Does your work require you to create curves, patterns or other decorative shapes? In that case, you need the best scroll saw. A scroll saw is a special type of tool developed specifically for cutting complex shapes. These saws are set on a base to ensure accuracy, with some running on electric power and others on pedal.
Scroll saws used to be expensive and available only in hardware stores, but now they’re just a click away online. If you think your work or hobby could benefit from buying one, this guide might be able to help. I have years of experience using scroll saws and tried out a lot of these.
There are thousands of scroll saws, but they don’t perform equally. After doing a lot of research and comparison, I was able to choose what I believe are the top 5 scroll saws. In the following reviews, we’re going to take a close look at the features of each scroll saw and their pros and cons as well.
Of course, you should never buy a product without knowing what it’s about. That is certainly true with regards to scroll saws. And that is why I’ve prepared the buyer’s guide below.
The Dewalt DW788 can assist you in making complex, intricate pieces. Unlike other scroll saws, the Dewalt DW788 is easy to set up. You also have convenient access to the controls so the results are more accurate.
The DW788 comes with a specially designed arm so you’ll be able to do more intricate cuts. Because it has a double parallel link arm, it doesn’t generate as much vibration compared to other tools. The arm also moves from the rear to the front, reducing the travel. The less distance the arm has to move, the smoother and quieter the scroll saw. Another advantage of the DW788 is the blade is perpendicular to whatever you’re cutting.
The DW788 has a conveniently positioned on/off switch. If you need to adjust the blade tension or vary the speed / controls, no problem as they’re on the upper arm. There is also a dust blower near it, allowing you to place it where needed. One of the keys to successful scroll sawing is a clean environment, and that’s what the DW788 provides.
The speed ranges from 400 to 1750 SPM, and you can adjust the speed in increments, perfect for precision work. The saw runs on a 1.3 motor, more than enough for most home projects. You can adjust the stroke length from ¾ to two inches.
We Dont Like
The DW788 is a well-designed scroll saw. It’s easy to use, powerful and well suited for different projects and applications. The variable speed control and range are superb, and the motor provides sufficient power.
You’ll have no problem making adjustments to the controls as they’re well placed. Whether you need to make a delicate cut or pattern, the Dewalt makes this easy. Each blade should last a long time, but if you need to replace it, the clamps let you do so quickly. The DW788 tips the scales at 56 lbs. It isn’t the most portable cutting tool but relocating it is easy enough. Just a good scroll saw overall.
The Wen 3920 was built from the ground up for complex pattern cuts. With its variable speed and easy to access controls, you can be confident of the results. Wen has a number of quality scroll saws in its lineup, and the 3920 is one of their top rated models.
The variable speed range is from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute. Some materials cut better at low speed while others work better at a higher setting. Whatever the requirements, a quick adjustment of the knob is all it takes. Because of its variable speed the 3920 can go through a 1.9 inch thick wood.
The 3920 comes with a 16 x 10 inch table. Sturdily built, the table can be beveled to 45 degrees, and its 16 inch depth is ideal for extensive work. Its foot lock clamp on the other hand, keeps your workpiece in position. There is also onboard storage for extra blades.
The 3920 has a LED work light, and it does a good job of illuminating your workpiece. The machine also does an excellent job of keeping sawdust at bay via its air pump. Performance wise the 3920 does what it should, making light work of even delicate cuts.
We Dont Like
The Wen 3920 is an excellent scroll saw. The variable speed control simplifies intricate and pattern cuts, and the light really helps. Quality wise the 3920 is comparable to the more expensive scroll saws, and it’s just as reliable. Even if you’re working on a complex task the 3920 doesn’t vibrate.
Accuracy is a must for saws, and even more so for scroll saws. The 3920 delivers in this department thanks to the variable speed, and at 1.2 amps the motor has plenty of juice as well. I would also like to point out the tension release switch is very accessible and throw in the dust port and you have a complete scroll saw. All in all, this is really an exceptional product.
The Porter Cable Scroll Saw was built for beginners but packs enough power to suit advanced users. All the essential features are here such as variable speed, stability and accessible settings.
One of the highlights is its dual tilting table, which is capable of 15 degree right and 45 degree bevel cuts. The stand is also sturdy, and this is essential for stable work. You can use blank end or pinned blades, but both don’t need tools or holders. Because of its design a single blade should last a while, and replacing is straightforward.
The variable speed allows you to cut aluminum, plastic and various types of wood. The speed ranges from 500 to 1500 RPM, and since the on/off switch is up front access is easy. There’s also a cam action blade tension adjuster and tool-less blade holder for quick plain or regulate pin changeup. The frame is die cast aluminum and you won’t feel any vibration while using it.
The bevel controls are positioned upfront for quick adjustments, and the extraction port / dust chip is conveniently set under the table. All you need to do is hook this up to a vacuum cleaner hose so your workplace is clean. More than a few customers have also remarked how quiet the scroll saw is.
We Dont Like
The Porter Cable Scroll Saw is an outstanding scroll saw. Its variable speed goes through a wide range of materials easily and the dust port works very well especially when cleaning the blade’s cutting path.
Some have voiced concern over the aluminum table due to its roughness. I have never experienced any issues with it, and sanding (400 grit) should do the trick. But even that won’t be necessary for most projects.
Performance is consistent regardless of the speed. You should always work in a brightly lit environment of course, and the LED work light is going to help. Porter Cable also did a good job with the instruction manual as the information is detailed and easy to follow. Beginners or not, this is a winner.
The Shop Fox is an easy to use but powerful scroll saw. Unlike other scroll saws, the Shop Fox W1713 only has practical features and built for long term use. With its 1/8 HP motor, it’s good enough for different projects, from simple to complex.
The W1713 variable speed ranges from 550 to 1650 SPM, and its 1.2 amp motor is built for heavy duty use. It weighs 31 lbs. lighter than other scroll saws. The ¾ inch blade stroke allows for up to 2 x 16 inch cuts (thickness x width). The additional cutting capacity and speed control also help improve the accuracy of your cuts.
There’s a work light included, and the saw makes it easy to cut any angle from 0 to 45 degrees. For horizontal cuts you can use the tilt scale and lock knob. If debris and dust accumulate, you just hook up the dust port to a vacuum and it will do the rest. The scroll saw is also compatible with pin-end and plain blades.
You can adjust the hold down shoe so your workpiece does not get out of place as the blade goes to work. There’s also an air nozzle that prevents debris from scattering along your cut.
We Dont Like
The W1713 scroll saw is effective and operates without a hitch. You may need to make some adjustments after unpacking but this isn’t hard to do. It makes short work of oak, maple and other commonly used wood. Because materials have different speed requirements, its variable speed is crucial.
Operating the W1713 at high speeds doesn’t produce any vibration. As any woodworker will tell you, significant amounts of vibration affects the accuracy of your work. The W1713 however, is very stable. In conclusion I can say the W1713 scroll saw is well deserving of the positive reviews it’s been getting. Convenience, ease of use and power, they’re all here and more.
Designed as a high end scroll saw, the Delta combines power with flexibility. There are a lot of scroll saws which make the same claim. However, the Delta is equipped with the features necessary to create accurate and complicated cuts, and it lives up to the hype.
The Delta variable speed can be adjusted from 400 to 1750 SPM, which should cover most if not all the materials used by hobbyists and woodworkers. No matter what material you’re working with, the Delta scroll saw is designed to prevent any vibration. This, in turn, is possible because of its parallel link arm.
It’s this am design that’s also responsible for improving the accuracy of each cut. The upper arm also keeps the position set while you’re adjusting or changing the blade. I should also point out the blade clamp is tool free, making it easy to change the blades. Like other Dewalt scroll saws there is storage room for additional blades.
The box includes a couple of straight blades. There is also dust control built in, and it is this dust hose that keeps your workplace free from debris. Of course any good scroll saw should have a high quality tilt table, and the Delta does. All you have to do is adjust the table until you get the right angle.
We Dont Like
The Delta is a very capable scroll saw. The 20 inch capacity, combined with the variable speed and the 1.3 amp motor, gives it the power and accuracy necessary for cut spirals and other patterns. Even if you’re not an expert woodworker, the Delta is user friendly and durable.
There is some installation required, but the process is straightforward. The user guide provides detailed instructions and you’ll have the Delta running in just a few minutes. Aside from the features that have been cited above, the scroll saw is quiet. Oftentimes manufacturers have to compromise when it comes to noise and performance, but not here. The Delta scroll saw in short, is well-made and worth the purchase.
Even the best craftsman or carpenter won’t be able to do much without the right tools. This is especially true when it comes to scroll saws: if those spirals and patterns aren’t cut right, it’s going to be obvious and stick out like a sore thumb. That’s why it’s very important you buy the best one: no matter how skilled you are, a high quality scroll saw is a must.
There are a lot of factors that have to be considered if you want to buy one of these, and that’s where research comes into play. It is also to your advantage if you read reviews and get an idea what the experts go for. Even if you’ve been using scroll saws for a while now, it never hurts to see what’s new.
With the product reviews above, there are a lot of good scroll saws, but the five scroll saws above are the best available. Any of those five will do, and you can create whatever you want be it wood, metal or other materials. Of course learning how to use any of those scroll saws is going to take time, but at least you’re assured of quality.
Last update on 2017-08-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API