Scroll Saws’ Adaptability on Crafting

Scroll saw cutting wood.

Scroll saws are artisanal power tools of any wood worker. Its very name implies the possibility of creative works by crafting. It is name for its traditional work of scrollwork, sculpted ornaments that are designed with a scroll head. You can use it to design wood and other materials into detailed art. It cuts materials faster, delicately and accurately. For anyone who works on crafting and art for a living, you should consider getting a scroll saw for your starter tool kit.

What is a scroll saw?

A small scroll saw is a small compact saw that runs on electricity or kinetic energy via pedals. It cuts intricate curves in wood, metal and other materials. It looks similar to a band saw. But it uses a reciprocating blade that can be replaced through a convenient pre-drilled starting hole. Its fine width and tooth count produces more intricate curves than any other saw blade.

When you get any scroll saw, make sure that you know the size of the throat of the saw you need. Throat depth is the distance from the blade to the rear frame of the saw. The throat depth determines how large a piece of wood can be cut. If you are a DIYer or a beginner, get a small saw that have a throat of as little as 12 inches (300 mm). For wood shop owners and large scale businesses, get a commercial saw that can cut up to 30 inches (760 mm) of material.

You can get good quality scroll saws from these brands: Hegner (Germany), Notable (Germany), Eclipse (made in the USA), DeWalt (originally made in Canada, now in Taiwan), Excalibur (originally made in Canada, now in Taiwan), and Delta, Dremel (Bosch), Craftsman, and Ryobi.

Parts of a scroll saw

parts of a scroll saw

Scroll saws vary in designs, particularly in three distinctions. These are parallel-arm, double parallel link arm, and c-arm. They differ in the way they work.

First: the parallel arm design powers through a motor attached near the back of the arms. The two arms always remain parallel to each other. The blade movements here are up and down. This is considered industry-wide as the safest scroll saw because when the saw blade breaks, the machine stops instantaneously.

Next is the double parallel link arm. This is similar to the previous. But it differs in its two parallel arms which set a pushing and pulling motion on each arm. This mechanism happens through the has rods in the upper and lower arms that are “pushed” by the motor to move short (about 4 inches, or 100 millimetres) articulated arms which hold the blade. You can get scroll saws in this design from Hawk, Excalibur, and DeWalt.

Last is the c-arm. Its name comes from its single arm that has a C shape. This is best for creating arc designs. The saw blade is mounted between the two ends of the “C” arm.

Scroll saws also have the following features: the blade-changing feature, the table tilt, vibrations, accessories, stand, foot switch and scroll saw cover.

Before getting saw blades to begin crafting with your scroll saw, first learn about the various saw blades you can use here.

Blades vary in weights from #10/0 (for making jewelry—about the size of a coarse hair) to #12, similar to a small band saw blade. Here are some types of saw blades to consider equipping your scroll saw with:

• Skip tooth (or single skip tooth) which have a tooth, a gap, and then another tooth;
• Double skip tooth (two teeth, a gap, then two teeth);
• Crown or two-way, which have teeth facing both up and down so that the blade cuts on both the down-stroke (as with all other blades) and the up-stroke;
• Spiral blades, which are essentially regular flat blades with a twist, so that teeth project on all sides;
• Metal cutting blades made of hardened steel;
• Diamond blades (wires coated with diamond fragments), for cutting glass.
• Reverse tooth blades, wherein the bottom 3/4″ of the teeth are reversed (point up). They are best for cutting softwood and plywood such as Baltic birch.
• Ultra-reverse blades: configured with 4–5 teeth down and then one up, repeated through the length of the blade. Get any of these in sizes ranging from #1 through #9.

Now that you understand the scroll saw and its parts, let’s move on to learning how to use a scroll saw for crafting.

How to use a scroll saw for crafting

Man using a scroll saw.

Scroll saws enable woodworkers to exercise their creativity in a little compact tool. It is very budget-friendly since you can use the saw itself exclusively for many projects. But you can also complement it with a drill press for detailed, interior cutouts.

Before using your scroll saw, prepare a sketch of your work so you can create patterns and designs without wasting any material. Pick the right wood to work with based on the project you want to do. You risk difficulty in cutting or creating your intended patterns in the material if it’s not suited to what you want to work on. The final preparation is the proper installation of the saw blade for you to use the saw effectively.

You could craft exquisitely-designed works into wood, metal, and other materials with a scroll saw. When you use a fine blade, the kerf of a scroll saw looks invisible. You can create intricate curves and joints, dovetail joints, blend edges and thicker intarsia. Anything with complex details can be done with this tool. All you need are your wide imagination and hands to work with this saw.

Scroll saws are safe to use. Cutting yourself accidentally through the saw blades is very unlikely and harmless. This safety measure stems from the saw’s smaller blade and slow speed than the more dangerous table saw.


Scroll sawing is a challenge but a worthwhile one for anyone who wants to go into crafting. You can best enjoy creating intricate, patterned works with wood, metal, and other materials by using this tool. This small compact tool gives you a lot to maneuver your sculpting skills and architectural imagination.

Whether you are beginner, DIYer, or a professional craftsman, a scroll saw is essential to have in your toolkit.

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

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