Choosing The Best Scroll Saw For Your Needs
There are a lot of things to think about when you are considering either the purchase of your very first scroll saw or upgrading to a new one.
Let’s take a look at what you need to bear in mind so that you can get this right first time. I will try to cover everything that you need to think about in order to get this right first time.
Scroll Saw Blades
It is just not possible to carry out a great deal of scrollwork with a saw that needs pinned blades.
Although pinned blades definitely have their advantages they also have a very large downside; you are unable to go into smaller inside detail cutting. This is due to the fact that in order to get the blade’s pin through you are obliged to go through the blade’s pin.
Another question is how easy is it to change the blade? Also, do you require a special tool to do so? There are some scroll saw projects which have literally dozens or hundreds of holes.
So, you will have to take away from the holder one end of the blade and then go on to thread it through the wood. After that, you need to remount it again into the holder. And you will need to do all of that endlessly.
So you need to make certain that the whole process is simple and easy to carry out. Tool – less blade holders and a saw which allows the arm to be raised and can be held in such a position will be the more desirable.
There are a wide range of saws offering variable speed and at all price points so you should easily be able to find one which provides this benefit. There are certain times when you will need to slow down the blade. This may be to prevent the blade from harming the edge of the wood or maybe when you want to slow down the cutting.
A belt may need to be changed in order to change speed on some designs of certain scroll saws. The most beneficial approach would be to get a saw which has some sort of electronic speed control, if possible.
You need to keep vibration to as little as possible because it is highly distracting.
Unfortunately, certain types of saws are inherently more susceptible to vibration due to their design. It normally comes down to price of the saw.
My favourite scroll saw for virtually no vibration is the Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw – See Here
Placing your saw into a stand can be one method of reducing vibration. The more sturdy the saw is mounted and the greater mass of the combined saw and stand will further reduce the effect of vibration.
You should look for a saw that has specially designed stand that accompanies it.
You will find that saws always have their maximum cutting thickness displayed but you can pretty much pay no attention to this because it is nearly always greater than 2″ and you will be highly unlikely to ever want to saw anything as thick as that on a scroll saw.
However, you should think carefully if you are looking at cutting very large projects – especially at the depth of the saw’s throat.
This is because too small a throat will mean that you are unable to swing round a big section on a table for you to cut.
This will not be an issue for many people because they do not wish to be involved cutting such a large piece. One idea is to use spiral blades because they can carry out the work without any need to for rotation.
My favourite scroll saw for working in a limited space is the Dremel MS 20 – Ten inch scroll Saw ( see below):
You will find it difficult to work on any piece of wood if it has large sections of it overhanging the table, so you should remember to consider the size of your table, too.
Take a good look at the way that all of the controls on the saw are laid out. You want to be able to have the speed control, power switch and tension lever all easily in reach at the end of the saw’s arm.
Having the tension and the power button close to the upper blade holders will help a great deal as there will be a need to stop and then feed the blade the hole many times on the majority of scroll jobs. Some people find it easiest to undo the blade from the bottom holder but the majority of users do so from the upper blade holder.
They will be occasions when you wish to adjust the tension during a cut. You may also want to adjust the speed whilst cutting, too. So, it makes for these controls to be readily accessible as you need them.
Scroll Saw Foot Pedal
There is also the option of using a foot pedal to control the power and tis can be very convenient.
However, you have to be careful not to damage the motor which can happen if you choose a pedal that offers variable speed. Go for a foot pedal that is a simple power on or power off selector.
There is always the question of your budget.
How much do you have to spend on your scroll saw? You can have a hunt around for a quality, second hand saw which may be better value than an inexpensive brand new one.
Inevitably, you do not get the benefit of a guarantee when going for a used item. So, consider where the saw was made. Find out if spare parts are readily available and at what price? Look for how much the saw has previously been used and have a chat with the current owner about how it has been used.
Carry out s little research to see what the second hand prices are for the item that you are considering. You should only go for a used item if the saw is in fine condition and the price is considerably less than a similar saw brand new.
Remember the old adage “You get what you pay for” – this applies to scroll saws! It really is not much fun owning a scroll saw where you are almost having to fight with it the whole time. The idea is that you are getting yourself an enjoyable past time, here!
After sales support is very important.
Will you be able to get help and service from the manufacturer? How far will you need to go to get after sales support? Being able to get it services locally will be a real advantage.
Take a look at the guarantee.
How long is it for and what does it cover?
Research the manufacturer?
Is it held in high regard by existing customers?
Some saws come with some nice extra benefits which could make all the difference to you.
There are dust blowers, magnifiers, lamps and stands to consider. They may make a useful investment to you. Most users would out the dust blower at the top of the list. It really is very useful.
Some of the above points are obvious whilst some are less so. You can use the above points to form a check list so that you make the best purchase possible. Enjoy your hobby and be safe.