Nothing makes your wood working standout like scroll work. Intricate designs with breath taking curves will make an ordinary project extraordinary. The fine detailed work will make nearly anything look as though it was built by a master craftsman. There are a few tools on the market that can achieve these results, some work better than others, like the scroll saw for example. Additionally, it is the perfect tool for the beginning woodworker.
Scroll saws are used by nearly every craftsman in nearly every industry; from carpenters and tile layers, to jewelry makers and artist. Besides maybe the band saw and table saw, the scroll saw is probably the most popular saw on the market. Plus, they can open the door to a rewarding and relaxing hobby. In this guide, we will discuss how this saw works, what advantages it offers over other tools, and review the top seven scroll saws on the market.
Scroll Saw Comparison Chart
Below you will find a comparison chart that was put together so that you can quickly see what model fit your needs. The top seven models on the market are listed below in an easy to read fashion so making the buying decision can be as easy as possible.
|Delta Power Tools 40-694||20 Inches||1.3 Amp||$$$||4.8||Read the Full Delta 40-694 Review Here|
|Rockwell RK7321 BladeRunner||15 Inches||5.5 Amp||$||3.8||Read the Full Rockwell Review Here|
|DEWALT DW788||20 Inches||1.3 Amp||$$$||4.3||Read the Full DW788 Review Here|
|Ryobi ZRSC164VS||16 Inches||1.2 Amp||$||3.2||Read the Full Ryobi ZRSC164VS Review Here|
|Shop Fox W1713||16 Inches||1 Amp||$||3.9||Read the Full W1713 Review Here|
|Grizzly G0536||16 Inches||1.4 Amp||$||3.2||Read the Full Grizzly GO536 Review Here|
|Rikon 10-600VS||16 Inches||1.2 Amp||$||3.5||Read the Full Rikon 10-600VS Review Here|
How a Scroll Saw Works
Scroll saws work by cutting with a small blade that reciprocates up and down quickly on the end of a pendulum arm. Some manufacturers utilize a “C” design where the blade is fastened at the ends of the “C”. Its thin, flexible blades, much like the blades on a coping saw, make it possible to cut intricate designs and shapes into woodwork without the blade warping or breaking. The material that you are cutting rest on a metal plate that can be tilted to allow for angled, or beveled, cuts. Many are available with other options such as work lights or dust blowers. The dust blowers remove sawdust from the work piece so the user can see their cutting lines at all times.
The blades of a scroll saw are available in different configurations. Some blades are made from different materials so you can use your scroll saw with different types of stock. They range in sizes from #10/0 which is as thin as thick hair, to #12 which is very much like a band saw blade.
- Skip Tooth – a skip tooth blade is designed with a tooth, a gap, and then another tooth. This pattern continues through the length of the blade.
- Double Skip Tooth – designed just like a skip tooth with the exception that it has two teeth for every gap.
- Crown – designed with teeth facing both up and down so that the blade can cut on both strokes instead of just the down stroke.
- Spiral – basically a regular flat blade, the spiral blade is twisted so that blades face all sides.
- Metal Cutting – constructed of hardened steel for cutting through metal.
- Diamond Blades – diamond blades are wires that are coated with diamond fragments and are used for cutting glass.
- Reverse Tooth – on these blades, the bottom teeth are pointing up to help reduce splintering on the bottom of the cuts.
- Ultra Reverse – designed with four to five teeth pointing down and then one pointing up. This pattern is designed to clear sawdust from the cut and still leaves a cleaner cut on the bottom as well.
Advantages to Using a Scroll Saw
Unlike a band saw that has a blade that runs in a continuous loop, a scroll saws shorter blade can be inserted through a starter hole in your material. This allows for intricate work to be completed without the need for an entry cut. Simply make a starter hole, attach the blade and you’re all set to make the next wooden masterpiece.
Even though a coping saw can make intricate designs, it is very time consuming. An obvious benefit over the coping saw is that the scroll saw is a power tool. You can finish those delicate cuts in at a much faster pace, meaning that it will improve your productivity. Additionally, even if you’re not a seasoned veteran when it comes to scroll work, a it makes the craft easier than a coping saw.
Another advantage of using a scroll saw is that they are extremely safe. With adult supervision, any young child could enjoy the craft of scroll working.
Considerations Before Buying
As you start shopping for your scroll saw, there are a few things you need to consider as you look.
Design – As mentioned previously, scroll saws are manufactured in different designs. While any of the available designs have no significant flaws that would detract from their quality, there may be a particular design that best fits your needs.
Throat – The throat of a scroll saw is the distance from the rear frame of the saw to the blade. Throat size determines how the saw is classified. The throat can be as small as 12-inches or as deep as 30-inches on commercial sized saws. The deeper the throat, the larger the piece of wood or other material that can be cut. Keep this in mind while looking for your scroll saw. If you’re just planning on making smaller projects, a relatively small throat will work just fine for you. However, if large projects are on your plate, then perhaps a larger throat is what you need.
Blade Type – There are several types of scroll saw blades. While some models can use multiple types of blades, some can only use one specific type. Keep that in mind when you’re making your decision.
Price – As with anything you plan on buying, price is a factor that comes into play. They range in price from under $100 to nearly $2,000. More costly models usually are easier to use and have reduced vibration features.
The Top Seven Scroll Saws
Our list is composed of the top seven rated scroll saws currently available on the market. Each one offers their own unique features so it’s important to check which best fits your needs before committing to a purchase.
The Delta Power Equipment Corporation has been producing quality power tools for over 90 years and that commitment to quality is evident with their 40-694 model. Its heavy weight of 70 pounds helps to not only reduce vibration while operating, but it also helps to provide a more stable work station for the large 16-inch by 24-inch table.
The 10-694 is powered by a dependable 120-V motor that can cut up to a blade speed of 1,750 SPMs. Blade changes are quick and easy with its tool free blade clamp. All controls are placed in the front of the saw for easy access for the user. The large working table bevels up to 45 degrees to the left and right and has an optional light that keeps your project out of the dark and visible. With its large throat size of 20-inches and its ability to cut material up to 2-1/8 inches at 90 degrees, the Delta 10-694 is the perfect model for the first time owner.
Rockwell’s BladeRunner will be the second saw on our list. Offering a stainless steel work surface, the BladeRunner is well built and dependable. It’s the variable speed controlled 5.5 amp motor provides plenty of cutting power for precise, clean cuts. Able to use any T-Shank blade, you can go from cutting wood to tile with a quick and simple blade change.
Another great feature the BladeRunner possesses is that it comes included with a wall mount so there is no need for large, space consuming work benches just to operate your scroll saw. With its light weight, large work surface, and a dust port that can connect with any shop vac, Rockwell’s BladeRunner makes for the perfect beginners model.
DeWalt has been one of the industry leaders for decades with their high quality power tools. Their DW788 scroll saw is a fine example of this fact. With a large 20-inch cast iron work surface, the DW788 offers plenty of room for maneuvering your stock while at the same time providing excellent support. Powered by a 1.3-amp variable speed controlled motor, making intricate cuts and curves is a snap. Its unique arm design not only reduces vibration, but also reduces noise.
The DW788 is also equipped with a flexible dust blower which is located at the end of the arm. This placement enables you to direct the airflow where you need it most. With user-friendly controls placed at the end of the cutting arm, first-time users will love this machine.
Ryobi makes the number four spot on our list with its ZRSC164VS. With a throat size of 16-inches, the ZRSC164VS offers a compact size for easy transportation from the shop, to the site, and then back again. Able to use both plain and pin end blades to make this model by Ryobi versatile. Add in the AccuClear sawdust blower and you have a scroll saw that should be on the list for anyone looking to add this fun and easy to use tool to their shop inventory.
The Shop Fox W1713 could make a great scroll saw for the first time user. This model is equipped with a dust blower that will keep your lines clear and easy to see. Also equipped is a dust port that can hook up to nearly any shop vac. Another great feature is the W1713 comes with an attached super bright work light.
The versatile W1713 is equipped with a sturdy cast iron table that can adjust up to 45 degrees. Additionally, you can use either pin blades or plain blades. The 110 volt adjustable variable speed motor offers up to 1700 strokes per minute.
The Grizzly G0536 uses 5-inch pin type blades and is powered by a 110-volt, 1.4-amp variable speed motor that has speeds as low as 540 SPM and as high as 1,885 SPM. The large cast iron table is able to flip up to a 45 degree angle. Combine that with the 16-inch throat and a cutting height of 2-1/8 inch, the G0536 is tough enough to handle nearly any job you throw at it in your shop.
Additional features are an easy to use blade tension control knob, no tools required blade changes, and a built-in blower to keep sawdust away from your cutting lines. Also, the G0536 has an adjustable clear blade guard for easy adjustments. With an included work light, the Grizzly G0536 should definitely be a consideration while you are looking for your saw.
The 10-600VS variable speed motor has speeds ranging from 550 to 1650 SPM. Able to use both pin and plan type blades, the versatility continues with a large cast iron table that can enable beveled cuts up to 45 degrees. The incorporated work light keeps your project in view while the dust blower keeps your cutting lines clear and where they need to be.
There are hundreds of different makes and models to choose from currently available. If you are a first time user, you may want to consider keeping it simple when you decide on a certain saw.
While we only covered seven different models of scroll saws in this user guide, there are many to choose from currently on the market. However, these seven are some of the top selling and are geared towards the new user. Ensure you check into all of the different models and features they come with to determine which best meets your specific needs.
Easy to use, versatile, and portable, a scroll saw is the perfect addition to your shop. Whether you’re building something as small as a bird house, or adding scroll work to your kitchen cabinets, it can help to turn that project into a simple and enjoyable task. And with the different types of blades available, it can be used in nearly any trade. With so much to offer, you can buy with confidence in knowing that you are not only adding a saw to your shop’s inventory, but also a safe, fun, relaxing, and easy to use way of improving not only your work, but also your quality of enjoyment.