Having the best scroll saw for your intricate woodworking projects is essential if you want professional looking results.
A scroll saw is best described as a fine bladed cutting tool that has the ability to perform very intricate cuts in a variety of materials.
Scroll saws typically consist of a small, electric motor that drives a thin, reciprocating blade up and down at high speeds. The blade is mounted on an arm that can be adjusted to change the angle and orientation of the cut.
The material being cut is typically held in place on a table, with a hold-down foot or clamp to keep it steady while the user guides the blade along the desired cutting path.
Scroll saws are known for their ability to make very precise, detailed cuts, and they are often used to create intricate patterns and designs in wood and other materials. They are also commonly used to cut out complex shapes, such as puzzle pieces or letters for signage.
Because the blade on a scroll saw is relatively thin and flexible, it is able to make tight turns and follow complex curves without breaking or binding. This makes it an ideal tool for working with delicate materials or for creating intricate, detailed designs.
One of the key features of a scroll saw is the ability to adjust the angle and orientation of the blade. This allows the user to make cuts at different angles and in different directions, which can be useful for creating complex shapes or for cutting around corners.
Some scroll saws also have adjustable blade speeds, which can be useful for cutting different materials or for achieving different effects. For example, a slower blade speed might be used for cutting thicker or denser materials, while a faster blade speed might be used for making more delicate cuts.
Scroll saws are a valuable tool for anyone who needs to make precise, detailed cuts in wood or other materials. They are commonly used by woodworkers, metalworkers, and other craftsmen, and they are an essential tool for anyone who wants to create intricate designs or complex shapes in their work.
If your hobby is working with wood, for example you may have a woodturning lathe then you know doubt will have heard of the advantages of using a fine toothed cutting blade to create very detailed and precise cuts in wood.
Hobby and craft workers love to use this kind of saw when working on projects such as intarsia, letter signs, wooden portraits, and marquetry.
Professional and DIY woodworkers often use a scroll saw to make dovetail joints for use in cabinet, furniture making, and furniture restoration projects.
A scroll saw is not just for use on wood, providing the correct blade is fitted, a scroll saw can be used to cut wall and floor tiles, although a dedicated wet tile saw that uses water to cool the cutting blade would be a much better choice for that kind of material.
These saws can also be used on a wide range of materials, metal, plastic, leather, cork, and endless other materials can be cut providing the correct cutting blade is used.
We’ve reviewed and compiled a list of the best scroll saws available, to help you choose one that would best suit your needs.
The Best Scroll Saws Reviewed
|Top Pick||DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw|
|Alternative Top Pick||Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw|
|Best High-End Scroll Saw||Hegner 18″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw|
|Best Reasonably Priced Scroll Saw||WEN 3921 16-inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw|
Our Top Pick: DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw
Our Top Pick
As you would expect from a top quality power tool manufacturer, this 20 inch variable speed scroll saw from DeWalt certainly delivers excellent results time after time.
Powered by a 1.3 Amp motor, this variable speed scroll saw operates quietly and smoothly with speed options of between 400 and 1,750 cutting strokes per minute, with stroke lengths of between 3/4 of an inch and 2 inches.
Accuracy is guaranteed thanks to the double parallel link arm design that keeps the cutting blade perfectly aligned, this reduces noise and vibration and also helps to reduce those under or over cutting situations.
As for those tricky inside cutting jobs, well they’re made a whole lot easier. The arm of the Dewalt scroll saw has been designed to be lifted up to allow the blade to be threaded through the material, meaning less time messing around and more time working.
Another great design feature here that helps to keep the work area clear, is the positioning of the controls.
The on/off switch, the electronic variable speed control, the blade tensioner lever, and the flexible dust blower system, are all easily accessible and located on the front upper arm.
Changing blades is easy too, this is down to the tool-free blade clamping system, which means blades can be changed in seconds. The scroll saw arm lifts easily to allow the blade to be threaded through the workpiece material.
With an overall table size of 16″ x 23-3/4″ and weighing in at 56 lbs this scroll saw feels really solid and stable. And as for keeping your workpiece properly supported there’s an oversized cast iron table, which can bevel to 45 degrees left or right if you need it to.
For your peace of mind, this Dewalt scroll saw is backed by a 90 day money back guarantee, a 3 year limited warranty and a one year free service contract.
What We Like:
- High Build Quality – As you would expect from a company with a huge reputation for making top quality power tools.
- Large Working Capacity – 20 inch scroll saw that should be more than enough for even the busiest of workplaces or home workshops.
- Tool Free Blade Changes – No messing around with tools to change the blade on this scroll saw, it can be done tool free and in seconds.
Things to Consider:
- No Stand Included – This scroll saw doesn’t come with a stand, which is ok if you have a suitable workbench to place it on. The recommended Dewalt scroll saw stand is available to buy on Amazon.
Check the latest price on Amazon.
Alternative Top Pick: Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Alternative Top Pick
This powerful 20 inch scroll saw from delta power tools has the capability and all the functions you need, to cut just about any material for your home or business needs.
This versatile, powerful variable speed 20 inch scroll saw, powered by a 1.3 Amp motor delivers cutting speeds of between 400 and 1,750 strokes per minute, with a stroke length of 3/4 of an inch, making it ideal for the most demanding of jobs.
Precision cutting is made possible by the duel parallel link arm that helps greatly with reducing vibration and also ensuring accuracy with over and undercutting.
A really useful design feature here is the tool free blade clamp, this makes changing a blade easy and more importantly, quickly so that you can get on with the job in hand.
Everything about this 60 lb machine seems well built and solid, and with a cast iron work table that bevels 45 degrees to the left and to the right, you’re all set to start work.
Mounted on the arm for easy access is the on/off switch along with the variable speed dial, flexible dust blower and blade tensioning lever.
What We Like:
- High Cutting Speeds – Fast cutting speeds of between 400 and 1,750 strokes per minute are available.
- Powerful Machine – Powerful 1.3 Amp motor delivers enough power to cut through a wide variety of materials.
- Nice And Heavy – Weighing in at 60 lbs this machine feels solid.
Check the latest price on Amazon.
Best High-End Scroll Saw: Hegner 18″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Best High-End Scroll Saw
This top spec scroll saw from Hegner just oozes quality.
By just simply looking at this machine you get the feeling that it can cope with whatever cutting job you want it to do, and you’d be right, it can.
Made from cast iron, this super strong piece of equipment weighs 50 lbs which all adds to the solid industrial quality vibe that this machine is all about.
If you need a scroll cutting machine that will work all day long and can cut almost any kind of material then this is the machine for you. Powered by a 2.83 Amp variable speed induction motor giving you speed options of between 400 and 1,400 strokes per minute.
Hegner scroll saws with their double quicklock tensioning system which helps to preserve the life of the cutting blade, are renowned for easy blade swap out.
A huge 18 inch throat capacity gives you the ability to work on large projects without the worry of whether your scroll cutting machine is up to the job in hand.
The precise, smoothly controlled cutting performance is second to none, meaning that on the spot turns and inner cutting are a breeze to do.
The cutting process is made a whole lot easier with Hegners sawdust management system which can be set to blow the sawdust clear of the cutting line or draw the dust to a separate dust collection system. You can also set it to use both options together to keep the cutting line clear.
This high quality, high specification scroll cutting machine comes with a 7 year manufacturers warranty which in itself says just how confident Hegner is about the reliability of their product.
What We Like:
- Superb Quality – Industrial grade, strong and reliable, it will work hard and for as long as you want it to.
- Variable Speed Control – Enabling you to select just the right amount of speed for different job requirements.
- Long Warranty – Hegner gives you a very impressive 7 year warranty with this 18 inch scroll cutting saw.
Things to Consider:
- Doesn’t Come With A Stand – Perfect for use on a solid surface, but if you require a stand to mount this scroll saw on, then the recommended Hegner scroll saw stand is available to buy on Amazon.
Check the latest price on Amazon.
Best Reasonably Priced Scroll Saw: WEN 3921 16-inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Best Reasonably Priced Scroll Saw
Offering real bang for your buck this feature packed scroll saw makes it the ideal choice for those that want a good quality machine, without having to dig too deep into their pockets to buy one.
This 16 inch, 26.2 lb scroll cutting machine from Wen really does offer great value for money. Packed with features that are usually only found on the dearer scroll cutting machines you really can’t go wrong if you add this solid performer to your woodworking tool collection.
Cutting speeds of between 550 to 1600 strokes per minute are possible, with a 9/16 of an inch stroke that enables you to cut through softwood and hardwoods up to 2 inches thick.
Keeping everything nice and sturdy while you work is courtesy of a heavy cast iron base that really does help to keep your workpiece from vibrating and moving about.
This combined with the generous 16 inch by 11 inch table that bevels to 45 degrees for those angled cuts, gives you a very useful piece of woodworking equipment.
When you are making those cuts with the scroll saw, helping to give you a clear view as you work is an adjustable, flexible work light.
This flexible work light can be set to shine on the exact cutting point so that you can see exactly how the cutting process is doing.
Keeping that dust out of your cutting line while you cut is an adjustable air pump, which can be combined with the 1 1/2 inch dust port to really keep that work table tidy and free of debris.
A really useful feature here is that with this scroll cutting machine you aren’t restricted to a set cutting blade direction. This machine has the ability to cut in 2 directions because the blade holder accepts pinned and pinless blades.
What We Like:
- Feature Packed – Has all the features you need to complete those scroll sawing projects.
- Great Value For Money – You really do get a very useful piece of woodworking equipment here, and at a great price too.
- Great Cutting Capacity – Cuts wood up to 2 inches thick, and not restricted to 16 inches in length because of the ability to change the cutting blade direction.
Check the latest price on Amazon.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I use a scroll saw for?
Scroll saws are used to cut intricate curves and joints, in a wide variety of materials such as wood, metal, cork, and plastic. This power tool can bring out the creativity in your artistic side and is often used by hobbyists working on intarsia, letter design, marquetry, and various other craft projects.
Scroll saws are also often used in DIY projects and are an essential tool for the professional woodworker to own. Capable of creating very fine cuts, dovetail joints in wood can be easily created for use in cabinetry work or other situations where you need a strong jointing method to hold pieces of wood together.
What materials can a scroll saw cut?
Scroll saws can be used to cut a wide variety of materials, but the important thing to note here is that it’s not the case that one cutting blade will cut every type of material.
Materials such as hardwood, softwood, plastic, metal, leather, rubber, and bone can all be cut using a scroll saw.
When alternating between materials being cut it is essential that the correct type of cutting blade is used. If the wrong blade is inserted than damage to the material being cut can be caused.
Can a scroll saw cut metal?
A scroll saw can be used to cut a variety of materials, all wood types, plastics, rubber, cork, leather, and metal. It is very important that the correct type of cutting blade is selected when cutting materials such as metal.
When cutting soft metals such as copper, brass, and gold you will find that these soft metals will cut easily with an appropriate saw blade.
When cutting harder metals like stainless steel, aluminum, carbon steel, and iron then it is advisable to use a lubricant as you cut. The purpose of using a lubricant as you cut is to reduce friction between the metal being cut and the cutting blade.
Another important note to mention here is that there are various types of cutting lubricant available to use, depending upon the type of metal being cut.
What does TPI mean on a scroll saw blade?
Cutting blades are measured in TPI, the initials TPI on a scroll saw blade refers to the number of teeth per inch. Quite simply, the greater the number of teeth per inch, the more intricate work can be performed.
If you are doing quite detailed cutting work and need to perform a lot of sharp turning cuts, a blade with a lot of teeth per inch will be able to make faster sharper cuts.
Other Worthy Mentions
These scroll saws didn’t quite make it into our top picks, but we thought that they were definitely worth a mention.
This scroll saw from Porter Cable comes with a saw stand to make those intricate cutting projects easier to work on.
- Large 20 inch aluminium cutting table.
- Variable speed control from 500 to 1500 strokes per minute.
- Bevel cuts up to 45 degrees are possible on the duel tilting table.
A superb scroll saw that has industrial strength qualities, if you want a top quality scroll saw, then this is it.
- Powerful 120 Volt, 1.3 Amp motor provides a smooth constant cutting action.
- 16 variable speed options to choose from.
- Nice and sturdy, weighing in at 64 lbs.
This 16 inch variable speed scroll saw is suitable for professional woodworkers and hobbyists alike.
- 1/8 HP provides plenty of power to cut through a wide variety of materials.
- Gooseneck work light, to light up that workpiece while you cut.
- Dust blower to keep that cutting line clear of debris.
Perfect for performing all kinds of cuts, this 16 inch variable speed scroll saw can be used on a variety of materials.
- Die cast aluminium cutting table.
- Powerful 1.2 Amp motor to help cut even the toughest of materials.
- 500 to 1700 strokes per minute.
This very capable 16 inch scroll saw is a great choice for crafters and hobbyists.
Ideal for home workshops, this feature packed machine is sure to please.
- Dial for selecting speed cutting options, depending upon the type of material being cut.
- Powerful and very capable 1.2 Amp motor.
- Cutting thickness of 2 inches is possible.
A fantastic, compact scroll saw that is perfect for those intricate cutting projects.
- Quiet 1.2 Amp motor provides smooth constant power delivery.
- Variable speed options of between 400 and 1600 strokes per minute.
- Flexible dust blower to keep the cutting line clear of dust and debris.