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Obviously enough, one of the first things many people want to know when getting started with scrolling as a hobby is what saw to buy.
A great many saws offer variable speed and you should not have a problem finding this feature in any price range. The depth of the throat however is something you may want to consider if you think you will be cutting very large projects.
Table size should also be considered since it is very difficult to work on a project when the majority of your wood is hanging off the side of the scroll saw’s table. The overall layout of the controls and adjustments of the saw is very important to consider.
Some people find it easier to use a foot pedal switch rather than the power switch on the saw.
Of course nearly all of us are limited as to how much we are willing or able to spend on a scroll saw.
It is my opinion that in order to get a saw that you will be happy with in the long term, you are going to have to be willing to spend at least in the neighborhood of $500. Sheila has used an original (Older model Type 1) DW788 for over 12 years and the saw is still going strong. In recent times, Dewalt has switched to having its tools built in Asia and quality has suffered slightly.
One of the biggest complaints with the new saws is that they saw has an excessive amount of front-to-back blade motion throughout the stroke.
For a few years, Delta was owned by the same parent company as Dewalt and the Delta 40-690 is an exact copy of the Dewalt DW-788. A most notable difference between the Excalibur and other saws is that the head of the saw tilts rather than the table. This article will help you learn about scroll saw features and what you need to know in purchasing a scroll saw.
If you already know which scroll saw you are interested in, I have found the best prices are consistently at Amazon and in almost all cases, include free shipping and no sales tax. Scroll saws come in two basic sizes, 16 inch and 20 inch.  This measurement refers to the distance between the back of the blade to the back of the saw arm. A 16 inch saw is adequate to cut most projects and most sawyers never need a bigger saw.  However, when you move up to a 20 inch saw, the overall quality, number of features and ultimately the ease and quality of cut improve dramatically.
In addition to saw location and height, will you sit or stand?  For anyone who has cut while standing knows that you will pay for it the next day with a sore neck and back.  A chair or stool with wheels and adjustable height would be ideal.
Regardless of how you choose to mount the saw, make sure you have enough room so your legs can wrap around the saw to have enough control to cut from various positions. Here is a really nice video on cutting inlays and marquetry.  It’s a little long but really shows some of the things you can do with a scroll saw. I hope these scroll saw reviews have been helpful.  I have tried to cover some basics on this post.
Scroll saw fretwork patterns for free and for sale, tutorials, old books, review of a Hegner scroll saw, shopping recommendations and lots of scroll saw content.

Here you will find your complete set of free Barbie sewing patterns which consist of 10 really cute outfit pieces. Whether you are looking to purchase your first scroll saw, or you are looking to upgrade to a better one, there are many things to consider. Sometimes you will want to slow the blade down just to cut slower, other times you must slow it down to prevent the blade from burning the edges of the wood as you cut. Since this is always more than 2”, you can ignore this as you likely will never want to cut anything thicker than that on a scroll saw. A small throat will limit how big of a piece you can swing around on the table while you cut. The power switch, tension lever and speed control ideally should all be located at the end of the saw’s arm within easy reach. Buying a good used saw may allow you to get more for your money than buying a new cheap saw. Scrolling should be an enjoyable pastime; if you have to fight with a saw that is hard to use or performs poorly, you will not be having fun. All of these features add value to the saw and the dust blower most would consider to be a necessity. It is worth mentioning that the vast majority of people, myself included, remove these holders because they feel they are just in the way.
I really think that if you can’t afford to spend this much you should seriously think about saving for awhile until you can afford it. This makes for a VERY agressive cutting action that makes small delicate work difficult if not impossible. This fact, in addition to what I would personally consider an inconvenient control layout would make me think twice about a Hegner. Scroll saw patterns and free scrollsaw plans make it much easier to gain proficiency and make interesting projects. In this article I will attempt to touch on all aspects so that you are able to make an informed decision.
For many this is not a very big deal since it is somewhat difficult and unpleasant to swing around a big piece of wood on a scroll saw.
Since with most scroll work you need to stop and feed the blade through a hole dozens or even hundreds of times, the tension lever and power switch are much more convenient if they are close to the upper blade holders. When buying used, however, you are taking a bigger risk and have many additional factors to consider. As long as you keep downward pressure on your work at all times this is a relatively safe practice. Many of the sub $250 saws are variations on the same basic machine and are all made in the same overseas factories. Even if you are lucky and get a good one, the motion of the blade will be rather agressive which could make small intricate work a bit of a challenge for you.
I have not had any personal experience with this saw and since it is relatively new to the market, there is not a lot of feedback to be found from people who have tried it.

The motion of the blade on this saw can be precisely controlled with proper tuning and a little know-how, which means that you can go from a nearly perfect up-and-down motion, to an agressive cutting arc if required. Since they are out of many people’s price range, I have not heard a whole lot of feedback on them. That being said, most people who own Hegners are very happy with the quality and usability of their saws. You will find FREE scroll saw patterns, video demonstrations, scroll saw links, reviews, and much more. I will also make some recommendations based on personal experience and what I feel is the general consensus of the scroll sawyers I have discussed the matter with.
This means you have to remove one end of the blade from the holder and thread it through the wood and re-mount it in the holder more times than you can count. Any piece larger than about 15" in diameter will require you to lean away from the saw as you swing the piece around and makes cutting somewhat more difficult.
It would not be hard to find more than a dozen variations of this same basic machine being sold under all sorts of different brand names in all of their brand colors. This saw has the most ideal layout of buttons, blade clamps and tension adjustments and has a 20 inch throat capacity.
It is worth noting that many people have been reporting issues with this saw over that last few years.
It looks convenient and easy-to-use, with all the right features, but how it holds up from a quality standpoint still remains to be seen. Please read my complete Excalibur tuning article which goes into a lot more detail on the tuning and features of this saw.
Because of this issue and the high price tag, I would only consider this model for a truly industrial purpose. Since I have not personally used one, I will leave this matter for your further consideration if you can afford a saw in this price range. This limit can also be circumvented by the use of spiral blades which don’t require the work to be rotated at all. Some of these may have more or less options than their competition's versions, and some may have a little better quality control over what they are offering, but for the most part you will be getting what you pay for and a quality scroll saw is closer to a $500 and up sticker price. In fact, it can be a good thing since it means that you can cut thicker wood quicker if you are doing some easy cutting.
A saw in which the arm can be raised and which holds itself in this position is most desirable as it makes this process much easier as do tool-less blade holders. Also, you may occasionally want to adjust the speed control or tighten the tension while in the middle of a cut so it is good to have these controls within easy reach.
I would generally not recommend buying used unless the saw is in very good condition and the asking price is significantly cheaper than buying the same saw new.

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