No woodworking enthusiast’s workshop is complete without the best scroll saw to meet their needs. Plus, scroll saws are fun and easy to use, making them great hobby tools for anyone, regardless of their experience.
Scroll saws are used to cut elaborate, detailed patterns, shapes, and designs in a wide variety of materials. They are sometimes called fret saws or coping saws, although those are actually different (but similar) types of saws (Source).
What sets scroll saws apart (i.e. their benefits) is that they focus on finesse and delicacy. Even though they can cut through metal, no other type of saw can cut intricate designs like a scroll saw (Source).
When shopping for a scroll saw, consider a few important variables and features. Those include throat length, blades, speed, safety features, arm type, price, and more. We cover all of this below.
To help you find your dream scroll saw, we spent countless hours testing many saws. Then we created a list of the 10 best scroll saw models and reviewed them for you. We even created a buyer’s guide to help you in your search. So, let’s dig in.
Table of Contents
- Sneak Peek at the 10 Best Scroll Saw Models
- How do scroll saws work?
- How much do scroll saws cost?
- Top 10 Best Scroll Saw Reviews
- 1. DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw: Best Scroll Saw Overall [TOP PICK]
- 2. Excalibur Tilting Head Scroll Saw: Safest, Most Innovative Scroll Saw
- 3. Hegner 22 Inch Scroll Saw: Best Professional Scroll Saw
- 4. Delta 40-694 Scroll Saw: Best Scroll Saw for the Money
- 5. King Industrial Scroll Saw: Best 16 Inch Scroll Saw
- 6. Dremel MS20-01 Scroll Saw: Best Hobby Scroll Saw for Crafts
- 7. Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw: Best Variable Speed Scroll Saw
- 8. WEN 3921 Scroll Saw: Best Value Scroll Saw
- 9. BUCKTOOL 16-inch Scroll Saw: Best Scroll Saw for Beginners
- 10. General International Scroll Saw with LED Light: Best Cheap Scroll Saw
- Buyer’s Guide
- How did we come to that conclusion?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Ready to Shop for Your Own Scroll Saw?
Sneak Peek at the 10 Best Scroll Saw Models
Below we provide a comprehensive scroll saw review of each of our top ten picks. But before delving in, take a quick glance at our top ten list:
- DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw: Best Scroll Saw Overall [TOP PICK]
- Excalibur Tilting Head Scroll Saw: Safest, Most Innovative Scroll Saw
- HEGNER 22″ Scroll Saw: Best Professional Scroll Saw
- Delta 40-694 Scroll Saw: Best Scroll Saw for the Money
- King Industrial Scroll Saw: Best 16 Inch Scroll Saw
- Dremel MS20-01 Scroll Saw: Best Scroll Saw for Crafts
- Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw: Best Variable Speed Scroll Saw
- WEN 3921 Scroll Saw: Best Value Scroll Saw
- BUCKTOOL 16-inch Scroll Saw: Best Scroll Saw for Beginners
- General International Scroll Saw with LED Light: Best Cheap Scroll Saw
How do scroll saws work?
Scroll saws use a long, thin blade—much like band saws—and look more like sewing machines than saws. They feature a base and tabletop on which to make your cut.
The blade moves up and down in a rapid motion, making very precise cuts and intricate, delicate designs. Scroll saw woodwork produces the finest, most detailed pieces possible with a power saw.
How much do scroll saws cost?
Scroll saw prices vary and cover a broad range. For those who want a heavy-duty, highly accurate, professional-grade saw, there are high-end saws that cost upwards of $2,000. Whereas beginners can find a model that gets the job done for $100 or less.
Top 10 Best Scroll Saw Reviews
Now that we’ve covered some scroll saw basics, it’s time to move to our reviews of the top 10 best scroll saw models on the market.
1. DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw: Best Scroll Saw Overall [TOP PICK]
- Double parallel link arm design dramatically reduces vibration and noise for extremely accurate cuts
- Exclusive tool free blade clamps allow blade changes in seconds. Depth of Cut (inches): 2 inch
- On off switch, electronic variable speed, flexible dust blower, and blade tensioning lever all located on front upper arm
- Arm design pivots from back of the saw to front, shortening the arm movement for smoother, quieter operation
- Arm lifts so blade can be easily threaded through the material for inside cuts
Smooth as Silk, Quiet as a Baby
This DeWalt features an oversized, heavy-duty cast iron table and a double parallel link arm design. These features combined provide two important benefits. First, they dramatically reduce vibrations emitted by the saw, which allows you to make more accurate cuts every time. Second, they stabilize the saw, reducing noise and making it one of the quietest scroll saws ever produced.
You don’t need a tool to loosen and remove the blade on the DeWalt DW788 20 inch scroll saw. Instead, a tool-free clamp lets you remove one blade and swap it out for another in no time at all.
This model is a variable speed saw, like all of the saws on our list. It has a wide speed range, which is measured in cutting strokes per minute (SPM). You can cut as slowly as 400 SPM or as fast as 1,750 SPM. This lets you cut just about anything you want.
2. Excalibur Tilting Head Scroll Saw: Safest, Most Innovative Scroll Saw
- UNIQUE TILTING HEAD - Tilt the head 30° left or 45° right to keep the workpiece level, allowing for better control and more precise cuts.
- INTEGRATED BLADE GUARD - Upper and lower blade guard assembly helps prevent accidental hand contact with the blade. While, the switch protection device prevents unintentional start-up.
- ADJUSTABLE BLADE MOUNTING - Easily raise or lower the mounting position of the blade to make just the right cut.
- SEAMLESS BLADE CHANGES - Finger-operated blade clamps make changing the blades quick & easy. No tool required.
- LARGE TABLE SURFACE - The spacious work surface allows you to cut any material you need!
Innovation at its Best
The Excalibur Tilting Head Scroll Saw delivers value-added, innovative features that earned this saw the second spot on our list. Those include:
New Safety Features
We don’t want any lost fingers, do we? Neither does General International. That’s why they included upper and lower blade guards on this model. They effectively prevent inadvertent hand contact with the blade.
No Accidental Start-Up
You won’t be accidentally powering up this Excalibur Scroll Saw. That’s because it comes complete with a new power switch protection device that prevents that from happening.
Unique Head Tilting
You can use scroll saws to make diagonal cuts (also called bevel cuts) through whatever material you are cutting. With most saws the table tilts to one side (not the saw head), increasing the likelihood of your material slipping out of place. This Excalibur has a tilting head, so the table stays flat and your material does not slide.
3. Hegner 22 Inch Scroll Saw: Best Professional Scroll Saw
- Double Quicklock Tensioning System
- Electronic Variable Speed Induction Motor
- Highly Precise and Reliable
- 7 Year Manufacturer's Warranty against defects
- Recommended Stand sold separately on this site
Tackle Large Projects
This Hegner’s size, power, and 22-inch cutting capacity accommodate projects of any size. It weighs 15 times more than the lightest saw on our list, and roughly twice as much as most scroll saws. For large projects, you need a heavy-duty machine, and this is the one we recommend.
Precision at its Best
Precision is another reason consumers are willing to pay more for this best-in-class scroll saw. This accuracy is made possible by a very sturdy base and strong, durable blades. Its cuts are so accurate that you rarely need to do any sanding after cutting. Its cuts are just that clean and precise.
Long-Lasting and Reliable
Hegner assures you that its product won’t disappoint by offering a seven-year warranty. This is a strong indication of this saw’s reliability and long lifespan.
4. Delta 40-694 Scroll Saw: Best Scroll Saw for the Money
- Electronic variable speed can be adjusted from 400-1,750 SPM for a wide array of cutting applications
- Dual parallel link arm design reduces vibration reducing over and under cutting improving accuracy and quality
- Upper arm lifts and locks in the raised position during blade changes or while adjusting blade position for fret work
- Tool-free blade clamp allows for quick, easy blade changes in seconds. Bevels 0° - 45° left and right. Motor: 1.3 Amp
- On/Off switch, electronic variable speed dial, flexible dust blower and blade-tensioning lever are all conveniently located up front on the arm for easy accessibility
A Remarkable Arm
This Delta features a multi-purpose double parallel link arm that provides two valuable benefits. Its arm is a primary reason we consider it to be one of the best scroll saw models you can buy. Those two benefits are:
- Increased Accuracy: By stabilizing the saw’s base and blade, the arm reduces the vibration produced when using the saw. This is particularly true when running the saw at higher speeds. The result is more accurate cuts that are so smooth that they typically don’t require sanding.
- Easier, Quicker Blade Switching: You can lift the arm and lock it into place. This allows you to quickly switch blades in the middle of a job. This streamlines your cutting, just like the DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw listed at the top of our list.
Additional Features We Liked
We love this Delta scroll saw arm. Aside from that, we were impressed by the tool’s variable speed range and electronic variable on/off switch.
5. King Industrial Scroll Saw: Best 16 Inch Scroll Saw
- 120V 1.3 amp constant torque, permanent magnet motor
- Large 12” x 18-1/2” table surface
- 16 variable-speed
- Accepts 5” pinless blades
- Features easy access speed, tension controls and onboard dust blower
Quiet and Smooth Operation
Although this is a powerful tool—more so than most 16-inch scroll saws—it is extremely quiet and delivers a smooth operating experience. A jarring, loud scroll saw is a pain to operate, while this model was a joy to use. In fact, we didn’t want to stop testing it and move on to the next model.
Remember the Excalibur Tilting Head Scroll Saw reviewed above at number two on our list? The King Industrial Scroll Saw also features a tilting head. You can adjust it up to 30 degrees to the left and 45 degrees to the right. This allowed us to make perfect diagonal cuts while testing it, without having to tilt the saw’s tabletop.
Powerful with Plenty of Torque
This King scroll saw features a robust 120-volt, 1.3-amp constant torque permanent magnet motor. This gives it enough power and torque to slice through every material we tested. Plus, the motor is designed for long, continuous use. We can confirm that it certainly meets expectations there.
6. Dremel MS20-01 Scroll Saw: Best Hobby Scroll Saw for Crafts
- Dust port adapter keeps line-of-sight clear and work space clean
- Auto tensioning quick-change mechanism for easy accessory change and optimal blade tensioning
- Detachable coping function for handheld use to take the tool to the work piece
- Variable-speed control for optimal cutting in a variety of materials
- Fast-clamp base attaches to various tables, benches and surfaces
We wouldn’t quite call it a mini scroll saw, but the Dremel MS20-01 is certainly compact and easy to handle. At only 4.75 inches tall, it’s significantly smaller than the King Industrial Scroll Saw above, which is 17 inches tall. Plus, weighing a mere 5.3 pounds, it’s significantly lighter than the HEGNER 22″ Variable Speed Saw reviewed above, which weighs over 70 pounds.
This is where this compact saw differentiates itself from every other saw on the list. You can detach its saw blade and motor from its tabletop and carry it around. This essentially makes it a handheld, portable scroll saw. You don’t see many of those.
Despite its size, this Dremel is no wimp. We were surprised when its 120-volt motor allowed us to easily slice through a variety of materials. We made very intricate cuts through wood, laminate flooring, hard plastic, and even metal. Its compact design and robust power make it the best scroll saw for hobbyists and craft makers.
7. Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw: Best Variable Speed Scroll Saw
- 1/8HP, 1.2-Amps, 110-Volt, 60Hz motor
- 16-Inch maximum cutting width
- Includes a gooseneck work light, dust blower and dust port
- Plain or pin blades
- No load speed: 550-1700 SPM
At first glance, this saw might appear too simple to meet your needs. However, that is the beauty of the Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw. It includes all the standard features you’d expect and is intuitive to use. The saw’s simplicity allows users to focus on what they came to do: cut stuff—and it cuts incredibly well.
Solid and Powerful
This Shop Fox scroll saw features a solid base with a cast iron table. Its 110-volt, 1.2-amp motor can reach a speed of 1,700 SPM. Plus, it accommodates both plain and pinned blades (more on blades below), allowing it to cut through almost anything. We tested sheet metal and it cut through it like butter.
Two additional features stood out to us. First, its gooseneck light illuminates the cutting area. Second, its 1.25-inch dust port connects to your shop vac to maintain a clean, safe workspace. As a bonus, the quality of this saw far outweighs its price point.
8. WEN 3921 Scroll Saw: Best Value Scroll Saw
- Unique design accepts blades in two directions (standard and 90 degrees) to allow for infinite ripping capacity
- Variable speed goes from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute
- Spacious 16-by-11-inch table bevels up to 45 degrees to the left for angled cuts
- Cuts wood up to 2 inches thick with a 16-inch throat depth in the standard position
- Features a thumb screw blade adapter for tool-free blade changes, a cast iron base, an air pump, a flex light, a dust port, a foot lock clamp, onboard storage, and three blades
Easy Blade Swap
Changing blades is both simple and fast with WEN’s tool-free thumb screw blade adapter.
Solid and Lightweight
You don’t typically find both of these characteristics in the same tool. However, this WEN scroll saw features a solid, cast iron base and still weighs under 30 pounds.
Intuitive Speed Adjustment
You can quickly adjust the saw’s speed by simply turning a speed regulation knob. This allows you to lower its speed to 400 SPM or max it out at 1,600 SPM.
Clamping Foot Lock
Another feature we loved was the clamping foot lock. All you do is step on the foot clamp and it locks your project in place. This ensures an accurate cut every time.
9. BUCKTOOL 16-inch Scroll Saw: Best Scroll Saw for Beginners
- Variable Speed: 1.2-Amp DC Motor for Quiet, Smooth Performance
- LED Worklight: Vibration-free LED light with no light bounce provides a clear view when cutting
- Pedal Switch Design: With a hands-free convenience pedal switch for easily stop and start the tool with the tap of your foot when you need to drill a new hole, change blade, or if an emergency occurs
- Quick-Change Blade System: Quick-Change Blade System with Quick open side panel and user-friendly blade holder, easy for blade changing, attached with 3 blades 2 with pin and 1 pinless
- Cast Iron Table: Heavy-duty 16-by-9-inch cast iron work table bevels up to 45 degrees to the left for angled cuts. Cutting depth is 2-Inch with a 16-Inch throat depth
Hands-Free Foot Pedal Design
One great safety feature offered with this BUCKTOOL scroll saw is its pedal switch design. The pedal can start and stop the saw when you need to drill a new hole or change blades. More importantly, if a beginner comes dangerously close to the moving blade, they release their foot and the saw stops.
Ignition Switch with Key
Rather than having an on/off switch, this BUCKTOOL includes a key-operated ignition feature. This is another safety measure that makes this saw great for beginner use. You must intentionally turn the ignition key to start the saw, which is hard to do accidentally and increases safety levels.
This model features a solid, heavy cast iron worktable, and a base that beginners can easily bolt down to a saw stand. This almost eliminates the possibility that the saw will move while turned on. This is one more reason we consider this the safest and best scroll saw for beginners.
10. General International Scroll Saw with LED Light: Best Cheap Scroll Saw
- PRECISION CUTTING - Up-front dial allows setting the exact cutting speed choice for processing different materials, Cast aluminum work table tilts 0° to 45° left with up-front locking knob and bevel scale
- INNOVATIVE DESIGN - "First to market" and design Flex-neck LED work light, Patented blade holder accepts both standard 5 in. pin-end or plain-end (pinless) scroll saw blades, Side storage compartment on the housing for spare blades and wrenches
- KEEP THE JOBSITE CLEAN & SAFE - Saw dust collection port for standard 1-1/4 in. hose, Saw dust blower keeps the cut line clear. Safety on/off switch wth removable security key: 2 pinned blades, 3mm blade change T-style hex key, 4 mm adjustment hex key
- HIGH-POWERED CUTTING - 144 Watt, 120V~60Hz, Amp: 1.2, No-load Variable Speed: 400-1600rpm, Easy access motor brushes
- CUTTING FEATURES - Max. cutting capacity (throat depth): 16 in., Max. cutting thickness: >2 in. at 90°, Stroke Length: 5/8 in.
Sturdy Cast Iron Build
The solid cast iron base makes this saw more stable while in use. This results in reduced vibrations emitted from sawing, producing a cleaner, more accurate cut.
Speed and Power
This scroll saw also features an easy-to-use speed adjustment knob, allowing you to quickly change speeds when needed. This lets you effortlessly adjust its speed from its minimum of 400 SPM to its maximum of 1,600 SPM. That top speed is complemented by the saw’s 120-volt motor to produce surprisingly powerful cuts for such an inexpensive machine.
Easy-Access Storage Compartment
A convenient storage compartment, located on the side of the saw’s base, lets you store your wrenches, blades, etc. When you need one of your tools, there’s no need to step away from the saw to fetch it. Simply open the storage compartment and grab it.
We always like to provide you with an educational buyer’s guide that you can refer back to when evaluating your options. This guide will help you maintain an understanding of various terms and features associated with scroll saws. That, in turn, will help you make the most informed purchase decision possible.
Thickness of Cut
At some point, you are likely to read about or hear someone discussing a scroll saw’s “thickness of cut.” Thickness of cut refers to the maximum width (thickness) of the wood or other material a saw can cut through.
For example, let’s say you have a piece of wood that is three inches thick. However, your saw’s thickness of cut is two inches. In that case, your blade won’t make it all the way through the wood.
NOTE: Thickness of cut is often referred to as “cut thickness” or “cutting thickness.”
I have intentionally not mentioned “throat length” yet in this review guide. That’s because it’s an unusual term that would confuse most beginners who know little about scroll saws. What throat length actually refers to is the distance from the back of your saw to the blade. Above, we covered 16-inch, 20-inch, and 22-inch (throat length) models.
Scroll Saw Blades
Two primary types of blades are used with scroll saws. Those are “pinned” blades and “plain” blades. Pinned blades have pins at the end of each blade and those pins latch the blade into place. Plain blades, on the other hand, are held in place by a clamp.
Additionally, listed below are various types of specialty blades that perform different types of cuts. Most users wouldn’t need these, but you should know them in case you decide to advance your scroll saw skills. If you’re interested to learn more about these, we recommend you research each one individually.
- Standard blades
- Skip tooth blades
- Reverse skip tooth blades
- Crown tooth blades
- Precision ground blades
- Spiral blades
- Ultra-reverse blades
- Double tooth blades
Air Blowers and Dust Collection
Air blowers (or just “blowers”) are essentially what they sound like. They blow air over your workspace to rid it of the dust generated by sawing. This helps keep your workspace clean and safe to work on.
Many saws that include blowers also have built-in dust collection ports that produce suction to collect the excess dust. The dust is sucked up through the dust port, sent through a tube, and collected in a dust receptacle or shop vacuum.
A scroll saw arm connects the motor to the cutting apparatus which mounts the blade and does the cutting. There are various types of scroll saw arms:
C-arms are the most advanced arm type, and thus the most difficult to use. They move straight up and down but can also cut in an arc motion (like the shape of the letter “C”). They can make the fastest cut but require ample experience to use.
- Parallel Arms
Parallel arms are actually two arms, as the name suggests. The lower arm is attached to the motor and the upper arm to the blade. They connect to one another at the rear end of the saw. Because there are two arms, they allow the blade to move up and down, as well as forward and backward.
- Parallel-Linked Arms
This is the newest type of scroll saw arm. They are also the most advanced, and are found on a few of the best scroll saw models reviewed above.
They are two parallel arms that are linked together to reduce vibration when sawing. They also provide the most accurate cut of any type of scroll saw arm.
Scroll Saw Tables
The table on your scroll saw is an important feature that holds your material in place. Also called “tabletops,” they are typically manufactured out of cast iron or aluminum. The stronger and more robust your table, the longer your saw will last.
Table and/or Blade Tilting
As you read above, some saws have tables that tilt to make a diagonal cut. Other saws feature a tilting saw head that allows the table to remain horizontal. Most saws can either tilt to the left or the right. However, as you read above, some are able to tilt in either direction.
Best Scroll Saw Brands
Many brands produce high-quality scroll saws. Every brand we covered above produces great saws—the best scroll saw models available to be sure.
But, we will boil it down to the top three scroll saw brands. Keep in mind that this is a subjective topic that depends on how you define “best.” Considering that, we believe the best brands are DeWalt, Delta, and Shop Fox.
How did we come to that conclusion?
We define “best” by considering price, popularity, lifespan, and performance. Finding a balance between those four variables was not easy. If we defined “best” by performance alone, we’d say Hegner produces the best scroll saw models in the world. No other brand comes close. But they cost way more than the average buyer can afford.
DeWalt is arguably the best manufacturer of power saws in general. The company was founded in 1927 and has been evolving saw technology for nearly a century.
Their products are consistently solid, reliable, and long-lasting. Plus, they are affordable enough for way more consumers than Hegner saws. Although they are on the high end of “accessible” as far as price goes.
We decided to name Delta one of the top three brands for a few reasons. First, the company is over 100 years old and the knowledge and expertise gathered over that time shows in their saws.
Second, their saws are among the most reliable and longest-lasting available. Third, they are more affordable than DeWalt while still delivering powerful features and constant innovation.
We chose Shop Fox because their saws are very affordable, but considering their quality, they should be priced much higher.
Affordability and high quality combined made us pick Shop Fox as one of the best scroll saw brands. Plus, having tested various models, I can say from personal experience that they are a joy to use.
Frequently Asked Questions
By now—in our reviews and Buyer’s Guide—we’ve hopefully answered the majority of questions you have about scroll saws. But there a few topics we have not touched on, so we’ll do that now.
Do I need to purchase a scroll saw stand?
Many users prefer to build their own DIY scroll saw table (stands are also called scroll saw tables). If you decide to purchase one, be sure that it’s compatible with your saw.
What is the best speed to use when cutting with my scroll saw?
The ideal cutting speed depends on the type of material you are cutting, its thickness, and the type of cut you are doing. To cut dense hardwoods, fiberglass, and thin pieces of wood, lower speeds tend to work better. If you are cutting softer wood or metal, or want to make a long straight cut, higher speeds are ideal.
What can I cut with a scroll saw?
A scroll saw can slice through any type of wood. They can also cut plywood, plastic, fiberglass, plexiglass, veneers, aluminum, brass, copper, steel, rubber, leather, Corian, and even bone. Use caution when cutting Corian because it tends to start burning due to high-velocity friction and its material composition.
Are scroll saws dangerous?
Scroll saws are not as dangerous as other types of power saws, like table saws for example. But you should use caution and protective safety gear when using any power tool. The same goes for scroll saws.
Is a scroll saw hard to use?
As far as power saws go, scroll saws are perhaps the easiest and safest to use. You wouldn’t want to turn your 12-year-old child loose on an industrial table saw. But with a little training, you could feel safe letting them have a go at a scroll saw.
Ready to Shop for Your Own Scroll Saw?
If this will be your first scroll saw, you’re in for an exciting experience. Align your purchase with your budget. It’s easy to fall in love with a powerhouse like the Hegner when all you need is the WEN 3921.
Always follow safety guidelines and be sure to read the entire user manual before using your new saw.
When you think you’ve found the right saw, complete some research to validate your decision before purchasing it.
But, if you already know what you want, the best scroll saw models are listed above. You could purchase one today.
If you find one you like but aren’t entirely sure it’s the right one, sleep on it before deciding. While you ponder, you may want to start looking at the best table saws and other saw types.
Because once you start using a scroll saw, you’ll become a sawing workshop addict. You’ll eventually want to invest in more saws of different types. Happy shopping and have fun sawing!