Harbor Freight 26" Scroll Saw question??

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Forum topic by jevarn71 posted 12-07-2009 08:11 AM 7942 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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83 posts in 3158 days

12-07-2009 08:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: scroll saw question

Harbor Freight 26 inch Scroll Saw

Does anyone know if this is a quality machine? I’ve recently been thinking about possibly getting a scroll saw and figure if I’m going to I may as well get one with a large capacity. I’ve searched, but can only find reviews for the HF 16” scroll saw and they have been mixed.

Thanks for any info.


-- Jason, JEV Woodworking

21 replies so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3302 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


986 posts in 3524 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

4173 posts in 3163 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 3111 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 3302 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 3726 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

20482 posts in 3104 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


5711 posts in 3230 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


5423 posts in 3661 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 3302 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 3105 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


5711 posts in 3230 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

4173 posts in 3163 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 3158 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


117091 posts in 3575 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

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