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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Default Scroll Saw Prices

Can someone explain to me why a scroll saw can cost several hundred dollars? I bought an old used Dremel scroll saw for $25 from Craigslist. I didn't want to fork out a lot of money for one until I knew if it was something I'd be interested in. Anyways, it's a fun tool. But how can a new one cost so much money? They really don't do a whole lot, and they don't put out much power at all. What am I missing?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 02:53 PM
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Kevin,

The higher end scroll saws tend to have lower vibration and run quieter in my experience. A lot of this has to do with cast iron tables, steel frames, and higher quality machined components. They also can have deeper throats than the smaller dremels. Some also have a parallel link design so the blade travels nearly perfectly up and down, which means more complexity and therefore higher price.

A lot of entry priced saws now come with a lot of features that the big ones used to have, such as quick release tension levers and toolless blade changing.

If you want the true skinny, you can email Rick at Rick's Scrollsaw. He probably owns one of every saw ever built in his collection... it's a neat site.

I have 2 Delta Q-3 saws that are virtually silent compared to my first yard sale find, an I am amazed at how slow I can turn the motor down and not stall the blade. Their mass keeps the vibration way down, and makes for a enjoyable tool for long hours working on projects.

Both of my bigger saws were second hand finds. My first one was about $300 in the late 90's, and the second one I picked up off of Craigslist for under $200. If I had to replace them now, I would probably looking at the Excalibur saws.

Once you're truly hooked on the hobby, you might want to see if there is a club, woodworking show, or SAW function near you where you can try a higher end saw. You'll appreciate the difference.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 08:04 PM
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I for one totally agree with Doug. I'm sure there a of scrollers out there that would also. Think of a scroll saw in quality as compared to table saw. The higher prices saws offer better dependably, less vibration and a more consistent cut.The less expensive saws that have aluminum tables offer higher vibration and are less accurate. The lesser equipment will offer bells and whistles that the more expensive saws don't need. I started out with a Ryobi Scroll Saw, fell in love and have not looked back. I still have my original saw but never turn it on.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I don't think I can ever justify spending enough for an Excalibur. There have to be a few decent sub $300 saws for me. At least until I've spent a good deal of time with an "intro" tool.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 09:06 PM
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Hi Kevin

Once you use one of the higher end scroll saws you will see why many move up to them...........and put out the big bucks for them..

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Originally Posted by kawisser View Post
Thanks for the info. I don't think I can ever justify spending enough for an Excalibur. There have to be a few decent sub $300 saws for me. At least until I've spent a good deal of time with an "intro" tool.



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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Oh I believe they are a big step up. But I'm just a small-time hobbyist. I'd be lucky to find a couple hours a month to play with my tools.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 12:55 AM
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I own a Craftsman 16" scroll saw for about 2 years now and use it often,used to think it was good and used a friend of mine's new Dewalt and now I want one of them or something close

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 06:38 AM
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What do you mean they don't do very much? You can take a block of wood and make 1 bowl and a lot of saw dust chips on the floor with a lathe, take that same block of wood and make 4 bowls with very little saw dust chips on the floor with a scroll saw. Take that same block of wood and make a keepsake box with a scroll saw. Make wooden photos with a scroll saw. All kind of signs, christmas displays and ornaments, even toys with a scroll saw. The scroll saw is more versital then other tools. I use mine more than any other tool in my shop and I have almost any kind that a wood worker could want.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 06:57 AM
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I started with a Craftsman saw, way back when. I chopped up a lot of wood with it, and it was fine for simple shapes and non-intricate (if that's a word) projects.

Somewhere around 1982, I jumped in with both feet, and bought one of the 30" Excaliburs. That is pre General. I couldn't believe the difference. Smooth, quiet operation. Super fast blade changes. EVERYTHING about it made scrolling so much more fun and productive. The more I played with it, the more complex my projects became. It wasn't long until I started making the big cathedral type clocks. I still use that saw today.

A few years after I bought my saw, I had the chance to go to Judy Gale Roberts' studio in Tennessee. About Judy Gale Roberts and Jerry Booher I was able to meet and talk to her and Jerry Booher. They didn't have an intarsia class going on at the time, so they took me into the "classroom" to look around. I was amazed to see the walls lined with Excaliburs, just like the one I had. That convinced me that I had made the right choice in saws.

Like someone else said. If you get the chance to do a side by side comparison with the $50-$200 saws against the high $$ saws, you'll see what we mean.

If I were going to buy another scroll saw today, it would be the Excalibur. I especially like the change that they made with the tilting head instead of the tilting table.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 12:23 PM
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Curious; nobody's mentioned model making(?). Nobody on the forum builds model ships/boats? Not impossible but really disheartening trying to saw ribs and planks by hand.
Even a cheap scrollsaw is a step up.
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