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Old 02-16-2014, 01:10 PM   #1
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Default Hegner or Hawk?

I've got a Shopsmith Jig Saw and now I'm wanting to advance because it's a pain to always do the setup of the machine.
I'm debating between the Hegner and the Hawk. Probably the 22 for Hegner and the 20 for the Hawk. I'm tired of chasing these in Craigslist although I did find a 220 hardly used for $300 but no variable speed.
Just getting into this hobby but at my age (70) I figure I might as well get the best unit for the money and enjoy it in the years I have left.
What's your guys take?
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:55 PM   #2
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I think you just asked the age old question... Ford, Dodge, or Chevy.

If you can find somewhere to test drive all the high end models that would be the best answer, find a saw you are comfortable with. The Hegner users LOVE their saws! The Hawk people do too. So do the Excalibur owners.

It's a tough question to answer without knowing what kind of scroll saw work you like to do and how much you are willing to invest into the craft.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:35 PM   #3
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I think you will find advantages to both. Hawk has top feeding which keeps most fretwork hole changes on top of the table. If you are losing your strength and have a hard time getting the blade clamps tight, the Hegner clamps can use a wrench (or very good knob) to tighten the clamp as tight as you want it.

Both companies have supported their past products for a very long time. Hawk is American made and is a small business where the engineers are also the owners. Hegner is German and has a sizeable company behind it.

Bushton has recently improved their designs for better reliability and smoothness. Hegner has only made minor adjustments to their saws over the last countless years (I have a 20 yr old Hegner that is almost identical to the ones made today).

Both saws have minimal moving parts which make self repairs manageable. Support and sales with Hegner in the US are handled through "Advanced Machinery" and have been for a very long time. Advanced is pretty good. Issues with Hawk are handled by the manufacturer, so the engineers that designed this saw are within shouting distance to the person answering the phone (or the Engineer might be the one answering the phone).

If I were buying again, I would be very tempted to go with the Hawk as I really like top feeding and also like the ability to tweak cutting aggressiveness. I also like the fact that the stroke length on the Hawk is longer, thus using more of the blade and clearing the sawdust better. On the Hegner, there is a limited adjustment for stroke length by moving the connecting "rod", but I don't need a shorter stroke, so I don't touch that adjustment.

------Randy

Last edited by hotshot; 02-16-2014 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:42 PM   #4
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Thanks Randy. I've heard good things about the Excaliber also. Don't know if it's in the same league as Hawk and Hegner?
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:55 PM   #5
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I also have an Excalibur. I use the EX exclusively for the coin, and use the Hegner for wood. The EX is an absolute joy to use and is smoother than my Hegner. The EX does have some blade travel, even after tweaking, that is much more pronounced in the EX. This makes cutting hard wood easier, but makes some detail work trickier. I do very very detail work on my coins with the EX, so high detail is possible despite the blade travel.

Overall, I prefer the blade change process in the Ex better. I like my top clamp knob on the Hegner better. If I'm feeling weak, I can always get the blade tight in the Hegner.

I have one chief complaint about the EX. It is a very very good experience, but that experience comes at the cost of more moving parts. I have not had any issues so far, but the thought of trying to do a repair on the EX is a fearsome prospect. The designs on the Hegner and Hawk are so simplistic that I know I could handle almost anything that happens to them.

My fear with Hawk is that I have not heard of one person on this Forum that has actually purchased the latest model. That wouldn't seem to bode well for the company. I would probably still take that chance, abeit with some anxiety.

Hegner is the low anxiety choice. They are not going anywhere, and are not progressing either. I would guess that they are the least likely to go out of business of all three.

------Randy

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Old 02-16-2014, 03:13 PM   #6
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I see the EX is quite a bit less $$ at the local Woodcraft store.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:29 PM   #7
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Some plusses and minuses: Hegner is a fairly large German Co. with sales outlets around the world. Hawk has only the machine shop in Kansas where they are made. A new 20" Hawk is pricey. A new Hegner is hundreds more and does not include a stand. The Hegner, from observation, appears to be a slightly more robust machine, but at the expense of slightly more vibration. Hawk has a 26" version, which may be a consideration. Really, I would think it would come down to a matter of preferences on how they tension, how the blade changes are done, and maybe even color for all I know.

There is only one feature which would give me cause to consider one over the other, and that would be if I really had need of the very slow 100 rpm speed available with the Hawk. The slowest speed on the Hegner is 400 rpm - which is still pretty slow.

I have a Hawk G4, which is the unit most similar to current production.
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:40 PM   #8
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Have you been satisfied with your Hawk. I kinda like the Ks aspect of the company and that they are trying to make a go of it. Seems like the have a bunch of other products so don't know if they are prime to go out of business.
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:50 PM   #9
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I would suspect that Rolf will be dropping by. He loves his Hawk G4 and has given the new BM models a test drive.

----------Randy

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Old 02-16-2014, 07:54 PM   #10
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I've had both Hegner and Hawk. Had to send the Hawk back (at my expense - $90) because of a real bad vibration. It was either a defective saw to begin with (which I suspect) or it was damaged in shipping. The shipping box was intact so I suspect it was defective to begin with. Not even an "I'm sorry" from he manufacturer or an offer of replacement. Lucky to get out of it for $90.

My Hegner sits in the corner and seldom is used except for rough cuts. I find it is difficult to align for puzzle cutting (need exact 90 degree alignment) and the blades keep breaking. Also had issues with the key that tightens blades although they have come up with a new design which is much better.

My preference is the DeWalt although I do wear them out with all the puzzles I cut. However, the most you will pay for a complete rebuild is $250. When I first started buying DeWalt's the warranty was one year. Now I understand it is 3 years. I have 3 DeWalt's that I keep rotating between the shop and the service center. I can't afford any downtime to be without a saw. That's how addictive this scroll saw cutting is!
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