Scroll Saw Blade Guide, Advice from experienced scrollers, where do I start??

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Forum topic by TopamaxSurvivor posted 07-12-2010 05:15 AM 5416 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18425 posts in 3916 days

07-12-2010 05:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: scroll saw balde guide

Hello Scrollers, I lucked out and found a Delta Scroll Saw yesterday for $45 :-)) Extra Big Grins All day yesterday and today!! :-)) I have been doing a little research on the web about blades. Wondering if you experienced scrollers have any advice as to what blades to start with for 1/2 or 3/4 wood? Number and teeth per inch? I don’t really want to be breaking them all the time!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

12 replies so far

View TJ65's profile


1381 posts in 3290 days

#1 posted 07-12-2010 11:26 AM

My recomendations is read the packet they come in, (I have to all the time!! :-0)
I have found the olsen blades are pretty good if you stick to the guide lines about what thickness you can use with the blade. Or when you use a blade with a smaller TPI be prepared to go slow. usually the more teeth the slower you go or the thinner the wood.
But it really depend on what you want to cut. I have to go slower with the finer cuts and use a thinner blade to cut very small areas.
Another point to make is – dont push!!! when you start pushing the wood, that is when you will break the blade. If you start to find it hard to cut, it is either time to change the blade or where you are cutting on the blade. Which sort of blades do you have to use – pinless or pinned?? Pinless would be better as then you can clamp them differently/lower to get more use of the blade.
When you get better at cutting and more experienced try the mach blades from olsen. They have less teeth and cut way faster.

Above all -have fun, I am sure the grandkids will enjoy your new toy, with you making them all sorts of wonderful things!!!

-- Theresa,

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3305 days

#2 posted 07-12-2010 11:50 AM

Great find Topamax..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View TheDane's profile


5576 posts in 3903 days

#3 posted 07-12-2010 03:33 PM

I recommend Flying Dutchman blades ( ). I had all kinds of trouble with brand-name blades from the big box … IMHO, Mike’s Flying Dutchmen blades cut better, last longer, and are competitively priced. Check out his website.

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

View syenefarmer's profile


519 posts in 3321 days

#4 posted 07-12-2010 04:02 PM

+1 on Mike’s and Flying Dutchman.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3154 days

#5 posted 07-12-2010 05:32 PM

That is a great find! My 16” Delta SS cost me a lot more than that, but this is one tool I have had nearly 20years. While I am a newbie WW per say, I used this Delta for modeling forever. I used the skinny blades for Formica and thicker for plywood.

For 3/4” plywood I use:
Ridgid #03947
0.028” thickness
0.817 wide
10 TPI
Cuts like butter through 3/4” ply, a good but not the finest cut.

For a finer cut use:
Ridgid #3946
0.022” thickness
0.110” wide
15 TPI
Not sure I would go any finer than this, especially in hardwood.

My advice is free and worth every cent…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18425 posts in 3916 days

#6 posted 07-12-2010 08:00 PM

Thanks everyone. I think I was making it too complex as I read. I thought there were aobut 10 numbers of baldes and then teeth per inch on top of that :-))

The saw is about 5 or 6 years old, variable speed, 16” Delta, with the pinless blade type clamps. Now that I found one, there were a couple more on Craigslist that looked pretty good as I scanned last night, another Delta and a Dermel. Just like getting married, as soon as you are, girls are all over the place ;-))

There was a new in box Delta 735 planer for $175. I am sure that had to be HOT!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View MrsN's profile


987 posts in 3766 days

#7 posted 07-12-2010 08:13 PM

It can be complicated, but doesn’t need to be. Thicker blades with fewer teeth for thicker stock. Some materials at or above 3/4 inch can be difficult to cut, TJ had lots of good advise on cutting. I have found that oak is difficult to cut, so I avoid it whenever I can. I have access to a lot of scrap oak so it is hard to not use it, but for me it isn’t worth the headache.
I use mostly olson blades, and I really like them. As a bonus the menards in town carries them so when I run out I only have a quick drive.
have fun with your new tool, make sure you show us what you do with it

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3742 days

#8 posted 07-13-2010 04:56 AM

Great find on the Scroll Saw, Bob!! They are just about the most versatile saws you can use…
As far as blades, you’re going to break some, especially when you’re first starting out… Not sure I can help you, I’ve always used pinned blades, but what Theresa said is exactly right. You have to “feed” the wood straight into the blade, rather than push it… It’s slow going, but let the blade cut its way through…
I’ve used cheap blades and quality with fairly equal success, but have found there’s sometimes differences in quality in the same batch, kinda like Razor Blades…
I use 15 TPI and 18 TPI… and buy them by bulk here:
I bought 120 of them almost ten years ago, and still have a third of them left… I haven’t broken one in over ten years, I wear ‘em out!! :)
Have Fun, my Friend!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3449 days

#9 posted 07-13-2010 05:05 AM

I have no idea, but I’m glad you asked the question. Now I have the answers when I get around to some of the scroll projects I had in mind when I bought my saw a few years back.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2688 posts in 3162 days

#10 posted 07-13-2010 05:20 AM

I had the same question so I used the phone to talk to Mikesworkshop and told him what i intended to cut and he sent me free samples and suggested one type of blade that works well for me.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3224 days

#11 posted 07-13-2010 05:34 AM

I agree with Dane, and Mike is happy to answer any questions and give sound advice. I have been very happy with the Flying Dutchman blades myself. As well as his service to his customers.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18425 posts in 3916 days

#12 posted 07-13-2010 07:39 AM

Mary Anne, seems like those projects seem to pile up year after year, don’t they :-)) ?

I suppose I need to get a feel for this saw and get a project in mind, like making a wooden gear clock. Then call Mike, eh? Seems like I tend to over do everything, I’ll make a point of letting the wood cut itself, so to speak. ;-))

Mike Glad to know it is one that can do about anything.

I was near Rockler today, so I read the back of the package and got a few heavy duty blades to get me started. BTW they are Olson. :-) Looks like balde selection will be a little easier than the matrix of all sizes and all TPIs!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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