Best Scroll Saws – Top Picks & Reviews

Are you Looking for the best scroll saw available today in the market which can be used to cut metal, wood or other materials? Don’t worry! We’ve got the best ones for you.

Throat Size is the most Important factor in Scroll Saw

person using a scroll saw

If you’re planning in cutting any sort of intricate joint or design, you should consider purchasing a scroll saw. While these saws aren’t necessary for all projects, they are extremely useful when small, detailed designs are necessary. The saw blade on these tools is extremely tiny, which allows you to cut small details efficiently.

Finding a perfect scroll saw is not an easy task as there are so many different models available from numerous brands. Not all of them are made the same, however. Some scroll saws allow you to cut absolutely stunning details and joints, while others hardly seem to want to cut anything at all.

We’ve read 100’s of scroll saw reviews, tried some models which turned out to be worse and some are amazing which we have listed in below. Trust us! Choose wisely

Comparison Table – Our Favorite Picks

Model
Price
Throat Depth
Ratings
DEWALT DW788


(Top Pick)


Check Price


20″


4.9/5
Fox W1713




Check Price


16″


4.7/5
WEN 3920


(Best Value for Money)


Check Price


16″


4.5/5
Delta Power Tools 40-694




Check Price


20″


4.2/5
PORTER-CABLE 18




Check Price


18″


4.0/5

Best Scroll Saw Reviews – 2019

To help you make the best decision, we put together this list of our top 5 picks. We carefully tested and reviewed each product to bring you honest information so you can spend your money on the best tool.


1. DEWALT DW788 – Best Overall

Dewalt makes good tools, and their scroll saw is no different. Like most Dewalt tools, this saw is well designed and built to stand up to years of us. All the features it includes make it the best Scroll Saw for beginners, home DIYers, and professionals. When in doubt, this is the scroll saw to get.

We particularly loved this saw’s double parallel-linked arm. This feature helps cut down on vibrations and makes it very easy to cut intricate designs. All saws are going to vibrate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the vibrations have to interfere with your work.

The flexible dust blower was also a nice addition and really helped us keep our workspace clean while we were working. Without all the dust getting in the way, it was easier to see what we were cutting, especially on the small details. However, depending on your workspace set up, you may or may not find this feature particularly useful.

Despite this saw’s high-quality feel, it is also decently light and compact. It only weighs 56 pounds, which is far lighter than most scroll saws. This tool only requires one person to move it around, while many others require a whole team. You will find this feature particularly useful if you’re a professional who needs your tools to travel with you or a home DIYer without a set workspace.

The only large complaint we really had about this saw was that the blades that come with it are very low quality. But it isn’t terribly difficult to purchase higher quality blades to use instead. However, it does mean you will have to spend more money on top of this saw’s already steep price.

Pros

  • Double Parallel linking arm design
  • Flexible dust blower
  • Variable speed control
  • Smooth movements & Durable

Cons

  • Pricey

2. Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw

We were really impressed by the Shop Fox, though it didn’t perform quite as good as the Dewalt. This saw comes with a gooseneck light that is actually very good. If you’re doing your work in a basement or garage without adequate lighting, the light can help you see your work and prevent you from making a mistake.

It also has a fixed dust blower that prevents dust from building up in your work area. But we didn’t like it quite as much as the one on the Dewalt saw.

This Scroll Saw does not come with a parallel link arm, which means that we felt the vibrations a lot more with this saw. It was not nearly as easy to make small details with as the Dewalt one, which is why it is in second place.

One of the best features on the Shop Fox W1713 is the variable tilt table. The table itself can tilt up to 45 degrees, providing you with a wide variety of angles to cut from. We liked it significantly better than many of the other saws with tilt tables we tested. It was easy to use and was surprisingly accurate.

There were a couple of things we didn’t like about this saw though. It requires a tool to change the blades and does not have an adjustable blower. The blade changing was particularly challenging and frustrating. When coupled with the lack of a parallel link arm, this was one of the major reasons this machine did not come in first place.

Pros

  • Light
  • Variable Tile Table
  • Fixed Dust Blower

Cons

  • No Parallel Link Arm
  • Frustrating to Change the blade

3. WEN 3920 – Best Scroll Saw for the Money

If you’re looking for a less expensive but still gives you bang for the buck, this scroll saw is a great option. It offers many of the features that expensive saws do but costs only half as much.

We particularly loved how large the cutting platform was, especially with this saw’s low price. The hold-down clamp was also particularly useful when working on the particularly small cuts. This feature was particularly useful when we were working with longer and flimsier projects that wanted to slide around.

We particularly liked that this saw came equipped with a flexible light and adjustable air blower. These two features combined helped us see our project clearly and avoid making mistakes. It is difficult to find a saw with both of these features, so we were really impressed that this inexpensive machine came with both.

With two blade cutting positions, this machine also allowed us to cut from the standard back-and-front position or a pinned position, which allows you to cut the width of the table instead of the front and back. We found this feature very useful when completing certain products, especially when difficult and complicated cuts were involved.

However, this saw was not perfect. It is not built as sturdy as many other models and is known to wear down a lot faster. It comes with many great features but just isn’t made to withstand the test of time.

We also found this saw difficult to use for complex projects. It can easily cut out simple designs, even if you’re a beginner. However, the design of the blade clamp is extremely poor and makes doing accurate inside cuts nearly impossible. The process to make inside cuts is long, tedious, and only really possible for those with very good fine motor skills.

While this machine doesn’t have a huge number of poor features, this one was so bad that we had to put it in the third spot. It’s a great inexpensive saw, but if you’re planning on making inside cuts at all, we would highly suggest that you pick something else.

Pros

  • Two different blade positions
  • Flexible light and adjustable air hose
  • Large cutting platform
  • Best Bank for the Buck

Cons

  • Not very durable
  • Nearly impossible to switch blades

4. Delta Power Tools 40-694 – Scroll Saw

This scroll saw performed decently well in our tests and comes with a number of features we really liked. It has an electric variable speed that can be set from 1750 to 400 SPM. This feature makes this saw very versatile and adjustable. It made it very easy for us to perform multiple projects and cut different types of wood.

We particularly loved this saw’s blade change mechanic. It is extremely easy and requires absolutely no tools. It only takes a few seconds to change the blade, which is way faster than a lot of the other tools we tested. We also found the onboard storage very convenient. It can hold up to two blades within easy reach. The adjustable hose was also a nice touch and helped us keep our shop area clean.

It also comes with a dual parallel-linking arm, which cut down a lot on the vibrations and allowed for more accurate cuts. This is a feature that we particularly loved, and it almost made up completely fall in love with this saw – almost.

While there were quite a few things that are good about this saw, there are also quite a few things that were bad. This machine is not durable at all. The knobs tend to break off with the slightest touch, and the variable speed dial had a tendency not to work. Because variable speed is very important in order to work on different projects, this really made the saw difficult to use in some circumstances.

When the saw does break, it is also very difficult to get it fixed. Many repair shops will not work on this machine, and the company itself is often not available for repairs.

Pros

  • Little vibration
  • Easy blade change mechanism

Cons

  • Plastic Parts
  • Little Weight

5. PORTER-CABLE PCB375SS 18″ – Variable Speed Scroll Saw

We really wanted to love this saw. It is a decent choice for those new to woodworking. It is less expensive than many other options but still comes with a lot of nice features.

The dual tilting table allows you to 15-degree bevel cuts to the right and 45 degrees to the left. This allows you to make a huge number of accurate cuts very easily.

The cutting table is quite large and can hold very big projects. However, the platform itself is unstable and is not crafted very well, which basically overrides the largeness of the cutting table.

It is also made of aluminum, which is not the best choice. This makes the saw less durable overall and also makes it feel cheaper than other models. Because the price tag is not very low, we were disappointed at the lower quality material.

It also isn’t as powerful or accurate as other options. The die-cast aluminum frame really makes it difficult to take advantage of the positive features of this machine. If you’re a serious woodworker, we recommend choosing a product that is higher on the list.

Pros

  • Large cutting table
  • Dual-tilting table

Cons

  • Aluminum frame
  • No Power & Stability
  • Expensive against Features

Buying Guide

Not all scroll saws are made the same. There are quite a few things you should keep in mind when purchasing one. The best scroll saw for you is going to depend on your situation and needs.


Table Size

Table size is one of the most important considerations when you’re selecting a saw. Larger cutting tables are going to be able to handle larger projects, but they can also take up quite a bit of room. If you regularly work on bigger projects, a big cutting table is a must. However, if you don’t, you could probably get away with a smaller one.

Stability

The stability of the cutting table is also a big factor. You don’t want the table vibrating heavily or knocking over while you’re working

Scroll Saw Arm

The arm of the saw can also differ immensely from model to model. Preferably, you want a saw arm that is going to cut down on vibrations and produce accurate cuts. A double parallel-link arm is usually going to be the best choice. This arm design can greatly cut back on vibrations and is better at holding your projects while you’re cutting.

Adjustability

The adjustability of the arm can also be important, but less so than the overall design. This feature determines the thickness of wood you can cut. It is usually best to figure out what sorts of projects you’re going to be doing with the saw and then choose one that can handle it.

Throat Size

The throat size also has an effect on what size projects you can do. The throat size is the distance between the front of the blade and the back. Generally, you can cut double your saw’s throat size. If you’re working on longer projects, you’re going to need a longer throat size.

Blades

Most saws come with blades. Sometimes these blades are awesome, and other times they’re very low quality. There are also many different kinds of blades that are designed to cut different types of wood. If the saw comes with a sub-par blade or doesn’t have the sort of blade you need, you will have to spend extra money to purchase a suitable blade.

designs made by scroll saw

Variable Speed Control

It is also important that whatever saw you choose has a variety of variable speed options. Being able to slow you saw down could mean the difference between your best project yet and sloppy cuts.

Power

You should also look at how powerful a saw is. A saw without much power isn’t going to do you very good. Of course, more power almost always comes with a higher price tag, so don’t feel the need to buy more power than you could absolutely ever need.

LED Lights

There are also a couple of other minor add-on features you should think about. LED lights are common on some models. Some lights can be moved around while others are stationary. This feature can be useful if you work in a dimly lit area.

Air Hose

Many models also include an air hose that helps keep your work area clean from dust as you work. We find this minimally helpful, but if dust tends to get in your way, you might find it worth investing in a saw with a hose.

Frequently Asked Questions


What type of wood is best for a scroll saw?

This really depends on the specific project you’re doing! A scroll saw should be able to handle most woods you throw at it. We recommend choosing a wood that best fits what project you’re doing, instead of trying to choose the best wood for your scroll saw.

With that said, the woods that give the least resistance with a scroll saw are softwoods like white pine or poplar. These woods might be the best option for beginner because they are very easy to cut through.

Which way do teeth go on a scroll saw?

The teeth should go to the front of the saw and point down. A blade that is turned in the wrong direction will not cut wood. Instead, it will just pick the wood off the table and slam it back down. You should always check that the blade is going in the correct direction, especially when you are just starting out.

What material can a scroll saw cut?

Scroll saws are typically only able to cut through softer materials, such as wood, rubber, bone, and leather. The softer material, the less resistance the saw will meat while cutting, which makes the material easier to work with. We typically recommend the softest material possible for beginners, especially if you’re just doing a couple practice problems to get started.

With that said, there are some scroll saw blades that are designed to cut through tougher  materials, such as aluminum. Still, these materials are very difficult to work with due to their toughness and are not recommended for beginners.

How thick can a scroll saw cut?

A scroll saw can typically cut through wood up to ¾ of an inch thick. Because these saws are typically only designed for intricate, detailed work, they are not capable of performing huge cutting jobs. These saws should only be used when cutting very small details.

Are scroll saws dangerous?

Just like with any tool, these machines can be dangerous if used improperly. Contact with the blade of a saw can cause harm to your finger and hands. You should always use extreme care when using any sort of sharp machinery. Contact can also happen with the blade under the table, so you should be carefully in this area as well.  

To keep yourself safe, it is important to wear proper gear when using scroll saw, including eye protection, especially if you’re working with metal. You should also keep your work area clean and regularly take breaks to avoid fatigue, which can increase the risk of injury. You should always follow the manufacturer’s directions and safety information.


Conclusion

While not everyone needs a scroll saw, they can be extremely useful for woodworkers and those who need to create intricate details. These accurate saws can mean the difference between a near-perfect project and one that is sloppy.

For the best overall saw, we recommend the Dewalt DW788. This saw is accurate, produces few vibrations, and has one of the most well-designed arms out there. Plus, it isn’t nearly as loud as some other options.

We’re also happy to inform you that we also have a pole saw buying guide. Feel free to check them out!