There are quite a few things that determine which scroll saw you should buy.
For instance, do you need a 16 inch or a 20 inch saw, what type of blades should you use, your skill level, how often you will use it, overall ease of use and of course, how much does it cost and where is the best place to buy.
If you already know which scroll saw you are interested in, I have found the best prices are consistently at Amazon and in almost all cases, include free shipping and no sales tax.
Scroll Saw Reviews
I will discuss each of these brands below. To go directly to a specific scroll saw review, click the link.
I have been a woodworker for 20 years and although I’m not a professional carpenter, I do consider myself an experienced and serious woodworker.
My reviews are based on personal experience and what I have learned over the years.
I would suggest you consider the following before you make your purchase.
What size saw do you need?
Scroll saws come in two basic sizes, 16 inch and 20 inch. This measurement refers to the distance between the back of the blade to the back of the saw arm.
A 16 inch is adequate to cut most projects and most sawyers never need a bigger saw. However, when you move up to a 20 inch saw, the overall quality, number of features and ultimately the ease and quality of cut improve dramatically.
It would be easy to justify buying the 16 inch saw. It’s significantly less in cost. But we have all under bought a tool for this reason. After a use or two, you then wish you would have spent the extra money and bought the better tool. That logic applies here.
What features are most important?
For me, a low vibration table top is paramount. If your saw has excessive vibration, you won’t get smooth, quality cuts and after a while you’ll stop using the tool, because you’ll probably have a headache. This is actually the biggest difference between quality saws and less expensive low end saws.
Easy to change blades are also extremely important. The easier it is to change or adjust something the more you will use it and the safer it will be. Think about your table saw. If the blades were easier to change you would change them more often and actually put the dado blade in when you needed, instead of making multiple passes with the regular blade. Same thing here.
Decide how easy it would be for you to adjust the beveled table, the blade tension or even the on/off switch. I find that on every tool I have ever bought, how well these features worked or not, determined how I ultimately liked the tool.
Think about how you will actually saw the wood. For instance will you set the saw on a table or workbench? Or will you dedicate a particular stand for this tool? Many people will raise the back of the saw so it slopes toward them. They feel this allows them to see better as well as cut with more control.
In addition to saw location and height, will you sit or stand? For anyone who has cut while standing knows that you will pay for it the next day with a sore neck and back. A chair or stool with wheels and adjustable height would be ideal.
Regardless of how you choose to mount the saw, make sure you have enough room so your legs can wrap around the saw to have enough control to cut from various positions.
What accessories are really necessary?
As with all tools there are a gazillion accessories available. For me, I think a good light is the most important. Some saws have lights that bolt on to the back of the saws. Not bad, but I prefer to buy a $20 flexible arm light from an office supply store that clamps on to the workbench. With a portable light I can move it to use with other tools, if necessary.
Scroll saw work is delicate. An air blower is truly a necessary feature. Make sure the hose is flexible and long enough to be placed at either the front or back of the cut. If it’s too short, it will blow sawdust towards you and directly on the cut line.
I have always thought that a footswitch is important, but not necessary. If you are doing a small project or cut infrequently, this would probably be the last accessory I would buy. However, if you are cutting an intricate project and are a scroll saw ninja, it’ll be the best $25 bucks you spent since your last woodworking magazine subscription…
Here is a really nice video on cutting inlays and marquetry. It’s a little long but really shows some of the things you can do with a scroll saw.
Which model is best for you?
I hope these scroll saw reviewshave been helpful. I have tried to cover some basics on this post. However, to see more model and brand specific information, click the links to the right.
You can certainly find the basic quality models at Home Depot or Lowes. If that’s all that you need, you’re fine there, but for overall selection, higher quality models and best prices, the best prices are at Amazon. The scroll saws mentioned above will also include free shipping and in most cases, no sales tax.