Every time I use my power tools, my boy would ask me what the tool is. One day, a friend who uses scroll saws come to my workshop, and my boy did not spare him either. Okay, the youngster had never seen a scroll saw before, but my friend carried a one with him because I asked him to.
Surprisingly, the friend looked at him and could hardly utter a word.
I realized how embarrassing it could be to possess something and not be able to define what that thing is when you are asked. What would you say someone was to ask you the question – what is a scroll saw? Well, we will define this valuable tool and look at the common types currently available in the market.
- 1 What is a Scroll Saw?
- 2 Whom is Scroll Saw Designed for?
- 3 Types of Scroll Saw
- 4 Categorization by Power Supply
- 5 Categorization Based on Mechanism of Operation
- 6 Last Word
What is a Scroll Saw?
A scroll saw is essentially a small saw operated by electricity or manually by pedaling, that is useful for cutting intricate curves into wood, plastic, metal, concrete, ceramic and other materials. It features an excellent blade that allows it to produce more intricate cuts than a jigsaw and more efficiently than a coping saw.
Whom is Scroll Saw Designed for?
A scroll saw is a highly versatile tool for some applications. You will love this powerful tool if you are any of the following people:
- Professional woodworkers
- Professional metal fabricators
- Professional plumbers
- Professional graphic designer
- Jewelry makers
- Homeowners who love woodworking
- Professional carpenters
Types of Scroll Saw
Strictly speaking, we can only categorize scroll saws regarding power supply. A large majority of scroll saws are powered by electricity, either corded or cordless. Traditionally, some scroll saws were pedal operate meaning they used human effort.
This pedal operated version is currently used are relics in museums, but some people still prefer them particularly when electricity supply is missing.
Categorization by Power Supply
Corded Scroll Saws
Corded scroll saws work only when connected to an electrical outlet. They feature cords or cables of various lengths depending on the brand and user preferences. These saws differ regarding amperage, which ranges from a small fraction to a small number.
Since these tools are used for precision cuts, the amperage need not be too high because this would be too powerful.
Cordless Scroll Saws
As their name sounds, cordless scroll saws operate on batteries, so they do not need a connection to an electrical outlet. The batteries are capable of producing enough voltage to run the machine for extended periods before requiring recharging.
The batteries vary in voltage from 12V to 18V. The higher the voltage, the more power the saw has to complete its functions.
Combination (corded and battery options)
Some newer scroll saw brands are designed to give you the flexibility of using either mains electricity or battery. These machines would be excellent choices if you were to ask me because I can use them all day long if I have a heavy job to do without worrying about down times due to battery recharging or power outages.
Manual Scroll Saws
As earlier mentioned, traditional scroll saws were operated manually by pedaling much like a pedal operated a sewing machine.
While some are still in use today, especially in areas lacking electricity connection, many people choose power or battery powered versions because of their convenience and accurate performance.
Categorization Based on Mechanism of Operation
While scroll saws feature reciprocating blades that stroke up and down, the speed at which they work can be either fixed or variable. This means you have the chance to choose between the two versions when you are out shopping for the best scroll saw to buy. Here is the difference:
Fixed-speed Scroll Saws
The fixed-speed scroll saws are capable of cutting the intended material at a particular speed.
The speed is fixed meaning you can neither increase it nor decrease it when cutting. Such saws are usually suitable for cutting only one type of material for which it is made. For instance, a fixed blade scroll saw designed to cut wood cannot cut metal or plastic.
Variable Speed Scroll Saws
Variable speed scroll saws are fitted with a button that allows you choose the speed at which you want the tool to operate. This feature adds to the versatility of a scroll saw because different materials need different speeds.
For instance, harder materials such as metal require faster cutting speeds than softer materials such as softwood.
1. What is the best type of scroll saw?
The best type of scroll saw depends on so many factors including the brand, your particular need for the tool and affordability.
2. Can a cordless scroll saw cut metal?
Yes, some corded-electric models have enough power to cut deliver high speeds capable of cutting metals as long as you have the right blade.
3. Do all scroll saws have work light?
No, not all scroll saw brands have work lights, but it would be beneficial additions since scroll saws are designed to make intricate cuts.
4. Do all scroll saws vibrate during operation?
Yes, all scroll saws have some level of vibration. High-quality brands can operate with much-reduced vibration and noise, but they are very costly.
5. What accessories are available for scroll saws?
The current models of scroll saws are complete. In the past, some models needed a special wrench to operate blade clamps. Another important accessory is a blower to clear your work area of debris and dust, magnifiers, and sometimes foot-activated power switches.
A scroll saw is an essential and versatile tool that can help you achieve a lot when you need to make intricate cuts in a variety of materials. You have many types to choose from based on your preferences. However, you need to be keen in order to buy a tool that will prove useful and serve you for extended periods.