Foot switch

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Forum topic by muleskinner posted 04-13-2013 04:27 AM 1867 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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896 posts in 2399 days

04-13-2013 04:27 AM

Do you have a preferred foot switch for your scroll saw? I’m looking at this one.

-- Visualize whirled peas

16 replies so far

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2647 posts in 2885 days

#1 posted 04-13-2013 12:18 PM

I prefer one that stays on until depressed a second time. If you are doing fretwork that requires a lot of on and off cycles, a momentary one is what you want. I do not do fretwork and I tire of holding my foot in a certain position all the while I am cutting. I do mostly double bevel inlay on my scroll saws. Harbor freight has these foot pedals also. I have one on my sander.

-- Website is

View me5269's profile


43 posts in 2130 days

#2 posted 04-13-2013 12:22 PM

This is the one I use from HF

-- Mike

View oldwormy's profile


16 posts in 1853 days

#3 posted 04-13-2013 01:54 PM

I prefer the deadman or momentary switch since I do a lot of fretwork that requires a lot of on/off action. Wouldn’t do without mine.


-- AlW

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4901 posts in 3923 days

#4 posted 04-13-2013 02:05 PM

Don’t have one on the scroller, but use it regularly on the router table. Momentary ‘cause I just feel safer.


View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2399 days

#5 posted 04-13-2013 04:42 PM

Part of my thinking for the one I linked to was that the lower profile would be more comfortable for standing operation than the pedal type (Mike’s HF link) which seem more appropriate for sitting operation. Or am I overthinking things?

-- Visualize whirled peas

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3443 days

#6 posted 04-13-2013 08:29 PM

I have the one that came with my Excalibur scroll saw. I’m like you, I dont like the high profile of the one I have. I would think the one you have pictured would be better if its durable.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View nzmerlin's profile


28 posts in 1837 days

#7 posted 04-13-2013 09:25 PM

For whats it’s worth, I made my own.
It’s an on/off switch and is operated with the knee, therefor it’s not on the floor to be accidently stood on.
I don’t have a pic at the moment but later today will go take one and return tomorrow and post if interested.


-- No! Try Not. Do, or do Not.There is no Try.

View oldnovice's profile


6757 posts in 3331 days

#8 posted 04-14-2013 07:01 AM

I looked at both of these and cannot find a rating, i.e. HP or amperage which would concern me!

I use my home built foot switch on my router table for safety purposes.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2399 days

#9 posted 04-14-2013 12:25 PM

Hans, they’re rated 10 amps. Not enough for a router probably but it should handle my wimpy scrollsaw.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3359 days

#10 posted 04-14-2013 02:13 PM

I have both, I like them both depending on what type of work I’m doing. As inexpensive as they are it’s worth it to have both.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View oldnovice's profile


6757 posts in 3331 days

#11 posted 04-14-2013 04:32 PM

Muleskinner, where did you find the ratings, and you are right, not enough for a router?

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2399 days

#12 posted 04-14-2013 05:02 PM

I can’t remember exactly, Hans. Another seller had the electrical specs.

edit: here it is. And I lowballed the current rating – it’s 15 not 10. That might be enough for my wimpy router too. :)

-- Visualize whirled peas

View oldnovice's profile


6757 posts in 3331 days

#13 posted 04-14-2013 10:11 PM

I typically use the foot switch for the router and my shop vac at the same time and some of those switches can’t handle one, let alone both.

In my previous life I worked for the leading switch manufacturer in the U.S. and many people misunderstand switch ratings and therefore misapply switches and wonder why the switch failed.

For example; using a switch rated at 1 Amp to turn on a simple indicator lamp rated at .5 Amps without realizing that and incandescent lamp has an inrush of 7 to 20 times the operating current (3.5 to 10 Amps) and therefore will destroy the switch in a very short period of time. In some applications a resistor across the switch contacts keeps a current flowing through the lamp, a “keep alive” current, that reduces the inrush by keeping the lamp filament warm but not enough to make the lamp appear on.

On the other extreme is a “dry circuit”, a circuit in which open circuit voltages are very low and closed circuit currents extremely small that there is insufficient energy to “clean” the contacts, such as a single LED off of a battery or similar circuit. Some switch specifications include dry circuit capabilities and these switches may have bifurcated (multiple contact points) contacts or a mechanical “scrubbing” action on closure.

Or, do not use a slide switch for inductive loads as there is arcing which will destroy the contacts; use a snap action switch, a toggle switch or similar.

In summary, understand the load before selecting a switch to turn it on/off!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View jimmyb's profile


185 posts in 1855 days

#14 posted 04-14-2013 10:21 PM

Same as me5269

-- Jim, Tinley Park, IL

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2399 days

#15 posted 04-17-2013 03:55 AM

Well, I got the one I was looking at in the OP. It’s pretty much what I wanted. Well constructed and low profile. The only downside was it’s size made it susceptible to flipping over if the cord had a twist and exerted any amount of torque at the switch. I mounted it on a ‘foot’ board and it works great.

-- Visualize whirled peas

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