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  • Saw Blades

    Thinking about a Excalibur EX21 but have no idea what kind of blades to order. For now I am interested primarily in cutting 1/8" to 1/4" plywood till I get the hang of it. What kind of blades would you recommend for my use. My only experience is with a Dremel Moto Shop that use 3" pin end blades and they only come in regular bades with different "tpi". I read about skip tooth, spiral and all kinds of blades and am totally lost as what to order. Sure wish someone sold a assortment of blades 3 or 4 each type to try and decide what to order.
    Bob making sawdust in SW Louisiana
    with a EX-21

  • #2
    I've used about every blade out there and the only one I use now are the Flying Duchman blades , scroll reverse 2/0 , 1 , 3 , sizes .......I have also used the Ultra Reverse 1, 3, 5, sizes .............had great luck with them ..............MB
    Usually busier than a cat in a sandbox !!!!!!!!!!! MB { Dewalt 788 only }


    • #3
      Get in touch with mike and tell him what you're thinking and he'll fix ya right up

      Mike's Workshop selling Flying Dutchman brand fret and scrollsaw blades
      May the wind at you back .....
      Not be from Lunch.

      Don't take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.

      Beauty is in the eye of the BEERHOLDER

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      • #4
        Hi Bob. I can fully understand your concerns over choice of blades. We all had this problem when we first started and through experience we come to have our favourite blades for the various things we make in a variety of materials and thicknesses. Like Marshall I use blades from Mike's workshop and use ultra reverse and scroll reverse blades in most sizes. I would start of with numbers 3 and 5 and start to practice with the 5s first as it will be easier to follow a line, when you have cut a few things on practice pieces of scrap try a 3 blade as this will be better for the tight corners and curves. When you have some experience and feeling more confident you can go even small in blades to a size 1 or 2/0 depending on how intricate your pieces are going to be. I wish you well and any problems you have we will be happy to give you some answers.


        • #5
          I too prefer FD blades that I get from Mike. For 80% of my plywood cutting I use #5 and #7 reverse tooth blades. The other 20% of the time I would use a spiral blade or a smaller reverse tooth blade (#2 or #3).
          Creator of fine designer sawdust.


          • #6
            The two predominant brands are Flying Dutchman and Olson blades. Mike's Workshop is the source of choice for Flying Dutchman. Sloan's is a good source for Olson. Both offer excellent service and you can speak to real live people on the phone, if you want their specific advice on blades. Check out both their websites as there is a lot of good info on blade types, applications and lots of other scrolling related stuff. You can get sample packs of Flying Dutchman blades, so that may be a good place to start.

            If you are cutting primarily single layers of 1/8" and 1/4" material, I would suggest a smaller blade, such as a #2/0 reverse tooth. Thin stock offers little resistance to the blade and one that is too large and aggressive will be difficult to control, until you get some practice in. If you prefer to try larger blades, then I suggest practicing on some thicker stock, or stack cutting the thin plywood. The number of the blade refers to it's relative size. The bigger the number, the bigger the blade. The bigger the blade, the more aggressively it will cut.

            Blades are very much application specific. The brand you choose is perhaps more of a Ford/Chevy kind of decision, but the type of blade will depend on the pattern and the material you are cutting. For general scrolling, reverse tooth blades are most popular as they minimize tearout on the back of the piece, are easier to control than other blades. Skip tooth blades work well for fast cutting in thicker stock. They have a little more tear out than reverse tooth, more aggressive cutting and better chip clearing. Spiral blades are used primarily when the piece you are cutting is too large to swing around within the throat of your saw. You can cut in any direction, by applying pressure in that direction. They require a bit of a learning curve, if you are already somewhat used to cutting with straight blades. They don't leave quite as smooth and clean of an edge as a straight blade. They are very popular for portrait cutting.

            Just about everything I've said above, and a lot more, is available from either of the 2 sites I mentioned. Check them out, decide what you want to cut and go from there.

            Good luck and have fun making sawdust!
            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."


            • #7
              I started out using Olsen blades on my Dewalt. When I switched over to the EX21, I found that the Olsen blades dragged on that scroll saw and it became a little frustrating to cut. I think it's because the Dewalt cuts faster and with a much more agressive blade movement than the EX. Keep in mind I usually cut into 1/2" or thicker wood most of the time. I find the FD blades cut much better, faster and last a lot longer. Maybe get a dozen of both brands and see what you're more comfortable with.


              • #8
                I only use FD blades from Mike.

                Delta P-20 & Q-3

                I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!


                • #9
                  Bill gave some great information.
                  With a few minor exceptions I use Olson blades. I would say try some from everyone untill you find a blade or blades that you are comfortable with.
                  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


                  • #10
                    Bob D, you have some good suggestions here. I always use Flying Dutchmen from I think he has an assortment package, you should ask him about. He will give you all the help you need. He's quick with orders too ! Good Scrolling to you.


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