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Best Scroll Saw Reviews 2020

what is the best scroll saw

Welcome to our guide and reviews that provide in-depth information and coverage on some of the best scroll saws available, all of which I’ve personally purchased and reviewed strictly for these reviews alone.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro at woodworking projects, a scroll saw is an essential power tool you should keep in your arsenal, along with a good band saw, jigsaw, and electric drill. Making intricate cuts and decorative profiles is something you’ll likely encounter as an artisan or hobbyist. And of course, you would like your cuts and creations to be masterful.

A scroll saw is an investment for the cutting craft and one that can take your woodwork up another level. Since it can be daunting to browse every catalog looking for the best scroll saw, we’ve rounded out our top picks to help you find which one is the best for you.

Top 6 Scroll Saws – Reviews & Buying Guide

1 – Delta Power Tools 40-694 20” Variable Speed Scroll Saw

We’re starting with a product that’s great for larger wood projects, the Delta Power Tools 40-694 Scroll Saw. Precise cuts are a breeze with this machine, thanks to its electronic variable speed that delivers 400-1,750 spm.

With a 20 inches throat, you can cut even the toughest wood. For cut depth, you get a bit more than the standard at 2 ⅙ inches. With a wide array of features, it’s no surprise that this high quality tool is indeed one of the best scroll saws.

The Delta Power Tools 40-694 variable speed scroll saw is equipped with a 1.3 amp motor, meaning you have way more than enough power for bigger wood cutouts. This option is available in most saws like the WEN 3920. If you’re a beginner, don’t be scared because this means you have diverse options and you can discover what cutting speed works for your wood projects. 

This scroll saw has a good cast iron base that’s spacious for your needs. We like that it bevels 0 to 45 degrees on either side, a function that not all scroll saws have. The base is also stable while the switch and other functions are accessible as well. This makes you get full control as you work on your cuts. 

PROS:

  • Large throat size at 20 inches
  • 45 degrees tilt on either side
  • Variable speed ranges between 400 -1750 SPM
  • Great for cutting large wood projects
  • Reduces vibration and noise
  • Easily accessible power switch and other functions

CONS:

  • Expensive product
  • Some users say it’s not very easy to assemble
  • Only supports pinless blade

Speaking of the workspace, the Delta 40-694 has an adjustable dust hose you can use to keep the area pretty much clear of dust. This allows you to have a clear view as you work without the mess around.

Finally, let’s talk about the saw blades. The Delta 40-694 scroll saw only accepts pinless blade type. Should you wish to use pinned blades, you need to purchase an adaptor for the blades. Then again, a pinless blade is better for intricate and precise cuts. For quick blade changes, this scroll saw has a tool less blade holder for easy tool-free blade changes without hassle. You can also lift and lock the upper arm in position to safely secure it.

The only negative point is the price tag that comes with this scroll saw. It’s very much on the expensive side of the spectrum. Nevertheless, the Delta 40-694 does make up with a five-year warranty, which means it’s a machine that will last you years of work. Since you don’t have to shop for a new one anytime soon, that proves that the Delta 40-694 is a worthy long-term investment.

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2 – DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw

If you’ve been in the woodworking scene for a while now, you’ve probably heard of the DEWALT DW788. The company is one of the top manufacturers of scroll saws and other power tools. As such, it’s only fitting that we include one of the highly-rated models in their scroll saw lineup, the DEWALT DW788 saw.

This quality machine is the whole package, ideally designed for both beginners and virtuoso woodworkers. It boasts quiet operation, providing you with less vibration so you can focus way more on the projects. The double parallel arm design plays a major part in this.

The DEWALT DW788 has a 1.3 amp motor, giving you plenty of power for tough work. The variable speed control of the blade is from 400-1 750 spm.

PROS:

  • Smooth, intricate, and accurate cuts
  • Variable speed scroll saw and variable depth of cut for more control
  • Significantly reduces vibration and noise
  • Table tilt for up to 45 degrees, left and right
  • Cast iron base
  • Quick and easy blade changes
  • Easy access to blade tensioning lever, power switch, and other features on the upper arm

CONS:

  • 90-degree cuts may be difficult
  • Expensive

You’ll also like how sturdy this variable speed scroll saw is. It has a large cast-iron base that provides solid support so you can work on your cuts with accuracy and ease. 

While the DW788 is a competitive model, we’ve found a few faults with this tool. First, the blade it only allows are pinless blades, so beginners might have a bit of a learning curve. However, the tool-free blade clamp makes up for this lapse because tool-free blade changes let you swap blades in seconds. 

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3 – Rockwell Shopseries RK7315 16” Scroll Saw with Variable Speed Control

Don’t want anything too fancy? The Rockwell Shopseries RK7315 is a great option if you’re looking for something with basic features but does a quality job. This scroll saw is budget-friendly and good for the money, however that doesn’t mean it doesn’t live up to standards. In fact, it comes with a two-year warranty which is basically a sign of product durability.

Armed with a 1.2 amp motor, this scroll saw definitely packs in some power at a low price. Variable speed runs from 500 to 1700 spm, allowing you to work with different materials with accuracy and control.

That’s more than enough for most project work, making the Shopseries RK7315 with variable speed control is a great way to allow beginners to improve with the things they’re making before they shop for an expensive scroll saw.

PROS:

  • Affordable price
  • Clean cuts
  • Variable speed control feature
  • 2.5-inch depth of cut
  • High-powered motor handles most DIY projects
  • Features a built-in dust blower

CONS:

  • Prone to vibration and noise
  • Tilts only to the left
  • Insert that surrounds blade is too low
  • Blade changes are a bit difficult
  • Only pinless blade accepted

The base is a die-cast aluminum base that bevels from 0 to 45 degrees, but only to the left. The inability to tilt on both sides may be a downer for some, but it’s not necessarily a dealbreaker for many users. The aluminum material does the job of making the scroll saw stable, even if it doesn’t have a price as steep as cast iron bases. So, you still get clean cuts.

To make your workspace clean and at best, the RK7315 has a built-in blower for the dust dilemma. Use it to remove dust and debris so you can see everything on the table. A messy workplace can frustrate you or compromise your cutout. Fortunately, most scroll saws including the RK3715 have a dust collection feature to keep the surface around clean.

This scroll saw accepts pinned blades only. But if you also want to use pinless blades, you can purchase an adapter which is sold separately.

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4 – Shop Fox W1713 16” Scroll Saw

Another affordable scroll saw on our list! Design-wise, it doesn’t have that dominating and attention-grabbing appearance. When you take your first look at the machine, you’ll notice it doesn’t have bold paint or anything in the design that makes your eyes divert to it.

But don’t let appearances fool you. This Shop Fox W1713 model is actually one of the most reliable scroll saws in the budget-friendly department because of its features. 

Using this quality Shop Fox saw allows you to cut curves, joints, and a wide array of details with ease. The throat is 16″ deep like the WEN 3920. The cast iron table delivers stability and durability to provide you the solid support you need when working on cuts. You can tilt the table 45 degrees to the left. It may not be the most powerful scroll saw with a 1.2-amp motor, but that’s still enough for you to accomplish most DIY projects. It comes with a dust port, dust blower, and work light.

PROS:

  • Great for beginners and great value for money
  • Variable speed at 550-1700 spm
  • Allow pinned and pinless blade
  • Comes with work light, light dust blower, and dust port
  • Easy and simple blade changes
  • Affordable price
  • Throat depth is 16 inches

CON:

  • Machine vibrates at higher speeds but operates quietly in lower speeds

This is a variable speed scroll saw that gives 550-1700 spm and a standard 2-inch depth of cut. It has a throat depth of 16 inches. 

When it comes to blade compatibility, this Shop Fox scroll saw accepts both pinned and pinless blades. This blade compatibility further opens up possibilities for you. It also features a clear-view guard that helps protect your fingers from the cutting blade. 

The Shop Fox saw, like many models, also comes with a bunch of accessories including a gooseneck LED light (like the WEN 3920) & lamp, dust blower, and dust port. As such, you can guide your focus more on your cut out and not on the mess. 

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5 – Porter Cable 18” Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Stand

One thing that’s great about this scroll saw is it has an included stand to keep the machine sturdy. Aside from reducing vibrations, having a stand allows for an elevated work surface so you can comfortably work on your wood project. Not all saws have a stand, so the stand is a good bonus.

The table size gives you more room so you’re not settling with a small area. The die-cast aluminum table tilts at 45 degrees to the left and 15 degrees to the right. With an 18″ throat depth, you can ensure that it’s enough.

We wonder why the company didn’t make it 45 degrees on both sides like other models you can buy, but it works well with beveled cuts. The tabletop features a bevel scale, which is a handy feature that does ensure accurate readings all the time.

PROS:

  • Reliable and power-filled motor
  • Table tilts at 45 degrees left and 15 degrees right
  • Included stand
  • Cast iron base plus aluminum frame provide stability
  • Variable speed
  • Allow less vibration
  • Adjustable work light and dust blower
  • Quick and easy blade changes

CONS:

  • Only 1500 spm max
  • Some users report blade slippage

The Porter Cable Scroll Saw also has an adjustable speed at a range of 500-1500 spm. We find that woodworking is made easy and simple on the Porter Cable Scroll Saw. The adjustable work light illuminates the work area for a clearer view. You don’t have to strain your eyes, especially since you’re working on cuts and details with a scroll saw for hours at a time.

There’s also an adjustable sawdust blower you can use to keep the cutting path clear.

Blade changes on the Porter Cable Scroll Saw are quick and easy. For one, you don’t need any tools and it’s good that you can do it in seconds. For compatibility, this scroll saw works best with pinned and pinless blades. 

Overall, the Porter Cable Scroll Saw is a great machine. With a three-year warranty, you can expect durability in the years to come with this best saw.

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6 – Jet 727200K Scroll Saw with Stand

Jet products may not be ringing a bell at this time, but they certainly boast some of the best scroll saws used by many virtuosos. 

First things first. Know that this saw has features that are more for the pros rather than beginners. It’s a machine with a premium price — more for serious woodworkers.

One thing that makes this scroll saw the best is it can easily tackle the detailed design work and cuts involved in intarsia. If you’re an intarsia enthusiast, this is the best saw you’re looking for to ensure accuracy.

We love that this is a quiet saw even at high speeds. Variable speed range on this machine ranges between 400 to 1600 strokes per minute. The only downer is the price.

PROS:

  • Excellent performance
  • Quiet and resistant to vibration
  • Super easy to change blades with the tool-free blade holder (lower)
  • Tilting arm for accurate cuts
  • Adjustable stand
  • Variable speed

CON:

  • Expensive price

Instead of a tilting table, the Jet 727200K features a tilting arm design. It’s an innovative design that easily allows for more accurate cutting. The arm tilts 45 degrees to the right and 40 degrees to the left, making your work table flat. The arm is also easy to use, and it’s one of the design features that set this scroll saw apart.

We like that it’s easy to change blades with the Jet 727200K. There’s an upper arm mechanism that simultaneously clamps and tensions the blade. Consequently, the tool free lower blade holder can be removed for tool-free blade changes. The table also features a slot for the blade.

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Our Top Pick: DEWALT D788 Scroll Saw

While it may seem like the Jet model would take the cake out of all the best scroll saws, it’s a tad too expensive for most woodworkers at a thousand bucks. That price may not be a good fit for many. That’s why we place our final winning verdict to the mid-range DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw. It provides significantly less vibration and noise for that smooth operation we expect from a quality machine designed for top performance. It has a powerful 1.3 amp motor, a spacious 20-inch throat depth, and versatile speeds at 400-1750 spm. It’s also convenient that this saw has a tilting table that tilts at 45 degrees in either direction, making it easy to make angular cuts. With tons of features and capabilities, it deserves all its high ratings. It’s right to call it the best saw on our list because it’s perfect for artisans of all skill levels.

How to Choose the Best Scroll Saw

Looking for and buying a scroll saw is no mean feat. They’re tools that are not particularly cheap, so you want to choose the best one that fits your needs. Here are some important things you should know and consider when looking at products:

Speed

Having an adjustable speed is important as it gives you better control when using the saw and cutting different materials. For example, softer woods work better when the cut speed used is slow. On hardwoods like maple, a faster cut speed must be used. Depending on your needs, it’s generally preferable if you choose a scroll saw with a wide range.

Blade Type

The blade you use is also important when choosing the best scroll saws. Scroll saw blades feature two types: pin-end and pinless. Pinless blades are held by two small clamps, while pin-end blades have a pin on top and bottom resting in a holder. Generally, blade changes with pin-end blades are simpler, but these blades are not great for intricate cutting. Pinless blades are great for more precise cutting as they are thinner. Some saws support pin-end blades only, while others easily support both pin-end blades and pinless blades.

Changing the blade is also a much important task. For simple and easy blade changes, choose a scroll saw with tool free blade changes. If you need help with changing the blade, easily refer to the user’s manual.

Tilt

Keep in mind that not all tables are designed the same way with the same tilting mechanism.  Some have tilting tables while others have a tilting arm. For good measure, it’s ideal to choose a scroll saw with a tilting table that can be angled 45 degrees in either direction.

Inclusions

When looking at the best products, consider what accessories or features you need or want in the tool. Extras like a work light, dust port, and a stand are common. An air pump like in the WEN 3920 is common too.

Conclusion

A scroll saw is best used for many things. You can make stuff like lettered signs, name plaques, marquetry, intarsia, wooden toys, candle holders, jewelry boxes, and so much more. There are practically limitless cutting options and elaborate crafts you can make with this tool! The only important thing is, that you pick the right one that will make even your own little woodworking shop closer to a professional setup.

I hope my list will help you to settle on which top scroll saw model will be the perfect tool for all of your home projects and work requirements. I’ll make sure to keep this list updated for new and promising scroll saws (e.g. Dremel MS20-01 and Wen 3920 scroll saw) that will make woodworking much easier for you.

Robert

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