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  • Is it true what I've read? Advice

    hi. i'm going to buy a scroll saw in the next couple days. what is bothering me is what I've read about the scroll saws. For one the dewalt 788 had reviews on it that many people ordering from amazon said no matter what they did after trying to adjust the table while putting it together they couldn't get the blade to go thru the hole even after adjusting. Either it wouldn't go thru the hole at all or it rubbed. I read some other places about blade problems and noises and blades traveling and or not cutting right. The other saw is the delta 40-690. i couldn't find much on it except the traveling blade.
    It's hard to decide which one to get. the delta is much more affordable for me but I like the features on the dewalt better but I don't want to be constantly trying to figure out how to fix them. I can't read one of those exploded veiws. They are confusing but I am mechanically inclined. I can't just drive down the road and send it back because we live in the middle of nowhere and there is no ups store. We also don't have the money to ship the darn thing back and forth either. So if you were me what would your best bet be? I'm interested in fretwork and clocks and boxes and music boxes and bird feeders. I know I'm the one to decide but I need some input from people who know about this stuff lol

  • #2
    Hi Karen, welcome to the forum. You are discovering what has been reported on this forum and others for a while now, that the DeWalt quality has slipped significantly in recent years. I have a DeWalt and fortunately haven't had any serious issues with it in the 5 or 6 years I've owned it. However, given your circumstances, I would be very reluctant to order one sight unseen. One really needs to see the saw, assembled and operating, before purchasing as these problems are very hit & miss. My understanding is that the Delta is essentially a DeWalt clone with a different color scheme. I have no idea if it is plagued by the same chronic quality problems. I haven't heard or read of anyone who actually owns one yet.

    I don't know what your budget will allow, but many on this forum have been very satisfied with the Excalibur saws. They have many of the same features as the Dewalt (they share some of the same DNA) and most of what I've heard & read has been positive, both from a build quality and customer service perspective. I don't have first hand experience with the Excalibur, but if I were buying a new saw today, that would be the first one I would look at.

    Good luck!
    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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    • #3
      karen12, just what I have read on here and several other forums. The Delta 40-690 is the same saw as the Dewalt 788. Have not heard anything good about the newer 788's. Delta and Dewalt were both owned by Black & Decker. Delta is now owned by a company in Columbia SC. Never really understood why Black & Decker would come out with 2 identical saws, one a Dewalt and the other a Delta. I would check around for a used saw. The original Dewalt 788 is a Type 1, made in Canada. Finding one of those would be great. The type 2's are made in Taiwan. Good luck with whichever saw you choose.
      Mick, - Delta P-20

      A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

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      • #4
        A few years back, I'd never hesitate to recommend a DeWalt - now - I'm not so sure. I've heard good things about the excalibur but I've never owned one so I can't comment on them one way or another. My first DeWalt (Type 1) was/is a fantastic saw. My type 2 is "ok" but frustrating (I'm on my 3rd second one - first 1 returned within a few days, 2nd one died under warranty). The one I'm using is less than a year old and drives me crazy some days. I think if you're in the store and can try the one you're buying and make sure they'd exchange it if you had a problem - I'd say go ahead - but by mail...not me. The one I'm using was drop shipped from DeWalt directly so I can't just complain to the store and since it's a replacement - DeWalt says the warranty starts from when you get your first one so even tho it's not a year old yet...I'm out of luck.
        Janette
        www.square-designs.com

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        • #5
          I bought a Delta and had to take it back. The blade was moving from left to right about 1/16". I called Delta and they told me there was no adjustment for that and to return the saw. I returned it to the store and they had a replacement. I checked that saw and it did the same thing. So, I got my money back and I'm holding out for an Excalibur.

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          • #6
            Karen12....I've also read some pretty bad reviews on amazon. I was also thinking of the DeWalt but now I'm thinking I might go with an Excalibur.
            Excalibur is made in USA, they outsource DeWalt to Taiwan now.
            the Ex cost a bit more, but what use a is a saw that won't cut right or is constantly in shipment back to the company for replacements or repairs?

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            • #7
              Karen, you have a very difficult decision to make, in what saw to buy. Any saw can be a lemon & the info that you can get on saws will help you to decide. I know how you feel about not having a tool store close to you. I would recomend trying one, but, that is almost impossible, if you don't have one close by. I have had my 788 DeWalt type II for about 3 years now & I haven't had any problems. But, others have had problems, I guess. I will add, that the Delta is the same saw as the DeWalt, just different color. I would say that it depends on how much you want to spend on a saw-- new or used. Good Luck to you.
              PERK

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              • #8
                Hi Karen. I thought I would add my bit as well. Someone mentioned you are in a difficult position and it is hard making the right choice. I have a Dewalt type one and it is fine, never had any problems. But scroll saws being what they are it does not mean that someday i wont have a problem and that is one of the reasons i bought an excalibur 21 today as I cannot be without a scroll saw as I make a living from it. It is a bit like cars Karen. You mention one model to someone and they will say they are nothing but trouble, you talk to other people and it is the best car in the world and never had a problem with it. The Dewalt is a fine saw but in my book the Excalibur is a better saw and I know many people who have them and they have never had a problem. If you can afford one go for it, it will give years of pleasure and using an Excalibur will allow you to produce better quality items because you will know in your heart you have the very best.

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                • #9
                  I sold an 1978 motorcycle on ebay and made enough money to buy a Ex 21. I never did scroll saw work before but people on here and others say my work looks very good. I feel that without a good saw this wouldn't happen.

                  If you want to do a good job, no matter what it is, you have to have the right and best tool for the job. There is all ways something around the place you don't need and can sale to get the money. Just my 2 cents worth.

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                  • #10
                    I will echo what a lot of people have said. The Dewalt has a lot of quality control problems. Some people have been relatively happy but alot, including myself, have had a host of problems. This caused me to go out and buy an Excalibur 21" after only having the Dewalt for 1 1/2 yrs. Now its a 500 dollar paper weight. The Delta is basically the same machine with a different color so I would stay away from that. I will also add that I would not buy a power tool, electronic equipment or anything fragile through Amazon. If you look at their reviews, you will find a tremendous amount of people complaining about the poor condition of the merchandise they purchased. It seems to be a widespread problem with them.

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                    • #11
                      G'day Karen,
                      I have both a Dewalt and an Ex21. IMHO the Ex21 is a far superior machine. However just the intricacies of scrollsaws make them much more prone to problems than other wood working tools.
                      Even the Excalibur has design faults, such as steel thumbscrews tapped into aluminium blocks as blade holders etc. For nor many dollars more these could be sorted, but I suppose all manufactures try to make items to a price.
                      Regards
                      John
                      "The Golden Mile"John Wayne
                      Some of my Stuff
                      Retired Medically Unfit Police Officers ***.

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                      • #12
                        You all basically said what I was thinking out loud. So I went looking at the excalibur 21 and they were a bit pricey for us but in looking at them I clicked on a link for a 16 inch and it was on sale too. Its smaller than I wanted but it has the arm that stays up to change blades plus other features. it was about the same price as the dewalt so we jumped in and ordered it so I am excited! Hope it works out well. Now on to reading everything I can find and ordering a couple books. If you know of a good book to learn from please let me know!

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                        • #13
                          Last week I looked on Craigslist and found a 788 that was 4 years old and not used much about 25 miles from my house. He was asking $300.00 for it and I bought it for $250.00. Not sure if it's a 1 or 2 but it sure does a good job. I love it even though I havn't used it that long. Several people in our local (Tulsa, Ok.) club have them and love them. I stated a few months back with a RBI Hawk and it was/is a good machine, but not as user friendly as the 788. Good luck with your quest.

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                          • #14
                            Karen12, sounds like a good move. The DW788 Type I had a sticker on the motor where the Type was listed on the same line as the S/N. They can be had used, lightly, for $250 an under. Having both the EX and the 788 and several Hawks, the EX is a definite winner.
                            Got Moose?

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                            • #15
                              Karen I'm unsure about what books are out there to help you, but there are a few good web sites which will give you a lot of help. I'll list some here for you: Scrollsaw Workshop Rick's Scrollsaw TheArtFactory.com (they have a couple dvd's you can purchase). The first 2 sites have a bunch of videos, tips, tricks, etc to help you get going. I hope it helps. I know it did for me as I was in your shoes only 2 years ago.

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