A scroll saw can have either a pedal-operated or electric design. It is used for cutting complex designs from wood, metal, and some other materials. The blades these saws use are very thin, allowing them to cut with more precision along a smaller line. This saw gets its name from the fact that it was originally used in scrollwork many years ago.

Uses of a Scroll Saw

Most woodworkers use scroll saws for cutting particularly difficult designs, joints and curves because of how accurate it is. They are also often used to cut dovetail joints. It is not uncommon for people to use a scroll saw for intarsia because of the intricate designs that this hobby tends to involve.

Types of Blades

There are numerous types of blades that you can use with a scroll saw, and it is important that you learn about some of them before getting started.

Tooth Blades

Tooth blades have a series of tiny metal teeth that are evenly spaced apart. Each tooth is the same size.

Wood Blades

With wood blades, the teeth tend to be larger with more space between each tooth. This is designed to keep sawdust out of the design that is being cut.

Skip-Tooth Blades

Skip-tooth blades have spaces between the teeth that helps to keep the blade from heating up too much. This makes it a great choice for those who are just starting off using a scroll saw.

Spiral Blades

A spiral blade is a traditional flat blade with a slight twist, allowing the teeth can cut from all sides. This is a good choice for when you need to cut as quickly and efficiently as possible while still maintaining a high degree of accuracy.

Crown Blades

Crown blades, also known as two-way blades, feature teeth that face up and down, which makes cutting possible on the up and down strokes. This is another excellent choice for when efficiency matters.

Diamond Blades

If you ever have to cut glass, a diamond blade will be necessary. These blades have special wires that are coated with diamond fragments.


A non-reverse blade has teeth that all point down, which can be useful in several situations.

When to Use a Scroll Saw

When you have to do cutting that demands a high degree of accuracy for your ideal scroll saw woodturning projects, a scroll saw is a good choice. It can also be helpful when cutting through hard materials like metal. It is, however, important that you select the right blade for the job (refer to the above section). If you have some sort of intricate design that you need to cut, this is a good option to consider.

What to Look for in a Scroll Saw

There are a few different factors that will be important to look at when you are buying a scroll saw, if you think you’re ready to buy a scroll saw, check here: https://www.sawinery.net/best-scroll-saw/

If not, please proceed and consider the next factors:

Pin-End vs. Flat Blades

When you are looking for a scroll saw, you will have to decide if you are going to use either pin-end or flat blades. A majority of these saws accept only one kind, so it is crucial that you keep this in mind.


The speed of your scroll saw will be something else to consider before making a final decision. Take a close look at the strokes-per-minute so you can choose the right saw to match your needs. Basic models have one speed that ranges from 400 to 800 SPM. There are also scroll saws with adjustable speed features, though they tend to be more expensive. These saws allow you to determine the exact speed you cut at, which can be very useful.

Throat Size

The throat size of a scroll saw is the length between the back part of the blade to the back of the saw itself. Scroll saws that have a larger throat allow you to work with bigger materials. If you plan to work a lot of large pieces, you will need to remember this.

 Table Tilt

Every scroll saw features a table tilt, which allows you to cut material at certain angles. Most saws have a right or left tilt, but you can find multi-directional ones. If you are looking for one of these saws in a store, you can use a construction square to determine if the tilt is adequate for your needs.

Hand vs. Foot

You also have to decide if you want a hand or foot-operated scroll saw. This will largely depend on how much experience you have with this tool. If you don’t have much experience, you’ll want to use your hands to adjust the speed. As you gain more experience, you’ll most likely find that a foot pedal is even better. You can use this pedal to turn the saw each time you want to use it.


There are many different types of add-ons that you can get for a scroll saw, including a dust blower. This will allow you to take care of the mess you create while doing your work without much effort. Because there are so many of these to choose from, it is important that you take your time looking for the right one to buy.

Work lights are also important accessories if you are going to be working with a scroll saw. If you don’t currently have adequate lighting in your work area, you’ll want to invest in some work lamps. This will minimize the chances of any potentially serious accidents.

Blade Mounting

Some scroll saws require a tool to mount the blades while others do not. While it might be a little bit less convenient to use a tool, the blades are generally more secure. If you buy a tooled scroll saw, you just have to use an Allen wrench to lock the blade into place. It is important that the blade is not mounted too tight or loose, as this can ruin your design or even cause injury.