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  • A rant about Entry level saws

    Just posted this on another forum and thought I would post it here also.
    A bit of a rant.



    I just got an e-mail from Amazon with a whole list of different scrollsaws. There isn't a single (entry level) saw under $200 that has easy bottom clamp access. I don't get it.

    Evidently none of them have ever used scroll saw. Delta built saws for under $200 with a stand and some of the best and fastest clamps ever put on a saw over 15 years ago,

    You don't get into reasonable bottom clamp access until you get into the $300 dollar range.

    This drives me nuts (not far to go)

    I wonder how many people gave up on the hobby due to frustration with some of these saws.



    I know there are lots of folks that do great cutting with some of these saws, and yes they do cut.

    And I know it is not the tools that make the craftsman, but for me I want to scroll and cut wood when I have time and not spend it fiddling with blade clamps etc.



    My message to the Saw designers "KISS"



    End of rant
    Rolf
    RBI G4 Hawk, Delta SS350, Nova 1624 DVR XP
    Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
    Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
    And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

  • #2
    Most saws in this range are the same very bad design. turd.jpg
    Last edited by hotshot; 02-17-2017, 06:12 PM.
    "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
    website: http://www.coincutting.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Here is the thing guys. As a scroller who is and has been a mechanic I do NOT have to put up with having to use tools to change my blades. I would and have changed out the hardware to something a bit more user friendly such as a thumbscrew. Once you know the thread size and pitch getting one or even making one is no real trick. It would not be hard to find the appropriate size thumbscrew, provided one knew that they could just swap out that one screw and knew that you could order one from a parts supplies such as ereplacementparts.com. I do see y'alls point though, however my first 2 saws were not toolless and I got hooked on scrolling regardless. Was it a pain to change blades, you betcha. Thing is as a new scroller I did not know better. It was not until I joined the boards and began reading the messages and threads that I realized that I wanted a toolless, easier way to do the blade changes. Also I knew from the get go that you get what you pay for
      Life is hard. It is even harder when you are being stupid.
      John Wayne

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      • #4
        My fist saw was a Hitachi from Lowes. Mu problem with that entry level saw was vibration. I returned it within a week and bought the DeWalt 788.
        Denny
        ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN

        www.sandyoaksonline.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey, let's not confuse need for tools with ease of access or use. They are not the same.

          I made an adapter for my "tool free" DeWalt because my fingers weren't strong enough to tighten the clamp. The Jet and at least one of the new Hawks have clamps built into the saw but consider themselves tool free. The Hegner uses tools and I appreciate the control I have over the clamping.

          Anyone with limited hand strength because of age, gender, arthritis, etc. may appreciate the ease of a well-designed clamp and tool.

          Now if only OXO made a scroll saw. . . .
          Carole

          Follow me on my blog: www.scrollsawbowls.blogspot.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Let's not forget those whose hand has met the table saw. Limited use of left thumb. That's Why I like my hegner. Limited maintenance and thumb screws easy to use with right hand.
            Betty

            "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

            Comment


            • #7
              My main problem with the Chinese saws isn't even the tool required to change the blades. Ryobi has thumb screws, for example, but the problem is that the bottom clamp is not easily reachable from under the table. It is a problem even with the tool.

              The hegner does use a tool for the bottom clamp, but on that saw, you insert the blade into that bottom clamp by removing it, and putting it on the clamp holder on top of the saw. Then that bottom arm is easy enough to reach and place the clamp/blade mechanism into. The better saws all have lower clamps that you can get to.
              "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
              website: http://www.coincutting.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Going back to Denny's post:
                My second saw was Hitachi. One of the first things I did was remove (and promptly lose) the left side lower cover so my big old mitts would fit in to get at the bottom holder.

                My only concession on this saw was to buy a 3mm t-handle hex tool for blade changes instead of using the piddly little wrench that came with the saw. Liked the saw until it was time to start replacing some rapidly wearing items. That's when the smart one in the family said, "Why don't you just buy a better saw instead of constantly fixing this one?" So, I can blame Becky for the DW788 sitting ready for better weather to start the 2017 season.
                Jim
                When looking at the clock at work--the correct time is:
                Too early to leave, too late to call in.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I know many of us can make an inferior tool work. Sometimes it is even fun to re-engineer one. But that should not be necessary.
                  And most entry level folks are not necessarily tool junkies with resources like some of us. In my former job I have had to re-engineer $500,000 dollar systems to make them work.
                  Rolf
                  RBI G4 Hawk, Delta SS350, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                  Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                  Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                  And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I get frustrated when a beginner is looking for a decent saw and asks what I would recommend. I have to tell him he has to spend $500 to get a DeWalt, because just about every other saw out there, that is cheaper, will give them more frustration than joy. I know some folks use these saws and get good results with them. I say you are a better man than I, Gunga Din. I had a Craftsman as my first saw. It wasn't necessarily cheap, $200, as I recall. But it required tools to change blades. I could never get all the vibration dampened and the blade wobbled badly. I had it for several years and cut a lot of stuff with it, but didn't realize just how awful it was until I used my brother-in-law's Delta Q3. Man, what a difference! Once that Craftsman wore out, I replaced it with a DeWalt and never looked back. I try to cut on one of those entry level saws now and it's like I'm a beginner again.
                    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."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with you Bill, I dread being asked that question. I wish there was a place to try what is available so I could at least steer them to the least frustrating. It would not be fair to let them use my Hawk. It would be like the property brothers on HGTV when they show someone the perfect house and then tell them the price.
                      Rolf
                      RBI G4 Hawk, Delta SS350, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                      Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                      Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                      And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I started with a cheap saw was a crapsman, at about 130 bucks. Was a good starter saw, but did have vibration, I did make a switch on how to change blades. I was able to take the thumb screw for the hold clamp and use it in the blade clamps think I put it on bottom clamp to make change holes easier, and used the allen key on the other clamp to change blades, it was easy to reach lower clamp to change blades though on that saw having both clamps as thumb screws would be easier. In the end that saw lasted me a year with hard use before the cheap brass arm bushings wore out. It may have lasted longer if I would kept them greased or lubed up, but after a year my skills had improved so I jumped up to a higher end saw the excalibur. If what I know now about saws I would have just jumped the gun and bought the ex in the start of it and not had to problems like the crapsman gave me but it I did get the use out of to see if I wanted into the art of scrolling with dropping 500 bucks to waste to find out I did not like it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I started with a Craftsman (about 2 decades ago), that could do pin in as well as pinless blades. It wasn't the greatest, but it gave me enough saw to learn with and discover I really enjoyed scrolling. After just a couple of years, I promoted myself to a much better saw---because I knew that I would use it enough to pay the price. I've never regretted starting with what I could justify as an experimental hobby, knowing absolutely nothing about the saws nor what direction I wanted to go with it. And when I did upgrade, it gave me better perspective in what I personally wanted from the saw's features. That being said----I did literally laugh out loud when seeing Hotshot's post with all the pictures of "turds", and thought about how that progresses into the manure of advertising claims they all have! Sorry if I digressed ;-)
                          Linda at www.ArtIngrained.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I too wonder how many beginners that get one of the cheap china made models just quit in frustration and never return to this wonderful craft. I also wonder how many sales are lost of a tool brand for their other products by putting their names on inferior scroll saws. If you get stuck with an inferior or hard to use product why would you want to risk another product of the same brand? Just sayin
                            Last edited by Stoney; 02-20-2017, 06:12 PM.
                            Stoney aka Al

                            This gettin old stuff ain't for sissies!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I too went through the progression. A pined Dremel, (garage sale) I might have used it once, as it used non standard blades. Then a Craftsman, inherited from my father. I cut Big ginger bread for a shed that I built. It taught me two things. using multiple tools to clamp and un-clamp blades for a 2 second cut was a real pain. And the best lesson was that I really enjoyed cutting and saw lots of possibilities. My hobby attention span tends to be very short. My wife bought me the Delta SS350 and that was it. I loved the clamps, but did not like the aggressive blade motion. So after a year I bought the Hawk G4, just released at that point. This ginger bread started it all. DSCN1406 (Small).JPGShed finished (Small).jpg
                              Rolf
                              RBI G4 Hawk, Delta SS350, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                              Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                              Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                              And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                              Comment

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