Best Scroll Saws of 2020: Reviews and Buying Guide

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If you haven’t updated your toolkit for a while, you might be surprised how out of date your tools have become. If your work or home projects involve precise and intricate cuts, a good scroll saw can make your life much easier.

Scroll saws are a woodworker’s dream, especially when making more intricate cuts in projects like jewelry boxes, birdhouses or elaborate signs. If you’re making something with a gingerbread trim and you’re not using a good scroll saw, then you’re doing something wrong! The variable speed options that come with a scroll saw allow for beautiful work that is efficient and impressive.

We’ve put in hours of research, and analyzed real world user feedback to determine our recommendations for the best scroll saws available.

On this page, we explain what you’ll need to know to find the perfect scroll saw to fit your needs.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
cfimvtbl-table__imageBest SellerBest SellerWEN 3921 16-inch Two-Direction
  • Variable speed 400 to 1600
  • Cuts wood up to 2 inches thick
  • Unique design accepts blades in two directions
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cfimvtbl-table__imageBest RatedBest RatedRockwell BladeRunner X2 Portable
  • Sets up in seconds
  • Cuts like a full size
  • Safety switch
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cfimvtbl-table__imageProfessionalProfessionalDEWALT Scroll Saw
  • Double parallel link arm design
  • Exclusive tool free blade clamps
  • Oversized, cast-iron table
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cfimvtbl-table__imageBest PriceBest PriceDremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw 
  • Dust port adapter
  • Auto tensioning quick-change mechanism
  • Detachable coping function
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cfimvtbl-table__imageLightweight SawLightweight SawDelta Power Tools 40-694
  • Electronic variable speed 
  • Tool-free blade clamp 
  • Bevels 0° - 45° left and right
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Types of Scroll Saws

The best scroll saw for the job will depend on the level of precision involved, and the material being worked on. Starting from nowhere can be overwhelming, as there are many different types and sizes of saw available. We’ll talk you through the seven most common types of blade available to help you narrow down your search.

Standard Tooth Blades

The teeth on these blades are the same size, and are equidistant from each other. Typically, standard tooth blades are made from either metal or wood. The louder option of the two, metal blades have smaller teeth that are spaced closer together. Wooden blades usually have larger teeth and are spaced much further apart.

Skip-Tooth Blades

On these blades, every other tooth is missing. This leaves a much wider space between each tooth and reduces operational temperature. If you’re a beginner, a skip-tooth blade is an excellent option.

Double-Tooth Blades

Double-tooth blades are similar to skip-tooth blades, but have an even larger space between each tooth. They run quite slowly but produce very smooth cuts.

Reverse Skip-Tooth Blades

These are like a modified version of a skip-tooth blade. The difference is, that reverse skip-tooth blades have small pointed teeth in the space between each larger tooth. This makes them great at preventing tear-out and for working with plywood.

Precision-Ground Blades

Precision-ground blades have teeth that have been ground down to a very small point. This makes them much sharper and capable of producing straight lines that are incredibly smooth. These blades are best suited for more experienced workers, as they can be quite aggressive.

Spiral Blades

Spiral blades are twisted together in a shape that points teeth out in every direction. This makes it possible to create cuts in any direction without moving the wood you’re working on. These blades are not for every project, as they can leave broader cuts that are quite rough. They also have a tendency to stretch out and cannot cut sharp corners. In the right context, however, spiral blades can be a godsend.

Crown-Tooth Blades

The unique crown shape created by the teeth on these blades make them a reliable option for cutting plastic and similar materials. Crown-tooth blades can be fitted in any orientation and are a newer, more modern kind of blade.

Best Scroll Saw: 6 top picks

1. WEN 3921 Scroll Saw

WEN 3921 16-inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw

Overview:

This scroll saw comes with a unique design that is more durable and cost-effective than its competitors. We think it’s a brilliant addition to most toolkits.

The 16-inch depth of the WEN 3921 makes it spacious enough to handle larger workpieces and allows it to bevel to the left up to 45 degrees. This machine can cut wood at a thickness of almost 2 inches and is surprisingly easy to use.

If you’re looking for a saw that can handle both pinned and unpinned blades, then this is an excellent option. The WEN 3921 does both, and it does them well. This saw’s speed can be adjusted between 550 and 1600 strokes a minute, making it an efficient tool for either professional or home use. The included worklight makes it even easier to focus on the smaller details of your projects.

Pros

  • Highly cost-effective
  • Reduces noise level
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Parts of the body crack easily.

2. DEWALT Scroll Saw

DEWALT Scroll Saw, Variable-Speed, 1.3 Amp, 20-Inch (DW788)

Overview:

The versatile design and incredibly accurate cuts that come with this scroll saw make it one of the most reliable saws we’ve found during our testing.

The DEWALT Scroll Saw is designed with detailed, delicate work in mind. What’s more, it’s one of the most durable saws available on the market.

The easy-to-control speed settings on this machine make it a joy to use. Another huge plus in terms of convenience is the double parallel-link arm design, which dramatically reduces vibration and allows you to work with your arms in a more natural position, ensuring accuracy and reliability across a broad range of tasks.

The 1.3-amp motor on this scroll saw allows the blade to be changed within seconds. The adjustable speed on the DEWALT Scroll Saw ranges from 400 to 1750 strokes per minute.

Pros

  • Dramatically reduces noise
  • Reliable for beginners
  • Incredibly convenient to use

Cons

  • The arm doesn’t lock in place

3. Delta Power Scroll Saw

Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw

Overview:

If you’re looking for a tool without compromises, then you’ve come to the right place. The versatile design of the Delta Power Scroll Saw delivers fantastic performance at a very competitive price point.

This machine was designed with efficiency, accuracy and ease of use in mind. The corded power source guarantees efficiency when working, and the dual parallel-link arm design reduces vibration and eliminates over cutting.

The upper arm can be locked into a position that works for you, making it easy to adjust your blade quickly and make precise cuts. These cuts can be made at an adjustable speed of anywhere from 400 to 1750 strokes per minute.

The blade tension lever and dust blower on the Delta Power Scroll Saw make it easier than ever to work effectively while keeping mess to a minimum.

Pros

  • Accurate and precise
  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • The on / off switch is not particularly durable

4. Dremel MS20-01 Scroll Saw Kit

Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact Scroll Saw Kit

Overview:

Weighing in at just 5.29 lbs, this scroll saw is remarkably easy to maneuver. Don’t let the ultra-lightweight construction fool you, this is still a durable tool that packs a punch.

The ten cutting blades and two additional attachments that are included with this machine make it a fantastic option for both professionals and complete beginners. The compact and comfortable design makes it easy to create detailed, nuanced cuts in materials like plastic, wood, laminates and even metal. Your visibility will not be compromised, thanks to the effective dust port that comes as standard.

Making adjustments and changing blades can be time consuming when working with scroll saws. The automatic quick-change mechanism included with the Dremel MS20-01 maintains an optimal level of blade tension and reduces the headache of making adjustments.

If your workload includes tasks that need a stationary saw, then this machine is a great option. The clamp base on this model can be attached to a variety of surfaces, making it a flexible tool in many contexts.

Pros

  • Incredibly compact and portable
  • Reliable for beginners
  • Ultra-lightweight construction

Cons

5. Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Scroll Saw

Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw

Overview:

This is another excellent option for those working on a budget. The affordable price of this saw doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality or performance. The Shop Fox W1713 delivers precise cuts that are smooth and even.

The 1.2-amp motor and 16-inch cutting capacity of this scroll saw allows it to cut through pieces that are almost 2 inches thick. The table tilt mechanism on this machine is excellent and makes for very accurate cuts. The included knob for locking to a table makes it very easy to cut material horizontally.

The Shop Fox W1713 earned its place on this list by being remarkably convenient to use. The speed-control options are very easy to operate, and the included dust port keeps things nice and clear while you’re working. It’s possible to tilt the table of this machine up to 45 degrees, which makes it a breeze to switch blades on the fly.

This impressive feature set comes with the backing of a two year warranty, adding peace of mind to an already compelling package.

Pros

  • Incredibly affordable
  • Works very well
  • Reliable table tilt mechanism

Cons

  • Exchanging blades is a difficult task

6. Rockwell BladeRunner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw

Rockwell BladeRunner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw with Steel Rip Fence, Miter Gauge, and 7 Accessories – RK7323

Overview:

The Rockwell Blade Runner X2 is designed for use in professional construction sites. The built-in carrying handle is very comfortable, and makes a big difference when moving the tool around. Setting up this scroll saw is refreshingly quick and easy, making it a great option for demanding workplaces with tight turnarounds.

The durable blade system on this machine makes it easy to create scroll, cross and miter cuts to a high standard. The five included blades can cut through aluminum, metal and ceramic, and the hold-down guard makes deeper, more substantial cuts possible. The gauge on this scroll saw is incredibly adjustable, meaning accuracy is never an issue. Changing blades on this machine is very simple, and takes as little as three seconds.

When extra blades and your rip fence are not in use, they can be conveniently placed away using the storage space in the base of the unit. Your work is kept tidier still by the effective dust port that can be attached to a vacuum cleaner.

Pros

  • Ergonomic and comfortable
  • Versatile design
  • Multifunctional

Cons

  • Average build quality

Related

Best Scroll Saw: Buying Guide

There are an overwhelming number of options available when looking for a suitable scroll saw. Having plenty of options to choose from is fantastic, but it can be difficult to know where to start.

The more you know about what you want to achieve with your saw, the easier it will be to find what you’re looking for. The following section of this page will outline the various aspects of a scroll saw that make it a worthwhile tool, in the hopes that this will help you narrow down your search.

Blade Types

Without the right blade, your work will never be where you want it to be. Different objectives and materials require a variety of different blade options to get the job done.

Pinned Blades

These blades are held into the saw using a pin mechanism. This makes it easy to change your blades when necessary. While pinned blades use a more traditional design, most modern scroll saws can accommodate either a pinned or unpinned blade.

Unpinned Blades

The advantage of unpinned blades is that they are easy to replace. They are threaded carefully through the scroll saw, and fed into slots located above and below the cutting table. When using unpinned saws, make sure you tighten them well at both ends, or they won’t work properly.

Speed Settings

If you’re working with more than one material, or even with one material that varies in thickness, it’s imperative that you buy a scroll saw with an adjustable speed setting.

Operating speed is usually controlled using a dial, and often comes with a lock that maintains the right speed once you’ve made an adjustment.

Table

Many scroll saws come with an adjustable table that can bevel to the right or left up to 45 degrees.

Positioning the table around your mid torso is your best option, as it gives you a clear view of your work which is crucial for keeping cuts accurate. Make sure the blade you are using is in line with the table.

Arm Types

Your saw arm will keep your blade in place and allow you to maintain consistency when cutting. It’s important to consider the type of arm you’ll need when working with a scroll saw.

Different arm types deliver different results, they are explained below.

C Arms

C arms have one pivot point, meaning they can move up and down with a slight arc.

This type of arm is the fastest option when making cuts. A substantial level of experience is required when using a c-arm saw and for this reason, they’re mostly found in professional settings.

Parallel Arms

This design uses two arms that intersect in the middle, each with their own pivot point. This allows both arms to move simultaneously. The lower arm is connected to the saw’s motor and table. The upper arm contains space to mount a blade that can move in a reciprocating motion.

Parallel-Linked Arms

This is a newer arm design and is quite a game changer. The arms are shorter than other designs, and move from front to back very reliably. Parallel-linked arms dramatically reduce the amount of vibration caused when making cuts, which greatly improves safety and accuracy.

The blade fits into the space between both arms and operates with reciprocating motion when cutting.

Additional Features

There are a number of additional features to look out for when purchasing a scroll saw. We outline the best of the bunch below.

Variable Speed Option

If you’re working with more than one material, or even with one material that varies in thickness, it’s imperative that you buy a scroll saw with an adjustable speed setting.

Operating speed is usually controlled using a dial, and often comes with a lock that maintains the right speed once you’ve made an adjustment.

Blade Tension Knob

Blade tension refers to how tightly or loosely the blade has been fitted in a machine. On some scroll saws, adjusting blade tension can be a cumbersome and time consuming task. A blade tension knob can make this task much easier, and usually comes in the form of a dial or plastic knob.

Adjustable Lighting

Scroll saws are often used for very intricate and complex projects. For this reason, many models come equipped with LED torches that improve visibility.

Look for torches that are adjustable and durable.

Air Blowers

Dust and other debris that is generated when cutting materials can be very dangerous. Anything that reduces visibility should be avoided when using a scroll saw. What’s more, inhaling certain particulates can be very bad for your health. For these reasons, an air blower attachment is a worthy option to consider when shopping.

Now that we’ve introduced the fundamental characteristics of modern scroll saws, we’ll explore some key questions that are worth asking on your search.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) How do I choose a scroll saw?

There’s no denying that finding the right scroll saw can seem like a daunting task. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend finding a saw that runs quietly, smoothly and with minimal vibration. A saw with a variable speed setting is also a good place to start.

The perfect scroll saw is the one that meets your requirements. Consider the type of work you’ll be doing, and use these requirements to narrow down your search.

Q) Which is better, a scroll saw or a band saw?

There’s no clear winner here, it all comes down to the type of work you’re doing.

If you’re making precise and intricate cuts, then a scroll saw is probably what you need. If you want to make clean, straight cuts quickly and effectively, a band saw might be the way to go.

Q) How much does a scroll saw cost?

This of course depends on the features you need and the level of quality you’re able to afford.

As a general rule, mid-range saws cost around $500. More premium options can cost as much as $1500.

Q) Is a scroll saw worth it?

Of course! Scroll saws can produce elegant and intricate projects that are absolutely beautiful.

The shorter, thinner blades with adjustable speed settings allow for efficient work that is accurate and stunning. In the right context, a scroll saw can take your work to the next level.

Conclusion

Finding the right tool for the job can take a long time and prove quite exhausting. We hope that the information on this page has helped you begin to narrow down your search. The clearer you are about what you want to achieve, the easier it will be to find the right scroll saw.

If you’re looking for a shortcut, our top pick is the DEWALT Scroll Saw featured in the list above. In our opinion, its versatile design and innovative features make it hard to beat!

Either way, we wish you luck on your search!

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