What Can you Do with a Scroll Saw?

woodworking with scroll saw

A scroll saw is among home DIY cutting tools that process your work reliably. Many carpenters prefer this piece when they want to achieve ultra-intricate cuts on the workpiece. This tool is the reason why you can see fine wooden arts and sculptures.

This scroll saw functions by moving the work against the saw blade to achieve a cut. Such a working principle makes this saw cut internal profiles. You begin by drilling a hole in the workpiece as you insert the scroll blade via it.

This detailed guide will assist in answering this question; what is a scroll saw used for? It becomes interesting as you discover the functionality of this tool. Read on.

How it Works

This tool is a stationary object that operates on a table or a work surface. Some of its components include a small material table, a C-arm, and a motor. It has a heavy-duty frame with a durable arm for providing a stable base.

It has a blade attached to the arm that stretches through a table to an underneath secure fixture. You can work on materials by pushing them via the blade to form a cut. The tool is suitable for cutting small pieces of materials and create detailed shapes and patterns.

Additionally, the device has a table with an adjustable height to offer you greater control over cuts and blades. Notably, this device consists of various blades to suit specific types of materials.

Types of Scroll Saws

The two types of scroll saws exist, as indicated below.


The button-operated option consists of a switch. One can press the power button to trigger the blade to motion. There is a variable speed knob that enables you to control the blade’s speed. Such comes in handy when you are handling different types of materials.


Such an option features a foot pedal attached to the device through a power cable. You can control the speed by pressing the foot pedal on the floor. When you apply more pressure, you experience faster speed. The role of the pedal is to start the motor and the cutting action. However, the power switch must give power to the blade before you pedal.

What Can a Scroll Saw Do?

The scroll saw is a perfect tool for craftsmen and DIY hobbyists.  Here is an exhaustive list of uses of this type of device.

Cutting Materials

We involve a scroll saw when cutting thin sheets materials. Precisely, this saw cuts pieces of materials that are less than two-inch-thick. If you provide it with the right blade attachment, it can slice through various types of materials. Such include brass, rubber, leather, copper, and aluminum.

Forming Unique Shapes

The scroll saw has features that can cut wood pieces into various sizes and shapes. Such is possible thanks to the parallel arm and dependable blade control. Still, this saw could be the right tool for you if you love making toys, games, and puzzles. We have related guide: How to Make a Scroll Saw Box

Woodwork and Joinery

A scroll saw can provide the correct accuracy when you desire to create joints like a dovetail. Start by drawing the mark and the expected cut on the wood. Use the saw to make a smooth cut along the drawn line.

More importantly, this saw is helpful when making other advanced word techniques. For example, you can create a beautiful fretful effortlessly. The design offers excellent flexibility to promote your creativity.

Next, a scroll saw can make complex techniques like inlays. We use inlays for making beautiful floors and paneling. This saw allows you to cut grooves with a high level of accuracy. Later, one can cut the inlays pieces for fitting inside. 

Benefits of using a scroll saw

Safe to use

The scroll saw treasures safety in that it comes with a metal guard. As such, it offers dependable protection on your fingers and hands. In addition, this device has a safety switch to get off when at risk automatically. Such risks include a potential electrical fault or overheating. However, one must wear a mask and protective goggles to shield the eyes and the face from debris and dust.

Easy to Use

This powered tool is easier than other manual devices. One cut operates this saw to make unique cuts on your workpiece without put in much effort. Still, this saw does not put a lot of strain on your hands and arms.

Besides, you can control the motion by pedaling. As such, it gives you the advantage of using both hands to move the workpiece to move along the right line accurately.

Cuts Intricate Designs

The tool is useful in creating complex designs like jigsaw pieces, curved edges, and dovetail joints easily. This saw has unmatched delivery when cutting a piece of wood to produce intricate designs with high accuracy. That makes the resulting edge produce a better finish where you will need a little sanding to get the final finish.

Disadvantages of a Scroll Saw

Fixed Installation

The scroll saw is immovable, where you require a dedicated table to provide a working surface. That calls for a spacious workshop to accommodate a sizable workbench. The room must have a dust blower and decent ventilation.

High Dust Production

The device makes a lot of debris and dust, posing a danger to your health as you inhale it. Such also complicates the working environment to appear messy.


The scroll saw does not cut straight lines. Its purpose is to create intricate designs and curves. One can find it ineffective by trying to cut straight lines.

In Summary

A scroll saw should be part of the device in your workshop if you like working to create curves and beautiful designs on your wood pieces. You can opt to use the manual or automated one, depending on your choice.

This product is an excellent investment if you want to simplify your work by creating patterns on your woodwork. Since it is not portable, ensure you have enough working space to prevent congestion. Above all, use the right materials to prevent disappointment.

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.