With the numerous scroll saw blade types, you can’t really blame novice scroll saw users to buy the first blades they see on the shelves. Others also buy the cheapest blades.
There are two major kinds of blades that work with scroll saws—plain end and pin end. The former is mostly used in modern saws, while pin-end blades are used in older saws.
Beginners are generally discouraged from using pin-end blades. While it is easier and faster to change pin-end blades, the main problem with this type of scroll saw blade is that it would require a 1/16” starter hole in the workpiece. On the other hand, a plain end blade can slip through a 1/64”inch hole. This can make a big difference especially when working on an intricate project.
Moreover, it is no longer that difficult to change plain-end blades. In the past, a special wrench was needed to set and adjust plain-end blades in scroll saws. But these days, quick release pads are now being integrated in newer saws. Thus, there’s minimal effort needed in changing and setting up blades.
Then there are the seven major types of blades, to wit:
The major characteristic of this type of scroll saw blade is its simplistic design. The standard blade has teeth of the same size and same distance from each other.
Standard scroll saw blades are made of wood or metal. Wood blades have larger teeth that metal blades. These also have more space between the teeth. Wood blades are designed to clear the sawdust.
You may easily mistake skip tooth blades as standard too blades, until you notice that every other tooth is missing. This space between the teeth is designed to keep the blade cool even after long periods of use. This characteristic makes the skip tooth blade ideal for novice scrollers.
this can also be mistaken for a skip tooth blade. However, the difference is that it has a large space between sets of two teeth. Compared to the skip tooth blade, it can cut a bit slower. But it leaves a very smooth cut.
this type of blade has a skip-tooth configuration. However, the last inch of the teeth is pointing in the opposite direction. This is designed to cut on both the up and down stroke, and minimize tear out on the underside of the work piece.
Compared to a standard blade, reverse tooth blades cut slower. However, you can expect a smooth edge when you use this type of blade.
this type is also very similar to the skip tooth blade. But it has tiny and sharp teeth made from fine carbon steel. If you are looking for a blade that can outlast and outperform other blade types, then this is the type you should get. It also has the ability to cut fast and smooth, in both straight and radius cuts. However, it isn’t recommended for beginners due to the sharpness of this type of blade.
this is the type of blade that is best used for cutting very intricate portrait patterns. It has normal blades which have been together, resulting to all sides having teeth. With that teeth design, spiral blades are capable of cutting well in all directions. You don’t even have to spin the work piece to do so.
as you would expect from its name, this blade has teeth shaped like a crown. Also, there’s a noticeable gap in between each crown. With its unique design, crown tooth blade can cut on both up and down strokes. In terms of speed it cuts slightly slower than regular blades.
With the various scroll saw blade types, a novice scroll saw user may get confused as to which type he should get for his project. Aside from knowing the characteristics of each blade type, the following factors can help him decide which type to purchase:
The kind of material that you intend to cut is one critical factor to consider in determining the kind of blade you would use. Standard blades, for instance, can be used in cutting most wood types. But for other materials like aluminum and plastic, special blades like spiral and crown tooth blades are more appropriate.
Blades are available in sizes using numbers. The numbers range from as high to #12 to below #0, like #2/0 and #3/0. Generally speaking, the higher the number of the blade then the bigger it is. It also has a lower number of teeth per inch.So a #12 blade has fewer teeth than a #7 blade. It also has thicker and wider blades than the #7 blade.
Moreover, you would need thicker and wider blades when dealing with thicker and harder materials. Going back to our example, a #12 blade can achieve cleaner cuts than a #7 blade.
Finally you should also look into the intricacy of the pattern that you are to work on. You should use a blade with small teeth when you are to do complex patterns. Keep in mind that bigger blades won’t be able to cut tight corners.
In closing, it is important for any novice scroll saw user to know the different types of scroll saw blades. This would help him or her find the right scroll saw blade for a particular type of project, and increase the likelihood of completing the project without any hassle.
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