It’s a good thing to first know exactly what you’re looking at when you see a scroll saw, so let’s go over what makes a scroll saw the best scroll saw is and all of its components.
Before we get there, you may be curious if you even need a scroll saw are you aren’t quite certain what kinds of things you might use it for. For that, check out this great video showing some common uses for a scroll saw before we talk specifics.
Now, let’s start with a couple of basic things you should be considering with your purchase. Then, we’ll dig into some other buying tips before recommending some top models.
Capacity, Speed and Drive
Throat depth is the distance between the scroll saw blade and the rear frame. That’s how the saws are sized. Speeds range from slower than 400 strokes per minute (SPM) to faster than 1,800 SPM.
- Scroll saws with a 16- or 18-inch capacity are ideal for most home users.
- Depth of cut determines the thickness of material you can cut.
- Most scroll saws offer a depth of cut between 1 ¾ and 2 ¼ inches.
- Older scroll saws may only offer one or two speeds, while newer models have variable speeds that allow you to select any setting within a specified range.
- Different materials require different speeds, so variable-speed control with a wide range of settings makes your saw more versatile.
- Metal and plastic require slower cutting speeds than wood to prevent the blade from heating up.
- The two most common drive systems are parallel arm and parallel-link arm, with the majority being parallel arm.
- The main advantage of the parallel-link system is reduced vibration, which is important to reduce hand fatigue and improve accuracy.
- While scroll saws with a parallel-link system produce less vibration, other features can make scroll saws with standard parallel arms function almost as smoothly.
- Parallel-link arms have more moving parts than other drive systems, increasing the wear on your saw, and decreasing its life.
- Vibration from standard parallel arms can be dampened with other features, such as a cast-iron table and base.
SKIL became well known for their scroll saws with the Model E. It was the first handheld, portable circular saw and was a trailblazer in the industry. The SKIL product line has expanded since then to include various other power tools and their accessories.
Having been around since 1951, WEN is known for innovating new ways to make tools electric. The top quality of their tools is balanced by a fair price. WEN drill presses, sanders, generators, hydraulic cylinders, and scroll saws are known to be of excellent workmanship.
Jet also makes a great scroll saw. Established in 1958, Jet didn’t actually dive into the woodworking sector until the 1980s. They are also a company well-known for their customer-friendly warranty.
Our Top Picks
It’s never been simpler to make complex cuts! The best scroll saw options below feature variable speed options, quality construction, and designs to make your projects a snap.
With a hearty 20-inch throat capacity and adjustable speed, the DEWALT 20-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw is an excellent choice for serious wood artisans. It is designed with a double parallel arm that minimizes noise and vibration.
Plus, the saw features a thin yet strong metal hold-down foot designed not to block your line of sight. The On/Off switch, the tension lever, and the speed adjustment are all located on the front of the tool for easy access. The saw accepts plain-end blades. Stroke speed is adjustable from 400 to 1,750 spm, making this scroll saw perfect for cutting both soft and hard woods, as well as plastic and sheet metal. The saw table tilts up to 45 degrees to the left and the right for cutting bevels. It’s available with an LED light and an air blower but no dust collection port.
The entry-level Rockwell ShopSeries offers the capabilities a beginner needs to create intricate projects. It comes with a table that tilts up to 45 degrees to the left. The saw features 16-inch throat capacity and offers ample variable power, 500 to 1,700 spm so you’ll be able to cut a wide variety of materials.
The Rockwell scroll saw accepts plain-end blades and comes with handy built-in blade storage. It also features a dust blower and a lift-up plastic safety shield that lowers to cover the blade and the hold-down foot for additional safety when learning to make scroll cuts.
The WEN 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw features a table that tilts up to 45 degrees to the left and offers variable speed cutting, all at an affordable price point. The WEN comes with 16-inch throat capacity; and a bright LED light to illuminate the cutting area, an air blower, and a dust collection port. It accepts pin-head blades, comes with onboard blade storage, and includes a thin hold-down foot. A thumbscrew adapter allows you to change blades quickly. You can adjust this scroll saw to cut from 400 to 1600 spm, so it’s lower price doesn’t equal limited versatility.
Make intricate woodworking cuts without gouging your budget by choosing a basic scroll saw like the Ryobi Corded Scroll Saw. This model features a 16-inch throat and tool-free blade changes to make life easier.
For less than $200, this budget scroll saw still offers plenty of useful features and versatility. A cast aluminum tilting table can be set between 0 and -45 degrees, which is useful for beveled projects like inlays and bowls. The machine also accepts either pinned or pinless blades, depending on your preference. A cast iron base supports the saw and minimizes machine movement, although you’ll still have to deal with some vibration.
While this budget scroll saw may not be able to handle intense scrolling projects, it’s a fine choice for basic woodworking crafts. Since it’s lightweight, it’s easy to move on and off the workbench. Choose the Ryobi 16-Inch Corded Scroll Saw if you’re looking for an affordable way to complete basic scrolling projects or want a scroll saw with a tilting table that won’t throw your budget off balance.
If you’re getting started with scrolling projects, shop around for a basic scroll saw that will give you all the essential features while skipping the pricier add-ons you aren’t likely to use. The Dremel Moto-Saw is a compact scroll saw that is perfect for woodwork hobbyists and more light-duty scroll saw users thanks to its versatility and easy operation.
This Dremel has variable speed settings that let you easily control the saw’s cutting motion, and it offers surprisingly quiet operation—which many people appreciate when using it for home crafts.
The Dremel Moto-Saw only uses pinned blades, which are easier and quicker to change than pinless blades. However, they limit the types of cuts you can do and are better for simpler projects. One other thing to know about this entry-level scroll saw is that it lacks a miter gauge or rip fence, but these can be purchased as add-ons through the manufacturer if desired.
To create the rich, detailed artwork of intarsia, you’ll need a scroll saw that combines power with intricate cutting abilities. The Jet 727200K Scroll Saw with Stand is a popular choice for intarsia enthusiasts and serious woodworkers.
Unlike many other scroll saws on the market, the Jet 727200K features a tilting arm instead of a tilting table. This makes it much easier to replace a worn blade with a fresh one that can keep up with the demands of intarsia woodworking. Blade changes are also simplified thanks to improved upper and lower blade holders—the upper mechanism will clamp and tension the blade simultaneously while the lower mechanism allows for tool-free blade changes.
A 5-year warranty protects your investment in this scroll saw. The 22-inch throat lets you easily cut larger pieces of wood, and the machine is robust enough to stand up to even hardwoods like mahogany. The included stand will make life easier as you tackle woodworking projects or your next intarsia creation. While this model costs more than your average scroll saw, it won’t disappoint intarsia fans or woodworkers looking to take their projects to the next level.
The Shop Fox 16-inch scroll saw is affordably priced, but it’s still notably more expensive than our best value pick in second place. At 1.2 amps, it’s got plenty of power and sufficent variable speed from 550-1,700 SPM. It features some nice additions like a gooseneck work light, dust blower, and dust port. For the price, that’s a pretty decent feature set. The two-year warranty is another nice addition to sweeten the deal.
Depth of cut is a standard 2 inches. Although it’s advertised as being able to use pinless or pinned blades, we don’t recommend purchasing this saw for use with pinless blades. They do not seem to work properly with this machine, despite the claim that they do. Also, this saw tended to vibrate and bounce at higher speeds, making clean cuts more difficult. Although it does operate well, this tool is missing one important feature for many woodworkers; there is no tilt function for making beveled cuts.
The first obvious plus-side to this PORTER-CABLE scroll saw is the stand that keeps it stable and reduces vibrations. With a throat length of 18 inches, this saw is right in the middle of the pack. The variable speed of 500-1,500 SPM is less than extraordinary and doesn’t live up to the hefty 1.6-amp power rating. To allow bevel cuts, the tabletop rotates 45 degrees to the left, but only 15 degrees to the right. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem that the numbers lined up properly and we had to use a level instead. Afterward, it didn’t want to return back to zero properly.
Conveniently, this saw worked well both pin-end and pinless blades. It also featured a built-in LED work lamp and adjustable blower. On the downside, there is a lot of blade slippage, resulting in quite a few broken blades. While this is a bit of an annoyance, it’s the worst of the complaints about this PORTER-CABLE. On the bright side, there is a three-year warranty.
With variable speeds and an adjustable cast iron table, this scroll saw from Delta easily makes honorable mention. It is a great space-saver with its tool storage compartment and stand. It is not very noisy, and comes with the benefits of a work light and dust blower. It is good across a broad range of materials, making this saw an easy go-to for all types of projects.
While the stand and work light are designed to go along with it, they are at an additional cost. The centering blade also is not the sturdiest. Reports of those that went to Delta for issues have resulted in poor customer service.
The HF Tools 16-Inch Scroll Saw gives you access to a top-notch model that is designed to fit well into your budget while being backed by amazing features. If you are the one for details, this saw will help add intricate designs and detailing to your wood or any other material.
The HF Tools Scroll Saw ensures precision with a quick cutting action that speeds up your sawing process. This scroll saw also comes with a high-quality tilting table to ensure precision cuts in the bevel. In case of dust accumulation within your scroll saw, the in-built air pump keeps the dirt out of sight.
Types Of Scroll Saw Blades
There are various types of blades available in a scroll saw. Here are the types of blades that help a user to get his/her job done efficiently.
- Skip tooth blades: The gap on these blades helps to protect the wood from scorch marks. The spacing (gullets) present in this scroll saw is the best for the beginners.
- Precision ground saw blades: As the name suggests, these scroll saws are great to cut the wood precisely. The specially created blades are sharper than the standard skip tooth blades available in the market. These kinds of blades are made for expert users.
- Standard blades: Standard scroll saw blades are equipped with metal and wooden versions that help to serve the purpose of a user. Wooden blades have bigger teeth to clear the sawdust from a wood. Metal blades have closed teeth to cut the wood precisely.
- Double tooth blades: This scroll saw comes with a double tooth saw blade to provide a smooth and premium woodcutting experience. This scroll saw offers the ultimate perfection to the user.
- Reverse skip tooth blades: Reverse skips tooth blades enables a user to cut the wood without thinking much about splintering. You can adjust the blade as per the requirement. But these blades become dull pretty soon.
- Spiral blades: As the name says, these blades are wrapped around with each other, the teeth of these blades let a user cut the wood in any direction without moving the scroll saw.
Which materials can be cut or work on a scroll saw?
Aside from wood, you can use a scroll saw for working with metal, fiberglass, ceramic tile, bone, leather, and acrylic. Note that the thickness of the material on which you work should not be more than ¾.
Which type of designs and cuts can you make using a scroll saw?
In contrast to other saws, scroll saws can perform different cuts and designs. Some of the cuts or designs present on the list are curved, plunge, dovetail, thick, and angled cuts.
Difference between band and scroll saw?
Scroll saw’s working mechanism is similar to sewing machines. This machine uses the reciprocating blade and removes the materials. In this, the arm will be moving the saw blade in an up and down direction for internal cutting. Band saws have adjustable height, which is used for cutting boards or blocks. It has a thin and continuous loop blade that will be passing through material for cutting. For better productivity, this equipment is the best.
Why Trust Us
As the former owner of a construction and property maintenance business and a passionate DIYer who is fond of crafting all sorts of materials, I’ve used a variety of scroll saws and drew upon that experience when evaluating models. I compared the throat size, design, features, and cost of dozens of models. After consulting reviews from hundreds of Amazon users and referring to manufacturer information for product specifications, these seven scroll saws stand out for their performance, dependability, and value.