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Good beginner saw?

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  • Good beginner saw?

    I'm bran new to the world of scroll saws. I've had some experience with a band saw, but as an artist I'm am interested in learning to use, what appears to be, a more detail oriented scroll saw. Any suggestions on an affordable beginners saw?

  • #2
    This is an age old question on the site,
    Some people feel buy the best saw you can afford. others will tell you to buy a saw that suites your budget.

    When buying a saw, look for one that will take "pinless" blades.
    I prefer having one that doesn't use tools to change the blade.
    A variable speed is also preferred.

    The capacity of the saw is based on the length of the neck. 16 inches tends to be the most common size.

    Turn on the saw with a blade set at the correct tension. Check it out for vibration. The less the vibration the less fatiguing the saw will be to use.
    Also look closely at the blade, it should move up and down with very little side play.

    Pricing of saws varies from $100 to $1500. and although they all do the same thing, move the blade up and down, you will notice a huge difference in the quality.

    I have been scrolling for 10 years now and started out with a $150 Delta saw, It served me well,
    I needed more throat in the saw and stepped up to an 18" Ryobi, which suites me just fine.
    Many scrollers on this site prefer the Dewalt, which is considerably cheaper in the US than its $600 price tag here in Canada.

    There are several upper end model saws out there, I can't really comment on them because I haven't used them,

    Others will surely jump in with comments when they read this post.

    Hope this was some help
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


    • #3
      Not me Carl
      John T.


      • #4
        adeldesign, don't know how much you plan on spending. For around $200 check out the Delta 16" SS350LS. For $450 to $500 look at the Dewalt 788 and the Delta P-20. These are both 20" and very good saws. Then go to for great advice, prices and service on blades. For answers to your scrolling questions this is a great site. Happy scrolling with whichever saw you choose. Mick.
        Mick, - Delta P-20

        A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.


        • #5
          Be sure to look at reconditioned saws--I got my Dewalt 788 for $359 and it's never been touched I love it! I got mine from Tool King but there are many places you can buy a saw for less than new price. If you'd like reviews of individual saws, I read many of them on and as well as here. Hope that helps!


          • #6
            A photographer friend of mine once told me to buy my 2nd camera first...

            Buy a lower cost camera and learn it's features.

            Use it for a while and figure out what features I liked and what I wished I had, then buy the camera I really wanted...

            I've used that advice often... worked for me on the scrollsaw, bought a cheap delta, wore it out, bought a 788 - love it...

            good luck...


            • #7
              There are times when that thinking doesn't work because people buy a cheap scroll saw and get so frustrated with it they loose interest and the next thing they give up a great hobby. To me Buy at least midrange and you always can go up from there but at least you are learning on a good saw that will not frustrate you. This goes for any tool you buy. You get what you pay for is something I always lived by.
              John T.


              • #8
                Get the best one you can afford.

                I agree with John.

                My first scroll saw was a cheapo and I was always fighting it to make even the simplest projects. Fortunately, I didn't give up and I eventually got a Delta 20" variable speed (This was about 20 years ago). Suddenly I was a pretty good scrollsawer and making some nice projects. But I had wasted $125 and about a year of misery.

                There are several good, reasonably priced scrollsaws on the market. I would strongly suggest you try out a saw before buying it. If you have a friend who does scroll sawing bring him (or her) along.

                You'll remember the quality a lot longer than you remember the price.



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