best scroll saw

Choosing a scroll saw might be a daunting task if you don’t know much about these powerful tools. As a beginner or even a veteran, such task can be overwhelming and you can end up with a saw that doesn’t live up to your needs and standards.

Therefore, our team reviewed some of the best scroll saws on the market to help you make an informed decision.

Best Overall
Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw
Best Precision
Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw
Best for Beginners
Dremel MS20-01 Moto Saw
Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw
Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw
Dremel Moto Saw
The DW788 has a durable design which delivers efficient cuts and convenient blade change. Its advanced features are great for beginners and professionals alike.
This scroll saw has a specialized build that can deliver the most detailed woodworking plans and projects to life.
The Dremel Moto Saw is a versatile, handy, and portable tool that is perfect for those who are beginning their woodworking journey.
Best Overall
Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw
Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw
The DW788 has a durable design which delivers efficient cuts and convenient blade change. Its advanced features are great for beginners and professionals alike.
Best Precision
Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw
Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw
This scroll saw has a specialized build that can deliver the most detailed woodworking plans and projects to life.
Best for Beginners
Dremel MS20-01 Moto Saw
Dremel Moto Saw
The Dremel Moto Saw is a versatile, handy, and portable tool that is perfect for those who are beginning their woodworking journey.

Reviews of the Best Scroll Saw

1. Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw

With its outstanding qualities and features, the DW788 is adjudged by our experts as one of the top scroll saws on the market. 

It has a sturdy build with a durable cast iron table which angles up to 45 degrees to the left and right for better cutting of wood or plastic pieces. This is also a scroll saw with stand. Although the stand is sold separately, you can always fix the saw on a table. 

The Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw is powered by a 1.3 amp motor that delivers up to 1,750 SPM, that makes it all the more perfect for heavy duty work. It allows for easy, tool-less blade changes with less frustration.

Assembling the saw and attaching the blade of the Dewalt scroll saw is very easy due to the tool-free screw blade clamps. The double parallel link arm’s design helps reduce the noise and vibration, and delivers very accurate cuts. The power switch variable speed control, the blade tensioning button and the dust blower are all on the front upper arm for easy access.

Pros

Cons

2. Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw

The Shop Fox Scroll Saw features an ergonomic and sturdy design that is made of cast iron. Among its notable features are the dust blower, work light located on top of the blade, and a dust port that provides maximum convenience as you work on painstaking patterns and intricate designs. Good saw features for a $200 price point scroll saw.

The W1713 scroll saw accepts two types of blades: plain and pin end blades. Blade changes are easy because of the included adapter and an adjustable hold-down shoe which prevents the workpiece from moving.

Featuring a tilting table, it can cut from 0 to 45 degrees. Overall, the Shop Fox W1713 is a great tool to have for DIY projects that require attention to detail. 

Pros

Cons

3. Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw

Another one of the best scroll saws in this list is the Dremel MS20-01 Moto Variable Speed Scroll Saw. This device is capable of cutting a wide variety of materials like wood, laminates, plastic, and metal.

An interesting feature of this Dremel Moto Variable Speed Scroll Saw is that it can be detached from its base and becomes a portable motorized coping-saw[1]. The tool-free mechanism allows you to change the blades quickly.

Along with that, the auto tensioning system of the Dremel Moto Variable Speed Scroll Saw makes this a perfect tool for novices. However, this model does not have a dust blower, but you can attach a vacuum to its adapter for dust collection. This saw features a C-arm design, which allows you to make precise cuts.

Pros

Cons

4. WEN 3922 Speed Scroll Saw

WEN 3922 is a versatile tool with a 16 inch throat depth that allows you to cut wood pieces of up to 2 inches. The speed can be adjusted from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute just by turning the speed control button.

Its cast-iron base bevels to 45 degrees for more precise cuts. It also accepts both pinned and pinless blades, so it is easier to create interesting designs with extremely accurate cuts. You can install the blades in two directions (standard and 90 degrees). 

This $100 price point tool has a special side panel that allows  easy clean up and blade changes, along with a dust port. Moreover, the saw comes with a 2 year warranty, like other WEN products. 

Our experts just wish that just like WEN 3921, it should have an LED light and a storage area for blades. But good to note that WEN 3922 and WEN 3921, they’re both equipped with a 60 Hz motor, and they have the same speed and blade stroke.

Pros

Cons

5. Delta Power Tools 40-694 Scroll Saw

This entry level 20 inch variable speed scroll saw is one of the best model of scroll saws for sizable woodworking projects. It only accepts only pinless blades, but with the help of an adaptor, you can use a scroll saw pinned blades too.

Our experts were particularly impressed by the dual parallel arm design of Delta Power Tools 40-694 Scroll Saw which reduces vibration and noise. The front upper arm lifts and can be locked into position for easy blade changes. Features like a tool-free blade clamp and an auto tensioning system make the device easy to use by beginners.

The Delta Power Tools, this 20 inch variable speed scroll saw’s tilting table tilts up to 45 degrees left and right and delivers clean and precise cuts. The power switch, variable speeds control, the flexible dust blower, and the blade-tension lever of the Delta 40 694 Power Tools are located up front on the arm for good accessibility.  The dual parallel arm design of Delta Power Tools reduces vibration.

Pros

Cons

Scroll Saw Buyer’s Guide

Scroll Saw Performance

In terms of performance, a good scroll saw to use for any scroll saw projects should meet a series of expectations: precise cuts, fewer vibrations, durable build. Depending on your projects, the tool must be capable of cutting in different angles and positions.

Before committing to a specific device, our team recommends to check its specs and read about others’ experience.  

Throat

One of the most important factors in choosing the right model is the throat depth or throat size or length when buying a scroll saws. The length of the throat dictates the size of the material you work with, so a longer scroll saws throat means larger and variety of materials.

Common sizes for the saw throat are 16-inch, 18-inch, and 20-inch. Anything under 16 inches is for hobbyists, while a scroll saws that has more than 20-inch throat length is used on industrial sites.

Before buying a different type of scroll saws, our team recommends being sure what you will use it for. A 16-inch throat size scroll saw is suitable for any woodworking you perform at home. 

Tension

Like any tool that requires precision, a scroll saw including the Porter-Cable PCB375SS needs to be perfectly tuned before using it. The blade can be tightened or loosened via a cam, knob, or lever.  

When looking to buy a scroll saws, it is important to choose a model that has an easy to use blade tensioning system. Usually, the tension lever on the front of the saw is preferred. If your saw has one on the back, you must move to the back of the saw any time you want to change the tension on the blade.

Our experts recommend you to buy a scroll saw that features a tool-less blade tension system. Make sure you familiarize yourself with it before starting the work. 

Blade & Blade Changes

The scroll saws function with two blade type – pin end blades and pinless type of blade. Pin end blades produce rougher and intricate cuts and are best used for thicker pieces of wood. It is easy to attach them to the clamp as the tension is predetermined. However, your options are limited that is why our experts recommended that you do not use the pin end blades.

Our team recommends buying a scroll saw that accepts different types of blades and features an automatic tension system. Tool free blade changes is another option that requires attention when shopping for one of these tools. 

Speed Control Options

Ideally, the scroll saw you are about to purchase should feature variable speed motors and a variable speed control system. 

Our team observed that slower speeds are fit for cutting softer woods, paper, or plastics ideal for simple and easy woodworking projects, while higher speeds are used for hardwood or metal.

Generally, a scroll saw that delivers a 16-inch variable speed is the best overall  choice for a home project. An 18 inch variable speed scroll saw just like Porter Cable 18 inch, is a better fit for commercial use. Porter Cable 18 variable speed scroll saw  is an automate saw that can be use for general purposes.

For your next home project using this power tool, you check the best wood for scroll saw review here. 

Hold Down Foot

The hold-down foot is an optional feature that alleviates the risk of a piece moving during the cutting operation.

Although not many models have it, it is worthwhile checking before making an acquisition. You can lower and adjust the hold down foot button so that it rests lightly on the workpiece. Be aware, that few experienced scroll sawyers use the hold down shoe and remove the hold down foot from their saw. 

For a scroll saw brand with hold-down foot, you can check our review of WEN 3920 scroll saw here

Bevel Capacity

In case you need to cut materials at a specific angle, check whether the table tilts. Almost every scroll saw bevel scale up to 45 degrees to the left; however, it is a good idea to check. 

Also, some models tilt in both directions while others can only bevel either to the right or the left. 

Dust Collection

The dust collection feature is very useful for keeping the work area clear of dust and debris. Some models have integrated dust blowers, while other feature dust ports where you can connect a dust vacuum. The choice is entirely yours.

Rocker Arm Type Scroll Saw

Some scroll saws have the rocker arms feature that gives the blades’ strokes an up and down motion. Many models have a single solid arm for handling the saw blade movements. However, this might prove too turbulent for precise cuts.

Smaller arms deliver less vibration, according to professionals. In the end, this is a matter of personal preferences. 

Safety Features

One of the most important safety features that scroll saws have is the hold-down clamp. Some manufacturers removed this feature as it seems to be in the way. However, our team recommends looking for a model that has this safety measure incorporated.

Another safety measure is the guard located around the lower blade clamp. It protects your fingers from getting caught between the bottom of the work table and the arm.

A good idea is to buy a scroll saw with stand as this will absorb the vibrations and will add stability to the tool.  

FAQ

What is the best scroll saw to buy?

The top scroll saw to buy is the Dewalt DW788. It has a sturdy build which delivers accuracy and convenience in cutting, perfect for both beginners and professional users.

How do I choose a scroll saw?

Choosing a scroll saw involves paying attention to features like the thickness of the cut, speed control, scroll saw blades changing, table tilt, or arm type. Safety measures and additional options, like dust collection, are also important. 

Is a scroll saw worth it?

A scroll saw is a worth it addition to your toolbox, especially in DIY projects related to home renovations. You need a good device with variable speed control, work light, dust blower, and other useful features. 

How thick can a scroll saw cut?

A scroll saw can cut wood up to ¾ inch thickness. For thicker pieces, a band saw is a better choice.  

Our Top Pick For A Scroll Saw: Dewalt DW788

Following the extensive tests and review, our team concluded that the best scroll saw for both beginners and professional users is the Dewalt DW788.

Due to the double parallel link arm design, the device delivers clean and precise cuts. Its sturdy body offers more stability, fewer vibrations, and low-level noise.

The saw blade is easy to change thanks to the tool-free design. Throat length is 20”, meaning that the Dewalt model delivers deeper cuts than a regular 16” scroll saw.

To know more about our top pick for a scroll saw, you can check our full review of the Dewalt DW7788 here. Read next! 

Robert