The Best Scroll Saw (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

Scroll Saw Review GuideWhen power saws were first invented, they were bulky and crude devices, able only to handle larger cuts. Over time, specialized band saws became a new refined tool that allowed woodworkers, metalworkers and other fabricators to use a continuous band of sharpened teeth to cut materials on a plane. Later refinements led to the invention of scroll saws, which feature blades that piston up and down to quickly slice through materials. Scroll saws were originally designed for crafting scrollworks, from whence came the name for this versatile power tool.

Today’s scroll saws are designed to offer the benefits of portability with the durability and precision of curved saw cutting motion to slice through different materials. Many beginning and experienced builders and home hobbyists use scroll saws to add creativity and artistic flourishes to their projects, greatly enhancing its aesthetic value. Some home builders and crafters use scroll saws to accurately cut dovetail joints and other angled cuts needed for woodworking and other projects.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Scroll Saws of 2016

What is a Scroll Saw?

The first scroll saws were based on popular models of band saws, which used a continuous loop of sharpened blades to cut through materials. Scroll saws use an up-and-down motion to rapidly piston sharpened saw blades through wood, metal and other materials. While scroll saws are used in industrial manufacturing, the scroll saw models covered in this article refer to portable power tools designed to quickly be attached to a worktable, sawhorse or bench.

Scroll saws are most commonly used to accurately and precisely cut curves and other flowing shapes into wood, metal and other materials. A scroll saw usually features a vertically-mounted saw blade system positioned over a work surface that can be swiveled and adjusted to make curved and edged cuts.

What are the different types of Scroll Saws?

Today’s scroll saws come in a variety of sizes, to allow for greater flexibility and portability when making accurate curved and edged cuts. Some scroll saws used advanced engineering on the control arm to reduce vibrations and to improve control and stability during the cut. The blades and other attachments on a scroll saw are designed to be replaced or swapped out using secure locking and release mechanisms.

Different scroll saw models offer different cutting speeds to help increase precision and accuracy during cuts. Smaller scroll saws are well-designed for occasional or hobbyist use while bigger and more powerful models are better suited for professional or heavy-duty building needs.

What are the advantages of owning a Scroll Saw?

Woodworkers, crafters, and builders know that no other power tool can easily and accurately make edged and curved cuts better than a top-quality scroll saw. Whether crafting intricate details into woodwork or fashioning dovetail joints, a good scroll saw can deliver power and precision.

Owning a scroll saw allows home restorers, builders, artisans and hobbyists to accurately and efficiently make a variety of curved and edged cuts. With razor sharp saw blades, a scroll saw can help carve out curves, shapes and templates in wood, metal and a wide variety of other materials.

Which models are the contenders for the Best Scroll Saw?

The Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact Scroll Saw – The MS20-01 Moto-Saw combines fantastic portability and mobility with highly accurate variable-speed control for making precise curved and edged cuts. With a secure fast-clamp base and advanced design, the MS20-01 Moto-Saw is perfect for making accurate curved and angled cuts into wood, metal and other materials. With a dust port adapter, hobbyists, builders and crafters can use the MS20-01 Moto-Saw with a clean line of sight and work space area.

The Delta Power Tools 40-694 20-inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw – The elegantly-designed Delta Power Tools 40-694 offers electronic variable speed that can go from 400 to 1,750 SPM (saw cuts per minute) to offer home crafters and hobbyists unparalleled flexibility in cutting applications. Engineered with a dual parallel link arm, the Delta Power Tools 40-694 delivers outstanding reduction of vibration and recoil to improve accuracy when making curved or edged cuts into wood and other materials. The advanced blade clamp is designed for easy blade replacement in just seconds to allow home crafters, builders and hobbyists to complete longer jobs and projects.

The DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw – This powerful scroll saw in the company’s signature bright yellow features an advanced parallel-link arm design to greatly reduce recoil and vibration, allowing home hobbyists, crafters and builders to make precision curved and edged cuts in wood and other materials. The advanced engineering of the arm allows the blade to pivot through the cut using a shorter movement for smoother and more efficient operation. No tools are necessary to quickly change out used blades as the arm is designed to lifted, and can be adjusted to make accurate inside cuts.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Scroll Saw for You

  • Speed Control – The faster the scroll saw can piston the blades, the more precision and accuracy can be achieved on curved and edged cuts.
  • Changing Blades and Accessories – Even the best saw blades eventually wear out and a good scroll saw will allow for quick and easy removal and installation of saw blades and other attachments.
  • Size of Cutting Surface – The larger the scroll saw, the larger surface of materials can be cut through with a single pass. Smaller models offer more portability and easier storage while bigger models feature greater stability and can handle larger cuts.
  • Arm Design & Additional Features – Many scroll saws used advanced engineering functions to dampen and reduce vibration and feedback during operation, greatly improving precision when making cuts. Other scroll saws use dust blowers and other features to prevent particles from entering into and damaging the motor. Many scroll saws can raise the saw blade to make inside cuts to materials.

Speed Control

Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact – The MS20-01 Moto-Saw comes equipped with a variable-speed control to adjust cutting speeds on the fly. At top speed, the MS20-01 Moto-Saw should be able to cleanly slice almost through any wood, metal or other common material.

Delta Power Tools 40-694 20-inch Variable Speed – The Delta Power Tools 40-694 uses an electronically-controlled variable speed adjuster to achieve between 400 to 1,750 SPM to give home hobbyists and builders greater precision and control when making curved and edged cuts.

DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed – The uses an electronically-controlled variable speed design to give home hobbyists and crafters exact precision when making curved and edged cuts in materials. The DEWALT DW788 uses its powerful 1.3 amp motor to provide between 400 and 1,750 SPM.

Changing Blades and Accessories

Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact – The MS20-01 Moto-Saw features an advanced engineered auto-tensioning mechanism to quickly remove and install blades or other attachments.

Delta Power Tools 40-694 20-inch Variable Speed – No tools are necessary to change the blade on the Delta Power Tools 40-694 as a one-touch clamp release allows for users to swap blades in seconds. The upper arm can be locked in the raised position to rapidly change blades or to adjust the blade angle for intricate fret work.

DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed – The DEWALT DW788 is engineered to easily lift up the arm and quickly replace used blades. With a one-touch release mechanism, no tools are necessarily to quickly swap out blades on the DEWALT DW788.

Size of Cutting Surface

Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact – The mobile MS20-01 Moto-Saw is designed to bring portable scroll saw capabilities to work sites and areas under renovation. The work surface of the MS20-01 Moto-Saw measures 4.8 inches across, allowing hobbyists and woodworkers to make intricate cuts on small to mid-sized pieces.

Delta Power Tools 40-694 20-inch Variable Speed – This scroll saw features a generous 20-inch cutting surface to allow home builders and crafters the ability to accurately make curved and edged cuts even on larger pieces of wood or other materials.

DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed – The rugged DEWALT DW788 comes with a big 20-inch cutting area to allow home hobbyists and builders the ability to work with oversized and larger pieces.

Arm Design & Additional Features

Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact – Dremel is a leading brand-name in the small tool accessory world, and the MS20-01 Moto-Saw uses a well-engineered design to make curved and edged cuts simpler and more precise.

Delta Power Tools 40-694 20-inch Variable Speed – This scroll saw comes with a durable parallel-link arm design that is engineered to significantly reduce vibration both over and under the material being cut to greatly enhance accuracy during precision and delicate work.

DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed – The advanced engineering of the DEWALT DW788 features an arm design that easily pivots from the back of the saw to the front, requiring a shorter path of travel and more efficient and smoother curved and edged cuts through wood, metal and other materials. The double parallel-link arm design effectively reduces recoil, allowing for more precise cuts.

Conclusion: Our Scroll Saw Reviews Are In

The Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact Scroll Saw – Best Low-Cost Scroll Saw

The Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact Scroll SawThis portable scroll saw model from Dremel offers the company’s legendary reliability and durability in a small, efficient saw. With a very secure clamp base and engineered cutting arm, the MS20-01 Moto-Saw is ready to make curved or edged cuts through almost any material.

With a dust port adapter to increase functionality and longevity, the MS20-01 Moto-Saw is an outstanding scroll saw for home crafting, building or hobbyist use.

Pros:

The Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw has a compact, modern design that will look good clamped onto any work bench or table. With variable speed control and detachable coping function, the MS20-01 Moto-Saw can be used to make precise angled and curved cuts through wood and other materials.

Whether used for hobbyist crafting projects or to maintain and repair the home, the MS20-01 Moto-Saw is a great scroll saw simple enough that even beginners can easily use it. The MS20-01 Moto-Saw is shipped with a convenient carrying case suitable for transporting or storing the scroll saw.

Cons:

Some users found the installation instructions to be initially confusing before they were successfully able to start using the saw.

Learn More

The Delta Power Tools 40-694 20-inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw – Best Scroll Saw for the Money

The Delta Power Tools 40-694 20-inch Variable Speed Scroll SawThis modern-looking scroll full-sized scroll saw from Delta Power Tools is designed to offer more flexibility and precision in making curved and edged cuts by using a well-engineered control arm mechanism and electronically controlled variable blade speeds.

With a quick and easy mechanism to swap out used blades and a rugged and durable design, the Delta Power Tools 40-694 can allow home hobbyists and builders to power through even longer and more demanding projects.

Pros:

The bright metallic silver and black trim on this scroll saw make it an elegant addition to any home garage or workshop. The speed is very simple to control, allowing users to make extremely precision cuts. The dual parallel arm design drastically reduces vibration so you get far more accurate and high-quality curved and edged cuts.

The saw can be assembled and installed for immediate use in 30 minutes or less.

Cons:

Some users have reported that the included dust blower is a little underpowered for such a heavy duty scroll saw.

Learn More

The DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw – Best Scroll Saw Overall

The DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll SawThe DEWALT DW788 is a top-quality scroll saw complete with an advanced arm design that greatly improves efficiency and accuracy while providing quieter operation. With a simple, no-tool design, used blades can be quickly and easily swapped out to allow home hobbyists and crafters to complete longer projects.

With variable speed control and an adjustable dust blower, the durable DEWALT is designed to offer years of reliable service. The bright DEWALT yellow and elegant curved 20-inch work surface make the DW788 an excellent addition to any home workshop, basement or garage. Designed to make precision cuts both inside and outside of wood and other durable materials, the DEWALT DW788 offers home hobbyists, builders and crafters an advanced scroll saw suitable for their curved and edged cutting needs.

Pros:

Made out of rugged and durable materials, the DEWALT DW788 is extremely solid and stable and can withstand years of hard use. Swapping out used blades is a cinch, and the dust blower does a great job of keeping both line of sight and the big 20-inch work surface clean while in operation. Adjusting the cutting speed (SPM) and blade tension is very simple via intuitive levers.

Cons:

Occasionally, the bolt holes which secure the scroll saw to the work surface can be slightly misaligned due to brief irregularities in the company’s manufacturing process.

Learn More

In Conclusion

Home builders, crafters and others needing a good scroll saw should carefully assess their needs before choosing one of the many advanced models available on the market today. Different scroll saws come in different sizes to provide more portability and mobility for smaller jobs or heavier duty cutting power for larger projects. A good scroll saw will use a well-engineered arm to make efficient and powerful curved and edged cuts through wood, metal and other materials.

While many scroll saws offer basic cutting and other woodworking abilities, the DW788 scroll saw offers top-quality engineering with a simple and intuitive design that will allow home hobbyists, builders and crafters to make highly precise curved and edged cuts.

With a pivoting arm design and one-touch blade changing mechanism, the DEWALT is designed to make short work out of any scroll saw job. Including a large 20-inch cutting area and rugged design, the DW788 offers the most scroll saw features and capabilities for home hobbyists, crafters and builders.