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  • Excalibur 21 vs 30

    I am new into scroll sawing as a hobby. I was looking at buying the excalibur 21 inch. I know some say that the dewalt is just as good and much cheaper. However adding the stand and light to the dewalt raises the pricde since the excalibur caomes with them. However my question is the difference between an excalibur 21 and 30 is about 250 dollars. What sort of items would you need larger than 21 inches. What sort of projects and does a home hobbies really need larger than 21 inches. Thank you for your opinions

  • #2
    sturmanj, welcome to the forum. I have been scrolling for 19 years and have never found a use for a saw larger than my 20". You can always use a spiral blade which there are no limts as to what size you want to cut. I would not spend an extra $250.00 for a saw that you would need the extra throat length seldom. I would go for the Excalibur if you can afford one. Seems like owners of the Dewalt 788's are having many problems with the Type 2 models manufactured in Taiwan. Many swear by their 788's, many swear at them.
    The Dewalt company doesn't seem to care about the quailty control of their scrollsaws. I suppose now I am in trouble with all the 788 owners on here. I am just going by what I read here and on several other scrollig forums. Good luck with whichever saw you choose.
    Mick, - Delta P-20

    A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

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    • #3
      yup, never needed anything bigger then 21. the new 16 would probably work good enough for me.


      + + I Love The Smell Of Sawdust In The Morning + +

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      • #4
        I personally wouldn't want to be swinging a piece of wood that is so big, it can't be cut on a 21" saw. I would be fine with the 16" myself but Sheila wanted the 21" so that's what we got.

        When you start swinging around a 30" wide piece, you often wind up having to be 30" away from the blade which really sucks and makes it hard to follow lines, especially if you have to keep moving your body around. That's not the type of work I want to be doing on a scroll saw.
        Keith Fenton
        Scroll saw patterns @
        www.sheilalandrydesigns.com

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        • #5
          So on same question how bout comparing Hawk 220 to Excaliber which would be the better buy?
          Someone say tool or lumber sale I am out of here

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          • #6
            SCR0LL3R, I had to smile while reading your post. I keep thinking of the frustration of trying to get close up to see detail, but being impeded by the piece of wood pushing out and hitting against my belly. I'm sure it would have been funny to watch, but I didn't like it. If I'm going to do a big piece, I'm going to have to wait until one of those days I'm brimming with patience.

            -------Randy
            "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
            website: http://www.coincutting.com

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            • #7
              Sturmanj - its unlikely you'll ever really need the 30" throat and the Excalibur is probably better than the 788. I have a 788 - its a nice saw when it is running but... DeWalt has replaced it for me 3 times in under 2 years. My newest replacement is still in the box - bought a used Hegner same day I brought my 788 to DeWalt the last time. I am very happy with the Hegner.

              Flyfisherman - the Hawk is probably a little bit better saw than the Excalibur. However the Excalibur has a few very nice options that make it an easier saw to use. Both are nice saws. I'd probably pick the Excalibur if I had to choose.
              Douglas Fraser
              Eagle River, Alaska

              My Gallery - Aurora Wood Crafts

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              • #8
                Once in awhile you will might need more than 21"saw. Seldom you use it but when you do it nice to have. It is very difficult to cut an intricate piece of that size as one must stand or hop to swing the piece around. You can saw small ornaments on a big scroll saw but not large ones on a short saw. You will have to make the choice rembering it always best to buy once and $250 is your money.

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                • #9
                  I have an EX-21 and, on most days, that's more than big enough. Today was the day I could have used the 30" bed for cutting a backboard for a large intarsia project. I managed to get the shape cut (didn't need to be terribly precise for this) but it took some maneuvering. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, I wish I'd spent the extra $$$.

                  Jan

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                  • #10
                    Flyfisherman, I had the Hawk 220vs and really liked the saw. But the Hawk is a bottom feeder only, and I decided I wanted to be able to top feed, so bought the EX 21, which I also really like. I think of the two as being very comparable... low vibration, reliable, etc. Funny part is that now that I have the EX 21 I find that I prefer bottom feeding.

                    I see the Hawk 220vs quite often on Craigslist here. Most have had very little use for whatever reason, and the price varies from $300 to $950, including stand, foot switch and light. The Hawk I bought was originally purchased in 2006 but the owner became ill and passed without ever opening the box. That's the way I bought it, paying $299. Couldn't pass that up. BTW, I sold it for $400 then I bought the Excalibur. Original price was $1,400. There is another on the market right now for $300 and I'm tempted to buy it as a back up machine.
                    John

                    Excalibur EX21
                    RBI Hawk G4

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                    • #11
                      The question here is not so much how often you might need 30" capacity, but how often you might need 22". The answer may very well be the same, but looking at it that way may give you a different perspective

                      I do agree with most though. My DeWalt has 20" capacity and it becomes somewhat bothersome making cuts on the ends of pieces that long, as they are too far away. There has only been one or 2 times when the extra capacity would have helped and I was able to work around it.
                      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."

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                      • #12
                        Got my Dewalt about 4yrs. ago. Through e-bay & a reconditioned one at that. Cut mostly portraits & 3/4" stand up puzzles. Outside of taking it in to have things tightened up after 1st yr. I've had no problems. Think maybe the fact that there seems to be more "complaints" about it is due large market for them. The more you make the more chances of making a lemon. But it would be nice if they were made here, or in Canada again.

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                        • #13
                          I totally disagree. There is not a large market when it comes to any kind of scroll saw. The bottom line is, a scroll saw is probably one of the least popular tools. Go into an average household and you will most likely find they have a drill, miter saw and table saw. Outside of my scrolling club I have yet to meet anyone with a scroll saw in their shop. The dewalt has a number of flaws that they are aware of but seem to care less about.

                          In regards to the EX 21 vs. 30, I would go with the 21. As some have stated, it becomes extremely difficult to manage a large piece of wood on the scroll saw and to be able to cut accurately. Most patterns out there are made for a 21" or smaller saw anyway. I have done two projects where you would need the 30". However, these patterns also came with the option where you could cut it in sections rather than as a whole if you had a smaller saw. It was cleverly designed where once everything was assembled, you could hardly notice it was cut in sections. The EX 21 has not kept me from cutting anything yet.

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                          • #14
                            I have been scrolling for about 30 + years and find my Hegner saws (20" & 22") have plenty of depth for the cutting I do. Now if you plan on cutting yard art signs on a scroll saw you might need the larger depth....but I'll be that will not happen often. And you can always use a jig saw for yard art designs. For Scrolling a good 20'22" will work great for you.

                            I know there are allot of woodworkers that do not use or own a scroll saw because of the type of woodworking they are doing....not much call for the saw when you are making cabinets, unless you want some fret cuts in the doors. But once they try using a scroll saw, I'll bet they will find a good use for owning one...or two
                            Hawaiilad
                            Larry

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                            • #15
                              I have an EX-30 and like most other scrollers I very seldom use the entire depth of the table. The few times that I make huge crosses or portraits it comes in very handy so I don't have to part out the project. I have have owned 16 and 20 inch saws in the past and they are very good. I just go back to that old saying, "It is better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it".

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