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Advice on choosing the right saw to start with.

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  • Advice on choosing the right saw to start with.

    Hello, my name is Steve,

    I have a fairly nice shop and assortment of tools, and experience using them.
    Thank you for having me here.
    Like most woodworkers I have bought tools that were almost good enough to do what I wanted.
    Those are the most expensive tools because then I am not happy, and I have to buy a better one too.
    My wife makes pens and wants me to make collapsible baskets, and I want to learn to do fret work.
    She wants me to buy a scroll saw. (I know, it blew my mind when she said it.)

    So long story short, I am looking at the excalibur, the pegas, and the dewalt.

    I just absolutely don't want to buy a tool that I won't be happy with.

    I am leaning towards the excalibur, but then I read about plant swaps, and changing manufacturing. Are the newer ones still good?

    The Dewalt seems like a great tool, but I think tilting arm would be better than tilting table?

    Thank you for taking the time to offer advice.

  • #2
    Welcome. Asking about the best saw in a group of scrollers is like asking everyone in an ice cream shop what the best flavor is. Everyone will have a different opinion for different reasons. We also can only recommend, or not, based on what we have used and experienced. That however is still a subjective opinion. Others experiences may differ with the same equipment. We can also share what we have heard or read, but that may or may not be accurate as I am sure we have all learned. What is good for anyone is reliant on many things. One of the most important being your budget. So the best advise is do your complete research and make the call on what you think will be best for you and your budget.

    That all said, I will give some of my personal opinions and insight. I have used an original Type 1 Dewalt, an older Excalibur from its original days of being built in Canada and one of the first Seyco saws released. The Pegas saw was not out when the Seyco was purchased for me as a gift that I did not know about ahead of time.The Dewalt is considered by many to be a good introductory level saw. Many have used a Dewalt for years and love them and have never seen the need to change. Others use them, and then “upgrade” later to another saw. The original Excalibur machines were considered by many to be a top notch saw, but the most recent ones on the market, which are being made in China, are not and I have seen several complaints on those. Since the Pegas has been out, I have not had a chance to use one personally, but I have pretty much only seen positive reviews on them. Same for the Seyco saw, positive reviews. I like mine. It is my go to saw, but I did put the Pegas blade clamp on it. My Excalibur is a rebuilt one and I loved it too. Both of those saws are still setup in the shop.

    I did try some cutting with my Dewalt that required me to tilt the table. I found it frustrating and difficult to work with it that way. I wasn’t sure if it was just me, because I was just learning to try to cut that way, if it was because I am left handed or why but I didn’t like it. I have also tried with my Seyco where I could tilt the head versus the table and found that for me, I liked that better. However I also confess that I haven’t done a lot of angle cutting so I am far from an expert or experienced with it.

    The other issue you may need to look at and consider is how quickly you want to Obtain the saw. Like many things right now, there are some supply chain issues and you will have to see if and when the saw of choice may be available. Hopefully that has been corrected some, but don’t count on it, You could also be patient, and watch for a used saw to become available in your general area (general would depend on how far you are willing to travel.) I have Seen many post about good deals they have found in their areas

    Based on my personal experience, and posts and information I have seen, if I was buying new, I would look at the Pegas if it was in your budget over the other two saws. You could also look at the Seyco and compare and check pricing and availability. If you want to consider looking for a used saw, then I would see what I could find. If I was looking at a used one, I would not not rule out a good older used Excalibur or a Dewalt except if I knew I wanted to do cutting that required an angle, and planned to do that a lot, I would probably forgo a Dewalt since I didn’t like trying to cut with a tilted table, if looking at used, there are other good saws to look at including Hegners and Hawks, but if I found one of those, I would check with my more experienced and sage friends on the forums to make sure it was a good buy and one not to old.

    Good luck in your quest and we look forward to hearing what you buy.
    Last edited by meflick; 01-15-2022, 05:31 PM.
    Melanie from East TN


    • #3
      Having run an old single speed Delta, a Hitchai, a DeWalt 788 and now a Pegas, I say either the DeWalt or the Pegas. My 788 is still running, but had considerable age and would not have withstood the use I had planned for it in 2021.
      Check with Denny at Art Crafters in Tennessee about availability of the Pegas saw, if you want one of them. Watch pricing on the Dewalt pieces as they vary greatly between vendors and time of year.
      For moderate to moderately heavy duty work, the DW788 is s fine saw. The trick with ANY saw is feeding it good blades. No hardware store blade, although Menards does sell Olson if you're in the upper Midwest.
      When looking at the clock at work--the correct time is:
      Too early to leave, too late to call in.


      • #4
        Thank you Melanie!

        I keep seeing that the newer Excalibur is really not what was. I think it is out of the running. It seems like the pegas is really nice.


        • #5
          Thank you, Jim.
          I live in Southern Kentucky, and was looking at Denny's posts earlier.


          • #6
            You sound like a person who knows about quality and knows you pay more for it and most of the time it is worth it. I would recommend a Pegas, King or Seyco. The Excalibur and Dewalt saw while once the go to saws .now have serious quality issues. If I was purchasing a new saw tomorrow it would be a Pegas without question.
            Creator of fine designer sawdust.


            • #7
              Thank you Scott.
              I have spent the morning studying on the pegas and the seyco. They both seem to have excellent support and quality.

              I like them both. I am able to afford the Excalibur, with stand, light, and buy good blades. It seems like I would better off to spend a bit more. I just at least want the bad stuff be my fault.


              • #8
                Denny aka Sandy Oaks, on this forum is a Pegas dealer. VERY good to work with. Touch base with him about availability and shipping info if yu want to down the Pegas path. If you are in Canada Bearwoods is the primary Candian Pegas dealer.
                Creator of fine designer sawdust.


                • #9
                  I see you are in southern Kentucky, so not too far away. The two saws you mentioned were the Seyco and the Pegas. I would not consider the new Excalibur as the quality control does not seem to meet standards. I could list the advantages of the Pegas, but you mentioned collapsible baskets. You need the tilting head for angle cuts. My first saw was a DeWalt and the table tilted. Very difficult when doing a 30 degree angle. Pegas has a rack and pinion head tilting system and it is very easy to operate. Yes, I sell Pegas, but the saw is drop shipped. Right now in stock, but the stand is out of stock until the first week in February.
                  ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN


                  • #10
                    Hey Denny, thank you. I looked it up and your is shop 2.5 hours away, so not too far away.

                    I figure it will just drop ship to my work, we rent heavy equipment so no lift gate needed.

                    Would you send me a quote for a pegas, stand, your recommendation for blades to start with, shipped to 42101, and a light if I need one.

                    If the stand is back ordered, would a Excalibur stand line up?

                    I am sold on the tilting head as a better way.

                    Thank you.


                    • #11
                      Can’t add much to the good advice already given, except to be aware that the Seyco saw does not tilt more than 30 degrees. This means that any project cut at a steeper bevel, such as scrolled bowls, would be a problem, as would any project component requiring this type of cut.

                      I learned on a DeWalt, moved to a Hegner, and acquired a Jet, which I fitted with Pegas clamps. If I were buying a new saw now, and wanted to be able to do most any type of scrolled project with relative ease, I’d probably go with the Pegas. And buy it from Denny in a heartbeat!
                      Last edited by handibunny; 01-17-2022, 06:17 AM.

                      Follow me on my blog:


                      • #12
                        Thank you, Carole. I place a high value on experience. I appreciate your input.


                        • #13
                          I used DeWALT saws for over twenty years. Went through three of them. When the third saw started wearing, I ordered a Pegas saw from Denny. It’s the best thing I have done! It is almost a year old now, and I still love it!
                          Dan in So.Ca.


                          • #14
                            You sent me a message and I just responded. As for the EX stand fitting the Pegas, it should, but I have never tried.
                            ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN


                            • #15
                              As a newbie to scroll sawing I've been learning from the DFW Scrollers group on their saws so far. But it looks like I am about to get my very first saw, a used one, so can I ask here how I should transport it if it is already on a stand?
                              A) Enclosed trailer & tied down well and arm secured, or
                              B) removed from the stand to set upright in an SUV with arm secured, or
                              C) can it lay on its side in the SUV with some support foam of some sort? (I'm being told by seller that it can be laid down and I think that is how it would be brought to the exchange site...) The saw in question is a Hawk 220vs on its stand and from what I read here it is a good machine, right?


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