7 Best Scroll Saw Reviews [Buying Guide Inside]

Last Updated on by Gabrielle Finch

Best Scroll Saw 2019

You’ve heard of saws and even electric saws. In fact, you may have even seen a table saw in action. However, the scroll saw is in its own category, designed to a quick cutting do-it-all tool for tight quarters or cutting wood and materials on the fly. And, like everything else, there are good scroll saws and not so good ones. This article points out the very best scroll saw available for 2019.

Don’t Have Enough Time? Check our Best picks

Scroll Saw 101: What Can You Do With Scroll Saw

Just to make sure the basics are covered, the scroll saw is a powered hand tool also known as a reciprocating saw. It can be used to cut metal, plastics, wood, composite and more. Depending on the blade used, the scroll saw can cut through most materials as long they are within the cutting thickness of the blade.

Because scroll saws are so under-sung and get little praise as a work tool. Most folks going to get one just think one scroll saw is as good as the other. So why spend a lot of money? Just get the nearest one with a recognizable brand name and move on. And that’s the first mistake made.

It ripples into everything else, including poor performance, bad cutting, and ultimately poor construction work. Spending a little bit of time researching scroll saws and the benefits possible is definitely worth your time and ultimately your investment.

Scroll saws are also easy to confuse with other saws. Many hardware stores hire staff who don’t really understand the difference, and then they end up giving bad advice to customers. The fret saw hand coping saw, and jigsaw can all be compared to the scroll saw. But there are big differences affecting performance.

First off, the scroll saw is far heavier duty than a jigsaw would ever be able to handle. It can deal with a wider array of materials to cut than the jigsaw as well.

Second, the scroll saw cannot be confused with a band saw, either in appearance or function because unlike the band saw it uses a reciprocating blade that quickly moves back and forth like a hand saw cutting.

Both the hand coping saw and scroll saw have removable blades, and work well via pre-drilled starting points, but the scroll saw allows far more cutting control and direction.


Our Top 7 Picks

So to start off the comparison discussion, here’s the summary chart of the best saws. We’ll go into detail following the chart, discussing the features, pros and cons, and user thoughts that may make one blade work for a situation better than another:

Saw ModelSpeedThroat DepthBlade Depth
DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw400-1,750 SPM20-inch2 inch
WEN 3920 Scroll Saw400-1600 strokes per minute (SPM)16-inch5-inch
Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw1500-2250 SPM9.84-inch1.5 inch
Delta Power Tools 40-694 Scroll Saw400-1,750 SPM20-inch2 1/8th of an inch
SKIL 3335-07 Scroll Saw500-1,700 SPM16-inch2 inch
General International EX-16400-1,400 SPM16-inch2 inch
ShopSeries RK7315 Scroll Saw500-1,700 SPM16-inch2 inch

1. Dewalt DW788Best Rated Scroll Saw

Best Rated Scroll Sawdewalt dw788
A big feature of the DEWALT DW788 is how quiet and smooth the unit runs. Unlike some saws where you actually need to use foam earplugs, the DW788 is ideal when you have to worry about disturbing others and your neighbors. The model is also extremely accurate, and it comes with a built-in design to intentionally reduce cutting vibration. Dewalt DW788 is the Best Scroll Saw Overall in our list.

The table is heavy-duty, solid, and can incline as much as 45 degrees to either side. The unit also comes with a dust blower for a clear work area. A key feature about this choice is that the DW788 includes a blade clamp that allows a very quick replacement of the cutting blade used, without requiring any specific removal tools or hex tools.

The only drawback to the DW788 is the amount of weight the tool has, making it notably heavy to lift and relocate. This is not a saw to be used as a temporary location that changes frequently. It also doesn’t cut as deeply as some competitors, limited to two-inches.

In summary, the DW788 is a great pick for those who want a saw backed up for a long period of time (3 years) by a manufacturer as well as one that incorporates noise reduction.

The unit is designed to be extremely user-friendly, and its heavy assembly ensures durability (this is only compromised by the choice of aluminum for the upper blade). It can be used on most building materials, metal or wood, and the assembly is quick.

2. WEN 3920Cheap Scroll SawCheap Scroll Saw

The first big benefit of this saw is that it allows the user to work in entirely two different directions. They are free-floating but the user does get access to a standard cut and a 90-degree capability. The speed of the cut and power is ranged from 400-1,600 SPM, entirely under the control of the user via a management knob. This allows the saw to compensate for both soft and hardwood material.

The base platform of the saw allows functioning stationery regardless of the cutting power applied. So vibration and jerkiness don’t occur and your work runs smoothly through the saw, even when making tilts or angled cuts. For anyone who has had to jury-rig supports to do the same, it’s just not as accurate versus what the WEN 3920 can provide effortlessly.

The WEN 3920 can be operated with both pin-less as well as pinned blades without issue, and you can still easily rearrange the direction of the cut in the meantime. Unlike the pinned blade, the pinless is tensioned in place via a designed holder in the saw, regardless of how much cutting is applied.

Finally, the WEN also incorporates an air blower to remove dust from the immediate cutting area, improving your visual accuracy when operating the saw. This is augmented by a built-in LED lamp that can be re-positioned as needed and attached the saw apparatus.

In summary, the WEN 3920 packages a powerful benefits package for the price paid, and it delivers strong performance over a good lifetime. The cutting options increase the model capability, and it can deal with multiple types of wood hardness as well as metal and plumbing plastics. The downside is that at high speeds the WEN does generate noticeable vibrations, and the overall table is not as solid as it could be compared to other choices. This unit does make a great entry point for beginners and casual users.

3. Dremel MS20-01 Mini Scroll Saw

Mini Scroll Saw

This tool is just weird-looking at first glance. Like most Dremel tools, the MS20-01 is designed to be hand-held, which begs the question on how it can actually be a good scroll saw. However, this model works on all the main material categories from metal to wood, and it also works really well on plastics and laminate with the ability to slow the speed and not melt while cutting.

The MS20-01 comes with multiple change features, increasing the ability to always keep the blade tight and not lose accuracy as a result. The model can be attached to a stationary table or used as a hand-cutting approach. And the fast-clamp features let the tool work on different tables and surfaces, increasing flexibility for the user.

The downside is that the MS20-01 has a small cutting depth versus other choices. This is offset by a nice price point, good workmanship in the assembly of the tool, and ease of use. For a low-cost entry point into using a scroll saw, this model is worth considering, but don’t try to apply it to hard material and it is noisy.

4. Delta 40-694Best Metal Cutting Scroll Saw

Best Metal Cutting Scroll Saw

A buyer has a choice when considering the Delta 40-694 model. On the one hand, the buyer could opt for the version with a light and stand included. Alternatively, there is the stripped-down version without those features. Why one would want to do without these benefits may depend on the work condition, but it seems like a clear choice for most to include everything.

That said, this saw comes with a variable speed setting covering a very wide range of choices, making the saw extremely versatile. There is also a vibration-reduction design built-in as well as both an over and undercutting ability for advanced accuracy.

A buyer has a choice when considering the Delta 40-694 model. On the one hand, the buyer could opt for the version with a light and stand included. Alternatively, there is the stripped-down version without those features. Why one would want to do without these benefits may depend on the work condition, but it seems like a clear choice for most to include everything.

That said, this saw comes with a variable speed setting covering a very wide range of choices, making the saw extremely versatile. There is also a vibration-reduction design built-in as well as both an over and undercutting ability for advanced accuracy.

The Delta model also comes with a locking arm for blade replacement, which is doable tool-free and can be swapped in a matter of seconds. Even better, the unit comes with a blade storage area, so everything is kept in one location versus having blades in a separate container.

Other standard equipment includes a built-in light, surface stand, dust blower for clearing the cutting area, and the saw itself. The table is larger than normal, providing an expanded work area, which is a nice feature for larger material.

This saw hits a higher price point versus other choices, but it’s not on the expensive side. The assembly for initial set up can take a while, but it really performs well when everything is set up and running. There is very little vibration problem, and the work area is very comfortable to work on.

 


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5. SKIL 3335-07Best under $200

Best scroll saw under $200

SKIL has always been known to be a brand that works great for both beginner construction as well as budget-friendly intermediate. While the tools are easy to handle and learn, they are also robust enough in manufacture to hold to light commercial construction. This crossover between beginner and intermediate levels makes the tool an ideal choice for a broad market segment looking for a good scroll saw.

Included in the base package is the work LED light as well as the dust blower port for keeping the cutting area open and clear. The 3335-07 is designed with variable speed control, and the larger saw throat allows a wide array of material to be cut. The work table is not as solid as cast iron, made of aluminum instead, but this lightweight approach makes the saw great for portability.

Further, the worktable can tilt up to 45 degrees if needed. The cutting depth is a standard 2 inches, and the saw comes with extended warranty protection. The 3335-07 does take pinless blades and runs with a lower noise level than other choices. Again, however, this model is not as robust and durable as heavier models available.

6. General International EX-16

General International EX-16

The EX-16 is a bit of a step down from the best of the best. This saw does come with the dual head tilt design to either left or right. It has a larger table surface for a work area, and variable speed control from a low of 400 to as much as 1,200 SPM. Control features are easy to access. The dust blower helps keep the work area clean and easy to see cutting.

The cut depth is a standard 2 inches, and the warranty is basic 2-year protection as well. No tools are required for any kind of change out. It provides a saw ideal for the beginner woodworker. The downside is that wood debris can clog up the holes for the vacuum system and the price point is higher than many other models available.

The overall workmanship on the EX-16 is very good quality, and many woodworkers appreciate its durability and performance. It helps that the unit doesn’t take long to assemble and become functional.

7. ShopSeries RK7315Best for the money

scroll saw for the money

Built with a variable speed feature driven by a 1.2 amp motor. The RK7315 has gained a solid reputation for being ideal when it comes up to applying complex cuts to small areas of wood, creating joints, and scalpel style cutting with a high point of accuracy. The saw includes two starter blades that run a full 5 inches in length, and the saw throat is a sizable 16 inches.

Storage is included in the saw. It seems like a small issue until a user can’t remember where he placed his spare saws later on. Instead, they are kept with the saw and protected. The package only boasts standard 2-year warranty protection. But the performance of the saw already shows a high level of quality and durability in the RK7315.

The standard dust blower is included, as well as a dust collection port. A blade guard is a unique feature not always seen on scroll saws, and it enhances user safety and injury prevention. The table is til-table to 45 degrees and made from lightweight aluminum.

The blade cutting length provides an industry common 2-inch cut depth, and the price point makes this model very affordable. The downside of the model is that it does have notable vibration at higher speeds, and the table only tilts one way, not two.

Other Considerations with the Best Scroll Saw

Given all the above, it’s just a matter of picking the right model, correct? Not quite. Users and consumers should also pay attention to the consumable parts too. The blade, for example, is a key component as this part actually does the cutting work on the saw. Here are some points to consider:

  • Type of blade: whether you choose pinned or pinless, they come with advantages and disadvantages. Neither is absolutely perfect. In addition, pinned blades are starting to become uncommon. As the industry moves en masse to the pinless, clamped blade instead. If you choose a pinned blade only saw the model, you may be out of luck in a year or two with blades becoming hard to find.
  • Type of cutting blade: Scroll saws can be used on wood as well as metal, as long as the right blade is used. Metal blades produce a different type of debris and dust as well as spark. Keep this in mind when you place your scroll saw, and make sure it’s not near anything flammable.
  • Skip-tooth blade cutting: If you’re a beginner, these blades are very powerful and make cutting a lot easier. Consider using these for a while until you get better at working a scroll saw.
  • Specialty blades: You may hear and see specialty blades in action. That, in turn, will peak your interest to try them. Not every scroll saw, however, will work with them, and you may be out of luck. Keep this in mind when picking a model if you think you may want to get into advanced cutting and woodworking.

# What’s the Right Size?

Most individuals will start off with a scroll saw running in throat range from 12 inches to 20 inches. It depends on what needs to be cut. This should be determined before buying. Because it’s a big disappointment during work to find out the scroll saw can’t handle the material you want to work with. So plan ahead.

In addition, work tables vary as well. If you’re the type who wants to lay things flat, and then cut without holding them up, pick a larger table saw. Also, consider how you want to cut; tilting tables give you more options but many tend to be aluminum which is a software material and prone to damage faster.

# Power Isn’t the Key

A good scroll saw is rarely used at the highest speed setting. You will mostly use a scroll saw for planned, tight work, which often requires a lower speed. So a good range is the better feature to look for in speed versus how powerful the saw can be. And, the higher the power level, the more the saw will vibrate and produce wobbling or accuracy cutting problems. So you trade accuracy in cutting for power.

Last Words

Don’t disparage that it’s impossible to find the best scroll saw. It’s actually very easy. But do make sure to do your homework and look at all the options available before buying into one particular model. Don’t just look at the box details; try the saw out if possible. Scrolls saws are as much about what works for your particular cutting needs as they are about quality.

1 thought on “7 Best Scroll Saw Reviews [Buying Guide Inside]”

  1. Having read this I thought it was really enlightening.
    I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this article together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

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