Best Scroll Saws of 2017 –  Reviews & Buying Guide

Whether you are a woodworker by trade or just someone doing jobs as they come up around the house, there’s a fair chance that you have found yourself trying to figure what Scroll Saw to get. Saws are ubiquitous. From Miter saws to Band saws, there are saws on the market for every job.

When you are looking to do detailed work, though, what you really need is a Scroll Saw. These saws are used to etch the gorgeous and delicate designs you see in woodwork. They come in a variety of forms and use a variety of blades to create different widths, curves, and more.

However, if you are new to Scroll Saws and this type of detail work, everything can be a little confusing. Don’t worry, though, because in this article we are going to teach you everything you need to know and help you find the best Scroll Saw to suit your needs.


Our Top 5 Scroll Saw Picks

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONS
ITEM WEIGHT
USER RATINGPRICE
DEWALT DW788
DEWALT DW788
29.5 x 19.5 x 12.1 inches
65.6 pounds
4.4/5
$$$$$
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WEN 3920
WEN 3920
24 x 11 x 13 inches
1 pounds
4.1/5
$
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Shop Fox W1713
Shop Fox W1713
12.8 x 26.4 x 15.9 inches
35.3 pounds
4.1/5
$$$
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Delta Power Tools 40-694
Delta Power Tools 40-694
30 x 20 x 13 inches
60 pounds
3.9/5
$$$$
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Dremel MS20-01
Dremel MS20-01
18.5 x 14.5 x 4.8 inches
4.7 pounds
3.9/5
$$
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In order to help make sense of the Scroll Saw market, we have created a list of our top 5 picks on the market. Below the list of Scroll Saw reviews, we include a handy buying guide that will teach you everything you need to know about buying a Scroll Saw. Putting these two together should help you make an informed decision when purchasing your own Scroll Saw.

#1 DEWALT DW788 – Our Top Pick

DEWALT DW788The first saw on our list is the DW788, from Dewalt. Let’s get right into it.

This tool features a 1.3 amp motor which is enough speed to complete virtually any job. The blade clamps allow for easy blade changes within seconds so you can keep working without hassle. The cast-iron table provides great support for the tool and bevels 45 degrees in both directions, making it easy for you to get the right angle every time.

For all its good points, this tool does have one significant downside: it is probably too large for home use for most people. That aside, it is an excellent saw that would be a great tool for most buyers and especially professionals.

This tool also comes with an excellent warranty. The Dewalt DW780 comes with a 90 money back guarantee, a  one-year service warranty, and a three-year limited warranty.

Overall, this is the best Scroll Saw I have seen with one major caveat other than its size. It is expensive. While this is a fantastic tool, the price could be out of the budget of users who are seeking to buy this tool for home-improvement or hobby use.

Pros:

  • Arm design helps to reduce instances of overcutting and undercutting
  • Tool-free blade clamps
  • Great support and structure
  • DW788 Scroll Saw, Hex Wrench, and Blades come included

Cons:

  • It is a bit large for home use
  • Expensive


#2 Delta Power Tools 40-694 – The Runner-up

Delta Power Tools 40-694Coming in second on this list is the 40-694, from Delta Power Tools. This saw has a range of features that make it ideal for beginners. Let’s have a look at them.

It is one of few beginner saws on the market that allows the user to manipulate the speed. This will give you the chance to discover what speed works best for you via testing. This saw also features a sturdy beveling table, which provides excellent support for the materials you are using. Users also report that this saw is dependable and provides smooth cuts on all materials.

The only downside is that blade tensioning can be somewhat difficult for those that don’t have experience with the process. Once learned, it is a cinch, but it is tough to pick up.

In addition to its great features, the Delta Power Tools 40-694 also comes with a work light and a dust blower. These can be useful tools when you are trying to keep your workspace clean and organized.

Overall, the Delta Power Tools 40-694 is an awesome tool that will be dependable job after job. This is a tool that won’t let you down when you need it.

Pros:

  • On/off switch, and other controls are easily accessible
  • Quick and easy blade change
  • Single lever, tool-free blade tensioning
  • Cast-iron table bevels out to 45 degrees in both directions
  • Lock out power switch

Cons:

  • Blade tensioning is hard for beginners


#3 WEN 3920 – Best For The Money

WEN 3920This is the most budget friendly saw on the list, making it a more attractive tool for buyers who are not looking to invest a lot of money into a Scroll Saw, or at least not into their first Scroll Saw. Often a journey into a skill comes from doing a DIY project or a home renovation and then discovering that you enjoy it. This is a great saw to take that journey with. If you then realize that you enjoy it or need a Scroll Saw more often, you can explore more expensive options down the line.

Let’s get to the good and the bad. First, the good. The stroke rate is between 400 and 1600 strokes per minute. This range sits well among the other, more high end, products on the list. The saw also comes with a 16” x 10” table that a great size; perfect for small pieces, but can support most projects. The table is also designed specifically to reduce vibration.

Now, the bad. There isn’t much, but one thing is the difficulty in finding this product at all. It seems to be in short supply. There have also been some reports of weak blades. These are isolated reports so take that for what it is worth.

Finally, it has a great warranty for a budget saw to keep you protected. This is a great beginner Scroll Saw, and for most users, this is all they need.

Pros:

  • Budget friendly
  • Table that is perfectly sized for small projects
  • Table design reduces vibration, keeping projects steady
  • Air Pump and Dust Port
  • 2-Year Warranty

Cons:

  • It is difficult to find the product for sale online
  • Users have reported weak blades


#4 Shop Fox W1713

Shop Fox W1713The Shop Fox W1713 is the underestimated gem of this list. A lower end model compared to the Dewalt DW788, but still surprisingly good. It may not have a flashy paint job or a commanding appearance, but this saw is not cheaply made by any means. The entire tool only has one part made from plastic, with the rest being aluminum, steel, or cast iron.

It features a variable speed 1.2 amp motor, with blade speeds that range between 550 and 1650 strokes per minute. It is lightweight but solidly constructed and has been designed to reduce vibration when in use.

There are, however, some downsides to this product. The major one is overheating to the point that you have to stop working entirely. This makes it a non-professional saw in my opinion as you cannot reasonably work in a time crunch. You need to let the motor cool. The Shop Fox is just not as powerful as higher end saws, as well. This is to be expected though at this price point, however.

Overall, this is a good pick for the DIY user and as a first Scroll Saw.

Pros:

  • 1.2 Amp Motor
  • Variable speed motor
  • Cast-iron table for reduced vibrations
  • Light

Cons:

  • Unintuitive blade changing process
  • Not as powerful as other saws
  • Weak table fixtures
  • The motor tends to overheat

 


#5 Dremel MS20-01

Dremel MS20-01Coming up last, but certainly, not least is the Dremel MS20-01. This is, by far, the smallest Scroll Saw on our list.

Perfect for hobbyists, it can cut through wood, laminate, and metal, with its smaller 0.6 Amp motor. You will notice that that is quite a bit less powerful than our other picks, but it does the job for the intended user. Obviously, if you are a professional, aspiring professional or just a heavy user, this is probably not the tool for you. It is not just the power either; it is also too physically small to handle big jobs.

As long as you are ok with those limitations, then this is a great Scroll Saw. It has variable speed control and features a design that allows you to change the blade without needing a tool. It can also be detached and turned into a handheld saw. Its versatility is improved even further with a clamp base that can attach to almost any work station. It also boasts a pretty good two-year warranty at this price point.

Pros:

  • Can detach and become handheld
  • Auto tensioning quick change™ mechanism
  • Variable speed control
  • Attaches to virtually any workstation
  • Two-year warranty

Cons:

  • Not as powerful as other saws
  • Too small to handle large projects


Factors To Consider When Buying a Scroll Saw

Let’s have a look at the things you should look for when you go purchase a Scroll Saw. We will go over the features available and any questions that need to be answered to gain a deeper knowledge of the subject.

What types of blades are there? 

Unlike other saws, there aren’t different types when it comes to Scroll Saws themselves. Instead, there is a huge variety of blades to choose from. These include:

  • Standard blades
  • Skip tooth blades
  • Double tooth blades
  • Precision ground saw blades
  • Reverse skip tooth blades
  • Ultra reverse blades
  • Spiral blades
  • Pin end blades
  • Crown tooth blades

That is a lot of blades! Let’s look at them one by one.

Standard Blades
The teeth on these blades are equal in size and distance apart. Standard Scroll Saw blades come in metal and wooden versions with different purposes.

The wooden blades have slightly bigger teeth and are ideal for clearing sawdust from your piece. On the other hand, metal blades have teeth that are closer together and better for actually carving into and cutting the wood. Obviously, metal blades are more durable, and they are also louder than wooden blades.

Skip Tooth Blades 
The spacing on these blades looks like a standard blade if you skipped every other tooth. These spaces are generally referred to as gullets. This keeps the blade much cooler as you work, protecting your wood from scorch marks. As the name suggests, they have about half as many teeth as the standard blades.

These are some of the best blades to use if you have no or only moderate experience with woodwork and scrollwork because they are very forgiving.

Double tooth blades
These are pretty much the exact opposite of skip tooth saw blades. With a double tooth saw blade, imagine a standard blade with twice as many teeth. Thanks to the finer teeth, these saws provide the user with a smooth, even cut rather than jagged edges. However, the trade-off is that these blades do cut slower, so expect the job to take longer if you use one of these.

Reverse skip tooth blades
These are almost exactly the same as skip tooth blades. The only main difference between skip tooth and reverse skip tooth blades is that reverse skip tooth blades have the last few teeth at the bottom point the other way.

This allows you to cut your wood without having to worry about splintering or tearing in the lower part of your cut. It is important that you make sure that only a couple of these specialized teeth are pointing above the table. This measurement is taken when your saw arm is in its highest possible position.

If you have to adjust the blade, don’t worry. It is extremely common that you have to cut a little off the blade to get the perfect length for your Scroll Saw. Unfortunately, these blades tend to dull sooner and they clear sawdust very inefficiently.

Ultra reverse blades
These are the new and improved version of the reverse skip tooth blade. Ultra reverse blades are an upgrade in terms of the quick removal of sawdust from the work site.

Precision ground blades
Precision ground means that the teeth of these blades are created differently than other blades. Other blades are usually cut into shape while precision ground blades are, as the name would suggest, ground into shape. Other than this, these blades look exactly like skip tooth blades.

What is it about grinding the teeth into shape that makes them different? Well, they are much sharper than your standard skip tooth blade. These can cut very smoothly making nearly perfectly straight lines. This is an advanced blade for advanced users.

Spiral blades
These saw blades are exactly what they sound like – a pair of saw blades wrapped around each other. There are teeth all the way around these blades, allowing you to cut your wood in any direction without having to turn the piece of wood you are working on at the time.

Unfortunately, these blades leave a wide, jagged surface and can’t make tight curves or turns. These blades also tend to stretch apart the more they are used, making them best saved for specific jobs where they are necessary.

Crown tooth blades
These types of blades are relatively new in the world of woodworking and Scroll Saw blades. The teeth on these are where they get their name since they are shaped like crowns with gullets in-between each tooth.

Each of these blades can be put in facing either direction as well, so they can face any direction that works best for you. They do cut a little a little slower but can cut through plastic and Plexiglas if you need it. Teeth on both sides of the blade also allow you to turn it around if one side gets dull.

How do you know what kind of blade you need

There are a couple of factors to take into account when figuring out what kind of blade to get:

  • Thickness – the thicker your material is, the larger a blade you will need
  • Hardness – if the material you are working with is hard, you will need a blade with bigger teeth
  • Complexity – if the job is more challenging and harder to do than most, then you will need to use a saw blade with more teeth

What else should you look for in a Scroll Saw?<?b>

You need to consider more than just blades when you are making your Scroll Saw buying decision. Let’s look at some of the features you should keep in mind:

  • Speed. Take a look at how fast your blade will cut and how fast the saw itself can move the blade. Remember, faster isn’t always better and the more aggressive the blade is, the harder it can be to control. So, for beginners, a slower blade will usually be better. Skip tooth blades are good candidates here.
  • Lights. Lights can help you in two different ways. The first is, of course, that they illuminate your workspace. Secondly, some saws feature guiding lights to help you make precise and accurate cuts.
  • Blowers. A blower is a simple device with one purpose: to rid your workspace of saw dust. This contributes to keeping your workspace clear and dust free.
  • Dust collection. If you have a blower, you will also want a dust collection bag. This bag will catch the sawdust so that it is not just spread all over your workshop once it is blown off.
  • Tool-less blade changes. This is an attractive feature that allows you to make quick and easy changes to your blade without having to pull out extra tools or a key to access it. It makes your life a little easier, which is always good.
  • Work table size. You should make sure the size of your work table is big enough for the type of projects you are working on at the time. If you do varying project sizes, try to get a saw that can handle your largest ones or has extensions.
  • Hold down foot. This is the part of the saw that keeps your wood in place while you work. You need to make sure this piece is reliable because if your wood slips while you work, it could cause a costly mistake. With especially delicate scrollwork, this is a massive issue.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, finding a Scroll Saw does not have to be hard work. Once you know what features to look out for and the large variety of blades to choose from, you should be able to find a Scroll Saw that fits your needs. We also chose five Scroll Saws as our top 5 picks. This is a good starting point to find a Scroll Saw. At the very least, you can know what type that you like aiding you in your search.

Looking back at our reviews of Scroll Saws, the DeWalt DW788 is the best choice out there although it does skew more to the professional while the Delta Power Tools 40-694 is a reliable close runner up. If you are shopping on a budget, we cannot recommend the WEN 3920 highly enough.

With any of these options – the Shop Fox W1713 and the Dremel MS20-01 included – you are bound to find the Scroll Saw you need. You can also always use the buying guide to flesh out that short list with some more candidates. In no time at all, you will be able to create beautiful scroll work with your new Scroll Saw.