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what makes a great saw

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  • what makes a great saw

    as above, i read with interest some peoples comments on their favourite saws, and i wonder 'what makes a great saw'. I will be looking to purchase a new saw in the new year and wondered what do i need to look for, would it be :
    a) variable speeds
    b)ease of blade replacement
    c) build quality

    i would like to hear from anyone what makes a great saw for them.

  • #2
    Hi Steve
    My name also is Steve and I live in the Central Michigan area. Great name hey *LOL* As far as the kind of saw to get I have a Dewalt DW788 and love it alot. It has variable speed and the blade changing is real easy. I bought mine from Harbor Freight for $300.00 because it was a reconditioned one. I think for someone starting out this would be a real good saw to get. For people that scroll 8 or more hours a day, a better saw would proably be in order. I hope this helps you out. You will find this form very friendly and always willing to help out. Stop by often.


    • #3
      Steve, you have the right idea. Those are all important things to look for. Also, make sure the saw accepts pinless blades. I believe all the modern ones do but you may find what appears to be a good deal on a used one somewhere that doesn't.

      The other Steve gave some good advice. I also have the DW788 that I bought used off Ebay. If you do find a used DW788, make sure it is a type 1, not type 2. The newer ones are type 2 and many people find they have to be sent to the factory right away due to blade holders too far apart. That would be real disappointing to spend almost $500 for a saw and then can't use it for a couple months. It will tell on the motor which type it is. The older ones were made in Canada and the majority of people have great luck with them, and the newer ones are made in China, and with them you're taking a chance. Reconditioned ones could be type 2 but probably, due to the reconditioning, have the problems solved.

      Good luck and let us know what you get.

      P.S. If money wasn't a factor, I probably would have gone with the Excalibur EX21 for $850. But alas, money is always a factor for me.

      Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.


      • #4
        "If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg."

        Saws: AWSF18, Meccano Mk II


        • #5
          Hobbies and Hegner. For myself, I import blades from the US but I'm not going to discuss this in detail for fear of being accused of promoting one brand over another .

          It's a good idea to get yourself a decent instruction book too. John Nelson's Scroll Saw Workbook is very highly regarded although I don't actually have a copy.

          Hope this helps.

          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)


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gill
            Hi Steve

            For myself, I import blades from the US but I'm not going to discuss this in detail for fear of being accused of promoting one brand over another .

            Fence-sitter .. lol

            Scrolling with a Dewalt 788


            • #7
              I have decided not to use blades any more and I am going for old dental floss.
              That way no one can say I play favorites.
              Only problem is all the good dental floss comes from Ireland. I don't know if I should post a country for a supplier. I may just start another feud.

              Blades are a matter of preference. They are all about the same price, I suggest you try all of them and find out which ones work best for you.

              For me saw selection was determined by my budget. once I knew how much I could afford I looked at the features of each of the saws in my price range.
              I needed variable speed, ease of blade change and low vibration. I will be the first to admit that my saws do vibrate at certain speeds, so I avoid those speeds.

              I once had a car that shook when it went over 100 km an I never took it over 100!
              CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
              "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
              Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


              • #8
                Nobody mentioned gas power versus electric power. Gas is certainly the way to go for power, but the fumes will give you a I recommend the electric scroll saw.
                good luck with the purchase !
                Jeff Powell


                • #9
                  Originally posted by workin for wood
                  Nobody mentioned gas power!
                  Then there's treadle power...

                  "If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg."

                  Saws: AWSF18, Meccano Mk II


                  • #10
                    hi all
                    thank you for all these great replies, if i told you that i want to use the machine to help me enhance the miniature furniture i build (among other things), and it will be used to cut out very small shapes, would i need a fast speed, or a slow speed. I would like to re-create some old victorian stuff, but in 1/12th scale, 1 inch to the foot, so wouldn't need too much vibration, as it needs to be acurate.
                    I looked at the Sip saw, it looked good, but what do i know, the last time i tried scroll sawing, the machine vibrated so much i couldn't hold it, but that was a cheap Ferm one speed thing.
                    well i will continue my way around this website, it looks brilliant, catch you later..

                    link to items i built couple of years ago,
                    Last edited by stevebuk; 12-21-2006, 07:48 AM.


                    • #11
                      Being that you are on that side of the Pond I would suggest you go for a Hegner. that certainley would meet all of your requirements.
                      I like the work on your site. A small table with inlay would be real cool.
                      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


                      • #12
                        That eight-sided table is fantastic!

                        I would think you want slow speeds rather than fast for detailed work but with true variable speed, not just two speeds that are always either too slow or too high.

                        "If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg."

                        Saws: AWSF18, Meccano Mk II


                        • #13
                          hi chris
                          thank you, done using pyrography, i have loads of ideas for it in the future, as well as scrollsawing, just got to get to rips with it.


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