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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of getting a scroll saw...don't have a specific project in mind but it will make small stuff, I'm sure...16-20" size, I suppose...?

If I were to look for a used machine, what are the more desirable models to look for...?

Thanks in advance...
 

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I'm thinking about getting one too. Anyone ever use a Makita? There's one about 16" and older for sale for $175 on one of our marketplace sites.
 
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I just did some review searches today and the feedback from some owners leaves none of the current models with a lot to look forward to owning - it's a made in China issue apparently. Inconsistent quality is what some end up with and poor customer service adding salt to the wound.
 

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Cast iron table is a biggie. (Unless it's an RBI Hawk, then the thick aluminum is just fine)

I like the older Delta's (18 & 20 inch). They weigh a ton and have low vibration. Even though they are 30+ years old there are a lot of parts still available. If you keep your eyes open you can get a lot of saw for under $200.

Whatever saw you are looking at, it's worth the 5 minutes to see how easy it is to get parts from eBay or ereplacementparts.com

The blade clamps on my Delta Q3 saws I can still find on eBay, and the hawk still has parts available online.

I still want an old powermatic or Rockwell saw... but I don't have the floor space for it....yet
 

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If the upper arm and blade is powered up and down as well as the lower arm, it is probably a good saw. If the upper arm and end of the saw blade is pulled back up by a spring, the saw is a candidate for being a door stop. That was the final purpose of my spring return jig saw (won't even call it a scroll saw). When it was no god as a door stop, it went to metal salvage.

A DeWalt 788 is what I have and I've been quite pleased with it. I've re-built it 2 times now, replacing most of the bearings each time.

Delta now offers a similar saw to the 788, and I own a lot of old Delta tools, but refuse to buy from the new Delta Tool Company because of parts and warranty problems. They are trying, but are far from being a good company to do business with, in my opinion.

Excaliber has had it's own problems too. But recently, they are back selling a similar saw to the DeWalt, again. They had a very good saw, but I don't know how the latest versions are doing.

Then there is the RBI saw by Bushton. The more recent variable speed models are supposed to be quite good. Some people like them. I'm just not a fan of their saws.

Right now, if I was to buy a new scroll saw, it would likely be a Pegas saw, but they aren't cheap. If price is really important, I would consider DeWalt, or maybe the Delta, but only because it is made much like the DeWalt 788, and I know how to get better bearings cheaper than their parts suppliers offer. Jet offers a scroll saw now, as does Seyco, but they aren't budget priced saws either, and I have no personal experience with either of them.

Just avoid the saws with the spring return on the blade, and you will likely have a pretty good scroll saw.

If you want to hook up with the scroll saw experts, consider joining www.scrollsawvillage.com. You will find me there too, but also most other serious scroll saw users of the World.

Charley
 

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I'm thinking about getting one too. Anyone ever use a Makita? There's one about 16" and older for sale for $175 on one of our marketplace sites.
For the price that is a bargain. It has 53% good reviews. I have always had good success with Makita tools, although that was when they were considered top of the line, I don't know where they are now.
Herb

Here is an RBI on ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Heavy-Duty...429647?hash=item469b40db4f:g:taEAAOSw~fpdUyi5
 

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Not delta!!!!
 

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I would say I liked my Delta best for the blades (it took pinned, and pinless), but I like my Excalibur's ability to keep my work surface cleaner. I wish my Excalibur took pinned as well as pinless blades (like my old Delta did)

To add to that...

Look at scroll saws like any other tool; what will you be doing with it. If you were going to do detailed/fret work, make sure you get pinless.. my gf had one that was pinned blades only, and she was limited on what she could cut, because, of course with pins, the holes can only be so small to get the blade through.
 

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If you're looking for a used machine, first priority to me would be if it worked or not. Then what would it be used for. I've got a Craftsman I bought new, and on sale, for $35, around 25 years ago. I've never done any detail work with it, just cut out my masters, close to the line, then sand them to final shape. Basically, that is all I use it for. Supposedly it uses both pinned and pinless blades, but all I use is the pinned blades - easier for me to change. Works for me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have the Dewalt 788 and like it a lot. I am not a scrollsawer, but I like it better than the fist one I bought, a Hagner.
HErb

Thanks, Herb...how long have you had the 788...?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I just did some review searches today and the feedback from some owners leaves none of the current models with a lot to look forward to owning - it's a made in China issue apparently. Inconsistent quality is what some end up with and poor customer service adding salt to the wound.
I also found the reviews not reassuring...the biggest reason for looking for older models...thanks for the review search
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My Dewalt 788 works well. No vibration to speak of. I haven't done a lot, but here are a few items it produced...

Thanks, Dave...one of the things that pushed me over the edge to look for a saw was your original post of the beautiful boxes you made. While some of the ones I've made are good they are nowhere near the look of yours.

If I find the right saw I plan to make box tops (like yours, although not as intricate). Using the saw to make templates comes to mind also...seems it would make that job easier.

Thanks again...
 
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