A scroll saw is a specialty tool that’s used to cut intricate details with fine, precise cuts. They’re extremely accurate and they end result is so fine, the wood will need minimal sanding if any. If you’ve been thinking about getting one, you might not know where to begin. By reading our reviews and buying guide, you should be able to figure out which is the best scroll saw for your needs.
In a rush?
Here’s a breakdown of 3 products you may be interested in…
- DEWALT DW788 – This is a highly rated and frequently recommended scroll saw for anyone serious about detail work with easy to use and operate controls. Makes it especially easy to do internal cuts. It’s on the higher end of price, but this is backed by strong user reviews.
- Rockwell RK7323 – If you’re looking for something more mid-ranged but can still provide high-quality cuts, this is the one to try. It’s even portable and has onboard storage! It’s by far the best value for money.
- WEN 3920 – If you’re looking for a great starter scroll saw, or are on a budget, then the WEN 3920 is a good model to look at. It’s affordable and versatile design can handle any kind of wood and it comes with a handful of accessories so you don’t need to invest a lot of money right away.
- In a rush?
- Quick Comparison
- Top 7: Best Scroll Saws with Reviews
- How to buy a scroll saw
|1. DEWALT DW788||$$$$$||20"||65 lbs||3 years|
|2. Rockwell RK7323||$$||16"||15lbs||3 years|
|3. WEN 3920||$$||16"||27 lbs||2 years|
|4. Delta Power 40-694||$$$$||20"||60 lbs||5 years|
|5. Rockwell RK7315||$$$||16"||29 lbs||2 year|
|6. Shop Fox W1713||$$$||16"||35lbs||2 years|
|7. Dremel MS20-01||$$||11"||5 lbs||2 years|
Top 7: Best Scroll Saws with Reviews
1. DEWALT DW788 Variable-Speed Scroll Saw
- Motor: 1.3 amp
- Strokes per minute: 400 – 1750
- Table size: 16 “ x 23 ¾ “
- Weight: 56 lbs
- Stroke length: ¾ – 2 “
The Good: Controls are easy to locate and engage, arm designed to always keep the blade perpendicular to the work to help avoid over or undercutting, variable stroke length for easier control and better results, blades are very easy to change.
The bad: expensive, some reported problems with blade alignment, blade tension is unreliable, materials can snag on the keyhole in the table during use.
This DEWALT scroll saw lives up to its reputation of being quiet and making smooth cuts. The controls are all within easy reach of the front of the arm so you can quickly access the on/off switch, variable speed control, and tensioning lever.
One of the best features about this saw is how quickly and easily you can change the blades. It’s also designed to make doing internal cuts exceptionally simple because the upper arm can be easily lifted up and the blade can be quickly fed through the wood.
If you’re a professional woodworker or contractor or if you’re a serious DIYer who will get a lot of use out of this saw, it’s a good investment. It might be a bit too expensive for anyone who isn’t going to use it on a regular basis, though.
A common problem that users had with this scrolling saw is the wood can sometimes get snagged on the keyhole in the floor of the table, which can be fixed by applying a bit of wax to eliminate any added friction and help the wood glide. Some users also complained about blade tension being unreliable. This is still named as the best scroll saw because of its performance and amount of positive reviews.
2. Rockwell RK7323 Portable Tabletop Scroll Saw
- Motor: 5.5 amps
- Strokes per minute: 3000
- Table size: 15 ¾ “ x 17 “
- Weight: 14.7 lbs
- Stroke length: ¾ “
The Good: lightweight and portable, onboard storage for blades, rip fence, and miter gauge, handle to carry it from place to place, easy to set up.
The bad: made of plastic, will not be able to handle very large jobs, will not last a long time, blades can bend with too much pressure.
This saw is by far our best value. It’s very affordable and can still make some quality, detailed cuts. It can be set up in seconds and you can change the blade without using any tools. It even comes with five different blades to cut wood, ceramic, and metal.
The thing that stands out the most about this tool is how lightweight and portable it is. It even has a handle and onboard storage so you can carry everything you need – and the saw itself – and quickly set up wherever you want to work.
The price on this one is very reasonable and it’s worth the money if you’re going to use it casually. This model probably won’t be able to stand up to the abuse that long-term, heavy jobs would provide, but it’s perfect for casual home DIY projects. This is a really good option for someone who doesn’t have a lot of room in the workshop and is just starting to get interested in scroll saw work.
Because this tool is made of plastic, it won’t last long enough to had it down to the next generation. But it can help you get the small jobs in front of you right now done pretty easily. This saw can bog down when too much pressure is applied, resulting in bent blades.
3. WEN 3920 Variable Speed Scroll Saw
- Motor: 1.2 amp
- Strokes per minute: 400 to 1600
- Table size: 16 “ x 11 “
- Weight: 27 lbs
- Stroke length: 9/16 “
The Good: ergonomic design for comfortable use, includes air pump, flex light, dust port, foot lock clamp, and two different blades, very reasonable price, large work surface.
The bad: blades are not easy to switch out, the motor won’t be able to handle anything denser than wood, not designed well for internal cuts, not designed for professionals.
This cast iron saw provides varying speeds to handle wood of various depths. It comes with a nice amount of accessories and is very versatile, helping you get more jobs done quickly and accurately. It’s best to use only wood on this model as it won’t be able to handle anything more dense or hard, like metal.
What stands out about this saw is its ergonomic design. This will allow the user to be more comfortable and therefore do better work for longer than with it. It’s large work surface also helps make it really versatile and able to handle pieces if different sizes.
You can’t go wrong with the price on this one, which is why we’re calling it our best budget item. You get what you pay for with this saw, though. While it’s great for casual DIYers or people, it’s not durable or powerful enough to stand up to heavy duty construction work.
This model isn’t the best at facilitating internal cuts and it’s a little hard to change the blades. It also isn’t the best choice for professionals. But if you’re just looking for something less serious or if you don’t have any experience, this is a great one to try because it’s our best beginner scroll saw.
4. Delta Power Tools 40-694 Scroll Saw
- Motor: 1.3 amp
- Strokes per minute: 400 – 1750
- Table size: 16 “ x 24 “
- Weight: 60 lbs
- Stroke length: ¾ in
The Good: tool-free easy blade change, onboard blade storage, large tilting table to get the right angles, can adjust speed easily while you’re working.
The Bad: assembly instructions a bit difficult to understand, on/off switch for some users was unreliable, air hose breaks easily, plastic knobs break easily.
This is another great tool for someone who is looking to buy their first scroll saw. It’s a great way to get the feel of what they can do because it lets you adjust your speed while you’re working with the wood. The blades are easy to change and adjust and it’s also capable of working with materials other than wood.
The thing that stands out the most about this model is the work table. It has a very large surface area, which makes it easier to work with and provides easier control. It also can angle from side to side, while makes it possible to do a lot of different cuts while keeping them uniform and tight.
This is a little on the expensive side, but it’s made tough. You can use this scroll saw for hours and it will keep up with you and your work. It’s a great starter saw for someone who is just learning but plans on sticking with their craft for a long time.
Some users have had trouble with the power switch not staying on while other have sustained damage attributed to shipping. This is a pretty heavy saw at around 60 lbs so it definitely needs to be packaged correctly.
5. Rockwell RK7315 Shop Series Scroll Saw
- Motor: 1.2 amp
- Strokes per minute: 500 to 1700
- Weight: 27 lbs
- Stroke length: ⅘ “
The Good: thin blade works great for all projects, blade guard increases safety, blade head can turn 90 degrees, comes with two blades and a blade holder so there are fewer accessories to buy.
The Bad: table insert doesn’t always sit flush with table, instruction booklet is unclear and difficult to understand, difficult to get a smooth finish on really fine work, large pieces will require the blade being turned perpendicular
The is a relatively lightweight scroll saw with a large work surface that is capable of tilting 0 to 45 degrees. It’s somewhat portable and can be put away easily and stored easily when not in use. Changing blades is simple and it has a variable speed knob that when combined with the angle adjustments makes this an effective tool.
The thing that is unique about this scroll saw it that you can turn its blade head 90 degrees which allows for greater flexibility and a wide range of applications. You will actually need to turn the blade if you’re working with very large pieces in order for them to fit.
This saw is moderately priced but still affordable enough that you can buy it when you’re first starting out and still get a lot of use out of it. It also comes with two blades and a blade holder, so it’s ready to go as soon as you get it set up. It’s easily the best scroll saw under 200.
Some people have complained that the written instructions are hard to follow, but there are instructional videos available online. There are also common issues with the table insert not being even with the table.
6. Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw
- Motor: 1.2 amp
- Stokes per minute: 550 – 1650
- Weight: 35.3 lbs
- Stroke length: 3/4
The Good: table tilts 45 degrees to enable easy angular cuts, work light to help make detailed cuts easier, very durable as it’s made out of primarily cast iron and should last a long time, easy to use with straightforward controls.
The Bad: blade changes can be cumbersome, slow motor compared to some powerful machines, the motor can overheat if you push it too much, triangular work table is awkward for some pieces.
This scroll saw has a solid cast iron base and provides a very smooth cut that’s impressive for a model in this price range. It can tackle all kinds of wood and can do small projects without needing to be bolted down. Just to be sure you aren’t pushing it too hard, try to use wood that is ½ in thick or less.
Something that stands out about the Shop Fox is the light that is attached. This will help immensely when trying to do small, detailed cuts in low light. It’s also particularly user-friendly with the controls being easily visible, right in the front of the unit.
This is moderately priced but worth what you’ll pay for it. It’s constructed of steel, cast iron, and aluminum with only one plastic part. This is remarkable for a saw that isn’t in the high end of the price range.
Changing the blades on this scroll saw can be a little bit more difficult that the manufacturer leads you to believe. It’s has a slower motor than some higher end brands but is still capable of getting the job done. If it does overheat, it won’t turn back on until it has completely cooled.
7. Dremel MS20-01 Compact Scroll Saw
- Motor: 0.6 amp
- Strokes per minute: 1500 – 2500
- Weight: 4.7 lbs
- Stroke length: ⅓ “
The Good: handheld and compact, lightweight and portable making it ideal for small jobs, blades change quickly and can go forwards or backward, perfect for fine detailed cuts.
The Bad: not designed for large projects, blades can snap easily if used with the wrong kind of project, ridged table surface can cause problems rotating wood, have to drill ¼ “ hole to insert the blade into for internal cuts.
The Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw is a unique little tool that is very good at what it does. The motor and capacity aren’t great enough to tackle any large jobs or thick pieces of wood, but that’s not really what this tool was made for. It can only handle material that is about ¾ “ thick and performs best with materials under ½ “.
What it doesn’t have in power, it makes up for in accuracy. This scroll saw can make the most difficult cuts like it’s cutting through butter. It’s small and compact and can be used anywhere. One more interesting thing about it – you can use it as a handheld saw. This makes it even more versatile because you can literally take it anywhere the power cord will reach.
It’s a great tool for the price, as long as you understand what it’s meant to do. This isn’t going to cut through metal or large pieces of wood. But it’s an absolutely ideal tool if you’re looking for something to use for crafting or small DIY projects around the house. It comes with four different blades that allow you to get started right away.
It’s made out of plastic and not very durable, which can become a problem since it’s portable and you’ll likely be carrying it around a lot. If you handle it properly, it should continue to work well. This is a great, inexpensive choice for a first-time scroll saw. It will allow you to get the feel of the motion of using a scroll saw before moving on to a bigger, more high-end model.
How to buy a scroll saw
A scroll saw is a specialized tool that is used to cut intricate designs into wood, plastic, or metal. It can make cuts both around edges and on the inside of designs. To do this, you drill a hole in the pattern, insert the blade, and cut out around the interior part of the design. You can make scalloped edges, intricate shapes, curves, names, silhouettes. There’s really no limit to the things you can create.
Before you decide what model you need, think about the kind of projects you’ll be using it for. While all scroll saws function in the same way, they can’t all handle the same materials.
Speed varies a lot from model to model and is measured in strokes per minute. A low average speed is around 400 strokes per minute while a fast speed would be around 2500. Most models have a function that allows you to vary the speed depending on the type of material you’re using. The wider the range of speeds, the more versatile the saw is.
The speed you use will depend on the material you’re cutting and how much control you need. Generally, slow speeds are used for thin woods, veneers, and soft plastics while high speeds are used for leather, paper, and most woods.
Ease of Use
You’ll have a much more enjoyable experience using your saw if it’s easy to use and understand. Look for one that has clearly labeled controls that will be easy to manipulate while you’re using the tool. They should be within close reach of the arm and the blade, which is where your hands will be while you’re working.
Another thing to look for is how easy it is to change blades. If you’re using your scroll saw for a variety of materials, chances are you’ll be changing the blade often. And there’s always a risk of a blade breaking. You need to be able to replace it easily so you don’t waste too much time fumbling with the blade instead working on your design.
Various Features and What They Do
In order to know what kind of features you need, you’ll first need to know what’s available and what it can do for you. Then you can decide what is important to you and what you can live without.
Support – Some models some with heavy frames made of cast iron that can maintain stability and control vibrations. Other models will have an option stand you can buy to attach the saw to, while other will have clamps or another method to mount in on a table or workbench. How much support you will need depends on what you’ll be doing with your scroll saw. The heavier the job (and the wood!), the more support you’ll need. You should also consider the size of the work table. Larger surfaces will help support your work and make it easier to manipulate.
Lighting – Typically, lights are LED that’s attached to the saw and shines on the word area; specifically, on the blade. This helps you really see what you’re doing and can help you follow any pattern you’re using a little better. You can always buy one of these separately if the saw you choose doesn’t have one but you think it will be beneficial to you to have.
Adjustability – There are a few parts of a scroll saw that be adjusted. First, some of the work tables can be angled. This is very helpful for anyone who does frequent bevel cuts. You can also find models that are designed with lifting arms to make it easier to place the blade for interior cuts.
There are various blades available and which one you need depends on the job you’re doing and the material you’re using. Some models come with one blade, some come with several. You should have some idea of what kind of blade you need before you can expect to use your scroll saw. The one you buy might not come with the specific blade that you need.
Now that you know what to look for, you can use our reviews to figure out which is the best for you.
We’ve given the DEWALT DW788 our top spot for a lot of reasons. It has a powerful motor, a large worktable that tilts, and variable strokes per minute that make it very versatile. The controls are easy to locate and to use. Blade changes are simple and require no tools. This is a tool that is great for anyone from a casual crafter to a carpentry contractor. We simply cannot recommend it enough.