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The Best Scroll Saws for Every Type of DIY

Scroll saws are accessible to every skill level, but they provide different levels of detail. Find out which kind you need for your next scrolling project.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

Dewalt Scroll Saw Ecomm Amazon.comVIA MERCHANT

What is a scroll saw?

Different from a jigsaw or a bandsaw, a scroll saw is what many hobbyists need for intricate pattern cutting. Despite their precision, scroll saws are accessible to everyone, from a beginner working from pre-fab hobby patterns to the master craftsperson creating intricate custom intarsia or marquetry. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a new hobby or are a serious woodworker looking to up your game, there’s a scroll saw that best fits your needs.

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Dewalt Scroll Saw Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Overall

DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw

DeWalt invests a lot of time and research into consistently creating some of the best tools available. The DeWalt DW788 scroll saw incorporates pro-level features and smart innovative design into a mid-range price package. The unique double parallel arm design limits vibration and noise. With a 20-inch cutting capacity and the large cast iron table that bevels both left and right, you can easily work with larger pieces. The arm lifts for threading blades into your work, and the blade clamp requires no tools. The on-off switch, variable speed control, blade tensioning knob and dust blower are all on the front upper arm for convenient access. With its ease of operation, this saw will give amazing results for the beginner and the experienced wood worker.

Throat Size: 20 inches
Vertical Capacity: 2 inches
Table Size: 16 by 23.75 inches
Weight: 56 lbs.

Pros

  • Foolproof to use
  • Tool-free blade change
  • Very accurate

Cons

  • More expensive than other options
  • Only accepts pin-less blades

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Wen 3921 16 Inch Two Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw With Work Light Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Value

Wen 3921 Scroll Saw

The Wen 3921 saw gives our best overall pick a run for its money. The ingenious part: You can install the blades in two directions (standard and 90 degrees), giving you a cutting capacity beyond the 16-inch depth at the saw’s throat. Beyond that, it has all the features you could ask for: variable speed, a dust blower, vacuum port, tilting table and even a flexible LED work light. It also will work with pinned and pin-less blades. Perhaps not quite as heavy-duty as other comparable saws, yet at less than half the price, this saw will not disappoint.

Throat Size: 16 inches
Vertical Capacity: 2 inches
Table Size: 16 by 11 inches
Weight: 25.5 lbs.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Two direction blade mounting
  • Very accurate

Cons

  • Some vibrations due to lightweight nature

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Dremel Ms20 01 Moto Saw Variable Speed Compact Scroll Saw Kit Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best for Beginners

Dremel Moto Saw

Compact and portable, the Dremel MS20-01 moto saw is the perfect saw for the beginner or occasional hobby scroller. Clamp it to a tabletop or detach it from its base to use as a motorized coping saw. With its variable speed, you can cut through a variety of lightweight materials. The blade requires no tools for changing and has an auto tensioning feature to keep things running smoothly. Unfortunately there is no dust blower, but it has a port to attach a vacuum and keep your workpiece dust free. With a storage case and 10 blades included, you’ll have everything you need to cut your first scrolling project.

Throat Size: 10 inches
Vertical Capacity: 0.75 inches
Table Size: 12 by 8 inches
Weight: 9 lbs.

Pros

  • Super portable
  • Auto tensioning
  • Can be used handheld as coping saw

Cons

  • Short throat
  • Only for lightweight material cutting

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Delta 20 In 1.3 Amp Variable Speed Scroll Saw Ecomm Lowes.comvia merchant

Best Large Capacity Scroll Saw

Delta 40-694 Scroll Saw

With its 20-inch cutting capacity and 24-by-16-inch table, the Delta 40-694 scroll saw provides a generous work surface for managing larger projects. We like its large knobs for beveling the table left or right and tensioning the blade. The on/off switch and the variable speed control are easy to grab. The dual parallel arm design reduces vibration and also locks for easy tool-less blade changes. Quiet yet hefty, the 1.3 amp motor and three-quarters inch stroke makes for an aggressive and clean cut. This is a great saw if you’re regularly working with thicker hardwoods. Delta has provided the best tools for the professional woodworker for nearly 90 years. This saw is testimony to that legacy.

Throat Size: 20 inches
Vertical Capacity: 2.125 inches
Table Size: 24 by 16 inches
Weight: 70 lbs.

Pros

  • User friendly
  • Whisper-quiet
  • Onboard blade storage

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a light
  • Expensive compared to other models

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Porter Cable 18 In 1.6 Amp Variable Speed Scroll Saw Ecomm Lowes.comvia merchant

Best for DIYers

Porter Cable Scroll Saw

For a saw that covers all of what a scroll saw can do, the Porter Cable variable speed scroll saw is a great choice. The solid aluminum table has an integral bevel scale view finder so you don’t have to bend over to see your settings. Both the variable speed control and on/off switch are within easy reach, as are the dust blower and LED light which conveniently adjust to your workpiece. This saw has the capability and feel of a pro saw at a significantly lower price point.

Throat Size: 18 inches
Vertical Capacity: 2.25 inches
Table Size: 20 by 12.5 inches
Weight: 45 lbs.

Pros

  • Bevel scale view finder makes switching settings easy
  • Built-in LED light
  • Included stand
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Assembly instructions are lacking
  • Throat plate isn’t flush to the table

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Jet Jwss 22b, 22 Inch Scroll Saw With Foot Switch Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best for Woodworking

Jet JWSS-22B Scroll Saw

The design features on the Jet JWSS-22B Scroll Saw, combined with its large work surface and three-quarter-inch cutting stroke, make it a great home shop saw. Jet’s blade change mechanism allows you to clamp and tension the blade in one step without any tools. The upper spring-loaded arm moves up out of the way for blade changes and ease of situating your work. All the features you’d expect are part of this saw, from a foot pedal switch to LED work light to handy blade storage. Though loaded with big saw features, the footprint of this saw is small and won’t eat up space in your shop. And Jet backs up its tools with a five-year warranty.

Throat Size: 22.375 inches
Vertical Capacity: 2 inches
Table Size: 23 by 12.875 inches
Weight: 68.2 lbs.

Pros

  • High quality materials and make
  • Tons of helpful features to make using the saw easy
  • Included foot switch
  • Five-year warranty

Cons

  • The quality means a high price tag
  • The blade is very close to the table’s front edge

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Hegner 18 Variable Speed Scroll Saw Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best for Pros

Hegner 18-V Scroll Saw

The Hegner 18-inch variable speed scroll saw is a professional grade scroll saw with a powerful yet quiet motor capable of scrolling smoothly through any material. Even with the variable speed topped out at 1700 rpm, there is no detectable vibration in the blade. This is testimony to the quality build of this machine that includes a unique dust management system with three options to eliminate most of the dust produced during operation. Hegner also designed this saw with a quick-lock tension system including a quick release for ease in changing blades.

Every feature you could ask for is smartly and solidly built into this saw. If you’re running a woodworking business and want a reliable tool that gives consistent quality results, all day, every day, this saw is worth every penny.

Throat Size: 18 inches
Vertical Capacity: 2.625 inches
Table Size: 17 by 9 inches
Weight: 50 lbs.

Pros

  • Widest capability of saws on the market
  • Powerful
  • Incredibly smooth cutting
  • Includes 76 assorted blades
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Blade change system is finicky
  • Base is not included

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What to Consider When Choosing a Scroll Saw

Throat Size: A saw’s throat size refers to the distance between the blade and the back of its arm. Most scroll saws have throat capacities between 15 and 20 inches, but some reach as high as 30 inches. The need for a 30-inch scroll saw is rare. We consider 20-inch saws to be more than adequate.

Vertical Capacity: Vertical capacity refers to the thickness of the material you are attempting to cut with the scroll saw. Be aware that just because a saw has a large vertical capacity does not mean it has the power to slice through it. When cutting multiple stacked parts from a template, vertical capacity is most crucial.

Table Size: The table must be large enough to support the work the throat will accept. Table size varies, but generally, the larger the better. It should be machined flat, preferably tilting both ways.

Weight: Scroll saw weight extends beyond lugging it around the shop. Lightweight saws tend to create more vibration unless mounted on a stand or bench. If your scroll saw has vibration issues, clean results are nearly impossible to attain.

Variable Speed: A variable speed motor makes many cuts easier to control. Ranges can run between 400 and 1750 rpm. Most saws are variable speed (including all on this list), but if you plan to buy a used older model from an online marketplace, keep this in mind.

Dust Removal: As with any saw, scroll saw cutting produces dust, which you don’t want to build up on your project or underneath it. At a minimum, purchase a scroll saw with a dust collection port. A dust blower is better.

Blade Change Systems: Scroll saws from the past required tools for blade changes. These days, most scroll saws feature a tool-free blade change system. However, confirm this is the case before purchasing one, as digging out the tools each time you change your scroll saw blade will become a hassle very quickly.

Noise: Quiet power tools are better for your hearing, and in the case of scroll saws, usually mean less saw vibrations. Take noise output into account when selecting a scroll saw.

How We Chose the Best Scroll Saws

We evaluated the best scroll saws on the market according to their basic specs, including throat size, vertical capacity, table size and weight. We also considered their extra features, such as blowers, lights and foot pedals. We combined our research from user reviews with the recommendations of our expert DIYer, who has a long history creating custom woodwork and testing tools, gear and products in the DIY space.

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Bill Bergmann
“Bungalow” Bill Bergmann is an associate editor at Family Handyman. He’s been a licensed contractor/builder for more than 20 years. For him, there’s nothing better than taking out a few walls to make people happier in their homes.