what size scroll saw do i need

When it comes to crafting intricate designs with a saw, a scroll saw is the perfect tool for the job. As you embark on your woodworking journey, it is important to know what size of scroll saw will suit your needs best. There are several factors to consider when selecting the right size of scroll saw, such as capacity, speed, drive type and features. It is also essential to think about blade sizing and the types of wood or thickness you plan on working with. Additionally, prices and safety should be kept in mind when choosing a suitable scroll saw for your projects. In this article I will discuss all these points in depth so that you can choose the ideal size of scroll saw for your needs.

Scroll Saw Basics

Choosing the right size scroll saw for your project is essential; it’ll make a big difference in the quality of your finished product! Generally, scroll saws are powered by either an electric or air motor and use blades that come in various types and sizes. The throat size of the saw is determined by measuring from blade to frame and can range from 12 to 30 depending on the model. When deciding which type of blade is best for you, consider what type of piece of wood you will be cutting. Additionally, some models feature variable speed control as well as a dust port or dust blower to help keep work areas clean. Scroll saws usually range in price from $80 – $400+ depending on features and power source, so shoppers should research different models before making a purchase decision. Keep in mind that while scroll saws are great tools for precise cuts in small pieces of wood, they are not intended to replace power saws like table or band saws for larger projects. As such, it’s important to find a model that fits both your budget and project needs.

Buying Guide

When it comes to finding the perfect tool for your project, it’s critical to get one that’ll deliver the results you desire! When looking into a scroll saw, there are many factors to consider. From table size and materials, design choices, type of blade, types of scroll saws, blade tension, blade sizes and variable speeds – all these have an impact on the success of intricate designs.

create beautiful patterns with a scroll saw

The first item to note is the table size. A larger table supports more intricate designs as well as providing a more stable platform from which to work. The next consideration is what materials will be used in the project? Different blades may be required for different materials such as wood or metal. Additionally, various design choices may need different blades as well.

Finally, when selecting a scroll saw it’s important to choose one with adjustable blade tension and variable speeds so that different projects can be completed accurately and efficiently. The type of blade clamp is also crucial in determining how quickly complex projects can be undertaken with minimal hassle this should not be overlooked when making purchasing decisions. Moving onto the next section about What To Look For will help ensure you make an informed choice when selecting your scroll saw

What to Look For

Look closely at the features of a scroll saw as you decide on the right one for your project – from table material and design to blade tension and variable speed settings – to ensure that it will deliver the results you desire! Power is one of the main considerations when selecting a scroll saw. You want enough power to cut through different thicknesses of wood. Price should also factor into your decision, so consider all available options within your budget range. Blade types are another important consideration; thicker blades are better suited for harder materials while thinner blades make more intricate cuts. Make sure that the type of scroll saw you choose has an adequate throat depth, dust collection capabilities, and throat capacities appropriate for your project needs. The variable speed feature allows users to adjust speed depending on various materials or even switch between cutting metals and woods. Taking these factors into account will help you find the best scroll saw for your specific needs.

Capacity, speed, and drive are other important aspects to consider when shopping for a new scroll saw. The capacity refers to how thick of material can be cut with each pass using a particular model or size of machine. Speed is determined by how many strokes per minute (SPM) it takes to make a cut in various materials such as wood or metal; faster speeds require greater power from the motor driving the blade assembly. Drive relates directly to how much torque is available from the motor driving the blade assembly, which impacts its ability to cut thicker materials efficiently without stalling or overloading itself.. To ensure satisfactory results with any type of material being cut, researching available models with sufficient power output paired with adequate variable-speed control settings is essential in making an informed decision about what size scroll saw would be best suited for your project goals and expectations.

Capacity, Speed, Drive

Understanding capacity, speed, and drive is critical for choosing the right scroll saw for your project – what you can cut and how quickly without the motor stalling is essential for successful results. Capacity refers to the size of material a scroll saw is able to cut. Depending on your project, you’ll need a saw that can handle different thicknesses of wood or metal as well as other materials like leather or plastic. Speed is also important in determining which saw to buy. Different speed settings allow you to control how quickly you work through intricate patterns while keeping dust levels down and maintaining accuracy. Finally, the type of drive used by a scroll saw affects its performance in cutting hardwoods or thick pieces of metal. A direct-drive motor provides more torque than an indirect-drive motor which gives greater control over thinner materials but may struggle with thicker woods.

When selecting a scroll saw for your shop there are two main types of blades: pin end blades and plain end blades. Pin end blades have pins at either end that fit into special clamps on the scroll saw’s upper arm while plain end blades attach directly into holes in the upper arm itself. The throat length distance between blade and back edge determines what size pieces of wood it can accommodate so make sure you know exactly what type of work you intend on doing before deciding on a model that best suits your needs. Additionally, spiral blade models offer higher cutting speeds but require additional control when handling thin woods like pine or balsa wood as they tend to move faster than standard pinned blades do due to their design characteristics .

In addition to traditional scrollsaws, there are some specialty tools such as Dremel models available for projects requiring very fine detail work such as intricate patterns in both wood and metal surfaces. When selecting any tool for use in your shop make sure it fits within both budget constraints and specific requirements needed to complete all tasks associated with each project efficiently and safely without sacrificing quality results.

Features and Types

You’ll want to consider the features and types of scroll saws when deciding which one is right for you – from blade type to throat length, each model offers unique advantages. Pinend blades are more common in smaller sizes while plainend blades offer flexibility in larger sizes. When working with softer wood, a foot pedal or foot switch can be helpful. Modern scroll saws often come with variable speed motors that allow you to adjust blade speed depending on the type of cut and material thickness. Many models feature an adjustable table tilt as well as a dust collection port for easier clean-up. In addition, larger blades offer more options when it comes to making intricate patterns in a variety of materials for larger projects than other power tools can manage.

For those who are just starting out with scroll saw projects, there are some additional features you may want to pay attention to when choosing your saw. A lifting arm that allows easy access for fitting large pieces onto the table is beneficial, as is a blade tensioning system that makes changing out blades easier and faster. Scroll saws typically come with either plain blades or specialty crown tooth blades; having an assortment of spare blades of various sizes and styles from reputable blade companies is always handy. Many models also have blade locks which make switching between materials safe and simple, especially when dealing with brittle materials like glass or ceramic tiles versus harder woods like oak.

When it comes down to selecting the size you need, remember that throat lengths usually range from 12 inches all the way up to 30 inches, so take into account what size projects you plan on tackling before committing to purchasing any particular model; longer throats provide more room for maneuverability when working with larger pieces but may not fit under certain work benches without modifications made first if space is limited – a rule of thumb many DIY enthusiasts recommend following! Some brands such as Delta Power Tools also boast powerful electric motors and parallel arm designs backed by five-year warranties that will give greater stability on even bigger projects along with a convenient power switch instead of plugging in each time you use your machine.

Comparing Saws

Comparing different scroll saws can be tricky, so it’s important to consider key features and benefits before making a purchase. Many of these features may include the:

  • Foot: The foot allows for steadiness while in use. It also helps with proper posture and has adjustable tension control.
  • Wide variety: There are many different types of feet available, such as rubber or steel, with various sizes and shapes.
  • Blades: Pinless blades are useful for cutting harder woods more easily at slower speeds, whereas skiptooth blades work better on thicker pieces with extra features like flexible dust blowers.

It is essential to choose the right blade for the job at hand since they dictate the type of material that can be cut as well as how efficiently it is cut. Larger pieces need a stronger blade that can handle more pressure than thinner pieces do. Additionally, some materials require specific types of blades in order to achieve desired results when cutting them. Therefore, selecting an appropriate saw requires careful attention to detail and considering all factors involved in the process of choosing one.

Once you have identified your needs, it will be easier to pick a saw that suits your project requirements best from the wide variety available on the market today. Furthermore, if there are any doubts about which size scroll saw is suitable for your project, consulting with an expert may help you make an informed decision that fits both your budget and needs perfectly!

Blade Types

When choosing a saw, it’s important to consider the type of blade – whether pinless or skiptooth – that will best suit your project. Versatile tools like the Shop Fox W1713 Variable Speed Scroll Saw are ideal for detailed patterns and intricately cut dovetail joints on pieces such as a jewelry box. Pinless blades are typically used on small sizes of scroll saws, while larger saws usually require skiptooth blades. Spiral-tooth blades offer more aggressive cutting capabilities than double-tooth blades, making them better suited for thicker materials and rough stock removal.

The size of blade is just as important as the type when it comes to selecting a scroll saw. Smaller saws require smaller blades, while larger machines need larger ones in order to make deeper cuts. The tension between the blade and the material also needs to be taken into consideration when selecting a scroll saw; if too much tension is applied it can cause excessive vibration and could damage both the machine and the piece being worked on.

Blade sizing is an important factor when deciding what size scroll saw you need for your project. It should be determined by considering not only the type of material you’re working with but also its thickness and complexity of design, which will determine how powerful of a motor your particular machine should have in order to achieve desired results. To transition smoothly into the next section about ‘blade sizing’, it’s crucial to understand these key considerations before choosing your scroll saw.

Blade Sizing

Now that we have discussed the various types of blades used in scroll sawing, let us move on to blade sizing. It is essential to know which size blade you need for your project and which type of wood you are planning to work with. There is a wide range of scrollsaws available at affordable prices that offer a variety of sizes and essential features.

ScrollsawBlade SizePrice
DW Scroll#5-#9Reasonable
Basic Scroll#2 – #9Affordable
Intricate Fretwork Scroll Saw#3/0 – #12/0Higher Price

When selecting a size, it is important to consider the project and the type of wood you will be working with. A larger blade size such as #7 or above can cut through most materials quickly, while smaller blades like a #2 or lower allow for tight corners and intricate fretwork with precision. Furthermore, some models such as the DW scroll saw come with different blade sizes included so that you can experiment and find what works best for your projects. Keep in mind that purchasing extra blades now may save you money in the future if needed for other projects!

No matter what type of scroll sawing project you are working on, it’s important to select the right size blade for any given job. With a reasonable price point and a variety of sizes available, finding an appropriate sized blade should not be difficult. Make sure to carefully research all features before committing so that your toolbox has everything necessary for future reference!

Wood and Thickness

the man carefully operates the scroll saw

Knowing what type of wood and thickness you’ll be working on is essential for successful scroll sawing! Depending on the type and size of project you’re taking on, there are a variety of excellent choice when it comes to selecting the right scroll saw. It’s important to consider the types of wood that your project requires: if you need to cut intricate pieces, an excellent option might be buying one with a thin blade. If you require thicker material or larger projects, then look for ones with wider blades as they can handle more pressure. Ample workspace is also important when choosing your favorite scroll saws; if your projects require large pieces or multiple materials, make sure to pick one that has enough room for those projects.

The most common type of scroll saws are benchtop models. Although these come in different sizes and prices, they provide an excellent tool for cutting intricate designs in wood or other materials based on their size and power output. For bigger projects or thicker materials, a free-standing model might be better suited as it provides more power than its benchtop counterparts.

Ultimately, understanding the types of wood and thickness will help determine which kind of scroll saw best suits your needs. Consider the size and scope of each project before making a purchase; this way you can ensure that your selected tool can handle any job thrown its way!


When it comes to safety, it’s important to look for a scroll saw that has features such as an adjustable blade guard and dust blower. For example, some models have a foot switch that pauses the blade while you reposition your material, which can help reduce the risk of accidents. Additionally, make sure your scroll saw has an integrated riving knife or splitter designed to prevent kickback from the blade if the wood gets pinched in the cut. This is particularly important when making tight turns or cutting small pieces. It’s also important to select a model with vibration-reducing features like rubber feet and anti-vibration handles to keep your hands steady during operation. Finally, take into account any special accessories you’ll need for projects and add them as necessary – these could include items like clamps or additional blades.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of projects can I make with a scroll saw?

A scroll saw can be used for a wide variety of projects. It is an ideal tool for making intricate cuts in wood, metal, and plastic. It’s also great for creating detailed curves or circles in your workpieces. With it you can make delicate fretwork pieces, create beautiful decorations from thin sheets of wood, or even cut out shapes from thick boards. You can also use the scroll saw to cut out intarsia projects that feature different types of woods with various patterns and colors. Being able to choose the size of the blade will give you even more control over the precision and quality of your work.

Are there any special considerations when using a scroll saw on metal?

Using a scroll saw on metal requires special considerations. The blades used should be specifically made for cutting metal, as regular blades may not be able to cut through the material. Additionally, the speed of the blade should be adjusted accordingly when cutting metal in order to prevent over-heating and burning of the material. When working with metal, it is also important to make sure that you have a secure grip on the workpiece and that all other safety precautions are followed.

How do I know when to replace my scroll saw blades?

It is important to know when to replace your scroll saw blades. Generally, the life of a scroll saw blade is determined by how often it is used and the material being cut. On average, you should expect to replace a blade after 3-5 hours of use on softwood or hardwood. However, if cutting metal with a scroll saw, the blade will need to be replaced much more frequently than for woodworking applications due to the increased wear and tear on the teeth from friction with harder materials. Therefore, regularly inspecting your blades for signs of dullness such as difficulty cutting or burning can help ensure that your projects are completed safely and efficiently.


I have investigated the truth of theories about scroll saws. From this investigation, I can say that choosing the right size scroll saw for your project is essential. It’s important to consider factors such as capacity, speed, drive, features and types to make sure you get the best tool for your needs. Additionally, blade sizing and wood thickness should also be taken into consideration when purchasing a scroll saw. Ultimately, it’s important to find a scroll saw that fits within your budget while offering all of the necessary features. With proper research and careful consideration, you can find just what you need to complete your projects with ease and safety!

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