Craftsman 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw Review. Scroll saw 16 inch

Craftsman 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw Review

As a general rule, budget scroll saws do not have the best quality. They offer subpar performance and often times you do not get the reliability and accuracy when scrolling with them. Almost as a divine calling, Craftsman 16” scroll saw comes to the rescue!

Despite its low price, it sports a solid build construction as well as very attractive features. It durable, dependable, and accurate when doing intricate cuts in material. Let us see how well this product stacks up against the competition, and if it is the right tool for you, shall we?

#1. Technical Features

Despite its very low price, we were impressed to see a 1.6-Amp inductive motor in this Craftsman scroll saw. At this price point, you generally get a less performing motor but it is just nice it being so powerful. With 1.6-Amp, you can cut through a wide array of materials without suffering from stalling or kickbacks. The result is a linear and professional finish that looks machined-cut.

It has a throat depth of 16-inch, which is mostly suited for small DIY scrolling on small materials. If you are new to the game, the throat depth is the distance from the back of the blade to the back of the saw. It dictates the maximum dimension of material that it can work with.

The variable speed control in this unit is versatile and performs between 400 SPM to 1600 SPM. The lowest 400 SPM speed is very rare in a budget scroll saw. In general, only professional scroll saws like the Hegner 18” and DeWALT DW788 tend to give this low-speed setting. It is just nice that it is included because now you can scroll more accurately with high-density material like metal sheets, hardwood, and ABS plastic with great ease.

The depth of cut is not the best we have seen at only 2-inch, but it is ample for scrolling with almost any material you can buy commercially. Unless you are planning to work with material that this thicker than 2-inch, this model will work just fine.

We need to keep an eye out for accuracy in a scroll saw, especially when we review one. Indeed, the scroll saw that does not have a good accuracy is next to worthless. We are happy to see a large cast iron work table that provides a solid foundation for your scrolling tasks here. It does a good job absorbing vibrations, and at the lower speed of 400 SPM, there is almost no vibration as well as a very low noise. Even at the highest speed of 1600 SPM, the solid cast iron table dampens most of the vibrations.

Additionally, the low profile form factor also contributes to make this unit deliver even more accurate results. The table is tiltable to 45-degrees to the left for accurate beveled cuts. This makes it very versatile right there and allows you to make a wide variety of complex designs that are extremely accurate.

Lastly, this model accepts the standard 5-inch pin and plain end blades for even more accuracy and versatility when scrolling with different materials.

The build construction is what we like the most in this Craftsman 16” scroll saw. Unlike the competing Rockwell RK7315, that sacrifices quality and durability for a softer price; there is a no issue with this model. It is mostly built from a metal alloy as well as sporting a cast iron table. Many of the parts are replaceable and easily available as well. For once, we are happy to see a metal build construction instead of plastic in a budget scroll saw.

craftsman, 16-inch, variable, speed, scroll, review

Furthermore, the solid and large 17-1/8 x 10-1/4 inches cast iron table make this scroll saw very stable, even at the highest 1600 SPM speed. We are quite amazed that such a budget scroll saw handles itself so well at this high speed.

User-friendliness is also a big highlight in this craftsman scroll saw. The tabletop is easy to adjust for angular cuts, and the variable speed control knob right at the front of this unit makes it easy to change the speed on the fly.

An external vacuum can be connected to this unit that will blow a constant stream of air in multiple directions, keeping your cut line free of sawdust.

It even has an onboard blade storage compartment for storing your blades in a convenient and clutter-free manner. Right out of the box, craftsman includes four pin blades as well as a blank-end blade to help you get started right away. It also has a detailed user manual for those who have never worked with the scroll saw before and need guidance.

#2. Price

As we have pointed out in our introduction, it is quite rare to find a budget scroll saw that actually delivers. This scroll saw blew us away by performing above and beyond of what we expected. For a budget scroll saw, it is not the cheapest as this title belongs to the likes of the Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw and Wen 3920.

However, it is extremely competitive especially taking into account what this scroll saw offers to the table. It will never be able to compete with models like the Delta Power Tools 40-694 even if it has a more powerful motor, but pound for pound, it obliterates any of the budget scroll saws in its price range.

#3. Expert Review

Steve Good from YouTube channel sdgood made an excellent review on the Craftsman scroll saw a few years ago. He goes in depth about the various features like that variable speed control and table tilt of this model, as well as gives a few handy advice here and there. At the end of the video, he gives a hands-on demonstration of how he uses this scroll saw. This should give you a very good idea of how it works.

Here Are the Best Scroll Saws for Precise Woodworking Projects

Michelle Ullman is a home decor expert and product reviewer for home and garden products. She has been writing about home decor for over 10 years for publications like and Better Homes Gardens, among others.

Deane Biermeier is an expert contractor with nearly 30 years of experience in all types of home repair, maintenance, and remodeling. He is a certified lead carpenter and also holds a certification from the EPA. Deane is a member of The Spruce’s Home Improvement Review Board.

Unlike other power saws, most of which have round rotating blades designed for making straight cuts across lumber, scroll saws have straight blades, and are typically the go-to machine for making puzzle pieces, wooden figurines, intarsia, and beveled edges. Johnny Pastos, founder of Pastos Co, a sustainable furniture company, remarks, “Scroll saws are great to create those detailed cuts, but avoid two big mistakes. 1. Do not use a scroll saw like a Band saw. The blade is not big enough to cut thick pieces of wood. 2. Do not underestimated the small size of a scroll saw blade, as it will cause as much damage as any other sharp tool in your workshop. Treat it with respect!”

We evaluated scroll saws based on accuracy, ease of use, power, versatility, and extra features.

Here are our favorite scroll saws in several categories.

craftsman, 16-inch, variable, speed, scroll, review

Best Overall

DeWALT DW788 20-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw

The DeWALT DW788 is the whole package when it comes to scroll saws—this model is relatively quiet, easy to operate, and versatile enough to meet the needs of beginner and more discerning woodworkers alike.

One of the top overall scroll saws, the DeWALT DW788 has a throat depth of 20 inches that allows cuts up to 2 inches deep. It accepts only pinless (straight) blades, which may be a bit of a learning curve, but allows for easy, tool-free blade changes with less frustration.

The power switch, speed control, and tension lever are all conveniently located on the front of the upper arm and within easy reach as you work. The oversized cast iron table provides ample workspace for your projects, and the machine has a double parallel-link arm that helps reduce vibrations.

While the DeWALT DW788 isn’t the most robust scroll saw on the market, it’s an excellent option for woodworkers of any skill level and provides a wide array of options at a mid-range price point. Its simple operation and straight-forward design ensure that you’ll spend less time fiddling with the machine’s operation and more time creating the unique shapes and intricate cuts that a scroll saw is known for.

Price at time of publish: 536

Throat: 20 inches | Max. Strokes-Per-Minute: 1,750 | Blade Type: Pinless | Variable Speed: Yes

Best for Beginners

Ryobi SC165VS 16-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw

If you are new to scroll saws, you want a tool that is reasonably priced, fairly easy to use, and without too many bells and whistles that might be intimidating to a beginner. You’ll find all of those features in the Ryobi 16-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw. This model features a 16-inch throat and tool-free blade changes to make life easier.

For less than 200, this budget scroll saw still offers plenty of useful features and versatility. A cast aluminum tilting table can be set between 0 and.45 degrees, which is useful for beveled projects like inlays and bowls. The machine also accepts either pinned or pinless blades, depending on your preference. A cast iron base supports the saw and minimizes machine movement, although you’ll still have to deal with some vibration.

While this budget scroll saw may not be able to handle intense scrolling projects, it’s a fine choice for basic woodworking crafts. Since it’s lightweight, it’s easy to move on and off the workbench. This is a great entry-level scroll saw if you’re looking for an affordable way to complete basic scrolling projects or want a scroll saw with a tilting table that won’t throw your budget off balance.

Price at time of publish: 254

Throat: 16 inches | Max. Strokes-Per-Minute: 1,600 | Blade Type: Pinless or pinned | Variable Speed: Yes

Best for Lightweight Tasks

Dremel Moto-Saw Variable-Speed Compact Scroll Saw

If you’re getting started with scrolling projects, shop around for a basic scroll saw that will give you all the essential features while skipping the pricier add-ons you aren’t likely to use. The Dremel Moto-Saw is a compact scroll saw that is perfect for woodwork hobbyists and more light-duty scroll saw users thanks to its versatility and easy operation.

This Dremel has variable speed settings that let you easily control the saw’s cutting motion, and it offers surprisingly quiet operation—which many people appreciate when using it for home crafts.

The Dremel Moto-Saw only uses pinned blades, which are easier and quicker to change than pinless blades. However, they limit the types of cuts you can do and are better for simpler projects. One other thing to know about this entry-level scroll saw is that it lacks a miter gauge or rip fence, but these can be purchased as add-ons through the manufacturer if desired.

A bonus of the Dremel Moto-Saw is that can be used in handheld mode, making it a go-anywhere coping saw.

Price at time of publish: 112

Throat: 10 inches | Max. Strokes-Per-Minute: 2,250 | Blade Type: Pinned | Variable Speed: Yes

Best for Larger Projects

Delta 40-694 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw

Tackle larger woodworking projects with a scroll saw that offers plenty of power and a greater throat depth. This 20-inch scroll saw from Delta Power Tools has more than enough room and oomph to handle projects of all shapes and sizes.

Model 40-694 from Delta is a scroll saw with a 20-inch throat, which allows for cutting wider pieces of wood than a 16-inch or 18-inch throat. The table tilts between 0 and 45 degrees to allow for beveling. Plus, for added convenience, the upper arm can be lifted and locked into position when making blade changes or adjusting blade angle. You’ll appreciate speeds up to 1,750 strokes-per-minute to cut through even tough woods like walnut, and the dust hose efficiently keeps up with sawdust as you work, keeping pattern lines or the work surface free of dust and debris.

Out of the box, this scroll saw from Delta Power Tools will only accept pinless blades. If you want to use pinned blades, you’ll need to shop for an adapter.

Price at time of publish: 529

Throat: 20 inches | Max. Strokes-Per-Minute: 1,750 | Blade Type: Pinless | Variable Speed: Yes

Best for Intarsia

Excalibur 16-Inch Tilting Head Scroll Saw

Most scroll saws have a blade that remains in a vertical position and a table that tilts to allow the user to create angled cuts. Not so the Excalibur 16-Inch Tilting Head Scroll Saw; this scroll saw has a tilting head, which means that you can angle the blade just how you want it for creating angled or intricate cuts. The blade head can be angled up to 30 degrees to the left and 45 degrees to the right. That’s a huge plus if you enjoy making intarsia—mosaic-like pictures made from cut pieces of wood—or other delicate wood crafts.

Of course, the Excalibur has other great features as well, including variable speeds from 400 to 1,400 spm, The saw has a 16-inch throat and can cut to a maximum thickness of 2 inches. Changing the pinless blades is a snap, as is adjusting the blade’s mounting position. The 1.3-amp motor keeps the saw humming at a steady, smooth pace, allowing you the freedom to FOCUS on your craft, not your tool.

Price at time of publish: 570

Throat: 16 inches | Max. Strokes-Per-Minute: 1,400 | Blade Type: Pinless | Variable Speed: Yes

Best Budget

WEN 3921 16-inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw

If you enjoy pattern work, shop for a scroll saw with blades that can be inserted in two directions and variable speeds to allow for greater control. The WEN 3921 Scroll Saw is not only very reasonably priced, it’s also a great choice if you enjoy cutting out detailed patterns.

This scroll saw accepts both pinned and pinless blades, allowing you the choice of blade type. Additionally, you can position the blades in a standard or 90-degree position, giving you more flexibility when following scrolling patterns. One thing to know is that pinless blade changes aren’t as easy on this scroll saw as some other models—the threading attachment is hard to reach and you’ll need an Allen wrench to complete the job.

Overall, the Wen 3921 has an impressive feel for its affordable price tag, and it has the power and versatility needed to make basic cuts and shapes easily. It might not be the most high-powered or intricate scroll saw on the market, but the WEN 3921 wins for its versatile blade placement, variable speed settings, and suitability as a basic pattern scroll saw.

Price at time of publish: 121

Throat: 16 inches | Max. Strokes-Per-Minute: 1,600 | Blade Type: Pinless or pinned | Variable Speed: Yes

Best with Worklight

Shop Fox W1872 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw

Creating careful, detailed cuts requires excellent lighting. If your workshop doesn’t provide that, or if you simply prefer to have better illumination while you work, then the Shop Fox W1872 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw is the tool for you. Of course, it’s built-in, adjustable LED work light isn’t it’s only great feature; this scroll saw also has a foot pedal that allows you to start and stop the saw without having to lift your hands to work a control. That’s helpful when cutting very delicate designs. Plus, the 1/6-horsepower motor provides variable speeds of 550 to 1,600 spm.

The 16-inch throat is accompanied by a maximum 2-1/4-inch cutting depth, a cast-aluminum table that can tilt from.5 to 45 degrees, and a dust port that can attach to your shop vac. The saw accepts pinned or pinless blades, and has an X/Y axis miter gauge for accurate angled cuts. It even includes a flexible rotary tool attachment for extra versatility. All in all, this is a handy tool for any crafter, woodworker, or DIYer’s workshop.

Price at time of publish: 210

Throat: 16 inches | Max. Strokes-Per-Minute: 1,600 | Blade Type: Pinless or pinned | Variable Speed: Yes

Best for Making Toys

Bucktool 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw

If you mostly use a scroll saw to make wooden toys, puzzles, blocks, or similar items, you’ll appreciate the Bucktool 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw, which has a foot pedal that allows you to start and stop the saw without having to lift your hands away from the wood piece. Plus, the tool has a large steel 18.2 by 11.5-inch worktable which can tilt up to 45 degrees to the left, giving you plenty of room for work while making beveled cuts.

But what you’ll like most about the Bucktool scroll saw if you’re a toymaker is its smooth, quiet, and very-low-vibration performance, which makes it ideal for small, detailed projects that require concentration. This scroll saw has a 16-inch throat and can cut to a maximum thickness of 2 inches. Its variable speed control ranges from 550 to 1,600 spm. The tool has a work light and onboard blower to keep debris away from your cut line. You can use either pinned or pinless blades, and no tools are required to change them.

Price at time of publish: 200

Throat: 16 inches | Max. Strokes-Per-Minute: 1,600 | Blade Type: Pinless or pinned | Variable Speed: Yes

The DeWALT DW788 Scroll Saw is our top choice for several reasons. It’s easy to use, even for a beginner to this type of tool. It’s versatile, fairly quiet, and reliable. Perhaps that’s why it’s one of the bestselling scroll saws on the market today. But if cost is a major concern, you’ll find that the Ryobi Corded Scroll Saw, while not as versatile or easy to use as our top choice, does meet the needs of most hobbyists and comes at a very reasonable price point.

What to Look for in a Scroll Saw

Throat Size

A scroll saw’s “throat” is the measurement from the blade to the back of the saw’s frame. The bigger a saw’s throat, the wider a piece of wood you’ll be able to cut without having to rotate the wood to reach the other side. The throat measurement is often part of a scroll saw’s product name.

There are scroll saws with throats as small as 12 inches and as large as 30 inches, but the majority are 16 to 20 inches. For most DIY and hobby projects, a throat of 16 or 18 inches is sufficient, but if you routinely work with very wide pieces of wood, you’ll want to go larger.

Blade Type

There are two basic types of scroll saw blades: pinned and pinless, also called plain. Some scroll saws only accept one or the other, while other saws accept both types.

Pinned blades are held in place by small pins at the end of the blade. The advantage of this type of blade is that it’s easy to switch out if you want to insert a different blade. The downsides are that there are fewer varieties of pinned blades and they tend to be thicker than pinless blades, so not as well suited to making very delicate cuts.

Pinless blades are held in place by small clamps. Some scroll saws require the use of a small tool to switch out these blades, making them a little less convenient than their pinned counterparts. However, there are many more types and sizes of pinless blades to choose from and they are better suited to making delicate or complex cuts.


The speed of a scroll saw’s blade is measured in strokes per minutes. Some scroll saws, particularly lower-end or older models, have just one set speed, but it’s much better to have at least two speed settings, and best of all to have variable speeds so you can tailor the tool to your needs; generally, you’ll use a slower speed on softer woods and a higher speed for harder wood. A fairly common range for a variable-speed scroll saw is 400 spm to 1,800 spm.

Table Tilt

Many scroll saws have tilting tables, which makes it much easier to cut wood or other materials at an angle, such as cutting bevels. The most common option is a 45-degree tilt to the left, but some saws tilt in both directions, which is very convenient if you do a lot of angled cuts.

LOT 49 : Craftsman 16″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw on Wood Stand

Unlike most power saws, which typically have large round rotating blades, scroll saws have thin, ribbon-like blades that saw very rapidly in an up-and-down motion. This is definitely not the tool for making long cuts along thick materials, or even for performing basic cuts, such as crosscuts. Where the scroll saw shines is in performing cuts that are curved, intricate, or entirely contained within the material without extending out to the side. That makes scroll saws the tool of choice for cutting wood into toys, puzzles, jewelry boxes, and other detailed work. Scroll saws are also excellent for creating pieces for intarsia, which is an artform consisting of wooden pieces cut and fitted together like a mosaic. But you aren’t limited to cutting wood with your scroll saw; this versatile tool also cuts through thin metal, plastic, plexiglass, and foam.

Scroll saws are very versatile tools that can cut through many materials, including wood, metal, and most types of plastics, including acrylic. To do so, you’ll want a blade that’s designed for cutting plastic. One such blade is a crown-tooth blade. The trick to cutting acrylic successfully, however, is to prevent the buildup of heat. Because the saw blades generate a lot of friction, it’s very common for the acrylic to melt slightly and then reseal just a few seconds later, leaving you with uneven cut lines or even shattered acrylic. To avoid this, direct a fan towards your workbench while you cut, do not remove any protective backing paper from the acrylic until after it’s cut, set your saw to the lowest speed that still cuts effectively, and lubricate the saw blade before starting to make the cut.

It’s normal for a scroll saw to vibrate, thanks to the Rapid movements of the blade. Ideally, your scroll saw should feel something like a sewing machine in terms of vibration while in use on average materials. However, if your scroll saw is vibrating excessively, leaving you with tingling or numb hands, or is “walking” along your workbench due to the vibrations, there are some steps you can take to get things under control. The first step you should take is to check that your saw blades are properly installed. Then make sure your scroll saw is firmly screwed down to your workbench; an unsecured scroll saw is prone to more vibration than normal, and might even move itself along your workbench, potentially leading to disaster. If both of those steps check out, the next step is to check your tool’s counterweight. This will be near the base of the tool, and might be on the front or on the back, depending on the brand. If your saw doesn’t have a counterweight, you can add weight yourself with a small sandbag, dumbbell plate, or other heavy item that can be balanced at the base of the saw without interfering in any way with the blade action. Another trick for dampening excessive vibration is placing a rubber mat, about the thickness of a mouse pad, underneath your scroll saw. You can even glue rubber “shock absorbers” under the legs of your workbench, which helps reduce vibration from all of your power tools. If none of the above tips help, it is possible that your technique is causing the excessive vibrations. Running the saw too slowly, holding the material you are cutting too firmly on the saw, or pushing the material rather than letting the saw do the work for you all can add to the tool’s normal vibration level.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article is edited and updated by Michelle Ullman, the tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs. For this roundup, she considered dozens of scroll saws, evaluating each for basic features, extras, and customer feedback. Further input came from Johnny Pastos, founder of Pastos Co, a sustainable furniture company.

King Industrial 16 Inch Scroll Saw Review (2023)

Are you looking to buy a new tabletop scroll saw? If you have a limited amount of space but still want the best performance possible out of your scroll saw, then the King Industrial 16 Inch scroll saw is the one for you!

This machine will fit perfectly into a workshop of a smaller size while retaining all the capabilities, features, and performance that a larger scroll saw would offer you.

This King Industrial scroll saw is able to cut a wide variety of thicknesses, everything from thick compound cuts to thin, delicate fretwork, as well as wood with varying degrees of hardness, everything from hardwoods like hard, thick hickory to softwoods like pine.

This King scroll saw is suitable for all levels, from beginners in woodworking to seasoned veterans.

Even my tester with the least experience using a scroll saw was able to create a scroll saw pattern that looked professional.

And now, the experts are falling in love with it all over again.

During our testing phase, the King scroll saw just leapfrogged over all the other saws to become everybody’s new favorite scroll saw.

Its incredible ease of use and buttery smooth operation made it easy for all of our testers (and for everyone else who uses the saw) to love it.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon affiliate, this site earns a small commission for all qualifying purchases.

King Industrial Saw Background

Okay. Just to be clear, the seemingly newfound love for this saw did not just come randomly out of the blue. There is actually an excellent reason why we all love it.

Where is the King scroll saw made? Well, remember those Excalibur Saws? Of course, you do. They were award-winning, industry-leading saws that we all knew and loved.

And one day, they seemed to disappear. And then they popped up again a while later, but they just weren’t quite the same.

So what exactly happened? Well, to make a long story short: the manufacturing rights, naming rights, and distribution rights to the Excalibur saws changed hands a number of times.

The end result is that the King Industrial saws are manufactured by the original manufacturer of the Excalibur saws (a Taiwanese manufacturer) using the original design for the Excalibur saws.

So King Industrial saws are essentially exactly the same as Excalibur saws (just with a different brand name).

The saws currently on the market with the Excalibur name are actually different saws made in China using a different saw design, so the parts on the new saws with the Excalibur name will not fit the original Excalibur saws.

The parts from the King Industrial saws will fit the original Excalibur saws.

The King Industrial saws, which are identical in design and manufacture to the original Excalibur saws and are made by the same manufacturer in Taiwan, are sold in the U.S. as King Industrial saws and in Canada as Excelsior.

So both King Industrial saws and Excelsior saws are made in Taiwan by the original Excalibur saw manufacturer using those original Excalibur designs.

There’s a more detailed explanation of exactly what happened and a rough timeline of the saw’s history later on in this article.

So it makes perfect sense why we all love the King Industrial 16 Inch scroll saw so much. It’s just the old green, or black Excalibur saw that we know and love… but with a different name.

King Industrial Scroll Saw Features

The King scroll saw uses plain end blades, which are adjusted using a quick tensioning lever and fixed in place with thumbscrews.

Basically, it allows you to set the arm height of the saw once and not have to reset it since you can use the quick tensioning lever to release and to tighten the blade.

This system is probably familiar to you due to its use on the Excalibur saws.

Once you get used to it (which takes only a few minutes), the blades can be changed and tensioned in seconds.

The top of the arm of the saw bears the power switch and the variable speed control. Sixteen variable speeds are available.

The dust cover that protects the power switch was a bit stiff when the saw was brand new, but it softens over a period of time.

The blower functions quite well. As is the custom with most other scroll saws, the hold-down arm was removed by us before we began our cutting.

In order to make an angled cut, the arm has a tilting feature, which makes a lot more sense and is easier to use than a table that tilts.

A rack and pinion mechanism controls the tilting system, featuring a spring-loaded pin that allows you to lock into frequently utilized angles (like 45°) and return the blade to its vertical position with ease.

Complete Review And Test Dremel 16″ Scroll Saw 1695 Variable-speed

We checked the angle using a gauge, and the set angle of the arm is accurate. When lifted up, the arm stays up, allowing for easy feeding of the blade from the top or the bottom.

The movement of the arm is also quite smooth, which is nice.

The table of the King scroll saw will be suitable for all but the very biggest clocks or fretwork portraits, as it measures 18 ½ inches deep and 12 inches wide.

To facilitate the collection of dust, the table is pierced. The scroll saw is powered by a 120 volt 1.3 amp permanent magnet motor, which offers constant torque.

The King Industrial features small feet that are intended to help with leveling on a benchtop.

A stand compatible with the King Industrial may be purchased separately, should you desire one (using stand-in conjunction with the scroll saw makes the operation smoother and reduces vibration even further).

The saw does not come equipped with its own light.

Overall Usage Experience

All of our testers agree… using this King scroll saw is a pure delight! It makes cuts in an exceptionally quick, effortless, and smooth fashion.

The saw blade was a cinch to control, held tension appropriately and firmly, and was easily able to be brought back to the proper line if we happened to drift off course.

If the saw is bolted down or clamped down, its vibration will be minimal and run incredibly smoothly.

Using a stand compatible with the scroll saw will limit vibrations even more and somehow make the operation of the saw even smoother.

The saw is so quiet that those around you might not even realize that you are operating it (until the wood begins to chatter).

The King scroll saw is a joy to use. The only thing that any of the testers complained about was the dust collection system.

The holes pierced in the table have a plastic sleeve underneath them, which is connected to a plastic port that is sized for a dust collection nozzle or a shop vacuum.

Unfortunately, the holes in the table get clogged more often than we liked, and the vacuum also sometimes suctioned the board we were cutting to the table.

The sleeve also makes life harder in terms of changing blades and complicates feeding the blade from the top. The nozzle port prevents the saw arm from tilting fully to the right.

In short, if the dust collection system is giving you as much trouble as it gave us, we recommend removing it entirely and using a shop fix that will function better and allow for a smoother, more seamless operation overall.

What We Like

– Compact to fit into smaller workshops, sturdy, powerful, efficient

– Smooth, quiet, practically free from vibrations

– Straightforward to operate—a dream to cut with for beginners, experts, and everyone in between

– Tilt arm that stays aloft when raised; spring-loaded pin sets fixed angles

The Bottom Line

This saw is downright fantastic in basically every way (aside from one flaw, which can be easily remedied). It has quickly become our favorite scroll saw.

We cannot recommend this saw highly enough, especially if you have a workshop with limited space. Try one at the store and see for yourself!

Timeline of the King Industrial Scroll Saw

Peter Kennedy, the vice president of King Industrial, provided a rough timeline of the saw with some explanation of the brand name changes.

This shows clearly that the King Industrial 16 Inch scroll saw is equivalent to the original Excalibur 16-inch scroll saw (EX-16).

  • 1982 – Somerville Design introduces the Excalibur scroll saws manufactured in Toronto, Ontario
  • 2003 – General International acquires the assets of Summerville Design, including the Excalibur brand. G.I. sends the 21″ scroll saw to Taiwan to be manufactured and adds the 30″ version.
  • 2008 or – G.I. adds the 16″ version.
  • 2010 – EX-21 awarded “Editor’s Choice” by scroll saw Woodworking and Crafts magazine.
  • 2012 – the EX-21AE 30th-anniversary edition is introduced. 1000 units available. Color changed from green to black, and dust collection added to the table, stand, and footswitch is included.
  • 2012-13 – G.I. goes back to the models EX-16, EX-21, and Ex-30 retaining the black color and other Anniversary options on all saws. No more General green.
  • 2014 or – G.I. is sold to DMT holdings of Seattle, WA. Including the Excalibur brand but not the manufacturing rights for the scroll saw. The manufacturer in Taiwan holds them.
  • 2015-16 – JPW (Jet)designs their 22″ saw and has it manufactured by the same Taiwan maker as the original Excalibur saws.
  • 2016 or – The original Taiwanese manufacturer seeks new North American distribution for the original design scroll saws.
  • 2016 – King Canada is granted distribution rights to the original 16″, 21″, and 30″ saws for the Canadian market. They are branded Excelsior in Canada and King Industrial in the U.S.
  • 2016 – Due to the Jet 22″ design similarities, the manufacturer restricts King’s U.S. distribution to the 16″ and the 30″ versions.
  • 2016 – Woodcraft commits to national U.S. distribution of the King Industrial 16″ and 30″ scroll saws.
  • 2017 – Seyco introduces their version of the saw manufactured by the same maker as the Excalibur, Excelsior, King Industrial, and the JPW saws.
  • 2017 – The European saws Azxminster, Pegas, etc.,are all made by the same Taiwanese maker. These saws were previously supplied to them by G.I.
  • 2018 or – General International (DMT Holdings) begins to market a Chinese-made version of the 21″ saw under the Excalibur name and model number.

In summary, the only original Excalibur saws are now branded either King Industrial (U.S.) or Excelsior (Canada).

Currently, no original design 21″ is available in the U.S.

The Seyco and the JPW (Jet) saws are designed after the Excalibur saws, with proprietary differences.

So, the King Industrial/Excelsior saws are the original design with a different name, and the saw branded Excalibur is a different saw with the original name.

The many manufacturing nuances and extreme tolerances make these saws virtually impossible to copy and function as originally designed.

Note: When I use the term “original,” I refer to the original manufacturer, original design, components, parts, motors, and specifications.

Scroll Saw VS Band Saw: What’s the Difference?

Corey Majeau is a researcher, product tester, and writer for many sites including Homedit. With ten years of experience as a content writer, graphic designer, and hands-on product tester. Corey brings a certain level of quality and personality to the team.

Christmas will be here before you know it and you want to make delicate tree decorations as gifts. Or maybe you’ve been wanting to build a custom wood bench for your front yard and have decided now is the time. Knowing that you need a scroll saw or a Band saw is easy but knowing which one you need can be a little trickier.

In this article we will compare the two, reviewing their features, specifications, and what each one is intended for. We’ll even add in our recommendation of models to consider. So, keep on reading to discover which saw will be right for the projects you want to create.

What is a Scroll Saw?

Named after its traditional use of making scrollwork, the scroll saw is used for small projects with detailed work and often intricate designs. It delivers the accuracy of a small, handheld blade, with the speed and power of an electric saw. Scroll saws are generally used for wood, but can also cut through plastic, plexiglass, and some very thin metals. In addition to intricate and detailed designs, a scroll saw is also a great tool for making inside cuts in these same materials.

A scroll saw has a relatively small worktable and uses short, thin blades that move in an up and down motion at extremely high speeds. They are powered by electricity and their speed is typically controlled either by a pedal or a variable speed knob. The table can tilt and lock in place allowing you to cut bevels at various angles and a specially designed foot holds your work safely and securely to the saw.

The throat of a skill saw is the distance between its blade and the rear part or neck of the saw. This distance dictates the size of material you can work with and generally ranges from twelve- to thirty inches. While cutting, the blade will reach up to the center of the material and you can then flip the material upside down and work with the blade on the other side. This means that if your scroll saw has a twelve-inch throat, your material can be up to twenty-four inches.

Blades for a scroll saw are easy to change and are available in various widths. They come in two types called plain-end or pin-end. Because of the way the blades work, only cutting on the downward stroke, they cannot cut material thicker than two inches and ideally should not cut material more than one inch thick unless specified to do so. The tension on the blades can be easily adjusted with just the turn of a knob.

What is a Band Saw?

In contrast to scroll saws and other types of saws you might have in your arsenal, Band saws are typically used for bigger woodworking projects and can handle much thicker material. They have more power than a scroll saw and offer more versatility as well.

A Band saw has a worktable similar to the scroll saws, but it is open in the front and back letting you cut long pieces with no obstruction.

As its name suggests, the blades of a Band saw are long, continuous, metal bands that stretch between two and sometimes four wheels. Most models are two-wheeled with one wheel above the cutting table and one below. The blade cuts in a continual downward motion as it loops repeatedly around the wheels. There are numerous blade options including smaller blades for more detailed work and bigger, stronger blades for thicker projects. And although Band saws are generally used for woodworking, with the right blade, they can even cut through metal.

Scroll Saws Versus Band Saws

Blade Speed

A scroll saw’s blade speed is measured in strokes per minute and ranges from 400 to 1800 SPM. The speed is controlled by a foot pedal or a variable-speed knob. The saw’s ability to make tight turns and intricate designs are based on the TPI or teeth per inch of the blades themselves. The higher the TPI, the faster and tighter the blade can turn.

A Band saw’s speed is measured in feet per minute and is typically around 3000 FPM. Some models offer the ability to run at a secondary, lower speed that is usually between 1000 to 1500 FPM. The slower speed is better suited for cutting non-ferrous metals and other denser materials.

Blade Length

Scroll saw blades come in five and six-inch lengths and either plain-end or pin-end styles.

The Band saw blades come in various lengths ranging from fifty-two to 261-inches and the length listed in the owner’s manual is typically an average between the shortest and longest blades the machine can handle. Most models can accommodate a range of blade lengths.

Blade Size/Width

Scroll saw blades are generally sized from #2 to #12 and are based on TPI. Higher numbered blades have fewer TPI and are better for a thicker and harder material. They are not able to cut tight, intricate corners. Lower numbered blades have a higher TPI and are the ones you want when increased precision is needed.

Band saw blades range in widths from 1/8 of an inch to one inch and can cut radiuses from 3/16 of an inch to 7-inches depending on size. Wider blades can withstand cutting strain but are not good for tighter diameters. Narrower blades are better suited for lighter more delicate work.


Scroll saws generally range from five to sixty pounds making them relatively portable.

Band saws on the other hand can be upwards of 250 pounds and are better for stationary placement.

When to Use Each

Scroll saws are ideal tools for small projects with thin material. Some examples include intricate wood ornaments, DIY jigsaw puzzles, or cutting letters and numbers from wood or plastic.

Band saws can handle larger projects and thicker materials. They are great for projects including tabletops, hanging shelves, and wooden patio furniture.

The WEN 3959T 2.5-Amp, 9-inch Benchtop Band Saw

The WEN 3959T Band Saw uses 59 ½-inch blades ranging in widths from 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch, allowing this machine to make intricate or heavier-duty cuts. The saw has a 2.5-amp electric motor that rotates the blade at up to 2500 FPM and the ball-bearing design makes for the smooth operation of the blade.

This model can cut up to 3 ½-inches deep and up to nine inches wide. The spacious worktable can be angled up to 45°, allowing you to cut precise bevels safely and accurately.

The kit includes a miter gauge, a 2 ½-inch integrated dust port, a rip fence for aligning straight cuts, an adjustable blade guard, a ¼-inch blade, and a two-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Able to accommodate intricate turns.
  • Able to cut material up to 3 ½-inches thick.
  • Access to skilled service technicians.

WEN 3921 – 120 Volt, 16-Inch, Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw

The WEN 3921 Scroll Saw accommodates both pinned and pin-less blades and its unique design lets you set the blade in one of two directions – standard or at 90°. With just the turn of the blade, you are no longer restricted to the saw’s sixteen-inch throat and can accommodate pieces at any width. And with the removable pin-less blade holder you can be sure the blade will stay securely in place while working. When it’s time for a blade change, the thumbscrew adapter makes the tool-free process simple and quick.

When the pin is in the standard position, this model’s 9/16-inch stroke can cut wood up to two inches thick with a throat depth of sixteen inches. And with a simple turn of a knob, the stroke speed can be adjusted from 550 to 1600 strokes per minute (SPM).

The worktable has a sixteen-inch cutting depth and can be angled up to 45° for crisp, accurate bevels. The hold-down foot ensures your project is always securely in place and the integrated worm work light gives you the flexibility to illuminate your work area from any angle or position.

craftsman, 16-inch, variable, speed, scroll, review

An adjustable air pump continually clears debris as you cut, and the 1 ½-inch dust port keeps your work surface clean. A cast iron base holds the saw firmly in place and built-in storage keeps everything in one convenient place.

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Two-direction cutting.
  • Able to cut material up to two inches thick.
  • Flexible work light.
  • Access to skilled service technicians.


Scroll saws and Band saws may look similar but they have quite different functions making it important to understand their features and what each does before purchasing one for your project. Remember, a scroll saw is what you’ll need when you want to create smaller, more delicate items. For bigger items with a thicker and harder material, a Band saw’s power and speed will deliver the cuts you’re after.

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know if this article was helpful and if you have any questions related to the items we’ve discussed.

Corey Majeau is a researcher, product tester, and writer for many sites including Homedit. With ten years of experience as a content writer, graphic designer, and hands-on product tester. Corey brings a certain level of quality and personality to the team.

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