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What are your preferences as far as scroll saws go?

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  • What are your preferences as far as scroll saws go?

    Hi, I'm new to scroll sawing - so new, in fact, that I don't have a saw yet. I do lots of other things such as airbrushing, woodturning, wood carving, wood burning, painting with acrylics and oils, paracord braiding (lots of things to do with art!). We went to Lowe's the other day and I came across a Woodworking & Crafts magazine. The stuff in there was so neat that I bought the magazine and have been searching the net ever since for stuff to do with scroll sawing. But I don't know which saw to go for. Of course, I'd like to get a good one if I'm going to spend money on it, but I also don't want to spend a whole lot since I don't have a whole lot to spend. What are your preferences? What do you like about your particular saw? Pros and cons? Price and a good place to buy it? Anything will help! Thanks!


    I moved your thread to a more appropriate forum to maximize traffic and get you more responses to your request/question.
    Last edited by wood-n-things; 11-01-2011, 01:28 AM.

  • #2
    Welcome A Board!! You will be hard pressed to find a friendlier or more knowledgeable group on the net re: woodworking. Share your knowledge and do not hesitate to ask questions.

    You may find the stickies at the top of this forum to be very helpful. Use the Link below.

    Message Board FAQ, Suggestions and Feedback - Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts Message Board.

    Take a few minutes to read through them. They are chock full of great information.

    Be sure and share pics of your projects. We thrive on pictures.

    The only dumb question is the one that remains unasked.

    Whatever reason brought you to our forum we are pleased you found us.
    "Still Montana Mike"

    "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
    Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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    • #3
      This is a question that comes up regular,
      i myself started out with a cheap budget model,i done this as it was the only thing available at the time,and also i didnt know if i was going too like scrolling,so if i didnt at least i hadnt spent too much on it,
      but scrolling can be infectious,and as my interest in the craft grew,
      i graduated up too a bigger saw,this would be the route i would advise people too go,...
      not doing much
      and busy doing it


      having fun making sawdust.


      http://www.customcutz4you.webs.com/

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      • #4
        Welcome to the SS world.

        Some folks like Ford and other Chevy. A lot of folks, myself included, like the Dewalt DW788. In fact I own two. It WAS the king of the mid range saws. Sadly they quality of the new saws is at an all time low. I would watch your local Craigslist for a used one. Scrolling is a love or hate thing.
        Scott
        Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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        • #5
          As you will discover we all feel we own the best saws.
          For me that is a Hawk G4 26
          Rolf
          RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
          Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
          Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
          And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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          • #6
            I am fairly new at scrolling and we have Dewalt 788s at our club that I first used.

            When I went to buy a scroll saw, I asked around and did a lot of research on the internet and my conclusion was to buy the Excalibur if you can afford it. Even club members with Dewalts said they would change in a heart beat.

            Watch for sales as here in Canada you see 10 to 20% off the listed General price from time to time especially when the wood shows are on.

            I got the EX-21 with stand and foot petal for $734 CDN plus tax.

            Have not regretted it at all.

            Don
            Don McFarland ​Member - Durham Woodworking Club http://www.durhamwoodworkingclub.com/

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            • #7
              Welcome artcountry1. Have spent much time too in the arts, silversmith & leather. I have an inexpensive old Dremel and it's noisy, shakes, and hard to change blades but, basically works. I want to upgrade and am watching Craigslist for one of the better ones. You'll find the most helpful information on the DeWalt 788. Because of that, its overall popularity, and in my price range, it is my preference.
              Again, welcome. There's a bunch of fine folk here.
              Regis
              An old beginner leaping in.

              Pleased with my new EX-16.

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              • #8
                Hi artcountry 1: I wore out a 16' craftsman scrollsaw - well the jaws got wore out . I decided to buy a new and better saw since this is the tool that circles around my hobby .My tool of choice is the Dewalt model 788 - mine is the type II and it's been a good saw without any problems except I did blow one fuse one time and other than that it's been a trooper now for four years I think maybe five years now. You can spend any amount for there are saws out there for a lot more ...... ...........
                Usually busier than a cat in a sandbox !!!!!!!!!!! MB { Dewalt 788 only }

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                • #9
                  I have an Excalibur 21 and am exceedingly happy with it. I chose it because the saw head tilts instead of the table. It makes bevel cutting much easier because the table stays flat. Since you bought your magazine at Lowes I will assume you are in the US. Ray Seymore at Seyco is the most knowledgeable person I know of when it comes to these saws and his customer service is outstanding.

                  I've had my EX-21 for a couple of years and have had no problems at all with it. It has so little vibration that I can sit a cup of coffee on it while cutting and not have it move. I had an inexpensive saw prior to the EX and decided it would be better used as a cocktail shaker because the vibration was so bad.

                  Before you buy any saw, get a copy of the SSWC issue in which they did evaluations and comparisons of the various saws in all the price ranges. It will save you some frustration. Back issues are available through a link in this forum.

                  Happy Hunting

                  Jan

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                  • #10
                    I always follow these posts with interest, because it seems as though the entry level scroll saw market has been in a state of flux over the past few years. Familiar makes & models have been discontinued and few new ones have been introduced. It's kind of hard to know which budget saws are good and which are to be avoided.

                    In the past, it was easy to recommend the DeWalt 788 as the best bang for the buck, however, as has been mentioned, their quality has come into serious question lately, so even though I have one and like it, I really hesitate to recommend it to others.

                    That leaves the premium saws such as RBI Hawk, Hegner, Excalibur and Eclipse. Unfortunately, many of these saws are out of the price range of a lot of beginners. The used market may be the best alternative source for one of these.

                    The scroll saw review that the host of this site published a few issues back, is a good resource. I don't have it in front of me, so I can't recall how the reviewed saws rated, but that is probably the best place to start.

                    Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
                    Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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                    • #11
                      Wow! Thanks everyone! I'll check out what you all suggested. I'm new to forums, too, and couldn't find my thread till I searched for my username.. I really appreciate all the help - I know I'll be back to ask more questions!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jan View Post
                        I have an Excalibur 21 and am exceedingly happy with it. I chose it because the saw head tilts instead of the table. It makes bevel cutting much easier because the table stays flat. Since you bought your magazine at Lowes I will assume you are in the US. Ray Seymore at Seyco is the most knowledgeable person I know of when it comes to these saws and his customer service is outstanding.

                        I've had my EX-21 for a couple of years and have had no problems at all with it. It has so little vibration that I can sit a cup of coffee on it while cutting and not have it move. I had an inexpensive saw prior to the EX and decided it would be better used as a cocktail shaker because the vibration was so bad.

                        Before you buy any saw, get a copy of the SSWC issue in which they did evaluations and comparisons of the various saws in all the price ranges. It will save you some frustration. Back issues are available through a link in this forum.

                        Happy Hunting

                        Jan

                        Thanks, Jan -
                        You know - I've been looking at the magazine I got and find myself looking at the ads just as much as the articles! I don't think I've ever done that before... anyway, I was looking at the Excalibur for the very same reasons - that the head tilts instead of the table. Yes, I am in the US - in IL. It's also nice to know that Seyco's customer service is so good. I'll check out those back issues... Thanks
                        Karen

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                        • #13
                          You may want to join a scroll saw club in your area. Then you could talkto members about what they like/dislike about their saws.

                          There is a link in the left column.

                          You may also get the chance to use a few different saws to help you make up your own mind. After all It's your money.

                          It's good to talk to people that don't have a vested interest in selling you a saw. Most stores will only have good things to say about what they have in stock and bad to say about what they don't. That's my experience anyway.

                          Craigslist can be a good place to find a saw, but you may need to get past the many flakes and scammers. Are they selling the saw because they just don't use it or because they just stole it from their neighbors garage.

                          I've looked at several used dewalts that had so much back to front blade movement no wonder the owners didn't like scrolling.

                          I wouldn't buy a saw that I couldn't try first. It would be good if you could take an experienced scroiller with you. They may notice what you don't.

                          Good luck and happy scrolling.
                          Political correctness is always political and rarely correct!

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