We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Scroll Saw?

By Josie Myers
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A scroll saw is an electrical table saw that is operated by a foot pedal. The blade is typically a fine-toothed, narrow, straight blade that is not intended for heavy-duty cutting. It is best suited for intricate pattern work and cutting curves.

There are two basic types of scroll saws: parallel arms and C-arms. A parallel arm scroll saw has two arms, each with their own pivot point. This pivot point is a screw near the back of the arm that allows the arm to bend. The bottom arm hooks to the motor, and the top arm runs parallel to the bottom. The two arms connect at the back, near the motor, and move in tandem with one another.

In contrast, a C-arm scroll saw has a single pivot point, usually on the top arm. The other arm remains rigid. The blade arcs a bit as the motor moves the single arm and attached blade up and down.

The choice between which saw to use depends largely on the user. A parallel arm scroll saw is generally thought to create finer cuts with greater accuracy. A C-arm saw tends to move a bit quicker, but the arcing blade can create noticeable undercuts when using thick pieces of wood. Experienced scroll saw users can develop techniques to minimize the negatives of a C-arm saw, and many prefer it for the speed it can provide.

A scroll saw blade is very narrow, usually only about five inches (12.7 cm) long. The width of the blade varies depending on the project, but is commonly around 1/8-inch (.3175 cm) wide. The blade connects to the saw with either cross-pins or clamps at the end of the saw arm.

There are three basic configurations for scroll saw blades. A skip tooth blade has a tooth, then a space, and then another tooth. A double skip tooth has two teeth, then a gap, and two more teeth. A crown blade, sometimes called a two-way blade, has teeth that face up and others that face down. This configuration allows the blade to cut when it comes up as well as down, and can cut down on splintering on the underside of the project. Spiral blades are twisted so that teeth are on all sides of the blade. In addition to these basic designs, there are also specialty blades that are coated to cut metal or glass.

Scroll saws come in a variety of sizes, usually defined by the throat, or the area between the blade and the motor in the rear of the machine. The larger the throat, the larger a piece of wood it can accept. Most hobbyist saws have a throat about 12 inches (30.48 cm) long, while industrial models can nearly triple that distance.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.