated” blade tension should give a high “C” note. Remember, that it is always better to have more tension than having no blade tension at all. A loose blade is extremely inefficient at cutting and will most of the time ruin your work.