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Scroll saw blade - Which brand??

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  • Scroll saw blade - Which brand??

    Hello all,

    I just purchased an Excalibur EX-30 and am getting close to making some saw dust and I am a bit overwhelmed with all of the blade choices. I see that Olson and Flying Dutchman seem to be the most used and of the 2 Olson are the only blades readily available in my area so I have been picking up some of those (PGT, Spiral and Reverse Tooth) to play with once i get set up. My question is since both companies offer such a wide variety of blade types and blade sizes where do I start? I am big on testing things out but there are far too many choices to try out all of the diiferent blades. If you could reccomend the top 5 must have blades to tackle most projects up to 3/4" wood that would be very helpful.


  • #2
    Blades are readily available in a wide variety of types, sizes, tooth configurations and manufacturers. Probably the two most popular are Flying Dutchman and Olson blades.

    Links to the blade suppliers can be found over in the left margin of this page, under Scroll Saw Resources > Retailers. Most folks will tell you that Mike's Workshop is the best place for the Flying Dutchman blades and Sloan's Woodshop is a good source for Olson blades. Call either one of them and you will talk to a real person who can give you first hand advice on their blades and they both offer great customer service.
    Here are links to both sites mentioned.

    Mike's Workshop
    "Still Montana Mike"

    "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
    Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


    • #3
      Most beginners are not starting out with spiral blades, get first used to the regular flat blades.
      This might be of some help: What Blade Should I Use?
      You can always email me and if you want to try a sample just let me know.
      The three basic things are; have good tension, the blade should not move sideways more than 1/8", have good speed and low feed rate. Let the blade do the cutting. Most blades have a burr on the right side what makes them cut to the right. You have to move your wood some degree to the right to stay on the line.
      The most commen numbers are 3, 5 and 7. It depends how intricate the pattern and how thick the wood is.
      Before you know it, you will be hooked.
      FD Mike
      SD Mike


      • #4
        I exclusively use FDUR #'s 1, 3, 5, 7 and FDR #12's when I don't feel like breaking out my chain saw. Like Mike said the 3, 5, &7 are my workhorses.
        In fact to me they are interchangeable by changing your technique. I tend to be lazy and usually start cutting with whatever is hanging in the saw.
        Mike is your best source for FD blades and sound info.
        May the wind at you back .....
        Not be from Lunch.

        Don't take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.

        Beauty is in the eye of the BEERHOLDER

        Visit My Gallery

        Oily's Gallery


        • #5
          FD blades are all I use.

          Delta P-20 & Q-3

          I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!


          • #6
            General cutting 3/4 Hardwoods Flying Dutchman Ultra Reverse #5
            for very hard or larger wood then #7

            Portraits 1/8 Baltic birch
            1/4 Oak Plywood Flying Dutchman Penguin Siler Reverse #1
            Stack cut 2 1/8 otherwise it is very hard to cut.

            3D 1 1/2 wood Flying Dutchman POLAR #5

            1/2 Hardwoods Flying Dutchman Ultra Reverse #3

            Puzzles 1/4 Baltic Birch
            Flying Dutchman Superior Puzzle blade

            Mike's Workshop selling Flying Dutchman brand fret and scrollsaw blades
            The other John A. Nelson
            I just follow the lines and make sawdust
            on a Seyco ST-21 and a Yellow DW788


            • #7
              Out of 10 people, you'll get 11 different answers. It really depends on the work you intend to do. I use really small blades #2/0 for about 90% of what I do.

              I use Olson reverse-tooth #2/0, and #2's ,then, if I need a little bigger, I use Olson Mach #3 (this is the smallest size the Mach Series is available in I believe), and if it's really thick stuff, #9 Olson PGT's.
              Keith Fenton
              Scroll saw patterns @


              • #8
                Don't let yourself get boggled, easy enough to do.
                90% of what I have ever done I have used maybe 3 or 4 different blades, and I couldn't even tell you which they are, except the spirals. I like em thin, so if it looks good to me I'll use it, without thinking about if its snaggletoothed, bucktoothed, reverse or whatever.
                So the moral of the story is, play around a bit with a few different ones, and use what works for your purposes.

                About spirals, as you know, their chief selling point is they cut in any direction, thereby eliminating the need to turn the workpiece certain ways as you cut.
                You may think "Well, that sounds great, then why would I use anything else?" Reason is, is because its chief selling point is also its chief handicap. Because they cut in every direction, it can be very hard to stay in line. With standard blades, you "get in a grove", and maintaining the blade on a line is much easier. With spirals, there is never a "grove", as the slightest pressure in any direction sends them that way to cut.
                Try cutting a simple circle with a spiral, then a standard blade. The spiral circle will almost certainly be wavy, while the standard will be nearly perfect.
                They have their uses, are indeed essential for some types of cuts, and as with anything else, you get better with practice ,, But you'd be well advised to become proficient with standard blades before going too far with spirals.
                Last edited by Xray; 04-17-2012, 12:23 AM.


                • #9
                  Hi next69 - I use exactly the same Flying Dutchman blades as Rob (oily) including those heavy duty #12's for really thick timber. Most of my work is cutting 3/4" - 1 1/4" softwood or 1/2" - 3/4" hardwood at slow to medium speeds. I don't use spirals since I rarely do portrait work which they are best suited for. I also have some very fine Flying Dutchman puzzle blades.

                  Mike gives excellent service and lots of good advice
                  Jim in Mexico

                  Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                  - Albert Einstein


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