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Looking for my first scrollsaw... most are clones?

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  • Looking for my first scrollsaw... most are clones?

    Hi all,

    I've been researching scrollsaws for several weeks now.

    I see quite a few "there is no best" saw posts on various forums, and like any hobby that's true - but what's also true is most models have their cons. A clone of a device usually takes the pros and cons along too. I'd rather spend more money and be satisfied that spend less and not be

    I've come to the conclusion that there's a VERY narrow range of saws currently available (under the delta/dewalt $500 level) (i'll explain...).

    There's a TON of cloning among brands (least it looks like that). I was all set to pull the trigger on a black and decker BDS100 (i.e. clone of delta SS250) when ace hardware pulled a switch on the saw for one of their own. Reviews were pretty good overall for this particular saw. unfortunately it's not available anywhere anymore! So had ace cancel.

    Delta SS250/Delta 40-540/B&D BDS100 (same thing) - good reviews overall - but unfortunately discontinued.
    Delta 40-570/ss350 (same) - good but discontinued!
    Dremel 1830 - overall decent - not available anywhere!
    BD4000 - overall decent - guess what! not available.
    Craftsman - unique - decent I guess but some common cons in reviews - plain blade usage, high rpm vibration. Still hunting forums...
    proxxon dsh/e - good quality tools, but made for small projects. There's also the 115e with is just plain tiny.

    Ryobi 164VS/Shop Fox W1713/Rikon 10-600VS/Rockwell RK7315/Skil 3335-02/Ace 16" - all the same saw!? Tension, platform hinges, slot for the saw, size/weight, speed control, power all the same. I know stanley/black and decker own several companies, but this is almost insane. Central Machinery's cheapo scrollsaw has a different casing, but the large rivets, dials, tension adjustment, switches and so on are exactly in the same place too.

    Master Mechanic/Genesis GSS160 - appear to be the same make as well. Not many reviews about these, but it's middling.

    Has generic rebranding become soooo profitable that companies wont develop their product line further?? The dewalt DW788 and Delta 40-690 are the same, but at least they're very well respected - almost seems to be a standard here.

    So it looks like that's it for current available models under the dewalt/delta level
    - The skil/ace/ryobi/rikon clone.
    - The Genesis/MasterMechanic clone.
    - Craftsman 16"

    Proxxon dsh/e and 115 seem to be too small for most projects, so 3(?!) distinct models currently available with variations in quality control between brands? Am I missing something?

    I'll probably go with a delta as the model comes with stand and light for the cost of the dewalt 788, but is anyone else (not owner of a higher tier saw) a little disappointed that companies aren't really trying anymore?

    I can buy used, but I don't have transport really for a craigslist purchase, and lot of saws on ebay seem rusty (is the table supposed to be waxed/oiled or something?).

  • #2
    If you can afford the Delta 40-690 get it - you wont find a cheaper saw that will be anywhere as good as that. Actually the Excalibur 16 inch might be in the same price range and is a good saw as well. I have a 788 and a Hegner 18 . I love the Hegner (bought it used for a great price). The old adage - you get what you pay for is true with scroll saws.

    Some brand names of tools are getting more and more poorly made, even tools that have had a good name. Craftsman tools have decreased significantly compared to 10 years ago - DeWalt hasn't been impressing me much over the past few years either - one brand that has been impressing me lately though is Ridgid. They don't make a scroll saw as far as I know though.

    And yes - you can use wax on your table, it'll help the wood move more freely while cutting. I would think that you would be able to clean up a "rusty" table without any problems - if the price was right on a better saw, I'd go that way.

    I did read a post on this site a few weeks ago about someone making their own table for a 788 out of wood - so...
    Douglas Fraser
    Eagle River, Alaska

    My Gallery - Aurora Wood Crafts


    • #3
      Black and decker and dewalt are the same company.

      Craftmans hasn't had quality since kmart bought them out (about 10 years ago)

      Look into the parent companies of the brand and you will find out that many are tied together through mergers...

      pretty soon everthing will be owned by one corp. (Taco Bell)


      • #4
        I had a Rikon entry level scroll saw for a little less than a year...hated it, but it was cheap.

        I bought a Delta 40-690 for all the reasons you have stated (great summary of the scroll saw market, by the way) and am very happy with it. Just to give you an idea, I probably use my 40-690 several time a week, though not daily.

        Sold the Rikon on Craigslist to a guy who only wanted it to make doll furniture for his daughters.

        I believe the 40-690 was recently replaced with a newer Delta model that has a couple of added features and cost a few more dollars than the 40-690 I bought about 6 months ago.
        ...but like I said, I am happy with my 40-690.


        • #5
          So i bought my first scrollsaw - Hitachi CW40.
          I like it overall - i don't think vibration is bad, played around cutting up some CDs.

          Got it off Ebay - disappointed in the seller who gave the impression it was barely used - stand's nuts and bolts were so rusty, some were fused together.
          Packaging was horrible - the speed control had burst through the top of the box and knob broke off, and box was ripped where the stand had poked it. looks like a bolt for the stand was lost in shipping too. No padding of any sort was used.

          Everything is working, I'm just disappointed in the seller. Saw looks like it went through war, and nothing near to the condition shown in his pictures. I've already contacted him to see how he may approach this - I think returning some of the money would be fair. It's my fault too for buying from someone without any feedback.
          Hitachi CW40 Scroll Saw with stand | eBay

          I went for this saw because several here and on other sites, seemed to like their CW40s, even those who upgraded to better more expensive saws. It's quiet, and stable (Though I don't have a reference really)
          I've realized that this saw is a clone of the Porter Cable 16" scroll saw, with a different table. The hitachi is cast iron, the porter cable is cast aluminum. Perhaps the added weight goes into dampening vibration better? I've noted the Hitachi CW40 users generally liking the low vibration of their unit, and the Porter Cable reviews have more vibration complaints. Could be just user sampling.

          This further fits into the cloning i mentioned in my previous post. It's also not just because Company A and Company B belong to the same parent company (dewalt and delta 40-690, or black and decker and delta ss250) but even among unrelated companies, there's clones [ace hardware(ace), skil(bosch), ryobi(techtronic), rockwell(stanley b&d)]. Noticed it with drill presses too. Sucks for the entry level user since it kills progression.


          • #6
            Actually, the hitachi pre-dates the porter cable. You hitachi is closer to some of the rexon/trademan models. Many people, including me, got there start on this saw. You can do some really cool stuff with it. Best of wishes and have fun.

            "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"


            • #7
              Eclipse !!! Rbi!!! Hegner !!! EX-30 !!! dogs


              • #8
                Originally posted by hotshot View Post
                Actually, the hitachi pre-dates the porter cable. You hitachi is closer to some of the rexon/trademan models. Many people, including me, got there start on this saw. You can do some really cool stuff with it. Best of wishes and have fun.



                I neither company builds it. They just license what factories make. Hence the model repetition.

                Only gripe thus far is blade changing - the bottom is pretty closed up. Can't really swap a blade unless the am is on the upswing. Removing the green plastic cover actually appears beneficial. Any tips on how you get in there?


                • #9
                  Most people do remove that left cover and that does make changing blades a lot simpler. however, it is still a lot harder to get at than on the more expensive saws. When you get to the point that you believe you will stay with this hobby, start saving your money for a better saw.

                  "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"


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