A Beginner’s Guide to Scroll Saws & Why You Should Invest in this Tool

Regardless of whether you’re a budding builder who is about to work on their first few projects or a hardcore DIY-er who is a few projects short of building a few small houses, having the right tools can indeed go a long way.

From top-notch pliers to drills that have high amounts of precision, there is a wide range of different tools that anyone could possibly have in their tool kit or workbench. Thanks to the continuous efforts of key manufacturers in the industry, such as Makita, Dewalt, Bosch, and Stanley, any artisan now has a near-limitless amount of tool options that can be used to bring their dream projects to life.

Now, while it’s clear that any option comes with its own set of advantages that show how worthy of an investment it is, there’s one tool that undoubtedly stands out from the rest: scroll saws.

A Beginner's Guide to Scroll Saws & Why You Should Invest in Them

A basic introduction to scroll saws

To the uninitiated, this tool can sort of sound like a highly-specialized piece of equipment that’s used to cut up documents from the 18th century— but the truth is that it’s a whole lot more essential than many would expect.

Technically speaking, a scroll saw is best defined as a powerful tool that is intended to create highly-intricate cuts on any type of wood. Generally, it’s used for various applications that span from basic woodwork and sculptures all the way to intricate, one-off pieces of work that are used for more functional purposes. For instance, if you’ve seen an ornate piece of wood art that has various patterns and forms ingrained right into its surface, then the artist most definitely used this particular type of saw to create their work. 

How is it used in the first place? 

If you aren’t exactly familiar with why the scroll saw was created in the first place or what its capabilities are, here are a few uses of the handy device where it excels the most:

1. Intricate carving work

As we’ve mentioned previously, this type of saw has essentially made its mark in the woodworking world because of its ability to create highly-detailed and precise cuts. Through the help of the saw itself, woodworkers and artisans alike can ingrain patterns, joints, and profiles on wood and various materials as well, such as metal and plastic!

2. Artwork

With the help of a scroll saw, artists all around the world have been able to create many intricate pieces on glass, wood, and stone thanks to the fact that it puts precise control in the palm of a skilled hand! Such examples of this tool being put into play can be found in ivory carvings and other similar ornate pieces of art.

3. Signage

As opposed to other types of saws on the market that are used for other purposes, this tool has the amount of control and precision that’s needed to create neat and proper signage of all sizes. From a simple “Open/Closed” sign to full-blown tavern banners, the scroll saw is integral in any process that involves the creation of hand-carved signage.

4. Dovetail joints

Given the highly-complicated nature of the average dovetail joint, it’s no secret that most examples of this pinnacle to woodworking mastery are created with the use of a scroll saw. It’s the weapon of choice used by many master artisans because it provides the amount of control and cutting power that is needed to create the highly-intricate joint in the first place! 

Why you should consider investing in a scroll saw

One of the most important aspects to consider about the specialized crafting tool itself is that it carries quite a number of benefits that can’t be found in any other option on the market. Below are four of them that you should consider:

1. A high degree of utmost control

As opposed to other types of saws, the scroll saw easily sets itself apart when used for any purpose because it provides users with the unhampered ability to cut intricate contours. With the help of the tool itself, you can completely avoid ruining a block of wood, sheet, or slab of any other material by freeing up a bit of room to work properly and make each cut in the most precise manner. 

2. Better finishes

Thanks to the sharper and more durable blades on the scroll saw itself, the resulting edges made by its cuts have a distinctly finer finish in comparison with those made by other alternatives in the market. Instead of wasting much more time on lots of unnecessary sanding, using this saw can tremendously help with moving from cutting to finishing much faster!

3. More compact as opposed to other options

One of the defining benefits that any iteration of this specialized tool has is that it saves much more space than one may expect because the size of the entire assembly itself is far smaller than any other type of saw. If you’re looking to save space in your own shop, shed, or facility without compromising the utmost functionality, then a scroll saw is definitely well worth considering.

4. A greater degree of control over blade motion

Before the intricate saw in question was introduced, many artisans and budding DIY-ers alike were far more prone to losing control over the motion and speed of their saw. This eventually resulted in overcompensated cuts that are as unsightly as they are accidental. Today, however, artisans have the option to exhibit more control over their cuts by using a scroll saw with a foot pedal that makes it much easier to sustain and move the RPM and orientation of the blade itself! 


In spite of how specialized or heavy-duty it may seem at first, a scroll saw is undeniably a must-have in anyone’s set of tools because of all the advantages it has and the wide range of different ways it can be used. If you’ve grown tired of botching your cuts and need a far more sustainable option that dishes out unparalleled accuracy, then this type of saw is something you should get your hands on!

Looking to learn more about scroll saws and other tools that you’ve been meaning to add to your toolbox and collection sometime soon? Or wondering on how to pick the best scroll saw? We have plenty of articles on types of tools, so if you have a question, leave one in the comments section.

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.