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Beginner needs help with purchase

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  • Beginner needs help with purchase

    Hi there! I haven't used a scroll saw since high school, and I am having a hard time deciding on which one to purchase. I live in an apartment, so I really need one with dust collection - which seems to narrow it down to a Craftsman or a Delta. And it seems both of those only accept pin-end blades.

    How important it is to have more blade options?

    And how important are amps? I've noticed they range from about 1.2 to 2.3.

    And does anyone now if the dust collection features actually work?

    Thankyou so much! I am so glad i came across this website. The guys at home depot, sears and lowe's have been no help at all. I knew more than they did from my little bit of online research.

  • #2
    Welcome aboard!

    I'm sure other people may disagree with me, but to be honest, the dust collection is not as big of an issue as you think...I've never been satisfied with the dust collection ports on differnt tools--I end up fashioning my own.

    But with the scroll saw, all you need is a big box fan ($10 at the Dollar Store) and a good furnace filter (I use the filter right below the HEPA rated one). Turn the fan on high, and it cleans right up after your saw.

    If you are scrolling on a table, keep your vaccuum nearby and sweep up under the saw regularly. If you use a saw with a stand, your first project should be to cut a dust collecting shelf under the saw (fit it around the base of the saw and clamp it in place) that will keep 90% of the dust off your floor and the wood is easy to vaccuum off!

    I'd really avoid the saws with Pin end blades. There are adapters to allow you to use pinless blades with most saws, but in the long run, you're better off with a saw that takes pinless blades from the start--they are engineered more for general scrolling rather than general woodworking!


    Bob Duncan
    Scroll Saw Workshop


    • #3
      I have a 16 inch Craftsman and I really do like mine- I see this year they came out with one that the top part tils instead of your table- how cool is that - but be sure and buy the warranty for replacement -- sure is nice to get a brand new saw if something goes wrong than to have to wait to get one repaired- I have it and have no regrets


      • #4
        I've been scrolling a couple of months, and really like my Dremel 1680. It uses both pin and plain-end blades, has a very easy clamp system, is sturdy, has a worklight (albeit not as bright as I'd like), a blower, came with a good solid stand and several blades, and can be found for around $110 if you look around. Mine was at Lowe's, brand-new in unopened box, with the stand included.

        Mine is on a sheet of plastic in my apartment, and as someone else mentioned, just grabbing the vacuum cleaner and vacuuming up the dust and wood is simple. I stick the hose up to the vacuum port on the saw and it sucks all the dust from inside the crannies and belly of the saw.

        I tried a Ryobi before my Dremel, and took it back. It was lighter, had irregularities in the speed, vibrated quite a lot, and I found the clamp system not as easy to use. However, others like their Ryobis. I paid $10 more for my Dremel 1680 and was 100 times happier with it than the Ryobi.

        All the best!



        • #5
          jennabelle, don't know about the Craftsman but the Delta saws use the pinless blades. The Delta P-20, $479 has a dust port built into it. I would stay away from any saws that take the pin type blades. Go to before you decide to purchase a saw. Good luck with whichever saw you decide on. Mick
          Mick, - Delta P-20

          A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.


          • #6
            Craftsman takes both pin end and pinless blades


            • #7
              As Bob said, the dust collection really isnt a major issue, as you can hang a furnace filter on a box fan to collect the majority,and combine that with a small shop vac, your all set. I also wouldnt be concerned so much with the amperage. I would closely look at blade changing ease (And again, I would reccomend you get a saw that takes pinless blades, if you dont, you will wish you did.) A toolless blade change is the best, but even the ones with an allen wrench set-up are better then a pinned blade saw. With pinned blades, it limits the type of cutting you can do because they require such a large hole to feed the blade through. Ok, Id also be concerned with operator controls, are they easily accessible, up front where you dont need to struggle to get at them. This is where I'll mention variable speed, if you can afford variable speed, by all means get it, thats a priceless thing to have!Also, the blade tensioning lever. It doesnt do you much good if its located out of reach, or in an awkward place, as you will frequently be reaching for it depending on what you are cutting. Check to see if it has a decent dust blower (its the little hose that blows the dust away from your cut line).Not to be confused with a dust collector, this just keeps your cutting line visible to you. A good blower makes cutting so much more fun.Next, check vibration of the saw. The smoother running it is, the happier you will be.Good luck, go shopping!!!!

              Oh and...Ann does have almost the same situation as you, Im sure she can tell you a lot about how to keep the landlords oblivious to your 'workshop' !
              Dale w/ yella saws


              • #8

                Thankyou all so much for your advice. I'm sure I'll be asking for some more in the future!


                • #9
                  My son has moved back in with me, which is actually a very good thing, but it means the scroll saw is back in the kitchen! My son reclaimed the second bedroom, the chinchilla went from the kitchen to the living room, the set of shelves went from next to the fridge to the previous chinchilla spot, and now the Dremel 1680 is parked, on its stand complete with the 70-lb sandbag, next to the fridge. Now whenever my landlord walks past my patio, he can see the scroll saw!!!

                  The scroll saw is the least of my noise worries though -- my 1/4-sheet sander, sometimes my Dremel rotary tool and attachments, AND the 18-yr-old and his taste in -- well, he calls it music -- makes the scroll saw Quite The Innocent.

                  Good thing I help my neighbours a lot and make things for them...



                  • #10
                    its not too cold outside Ann, have your son get himself a tent, and pitch it out back! You need that shopspace!!!!!!
                    Dale w/ yella saws


                    • #11
                      Now THAT'S an idea!


                      • #12
                        So will your next project involve cutting a log cabin for your son?

                        There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                        (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


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