Are you looking for the best scroll saw?
Scroll saws are a great addition to any woodworking workshop as there is so much stuff which you can do with these. I like that they are quiet, don’t create a lot of dust and they are fun to use.
They have really small blades so they let you get into much smaller spots than you could get with something like a band saw.
They are quite safe to use and they’re a great way to get your kid, for example, initiated into woodworking. One of the best things I like about scroll saws is how tightly you can spin through cuts.
What is a scroll saw?
What a scroll saw actually is? Well, to put it simple, just like the dictionary says: a scroll saw is a narrow-bladed saw that allows you to cut decorative spiral lines or patterns. Considering the tip of the blade is small, a scroll saw will help you when you are working with extremely intricate designs.
Things to consider before buying
It’s pretty difficult to make an informed decision as to which scroll saw you want if you don’t understand what you’re looking at. Therefore, I’ll try to simplify the things for you. These are the main things you should be looking at before buying a scroll saw:
You need a scroll saw with variable speeds. Being able to control the speed of your blade gives you a better control over your cuts. You can even change the angle of the table, giving you more flexibility in terms of the cutting shape. That’s really important in work like marquetry, for example.
It refers to the distance from the back of the blade to the very back of the throat of the saw. 16-inch saw is pretty much the entry-level point and most popular, 20 is mid-range and can go all the way to 30.
The Type of Blades
Pin-end or pin-less?
The pin-end blades are much thicker. They are fine, but a pin-less blade will allow for much more options when it comes to cutting.
Does it give you enough room to work your piece? Bear in mind that you need to be able to comfortably spin your piece freely. You should have plenty of room to work on.
Are you going to be scrolling while standing or sitting?
Everyone is different but I like to sit and feel as comfortable as possible. And that’s because sometimes I get so caught up in the process that I just can’t stop scrolling for many consecutive hours.
On a stand or not?
The next thing you want to think about is whether you want to have your saw on a stand or not. I would highly recommend it, simply because having it on a bench, regardless of how good you secure it, the machine is going to vibrate and move. So first thing first, make sure your scroll saw is rock solid on a stand and not be able to, in any shape or form, vibrate off that stand.
The next thing I want to address is the hole in the table that the blade goes into. The blade, under tension, should be dead centered left to right and mounted correctly. A scroll saw is like any other tool and they don’t necessarily come perfectly calibrated out of the box.
Then, you need to make sure your blade is square to the table to ensure clean cuts. You can do that using any sort of measuring tool.
How to use a scroll saw as a beginner
A pattern will give you the opportunity to practice many of the different types of cuts you’ll come across while scrolling. You can find a few free to use patterns here.
What you need to do is download/save the pattern and then print it out. Then stick the pattern to the piece of wood you’ll be working on. I typically use blue painters tape, it helps the blade to stay lubricated throughout the cutting process and it also makes the pattern easier to remove at the end. Then just spray some adhesive on the back of your pattern, leave it to dry for a bit and then apply it on your piece of wood. Make sure you get rid of all the potential little bubbles on the surface. Whether you prefer to use any tape before, that’s totally up to you.
Then – it all comes down to practice. The quickest way to learn is by getting your hands dirty (well – not necessarily, you should wear protective gloves- but you get the point).
So what are the Best Scroll Saws that you can buy online in the UK?
Now, let’s get to the point. Read these scroll saw reviews carefully and decide what saw would be ideal for you.
Best Budget Scroll Saw – Einhell TC-SS 405 E 120 W Scroll Saw Review
This is an entry-level scroll saw, and it’s suitable for beginners.
Powered by a 120W motor, it is powerful enough for precision cuts in wood, metal, and plastic.
The throat size is 40 cm (16 inch) and you can manually control the speed of the cutting blade.
Weighing around 12.7 kg, it is easy to use and the blades can be changed quickly thanks to the clamping lever. Therefore, there are no tools needed for this process.
Probably its most important downside is the fact that you can’t use pin-less blades. You can, however, tilt the table to a 45-degree angle which allows you to try different cutting shapes.
Overall, good value for money, it is the top of the list as the best cheap scroll saw. Don’t expect it to do miracles, but it is a great tool to play around with.
Best Mid-Range Scroll Saw: Record Power SS16V Review
This mid-range scroll saw is ideal for beginners and advanced users alike.
You can use both pin-end and pin-less blades, and you can easily replace them whenever you need.
With a tremendous 5-year warranty in place, rest assured that the product you buy will serve you good.
Yet again, the table size is 16 inch and, just like the rest of the scroll saws we review in this article, it features a dust extraction outlet.
It offers a variable speed control and you can cut up to 50mm thick wood on the faster levels.
This scroll saw is quite versatile, the table tilts from 0 to 45 degrees, allowing you bevel cuts and even bowls to be made.
I would highly recommend this saw to anyone that scrolls as a hobby, it offers good value for money, but for heavy-duty work – read along.
Best Overall: Proxxon MicroMot professional 2-speed fretsaw DS 460 Review
Although it lacks the bells and whistles you’d expect of a high-end product, this scroll saw offers you pretty much anything you’d expect of a machine.
It weighs a lot more compared to the Einhell and Record scroll saws, 20 kg. But that’s a good thing, meaning it is more stable and vibrates less. Yet again, the table can be tilt to 45 degrees.
You can use both, pin-end and pin-less blades which can, yet again, be easily replaced without getting any tools involved. Being able to use both types of blades offers you a lot more flexibility.
What I think it’s weird (in a good way) and not very common is the shape of the table. It features a square shape which I find more useful compared to the conventional drop-shaped ones as it adds to the working space.
The downside, however, is the variable speed control. I was surprised to discover that you can only choose between 2 different modes, and that’s about it. It all comes down to the type of material you’re using.
However, If you don’t mind the price, I’m convinced this machine will prove to be a good investment. As soon as you learn the basics, there’s no limit as to where and what type of shapes this machine can get you.
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Now, these are pretty much one of the most popular and best scroll saws that you can buy online. Whether you want to use it as a hobby or you’ve got a professional home workshop that needs an extra addition, you have some planning to do. Should you buy a cheap scroll saw that will probably need an upgrade if you fell in love with this activity or should you just go for a more performant and durable model that will serve you good for many years to come?
Either way, a scroll saw offers you great fun. You can get lost for hours trying to achieve that perfect shape. Just like any other power tool, make sure you operate it safely. Because, no matter what, safety always comes first!
Have you ever owned any of these scroll saws? If so, what’s your opinion? Would you like us to add a specific tool to these scroll saw reviews? Please let us know in the comments box below!
Until next time, happy scrolling!