An updated guide to today’s most popular scroll saws
Scroll saws vary in price almost as much as they vary in features. The most inexpensive models cost about $100, while the most expensive can cost $2,000 or more. Choosing the right saw depends on what you expect to get out of it. Some beginners make their initial purchase based solely on price. They want a cost-effective way to try out the hobby. Unfortunately, lower-end saws can be difficult to use and often end up frustrating the user and driving people away from a rewarding hobby.
More experienced scrollers often choose a new saw based on specific performance criteria. Intarsia artists are interested in saws that can cut thick wood. Fretwork portrait artists usually prefer saws with a large throat depth that allows them to cut bigger projects and top-feeding saws in which the blade can be released from the bottom blade holder and threaded down through the top of the workpiece. Traditional fretwork artists are interested in saws that provide smooth vibration-free cutting and produce cuts that are perfectly square to the workpiece. There are different saws designed to meet all of these different needs.