Scroll saws are often overlooked in favor of bigger, sharper and flashy-looking cutting tools, but they are actually an extremely convenient way to cut very precise curves and shapes into a sturdy material. They act a little bit like a sewing machine, using a vertical blade that allows for much faster adjustments compared to a regular hand saw, with the added bonus of being much faster than manual cutting.
Of course, like all tools, scroll saws come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Tracking down the best scroll saw for your needs isn’t as simple as buying the first model you find, and it is important to look at more than one brand.
Below are ten of the best scroll saw models we could find for general-purpose cutting, as well as their specific features and what makes them stand out from other saws on the market.
View the Best Scroll Saw, Below.
- WEN 3921 16” Scroll Saw
- DEWALT DW788 20” Scroll Saw
- General International BT8007 Scroll Saw
- Shop Fox W1713 16” Scroll Saw
- Delta Power Tools 40-694 20” Scroll Saw
- PORTER-CABLE 18″ Scroll Saw with Stand
- SKIL 3335-07 16″ Scroll Saw With Light
- Excalibur – EX-21 21″ Tilting Head Scroll Saw
- Dremel MS20-01 Compact Scroll Saw Kit
- Genesis GSS160 16″ Scroll Saw
1. WEN 3921 16” Scroll Saw
This uniquely-designed bi-directional saw can deliver between 400 and 1,600 cuts per minute depending on the settings and materials used, making it perfect for both careful cuts or ripping through softer materials. The 11-inch by 16-inch cutting table can be beveled to the left by up to 45 degrees, making angled cuts much easier and offers a 16-inch throat depth with the ability to slice through up to two inches of wood (or similar material) at a time. Not only that, but you don't even need tools to swap out the blades – it uses a thumbscrew system that can be loosened and tightened by hand.
There is a lot of useful features on this scroll saw, making it an amazing all-round tool for any workstation, hobby space or DIY area.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. DEWALT DW788 20” Scroll Saw
This variable-speed scroll saw uses a special pair of parallel arm links to drastically cut down the amount of vibration you will feel to allow for more precise cuts, as well as reducing the overall noise level of the saw. The simple on/off switch and electronic speed settings give you full control over its behavior, while the built-in dust blower makes it easy to clear the cutting table in seconds. Thanks to the clamp design used to hold the blade in place, you can easily remove and replace the current blade without needing any extra tools, and you can even lift the arm for extra cutting precision.
This scroll saw is quick, quiet and great for a wide range of materials, making it ideal for people who need precise cuts and maximum accuracy at all times.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. General International BT8007 Scroll Saw
The dial-based adjustment system of this scroll saw makes it easy to choose the exact cutting speed and rate you need, allowing it to take on a huge range of materials without feeling too under-or-over-powered to do the job properly. The 16-inch throat depths and 2-inch cutting size mean that you can quickly cut through large pieces of wood and metal with ease, while the flexible sawdust blower helps clean the cutting table quickly.
There is also another flexible tool – an LED light, which you can use to highlight key areas to make cutting and trimming different materials much easier in less-than-ideal lighting conditions.
The best scroll saw is one that you can adjust to any material, and this model’s dial system makes it really easy to get the exact cutting speed you need for each situation.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. Shop Fox W1713 16” Scroll Saw
This variable-speed scroll saw uses a 1/8 horsepower motor to provide consistent cutting power on almost any material. The design allows for both regular and pin-end blades, giving you a choice of how to cut different items, while the 16-inch cutting width allows you to slice through large pieces of wood or metal with ease. Its high overall speed (reaching up to 1700 SPM) ensures that it won’t jam easily, and the included dust blower and adjustable work light help you keep your workspace clear and visible if you are creating a lot of sawdust of metal shavings in a darker environment.
This scroll saw is simple and effective, taking a lot of useful features and adding them to a solid basic design that you can rely on.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. Delta Power Tools 40-694 20” Scroll Saw
This heavy-duty scroll saw has a special arm design that is able to reduce its overall vibrations and noise output while cutting, as well as letting you raise it up to change the blade on the fly. The design is meant to be tool-free unless you are making repairs, meaning that you don’t need to keep a screwdriver around to make small adjustments or swap out the blades: not only that, but the entire cutting table can bevel by 45 degrees to both the left and the right, making angled cuts incredibly easy and consistent.
While this scroll saw might be heavier than most, it is one of the best scroll saw models around for people who want to create stable, consistent and angled cuts easily.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. PORTER-CABLE 18″ Scroll Saw with Stand
This stand-based scroll saw uses a full-sized frame that lets it stand up on its own, and offers up to 45 degrees of bevelling without becoming unstable or slipping over. The blade holders can be opened up without needing any tools, meaning that adjusting or replacing the blade is quick and easy – not only that, but it works with both regular or pin-end blades, giving you two different ways of cutting through various materials. Thanks to the built-in work lamp, you can also highlight key areas while cutting or brighten up the work area in darker conditions.
The stand makes this one of the best scroll saws when it comes to stability, but it also provides a great range of extra features and statistics that make it great for any kind of cutting work.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. SKIL 3335-07 16″ Scroll Saw With Light
This scroll saw has a built-in dust removal system that is able to get rid of any dust in the way of your cutting path, making it far easier to create accurate cuts without having to constantly clean the surface. It can bevel by up to 45 degrees for a range of angled cuts and has a 16-inch throat depth for slicing apart thicker pieces of wood, metal, or other materials. The adjustable work light provides extra visibility in dark areas, as well as making most cuts clearer and easier to perform in low-light areas.
This scroll saw is a very efficient choice, quickly cleaning up any dust and shavings you create while also giving you everything you need to cut surfaces up to 1.5 inches thick.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Excalibur – EX-21 21″ Tilting Head Scroll Saw
This 21-inch-throat scroll saw has specially-designed blade guards that protect the user from harm, as well as dust protection to ensure that none of the internal parts can get damaged by sawdust. Unlike a lot of scroll saws, the blade is the part that bevels, tilting up to 45 degrees (or 30 degrees when tilted to the left). The wide, flat cutting surface makes it easy to slice large objects up, and the built-in dust blower means that you can easily clean it in-between cuts – not only that but replacing the blades is an entirely tool-free job.
The design of this scroll saw is different when compared to most, but it is still an excellent cutting tool for a wide range of situations.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. Dremel MS20-01 Compact Scroll Saw Kit
This compact variable-speed saw has an unusual design that makes it perfect for cutting things on the go, having a detachable main body that can leave the cutting table behind. Thanks to the fast-clamp system, you can easily connect it to a wide range of benches and working surfaces, and the quick-change mechanism makes it incredibly easy to replace the blade if it wears out or needs to be swapped for a different type. In addition, the tool also has a dust port adapter that keeps your work area clear and makes it easier to focus on making careful cuts.
Very few cutting tools are able to stay compact without losing efficiency, but this is one of the best scroll saws on the market if you need something handheld and easy-to-carry.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. Genesis GSS160 16″ Scroll Saw
This scroll saw boasts a very quiet 1.2 amp motor that offers smooth and consistent performance, even while cutting thick materials, with a speed range of around 400 to 1600 SPM. Thanks to its built-in dust blower, you can keep the cutting area clear even if you are creating a lot of dust and shavings, and the speed settings make it easy to adjust the amount of power being used on every cut. The blades also use a quick-change system that makes it extremely easy to replace them whenever it is necessary, speeding up the process significantly.
This is among the best scroll saws available so far, offering some excellent features and a great list of useful tools.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Scroll Saws Buyer’s Guide
Cutting tools can be extremely hard to buy if you are not sure what to look for, and it is easy to miss out on some key details that can be important for picking out the piece of gear you actually need most. Scroll saws are generally all quite similar on paper, but they still have a wide range of different features and optional parts that can affect how they work, what their limitations are and the way they are supposed to be used.
Almost all cutting tools are designed in ways that rely on speed to saw or slice through different materials, and scroll saws are no exception. No matter the situation you are using them in, a faster saw will almost always possess a much higher amount of cutting power, which might allow them to cut through harder materials as a result.
The speed of the blades will generally be set by the motor each saw uses, although some will have artificial limits on how fast they can actually move to prevent them from breaking. For example, a specific model might have a speed range of between 500 and 1800 cuts per minute, meaning that you will need to stay between these two limits. In many cases, a saw will have a dial-based speed system that can be slowly increased to get a precise amount of cutting power.
The “throat size” of a scroll saw can be confusing for first-time users, but it is a really important measurement to know if you are doing large-scale cutting work. In almost every case, the scroll saw will have a cutting surface with an elevated strut or arm that holds the actual blade. The throat is how much space there is between the blade and the arm that holds it – the larger the throat, the further you will be able to push it back, meaning that you can cut through larger objects or surfaces without having to do it in separate pieces.
For smaller jobs, you won’t need to care about the throat size as much, as long as it is somewhere between 14 – 18 inches in total. However, if you are getting involved in very specific types of work or regularly have to cut down large pieces of wood, metal, or another material, you will need to make sure you are getting the right size of the throat to avoid problems in the future.
There are two main types of blades you can use with scroll saws: standard blades and pin-end blades. While they are both roughly the same in terms of cutting power, they are designed for different kinds of cuts in general. Standard blades are, as the name suggests, similar to a normal sawblade – they cut just fine and can be used for essentially any cutting job, as long as you are using ones that are actually durable and reliable.
Pin-end blades are slightly different and are made with a new kind of connection – any scroll saw that accepts them will work with them, and they are designed to be easy to remove and can be swapped out or replaced quickly. However, they are less available than standard blades, and can sometimes be harder to use for accurate turns, making them a niche choice for very specific situations.
The Cutting Surface
Almost all scroll saws have a built-in cutting tab or table that you can use to properly align whatever you are cutting. However, the size of the board will vary based on the model you are using, and you can’t really swap them out easily without some extreme DIY. Since the blade is generally in the center of these cutting surfaces, it is not always that important to get the largest one available, but having one that is too small will make any kind of cutting work more awkward.
Remember that some saws can be attached to tables or other surfaces, increasing their stability much further than usual. Others might have deployable stands or legs that help them stay upright for much longer, too. This isn’t something you will find very often, but it can be extremely useful if you often need to use your scroll saw in multiple different locations.
Many scroll saw cutting tables will also bevel or rotate a certain amount to let you create angled cuts – different models will have different bevel limitations and systems, and not all of them will give you a true level of “free” rotation, relying on pre-set points instead.
Ease of Use
All tools will have multiple different levels of complexity, with some being much easier to use than others even if they are by the same manufacturer. Because of this, it can take a while to find something that is perfect for your skill level, and scroll saws are no exception. Finding the best scroll saw isn’t just a matter of choosing one with the best features or components, but picking a model that is ideal for your level of skill and the tools you have available at the time.
One important feature worth noting is the “tool-free” blade holder designs, which give you a way to remove blades without having to remove screws or employ any other kinds of tools. This not only takes far less time but also makes the scroll saw more of a standalone tool that can be used on its own, rather than forcing you to carry around a toolbox in case you need to swap out blades or adjust their angles.
If you are struggling to keep your materials stable on a cutting surface, consider using clamps to hold them down – this is really easy to do on scroll saws that attach to tables and benches.
Did you know?
Many scroll saws have a dust-sealed body that is able to keep sawdust and shavings out of its internal components. This might not seem important, but it can matter when cutting metal or extremely sharp wood.