Carpentry Tools

5 Best Scroll Saw for Beginners 2024

Carpentry enthusiasts and novice woodworkers alike understand the significance of choosing the right tools to kickstart their handiwork journey. One essential tool that often serves as the cornerstone of fine, intricate woodworking projects is the scroll saw.

In this guide, we dive into the details of what makes the best scroll saw for beginners, helping you to make an informed decision on which model to select for your needs.

As a beginner in the world of carpentry, the right scroll saw can work wonders in transforming your wood pieces into art. Below, I’ve curated a list of the best scroll saws tailored for beginners, highlighting their pros and cons to steer you toward the ideal choice.

6 Best Scroll Saw for Beginners

FeatureWen 1.2 Amp Corded 16-inch Scroll SawDeWalt DW788 Scroll SawPorter Cable Scroll SawShop Fox W1872 Scroll SawRyobi 1.2 Amp Corded 16-inch Scroll Saw
BrandWenDeWaltPorter CableShop FoxRyobi
Motor1.2 Amp1.3 Amp2.3 Amp2.0 Amp1.2 Amp
Stroke9/16 inch1 inch1/2 inch1 inch9/16 inch
Stroke Rate550-1600 SPM400-1600 SPM400-1450 SPM150-1650 SPM550-1600 SPM
Throat Capacity16 inch18 inch12 inch18 inch16 inch
Table Tilt45 degrees45 degrees45 degrees45 degrees45 degrees
Blade ChangeSide panel flips openQuick-change leverTool-less blade changeTool-less blade changeSide panel flips open
Dust CollectionDust portDust portDust portDust portDust port
Work LightYesYesNoYesYes
Best UseIntricate cuts, small projectsIntricate cuts, large projectsIntricate cuts, small projectsIntricate cuts, large projectsIntricate cuts, small projects

1. WEN 3921 1.2-Amp 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw

WEN 3921 1.2 Amp 16 Inch Two Direction Variable

Description: The WEN 3921 scroll saw is equipped with a unique two-directional cut capability and variable speed ranging from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute. It boasts a 16-inch throat depth and a spacious 11×16-inch table.

Best Use: Ideal for intricate and precision cutting of wood, plastic, and soft metals.


  • Two-directional cutting capability
  • Variable speed control
  • Tool-free blade changes
  • Onboard blade storage


  • Some users may find it less durable than higher-end models

Price Range: $110 – $140

2. DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw

DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20 Inch

Description: DeWalt’s DW788 scroll saw features a double parallel-link arm design, minimizing vibration and noise while providing extremely accurate cuts. It offers a 20-inch throat depth and variable speed control from 400 to 1750 strokes per minute.

Best Use: Great for professional woodworkers and serious hobbyists seeking precision and smooth operation.


  • Very low vibration and reduced noise
  • Tool-free blade clamps for easy changes
  • Large cast-iron table for excellent material support
  • Variable speed for versatility


  • Higher price point than entry-level models

Price Range: $399 – $450

3. Porter-Cable PCB375SS 1.6-Amp 18-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw

Porter-Cable PCB375SS 1.6-Amp 18-Inch

Description: Porter-Cable’s PCB375SS offers a variable-speed scroll saw with a 1.6-amp motor, an 18-inch throat depth, and an aluminum dual-tilt table.

Best Use: Suitable for DIY enthusiasts and intermediate woodworkers looking for a tool for intricate cutting.


  • LED work lamp and dust blower for increased visibility
  • Easy blade change process
  • Variable speed control
  • Large tilting aluminum table for angled cuts


  • May lack cutting power for thicker or harder materials

Price Range: $180 – $250

4. Shop Fox W1872 16″

Shop Fox W1872 16

Description: The Shop Fox W1872 model comes with variable speed control, a gooseneck work light, and a dust blower. Notably, it includes a foot switch for hands-free operation, making it convenient for intricate work.

Best Use: Suited for woodworkers who appreciate hands-free control and extra lighting during detailed work.


  • Foot switch for easier operation
  • Variable speed control
  • Gooseneck work light for better workpiece visibility


  • Footswitch may not be ideal for all work setups

Price Range: $190 – $230

5. RYOBI SC165VS 1.2 Amp Corded 16-inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw

RYOBI SC165VS 1.2 Amp Corded 16-inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw

Description: Ryobi’s SC165VS scroll saw offers a 16-inch throat depth with variable speed control and an integrated blower to keep the line of cut clear.

Best Use: Good for hobbyists and light-duty professional work where cost and simple functionality are priorities.


  • Tool-less blade change system
  • Integrated dust blower for visibility
  • Variable speed for a range of applications


  • Some users may find it less sturdy compared to more expensive models

Price Range: $210 – $250

Choosing the Right Scroll Saw: Considerations Beyond the Brand

Now that we’ve examined several top picks among scroll saws for beginners, let’s delve into the attributes you’ll want to ponder before making your purchase. Understanding these features will enhance your carpentry fundamentals and enable you to undertake projects with confidence.

1. Throat Size

The throat size dictates how large a piece of wood you can work with. Beginners should look for a saw with enough space to allow easy maneuvering of medium-sized projects.

2. Blade Types

Scroll saws can use either pinned or pinless blades. Pinned blades are easier to change and are suitable for thicker wood, while pinless blades offer finer cuts and greater detail.

3. Variable Speed

Having control over the blade’s speed can help beginners work on a variety of materials without feeling overwhelmed.

4. Vibration

Low vibration is crucial for precise cuts, particularly when working on intricate details. A sturdy table and solid construction are key to minimizing vibration.

5. Tilt Mechanism

A table that tilts can be very useful for making bevel cuts, adding another dimension to your woodworking projects.

6. Additional Features

Consider saws with built-in lights, dust blowers, and easy blade-change mechanisms for an improved cutting experience.


By contemplating these factors, you’ll be equipped to select the scroll saw that best complements your newfound carpentry passion. Dive into our guide on measuring and marking, as precision in these areas will greatly influence your success with your chosen scroll saw.

In summary, the best scroll saw for a beginner marries functionality with user-friendly features. As you acquaint yourself with the intricacies of each model, take the time to also familiarize yourself with the foundational carpentry terms and techniques to further boost your carpentry prowess. The right scroll saw will not only be a stepping stone into the world of woodworking but also serve as a loyal ally, transforming each piece of wood into a masterpiece.

In continuation, we’ll explore innovative projects to tackle with your scroll saw, and how understanding different wood types can influence the outcome of your craftsmanship. Stay tuned as we carve out more tips and tricks to refine your woodwork and turn your passion for carpentry into art.

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I'm Joseph Winters, a carpenter, and handyman by trade and a passionate blogger by hobby. I have been in the construction industry for over 10 years, and I've gained an immense amount of knowledge and experience. I'm passionate about sharing my experience and expertise with others, which is why I started Carpentrify.com.


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