When a woodworker intends on cutting dovetail joints or other intricate cuts in wood or metal, then they are probably going to want to buy the best scroll saw possible. A scroll saw is a tool that’s accurate enough to be used by craftsmen for complicated projects but is simple enough to learn how to use to make it a valuable tool for amateur woodworkers as well. However, finding the best scroll saw isn’t always an easy task, especially when some people confuse these saws with jigsaws. And that’s why I’ve decided to go ahead and research some of the models I like and list them from number ten all the way to number one. In my opinion, the following are the ten best models currently available.
10. Dremel Moto-Saw Variable Speed Kit MS20-01
This saw has a number of features which make it an exciting tool to add to any workshop. It can cut through a variety of different materials which include wood, metal, laminates, and plastic. It also has an auto-tensioning quick change, a clamp base, ten different cutting blades including the MS50 side cutting blade, MS52 fine wood blade, the MS53 metal blade and the MS51 plastic blade. Also equipped with a detachable coping function that allows it to be turned from a stationary saw to a portable one, this tools is useful to just about any woodworker, both professional and amateur.
9. King Industrial 16-Inch Variable Speed
Designed to be powerful enough to be used for long woodworking sessions, this 16-inch variable saw can handle a variety of projects, no matter the complexity of them. It’s manufactured to provide the user with a stable platform for performing a variety of different cuts. And its entire head can be tilted 30-degrees to the left or 45-degrees to the right so that angled cuts can be handled with ease. This unit has a 12-inch by 18.5-inch table surface, a 120-Volt 1.3-Amp permanent magnet motor and well-built upper and lower parallel arms. All of which ensure that this tool delivers professional results.
8. Hegner 22-Inch Variable Speed
With a double quick-lock tensioning system, a variable speed induction motor and a 22-inch capacity, this saw is ready to handle just about any job a woodworker can think to do. It can handle even large-size projects thanks to its 400 to 1700 RPM motor that gives it the power it needs. And its dual-tilt slotted table allows it to handle angles easily. All of these features are in a high-quality tool that’s designed to provide many years of service and remain precise and reliable through that time. Which makes it an ideal saw for just about any workshop.
7. King Industrial 30-Inch Saw With Foot Switch
This saw is not only designed to be durable and to give the user years of service but it’s also designed to be powerful. It has a 120-Volt 1.3-Amp constant torque permanent magnet motor that gives this unit the power it needs to cut through a variety of projects. With a 14-inch by 32.5-inch table surface and a head that can tilt 38-degrees to the left or 45-degrees to the right, this saw also gives the user the tablespace and the versatility to do intricate designs. Other features found in this tool include a variable speed of 400 to 1,550 SPM, a max. cutting depth of 2-inches, a foot switch, and a 2.5-inch dust collector hookup.
6. Jet 727200K Saw With Stand
Made of quality components and designed to produce a flawless cut, this saw can be used in just about any workshop or garage. Using the leveling feet, this unit’s stand can be adjusted to four different heights and the saw itself has a nice compact design. It has a 22-inch throat capacity, a slotted table that makes blade changes quick and easy and a large 12-7/8-inch by 23-inch cast iron table that provides the user with the stable surface they need to perform complicated cuts. This tool also has upper blade holder clamps and tensions blade in just one step.
5. Shop Fox 16-Inch Variable Speed W1713
Some of the features that woodworkers look for in this type of saw can be found in the Shop Fox W1713. It accepts pin-end saw blades or standard plain blades and is easy to change from one to the other using included adapters. It also has a table that can tilt at angles zero to forty-five degrees and it also has a table lock and tilt scale that allow for horizontal angle cuts. This model has a no-load speed of 550 to 1700 SPM and has a 16-inch cutting width. It has a 1/8-HP 1.2 Amp motor, has a goose-neck work light, a dust port, and a dust blower.
4. WEN 16-Inch Variable Speed 3920
Equipped with a cast iron base, an LED worm work light, a hold-down foot lamp and an adjustable air pump, this model saw is ready to tackle just about any woodworking project. This tool features a 16-inch by 11-inch table that can bevel at 45-degrees to the left, which makes it easy to make angled cuts. It can cut wood up to two inches thick, has a 16-inch throat depth and has a variable speed motor that goes from 400 to 1600 SPM. And since it has a unique design that allows blades in both a standard and 90-degree angle, this tool has almost an infinite capacity for ripping.
3. Hegner 18-Inch Variable Speed
This unit is a welcome tool for anyone looking for a saw that is not only compact and precise but is also quite versatile and quiet as well. This saw is manufactured using high-quality components which allow it to be more durable than conventional models but also allow it to be more accurate and precise. This tool also has an 18-inch width and a double quick lock tensioning system. All of these features mean that this unit can be used by both amateur and professional woodworkers and should provide the user with many years of cutting service.
2. General International 21-Inch
This saw is designed to handle all kinds of scroll-work and do it without being overly complicated or hard to use. It has a 21-inch throat and a large 13.5-inch by 23.5-inch table surface that gives the user the space they need to get their woodworking projects completed as quickly as possible. This nicely designed used is constructed using painted steel and has a handy front mounted electronic speed control on it. This speed controller allows it to go from 400-strokes to 1,550-strokes per minute. It’s a saw that cuts really well and with precision.
1. Dewalt 20-Inch Variable Speed DW788
This saw has a number of features which make it a very useful tool to have for woodworking purposes. It has a double parallel-link arm that reduces noise and vibration levels and allows for more accurate cuts. It also has a tool-free blade clamp that lets the user swap blades in and out quickly and an electronic variable speed motor. This unit’s arm lifts so its blade can be inserted through the material, which allows for inside cutting. It has a 20-inch throat, an on/off switch, a blade-tension lever and a flexible dust blower. All of these features are found in a unit that’s built to be extremely durable and reliable.
An Extensive Guide To Scroll Saws
Scroll saws are amazing tools that can allow anyone to create intricate, delicate and beautiful designs using wood. It’s a tool that’s called a scroll saw because it was originally designed to handle scrollwork, which is extremely beautiful scroll-head sculptural work made out of wood. And using these tools are pretty straightforward, although the operator is going to have to get used to using it if they’re new to it. All that has to be done is to turn it one, and then move the piece around so that the blade comes in contact with the outline that’s on your wood piece. After that, it’s just a matter of following the design pattern until you’ve finished your piece.
Before you begin putting this tool to good use, however, you first have to find the best scroll saw available. And that isn’t always an easy endeavor. That’s because there are quite a few models on the market these days and new ones are coming out all of the time. As manufacturers release these tools, they all claim to have the best features and to be the easiest to use. Although many of these scrolls saws are fantastic, there are a few clunkers out there as well, so you need to do your homework. To help you out in that department, we decided to write this extensive guide to buy the best scroll saw possible. Hopefully, it will provide you with everything you need to know to make the best purchase possible.
Step One: Think About Speed
One of the first things that should be considered is the speed of the scroll saw. Nowadays, most modern scroll saws are manufactured using variable speed dials that allow the operator to dial in the speed that they need according to their project or the thickness of the wood being used. For most projects and wood types, you are probably going to want to use 400 to 1,600 strokes-per-minute. Fortunately, this is probably the easiest feature to find on a scroll saw because most of the better models we’ve reviewed provide a stroke-per-minute speed in this range.
Step Two: Consider Throat Length
The next thing to firmly keep in mind is the throat of the scroll saw. The throat is the distance between the back of the tool and the blade. The size of the throat directly correlates to the size of the project being worked on. The larger the throat, the larger the project that can be done. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone should run out and buy the scroll saw with the largest throat available, although we do recommend that if you intend on doing a lot of scrollwork, then you’ll probably want a scroll saw with a 20-inch or larger throat. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner, then you may be fine with getting a saw with a throat in the 16 to 18-inch range.
Step Three: Pinned Or Pinless Blades?
Another important consideration to think about is whether the scroll saw has Pinned or Pinless blades, and that isn’t always an easy feature to determine because a lot of tool manufacturers don’t come out directly and tell the consumer what type of blades they use, at least, not explicitly. Sometimes you have to dig into the tool’s specifications to determine which blades it uses. Some of the best scroll saws will use both Pinned and Pinless blades, but others only use one or the other type of blades. And it’s extremely important to determine which is which because Pinned Bladed isn’t suitable for making interior cuts, and that can severely limit your woodworking options in the future. For the best tool versatility, we recommend that the consumer buy a scroll saw that can handle both pinned and pinless blades.
Step Four: Choose An Arm Type
The next important feature for any woodworker to consider before purchasing a new scroll saw is what type of arm the tool has. When it comes to these types of saws, consumers generally have three different options and these options include Double Parallel Link Arms, Parallel Arms, and C-Arms. Let’s examine each of these arms a little bit close so we can discover both their advantages and their disadvantages.
Parallel Arms: Parallel Arm scroll saws are the most common saws found today. They can be identified by the two arms that run parallel to each other and have a blade attached to their ends. These arms provide a great cut and are generally safe to use because if the blade breaks, then the unit will stop almost immediately.
Double-Parallel Arms: This is a type of arm that’s found on some of the higher-end scroll saws available. Although saws with these types of arms are the most expensive types available, the performance of these saws can’t be beaten. They produce a more accurate cut and they do it while producing significantly lower vibration levels.
C-Arms: These are probably the least common arms found on modern scroll saws. As the name suggests, the arm forms a C-shape and the blade is mounted between the ends of the “C.” This arm produces the most aggressive cuts available, but it’s also the one that offers the least precision.
Step Five: Consider Additional Features
Just by following the above suggestions, you can reasonably end up with one of the best scroll-saws available. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a tool that has features that further extend its versatility and ease-of-use. Below are some additional features that aren’t necessarily found on all scroll saws but still might be quite useful for the woodworker. In other words, you don’t need the following features, but they’re sure nice to find on a good scroll saw.
- Cast Iron Base For Stability
- Thumb-Screw Adapters For Quick Blade Changes
- Dust Port For Easy Cleanup
- Foot Lock Clamps for Additional Stability
- Onboard Blade Storage
- A Flexible Light To Illuminate The Work Area
- A 1 or 2-Year Tool Warranty