Entry level saw

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Forum topic by DKV posted 12-31-2013 05:47 AM 1015 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3624 posts in 1446 days

12-31-2013 05:47 AM

I am starting a project for my grandkids that will require a lot of fret saw work. Not looking forward to that. I started thinking about an entry level scroll saw for two reasons. One, it will help me get my project done quicker and probably more accurate and two, I might even like scroll sawing.

I did some research on the scroll saw website and they had a topic on entry level scroll saws that would allow a person to experiment without breaking the bank. In most cases the Craftsman and the Porter Cable were mentioned quite a bit.

I don’t want to buy something really cheap that will automatically turn me off to scroll sawing and cause me to use words that I don’t normally use. I understand there is a world of difference between the Excaliber, Hegner, Dewalt, etc saws and something entry level. I’m thinking $150-200 is my budget.

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks,

17 replies so far

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13385 posts in 2283 days

#1 posted 12-31-2013 06:24 AM

i had a 30” excalibur
lost to divorce

got a ryobi for $100 at HD

not the best
but it works

it’s all in the blades you use in the end
sheila steered me to some good blades

send her a PM if you need
she also has a full ‘class’ on scrolling
ask about that too
and told my my biggest problem was going to slow
i turned the speed up (it has variable speed)
and it cut just fine
i also took off the hold down shoe
they are hard to keep right and adjust
(i saw that many scrollers don’t use them)

just learn to hold the wood down
to keep it from flopping

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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15817 posts in 2618 days

#2 posted 12-31-2013 08:39 AM

Go to Craigslist, they are on there 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

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1218 posts in 1705 days

#3 posted 12-31-2013 05:01 PM

DKV – Fret saw, or scroll saw?

-- *Arachnoleptic Fit*: The frantic dance performed just after you've accidently walked through a spider web.

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3624 posts in 1446 days

#4 posted 12-31-2013 06:28 PM

Jimbo, this is what I have to cut out…
Topa, the ones on Sac Craigslist look like death warmed over…

View Hinge's profile


55 posts in 630 days

#5 posted 12-31-2013 06:37 PM

I also am looking for an entry level scroll saw. I’ll be watching this thread with interest. One of the benefits of a scroll saw is that I might be able to entice the wife into woodworking through a scroll saw. You know, dainty stuff… :-)

-- The Lord is my Savior

View distrbd's profile


1626 posts in 1388 days

#6 posted 12-31-2013 06:45 PM

I wasted my time and money when I bought a Craftsman scroll saw for under $100,using it was most frustrating and deflating experience for a newbie like me ,I almost gave up on scroll sawing all together.

The members talked me in to buying a Dewalt 788,after using it I found out when it come to scrollsawing,a good solid machine that doesn’t vibrate makes a world of difference,a scroll saw is not the same as a table saw or a plainer that you use it for 10 minutes and shut it off,you need a comfortable machine that you can seat in front of for hours .
If you must start with an inexpensive scroll saw,I have heard the porter-cable is alright but I still say you are better off with a good used DW788.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1911 days

#7 posted 12-31-2013 08:52 PM

I would continue to look for a decent used one on CL or ebay, you might get lucky after Christmas. If you buy used you can always sell it on and not be out of pocket if scrollsawing doesn’t work out for you.

View Hinge's profile


55 posts in 630 days

#8 posted 01-01-2014 02:53 AM

distrbd, I decided to go with the DW788. Watched tons of Youtube videos and read tons of reviews. Don’t think I can go wrong. Besides, Amazon has a $25 promotion going on and I get free shipping. I’ll be scrolling this coming Saturday. Thanks for the advice.

-- The Lord is my Savior

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3624 posts in 1446 days

#9 posted 01-01-2014 02:59 AM

Good going Hinge. I did the exact same thing this morning. distrbd convinced me.

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5682 posts in 1540 days

#10 posted 01-01-2014 03:26 AM

Toppled the old budget I see. Have to let us know some day how it worked out.

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1626 posts in 1388 days

#11 posted 01-01-2014 03:29 AM

Hinge,Dkv, I know you will not regret buying a DW788,now there’s one more item that scroll sawyers will sooner or later need, and that is a good magnifying visor.your eyes will thank you everytime you put them on:

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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3624 posts in 1446 days

#12 posted 01-01-2014 03:45 AM

Shane, money is only good between today and…
distrb, I have the led magnifying light and watched a video an how to best attach it. Do you use the block of wood to keep the arm up during blade switching?

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1287 posts in 2001 days

#13 posted 01-01-2014 03:55 AM

Craftsman and Ryobi are probably actually the same saw. They are made in the same factory. I have a craftsman that has been a solid tool. I picked it up used for only $50.00. For your purpose, you might want to keep an eye out for one of those.


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

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1626 posts in 1388 days

#14 posted 01-01-2014 04:20 AM

DKV,There are a couple of attachments for holding the upper arm up but I never bothered with them,all I did was to tighten the bolts that hold the upper arm,it has to be just tight enough so when you lift it ,it stays up,it works like a charm and won’t cost you a penny.

In the Rick’s / (dewalt tue-up),look near the bottom of the page under the title: ”Holding the arm up” he has a video of exactly what I’m talking about:

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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Dan'um Style

13785 posts in 2925 days

#15 posted 01-11-2014 12:00 AM

DW788 ... bought a used one on Craigslist for a good price.. very happy with it, however have not spent tons of hours on it…. but hope to some day

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

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