All Replies on Harbor Freight 26" Scroll Saw question??

  • Advertise with us
View jevarn71's profile

Harbor Freight 26" Scroll Saw question??

by jevarn71
posted 12-07-2009 08:11 AM

21 replies so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3270 days

#1 posted 12-07-2009 08:45 AM

in my humble opinion..anything pretty much from harbor frieght is low quality…..they sell to folks who want a machine or tool and they sell low end stuff…...ive learned you get what you pay for…...there are must better choices, if you can afford a better saw…i would get one…..dewalt….grizzly…delta…...all sorts out there…...

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View MrsN's profile


985 posts in 3492 days

#2 posted 12-07-2009 06:06 PM

If you have a Lowes near by, I love my Hitachi 16'' saw. From what I have heard the Harbor Frieght saw is not great, and I think blade changes are a pain (but I could be confusing it with another). I have not needed a bigger saw for anything I have wanted to do. So you might not need the larger capacity.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4170 posts in 3131 days

#3 posted 12-07-2009 06:25 PM

I’ll second the Hitachi 16” saw vote. I purchased it without any research, and have used it occassionally since. I did not put it on the included stand since I am an occasionally user. It is heavy, and if I just use one bolt to attach it to my bench the vibration disappears. The switch is just above the blade, and it has a light and blower. And very importantly the price is right. The DeWalt reviews well, but it is nearly three times the price of the Hitachi. I won’t get enough use out of a scroll saw to spend $500 or more, but the quality/price ratio on the Hitachi, at $179 seemed right.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Paul2274's profile


330 posts in 3079 days

#4 posted 12-07-2009 06:26 PM

I have bought a few small things from HF and to echo what Grizz has said they pretty much have low end stuff that is good for temporary use then throw away…. the tools are good if you need one to beat up and not mess up your good ones.

I’ve been looking for a good scroll saw – one preferably with a dust blower and work light… something in the 16-18” range?

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3270 days

#5 posted 12-07-2009 06:49 PM

The Hitachi at $179.00 is the best value I have found under the $500.00 Dewalt.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3694 days

#6 posted 12-07-2009 07:54 PM

I don’t anything about this scroll saw, other than I had good luck with what I have purchased from Harbour Freight. It’s an intersting looking saw. Although it looks a little on the light side. Just my opinion though.

-- Ray

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20296 posts in 3072 days

#7 posted 12-07-2009 08:12 PM

If you want to do fine work, it is best to by a higher quality saw. If you want something to cut out the center of a part occasionally, it would probably do. I have a mini wood lathe from harbor freight that I am very happy with. If you look real close at their tools they are just about like a Jet or some Grizzley tools. They are all made in China but some are made with better quality standards. Look it over real good if you buy it. Some Chinese stuff is schlocked together and can be fixed good to make it work and some others can’t. I had a Chinese jet metal lathe that was so bad It would have to have been rebuilt to make it to my liking. I peddled it.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View dbhost's profile


5705 posts in 3198 days

#8 posted 12-07-2009 08:22 PM

With respect to the opinions of Harbor Freight tool quality, I understand people’s perspectives, but somewhat doubt they are based on experience… Now I am funny about Table Saws, and just won’t buy a table saw, or blades for that matter from Harbor Freight… But I have gotten excellent service from my band saw, lathe, and dust collector. Yes they lack some of the nice features of the higher end machines. But they work well, and have put up with some pretty bad abuse without complaining once…

I am not familiar with that particular scroll saw as I am not a scroll sawyer. HOWEVER, I have seen the smaller 16” I think it is saw, and it appears almost identical at least in fit and finish to the Hitachi I had seen at Lowes… I am not slamming Hitachi in the slightest. I have two of their routers and love them. Just saying that from what I can tell, in a casual look at the tools from a somewhat disinterested shopper that they look roughly the same…

Admittedly Harbor Freight tools are kind of a gamble, but with their return policies, it’s rarely ever a losing gamble…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View TheDane's profile


5401 posts in 3629 days

#9 posted 12-07-2009 08:36 PM

I have looked at some of the machinery in a Harbor Freight store (in Green Bay) ... I’m with Grizzman. I buy some small stuff there, but the machinery I have looked at (lathe, jointer, bandsaw) was all pretty marginal in terms of fit & finish.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3270 days

#10 posted 12-07-2009 09:58 PM

I do have several other tools from HF that work just fine…a couple grinders, a dust collector and a roto-hammer. I also have some HF air tools that I like. I actually traded away my Porter Cable brad nailer in favor of HF’s $13.00 model which I have owned two of.

The HF scroll saw has a real lightweight table, I didn’t care for it. I looked at it and several other models and found the Hitachi to have the best value for under $500.00.

If you go look at the HF scroll saw and the Hitachi scroll saw you will also see that they are in NO WAY a similar tool.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3073 days

#11 posted 12-07-2009 10:39 PM

Over the years, I’ve had some pleasant surprizes from HF stuff. I have used them mainly for abrasives. I have found they are slowly improving their quality on some items. You just have to pick and choose very carefully. Having said that, every time I have had a problem, there is no squable over making me happy. Just look real close first and compare.


View dbhost's profile


5705 posts in 3198 days

#12 posted 12-07-2009 11:23 PM

I’m not saying they are all that similar in function, or features… Just in fit and finish… The HF 16” model I had come across in store seemed to be particularly well put together for such an inexpensive tool.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4170 posts in 3131 days

#13 posted 12-08-2009 03:46 AM

I don’t believe there is any HF here in Alaska, so for me it is not a contest. As to the Hitachi, it is inexpensive and meets my limited needs. I am the guy who “wants something to cut out the center of a part occasionally.” So I will back out of this discussion because I have no experience with HF, and have limited needs.

Best of luck with whatever you do Jason. The others here will give you their best advice.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View jevarn71's profile


83 posts in 3126 days

#14 posted 12-08-2009 04:56 AM

Thanks to all for your advice. I think I’ll stay clear of the HF machine. However, I just found this on craigslist:

Vintage Delta 24 inch Scroll Saw

Thoughts on this? Worth spending $100.00 on?

Thanks, Jason

-- Jason, JEV Woodworking

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3543 days

#15 posted 12-08-2009 05:09 AM

Hey Jason
I would say what ever scroll saw you buy Look for a blade that comes in and out easily,has variable speed and runs smoothly. I’ve seen cheepie Deltas on sale for around $89 that have these features and $1200 hawks that don’t and even a Dewalt @ around $600 it’s blade does not change that easily .

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View MrsN's profile


985 posts in 3492 days

#16 posted 12-08-2009 05:56 PM

I have 2 similar “vintage” delta machines in my highschool woodshop. They work well for tight curves and the occational inside cut. Changing blades is a pain, and the tensioning parts have broken several times. since mine take the abuse of 30 high school kids a semester, you may never have any issues. I like to do some fretwork, puzzles other small things, and I don’t like the deltas at school. the ease of blade changes is really important if you want to make interior cuts. for example my welcome sign isn’t a particularly challening piece, but there are 17 interior cuts. for each cut on some machines you could spend more time playing with the blade then cutting.

If you want a saw for the just in case times, or to cross another tool off your list, then your vintage delta will probably be ok. If you think you might want to do any type of “scroll saw project” I would reccomend something else (personally the hitachi).

View Pdub's profile


923 posts in 3146 days

#17 posted 12-12-2009 12:09 AM

Hey Jason, I had a 16 in. Craftsman that was OK but the arm broke (luckily before the warranty was up). I had problems getting Sears to fix it correctly so I got a refund and bought a 20 in Delta that is about 13 years old now. I loved it but eventually bought a 26 in RBI Hawk because I needed/wanted a bigger throat for some of my projects. The Delta came with a quick release blade holder that clamps onto the blade with the push your thumb. It cuts blade change time in half. I bought an aftermarket addition for my Hawk that does the same thing. It cost $50 but was well worth it.

I guess it depends on how much you want to spend and what size you need. I know RBI has made some improvements on their saw that I would like to have on mine but can’t see spending the money when mine works just fine. You should check them out and see if it is what you want. I have heard several people like the Dewalt also but have never used one. If I had to buy again it would be between the Delta, RBI and maybe Dewalt. Good luck!!!

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View Pete Jansen's profile

Pete Jansen

250 posts in 2888 days

#18 posted 02-24-2012 01:12 PM

Hitachi, DeWalt DW788 or the rebranded vesion sold by Delta now. These saws will make you happy, not sad.

-- Lovin' sawdust in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10364 posts in 3395 days

#19 posted 02-24-2012 02:20 PM

There was a long discussion on another forum about the relative merits of several scroll saws. In it’s price range, the Delta seemed to have gained the most favor.
A couple of members bought Deltas as a result of the discussion and were very satisfied. A couple others went with Excalibur. I’d assume the differences were vast.
I’ve owned a Delta 20” for 20 years. It has done everything I’ve wanted it to do.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View dhazelton's profile


2756 posts in 2263 days

#20 posted 02-24-2012 02:55 PM

My first purchase of a motorized Harbor Freight tool was done with some apprehension. When I got it home (OSS) is was dead on arrival. I took it back and found a used JET spindle sander, albeit for three times the price, on CL. But I know it will work when I need it and am confident it will work 5 years from now. By the time you add in the extended warranty for the HF stuff you may as well buy a name brand tool. I also looked at the HF midi lathe, but saw that the headstock had an odd sized morse taper, so I couldn’t add the bowl chuck I wanted. So their stuff may look like the name brands, but…

If you want plug and play, go buy the Hitachi. If you want to save a little money, you could find a vintage Craftsman or Delta Homecraft on CL or ebay but you may have to fab up a base and motor and switch mount. And it will take up more room because the motor is separate.

View dhazelton's profile


2756 posts in 2263 days

#21 posted 02-24-2012 05:22 PM

Don’t think that Hitachi saw is sold anymore – it wasn’t at my local store and it’s not on the website. They have a Porter Cable in that price range with mixed reviews. Possibly one on eBay, but shipping would be expensive. You can always try the Harbor Freight and return it before 30 days is up.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics