Choosing the best low cost scroll saw for a 1st time scroller

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Forum topic by woodman44 posted 01-13-2011 10:11 PM 6106 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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43 posts in 2685 days

01-13-2011 10:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: scroll saw

I am researching the web for a 16” scroll saw that accepts both the pin & flat blades plus the niceties of blower, light and tilt (right & left). Since I am not sure if I will catch on to scrolling I would like to keep my cost at $ 150 or lower if possible. On the LJ reviews it seems that the Hitachi CW40 (except for the circular blade issue) has the best performance for the $’s.
Any suggestions are welcomed as well as what is the application for a circular blade?

-- Ken, Michigan

7 replies so far

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3044 days

#1 posted 01-14-2011 04:41 AM

Firstly welcome to Lj’s
Dont know about the hitachi. My first two were cheap Ryobi s and they worked well for what they were. I upgraded for two reasons- 1- I was outgrowing it and 2 -over using them. So I bit the bullet and spent heaps on a new decent quality one about 12 months ago.

-- Theresa,

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1812 posts in 3717 days

#2 posted 01-14-2011 04:53 AM

Welcome! I am not much help as I only have older vintage tools, but I noticed you did not mention variable speed. If that is an oversight ok, but if you didn’t consider it, you should add that to your list of niceties.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

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Steven H

1117 posts in 3054 days

#3 posted 01-14-2011 07:26 AM

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1287 posts in 3053 days

#4 posted 01-14-2011 08:25 AM

I have a cheap Craftsman saw that I bought used for $50. I used it to make a bunch of Christmas ornaments this year. It works, but someday, I do hope to upgrade to something much nicer. 1st, I would much prefer a saw that uses the pinless blades. There is much more variety in types and sizes of blades available for the pinless saws versus the pinned type. I personally would not care if my saw was capable of using pinned blades. Second, someone mentioned variable speed. That would be a very handy feature. I have been able to use a router speed control box on my saw, but it doesn’t work as well as I would like. It would be better to have a saw designed with variable speed in mind. Still, the cheap little Craftsman that I have, has served me well and it definitely has served to get me realize the fun of scrollling and for that, it has been well worth the $50.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

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676 posts in 3722 days

#5 posted 01-14-2011 05:26 PM

Menards has a a couple of brands that they cary I have been very happy with my Masterforce Scroll Saw.

-- Ray

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Keith Fenton

328 posts in 2914 days

#6 posted 01-14-2011 06:08 PM

A recent review of the porter cable saw above gave it praise as being a good value, being variable speed and having the least vibration of all the cheaper saws. I haven’t used it myself so I can’t offer any more advice than that other than maybe looking for a used Dewalt.

I assume by circular blades you mean spirals. They are usually used for cutting detailed portrait patterns or for cutting pieces that are too big for the throat depth of your saw since the blade can cut in any direction. The main reason they are used on detailed portraits is so that you don’t constantly have to keep swinging your workpiece around in circles on the table. Most people either love ‘em or hate ‘em. I love em but I only use them for certain projects since it’s harder to accurately follow a line with them.

-- Scroll saw patterns @

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986 posts in 3520 days

#7 posted 01-14-2011 09:27 PM

The hitachi model that you mentioned is no longer made, they have replaced it with the poter cable. Both sold through lowes. I have the hitachi and love it. I used the porter cable for a bit at the store, it seemed compairable. The porter cable reviewed really well.
When I up grade I will be moving up to a dewalt, you might consider looking for a used one. It may be in the price range.

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