The 6 Best Scroll Saw: Which One is Right For You?

Best Scroll Saw

Precision’s the name of the game. When it comes to intricate cuts, it’s tough to beat the laser-like accuracy and superb cutting action of a scroll saw. After all, it’s one of the ESSENTIAL tools of woodworking.

However, most scroll saws you’ll find out there don’t promise the precision and cutting power as advertised. That’s where we come in!

Browse through our TOP Picks for the best scroll saw reviews of 2021 and learn which one is for you through our buying guide. We promise―these saws will last you for YEARS. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Related Post: The Best Scroll Saw Blade For Your Woodcutting Chores

The 6 Best Scroll Saw in 2021

The best scroll saws can not only cut through wood, but as well as metal, plastic, and glass.

Whether you’re interested in pursuing a new hobby or are a serious woodworker looking to one-up your crafting skills, these 6 best scroll saw picks will help you achieve your DIY goals.

Dewalt DW788 Variable Speed Scroll Saw: Best Overall

Dewalt DW788 is the whole package when it comes to the best scroll saws available in the market.

Product Highlights

  • Dual Parallel Link Arm
  • Tool-Free Blade Clamps
  • Variable Speed Control (400 to 1,750 SPM)
  • Flexible Dust Blower
  • Large Cast-Iron Table (adjustable & bevels up to 45 degrees)

Overview

Ask any woodworker in town and they’ll all tell you the same thing: Dewalt DW788 is the top choice for the best scroll saw.

Unlike most scroll saws or any other complicated piece of machinery, this model is quiet and easy to operate, which makes it a GREAT option for both beginners and seasoned artisans alike.

Dewalt, being one of Taiwan’s high-quality manufacturers, designed the saw with full-functionality in mind.

The scroll saw is equipped with an impressive throat size of 20-inches, so you can easily cut through all sorts of wood―even if they’re 40 inches thick!

There’s no such thing as a tough nut that Dewalt can’t crack…in this case cut!

Built for Detailed Cuts

It also features a unique double parallel link arm that pivots from the back of the saw and to its arm front.  Here are its best features worth mentioning:

  • By shortening the distance, the parallel link arm design reduces vibrations and allows you to make accurate cuts without being shaken or disturbed by the noise.
  • Adding to its long list of cool specs are the tool-free blade clamp and adjustable table for better support.
  • Whether you’re working with a variety of specialty materials, the blade clamp saves your time by making it easy for blade changes within mere seconds.

How bout that, right? Accuracy, enhanced support, and convenient blade changing for MAXIMUM productivity. It’s no wonder Dewalt bagged the top spot!

Furthermore, an iron-cast table provides stability and can be adjusted to 45°  for added versatility.

As for its variable speed control, you can switch things up from 400 to 1, 750 strokes per minute for the most intricate and detailed designs.

The Trade-Off

Dewalt has EVERYTHING within its reach. The power switch, speed dial, and blade clamps are all conveniently located on its upper arm, so you can swipe them up in one go.

The only downsides here are its weight and price tag.

The saw is heavy-duty and is built to last home woodworkers a LIFETIME, which is why it’s not a surprise it comes at a premium price.

BUT, this doesn’t change the fact that Dewalt DW788 is the best scroll saw there is and is worth every cent you spend on. We promise you’ll have ZERO regrets!Check the best price now!

Pros

  • Provides 20-inch throat capacity
  • Reduces vibration and noise
  • Comes with a solid cast-iron table
  • Fast and easy blade change
  • Built for accurate cuts
  • Heavy-duty and durable
  • Easy-to-access design (switches are all located on its upper arm design)
  • 3-year limited warranty

Cons

  • A bit heavy at 56 lbs
  • Stand is sold separately
  • The package can be damaged during transit
  • Can be expensive

Delta Power Tools 40-694 20-inch Scroll Saw: Best Value

Tackle large woodworking projects with powerful scroll saw like Delta Power Tools 40-694.

Product Highlights

  • Dual Parallel Link Arm Design
  • Variable Speed Dial (400-1,750 SPM)
  • On-Tool Blade Storage Area
  • Tilting Table

Overview

Think of the Delta Power Tools as your favorite clubhouse sandwich: it’s FULLY-LOADED with features to create the most intricate cuts and show-stopping designs.

An Enormous Capacity

As its name suggests, this scroll saw is a power tool!

It’s equipped with a 20-inch throat capacity that allows for cutting wider pieces of wood and other crafting materials, versus a 16-inch or 18-inch throat.

Just like Delta DW788, this scroll saw also features a dual parallel link arm design to help reduce vibration and improve cutting precision. Ergo, LESS noise and MORE details!

And to seal its mega-packed specs is its superb variable speed control. The saw can be adjusted from 400 to 1, 750 strokes-per-minute, so it can cut through even the toughest woods such as walnut.

For the Intermediate & Expert Crafters

If you’re a big intarsia lover or a serious hobbyist, you’ll ABSOLUTELY love this scroll saw model.

Delta Power Tool is HUGE and comes with a 24-inch x 16-inch table for you to work on big projects. The table tilts between 0° to 45° to allow beveling and a neat finish to keep dust off the pattern lines.

It is also well suited to make delicate cuts. 

But, what if you’re a beginner? 

You can still use Delta Power Tool Scroll Saw.

In fact, it’s a great choice for any scroll saw, because it’s SO easy to use. Its power switch, speed dial, blade tensioning lever are all conveniently located up front on the upper arm for accessibility.

HOWEVER, this scroll saw might be too expensive for just performing simple cutting tasks. It’s meant for heavy-duty usage and big woodworking projects.―Check the best price now!

Pros

  • Provides 20-inch throat capacity
  • Reduces vibration and noise
  • Improved accuracy and reduced undercutting
  • Blade stays put
  • 5 year-limited warranty
  • Suited for big projects and the serious crafters

Cons

  • Does not have a vacuum port
  • A bit heavy at 60 lbs
  • Only accepts pinless blades (you’ll need an adapter for pinned blades)
  • Can be expensive

WEN 3921 16-inch Two Direction Scroll Saw: Best Budget Pick

To make simple woodworking projects a breeze, WEN Two-Direction Scroll Saw is the saw for the job.

Product Highlights

  • Blade Variety (pinned and pinless blades)
  • Variable Speed Control (550-1,600 SPM)
  • 16-inch Throat Capacity
  • C-Arm Design (dust blower & flexible work light)

Overview

If you enjoy pattern work, shop for a scroll saw with a variable speed dial and a blade holder that can insert blades in two different directions. Why?  Because it gives you greater control to make detailed woodworking projects.

And, WEN 3921 Scroll Saw comes in perfect.

Two Different Directions, Greater Versatility

This piece of tool is versatile and flexible―so much so it can accommodate ANY particular kind of workpiece. Its unique blade holder accepts both pinned & pinless blades that you can easily adjust.

Although it lacks a few inches off Dewalt’s impressive 20-inch throat depth, the WEN 3921 Scroll Saw is able to hold its ground.

Because it features two-blade directions, the blades’ cuts aren’t confined to its 16-inch throat size.

You can simply pop up the pins out of the saw’s front arm holder and turn the blade up to 90° when you want to make a more complicated piece. 

And, you don’t have to worry about anything else since it comes with a spacious beveling table and hold-down foot clamp to better hold the scroll saw steady.

A Small Price to Pay

The best part about it? It comes cheap.

WEN 3921 Scroll Saw is one of the most affordable choices for scroll saws available in the market and it works like a well-oiled machine that lives up to its name!

BUT of course, with minor technical issues at hand. What issues would these be?

Well for one, it’s more prone to vibrations and noise. Despite its cast iron base, the scroll saw does not keep steady when used at top speed and causes a racket, which can be annoying.

And this goes the same for its LED light and dust blower.

Many users have complained that the work light dies out fast & it doesn’t stay in position for long―a bummer but a SMALL price to pay for the value you’re getting.

At less than $200 SRP, don’t expect intricate masterpieces like those from Dewalt.

BUT weighing in the price and the quality, WEN 3921 Scroll Saw is the perfect match for beginners & hobbyists to accomplish basic woodcrafting tasks.Check the best price now!

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Accepts pinned and pinless blades
  • Lighter than most scroll saws
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • The package comes with 3 extra blades
  • Good for beginners & hobbyists

Cons

  • Can vibrate a lot at top speed
  • Dust blower does not entirely blow away the saw dust
  • Work light dies out fast and slumps down when the scroll saw blade is vibrating
  • Top speed is only 1,600 strokes per minute

JET JWSS 22-inch Scroll Saw with Stand and Foot Switch: Best Splurge

Clear off your workbench and make more room for other things with a scroll saw that’s complete with its own stand.

Product Highlights

  • Tilting Arm (45° left and right)
  • Foot Switch Controller
  • One-Step Upper Blade Holder and Tension Blade Mechanism
  • Variable Speed (400 to 1,550 SPM)

Overview

The most advanced and durable scroll saws don’t come cheap. This is especially true when talking about the JET JWSS Scroll Saw, one of the most high-end scroll saw models there are.

What Makes It Stand Out

This scroll saw is durable and is made of best-in-class features.

The JWSS from JET provides a wide throat of 22-inches, giving the most depth on our list of best scroll saws, and is suitable for large pieces of scrollwork.

Plus,  it comes with a ton more qualities that make it worth the splurge:

  • Unique upper arm clamps and tension blade mechanism that makes blade changes a snap.
  • For pro-detailing and precision cuts, its spring-loaded arm tilts left and right to keep the work surface flat.
  • Although it’s packed with all sorts of neat features, its hold-down foot pedal makes the JET JWSS a stand-out. The feature allows you to use your hands to hold and move the wood in place while controlling the saw with your foot.  Pretty cool, right?

If the Budget Fits

The scroll saw is the perfect match for artisans who live and breathe in woodcrafting.

If you’re planning on sitting on the saw for hours, then the JET JWSS 22-inch Scroll Saw is MORE THAN a good investment with SUPERB performance, handling complex projects without bogging down.

With this machine, you’re paying for a large cast iron table, variable speed control, tilting machine, and a sturdy stand for smooth effortless cutting. ―Check the best price now!

Pros

  • Provides 22-inch throat capacity
  • Reduces vibration and noise
  • Easy blade changes
  • All-in-one stand & hold down foot pedal
  • Can handle multiple large projects without breaking down
  • 5-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Heaviest scroll saw on the list at nearly 90 lbs
  • Is a huge splurge

Porter Cable 18-inch Scroll Saw with Stand: Best Scroll Saw for Beginners

The best way to get into the groove of crafting is through Porter Cable 18-inch Scroll Saw.

Product Highlights

  • Sturdy Steel Stand
  • Upfront Bevel Controls (45° left and right)
  • Tool-Less Blade Holder
  • Blade Variety (pinned & pinless blades)
  • Variable Speed Dial (500 to 1,500 SPM)

Overview

When you’re starting out in woodcrafting projects, you’re gonna want to have something that isn’t too expensive yet still have all the essential features of a scroll saw.

Luckily, the Porter Cable 18-inch Scroll Saw with Stand strikes the perfect balance.

Starter Scroll Pack

This saw offers an 18-inch throat depth, and at top speed that rips up  1,500 strokes per minute. While its cast-iron dual tilt table includes a bevel scale to cut complex curves.

Another cool thing about it is it accepts both pinned blades & pinless blades that require no tools for blade changes.

Much like the WEN 3921 model, Porter Cable’s scroll saw is versatile and its performance can be extended beyond its 18-inch throat.

And finally, to seal the deal, Porter Cable is a go-to option for those who prefer a scroll saw that doesn’t operate with a lot of noise.

Saves Space

The scroll saw sits on a sturdy steel stand, saving space inside your workshop. While there are many scroll saws with a stand costing more than $500, the Porter Cable 18-inch comes in only under $300.

Although it’s not as powerful and as precise as Delta and JET and its blades tend to wobble every so often, this scroll saw performs well and is a GREAT VALUE for your money.

All of its features combined together make for the best starter scroll.―Check the best price now!

Pros

  • Comes with a stand and tilting table
  • Provides 18-inch throat depth
  • Easy to use blade tensioning adjustment
  • Accepts pinned & pinless blades
  • Great value for money
  • 3-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Blades tend to wobble
  • Work light does not stay in position
  • Partially made of plastic

Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Scroll Saw Kit: Best for Lightweight Tasks

Take your scroll saw with you everywhere you go with a portable saw kit.

Product Highlights

  • Tool-Less Blade
  • Variable Speed Scroll Saw (up to 2, 250 SPM)
  • Fast Clamp Base
  • Auto-Tensioning Quick Change Mechanism

Overview

While most scroll saws tend to weigh a TON, the Dremel Moto-Saw offers a compact and easy solution. 

Back to Basics

This scroll saw is a portable tool complete with everything you’ll need for lightweight crafting tasks. Here’s why:

  • It features a variable speed dial for optimal cutting, and as well as a blade tensioning knob to easily switch out pinned blades, which are easier and quicker to change.
  • Because it’s compact and can be brought anywhere, the scroll saw is equipped with a detachable coping function in its plastic case and with a blade clamp that can be attached to any surface.
  • Along with a dust port adapter, it has all the makings of reliable scroll saws.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t make too much noise either for a scroll saw that’s priced at roughly $100 or so.

Saw Downsides

The only thing you have to be wary about is it’s NOT for heavy-duty use. Since the blades are thin, they’re prone to being bent if you’re cutting through thick wood materials.

Also, don’t expect intricate cuts from this model. It’s really just good for easy tasks.

If you’re NOT a beginner, but you’re looking for a spare tool that works and does simple jobs, then the Dremel Moto-Saw Scroll Kit is also a good alternative.―Check the best price now!

Pros

  • Highly affordable
  • Portable & lightweight
  • Can be used as a handheld coping saw or band saw
  • Clamps onto work tables & benches
  • Package includes a sturdy plastic case and dust port adapter

Cons

  • Blades are thin and prone to bending
  • Not meant for precision cuts
  • Can only cut through wood
  • Made out of plastic
  • Warranty not guaranteed by manufacturer

Buying Guide: What to Look for in a Scroll Saw?

With so many options available, how do you figure out which one is the right saw?

To make sure that NOT a single cent of your hard-earned money is wasted, we’ve compiled a mini-guide on what you should look for in a scroll saw.

Throat Size

16-inch, 18-inch, 20-inch…If you’re wondering what these are, then it’s none other than the saw’s throat capacity or the distance between the scroll saw blade and the back frame of the tool.

So, why is it so important?

The size of a “throat” tells us how far the blade can reach―better yet, it determines what size of wood the saw can cut. The deeper the throat capacity, the wider the materials you can cut.

Some saws have capacities as little as 12-inches, while the larger scroll saws are as deep as 30-inches.

For most home woodworking tasks, 16 to 18 inches will do the job, but if you plan to work on big projects opt for a saw that’s AT LEAST 20-inches.

Blade Types & Blade Changing

Saws come in a variety of blades, but there are only 2 main types you need to be aware of: pinned blades and pinless blades (flat).

Depending on which scroll saw blade your saw accepts, it makes blade changing easier or more difficult:

  • Pinned Blades: Easier to lock in position and can take heavy loads from thicker wood.
  • Flat Blades: Smallest blades for intricate cuts, but are harder to keep in place and adjust to position.

Blade Tensioning

A scroll saw comes with a control to increase or decrease tension on the blade while you work. Why is there such a need?

Too much tension can snap your blade. Whereas if it’s too loose, the blade can twist while you’re cutting and leave a nasty mark on your wood piece.

Because of this, you’ll need to look for a saw that has a knob or lever to adjust the tension on the fly. On scroll saws, the blade tensioning mechanism is located at either the front or back of the saw.

Speed

The speed of a scroll saw determines the thickness and hardness of materials it can cut and is measured by the maximum and minimum blade strokes it can make per second.

Softwood and plastics can easily be cut at a speed of 400 SPM, while hardwoods and tougher materials require higher speed for better detailing.

Nowadays, scroll saws have a variable speed option to offer the best of both worlds.

Other Factors to Consider

  • Table & Stand: For added support & stability, you’ll want to consider buying a saw that comes with one.
  • Dust Blower: One of the worst parts of using a saw is cleaning up the dust. Some saws include a dust blower and vacuum to do the dirty job of cleaning up.
  • Work Light: You’ll need adequate light falling on the workpiece.
  • Warranty: In case of shipping damage and other issues, you’re well protected.

Final Verdict for the Best Scroll Saws

Got everything noted down? Good, because here’s a recap of our top scroll recommendations.

  • Best Overall: Dewalt DW788 Variable Speed Scroll Saw
  • Best Value: Delta Power Tools 40-694 20-inch Scroll Saw
  • Best Budget Pick:  WEN 3921 16-inch Two Direction Scroll Saw
  • Best Splurge: JET JWSS 22-inch Scroll Saw with Stand and Foot Switch
  • Best for Lightweight Tasks:  Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Scroll Saw Kit
  • Best Scroll Saw for Beginners: Porter Cable 18-inch Scroll Saw with Stand

Conclusion

Scroll saws help us make the most intricate cuts and transform woodworking into a more enjoyable activity.

So, it’s only worth investing in one that will last you for YEARS just like our top picks.

Marcus Weldman

Marcus Weldman is the main author of WiseMakr.com. Marcus is a tool and DIY enthusiast. He spends his time discovering the comparative differences and practical limits for all kinds of tools.