7 Major Types of Scroll Saw Blades

Scroll saw blades.

Whether you are a beginner or a long-time skilled craftsman, you need to get the right scroll saw blades to ensure the best quality of work every time. Understanding which type of blade to use will make you a better workman, more efficient in cutting wood. This will also help prevent any accidents from human errors during the production process.

WEN 3921 Scroll Saw - Best Budget Scroll Saw

WEN 3921 Scroll Saw – Best Budget Scroll Saw

A woodworker’s power tool is no doubt the scroll saw. It’s the easiest to use for cutting patterns on wood, as detailed as desired. It is also very versatile in the things that you can do with it.

Learn more – The Beginner’s Guide to The Scroll Saw

We at Saws Expert endeavor to help every craftsman and woodworker in being more learned and skillful in scroll sawing. This comprehensive guide on scroll saw blades will help you be more aware of your tool and pick the right blade always for the task at hand.

Types of Scroll Saw Blades

Scroll Saw Blades

Scroll saw blades can first be classified by the way they are manufactured. They are either ground or milled. Ground blades are made from hardened steel with a stone wheel. They cut straighter and smoother than standard blades. These heavy duty blades can last you up to four times longer than others.

On the other hand, a milled blade is formed by a milling cutter from soft steel and then heat tempered. They are as good as ground blades, except for the material flow that the milling process causes, which can affect the straightness of the cut of the blade.

Aside from this, there are seven major types of blades for scroll saws:

1. Standard Tooth Blades

This is the most popular type of saw blade. This is also the default blade you will find in your scroll saw upon purchase or delivery. Standard tooth blades have teeth that are of the same size and distance. You can find them in two varieties: wood blades and metal blades.

Wood blades have larger teeth and more space between the teeth. They are designed to clear the sawdust as you cut. This makes them great for general purpose wood cutting. On the other hand, metal blades have much smaller teeth and less space between teeth. This design makes sawing more efficient but noisier.

2. Skip-tooth Blades

This blade is particularly more found on beginner scroll saws. Its design is similar to standard tooth blades, except for the number of teeth in the blade. In fact, this blade has a missing tooth for every other tooth. This makes a wider gap between the teeth.

However, this also results to a lack of precision. All in all, a skip tooth blade can cut material quickly and easily, just enough for beginners in scroll sawing.

3. Double-tooth Blades

This blade is another variation of the skip-tooth blade. It has a large space between sets of two teeth. The double-tooth blade cuts slightly slower but leaves a very smooth cut in the material. However, it is not suitable for beginners because it is more difficult to handle than other blades.

4. Reverse Skip-tooth Blades

The reverse skip-tooth blade is similar to a skip-tooth blade except for the teeth structure. Here the last few bottom teeth point upward. After every three teeth, they are reversed. This is great for working on sensitive materials such as plywood. Using this blade will prevent splintering on the bottom of the cut.

When you use a reverse skip-tooth blade, you must set the blade in the clamps so that only two or three teeth are pointing up above the table top – when the saw arm is in its highest position. To do this, trim a little from the bottom of the blade.

5. Precision-ground Blades

The name of this blade comes from its function of smooth precision in cutting. It is a much thinner and smaller blade which design is a mix of skip-tooth blade and a reverse-skip blade. It has small teeth that have been ground to shape rather than simply filed. The precision-ground blade is sharper, cuts straighter and leaves a smoother surface in the material than other blades. It produces very smooth, professional and splinter-free cuts.

But they are not recommended for beginners. They are very aggressive and unforgiving to a worker’s hands. A certain level of skill is required when operating a scroll saw with a precision-ground blade.

6. Spiral Blades

This type of blade gets its name from its multi-blade design. The blades twist upon themselves in a spiral blade. With this, there are teeth all the way around.

This particular teeth structure enables the cutting of material through all directions. You don’t even need to turn the wood while working. However, they are undesirable to work with. They leave a very rough, wide surface, cannot make a tight or sharp corner and have a tendency to stretch as you use them. This can only be used for special applications.

7. Crown-tooth Blades

Last to be discussed is the newcomer in the scroll saw blade market. This is the crown-tooth blade. It gets its name from its unique teeth design. The teeth are shaped like a crown with a space between each crown. The advantage to using this blade is the fact that it can be put in either way, so there is no upside down with these blades.

But the downside to this new blade? It cuts slower than other blades. You can mostly use it to cut plastic or Plexiglas® instead of wood.

Now, let’s move on to discussing tips and tricks on choosing the right scroll saw blade. Based on the short overview on each saw blade, you may already have inkling on what to buy. But to choose which one to get is a more serious matter.

How to choose the right scroll saw blades

Whether you are a beginner or expert in scroll sawing, you need to know the factors to consider when buying scroll saw blades. These are material thickness, material density, precision and maneuverability, blade diversity and exclusivity. Understanding these factors will help you choose the most appropriate blade for every task.

1. Material Thickness: The thickness of the material such as wood is directly proportional to the size of the saw blade you need to use when working on it. If you do otherwise, it would cause at minimum, breakage of your tools because saw blades with small teeth will have difficulty cutting thick material. Worse, you risk losing a limb from improper saw blades.

2. Material Density: Similarly, the density or hardness of the material is directly proportional to the size of the teeth in the saw blade. You need large-toothed blades for hardwoods to cut the material smoothly. Furthermore, this also prevents wood-burn, since it generates less heat.

3. Precision and Maneuverability: You need to consider what type of pattern or design you will work on before you choose a scroll saw blade. If you want to do an intricately patterned design, look for a saw blade that gives you a lot of precision. As much as possible, choose the saw blade that gives you enough control and maneuverability over your cut.

4. Blade Diversity: When picking saw blades, remember how long you will use your scroll saw. Anticipate the projects you will work on. Stock your workshop or toolkit with a few different types of blades, if not all. Swap saw blades in your scroll saw regularly other types to make the cutting process more efficient and easier, depending on the type of material you are working on.

5. Exclusivity: Most importantly, you need to have a diverse range of saw blades in stock because there is no one size fits all in scroll sawing. Never use the same blade to cut through different types of material. Always used the one that specializes on that material. For instance, use a metal blade to cut metal – never on wood, plastic, or any other material.

After using scroll saw blades, remember that maintaining them is as crucial as maintaining the scroll saw itself. Scroll saw blades move very fast and they go through a lot of wear and tear. To keep the blades in top condition, rub them regularly with mineral oil or coconut oil.

Conclusion

Scroll saws are just as efficient as the blade you equip it with. You need to be efficient not only in choosing a good scroll saw, but picking the right saw blade for the projects you work on. If possible, stock your toolkit with many blades of varying types. So you have a set of blades to work with your scroll saw. Just remember that keeping them in good condition is as important as maintenance for your scroll saw.

To know more about scroll saws, visit Saws Expert. Saws Expert guides you through the scroll sawing process with everything from product reviews to how-to guides. Here we can help you find the best saw for your needs. So you can create fine and attractive work pieces of high standards.

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