Updated November 29, 2020 by Chris Gillespie

The 10 Best Scroll Saws

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This wiki has been updated 13 times since it was first published in May of 2018. Whereas a standard jigsaw is a bit too powerful for delicate cuts and a hand coping saw requires a lot of physical effort, a quality scroll saw will allow you to slice curves and intricate patterns into wood and other materials without fatiguing your arm. Although they are not quite as dangerous as some tools, you can still hurt yourself with one, so always take the proper safety precautions. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. DeWalt DW788

2. Jet 727200K

3. General International EX-16

Editor's Notes

November 27, 2020:

Thanks to their thin blades, scroll saws are the ideal tool for cutting intricate shapes, profiles, or patterns into wood, metal, and plastics, and give increased accuracy and control over a jigsaw or a band saw. It is somewhat of a specialty tool and derives its name from its traditional use in making scrollwork on ornaments or furniture.

In this update to the ranking, we have replaced several options with the latest version, and improvements mainly focus on blade changing methods. The latest iteration from Shop Fox is the Shop Fox W1872, which is a good all-round model that now includes a rotary tool attachment with a flexible shaft. This can be used with drill bits or grinding and sanding tools, allowing the workpiece to be refined and modified without moving location. We removed the General International BT8007 over concerns about its durability, and in its place selected the Bucktool 16-inch. It features a heavy-duty cast-iron table that gives it weight and helps to reduce vibrations during use, and a quick blade changing system with easy access through a side panel. Similarly, the Wen 3922 features a special side panel that folds open for easy cleanup and blade changes, along with an improved, tool-free adapter that accepts pinned, pinless and spiral blades.

While all the models in this ranking perform well and have similar-sized work tables and cutting depths, a definite advantage is a foot pedal that adjusts the speed of the saw blades, as it allows for a greater level of control and accuracy. The Jet 727200K, the Bucktool 16-inch, and the Shop Fox W1872 all feature this as standard and it is available as an optional extra for the General International EX-16. Interestingly, the General International EX-16 also features a tilting head rather than a tilting base, which allows the workpiece to remain level, allowing for improved visibility.

August 13, 2019:

Being able to see what you're working on is important, and several models (like the Wen 3921) have flexible LED lamps that allow you to illuminate your workspace. This is undoubtedly convenient, but you may find yourself spending a lot of time fiddling with the light, especially since they tend to cast relatively narrow beams. A unit with all-metal housing, like the Jet 727200K, may be a better choice in that regard, as they allow you to slap on multiple magnetic lights wherever you need them.

One recurring theme we noticed during the ranking process was the ease of changing blades. Many of the options listed here are fantastic as long as everything is working properly, but can become difficult once you need to change a blade. The DeWalt DW788 makes the process easy, which is a big reason why it earned the top spot.

Dust removal was another tricky subject. Many models come with blowers or vacuums to remove dirt and debris, but they're not always reliable, especially on budget models. It may be worth it to invest in a dust collection system, especially if you plan on doing a lot of woodworking. Not only will this help keep your shop or garage clean, but it will also allow you to see what you're doing at all times.

Special Honors

King Industrial KXL-30 This unit has a convenient foot switch, so you can keep your hands available to maneuver the board. Its upper and lower parallel arms are extremely stout, so your blade shouldn't wander in the middle of a cut. performancetoolcenter.com

Hegner 22 The 22-inch throat on this model lets it accommodate boards of nearly any size, while its electronic variable-speed induction motor can handle thick materials with ease. It also boasts a Quicklock tension-release system to help with intricate inside cuts. shoppsday.com

4. Bucktool 16-inch

5. Wen 3922

6. Delta Power 40-694

7. Rockwell ShopSeries RK7315

8. Dremel Moto-Saw

9. Shop Fox W1872

10. Harbor Freight Tools Variable Speed


Chris Gillespie
Last updated on November 29, 2020 by Chris Gillespie

Starting his career in the building industry, Chris built and managed a plumbing and heating company in northern England. After 13 years, seeking a more fulfilling lifestyle, he moved to southeast Asia, eventually settling in Vietnam, where he teaches writing and comprehension at a number of international universities. Drawing on his previous experience, and his passion for kitesurfing and windsurfing, Chris is knowledgeable in all things water related both recreationally and within the construction industry.


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