on the market, you’re going to want to look
for something that provides you with ease of use
and precision. In fact, scroll saws are all about
precision, so its important to find something that is
comfortable and offers you less vibration for the
most accuracy possible.
Scroll Saw Buying Guide
What is a Scroll Saw
Scroll saws are similar in appearance to band saws, but unlike band saws there are no continuous blades. They help you to make cuts on a variety of different materials, and this includes plastic, wood, copper, and brass. They also allow for peripheral cuts and external cuts. It’s also possible to use your scroll saw for intricate and detailed interior cuts.
You need to create an entry hole in your workpiece with a drill, then thread your scroll saw’s blade through the hole and begin cutting. These are relatively easy pieces of equipment to use, and they’re very popular with experienced woodworkers and beginners alike. Should you be considering purchasing a scroll saw, then you want to select something that meets your requirements and will help you to accomplish the kinds of projects that you work on.
Before we go into the features of scroll saws, you need to understand what it is that you’re looking for. Ask yourself certain questions such as, what sizes and types of materials you’re going to be working on, if you’ll be doing fretwork or other interior cuts, and how often you’re going to be using the saw. It’s also important to know how versatile you’ll want the saw to be. When you can answer these questions for yourself, then you’ll be narrowing down your search so that you can find something that really suits your needs.
Capacity, Speed, Blade and Drive
There are so many factors to consider when it comes time for you to find the right scroll saw for you. Power is of course important, but you also want to keep your eye out for features that are going to make operation simple and convenient as well. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional or a just a hobbyist, you’re going to want to find a scroll saw that is easy to use, first and foremost.
When it comes to any saw, it’s important to always work safely and read the instruction manual before use, so that you can make sure that you’re using the saw properly. For professionals, you’re most likely interested in ease of use, as this will increase your productivity and accuracy. Hobbyists are going to find that they enjoy their projects more and will be happy to undertake more challenging tasks when they have a scroll saw that is easy to use. You want to make sure that you purchase a unit that can tackle the sizes and materials that you intend to work on. Look out for features such as variable speed and tool-less blade change, as these are going to offer you versatility and will enhance your enjoyment of the whole process.
- Capacity: Scroll saws are going to be sized by their throat depth, and this is the distance between the blade and the rear frame. Usually the standard 16-18” size is great for most users, but larger capacities are available to accommodate bigger workpieces. Again, here it comes down to understanding what kinds of projects you’ll be working on so that you can be sure to get the right size for you. Measure the current project that you’re working on so you can see if the standard scroll saw is going to help you to accomplish the task.
- Speed: There are many different scroll saw speeds to choose from, and ideally you want to find something that has variable speed so that you can change it dependent upon what job you’re working on. Most scroll saws will offer you one or two speeds, but newer models will offer you multiple speeds so that you can choose within a pretty broad range. Different materials are going to require different speeds, and that’s why the more variety that you have the better. This kind of versatility enables you to control the speed so that you can work on fine work details at low speeds, or perform faster cutting at high speed.
- Blade-Related Features: You want to get a blade-tensioning system that’s up front and gives you fingertip control. At the end of the day, the more blades that you can use with the saw the better. There are tons of different blades out there that perform numerous different tasks, so if you’re someone that works on a variety of projects then you’re going to want your saw to be compatible with many different blades so that you can accomplish a wide variety of things. If you’re not sure what kind of blade you need for a specific project, then it’s a smart idea to go online and read what other professionals have to say about selecting a blade for a specific project.
- Drive Type: The two most common drive types are parallel arm and parallel link arm, and the majority are parallel arm. The advantage of the link system is reduced vibration, and this is great for reducing fatigue and improving accuracy. The one that you choose is largely going to come down to what kind of job you’re working on and which kind you find most comfortable in use. It may take a little bit of experimenting and that’s why it’s smart to pop into your local hardware store and try some different models so that you can find something that is just right for you.
As with any large piece of equipment, scroll saws are not cheap. You’re most likely making an investment in a tool that is going to last you for years, and will help you to accomplish a number of different tasks that you’re going to find very satisfying in your professional shop or even at home. You want to take great care to find the kind of scroll saw that is going to work for the specific jobs that you work on. Even though we all want to save money, owning a scroll saw is an investment and you should be willing to spend a bit more money than you otherwise would so that you can get a product that you can depend upon. It’s not a bad idea to go online and read more reviews, so that you can get a better understanding of how these tools operate, and which ones are designed for which kinds of tasks. There are a number of online forums that not only discuss the best scroll saws, but they also have instructional videos that show you how to use the saws properly so that you can get the most out of your purchase.
Consider the fact that scroll saws can come with tons of features, but just because they have a lot of features doesn’t mean that they’re the best. What you want more than anything else is ease of use, and this is the hallmark of a quality scroll saw. Even if it has less features at the end of the day, if it’s easier to use, then you’re going to get better results from the saw in general. That’s why it’s important to find a saw with low vibration and something that is comfortable on your hands. Also, variable speed settings are going to help you to accomplish a number of different kinds of jobs, all with one saw.
Owning a top rated scroll saw is a smart choice because it allows you to get the highest quality possible, allowing you to tackle even the most challenging tasks with ease. When you’re ready to own the best saw, then purchasing one of the top rated saws is a smart choice, because you can be guaranteed that you’re getting something that is going to stand the test of time and help you to accomplish a number of difficult tasks with more ease and enjoyment. The top rated saws are considered to be the best because of their versatility. They’re going to deliver you the results that you crave whether you’re a professional or someone that is just a hobbyist. In our buyer’s guide, we discussed the various features that you want to look out for when finding the right scroll saw for you.