Best Scroll Saw Reviews 2017
Welcome to our “Best Scroll Saws” guide where you’ll be provided in-depth information and coverage on some of the best scroll saws available all of which I’ve personally purchased and reviewed strictly for this review alone.
My goal with this guide is to provide the most informative and accurate reviews of the saws I’ve chosen to review which will help you to make a better choice as to which scroll saw you should purchase.
Unlike a band saw (which uses a continuous loop), a scroll saw takes advantage of a reciprocating blade which makes changing out blades much easier while also allowing you to perform interior cutouts without having to use an entry slot.
Personally, one advantage of a scroll saw compared to a band saw is that with a band saw, intricate cuts can be performed accurately more so then even the smallest gauge of a band saw which makes it the perfect “saw of choice” for those perfectionists who want the perfect cut the first time.
How to choose which Scroll Saw to Purchase – Some things to consider
Understanding which scroll saw to purchase is an important part of buying a saw that’s going to meet your project requirements and all models have different features, functionalities and power outputs all of which determine the type of work you can complete.
- Determining your project requirements – Prior to purchasing a scroll saw, first, take in to consideration the types of projects and woodwork that you’ll be using the saw on.
While some band saws will allow you to perform simple cuts (even those that don’t boast tons of features), if you tend to work on projects that require intricate cuts/woodwork then you’re going to need to be sure that you buy a scroll saw that has the features that you’ll need to properly start and complete your projects.
- Functionalities and features – First and foremost, ensure that the scroll saw you purchase offers the ability of changing the speed settings so you can makes adjustments per your project requirements. Most, high-end scroll saws will offer 3 unique speed settings which allow you to quickly make speed adjustments for the type of cur you’re performing.
Some other important aspects to consider in regards to the functionalities are the power-drive options and the type of compatible blades that you can use. Checking all of these off of your list will ensure that you receive a scroll saw that truly will hold up to your project demands.
- Versatility – As previously mentioned, all scroll saws come packed with unique features and functionalities and it’s important (especially for contractors) to purchase a scroll saw that’s versatile in its capabilities as you’ll need to be able to make adjustments for the many projects that you’ll be working on. As my father who has been a woodworker for 20+ years would say, buy a saw that “has more features than you do projects”.
To find the best scroll and to see which one is the best for your projects, please use our guide below where you’ll be presented with all of the information you’ll need on the scroll saws I reviewed to make an educated, informed and happy purchase experience!
Scroll Saw 2017 Reviews and Comparisons
Now that we’ve covered what scroll saws are and what features they provide to its users, it’s time we move on to our reviews so you can choose which scroll saw will work best for your project requirements!
1. WEN 3920
The first scroll saw up for review on my list brings us to the Wen 4208 entry-level scroll saw which will accommodate smaller to mid-size project requirements.
Don’t let the fact that this is an “entry level” scroll saw deter you away from at least considering this as an option on your list as it’s quite powerful for the price and for me performed really well for my “around the house” projects.
While being affordable and much cheaper than most scroll saws currently available on the market, it’s decently sized with a 16-inch by 10-inch platform with additional features consisting of the table being constructed from cast iron with an on-board air pump and variable speed controls (which are located towards the front of the saw).
The placement of the speed controls are absolutely perfect. You can quickly adjust the speed settings without worrying about interference with your sight-lines as the placement allows you to make the adjustment(s) without having to put your hands or arm in your way (which is not only great for keeping your eye on your cut line but this is a great precautionary initiative to avoid injuries).
When you purchase the Wen 3920, you’ll receive a scroll saw that:
- Takes advantage of a unique design which will allow you to insert blades in one of two separate directions. With this saw, you’ll be able to insert blades at the standard level or at 90 degrees which allows for incredible capacity of material ripping.
- Has multiple and variable speed settings with strokes per minute ranging from 400 to 1600
- Has a decently sized surface area that measures 16 inches by 11 inches. This platform is great for those who make a lot of angled cuts as the table bevels up to 45 degrees to the left.
- Will allow you to effortlessly perform cuts through would that are up to two inches thick with an impressive sixteen inch “throat depth” (in the original position).
- Is constructed from high-quality cast iron (the base) with additional features and attachments that include an air pump, dust port, flex light, three blades, onboard storage and a foot lock clamp.
While not the largest scroll saw on the market (and not the most expensive either), the surface area of the table is acceptable and workable for a majority of projects although if you’re working on a large piece you may want to consider using an enlarged table (a separate table) so you have a great amount of room to perform your cuts.
What I also like about this saw is the fact that it allows you to adjust the piece you’re working on up to forty five degrees of tilt to the left which will help you to make cuts exactly to your measurements.
With that said, I’d like to discuss the “throat depth” as this is something a lot of you will need to know before picking this bad boy up! Surprisingly, the throat depth is up-to-par with other scroll saws that are double the price and the sixteen inch throat depth will make management, adjustments and handling of the pieces you’re working on much easier!
I actually did some reading on the manufacturer’s site after using this saw and noticed that they boast about how the Wen 3920 Scroll Saw is capable of performing cuts on material as thick as nearly two inches (1.9 to be exact)!
With being able to cut material as thick as this the amount of jobs that you can take on and complete are quite limitless as this cutting width capacity will accommodate a majority of project requirements and what better a saw that’s as cost effective as this one?
The stroke on this saw is 9/16″ which to me is great for what I’d consider to be an entry-level scroll saw. With that said, if you choose to purchase this particular saw, be prepared to work on projects with a little bit less force and more attention to detail as this is what this was designed for (slow and steady wins the race).
I noticed with this saw that it’s best to slowly perform cuts and to focus on making the cuts accurately rather then quickly as the result will be much better and to me, a high-quality finished piece is more important than how quickly I completed it.
In regards to the blades, just as with most other scroll saws, the blade holder on the Wen 3920 is compatible with both pinned and pinless blades and an extra blade will be included with the purchase in addition to a wrench that you’ll need to use to change the blades out. While changing the blades isn’t a tool-free transition, it’s a rather quick process and can be switched in about a minute or less.
If you’re looking for a low-vibration saw then you’ve found it! One of the most noteworthy attributes of the Wen 3920 Scroll Saw is its incredibly low vibration output even during intensive use and this is mainly due to not only the great build quality but the cast iron construction which results in the saw weighing in at 28 pounds.
The weight plays a big factor in vibration reduction and I honestly was very impressed by how little it vibrated (at times there was literally no vibration).
Vibration reduction to me is a big component to consider when determining how useful a particular saw is as low vibration ultimately results in more precise cuts and Wen has done a great job at eliminating vibration on this saw.
2. DEWALT DW788
Second on my “scroll saw review” guide is the DEWALT DW788 model which is currently one of the best scroll saw on the market (according to Amazon) boasting a 20-inch blade size and a 1.3 AMP powered motor.
DEWALT has designed this saw for those who need to set-up quickly for the project at hand so work can begin getting done. I must say, setting this bad boy up was a breeze as there’s one hole in the table and not a ton of inserts so getting ready for my project took no more than a couple of minutes.
First off, I want to comment on the controls in front of the blade which in a matter of seconds allows you to adjust the tension of the blade and changing the blade out itself is only about a 30-second task.
One aspect of this saw that I think we can all appreciate is the built-in moveable arm which is located at the top of the scroll saw which allows you to maneuver the material to whichever angle you need to get the perfect cut.
This movable arm will also allow you swiftly move your projects both on and off of the surface as well which is a great feature that I took advantage of on a few sites that I was contracted to work on.
When you purchase the DEWALT DW788 you’ll receive a scroll saw that:
- Has what’s called a “Double parallel-link arm” which greatly decreases the amount of vibration that is caused by the operations of the saw. This also assists with noise reduction and combined will help you to perform more accurate cuts.
- Includes blade clamps which allow you to change-out the blade in a matter of seconds without the use of tools.
- Has multiple features including an electronic variable speed setting, a dust blower (flexible) which helps to keep your workspace clear of debris and a lever which will allow you to adjust the tension of the blade.
- Has a pivoting arm which runs from the back to the front of the saw which when shortened will allow you to use the saw at a quieter noise level while also allowing you to perform smoother cuts.
- Allows you to elevate the blade arm so the blade can quite easily be threaded for when you’re cutting through material
Another great features are the forward and rear blades which come to find out are not movable which creates a solid foundation and steady surface to cut on which is paramount to getting that perfect cut since vibration/rattling could alter the cut that you’re aiming for.
Burning of the wood/material no longer needs to be a concern and you’ll be able to accurately perform precision cuts at a rate of speed that you’re most comfortable with and with the high-quality blades included by DEWALT you can be confident that you’re only using the best, by the best!
After using this saw on a few projects and noticing how smooth and quite it operated, I did some research online to find out that DEWALT, on this particular scroll saw, really invested their resources to include both high-quality and “strong” bearings which to be honest makes the machine quite heavy but at the same time provides you with better performance, increased durability and longer life-time use of the machine.
Unlike some other scroll saws that are sometimes quite noisy, the DEWALT DW788 is insanely quiet and if you were to use it late at night in your driveway you wouldn’t need to worry about complaints from neighbors or waking up the family (yes, it’s this quite!).
What’s included with the DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw? When you purchase this saw, you’ll receive both a cast table and 2 blades and while the saw can be mounted to a workbench of your choice, the included table provides great stability I actually used this saw with the included table as the sturdiness was comparable to that of mounting the saw to my workbench.
Whether you’re a contractor, a woodworker enthusiast or are just now entering in to the field, this scroll saw will certainly not disappoint and will provide you with all of the features that one could ask for!
3. Shop Fox W1713
Before getting in to my personal review of the “Shop Fox W1713” scroll saw I first want to comment on the value for your money with this model.
Both the base of the saw and the table are crafted to high standards and are constructed from cast iron which has proven to me to be quite stable even during my cuts on heavy material that many scroll saws in this price range wouldn’t support (or at least not support as well as this “Shop Fox” model).
Another feature which you don’t find too often on lower priced scroll saws is that with this particular saw it’s compatible with both plain and pinned blades in addition to a built-in gauge (located on the upper arm) which assists you in setting in the plain blades in to the saw.
I was bit surprised at the size of the dust blower at first although I must say for its size its incredibly powerful (and effective) at keeping your workspace clean and free of debris.
Between the blower, the gooseneck lighting feature (which helps to see your cuts for better precision) and the gauge which makes switching out blades a task that can be completed in under a minute, the Shop Fox W1713 has proven itself to me that it deserves to be at the top of my list!
What’s to love about the Shop Fox W1713? If you’re an aesthetic person (such as myself) and care about the appearance of your saw just as much as your car then you’ll be quite pleased with the quality of craftsmanship that has gone in to this saw.
Even compared to a DEWALTY scroll saw (such as the second one reviewed in this guide), the finish/coating of paint is flush, smooth and easy to keep clean and is overall much more impressive than any other scroll saw that I’ve had the chance to review.
On to more important attributes, the Shop Fox W1713 is a versatile saw capable of grinding through a range of materials and wood regardless of whether the material is soft, hard or dense. I tested this saw on a few projects and quite notably, this saw effortlessly grinded through a half inch thick piece of pinewood with no hesitation!
One additional point I’d like to make about this saw is the fact that you can rely on this saw for sturdiness during use even when it’s not bolted down. The foundation is sturdy and rigid and will hold its place well while you work on your project(s) so you don’t necessarily need to mount the saw to a workbench for use.
When you purchase the Shop Fox W173 scroll saw, you’ll receive a saw that:
- Boasts a 1/8 HP motor (which equates to 1-amp, 110 Volts or 60Hz).
- Will provide you with a maximum cutting width of sixteen inches.
- Comes with an included work light known as a “gooseneck”.
- Will include both a dust blower and a dust port which will keep your workspace clear of debris.
- Has no load speed with strokes per minute ranging from 550-1700
Finally, a Scroll saw that will last for years! With all other aspects set aside, the build quality and the construction of the saw itself should be equally considered as the power/functionalities as you want a saw that’s capable but you also want a saw that will continue to provide you with usage for years to come.
Receiving years of use from your scroll saw of course many require occasional maintenance but prolonged usage and reliability ultimately boils down to the quality of the construction of the saw itself, its part and its internals.
I was quite pleased to see that of all the parts on this saw, only one piece was constructed from plastic while the remaining pieces were constructed from one of the following three materials:
- Cast Iron.
At this price point, you’re not going to find any other scroll saw that’s nearly fully constructed from high-quality materials that will last you for years (with the proper care of course).
Taking the quality of the build materials in to consideration, I would recommend to all individuals that are considering to purchase this saw to not cut materials that are in excess of a half an inch thick and to always be sure that you check the fasteners on the saw before use to ensure that none are loose.
Purchasing a Scroll Saw is a great choice for those who need to perform sophisticated cuts in a variety of unique materials which include both wood and metal. Scroll Saws are often times considered to be a specialty saw due to the fineness and quality of the blade which allows for a much more delicate cut compared to let’s say a power jigsaw.
With a scroll saw, cutting curves that include edges couldn’t be easier as all you need to do is pivot the saw to get the desired edge/angel.
What’s a Scroll Saw?
A Scroll Saw, simply put is a thin bladed saw that’s used to perform intricate and decorative cut styles.
While the scroll saw is often times compared to the great band saw, the scroll differentiates quite a bit due to the reciprocating blade which can quite easily be removed and put through pre-drilled starting holes (great for wood makers who want to perform interior cutouts without having an entry slot).
Coming standard on most scroll saw models will be an attached arm (which is bendable) with an attached light on the end allowing you to illuminate your work space. Often times, a dust blower nozzle will also be included which will allow you to continue your work without wood shaving or debris interference.
Do I need a Scroll Saw?
If you want to perform creative cuts quickly and accurately then yes, you need a Scroll Saw! Scroll Saws are commonly used for intricate curves/joints in the material since they can be completed not only with incredible accuracy but quickly as well.
If you’re in the market for a scroll saw and are looking for unbiased and honest reviews on the most current scroll saws available on the market, continue reading and you’ll find all of the information you need to find the perfect scroll saw for your projects!
Best Scroll Saw Conclusion
So, after reviewing these scroll saws you’re probably wondering which one of the three that I’d recommend and the choice was rather an easy one to make!
Between their great reputation of building quality crafted products and providing incredible support/warranties to their product line buyers, DEWALT takes the number one spot with the DEWALT DW788 model!
I was simply blown away by its power, its 20-inch blade size and its 1.3 AMP powered motor which is strong enough to cut through nearly any material you use it on! The movable arm makes maneuvering the material easier than ever before and it also includes an adjustable arm which decreases the amount of vibration drastically!
You’ll also enjoy a host of other features/accessories such as the variable speed setting, the flexible dust blower which is incredibly effective at keeping your workspace clear of shaving/debris and the tension lever which will allow you to make adjustments to the blade!
Thanks for reading my guide and I hope my reviews will help you to choose the best Scroll Saw for all of your projects and job requirements!