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How to Use a Scroll Saw? – Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Do you know how to use a scroll saw for intricate cutting? It is ideal for slicing through a wood to make intricate curves and corners. It has many applications, such as inlay work, dovetail joints, and many more. A DIYer could also enjoy their own brand-new projects using this valuable bit.

With this guide, you will learn the parts of a scroll saw and how to use it:

The Scroll Saw Anatomy

Before we dive into talking about how to use a scroll saw for beginners, we shall learn about its overall structure.

i): Table Tile Adjustment

If you are new to bevel cutting, we recommend that your first step involves setting the approximate saw table angle using a scale located underneath. Once this is done, practice cuts on scrap material as it helps with adjusting for accuracy.

Table Tile Adjustment scroll saw
Image Source: homedepot.com

ii): Blade Tension Knob

You can check your blade’s tension by plucking it like guitar strings. It is a great way to get more acquainted with how the cutting feels when using this tool. However, it can take quite some time in order to master it, but it is well worth knowing if one has never done so before.

iii): Workpiece Drop Foot

The drop foot is an excellent safety device designed to protect the user from accidental contact with the blade. So, its tall and front part ensures safety while not tampering with the cutting.

iv): Workpiece Foot Lock

You need to adjust the drop foot so that it balances on the top of your workpiece. However, you want to make sure there is no drag, which would cause lifting and possibly injury. Furthermore, always retighten up screws before you go back at them after making these adjustments.

v): Speed Adjustment Knob

Additionally, it is vital to learn that rotating the adjustment knob controls the saw’s stroke per minute. However, this will vary depending on what material you are cutting and how many teeth are on your blade.

Learn More: Which One Do You Need: Scroll Saw & Jigsaw?

Scroll Sawing for Beginners

When working with a scroll saw, it is essential to keep the pattern lines on your tool in mind. To make straight cuts without binding or twisting any blades, you will need to push and turn at the same time while moving forward until the finished position.

i): Interior Scroll Cutting

Interior Scroll Cutting

One of the best features of this saw is that it can cut curves on an interior surface without cutting into the edge.

To cut patterns in a workpiece, you will need to remove your blade. Simply do as follows and watch the pattern fall out of place before your eyes:

🔹 Firstly, drill a 1/4-inch hole in the material.

🔹 Secondly, place it on the table with the drilled hole over the access hole.

🔹 It is time to install the blade through the hole.

🔹 Now you need to adjust the blade tension and drop foot for precision and safety.

🔹 Remove the blade from the holder once you are done cutting.

Here’s a basic demonstration of interior scroll cutting for making & symbol out of wood.

ii): Stacked Cutting

Stacked Cutting

After mastering the basics of scroll sawing, you can try stack cutting when your project requires multiple identical shapes.

To create the perfect tables, you need to find just the right pieces of wood. The best way is by stacking them and securing them with double-sided tape or masking tape around the edges before cutting them into one big piece. It is vital to attach the stacked piece together to operate them as one. Here’s an easy DIY project.

The Blades

The Blades

Learning to use the scroll saw is a challenging and time-consuming process, but if you follow these steps carefully, it will be worth your while. Moreover, make sure that all of your tools are sharpened properly before starting any project so they can cut through material with ease:

🔶 If you are trying to cut thin material with a very sharp blade, it is best not to use too wide of an extent. The blades should be about 1/4-inch thick or less for scrolling cuts.

🔶 Thankfully, the information about what type and size of blades you need are usually included in your purchase.

🔶 The package must also indicate the radius or size of the curve, giving you more peace of mind when purchasing.

🔶 Scroll saws are great tools for cutting curves, but they can’t work on blades with wider teeth.

How to Remove a Scroll Saw Blade?

If you need to remove your scroll saw blade, read on to learn how to do it properly:

🔹 Before you remove the blade, your saw must be unplugged from the power source and turned off.

🔹 Tilt the tensioner to release blade tension.

🔹 In order to remove the throat plate, you will have to push up from under.

🔹 Now, loosen the blade clamps to release the tension on your blades.

🔹 To disengage the blade, pull up on a saw’s blade and push down into an arm. Similarly, now drive it downward to unfasten the lower pin.

🔹 In the end, remove the blade safely.

For installing a new blade, simply reverse the steps.

First, however, make sure it is positioned with teeth facing up and pointing towards you. Secure both clamps tightly so that your saw is safe from accidents.

Read More About Scroll Saws: Scroll Saws Reviews and Tips|Friday Rack

The Scroll Saw Safety

The scroll saw is among the safest power tools if used properly. It is vital to wear eye protection and a dust mask while operating. Also, keep loose clothing away from blades of any kind.

In general, stay alert at all times when using this type of machine. Moreover, know that there are various safety features built into them that can detect malfunctions in advance.


Q1: How long until I can start making intricate designs and shapes?

Ans: You can make slow progress or breakthrough barriers quickly with the right approach. Take your time, stay patient and focus on what you need to do now for success as there is no definite period.

Q2: How to use a Craftsman 16 inch scroll saw?

🔶 For this specific model, set up your craftsman scroll saw.

🔶 Draw your design or pattern on the material.

🔶 Wear safety equipment.

🔶 Use the Craftsman blade tension setting and adjust it accordingly.

🔶 Test it before starting it.

🔶 Start slow and guide the design through the blade.

Q3: What scroll saw should I be looking at if I am starting out?

Ans: We recommend looking into scroll saws from WEN and DeWalt for the price-conscious woodworker. The W3291 is an affordable yet effective model for beginners who want to learn how this tool works.

Ans: The blade type you choose will depend on what kind of cutting looks best to piece your project. The two most popular types are pins, and without them, they are worth considering.

The Final Say

You are now equipped with the knowledge necessary to start cutting and designing your intricate woodwork. It is overwhelming when looking at all available blade types. However, by following this guide, it becomes hassle-free for your cutting needs.

It is not easy to get the hang of scroll sawing, but do not worry because with practice comes perfection. You might be comparing designs and not getting exactly what you want at first, which is normal. The more time spent on this machine will give you greater control over it.

Now you know how to use a scroll saw, so best of luck and thanks for reading!

About the author

Jessica Anderson

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