Dewalt or Excalibur scroll saw?

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Forum topic by shovel posted 05-01-2016 09:31 PM 958 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View shovel's profile


6 posts in 183 days

05-01-2016 09:31 PM

Hi y’all! I wanted to seek some advice before I spent my money. I want a scroll saw. I am a woodcarver/woodworker that WANTS a new scroll saw. I use a band saw for most of my cut-out work, but have had a need for a scroll saw lately. I have owned and use my friends Delta scroll saws, I am familiar with them and not a total newbie. Saying that, I am through with Delta equipment, but that is another topic…
I have set a 500-600 budget for a saw and am saving for it now. I am interested in the Dewalt 788 (?) as it seems to be good value for the money. My biggest problem with this saw us it is manufactured in Asia, and eventually, parts may not be available (re, Delta!)
For the abou the same money, I can get a 16” Excalibur saw. Here is where you guys come in: For those that have had experience with either saw, what would you buy, and why? I am looking forward to, an appreciate you sharing your experiences with me.
By the way, I currently have a Delta 40-601 with the usual problems that is available as a really cheap project or parts saw if anyone in the SE Texas, SW Louisiana area wants it. Thanks y’all!

14 replies so far

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2391 posts in 2345 days

#1 posted 05-01-2016 10:58 PM

I have had a DeWalt scroll saw and it died on me just out of warranty. I have a friend that has had similar experiences with his DeWalt saws. I now own Hegner saws but they are more expensive. The advantage of the Hegners is that they are much more durable. I am cutting 3/4” thick wood doing inlay with mine but those that cut thinner stock doing fretwork like the DeWalt. I hear good things about the Excalibur saw.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View shovel's profile


6 posts in 183 days

#2 posted 05-02-2016 02:09 AM

Thanks Jim! That is exactly the kind of info I’m looking for.

View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 511 days

#3 posted 05-02-2016 03:27 AM

I’ve had my Dewalt for about ten years now without issue. I don’t use it nearly as much as someone who calls themselves a scroller, but I have used it quite a bit, including using it to cut metal, thin wood and thick (up to about 1 1/2” hardwood), super accurate wooden gear clock parts, etc. It has been really good for me all this time.

I added the Jim Dandy Easy lift to it years ago, makes it very nice to do pierced work.

Never used an Excalibur, though I have played with a Hegner, which is wicked nice, but not part of this discussion.

-- Learn Relentlessly

View jimintx's profile


131 posts in 1008 days

#4 posted 05-02-2016 06:10 AM

I got my dewalt maybe 7 or 8 years ago.
I can’t think of anything wrong, weak, or lacking, with it.
It is a great tool in my shop.

View runswithscissors's profile


2127 posts in 1449 days

#5 posted 05-02-2016 07:26 AM

Though a new one (still made, but by a new company) RBI Hawk would be $1200 or so, they pop up on CL from time to time. I paid $250 (if I remember correctly) for mine, a 20 inch with variable speed. Another one for your consideration.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Redoak49's profile


1824 posts in 1412 days

#6 posted 05-02-2016 10:55 AM

If you are going to heavily use it, find a used Hegner. They show up often on CL and parts are easy to get even on 20 year old machines.

Take your time and try out some machines as there are differences in putting blades in and other operating issues.

View sawdust703's profile


270 posts in 843 days

#7 posted 05-02-2016 10:57 AM

+1 what run w/scissors said. I own 5 scroll saws, & use 4 of them daily. My work horse is a 21 yr old RBI 20” vsp. You can’t beat them! Or the customer service! I’ve been scrolling nigh on 24 years, & my first new saw was a CW-40 Hitachi. Awesome machine! Now obsolete, but available, as are most parts. If I had it to do over, I’d of bought the Hawk first. I got my hawk on eBay last Christmas for $300 hardly used. Look around, you won’t be disappointed! I have a friend that’s been scrolling about ten years. He started w/DeWalt, & is on his 4th one. And uses them lightly! That comes to about a new saw every two years! Its your money. If you’re interested, You can have a look see at some of our projects done on the Hawk on our FB page at Sawdust Haven. Hawk has asked me to demonstrate for them this year at the Kansas State Fair in September.

-- Sawdust703

View kepy's profile


291 posts in 1697 days

#8 posted 05-02-2016 12:54 PM

I have been using a DeWalt for a few years now without a problem once I taped over the on/off switch and use a foot switch. I have the lift for it but never installed it as haven’t felt the need. Had a 20” RBI but the variable speed controller went out and I didn’t want to replace it at $300 so sold it.

-- Kepy

View tomsteve's profile


393 posts in 643 days

#9 posted 05-02-2016 01:53 PM

i had a type 2 dewalt that was awesome….untila short in the motor winding.
replaced with ex16. ive had it for about 16 months now, have a LOT of hours on it, and love it. dc induction motor, foot pedal switch, easy blade changes, quiet,motor and arms tilt for miter cuts and table stays flat, and the warranty isnt too bad either.

View Mosquito's profile


7928 posts in 1716 days

#10 posted 05-02-2016 02:37 PM

I have been very pleased with my Excalibur (I got an EX16). I’ve had it for about 2 years now, and there hasn’t been anything yet that I’ve been displeased with.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View CharleyL's profile


190 posts in 2788 days

#11 posted 05-03-2016 12:26 AM

If you can afford the Excalibur, get it. I’ve decided that it will be my next scroll saw, unless an Eclipse goes into production, but the maker of the Eclipse died without selling the rights to it to anyone. The Excalibur cuts very similar to the DeWalt, because Excalibur designed the mechanism for DeWalt, and I believe they were making the type 1 saws for DeWalt, or were heavily involved in supervising the manufacture of them. But Excaliber has improved their designs since the DeWalt Type 1, and the DeWalt saws are still basically the same design as the first one, only made cheaper in Asia, and I think also now in Mexico. To me, an Excalibur is my next generation saw choice, even if I have to save longer to get it.

I have a DeWalt Type 1 and use it quite heavily. I’ve repaired it several times and tuned it up once when I first got it. I bought it about 4 years ago. When I tuned it up I put higher quality, tighter tolerance bearings in it and have re-lubricating it 3 times, which is no easy chore to do properly. The mechanism has to be partially dis-assembled to lubricate the bearings properly. You can’t do it by just removing the cover and oiling them. They are sealed bearings, but the inner race is a sleeve that must be removed to put grease in the bearing internals. My DeWalt Type 1 was used when I bought it, but in good condition. It runs great, and is more fun to use than my Delta Q3 40-650 type 1, which I bought new in 1998, although the Delta C Arm design cuts a bit faster than the straight up and down cut of the DeWalt. I like the blade grips and tension adjust of the DeWalt better. They are faster to use and the tension adjust is much easier to set and get right repeatably.


View shovel's profile


6 posts in 183 days

#12 posted 05-03-2016 02:05 AM

Wow guys! Thank you very much! It is awesome I can get this kind if feedback. Exactly what I’m looking for. I will heed your advice. I will watch Craigslist and want ads to see if anything pops up. Otherwise, I will pick up an Excalibur when I save up. Will keep y’all posted. Thanks again for the help!

View RandyinFlorida's profile


172 posts in 1491 days

#13 posted 05-03-2016 02:40 PM

Excalibur 16 is my choice I like the dust collection system. Sheiia Landry (scrollgirl), here on LJ and on youtube has very positive revues of the Excalibur series. He’s also very well known in the scrollsaw world. She’s the person the persuaded me. But it looks like you’ve made your decision. Good scrolling to you

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

View shovel's profile


6 posts in 183 days

#14 posted 05-14-2016 04:19 PM

Update – I pulled the trigger and bought the 21” Excalibur. A local guy that does intarsia convinced me to look at the 21”. If you add a stand and foot switch to the price of the 16”, you are getting close to the price I paid for the 21”. By the way, there are no saws for sale locally or on Craigslist, other than the cheap Asian ones… I guess they will be flooded with them now that I’ve made a purchase. Thanks again, for sharing your advice and experience. I will chime in if I can ever be of assistance.

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