Cheap Scroll Saw Question

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Forum topic by CharlieM1958 posted 10-08-2010 06:14 PM 5378 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16275 posts in 4242 days

10-08-2010 06:14 PM

Let me start off by emphasizing that I do NOT intend to get into serious scroll saw work. However, there have been quite a few times when I thought a scroll saw would come in handy for things like cutting out small feet for boxes, etc.

With that type of use in mind, does anyone have any thoughts on this cheap recon Skil? I’d be interested to know if any of you have used one. I’m thinking it would do for the occasional type of use I have in mind, but then again, I don’t want to drop $90 on a piece of junk that only leaves me frustrated.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

21 replies so far

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3909 days

#1 posted 10-08-2010 07:01 PM

Charlie I’m with you on use of a scroll saw.
But I purchased a used Dremel Saw at a pawn shop for $20 and it works fine for what I need.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#2 posted 10-08-2010 07:25 PM

I teach adult woodworking where we use the local high school for the class and they have three scroll saws all three when bought new cost between $650 and $1200 . When it came to students using the scroll saws they always would use another scroll saw that use to be there that had a quick change blade set up. I think that scroll saw cost around $ 100 new but was much easier to use because of the easy blade change. So I would say if your considering a scroll saw make sure it has the quick change feature.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Kristoffer's profile


675 posts in 3240 days

#3 posted 10-08-2010 07:27 PM

I’ve got to believe that you can do better than that for $80. When I was looking for a light-duty, occasional use scroll saw, we turned to craigslist. I picked up a 16” Ryobi for $35. I know that it’s faaaaaaaarrr from the best, blade changes were a little bit of a pain at first and it’s probably not going to whip out any prize winning scroll work. But, now that I’m used to it, blade changes are a breeze and it’s more than capable of doing what I ask of it. I have already gotten more than ten times my money out of it. Just my thoughts.

-- Cheers and God Bless

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#4 posted 10-08-2010 07:42 PM

Kristoffer. you are probably right. Unfortunately, I’ve never had much luck around here with Craigslist. I watch it all the time, and the only time I ever see something I want at a good price is right after I’ve just bought one. lol!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View MrsN's profile


986 posts in 3550 days

#5 posted 10-08-2010 07:49 PM

Normally I would reccomend the $190 porter-cable scroll saw from Lowes. One of the scroll saw magaiznes rated it the best entry level saw.
I would also second the idea of looking on craigslist. I have seen lots of saws on the site. People get them thinking they will use it and never do, or don’t use it enough and it is the first thing to go. You may be able to find a good saw for less money.
Also the retail price of the skil is only $100 at lowes so the recon isn’t that great of a deal.
What type of projects do you want to do with the saw?

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3184 days

#6 posted 10-08-2010 08:07 PM

My suggested requirements:

Quick change (ie. can install blades w/o a pin)
Variable speed.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#7 posted 10-08-2010 08:13 PM

MrsN, I’m mainly interested in cutting small parts for boxes like decorative bases, bracket feet, and the like. Sometimes a band saw is just too big for what I want to do.

As far as buying new vs. recon, taking tax/shipping into consideration I’ll still save over15% on the reconditioned one. Some people might say this is not much savings for a used tool, but I have bought many reconditioned tools with excellent results. In almost all cases I have found them indistinguishable from brand new. And the advantage is that you know the tool has been looked at and checked out by someone looking for problems, as opposed to just rolling off the assembly line when somebody might have been having a bad day. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5910 posts in 3218 days

#8 posted 10-08-2010 08:40 PM

Hey Charlie,
I’m with you on the scrolling thing….I hate scrolling…Too time consuming, too slow, and it hurts my back.
If you lived closer, I’ve got an old scrollsaw I’d let go real cheap….I mean cheap…It ain’t much….It just sits
over there and gathers dust….Wish I had never bought it…..Waste of good $......

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3098 days

#9 posted 10-08-2010 08:58 PM

If do not need to do internal work, I’d suggest a small (cheap) bench top band saw. I think they are much easier to work with and they are much faster.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#10 posted 10-08-2010 09:37 PM

Rich, I have a benchtop band saw, but it’s still too big for really small stuff.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3084 days

#11 posted 10-08-2010 10:28 PM

PORTER-CABLE 16” Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Stand

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#12 posted 10-09-2010 12:58 AM

View terrilynne's profile


836 posts in 2917 days

#13 posted 10-09-2010 01:32 AM


-- Terri, Rocky Mountain High Colorado!

View swayze's profile


97 posts in 3112 days

#14 posted 10-09-2010 06:00 AM

I have the one a1jim posted and it’s ok but I don’t know much about others either. Quick and easy to change pinned blades but pinless are a little work. I too found that scrolling isn’t my thing but I am really impressed with some of the work I see on here.

View Roz's profile


1699 posts in 3810 days

#15 posted 10-09-2010 06:12 AM

Charlie I see lots of scrolls for around $ 99.00 dollars. I got one at Sears a few years ago on sale. It is a Porter Cable made saw I think with easily changed blades, variable speed and tilting bed. You can find them on sale often. I seldom use it but it is accurate and relaible.

There are a lot of websites that sell brand name tools at discounted prices. Some market referbished items. Maybe that would be a prospect for you.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

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