10 Best Scroll Saws
A scroll saw is a one of a woodworkers most important tools – at first glance, it may seem to perform many of the same functions as a common jigsaw, but the power of a scroll saw lies in its ability to make delicate and fine cuts that a typical jigsaw would make a mess of. Essentially, a scroll saw is a mix between a jigsaw and a table saw: there’s a platform that the saw blade is suspended between. This platform determines the maximum size of a piece of wood you can cut, while the blade itself determines what level of detail you can achieve. There are many blade types, from diamond encrusted blades for glass, to standard blades for wood. Unlike a band saw, the blade does not go in a full circle, the motion is up and down like a jigsaw.
While scroll saws were originally made for cutting (you guessed it) scroll work on crown moldings and the like, they’re a great all-purpose tool for woodworkers and you can get a lot out of them. Unlike a jigsaw, for example, you can easily tilt the platform of a scroll saw to achieve an angled cut.
In this article, we’ll review the 10 best scroll saws out there, including their most notable characteristics and technical specifications. Then, we’ll go over some possible uses for a scroll saw, although you’ll certainly find more once you get your hands on one. Finally, we will review some general safety guidelines and a buying guide of things you want to be aware of when purchasing a scroll saw. Let’s get right into it.
Table Of Contents
10 Best Scroll Saws Reviewed
The adaptability of this scroll saw is impressive. At 14.7 pounds, it’s quite light and can be easily carried around the workspace. It comes with five blades, for wood, tile, scrolling, metal and plastic, but can accept any 4-inch jigsaw blade which makes this scroll saw very versatile.
There’s a vacuum adapter if you want to add that feature, and a key is required to start the machine, so this is also one of the safer models out there. The miter gauge on this saw allows you to make up to sixty-degree angled cuts, in either direction.
- Runs on 27 Watts
- 7 pounds makes this saw one of the lightest
- Safety-key start up
- Accepts any 4-inch jigsaw blade
- Slightly over 1-square foot base means this can fit in most workspaces
While this may not be the heaviest duty or decked out scroll saw on the market, it’s light weight and can handle most jobs you throw at it. The versatility of both its blade well and cutting surface make it perfect for having around the house when you’re doing jobs like putting in new flooring or making a backsplash for the kitchen sink.
This scroll saw is a die-cast aluminum giving it super solid construction despite its relatively small size. There is an included dust blower and extraction port, and the whole table bevels to 45 degrees. The no load speed of the blade is 500-1700 strokes per minute, which means you’ll easily be able to slice through most woods you throw at these blades.
There’s on board storage for blades, so you can be sure you always have one on hand if you need a replacement. The whole machine has a two-year warranty that guarantees the reliability of this machine over time.
- 2 Amp motor
- 1 pounds
- 16-inch throat
- Comes with blade guard, Allen key, and blades
- 2 inch cutting depth at 90 degrees
This is a perfect choice for beginners who want a good bit of versatility and features, but don’t need the most powerful scroll saw out there.
This scroll saw is an excellent value purchase that is chock full of useful features at an everyday price. The saw can accept blades in two directions, which means that the dimensions of the saw won’t impede the size of wood (or other material) you can cut with it. The blade is also variable speed, so you can change it from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute depending on the material you’re cutting.
The machine can cut wood that’s up to 2-inches thick, and you can easily change out the blade without using any tools. The table itself is beveling, so you can work at an angle if the project calls for it. Finally, the work light that’s integrated into the machine is flexible, meaning you can place it exactly where it needs to be to get the perfect lighting conditions.
- 2 pounds
- Runs on 144 watts of power
- Allows rotation of blade up to 90 degrees
- Table itself can bevel up to 45 degrees
- Can change blades without a tool
If you’re just getting into wood working and you’re not sure which scroll saw is the best option, this is a great starter choice. Not only is it reasonably priced, but it has a ton of features that will be able to cover your needs even if you’re not sure what exactly your first projects are going to require. Seasoned woodworkers will find that this is a great workhorse that can handle all of their general needs.
This is an excellent choice in scroll saw for those who are interested in doing fine detail work. Although it may seem counterintuitive to get a heavier, more powerful scroll saw for fine work, it’s actually the perfect choice because the extra weight and power allows the saw to first reduce vibration, and second move through wood with ease, reducing friction.
The table bevels 45-degrees in either direction, so you can easily craft works of art that are quite complex. The arm design of this machine is also specially designed to reduce vibration, increasing the precision of your cuts, and critically—the arm can be raised to easily lower the blade into a starter hole for pieces that require inside cuts. Finally, the flexible dust blower ensures that you can see your workspace clearly as you make cuts.
- Engineered to reduce vibration, perfect for extremely accurate work
- 20-inch throat means it’s perfect for large pieces
- 56-pounds lends itself to stability
- Relies on a 1.3-amp motor
- Variable speed 400 – 1750 strokes per minute
For the seasoned woodworker or craftsman, this scroll saw will be absolutely perfect as it has the power and stability to make precision cuts. New commers to scroll saws will also find this machine intuitive and easy to use, as the extra weight helps lend stability to otherwise unwieldy pieces of wood.
This is perhaps the most precise, high quality, and powerful scroll saw we reviewed. Not only is it quiet for its size, its also quite compact, coming in at a mere 50-pounds. The high level of control afforded by this machine allows you to cut extremely precise cuts and may not even require sanding.
Hegner is widely regarded to be one of the top companies manufacturing scroll saws in the world, and the quality and experience they bring to the table is certainly present in this saw. The saw can accept an extremely fine grade pin blade that will thread through the smallest starter holes.
- 50 pounds
- Quicklock tensioning system for easy blade removal
- Dust extraction tube
- Reduced vibration
- Long lasting and durable – some users have had this model for 20 years
Manufactured in Germany, this is one of the finest scroll saws available today – and should last a craftsman many years of heavy use. If you’re looking to get a high-quality, top of the line product – look no further than this Hegner scroll saw.
This scroll saw is clearly made with seasoned craftsman in mind, because of its attention to detail when it comes to hitting the extra features that woodworkers will find important. While it has a standard 45-degree tilt table, easy blade changes and adequate power, it also brings all the bells and whistles to the table that you would expect.
The dust extraction port can be connected to a shop vac, there is a work light and dust extraction tube, and there’s even a protective cover around the blade mechanism to prevent accidents. Furthermore, the machine can handle both plain and pin blades, making it extremely versatile for craftsmen who already have a set of blades they would like to use and aren’t interested in replacing them. Finally, for the power and versatility, the whole device comes at a reasonable price. For true craftsmen, this one is definitely worth taking a look at.
- Runs on 1.2-amps, 1/8 horsepower
- 550 -1700 Strokes per minute
- 5 Pounds
- Gooseneck work light
- Blade stroke ¾ inch.
The great part about this scroll saw is how you can integrate it with the rest of your shop, for example by connecting the dust port to a shop vac. The cast iron table is also perfect for keeping everything stable as you work, and the two-year warranty guarantees its reliability.
When it comes to scroll saws, this is probably one of the best work horses out there. It’s weight and power make it perfect for tough jobs, and the dust extractor keeps the workspace as clean as the first day it was used. There’s also a dual parallel link arm, which helps reduce vibration and can prevent over cutting of the wood or other material.
Not everyone needs a scroll saw that is this high quality – but if you’re a serious woodworker it is well worth the investment. Sixty pounds of cast iron mean this machine isn’t going anywhere even when you cut the hardest wood pieces, and you can do so with precision. Finally, it has integrated storage so you can be sure that your tools are always on hand right where you need them – particularly fresh blades.
- Bevels left and right 45 degrees
- 3 Amp motor
- No load speed 400 -1750 strokes per minute
- 5 Year warranty
The 90-year reign of this company should speak for itself in the realm of woodworking and craft tools. This tool is an excellent choice for woodworkers who want to do fine work that requires precision and power.
This is the second Shop Fox scroll saw we are reviewing, because this company really knows what they’re doing when it comes to making excellent saws for woodworking. The special features of this saw make it really stand out against the competition. First of all, the table can give a negative tilt of 5 degrees, which is unusual. Second, this saw includes a foot pedal motor control which helps give the craftsman a level of control that is much higher – as there’s no need to take your hands off your piece in order to stop and start the motor. Finally, the blade well can accept both pin blades and standard router blades, and the ability to accept the variety of blades that are already sitting in the workroom is a great feature.
That being said, this scroll saw is not as powerful as some other choices we reviewed, so if you’re doing particularly heavy-duty work, you may want to look at some of the heavier options. For people who are new to woodworking and crafts, this machine will definitely have your bases covered.
- Runs on 0.6 Amps, 1/8 Horsepower
- Table tilts -5 to 45 degrees
- 26 pounds
- Foot pedal motor control
- Pinless blade adapter
This is an excellent starter machine for people who are just getting into woodworking, or just need a scroll saw to fill out their work room. It can handle most jobs and has some unique features that are hard to find in other scroll saws.
This is an extremely high-quality piece of equipment that is perfect for dedicated craftsmen. It comes with several blades, a stand, and a foot pedal, so you’ll have all your bases covered right out of the bat.
Many reviewers of this saw noted that it had an extremely low level of vibration that is uncommon in scroll saws. Its weight lends itself to being used for more heavy-duty jobs too. There’s a five-year warranty, so you should have no trouble if it ever starts giving you trouble, which judging form the quality, it won’t.
The saw has all of the most common features you would expect on a quality saw, including two direction bevel, flexible dust extraction, and quick blade replacement mechanism.
- 113 pounds
- Includes a stand, pedal, and blades.
- No load speed 400 – 1550 strokes per minute
- Flexible dust extraction tube
- Two-way bevel action
The quality and durability of this machine make is one of the most impressive scroll saws we found during our research. Although it may be a bit expensive for people who are new to woodworking, it will certainly last you for your whole journey from beginner to expert.
This scroll saw has a no-load speed of 400 – 1600 strokes per minute and can handle 5 inch and 5 ¼ inch pin blades. The whole device is made of cast aluminum, making it a bit lighter for its size. The stroke speed is electrically controlled with a dial, which makes for easy speed changes.
The blade mechanism has a protective cover that’s great for safety. The flexible dust extractor allows you to keep the entire work area free of dust that can begin to cause problems if it builds up.
The best feature of this scroll saw is its relatively quiet operation – meaning you can do your work late at night or early in the morning without waking up the whole family. It’s also great for people who have pets and don’t want to scare their animals.
- 2 Amp motor
- Blades switch out with an Allen key
- 2 pounds
- 16-inch throat
- Tilts 15 degrees to the right, 45 to the left.
This scroll saw is a great value purchase, and with its quiet operation you’ll be able to use it at all hours of the day. While it’s not the highest power option available, it certainly has enough horsepower to handle most common jobs.
What is a Scroll Saw for?
Scroll saws are absolutely excellent for woodworking. They are able to make very precise cuts and make 90 degree turns, or curves, that are very tight and that would be impossible with any a jigsaw or table saw. Scroll saws also produce very little dust and cut with a fine finish – meaning that you’ll rarely need to sand down your work, which is perfect when dealing with tight spaces.
The scroll saw is also very safe and so is perfect for using with kids – although safety precautions have to be followed, it is much less dangerous than other power tools. The level of control you have with a scroll saw means that anyone from kids to woodworking experts can work on projects, and they don’t require a lot of physical strength.
One of the most unique qualities of a scroll saw is its ability to do “pierce cuts.” These cuts are for when you need to carve out the interior of a piece of wood but don’t want to cut into it from the side – so a starter hole is drilled into the wood, and then the scroll saw is threaded through that hole. From this point, you can easily use the saw to do even very fine detail work.
You should always follow the general safety rules for handling power tools when using your scroll saw: wearing goggle and gloves, working in a safe and clear workspace, and keeping unsupervised children and pets away from your tools are all non-negotiable prerequisites to safe woodworking and crafting. There are some safety precautions you can take that are specific to using a scroll saw however, and we will review them now. Keep in mind, nothing replaces reading the safety instructions of your specific scroll saw thoroughly.
You should always make sure that your scroll saw is on a solid surface before turning it on – if the vibrations caused by its action a cause it to tumble off the table, there could be injuries. Scroll saws also produce dust, so wearing a mask, even if you have a dust extractor, is a good idea for your long-term health. A foot operated switch is actually a great safety feature as well – as it allows you to immediately turn off the saw if you need to, and you should be mindful of trying to cut pieces of wood that are too small to manage safely.
Finally, make sure that you use sharp, high quality blades. If you use dull blades, the saw is liable to slide or catch the wood you’re working with, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
Scroll saws are amazing tools that can really up your game when it comes to woodworking, but you should always take safety precautions when using power tools.
A Brief Buying Guide
When buying a scroll saw, you want to be aware of several key factors so that you get the saw that will work best for your needs.
Scroll saws come with many different features, but there’s a few main ones that you want to keep an eye out for because they are fairly standard: a dust extractor which can keep your workspace clean, a light, bevel action which allows you to cut at angles, and finally any special blade attachments (for example a rotating blade or the ability to use router blades.)
The price of your scroll saw is an important consideration. The more expensive options tend to be more durable and are able to handle harder woods for a longer period of time. That being said, you don’t necessarily want to spend a bunch of money on a saw that you won’t use very often. Just keep this in mind and be realistic about your needs. If you will use the saw every weekend, it’s probably worth paying a bit more for a high-quality machine.
Weight is also an important factor when choosing a scroll saw. Heavier saws can often lead to less vibration and a steadier cut, which helps with detail work that might be important for your project. That being said, you want a saw that you can manage easily, so don’t get one that’s heavier than you can pick up.
So, Why a Scroll Saw?
Whether you’re working with wood or another material, the scroll saw is absolutely essential for making irregular, non-geometric cuts. Sure, if you need to cut 2×4’s into smaller pieces, a regular table saw should do the trick. But if you’re more interested in making complex designs, interior cuts, and angled cuts – the scroll saw is definitely what you want to use. Many craftsmen are able to make stunning woodworking creations with just the use of a scroll saw, and if you’re getting into this craft, or do it professionally, a scroll saw is an absolutely essential tool to have in your workroom.