When it’s all about fine detailing, you can’t go wrong with a scroll saw. Scroll saws are the perfect tool for precise detailing of wood and other materials. The thin yet sharp blade in the center of the worktable cuts the material just as fine and accurate. Not only wood but you can use a scroll saw for cutting glass, leather, metal, acrylic, etc. And if your project involves a lot of detailing work then it’s time to make place for the best scroll saw in your shop.
But before jumping to the scroll saw reviews let us get you a few things clear. First of all, scroll saws are mid-size units. Therefore, you’ll not need to make large spaces for the tool in your workshop.
The second and most important thing about a scroll saw is, you take the material to the blade rather than maneuver the blade according to the cut pattern. This feature of the scroll saw and the up-and-down motion of the blade cut intricate curves and corners smoothly. We’ve picked the best scroll saws in the market for both beginners and professionals. Now it’s time for you to check out the top scroll saws below and pick one for your workshop.
Best Scroll Saw
Here are top-rated and most popular scroll saw to help you achieve more in your workshops.
1) DEWALT Scroll Saw, Variable-Speed
Excellent choice for serious woodworkers, Dewalt DW788 offers all the features you need for fine intricate cuts. Thanks to its double parallel-arm design that reduces vibrations and noise. This arm pivots from back to front, shortening the distance. As a result, the arm moves smoothly which helps in serious inlay works where you cannot risk cutting more than an inch further. Also, a flexible blower above the blade clears dust and debris off the surface for high accuracy.
In addition to the flexible dust blower, the upper arm consists of an on/off switch, electronic variable speed, and blade tensioning lever. While variable speed allows for smooth cutting of sharp curves, you can easily adjust blade tension without any tools. Speaking of the blade, the Dewalt DW788 all-around scroll saw accepts plain-end blades.
Throat depth of 20 inches allows you to cut material up to 2 inches deep. This makes the scroll saw perfect for both beginners and professionals as it offers throat depth enough to tackle most DIY and on-site jobs. Also, all important switches are within your reach which further eases working with the tool.
2) WEN 16-inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Every project is different and has different needs. And Wen 3921 2-direction variable speed scroll saw is simply perfect for inlay works. Its blade change flexibility makes it among the top scroll saws for crafting. Thanks to its unique design that accepts both pinned and pinless blades. To insert a pinned blade, simply pop the pin in the front holder and turn the table to 90 degrees. Thus, you’re all set to carve slightly thick materials.
A thumb-screw blade adapter allows for safe tool-less blade changes. Also, the Wen scroll saw features onboard storage for quick blade changes. Now, here, the best part is, Wen 3921 16-inch scroll saw accepts blades in two directions, i.e, standard and 9 degrees. This makes it possible to cut straight lines and sharp curves flawlessly.
The spacious worktable measures 16-in X 11-in to fit large workpieces. Also, the table tilts 45 degrees to the left for better angles and beveled cuts. In case you need to work on thick material, simply angle the table to 90 degrees and swap a pinned blade over. This will allow the cut to move across the table width to work on large lumber effortlessly. Also, this 90-degree pinned scroll saw blade position is not limited to 16-inch throat capacity. Thus, offers infinite ripping capacity.
3) Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
If you’ve picked up a new hobby of carving or crafting wood, it is good not to go for expensive professional tools. A budget scroll saw like Shop Fox W1713 works just fine. Though budget-friendly price tag, the tool provides all the features you need for wood crafting. And this includes 16-inch cutting width, work light, flexible blade change, and variable speed.
Just like any high-end professional scroll saw, Shop Fox W1713 also accepts both plain and pin-end blades. Also, the blade changes are quick and easy without any tools. You get a spacious and durable cast iron work table that fits large workpieces effortlessly. And above that, the table tilts up to 45 degrees for angled and beveled cuts. In short, you can begin learning various inlay works, do wood crafting, make miniatures, and more with the tool.
Keep the work area free from dust and debris by connecting the electric scroll saw to a shop vacuum. It features a 1-1/4-inch dust port that connects to standard Shopvac easily. Besides that, Shop Fox comprises an adjustable hold-down shoe that holds workpiece onto the table. This gentle pressure keeps the work material down, plus, eases maneuvering. As a result, you can create fine detailed wood arts in one go.
4) Excalibur – EX-21 21″ Tilting Head Scroll Saw with Footswitch
Intarsia requires skill and patience. And if you do a good sum of projects with intarsia cuts then Excalibur EX-21 large scroll saw might be the best pick. Intarsia and fretwork require lifting the blade multiple times due to the complex design. And thanks to the adjustable blade mounting of Excalibur EX-21 that features upper and lower blade guard assembly. This not only helps with detailed fretwork but also prevents accidental hand contact.
In addition to integrated blade guard, Excalibur professional scroll saw also features another safety feature. It offers a switch protection device that prevents unintentional startup. This feature is great for beginners learning how to use a scroll saw. Apart from that, a parallel-arm design keeps the blade straight with minimal deflection. And with such settings, you can expect accurate cuts every time.
Instead of a tilt table design, the Excalibur 21-inch scroll saw offers a tilting head. So here, the work table remains flat and you move the head to left or right up to 45 degrees for angled cuts. And needless to say but workpiece on a flat table provides better control. Thus, you can follow sharp intricate curves and do fretwork flawlessly with this professional tool.
5) Rikon 10-600VS Scroll Saw With Lamp, 16-Inch
Concentration and patience is a must while you make wooden jigsaw puzzle or miniature items. And Rikon scroll saw with lamp is simply perfect for hobbyists. It accepts a thin working blade that eases the cutting of material in tight arcs. Therefore, you will feel less need to redo the same piece to achieve perfection.
Equipped with a powerful DC motor, Rikon small scroll saw offers a variable speed between 550-1650 SPM. Plus, it accepts both plain and pin-type blades for various applications. You can easily adjust the speed of the tool by rotating the dial which ultimately adjusts the blade cutting action. And with the right speed and cutting motion you can do professional fretwork, marquetry, crafting, and much more at home.
Cast iron base provides strength and stability while working on boards of various thicknesses. Besides, the saw’s 16-inch throat capacity and large aluminum table provide extra stability when sawing a large wood board. For angled cut, simply rotate the work table to 45 degrees and lock it in place. Then pass the material through the blade for beveled edges.
6) Ryobi 16 in. Corded Scroll Saw
Yes, we understand that scrolls saws are expensive. And not everyone has a huge budget to spend on a single tool. So we’ve picked Ryobi 16-inch corded electric scroll saw that offers all the good features you need for intricate work and that too under $200. Do not let the less price of the product make you think of it as any less as you’ll be happy to know what it has to offer for such a low price.
First of all, the Ryobi scroll saw is equipped with a cast aluminum tilting table which can be set from 0 degrees to -45 degrees, i.e, to the left. And just like high-end models, this inexpensive scroll saw accepts both pinned and pinless blades. This flexible blade change expands the working capability of the tool. Thus, making it perfect for craft and inlay work.
Keep the cut line clear of dust and debris by turning on the integrated dust blower. In addition to a small flexible blower on the upper arm, Ryobi features an integrated dust port on side of the tool. Connect the port with a reliable shop vacuum to keep the work area free from sawdust powder and tiny wooden chips.
7) ShopSeries RK7315 16″ Scroll Saw with Variable Speed Control
ShopSeries 16-inch scroll saw is another budget-friendly tool. This small yet powerful scroll saw is equipped with a 1.2 Amp motor. The motor provides enough power to deal with a wide range of woodworking projects that involves crafting, miniature making, inlay work, etc. For precise cutting of material, simply rotate the knob and adjust the blade speed. The variable speed in combination with a 3/4″ stroke ensures clean and accurate cuts in one go.
Users, especially beginners, are less experienced with the use of tools. So therefore the chances are high of serious injuries. But you do not need to worry about injuries with ShopSeries 16-inch variable speed scroll saw as it offers a blade guard. This transparent blade guard provides enhances operator safety which is excellent for naive users.
With a cutting capacity of 2-inch at 90-degree, this inexpensive scroll saw is a good choice for hobbyists who is not sure how far will they continue. Also, the cutting capacity is 1-3/16″ at 45 degrees which is sufficient for most craftwork, carving, etc. To ensure you do not lose an extra pin blade, the tool provides onboard storage. This will store enough blades for uninterrupted cutting for a small project.
8) SKIL 3335-07 16″, Scroll Saw With Light, Red
Thickness of wooden boards varies according to the project. While some projects require you to cut a thick intricate curve, there might be thin sheets to cut for decorative purposes. And Skil 3335-07 16″ electric scroll saw is an excellent budget choice for dealing with thin and thick wooden boards.
Thanks to its Skil’s 16-inch throat capacity that allows for easy cutting of thicker pieces. Also, the spacious work table is good for keeping large pieces of material. The table measures 16″ x 10″ that tilts 0-45 degrees for precise cuts. Apart from that, the Skil scroll saw features electronic variable speed control that adjusts the blade speed according to the material. This helps in the better cutting of materials without the blade slipping out from the chamber.
Working in low-lit areas is a big no especially when doing inlay work. So Skil electric saw features an articulating LED work light that focuses on the area of the blade and surrounding. The bright light lets you see the cut line clearly for precise and accurate cutting in one go. In addition, the dust port keeps the work area clean from dust and debris which are also a big no while crafting or miniature making.
9) JET JWSS-22B 22″ Scroll Saw with Foot Switch
Make wooden figurines, jigsaw puzzles, inlay works, dovetail joints, crafting, and much more like a pro with Jet JWSS-22B scroll saw with footswitch. Offering an impressive 22-inch throat capacity, Jet JWSS-22B is designed with class and perfection in mind. The tool offers best-in-class features combined with a thoughtful design that is a charm to have at your workshop.
Jet’s exclusive upper mechanism clamps and tensions blade in one step. So goodbye to tricky and time-consuming blade adjusting and changing. In addition to that, Jet professional scroll saw features a toolless lower blade holder. Enough about blades lets us talk about its impressive 22-inch throat capacity. With such a capacity, you can cut large and thick blocks of wood without any seconds thoughts. In fact, the robust design of this large scroll saw cuts hardwood like mahogany.
Instead of tilting the worktable, the upper arms tilt 45 degrees to the left or 45 degrees right. This is extremely convenient for both beginners and professionals for angles, beveled and detailed cutting of material. Speaking of the table, a slotted table allows for easier and quick blade changes. In a nutshell, Jet JWSS-22B is equipped with all the basic and high0end features you need for accurate intricate cuts and curves.
10) XtremepowerUS 16-inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw Machine
Enjoy carving wood and making miniatures with XtremepowerUS 16-inch scroll saw. This small yet powerful tool is perfect for budget seekers. The tool’s solid steel body comprises a spacious table that is ideal to fit large wooden blocks. Also, the table tilts from 0-45 degrees for horizontal angle cuts. There is a table lock knob and tilt scale on the side to set accurate bevel angle and lock the table in place.
Right speed is important while working with wooden blocks of different thicknesses. So this electric scroll saw offers a variable speed that can be easily adjusted anywhere from 400 to 1650 strokes per minute. All you have to do is simply rotate the knob to adjust blade speed. Thus, this ease of speed adjustment is great while doing fretwork or inlay cutting.
Little vibrations are common with scroll saws. While minor vibrations are not an issue with large blocks of wood, small pieces tend to rise up the table. As a result, the cuts are inaccurate. So XtremepowerUS budget scroll saw comprises an adjustable hold-down shoe that prevents small or big workpieces from rising up the table to get accurate cut results every time.
How does a scroll saw works?
Working with a scroll saw is the easiest to understand of all saw, thanks to its blade placement design. This tool uses a thin blade located in the center of the worktable. Instead of a long loop blade like the one we use in the band saw, a scroll saw uses a thin and relatively small blade that is easy to adjust and replace.
You power an electric scroll saw by pressing the foot pedal. This activates the reciprocating motion of the blade which helps you cut sharp curves, arcs, circles, and much more.
Imagine a scroll saw as a sewing machine. Instead of a needle, it comprises a thin blade that cuts through thin boards of wood, plastic, and polyfoam.
What is the difference between a scroll saw and jigsaw?
The primary work of both the saws is for cutting wood and other such materials, especially following sharp curves. But a scroll saw is not a jigsaw. There are differences between both tools that make them ideal for different projects.
- A scroll saw is a stationary tool powered by an electric pedal. On the other hand, jigsaws are portable. The blade comes in motion as soon as you press the power button, thus, there are no pedals.
- You take the workpiece to the blade and maneuver the piece accordingly in a scroll saw as the blade is fixed. While in a jigsaw, you keep the workpiece fixed and maneuver the saw according to the cut line.
- Scroll saws are perfect for small, detailed craftwork whereas jigsaws are ideal for cutting large curves and arcs due to their portable nature.
- Price-wise, jigsaws are cheaper than scroll saws.
- Miniature, wooden craftwork, fretwork, and other detailed work with high finishing are best done using a scroll saw. Besides, a jigsaw is an excellent choice for cutting shapes and curves on a thin yet large board of lumbar.
Features to look at when buying a scroll saw
The speed of a scroll saw is measured in SPM, i.e., strokes per minute. This tells up about how fast the blade moves up and down in a minute. Any scroll saw with at least 2 speeds is a good choice. Nowadays, many quality scrolls saw offer variable electric speed that is perfect for cutting various materials other than wood. But in general, a scroll saw with variable speed from 400 SPM to 1800 SPM is ideal for home and professional use.
Scroll saws can use 2 types of blades, pinned or plain blade, depending on the model. See the difference between pinned and plain end scroll saw blades to understand their usage clearly.
- Pinned Blade – A set of pins hold the blade in place, hence, the name pinned blade. Easy and quick blade change is one biggest advantage of using a pinned scroll blade. They are best suited while cutting large wooden boards. On the downside, pinned blades are not a good choice for delicate crafting work or the high-end finishing of any project.
- Plain End Blade – Also known as the flat or unpinned blade. Instead of pins, the blade here is held by clamps. This might make the blade changing process a bit inconvenient but on the brighter side, plain end scroll blades are perfect for delicate, detailed work. Plus, there are a lot of pinless blade types and sizes to choose from that eases fretwork, wooden crafting, and other fine carving works.
It is common for scroll saws to vibrate especially when there’s rigorous blade motion involved(1). But the vibrations aren’t too high for the workpiece to go off the cut line. In fact, many leading scrolls saw brands feature a hold-down shoe that holds your workpiece in place while you follow a sharp cutting curve line. However, you need to look.
Tilt angles and focus possibilities combined with motor power can help you buy the right scroll saw for your need.
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The Bottom Line
Scrolls saws are perfect for a variety of woodworking tasks. Let your creativity flow by using an electric scroll saw to make miniatures, wooded figurines, fretwork, inlay work, and much more.
A thin blade of scroll saws allows following a sharp curve easily. From flat 90-degree cutting to angle cuts, a good quality scroll saw offers all the features you need for perfect crafting or shaping the material.
Besides, certain scroll saws accept blade that is ideal to cut thin glass and plastic. And now that you’ve got the list of best scroll saws in the market, do let us know which model you picked for your workshop.