Mastering Precision Woodworking: An In-depth Scroll Saw Review Guide

The art of intricate wood cutting has been elevated with modern tools. Among them, the scroll saw stands out for its precision and versatility. In the upcoming sections, we’ll explore the standout features of popular scroll saw models, providing insights for both seasoned artisans and newcomers to the craft. Join us as we dissect what makes a quality scroll saw truly remarkable.

I. Introduction to Scroll Saws

The world of woodworking is vast, with each tool playing a pivotal role in the creation of intricate and polished designs. At the heart of precision lies the scroll saw, a tool that ensures detailed work with utmost finesse.

A. The importance of precision in wood cutting

Precision in wood cutting is not just about aesthetics. It determines the fit, finish, and function of the piece, be it a simple puzzle or an elaborate piece of art. A minor error can lead to material wastage or compromise the structural integrity of a piece. Thus, having tools that promote accuracy is paramount for any woodworker, amateur or professional.

B. Overview of modern scroll saws in the market

Modern scroll saws come equipped with features that enhance accuracy, speed, and ease of use. From variable speeds to improved blade mechanisms, these tools are designed to cater to the diverse needs of the woodworking community. Brands continually innovate, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in intricate wood cutting.

II. DEWALT DW788 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw

DEWALT has been a trusted name in the tools industry, and the DW788 scroll saw is a testament to its commitment to quality and performance.

A. Key Features and Specifications

The DW788 boasts a 20-inch throat depth, allowing for larger workpieces. Its variable-speed control enables speeds from 400 to 1,750 strokes per minute, catering to various materials and precision levels. The tool-free blade clamps facilitate quick blade changes, and its double parallel-link arm design reduces vibration.

B. User Experience and Feedback

Users often laud the DW788 for its quiet operation and minimal vibration, which contributes to precise cuts. The blade-changing process is user-friendly, a feature that many appreciate. However, some have pointed out the need for a better dust collection system.

C. Pros and Cons


  • Smooth, vibration-free operation
  • Quick and easy blade changes
  • Reliable performance across various materials


  • Dust collection could be improved.

III. WEN Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw

WEN’s entry into the scroll saw market is marked by innovation, with the Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw standing out for its unique features.

A. Key Features and Specifications

The saw offers a two-directional operation, allowing for both standard and diagonal cuts. With a variable speed range of 400 to 1600 SPM, it’s versatile for various projects. Its spacious 16×11-inch table bevels up to 45 degrees, accommodating angled cuts.

B. User Experience and Feedback

Most users appreciate the saw’s two-directional feature, which enhances flexibility in cutting. Its price point is often highlighted as offering great value. However, some users mention occasional blade slippage as a concern.

C. Pros and Cons


  • Two-directional cutting capability
  • Great value for money
  • Adjustable table for angled cuts


  • Occasional blade slippage

IV. Jet 727200B JWSS-22B Scroll Saw with Foot Switch

Jet brings a blend of power and convenience with the 727200B JWSS-22B, making intricate cutting tasks feel almost effortless.

A. Key Features and Specifications

This scroll saw features a spacious 22-inch throat depth, catering to larger projects. Its unique foot switch operation allows users to start and stop the machine hands-free. The upper arm lifts and locks in the raised position for easy blade changes.

B. User Experience and Feedback

Many users commend the foot switch feature, which enhances safety and convenience. The saw’s performance is consistent, producing clean cuts. However, its higher price point might be a consideration for some.

C. Pros and Cons


  • Foot switch operation for added safety
  • Spacious throat depth
  • Reliable and consistent performance


  • Premium pricing

V. Comparison of the Three Scroll Saws

With numerous options in the market, choosing the right scroll saw can be challenging. Here’s how the three models above stack up against each other.

A. Performance and Reliability

All three saws offer commendable performance, but DEWALT’s DW788 stands out for its minimal vibration and smooth operation. Jet’s model is close behind, with its consistent cutting prowess, while WEN offers flexibility with its two-directional feature.

B. Value for Money

In terms of value, WEN’s model offers a lot for its price point. DEWALT’s DW788, while slightly pricier, justifies its cost with its features and brand reliability. Jet’s saw, being on the premium side, offers unique features like the foot switch but might be a consideration for those on a tighter budget.

C. Suitability for Different Tasks

For larger projects, Jet’s 22-inch throat depth is a clear advantage. DEWALT’s model is versatile and suitable for both beginners and professionals. WEN’s two-directional feature makes it ideal for those seeking flexibility in their cuts.


Q: What is a scroll saw primarily used for?
A: A scroll saw is primarily used for making intricate cuts and detailed curves in wood, plastic, and other materials.

Q: Are scroll saws any good?
A: Yes, scroll saws are excellent tools for precision work, especially for intricate designs and patterns.

Q: What is the best scroll saw to buy?
A: The best scroll saw to buy often depends on individual needs, but popular choices include models from DEWALT, Jet, and WEN, among others.

Q: What are the disadvantages of a scroll saw?
A: Some disadvantages of a scroll saw include a limitation in the thickness of materials it can cut and the occasional need for frequent blade changes due to wear and breakage.

Q: What is the best scroll saw for beginners?
A: The best scroll saw for beginners is user-friendly, offers variable speed controls, and comes with safety features. Brands like WEN and DEWALT have models that are suitable for beginners.

Q: How does a scroll saw differ from a jigsaw?
A: While both tools can make intricate cuts, a scroll saw is stationary and is typically used for finer, more detailed work. A jigsaw is portable and is used for more general cutting tasks.

Q: Can you cut metals with a scroll saw?
A: Yes, with the right blade, a scroll saw can cut thin metals. However, it’s essential to use the appropriate blade designed for metal cutting and to operate at the right speed.

VII. Conclusion

A. The importance of choosing the right scroll saw

Choosing the right scroll saw can make a significant difference in the quality of work, ease of use, and overall satisfaction. A good scroll saw not only ensures precision but also enhances the woodworking experience.

B. Final thoughts on the three reviewed models

Each of the three reviewed models brings unique features to the table. DEWALT stands out for its reliability, Jet offers innovation with its foot switch, and WEN provides great value for its price. The decision ultimately boils down to individual preferences and requirements.

C. Recommendations for potential buyers

Potential buyers should consider factors such as their budget, the type of projects they’ll be working on, and any brand preferences they might have. Reading user reviews and trying out models in-store can also be helpful.

VIII. Suggested Readings

For those looking to delve deeper into the world of woodworking and scroll saws, here are some related book recommendations, each offering valuable insights and tips:

  • “Scroll Saw Workbook” by Charles Dearing: A beginner’s guide to mastering the scroll saw with step-by-step exercises.
  • “Creating Wooden Boxes on the Scroll Saw” by the Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts Magazine: Techniques and patterns for crafting beautiful wooden boxes.
  • “Big Book of Scroll Saw Woodworking” by the Editors of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts: An extensive collection of patterns, techniques, and projects for all levels.
  • “Scroll Saw Holiday Puzzles” by Tony and June Burns: Perfect for the festive season, this book offers 27 ready-to-use patterns for making fun holiday puzzles.
  • “Scroll Saw for the First Time” by Dirk Boelman: An introductory guide covering the basics of scroll sawing, ideal for beginners.

Woodworking is a journey of continuous learning, and these books can be valuable companions along the way, providing guidance, inspiration, and expert advice. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, there’s always something new to discover in the world of scroll sawing.

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