Buying Your First Scroll Saw: Comprehensive Guide

A scroll saw is a power saw that is originally designed to cut scrolls from solid wood. Its versatility sees its work on other types of projects, too. Aside from decorative scroll motifs, scroll saws are also great for making parquetry, wood crafts made of interlocking pieces of wood.

WEN 3921

You can also have fun with them when making fretwork patterns in wood, and most kinds of wood cut-outs. Ultimately, a scroll saw is a saw that cuts intricate shapes and patterns such as curved lines and complex designs, with a focus upon its finesse rather than power.

You need to have a scroll saw when working with projects that craft intricate designs on materials such as wood, bamboo and metals. But you can also take advantage of this tool if you just want to add an extra Oomph in your works. A little curve or there, just to make things a little fancy, a bit more special.

If you want to start assembling your toolkit, a scroll saw would be a great tool to add to your collection. We at Saws Expert present this handy Beginner’s Guide to Buying Their First Scroll Saw.

Here, we will talk about:
• the things you need to consider when buying your first scroll saw,
• the brands which you can trust for their top-quality beginner scroll saws,
• and tips to prepare your workshop for the scroll saw.

Things to Consider

Scroll saws have a set of core features, table, blade & arm type, and additional features to enhance your work. You need to check each feature and evaluate if the scroll saw fits your working skills with those features. Specifically, you need to check the following things in every scroll saw that you see online or in a brick or mortar store. These are as follows: Throat size, power switch location, scroll saw blades, table size, speed adjustment, tension adjustment, and reviews about them.

Throat Size

The size of the throat is the length of the back of the arm to the front where the scroll saw blade does its work. This is also the amount of space you have to rotate your projects under the scroll saw.

In this case, think of the scale of your scroll saw projects. What do you want to do with your scroll saw? Consider your skills in wood working. How much wood can you handle?

The larger the length of the arm, the larger the piece of wood you can rotate under that arm. A scroll saw with a larger arm or throat size will enable you to work on larger projects. But if you want to start small, go for one with a small throat size.

Power Switch Location

A power switch location is integral to the way you work with the scroll saw. Of course, it’s already a given that most scroll saws have the power switch in a good and safe location. But you also need to consider where it is located so you can access easily before, during and after working on the scroll saw. Better get a scroll saw where you can push the power switch without twisting your torso in search for it.

Scroll Saw Blades

scroll saw blades

Scroll saws have two types of blades that can work with it. These are pin end and pin-less blades.

The pin end scroll saw blade is designed with a tiny pin on both ends of the blade. This pin is used to help attach the blade to the scroll saw.

On the other hand, the pin-less end blades require a clamping mechanism from the scroll saw to hold the blades into place.

Table Size

The size of the table is an important feature that you even need to compare scroll saws before getting one.

Look at the size of the table that comes with the scroll saw. Determine if it fits your workshop and working style. If you like more room in the table for large projects, get one with a spacious table.

Blade Speed Adjustment

The ability to adjust the speed at which the blade oscillates is another thing you should evaluate in every scroll saw you canvass.

To ensure that you can take advantage of the versatility of a scroll saw, buy the scroll saw with enough variable speed for the scroll saw blade.

Blade Tension Adjustment

After checking for scroll saw speed adjustment, you need to check if you can adjust the scroll saw blade through the feature called blade tension. This is the amount of tension you put on the scroll saw blade after you have properly installed it.

You need this feature to be able to work efficiently with any scroll saw after you install a scroll saw blade. Particularly, you need the ability to apply some tension to the blade before you start cutting. All scroll saws do have this. But you need to ensure that the tension mechanism works easily and can be accessed without causing injury to yourself while working.

The Air Blower

The air blower is a small adjustable arm that typically comes off the scroll saw throat. When looking for a scroll saw, look for the one with an air blower that is be adjustable enough to be far enough away, yet put a small amount of air on the wood to clear any dust from your visible cutting lines.

Usually point this part somewhere right on the blade. So you can always see the cuts that you are making with your scroll saw.

Product Reviews

Most important of the considerations when buying your first scroll saw is to know how well it works out for the people who already use them. Yes, user reviews are significant in choosing which one to buy. You can start with people you know that work in a similar trade as yours. Ask them about the scroll saws that they used back when they started working. Ask them for tips and what works best for beginners like you.

Then look for product reviews online. Start by browsing our in-depth scroll saw reviews on models of Dremel, Shop Fox, DeWalt and Delta.

Learn more – Finding the right saw for your needs

Brands for A First Scroll Saw

For a beginner in scroll saws, the vast variety of different brands that produce power tools and scroll saws is a double-edged sword. It’s great to have a lot to choose from. But it also signifies that you need to research well before getting your first scroll saw.

But ask the woodworkers who are already long in the industry, you’ll know immediately the best based on their recommendations from experience. In fact, the Saws Expert team compiled the top established scroll saw makers. Learn what each brand can bring from their products.


WEN 3920 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Flexible LED Light


For beginners in scroll sawing, Wen is the brand of choice. We recommend it for its budget-friendly power tools, especially their entry level saws. Wen scroll saws are quite basic with no complex features. But this makes them so easy to use. Plus their affordability ensures that you can get one of their models even if you are a hobbyist or just starting your woodshop.

Shop Fox

Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Scroll Saw

Looking for quality built in long years of experience in the industry? Consider getting a model from Shop Fox. This American brand has built a reputation of well-made scroll saws at the fraction of the cost. You’ll get top quality work done with their power tools that compete in efficiency with the top tier brands.


Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed Compact Scroll Saw Kit


If you’re just getting started in the hobby of woodworking, you can go to another famous American brand – Dremel. Dremel is renowned for its premium rotary tools, and its impressive scroll saw range. You can find most of its products well within the budget of most woodworkers.


DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw


Now if you’re looking for something that’s the symbol of American woodworking, that’s DeWalt. DeWalt tools are found in just about any workshop or shed of workers nationwide. Although they are more expensive, they have built their brand in high standards of product quality. It’s no wonder that they are the preferred choice of serious woodworkers and metalworkers.


Delta Power Tools 40-694 20 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw


Lastly, there’s Delta Machinery. They focus on creating the tools for woodworking. Particularly, they created their scroll saws with all innovation from their long experience with the business, all features that make woodworking efficient and have each model with an easier and smoother operation every time.


A scroll saw is one of the best investments you can make in your toolkit. Even if you’re a beginner in woodworking, this tool will help you create beautiful pieces of wood works that people will enjoy and buy from you regularly. This versatile saw can handle other types of work. So before you get your first scroll saw, research first.

Hopefully this guide will help you create an informed decision and choose the right model that you will use as your first scroll saw.

To learn more about scroll saws, explore the official Saws Expert website. Here we can help you find the best saw for your needs. So you can create fine and attractive work pieces of high standards.

About the Author Jenny

Leave a Comment:

Add Your Reply