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I can afford it, but...

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  • I can afford it, but...

    Lurking on several woodworking forums, I have gotten the idea that the DeWalt 788 is the ideal way to go for the typical scroll sawer (sawyer?)...a good quality saw, but not the four figures of the Hegner, etc.

    My only experience with a scroll saw was a lower priced Grizzly bought more or less on impulse, and without having any experience. I soon sold it to a friend because it was not simple to use and was very rough. I assumed all were like that.

    Now, I have a yen to do a few simple projects, more playing than doing necessary work. Given my enjoyment of other woodworking techniques, I imagine I will enjoy scrolling also.

    Now that you have an idea of my background, the question is (surprise here) "What saw should I buy?" I can afford the DeWalt, but don't know if I can justify spending that much on a tool I may or may not use that much. I know I have regretted not buying the "right" tool before, and have upgraded when I had the chance, but that was on tools I knew I would use. I can't say that with a scroll saw.

    So...I can afford the DeWalt, but am not sure I should not go with something less expensive like the Dremel. What would the experienced folks out there recommend?

    Also, is the tripod-shaped stand advisable, or is just putting the saw on a bench just as functional?

    Thanks for helping.


  • #2
    Well Joe Pack, if JT was lurking he would say buy the Dewalt, and here is one time I agree with him.

    If you can afford it, you will not regret it. If you are on the forum you have more than just a passing interest in scrolling.

    You have used a low ends saw before and discovered some of the limitations which can plague some low end saws.

    There is nothing wrong with the Dremel, but you said you have upgraded other tools in the past.
    I am sure once you get a Dewalt, you will be hooked on scrolling.

    Good luck with what ever purchase you make,

    Happy scrolling
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


    • #3

      I am fairly new to all of this also. But I would like to say I went with the advise
      of this forum and ordered the DW 788 . I have had it for just over a week now and have not had a good nights sleep since . My family thinks I moved out because I am always in the basement scrolling. I would say that I am very happy with the saw thus far.
      I must say that I first bought a craftsman then a delta only to then replace it with the dewalt . Should have found this forum earlier. I hope you dont make the same mistake I made.

      You are already ahead of me you joined this forum before you made the purchase

      Per your question about a stand , please do your self a favor get the stand !!!
      well worth the investment , you won't be sorry. Some places offer package deal with light check it out before you buy.

      Mark H
      Last edited by Mark H; 02-08-2006, 09:25 AM.


      • #4

        If you asked who bought a less expensive saw for the reason you want to, I'll raise my hand. Then I bought a Dewalt. Don't waste time on something that you'll upgrade from if you can afford the Dewalt. Also, get the easy lift for $20 from someone like Wildwood. It makes the Dewalt even more user friendly. Of course, based on different strokes for different folks, what do I know?



        • #5
          Hello Joe,

          I started scrollsawing with a Delta 350 less than two years ago. Good little saw, but not up to the tasks I tried to put it thru. After spending more on parts than I spent on the saw, I upgraded to the DeWalt 788 a few months back and WOW, what a difference. While I still catch myself looking for the OFF button down low instead of up top, the Dewalt is a great saw and has done everything I've asked it to do.

          Also, I have mine sitting on a piece of 3/4 birch ply sitting on top of my Ridgid tablesaw. vibration exists at lower speeds, but who runs their saws (or snow machines, or motorcylces, or cars, or trucks or..... ) on slower speeds much?
          ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

          D. Platt


          • #6
            Like Mark H, I went from Craftsman to Delta to DeWalt. I've used it for 2 years now and haven't had a problem. I've also used RBI and Hegner, which I couldn't afford at the time.
            You won't regret it.

            There's a fine line between woodworking and insanity, I'm just not sure which side of the line I'm on!


            • #7
              Buy the DeWalt


              Welcome to the best scrolling forum there is.

              I started with a Delta SS250 and then bought a DeWalt 788 and so glad I did. It's a great saw. If you do I suggest you, as I did, buy the stand, as well. As Carl said you will not regret it I know I haven't.


              My saw is a DeWalt788 Measure twice; cut once; count fingers after cut


              • #8
                Yes, definatly agree with all of the others. Get the Dewalt! And yes, the three legged stand it makes the saw very stable .Then you can experiment if you want it tilted forward or table flat, but your owners manual will explain that. And, I also agree, after you get your new yella saw, get the easy-lift for it. Thats another $20 investment you wont ever regret! Dale
                Dale w/ yella saws


                • #9
                  Looks like DeWalt can quit spending money on advertising the 788 and just send potential customers to this forum.

                  There's a fine line between woodworking and insanity, I'm just not sure which side of the line I'm on!


                  • #10
                    yup, they could almost share the same motto as the flying dutchmans motto!
                    Dale w/ yella saws


                    • #11
                      an Alternative View

                      Joe, an alternative view. Like almost all of the folkes here on the forum, I have gone through a learning process before finally settling on my current saw.

                      Before learning anything about stacking or using scrap for a backer, I scrolled a ton of projects from a single sheets of 1/8th ply.

                      The only saw I found that could do the job with precision was a 1200 dollar Hegner 18" Variable speed.

                      Then old age began creeeping up on me and I found it a real pain - literally - to feed blades from the bottom. Heard about the Delta 20 Industrial Scrollsaw and bought one.

                      It is the one I have settled on. Costs about the same as the DeWalt and once you get used to using the lower blade clamps, it very easy to use.
                      Bob from Northwest Florida

                      Delta P20


                      • #12
                        I totally agree with beemerbob. That P-20 is one sweet running saw with the easiest top feeding system and best blade holders on the market. Mine is over three years old and has done more sawing than most saws do in ten years. I use Pegas blades exclusively now because nothing I have tried comes close to the quality of them .
                        Pégas Scroll Saw Blades = Swiss Made Quality

                        Pégas use's a closely guarded fabricating process that produces crisp, sharp, precisely formed teeth, not found in other blades.
                        So with a combination of the Delta P-20 scroll saw and the Pegas blades I have a win, win , situation and they make scrolling a most enjoyable experience.

                        The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

                        Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .


                        • #13
                          Like the others have said the 788 is a good value for the money. Be aware that DeWalt has just discovered that the tensioning wedge in the upper arm that tensions the blade and, is an adjustment for the distance that the thumb-screw blade holders are spaced is being manufactured to incorrect specifications. DeWalt is in the process just this last week to solve this problem.

                          The incorrect wedge causes the thumb-screw blade holders to spread too far apart. Please visit my advisory post to this fourm in 'General Scroll Saw' Fri, 2/18. Also, there is additional info about this issue on Rich Hutchenson's web site under his topic 'DeWalt Tune-up'.

                          The problem is that not everyone realizes that their 788 saws could be a much better saw if it were to have the correct spec wedge that makes attaching the blade a more precise installation (especially when using a reverse tooth blade). It seems that thoes that purchased the 'Type 1' saw manufactured in Canada with the correct wedge don't experience this problem and, this accounts for a lot of the more experiences sawers who don't have this condition on their 788 saw and swear by their 788. And thoes that purchased the latter 'Type 2' saws made in Tiwan that are new to this saw think it's normal deal with as the best they can.

                          I would encourage everyone that has purchased a 788 saw within the last several years to check the distance that the holes of the thumb-screw blade holders are spaced and, if they don't have 1/4"-1/2" of blade protrusion above AND below the holders that they contact DeWalt Customer Service, Larry Wagner (800-433-9258) to discuss their concerns.

                          Sorry for the long post. I don't want someone new the this wonderful hobby to have the same frustrations that I've had.


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