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  • which saw?


    what is a better scroll saw for fretwork?



  • #2
    Oh boy. This has been discussed many times on about every scroll saw forum. It depends on the money you want to spend. I have seen some very nice work made on a low priced Ryobi and one speed Delta. Try to go to a wood working show or to one of the many picnics and ask if you could do some sawing. Most of the time you get what you pay.

    Mike M
    SD Mike


    • #3

      Your question "which saw is better for fret work" is a tough question like Mike stated and here are some suggestions. You asked for fret work and not scrollsawing in general so you have to ask yourself how do I want to feed the blade through the wood, top down or bottom up?? Two simple questions. If you are comfortable feeding the blade through the top and clamping the blade on the bottom then your choices are limited but you have some of the top saws to choose from that are designed for this. The Delta P20, the Dewalt 788, and the Excalibur 30. The Dewalt can be adapted to do either. All top of the line saws with the Dewalt and Delta running about $500 range and middle of the pack money wise. The Delta line is the only one that has a different blade holding system and some like it alot. It uses a clamping method of holding the blade as opposed to a thumb screw to hold the blade on all other models. So that is a decision that has to be made in that catagory.

      Now for the bottom feeding saws you have alot more variety and this is where discussions have gone astray because there are some decent lower priced saws but I am not a fan of them because they will not stand up to everyday use. But if you are an occasion scroller than this maybe the way for you. I believe you always get what you pay for. But if you want a great saw for bottom feeding RBI, Hegner. Dewalt. are your top contenders. I will not list the lower brands but there are many.

      I will mention at this time I have two RBI, one Hegner, and one Dewalt and the ones I use the most are the RBI and I will go on record I believe they are the best saw on the market. Others will have their own opinion but this is mine. So to sum this up I probably did not answer your question and I believe no one can Like Mike said you need to try saws for yourself and decide if you are a top feeder or a bottom feeder. Good Luck.
      John T.


      • #4
        Feeding Blade

        Originally posted by jttheclockman
        If you are comfortable feeding the blade through the top and clamping the blade on the bottom then your choices are limited but you have some of the top saws to choose from that are designed for this.
        I have RBI (Hawk G4 26 inch) and you can fee the blade through the top or bottom. Both are easy to do. (If I'm understanding you correcting about 'feeding.'


        • #5
          That is the latest saw by RBI.I did forget about that one because I was even playing with top feeding at a woodworking show. Grizz, how do you like the saw?? Have you used any of the older Hawks and if so how does it compare?? I know they were having some problems at the very begging have you had any?? I have tried it at a wood show and it seems like a very well built saw but then again I am partial to RBI. Being cast iron arms it gives a crude look to to the fit and finish on the older ones. The big claim to fame with that saw is it is an adjustable parrallel arm saw where you can zero in the blade to near perfect up and down motion. But it will never be true zero because of the action of a parrallel arm saw.

          Lin, this is another saw to consider if you are thinking best saws for fret work because as stated it can do both top and bottom feed and is well built but pricey.
          John T.


          • #6

            Thanks for the input...there is an upcoming show here in my area and I just wanted as much information I could gather.



            • #7


              I really don't know how to compare it with the old saws, this is my first RBI product. (I've been looking at their Router Table). I've not had any problems with the saw. The adjustable parallel arm "cut of angle" no longer has just to bottom set ups. You have a full range do to a hex bolt, underneath.


              • #8
                This does seem to be an age old question. What's the "best" saw. If you have your heart set on a "brand new" saw then so be it!

                Buy the best saw you can afford.......... even stretch the amount if you can.

                Don't discount used top quality saws. Hegner, RBI-Hawk etc. I bought a 15 year old Hawk ($100) and its as quiet as I remember when I had a new one.(see my other threads) Its a two speed belt change. (haven't needed to change the speed yet.) I spent a few more bucks on upgrading to the fancy blade holders and blower nozzle. I did a little "tune-up" on the bearings waxed the table and I've been makin' saw dust for about 3 months now! Even after I bought a magnifier light (on EBay) I have under $250 in the set up.

                It's a worthwhile investment if you have basic mechanical ability!
                Check the shows, most of the time they will let you trythe saw. As said above your arms should not feel tired or hands ache after cutting one piece.
                Good Luck!


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