best scroll saw uk

5 Best Scroll Saws UK (2020 Reviews & Guide)

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Intricate carving is a highly specialised skill that takes years of practice. It also helps greatly if you have the right hardware for creating bespoke curves in timber, metal and other cuttable materials.

An electric scroll saw can deliver more precise results than a jigsaw, without the bicep-busting strain of using a coping saw or fretsaw. 

Costing between £95 and £145, a scroll saw is an essential addition to any craftsman or carpenter’s toolbox. Below, we review some of the best scroll saws in the UK. We’ve also prepared a buyer’s guide on the key scroll saw features, and how to use them effectively.

In a Hurry? Here’s our Top Pick:

Charnwood SS16F 16 Scroll Saw with Foot Pedal Switch
6 Reviews
Charnwood SS16F 16 Scroll Saw with Foot Pedal Switch
  • Blade Length 127mm (5"), Throat Depth 405mm (16")
  • Max. Depth of Cut @ 90 50mm, Max. Depth of cut @ 45 20mm
  • Variable Speed 550-1650 spm, Table Size 414mm x 254mm, Table Tilt 90-45 degrees
  • Flexible Rotary Shaft; Length 1000mm, Speed 3300-10,000 rpm
  • Dust Extraction Outlet 31mm ID / 35mm OD, Bench Top to Work Table Height 175mm

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


What is a Scroll Saw?

A scroll saw consists of a powerful motor with a horseshoe-shaped arm directly above it. A blade descends vertically from this arm through a thin groove carved out of a cutting plate (known as a table). 

The table is low friction, so pieces of material can be accurately and easily rotated as they’re pushed through the blade, which is secured in place above and below the table. This is one of the key distinguishing features of scroll saws. Instead of moving the device (as you would with a jigsaw), the object you’re cutting is moved instead.

Scroll saws often weigh over 10kg, and they’re purposely designed not to move around as they’re slicing and dicing. The reciprocating blade moves up and down at up to 4800 RPM, quickly and accurately bisecting wood and metal. 

Cutting a central hole in a solid piece of material can be accomplished by making a small circular hole with a standard drill bit. You can then insert the scroll saw blade inside the hole, and begin creating your insert shape. Other scroll saw user tips can be found in this helpful YouTube guide.

These are some of the features you’ll find on the best scroll saws in the UK…

Added extras

Scroll saws are specialist tools used for precise cutting, so it’s vital to ensure the material being cut is fully visible. Many scroll saws include air blowers or dust extraction systems which disperse freshly-cut particles, allowing you to follow lines marked on the material’s surface. Some saws also offer LED lighting, for the same reason. 

Safety guards help to keep fingers and thumbs safe, usually comprising a Perspex housing on all sides of the blade.

Blade runners

You can tension the blade using a manual dial, which also allows you to replace and insert new blades. Never over-tighten a blade, as it needs a degree of elasticity to do its best work. Position the blade away from the machine’s arm, facing towards the operator. 

Ensure the shape you’re cutting is clearly marked on the material you’re cutting. Don’t try to make a lengthy cut in a single fluid motion unless you can keep your hands clear at all times.

Safety first

Like any power tool, it’s critically important to approach a scroll saw with respect. The blade won’t move, but the machine could – some users report issues with devices creeping across worktops. 

Because you have to push the material into the saw, always position your fingers at least two inches from the blade. Also, ensure the material doesn’t contain nails or other objects that might damage the blade or spoil the cut. 

This guide to scroll saw safety covers key tips like wearing safety glasses and tightening the belt guard.

Scroll down for more

Basic scroll saws have fixed tables, either rectangular or circular and supporting a cutting depth of up to 50mm. More sophisticated models allow the table to tilt at up to 45 degrees, for bevel cuts and fine detailing. 

The table angle adjustment may be ratcheted or infinitely adjustable, and it doesn’t require removing or reinstalling the blade. However, this is a fairly advanced form of scroll saw cutting, and it requires practice to achieve effective three-dimensional results.

Pedal to the metal?

Some scroll saws have a foot pedal switch, akin to the ones found on sewing machines. This allows you to kill the power while using two hands to hold the material in place, simplifying intricate cuts. Many of the best scroll saws in the UK offer this, and two of our shortlisted machines have foot pedals. Bear in mind that foot pedals create additional clutter when the device isn’t in use. 

A basic scroll saw will already weigh 12kg and measure around 700x350x350mm. This isn’t something you can store in a toolbox, especially if it’s battery-powered rather than mains powered.


The Best Scroll Saws UK Shortlist

These five products are on our shortlist for the title of the best scroll saw in the UK. Every product should be suitable for fine trimming and detailing, and their costs range from less than £100 to just under £150. 

Remember, you can’t buy optional extras or upgrade a scroll saw, so ensure any purchase meets your needs at the outset:

1. Record Power SS16V Scroll Saw 16-inch

Record Power SS16V Scroll Saw 16-inch
168 Reviews
Record Power SS16V Scroll Saw 16-inch
  • Variable speed
  • Flexible work light
  • Table tilts from 0 to 45 degree, allowing bevel cuts
  • Quick and easy change blade
  • Dust extraction outlet

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Record Power has been producing DIY tools in Sheffield for over a century. Their latest 16-inch scroll saw weighs in at almost 12.5kg, making it unlikely to move about while making precise cuts. This stability is further boosted with a safety hold-down clamp, pinning the saw in place. 

A 75-watt motor powers the blades, which cut to a depth of 50mm and can be changed quickly. The speed can also be adjusted, depending on whether you’re cutting plastic and non-ferrous metals or timber.

The SS16V is well-equipped, with a number of notable features that simplify DIY jobs. These include a dust blower and an adjustable LED spotlight, though some users report the light returning to its original position rather than staying in place. It also features a table that tilts up to 45 degrees. That makes this scroll saw suitable for bevel cuts and even carving semi-circular objects like bowls.

The price of the SS16V may be a concern, as it’s more expensive than three of the other products on our list. However, the presence of a tilting table and dust extraction make it a strong contender.

Pros:  Well-constructed, has a light and a dust blower, tilting table

Cons: Relatively expensive, not the most powerful scroll saw, no foot pedal

2. Dremel Moto-Saw MS20 2-in-1 Electric Compact Scroll Saw

Dremel Moto-Saw MS20 2-in-1 Electric Compact Scroll Saw Set 70 W, 1 Attachment, 5 Accessories, Use as Table Saw, Bench Saw, Power Saw, Fret Saw
258 Reviews
Dremel Moto-Saw MS20 2-in-1 Electric Compact Scroll Saw Set 70 W, 1 Attachment, 5 Accessories, Use as Table Saw, Bench Saw, Power Saw, Fret Saw
  • Easy-to-use table saw
  • Dual functioning scroll saw and fret saw
  • Precise straight and curved cuts
  • Bench saw with reduced vibration with low sound power: 88.3 dB
  • Match speed to project at hand with this electric power saw

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

On paper, the Dremel is a strange addition to our list. This portable and compact device is considerably cheaper than the other scroll saws on review. It’s also intended for use as a fret saw as much as a scroll saw. 

The blade arm resembles a record player rather than a heavy-duty piece of carving equipment, and the entire device weighs just 4.1kg. There’s no light or dust extraction system, either.

Perhaps the biggest black mark against the MS20 is the fact its cutting depth is only 18mm. That’s fine for wall decorations and cutting soft sheet metal, but it’s less than half the depth offered by our other contenders. 

Yet if you can forgive its lightweight construction and limited cutting depth, the Dremel has a number of compelling advantages. First and foremost, it offers a foot pedal, enabling you to minutely adjust the position of objects being cut with both hands. Indeed, it can be used in-hand rather than being bolted in place – hugely increasing its flexibility.

Other advantages include cost and simplicity. The fixed blade position ensures very neat cuts, though at the cost of not being able to set the blade sideways. Finally, that lightweight construction means the MS20 comes with its own carry case. This is the only scroll saw on our list which is easily transportable, for on-site cutting and trimming.

Pros: Lightweight and portable, affordable, has a foot pedal

Cons: Only cuts to 18mm, no dust extraction system, more suited to light crafts than heavy work

3. VonHaus Scroll Saw 405mm

VonHaus Scroll Saw 405mm with Variable Speed and LED Light - Suitable for Pinned and Pinless Blades - Adjustable Worktable
17 Reviews
VonHaus Scroll Saw 405mm with Variable Speed and LED Light - Suitable for Pinned and Pinless Blades - Adjustable Worktable
  • VARIABLE SPEED - 550-1600 cutting speed and 1650-4800 RPM for better control and sawing versatility. Max. Cutting width 405mm and 50mm Depth.
  • FLEXIBLE LED WORK LIGHT - 12V LED bulb for greater cutting visibility
  • SUITABLE FOR PINNED AND PINLESS BLADES - Includes 2 x 5" pinned blade (15 TPI) and 1 x 5" pinless blade (18 TPI) & adaptor.
  • CAST ALUMINIUM ADJUSTABLE WORKTABLE 414X254mm - Cast aluminium table with cast iron base for accurate cutting and quick-change tilt system to adjust angle from 0-45° for bevel cuts
  • Manufacturer 2 Year Warranty Included

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Finished in a vivid shade of sunburst orange, VonHaus’s contribution to our shortlist is a reassuringly solid piece of equipment. It’s distinguished by the large 12V LED light arcing above it, while an inbuilt dust extraction system can be connected to a wet or dry vacuum. 

Other notable features include the clear plastic guard around the blade arm, which takes pinned and pinless blades.

The VonHaus offers variable speeds, with an RPM range from 1650 to 4800 and a cutting speed of between 550 and 1600. Its cast aluminium worktable is adjustable to 45 degrees for bevel cuts and supports a maximum cutting width of 405mm. 

Unlike the Dremel, it can also slice through materials up to 50mm thick, making it a truly multipurpose scroll saw. The cast iron base can be pinned to a bench or table, helping to eliminate movement from the device itself.

The main drawback to the VonHaus is the lack of a foot pedal. Although the power button is at the front next to the worktable, activating it involves removing one hand from whatever is being cut. This can affect the neatness of finishes, especially when pausing to adjust a material before resuming work.

Pros: Reassuringly solid, versatile dust extraction system, works with pinned and pinless blades

Cons: No foot pedal, lacks portability, off-switch tricky to reach mid-cut

4. Charnwood SS16F 16″ Scroll Saw

Charnwood SS16F 16 Scroll Saw with Foot Pedal Switch
6 Reviews
Charnwood SS16F 16 Scroll Saw with Foot Pedal Switch
  • Blade Length 127mm (5"), Throat Depth 405mm (16")
  • Max. Depth of Cut @ 90 50mm, Max. Depth of cut @ 45 20mm
  • Variable Speed 550-1650 spm, Table Size 414mm x 254mm, Table Tilt 90-45 degrees
  • Flexible Rotary Shaft; Length 1000mm, Speed 3300-10,000 rpm
  • Dust Extraction Outlet 31mm ID / 35mm OD, Bench Top to Work Table Height 175mm

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Resembling something you’d see in an opticians as much as a tool shed, Charnwood’s SS16F is a battery-powered device with a comprehensive specification. It offers a foot pedal for its variable speed DC motor, ensuring that users can stop and start cutting without moving their hands from the material. There’s also a transparent guard to keep the operator away from the blade, and an air blower which keeps dust off pencil lines.

The SS16F’s specifications don’t stop there, either. An LED work light stands to the side of the transparent guard, illuminating the blade. This can be either pinned or plain end, depending on the operator’s preference. 

The cast iron base can itself be pinned into place with three separate mounting points, for people wanting to use a workbench. The table rotates to 45 degrees, with two slots to mount a sliding mitre fence for straight cuts instead of freehand. This ensures the SS16F is suitable for full cuts rather than just intricate carvings.

The Charnwood is the most expensive scroll saw on our list. Yet given its wealth of talents and comprehensive specifications, it’s worth paying a little extra for.

Pros: Comprehensively equipped, good at straight cuts, has a foot pedal

Cons: More expensive than other products, side-mounted light casts shadows, battery-powered

5. Lumberjack SS405 Bench Top Scroll Saw

Lumberjack SS405 Bench Top Scroll Saw
29 Reviews
Lumberjack SS405 Bench Top Scroll Saw
  • Motor- 90w-230w
  • Variable Blade Speed- 550rpm-1650rpm
  • Working Depth- 405mm
  • Table Tilt- 0-45 degrees
  • Weight- 12kg

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

With its scarlet motor housing and silver finish, Lumberjack’s SS405 is a solid if rather dated-looking piece of equipment. 

A cast iron base ensures it weighs in at 12kg, which is comparable with other scroll saws in our list. This corded device has industrial-style buttons and levers for adjusting the power and altering the angle of the table. This can tilt to 45 degrees, for making fine cuts on three-dimensional objects. Like every scroll saw reviewed here apart from the Dremel, it has a cutting depth of 50mm.

Although it lacks a foot pedal, the SS405 is otherwise well-equipped. There’s a powerful and adjustable work light, shining above the blade rather than beside it, helping to eliminate shadow. 

A dust extraction port lets operators vacuum away cuttings in real-time, keeping cut lines clear in tandem with an air blower. The arm can support pinned or pinless blades, with variable speeds between 550 and 1650rpm.

User reviews describe the SS405 as quiet, though the base plate has some play in it. A firm hand is required to secure the saw in place and prevent it while rattling in operation. Otherwise, if it had been fitted with a foot pedal, this would represent a compelling choice.

Pros: Well equipped, easy to use, versatile

Cons: No foot pedal, needs careful positioning on a workbench, dated design


Final Thoughts

Ultimately, choosing the right scroll saw for your specific requirements is a matter of personal choice. If cost is the driving factor, you may have to live without niceties like dust extraction vacuums and lights. If a foot pedal is crucial, you may have to sacrifice other features or pay a little extra.

Any of the saws in our comparison guide will enable you to perform accurate and stylish cuts on wooden or soft metal materials. The Dremel is uniquely portable and can be used as a fret saw or bench saw. It’s also cheap, coming in at less than £100, though it lacks the features found on more expensive models and can only cut to a depth of 18mm. However, the supplied carry case and 4kg weight make this a handy tool for people who work on-site.

If your budget will stretch, the Charnwood offers all the features you could want, including a foot pedal. Not only does foot operation increase safety by allowing you to keep both hands on the material you’re cutting, it also improves precision. At any time, you can kill the power without the saw blade juddering as one hand attempts to hold the material in place. Our only note of caution concerns the use of battery power rather than mains power, making it unique in this selection of products. However, with a vacuum and lighting functionality alongside a tilting table, it’s the best product we’ve tested.

Scroll Saw Comparison Table

ModelPedalVacuumTiltsLightCut DepthRating
Record Power SS16VNoYesYesYes50mm8
Dremel MS20YesNoNoNo18mm6
VonHaus 405mmNoYesYesYes50mm8
Charnwood 16″YesYesYesYes50mm9
Lumberjack SS405NoYesYesYes50mm8

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