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Which machine is best?

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  • Which machine is best?

    At recent wood shows I have seen three different brands of scroll saw demonstrated, and all looked good to me. I am interested in purchasing a higher quality scroll saw and would appreciate some guidance from experienced users. The three brands that I have seen include the PSI Hawk, Excaliber, and a PS Wood Scroll Saw.

    Can anyone give me some suggestions and guidance?

    RMc

  • #2
    That's like asking what's the best car to buy.
    Watching someone demonstrate each saw can be confusing. A lot of those demonstrators are being paid by the manufacturer so they are going to be biased. Some of the members here may own or have owned different saws and will have their own preferences.
    The three you mentioned are similar in price and features. You're going to get a different reply from the owners of each different machine. If you can, join a woodworking club near you and maybe you can meet people with different machines. Maybe you can find a store near you with a couple of different saws to try. If you can, try to use each machine, sawing out the same pattern on the same type of wood and judge for yourself.
    I started with a $99.00 Craftsman, moved up to a 2-speed 16" Delta and now own a DeWalt. I have sawed on an RBI 20" and 26" and will stick with my DeWalt.
    Fred


    There's a fine line between woodworking and insanity, I'm just not sure which side of the line I'm on!

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    • #3
      You forgot the Eclipse what is tops, next is the Hegner.
      Mike M
      SD Mike

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      • #4
        Well, Mike, since you brought it up I will add my two cents worth for the Eclipse. I started out with an old Craftsman then when I became more interested in scrolling I sold it and bought the DeWalt. I have had my Eclipse for about six months now and my DeWalt is for sale. Yes, it is much more expensive and, yes, you do have to bottom feed. That being said I still like it better.

        Don from Eugene, OR

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        • #5
          Comparing Excalibur, Hegner and RBI is sort of like comparing Mecedes, BMW and Audi. I don't think you'd be disappointed with any of them. Eclipse is also a top-notch saw. It comes down to your preferences. I bought the EX-30 for the throat depth and the top feeding (and the fact that my local woodcraft had it on special for $899). It's virtually vibration free (as are any of these saws) and has a 5 year warranty. If you're in a "buy-american" mood, then the Eclipse and RBI's are made in the US.

          Kevin
          Kevin
          Scrollsaw Patterns Online
          Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

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          • #6
            Rod, check out the Dewalt 788 and the Delta P-20, both are under $500 and are great saws unless $$$ are no problem. Good luck and enjoy whichever saw you decide on. Mick.
            Mick, - Delta P-20

            A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

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            • #7
              This subject knows no bounds! It never ceases to draw comment from all quarters. It is very much like asking which car is best. There is no "best." Only different and we will all defend our choices to the death. Ta da! I, too, started with a Sears saw and moved up to an RBI Hawk 220. I have used the RBI saw for several years and have been truly satisfied, but some folks will argue 'til doomsday that the RBI has poor service (since mine hasn't needed service--isn't that the idea?) but I wouldn't know. My Dad once asked me why I bought foreign cars? Who will fix them when they break? Duh, the idea is that they don't break. As I have said before, all the top line saws are essentially good saws. Bottom feed, top feed, tension here, tension there, table tilt accuracy, table weight, vibration, etc, etc, etc. All these things are really personal choice. I used to bowl with a "house ball" and then I bought and had my own ball drilled for my hand. My score did'nt improve, but I had a better ball.
              Moon
              Old Mooner

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              • #8
                Rod,
                You didn't mention what sorts of things you forsee cutting with your new high-end scroll saw. Your projects just may be the deciding factor in your choice.
                Really thick wood? I think the RBI is tops at that, with it's over 2" thickness capacity.
                Really big (width or length) one-piece projects? Then a 30" throat might be best for you.
                Fretwork, with gazillions of blade feeds? Then top-feed or bottom-feed becomes really important.
                For most scrolling, as others have told you, anything from the Dewalt 788 up is a joy -- your choice.
                Let us know your eventual choice, and what fun scrolling projects you are doing with it!
                Sandy

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                • #9
                  Rod, I just noticed that you're in Sycamore. Try to hook up with the Chicagoland Scrollers. They are the nearest SAW chapter. You can find more information on the SAW website.
                  Fred


                  There's a fine line between woodworking and insanity, I'm just not sure which side of the line I'm on!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I moved all the posts on the separate saw seciton down to the FAQ suggestions part.

                    Bob
                    www.GrobetUSA.com

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