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How to Choose a Scroll Saw For Woodworking

Whether you’re working on detailed crafts or simply need to make freehand cuts, the flexibility of a scroll saw is just what you need. Scroll saws are bench-mounted tools for cutting precise shapes and details in wood, metal or plastic. They’re often used in intricate crafts and are very handy for making homemade puzzles. Though usually associated with small projects, most scroll saws are capable of cutting stock up to 2″ thick.

Scroll saws are available in 15″ to 18″ models. A scroll saw is sized according to the distance between its blade and body. The size indicates how much of a work piece can be cut between the body and the blade. For example: a 15″ saw will accommodate 15″ of stock between the saw blade and the body. With this information you can determine that a 15″ saw can cut to the middle of a 30″ diameter work piece. Select your scroll saw based on the size of the work pieces you intend to use.

Miscellaneous Features

A worklight mounted on the saw’s arm illuminates the work piece and reduces eye strain.

A blower mounted near the blade keeps sawdust clear of the blade. The blower makes it easier to see cut lines.

Variable speed controls allow you to set the blade’s speed to match the material you’re cutting.

A tilting table gives you the ability to make bevel or compound cuts in one pass.

A quick or tool-free blade change feature speeds work and reduces downtime.

A work hold-down makes the saw easier to use and also serves as a blade guard.

Choosing Scroll Saw Blades

One of the most important parts of the saw is the blade. Blades are rated by the number of teeth they have per inch (tpi). The higher the tpi, the smoother the finished cut. Different blades are available for cutting wood, plastic or metal. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when choosing blades for your saw.