Scroll saws are precision cutting tools. From my experience, using the wrong blade could make a big difference in the quality of work delivered. Choosing the right scroll blade saw to use is even more important than choosing the saw itself.
The problem is the many types of blades that differ in construction material, teeth configuration, dimensions and some attributes.
However, you can easily choose if you arm yourself with the right information. In this post, I intend to provide you with the information.
- 1 Which Scroll Saw Blade To Use
- 1.1 Scroll Blade Compatibility
- 1.2 The Number of Teeth (TPI)
- 1.3 The Material To Cut
- 1.4 The Type of Cut
- 1.5 The Blade Manufacturing Technique
- 1.6 Scroll Saw Blade Types
- 1.7 The Scroll Saw Blade Brand
- 1.8 Specialty Blades
- 1.9 Price/ Affordability
- 1.10 Scroll Blade Thickness
- 1.11 1. How thick can scroll saws cut?
- 1.12 2. Can scroll saw cut metal?
- 1.13 3. Can a scroll saw cut aluminum?
- 1.14 4. Can a scroll saw cut glass?
- 1.15 5. Can a scroll saw cut steel?
- 2 Last Word
Which Scroll Saw Blade To Use
Scroll Blade Compatibility
Scroll saws are designed to accept one of two types of blades. These are plain-end blades and pin-end blades. Plain-end blades are the generic types. The blade is flat and is pinched between the jaws of small clamps on the scroll saw. One of the clamps is above the work table, and the other is below it.
The blade is threaded via a cut on the table to allow it to reciprocate up and down. The pin-end type features a tiny pin on each end, which rests in a hook-like holder.
The benefit of pin-end type is that it is much easier and quicker to change. The problem is that they are less available for jobs that are more ambitious and they may not readily thread through small holes.
The Number of Teeth (TPI)
Like all saws, the cutting surfaces are teeth, which differ in configuration and number.
The number of teeth, measured regarding teeth per inch (teeth per inch) is a major determinant of the job the scroll saw is capable of handling.
The general rule you should go by is the more the TPI, the smoother as well as more accurate the cut, but also the slower and the more fragile the blade.
The Material To Cut
The type of material you would like to cut with the scroll saw should be your biggest concern. It would be a serious lapse of judgment if you were to use a scroll blade meant for cutting wood to cut metals.
Even when a blade is meant or one kind of material, the thickness of the material also matters. Thicker materials will need bigger blades.
The Type of Cut
Scroll saws are meant for making intricate, precise cuts. An important determinant of the kind of edge to choose is the kind of cut you intend to make.
A very detailed and intricate cut will require smaller blade types. Certain specialty blades are also available for making special cuts such as intarsia and fretwork.
The Blade Manufacturing Technique
The manner in which the blade is manufactured is a point to consider.
In this case, you need to choose between stamped or precision ground (PGT). You will different experiences with each of these blades.
PGT blades are better quality. They can stay sharper for longer compared to the stamped varieties, but they are quite costly.
Scroll Saw Blade Types
You can choose from as many as seven types of scroll saw blades depending on tooth configurations.
Discussing each of these blades is beyond the scope of this article. The types include regular/standard tooth blades, skip tooth blades, double skip tooth blades, precision-ground tooth blades, spiral blades, crown tooth blades.
Read around these types to find what will work for you.
The Scroll Saw Blade Brand
Searching for a scroll saw blade brands would give you limitless results. No matter how many companies produce these accessories, there always a brand that stands out in quality, performance, longevity and customer service.
When looking for which scroll saw blade to buy, you must be keen about the credibility of the brand you have chosen. Take your time and research before you make a choice.
As a beginner, you will need regular, or standard scroll saw blades because you generally do not have enough experience to work with the more complex blade types.
As you advance, you can go for specialty blades designed to cut into plastic, metal or even glass. In other words, your level of proficiency matters.
Money is always scarce, and so you must always budget to prevent wastage.
When looking for a blade to buy, affordability should be your concern. Keep in mind that affordability is not equal to cheap. Cheap products are always low quality and worthless. Look for a blade with all the features you need but is still within your budget.
Scroll Blade Thickness
All scroll saw as feature super-thin blades. However, the individual blades still differ in thickness.
It is essential that you go for thicker blades because only such can withstand the abuse of the back-and-forth stoking and the hardness of the materials being cut. Thick blades also do not blunt quickly.
1. How thick can scroll saws cut?
It depends on the scroll saw is used and the material being cut. Some high-quality models can cut up to 45mm thick wood or plastic but only 3mm thick steel.
2. Can scroll saw cut metal?
Yes, certain brands of scroll saws are specially made to cut into metals, but blade type is also a significant determinant.
3. Can a scroll saw cut aluminum?
Yes, but cutting aluminum with a scroll saw can be quite demanding for the machine. You may achieve something if you do it much slower but be ready with spare blades.
4. Can a scroll saw cut glass?
Yes, certain precision-ground (PGT) blades are specially designed to make intricate and precision cuts in brittle material such as glass.
5. Can a scroll saw cut steel?
Yes, scroll saws especially those with skip teeth blades can be helpful in cutting steel. You will need to use the right technique because cutting steel with a scroll saw is not an easy job.
Given the amount of information available on scroll blade saws, discussing them could result in a complete book with tens of pages. However, carefully considering the points discussed here can help you reach the right decision.
Remember the choice of the blade to use is the single most important determinant of the quality of work you can expect the scroll saw to deliver.
So, do your homework well and get the right blade for your needs.