The Best Scroll Saw Reviews in 2018 – Make the Most Detailed Cuts with Ease

If you’re at least a little bit experienced with woodwork, you must have used plenty of different saws for a variety of tasks. Still, there might be some things you struggle with despite the abundance of tools you have, and most people we know encounter lots of trouble with doing smaller, detailed woodwork. Plenty of saws are not made for such finesse and even trying to use them for such a task might completely mess-up what you’re working on, requiring you to start over from scratch.

Scroll saws are made specifically for addressing such problems, being machines that can perform such detailed tasks with ease, offering you plenty of control. However, that’s not their singular use, and they can still be applied to plenty of heavier work that other saws can perform. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that scroll saws can offer you and a couple of our scroll saw reviews.

Why Buying a Scroll Saw?

Scroll saws are an underappreciated saw type that doesn’t see much use, but it honestly should be more popular as it can do a lot for anyone that’s into woodworking, whether as a hobby or a job.

Of course, scroll saws are best used for smaller detail work that can’t be done by larger or less precise saws. They work by using an electric motor, or a pedal-powered mechanism, to move a blade positioned between the two ends of a C-shaped arm. There’s also a variant which uses two parallel arms with metal rods in them that get pushed by the motor and thus move the shorter arms which hold the blade.

This gives the blade unparalleled finesse, allowing it to easily make curved, delicate cuts that other saws can’t. It’s even more precise than something like a jigsaw, offering far more control and precision, akin to one you would get with a hand saw while cutting much smoother and easier than one.

Some might think to use a band saw for this instead, as the two are rather similar. What makes a scroll saw better for precise, small cuts like this is the fact that it can make interior cuts without the need for entry slots, something the band saw cannot do. More intricate, finer cuts are also possible with a scroll saw, and the blade can also be more easily replaced, shortening your work time.

Scroll saws allow for a great amount of creativity, they take up next to no space, are easy to use once you get the hang of it and require little maintenance. This makes them ideal for people who do woodwork as a hobby or a smaller job on the side. They are also safer than most power saws making them a good choice for beginners. Besides making small, delicate cuts, scroll saws can also be used for some more serious cutting, easily replacing some other saws you might own. In short, they are a great tool that can perform functions no other tools can while replacing some tools you might use on a regular basis. Getting a scroll saw is usually worth the price since it provides a lot of benefits.

Using Scroll Saw

Scroll Saws Make the Most Detailed Cuts with Ease

While we do tout the benefits of scroll saws a lot, they’re like any other product, and they can be bad and ineffectual – and most manufacturers will try to hide that. It’s not uncommon to find yourself unable to distinguish the good from the bad, but we’re willing and able to help you with that. During our testing, we went through a lot of disappointing products, but we managed to pick out the three we think are the best for the comparison stage. We’ll go over our reviews and opinions on them, as well as the opinions of other customers, to help you get a grasp of what makes a good scroll saw. So, let’s take a look at the best scroll saws we could get a hold of!

Meet the Best Scroll Saws

DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw

The Good: It’s a great scroll saw in almost every regard, powerful, comfortable, durable and adjustable.

The Bad: It lacks some of the standard extra features and those it does have work poorly.

The Bottom Line: You get a lot of bang for your buck with this saw, even though it’s rather expensive. It does lack some features you would expect, but it’s still worth the price.

Sale
WEN 3920 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Flexible LED Light

The Good: For the price, this is a decent scroll saw with some good power, speed and cutting capacity.

The Bad: The real sore spot here is the lacking extra features as well as the difficulty of use.

The Bottom Line: It’s not a top-end scroll saw, but it does well for something with a price this low. Still, the shoddy extra features are something to consider when purchasing.

Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact Scroll Saw Kit

The Good: It’s a cheap tool that can be used as either a scroll saw or a motorized coping saw.

The Bad: It can’t handle anything more than light-duty tasks and is difficult to use.

The Bottom Line: For lighter tasks that require a portable tool, this saw is great, but it’s just not able to do anything more than that, and it’s difficult to use. It’s a hard sell even at the low price.

This is just the short version – please continue reading to learn much more.

All of the Factors Considered

Scroll saws are used for a lot of detailed work and have plenty of moving parts and different features – some of which are integral to their operation while others are not. Even veterans can find it hard to determine what the essentials are when looking for a new scroll saw and newcomers can simply be overwhelmed with choice. It’s difficult to pick out the good from the bad which is why we decided to make this article. Here we will detail the most important aspects you should look at when purchasing a scroll saw.

Durability and Comfort

Scroll saws, even the smaller ones, can be rather expensive tools and you don’t want them to break down in a matter of months. More importantly, you don’t want them to malfunction and destroy a piece you’ve sunk hours and hours of work into. To that end, it’s important that you pick a durable and reliable tool that will not fail you when you need it the most.

The easy way to look at this is to search for a scroll saw made mostly of metal with little to no plastic parts, as metal parts are more durable on average. You should also look for a product produces in North America or Europe, as they are usually more reliable than Asian-made products. These are not ironclad rules, but this is true more often than not.

Since scroll saws are primarily made for detailed work that can easily be ruined, comfort is a large concern. First of all, there’s the issue of stability – if the saw isn’t stable enough it’s easy for the piece you’re working on to get destroyed. Vibrations can also spoil your work, and every motor will produce them to some degree – a good vibration dampener can be essential to your work staying intact. A motor that isn’t noisy is also an important factor as you don’t want such annoyances while working on something so fiddly.

Cutting Capacity

When looking at the cutting capacity of a scrolling saw, you’re more likely to encounter the measurement of “throat size.” This is the distance from the back side of the blade to the “throat” at the back of the machine. With a scroll saw you could cut a piece of wood that’s about double that length. Usually, you don’t need an incredibly large cutting capacity with a scroll saw, since you’ll usually be using it for smaller pieces, but it can still be useful.

Stroke length and depth are also things you should consider – the better and more adjustable this feature is, the larger the variety of work you can do with the saw.

Another thing to consider here is the size of the saw’s table that you’ll be using a working area. The larger it is, the larger the pieces you can cut with it and the better you can maneuver them.

Speed

The speed of a scroll saw is usually measured in strokes per minute, or SPM. It’s important to pick not only a saw that has a blade that runs at high speed, but also one that has a highly adjustable speed. Different materials and precise cuts require different speeds and if you have a saw that runs at only one or two different speeds that greatly limits the type of materials you can cut with it and the sort of cuts you can make. For most types of work, you won’t need speeds above 2000 SPM, so anything higher than that is probably an overkill.

Adjustability

Various things can be adjusted when it comes to a scroll saw – the depth of cut, the speed, the cutting direction, the cutting angle, and so on. When you’re doing smaller detail work, even the most minor of adjustments can make a world of difference, so it is important that the scroll saw you get is as adjustable as possible. Another important thing is that these adjustments are easy to perform on-the-fly and with no tools, as this will speed up your work significantly and make it more comfortable. Having easily replaceable blades is also an important aspect to consider as blades may break during work, or you might suddenly require a different blade for one specific cut.

Therefore, having an adjustable scroll saw is hugely important.

Extra Features

Scroll saws can come with a variety of additional features, some of which can be helpful while others are simply useless fluff.

Some of the most useful and standard extra features are, for example, an in-built light which can be used to light up your work area, allowing you to see tiny details better. Or a dust collector/vacuum, which will clean up all the debris, again letting you see the piece you’re working on properly. There are others, but you get the gist of it.

The best extra features are the ones that will visibly improve your working conditions and make your job easier and faster. Consider what you value the most and pick the machine with the extra features which will fit you the best.

Now that you’re aware of the most important aspects of a scroll saw let’s look at how the three products we picked performed:

In-Depth Reviews of 3 Scroll Saws

DEWALT DW788
Summary
This is a supremely powerful scroll saw that still does incredibly well with finer detail work, being easy and comfortable to use for beginners as well as pros. It’s also incredibly quiet and almost free of vibrations. However, some of its features don’t work well, and it takes quite a toll on your wallet.
Durability and Comfort 100
Cutting Capacity95
Speed100
Adjustability100
Extra Features80
What We Like
It’s easy to use with comfortable controls
It’s rather strong and can cut harder - thicker wood
Quiet and smooth with almost no vibrations
What We Don't Like
The dust blower doesn’t work well
It’s rather expensive
and the stand and work light need to be bought separately
It is quite heavy
95
Great

Key Features

Supremely Durable and Comfortable

Made mostly from iron and steel, this saw is extremely sturdy. It’s also quite comfortable due to a large work table and a design that reduces noise as well as vibration to a minimum. All the controls are also easy to reach.

Amazing Cutting Capacity

The length of cut varies from 3/4 inch to 2 inches deep; the throat size is 20 inches, making this an above-average scroll saw that can take on huge and thick pieces of wood if necessary.

Accurate and Fast Blade

The blade has a variable speed of 400 to 1750 SPM, making it able to take on almost any task. In addition to that, it can handle hard wood that’s up to 2 inches thick with ease, while still delivering supreme accuracy and finesse.

Great Adjustability

The table can bevel 45 degrees to either side, the speed is adjustable as well as the blade tension. The stroke length is also adjustable, and everything is within arm’s reach. The blades can be changed easily with no tools required. All of this greatly improves workflow and save you time.

Missing Extra Features

It doesn’t have quite a large host of extra features, as most are relegated to separately bought add-ons instead. The ones it does have, like the dust blower, aren’t exactly up to snuff.

Customer Reviews

This machine is quite the beast; it’s a real hard workhorse as far as scroll saws go. When I have to do some smaller cuts or don’t want to pull out my table saw, I use this instead. It’s solidly built and doesn’t get bogged down easily. I used it to cut both some hard maple wood as well as a bit of aluminum, and it showed no signs of damage. The only bad thing about it is the blower since it doesn’t work well unless pointed exactly at the blade.
I adore this saw; I bought it as an upgrade for a cheaper saw I had, and it made an incredible difference in how I do my projects. The noise it makes is minimal, there’s close to no vibration, and it’s supremely precise and maneuverable. I have not found anything I would complain about after a couple of months of use. It’s a quality product, and I’m glad I bought it.
I would happily give this machine more than five stars if I could. Scroll work is my hobby since I’m retired, and this is the third saw I got in forty years. It’s also the best one I had. I’ve had it for a bit over a month and have made approximately ten pieces as Christmas presents.

It’s an incredibly quiet and vibration-free saw, installing a new blade in it is easy, and it brings a lot of new joy to sawing. The arm can lift high enough for a larger project, and the variable speed is easy to adjust. I have been able to make far more delicate pieces without fearing that the vibration would tear them apart. The optional mounted light comes highly recommended from me since it shines exactly where you would want it while not hindering you at all.

Compared to other models this saw is more expensive, but it’s also far better. I anticipate that it will last for a long time and do a lot of great work for me.

Who Should Buy This Product

If you’re looking for an exceedingly powerful scroll saw that is almost professional-grade, while still being easy to use for beginners, this is what you should be getting. It’s also got a great cutting capacity that is almost unrivaled in similar products. It’s also relatively noiseless and vibration-free.

What to Watch Out For

It’s a quality product, yes, but it is also rather expensive, and it will be difficult to afford for some. It also doesn’t come with a stand or light – you have to buy those things separately. The extra features that are there don’t work well either, and that’s a real black mark on this product.

The Conclusion

This is quite a beast of a machine while still retaining the ability to do fine precision work that you would expect out of a scroll saw. It’s also easy to use and supremely comfortable and adjustable. The largest problem with it is the fact that it lacks most of the extra features you would expect and that those it has are of poor quality. It is also quite expensive, which might make you reconsider purchasing it, despite it being a great product.

WEN 3920
Summary
This is a great option for people looking to get a cheaper scroll saw as it is easy to set up and carry anywhere while offering decent specs for the size and price. The issue is that it has some design problems so it’s difficult to use and the extra features aren’t that useful.
Durability and Comfort 90
Cutting Capacity90
Speed95
Adjustability90
Extra Features75
What We Like
Affordable for anybody
Easy to set up anywhere
Lightweight and portable
What We Don't Like
Isn’t easy to use for beginners - blades aren’t easy to switch
The sawdust blower is not strong enough
The light casts a shadow on the work area no matter how you adjust it
88
Great

Key Features

Made to be Sturdy, but not Quite Comfortable

It has a durable cast iron base and a good-quality table. Most other pieces of it seem durable, despite some plastic and rubber in the construction – only the LED light seems flimsy. It’s not incredibly comfortable though, due to the significant vibrations.

Decent Cutting Capacity

It can cut up to two inches deep, while the throat depth is 16 inches. This is an about average cutting capacity for a saw like this. The table is 16 by 11 inches, also quite average, but good enough.

More than Fast Enough

The speed of this scroll saw ranges from 550 to 1600 SPM, making it more than fast enough to handle most materials. It’s not top-of-the-line, that’s for sure, but it still more than adequate.

Quite Adjustable

The table can bevel around 45 degrees to the left or right, while both the speed and the cut depth are adjustable. It can use both pinned and pinless blades, but changing them is difficult.

Poor Additional Features

For starters, the dust blower on this unit is close to useless as it doesn’t have enough power to blow the dust away. The light is also badly placed so it can’t shine where it needs to and moves a lot while the saw operates. The onboard blade storage is nice

Customer Reviews

This is an excellent tool for light hobby work at home. It doesn’t cost a lot and has the blower and light features, unlike some more expensive products I saw while being equally sturdy. It’s a great tool for my home shop, and I’m satisfied with its functionality, size, and quality.
This product was delivered to me in perfect condition. Setting it up only took a few minutes. I figured I would need to bolt it to something, like a table, to mitigate the vibration – luckily, that wasn’t the case. I simply put it on the table, made a few adjustments and started working on it. It’s smooth, has barely any vibration and is practically noiseless. It’s far better than I expected at this price point!
For this price, this is a more than decent product, and I’m pleased. It’s not user-friendly though, but most scroll saws aren’t. It has plenty of good features that are usually not expected from something this cheap. Some things about it need to be tweaked - the foot press, as well as the blower, are most in need of tweaking.

Who Should Buy This Product

If you’re on a budget but want a decent scroll saw, you should check this one out. It offers good specs for the price, especially when it comes to the cutting capacity and durability. It can also be used almost anywhere, so you don’t have to worry if you have a limited working space.

What to Watch Out For

There are more than a few issues with this saw, the worst of which is probably that it is difficult to use, some controls are hard to reach, and the blades are difficult to switch out. It’s not a good scroll saw for beginners, despite the price. The extra features like the sawdust blower and the in-built light also don’t work well.

The Conclusion

If you’re looking to get a decent scroll saw on the cheap, this one will probably give you the best bang for your buck, as it offers decent specs on almost all areas. However, it does have its issues; especially in how difficult it is to use, and how lacking its extra features are. Still, for the price, this is more than an acceptable deal.

Dremel MS20-01
Summary
This saw is a two-in-one deal, as it can be used as a scroll saw or as a motorized coping hand saw. It comes at a low price and offers decent, if below average specs. The biggest issue is that it’s slightly difficult to use and is a light duty tool at best.
Durability and Comfort 90
Cutting Capacity80
Speed85
Adjustability80
Extra Features90
What We Like
Able to be used as a motorized coping saw or scroll saw
Light and extremely portable
Relatively inexpensive
What We Don't Like
The blade floats so the guide is useless
Can only handle softer materials
Difficult to use without breaking the blade
85
Great

Key Features

Decently Durable and Comfortable

For a lightweight tool like this, with a lot of plastic parts, it is quite a durable thing unless you try to force it to do more than it’s designed for.

Small Cutting Capacity

It is a tiny tool, so the cutting capacity is not great. The stroke length is only 0.315 and not adjustable it seems. The throat size is only around 9 inches at best, if not less.

Variable Speed Blade

The blade runs at variable speed, but the top speed is rather low as the motor is quite weak, having only 0.6 amps. For a light duty tool, it’s enough, but it pales in comparison to other scroll saws.

Barely Adjustable

There are barely any options for adjusting this. The blades can be exchanged, but it is difficult to do. The speed is adjustable, but not by a lot. The arm cannot be moved and so on.

A Mixed Bag of Extra Features

The standout feature here is the fact that it can be converted into a motorized coping saw, which is incredibly useful. However, other features, like the blade guide (which is useless) or the dust port (also quite useless), are not that great.

Customer Reviews

I can’t even properly describe how handy this machine is. I originally wanted to purchase a smaller band saw, but I’m glad I chose this instead. It’s incredibly easy to unhook from my work bench, and I can use it on smaller projects. The speed of the motor is great, and not a single blade has snapped yet, not even when cutting through copper sheets. I highly recommend it to anyone.
This is a fine little saw. It’s not a heavy duty tool at all and the tension on the blade is not that great. However, it’s ideal for smaller, detailed work and some medium-sized work as well. Just be aware that you will have to cut straight lines by eye since the blade floats and moves, so the guide won’t help you. It’s not a professional-grade product, but it does the job adequately, and it’s sturdy enough. It gets four out of five stars from me.
It’s not as powerful as I hoped it would be but it is still a rather handy tool. It’s great for making interior cuts and doing detail work on a couple of smaller projects. Using it simple, you can mount it anywhere, and it seems like a durable tool, but that remains to be seen. Overall, it’s a decent scroll saw, and I’m satisfied with it.

Who Should Buy This Product

The best part about this tool is how versatile and portable it is, so if that’s something you’re looking for this saw is ideal for you. It can be used both as a scroll saw or a motorized hand saw, performing both functions adequately. It can also be carried and used anywhere.

What to Watch Out For

It is a light duty tool at best, not suitable for any tougher tasks that require more power or speed and the blade will most likely break if you try to force it. It might break anyway though, as it is difficult to use properly, especially when it is in the coping saw mode.

The Conclusion

What this tool offers that others don’t is incredible versatility and portability at a price point that is more than affordable – it’s a bargain. Still, if you’re looking for something that handles some tougher work as well and has some real power behind it – this isn’t it. It’s a lightweight tool, and you should not force it. That might turn off some, but it might also be exactly what you want.

The Best Pick – DEWALT DW788

Since scrolls saws can be used for a variety of different, detailed work and no two people will use them for the same thing, it is difficult to pick one out as the best. We even had trouble picking the initial three models during our testing process as we came across plenty of scroll saws that weren’t exactly directly comparable. Still, we managed to pick these three out as the products that stand above all others, so we can also pick a single one that is better than the rest. In this case, it’s the DEWALT DW788.

This scroll saw is just top-of-the-line in almost every regard, offering specs superior not to just the other scroll saws here, but to most other on the market. It does lack extra features, but they can be bought as add-ons. It’s expensive, and not everyone can afford it, but we believe it is more than worth the price, and for that, it is our best pick.

Video Review

The Conclusion

Our best pick is truly the scroll saw we consider as the top product on the market right now, in almost every regard. That doesn’t mean you should just take our word for it or that it will be the best product for you. We made this article to help you choose for yourself, not just to follow our, or anyone’s recommendations blindly. So, take stock of everything you have and everything you need and pick the scroll saw which fits you the best.

If we managed to help you with that we would appreciate it if you shared this article with other people in need of similar help, it would be of great help to us. Until next time, have a great day.

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