Best Scroll Saw Blades: Take Your Woodworking to a Higher Level
Improve your woodworking skills with these top-quality scroll saw blades.
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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON July 21, 2021
Whether you’re an experienced woodworker or new to the craft, at some point you’re going to need a scroll saw. The perfect tool for creating intricate curves, precise edges, and detailed scrollwork and sculptural designs, a scroll saw uses a fine blade that cuts delicately to provide you with a fine, clean finished product. However, in order to achieve the perfect curves and intricate details, your scroll saw needs to operate with the right blade.
There are many different scroll saw blades you can choose from, in different gauges and different width and tooth varieties. So, if you need a new blade for your wood — or even metal — carving and cutting projects, you’ll want to make sure to consider the following top scroll saw blade options.
This package of 5-inch Olson pin end blades comes with 12 standard tooth blades (two different sizes) and six skip tooth blades, all designed for making woodcuts.
- Fits in a wide variety of scroll saws
- Can cut a wide variety of materials
- Great all-around combination kit
- Users have reported occasional pin breakage, although some of these attribute this issue to user error
This package of 5-inch Bosch pin end blades comes with 12 standard tooth blades with 20 TPI.
- Can cut softwoods, hardwoods, plastics, and non-ferrous metals
- Fit a wide variety of scroll saws
- Good general-purpose blades
- These blades are designed for general-purpose work, but they are not well-suited for fine, intricate work
This package of 5-inch Flying Dutchman pinless blades comes with 60 new pattern spiral blades. These blades are made in Germany.
- Can cut softwoods, plastics, and other low-density materials
- Can cut in any direction
- Made with hardened steel
- These blades are expensive
- Pinless design will not work with scroll saws that require pin end blades
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Benefits of Scroll Saw Blades
- Accuracy and precision. Scroll saw blades are more precise than other types of blades. Whether you’re working on small pieces or need a careful touch to make your material look flawless, a scroll saw blade can deliver. You can be more fine-tuned and accurate when working with one of these blades, meaning you’ll get precise results on your finished project.
- More intricate, artistic cuts. Unlike other types of saws, a scroll saw and its blade is designed for intricate and artistic work. These blades can cut curves, whorls, designs — and you can do just about anything with them. Intricate contours are a standout benefit of a scroll saw blade, giving you the opportunity to create different shapes and objects beyond what your average saw could ever be used for. This gives you increased artistic freedom and better flexibility if you’re hoping to make more design-forward cuts.
- Better finish. Along with their more precise and intricate cutting capability, scroll saw blades deliver a better finished result as they cut. You don’t have to sand down rough or uneven edges as much as you would with other saw styles. The result is a gentler cut that allows you to actually skip some of the finishing work you’d need to perform with other tools. With a scroll saw blade, you’ll get better smoothness and a more truly-finished finish.
- Master new carpentry skills. If you’re hoping to become even more skilled at wielding a saw and performing carpentry work, a scroll saw blade is exactly what you need. This blade can help you improve and refine your skills, as it’s just the right choice for more specialized and detailed cuts. From sloping, elegant curves to sturdy and secure dovetail joints, a scroll saw blade can take your woodworking to the next level (with some practice, of course!).
Types of Scroll Saw Blades
As might be expected, standard tooth scroll saw blades are the most common blade type. These blades are general purpose blades with teeth that have a uniform size and shape and are placed evenly one right after another. The teeth are designed to maximize cutting efficiency while simultaneously clearing away sawdust and debris. This style is available in either a low-TPI wood blade design or a high-TPI metal blade design. Although a bit noisy, these blades are good for beginners due to their simple, forgiving design.
Skip tooth blades are another beginner-friendly design, beating out standard tooth designs in this regard. Like the standard blade, the skip tooth design uses teeth with an identical size and shape, but unlike standard tooth designs, these blades “skip” every other tooth, giving them half the teeth of a standard tooth blade. The lower number of teeth creates a “gullet” between teeth that increases airflow, sawdust removal, and visibility and decreases scorching projects during cuts. On the downside, these blades lack precision compared to other scroll saw blade types.
Double tooth scroll saw blades are very similar to skip tooth saws. Instead of skipping one tooth, these blades feature a gullet large enough to accommodate two teeth. Contrary to what one might think, these blades are not good for beginners as they can be more difficult to handle than most blades due to the uneven tooth spacing. They can easily wander offline with improper application of speed and pressure whether too much or too little. Easily their biggest advantage, these blades create extremely smooth cut surfaces that often need little more than some sandpaper touch up.
Reverse Skip Tooth
Reverse skip tooth blades are “half and half” blades that have a skip tooth pattern on their top half and a reverse skip tooth pattern on their bottom half. These blades reduce splitting and cracking, creating smooth surfaces on both the top and bottom of a project. These blades do tend to wear out quickly and do not clear sawdust as well as other blades. When installing on an at-rest scroll saw, make sure only two or three of the reverse teeth are visible. Trim the blade if necessary. These blades are perfect for cutting plywood, MDF, and similar materials.
Precision ground tooth (PGT) blades are top-quality blades not to be confused with “precision sharpened” blades. These blades use a skip tooth blade pattern, but each tooth is ground rather than milled, providing PGT blades with amazing performance and long-term edge retention. These blades tend to have a thinner front-to-rear profile than standard blades, allowing them to achieve incredibly precise and intricate cuts. They are incredibly sharp and will cut quickly and well. As such, they require a good bit of practice to master and are a poor choice for beginners.
Conventional saw blades only cut in a single direction, but as the name implies, spiral blades are definitely unconventional. This design consists of a tightly twisted blade with teeth positioned to face 360 degrees around the axis and oriented to cut on both up and down strokes. These specialty blades have limited applications, but they can make cuts in materials fed from any direction, making rounded cuts a breeze. Unfortunately, this also means that accidentally cutting oneself is a much higher danger. These blades make rough cuts, and they tend to stretch out and lose their shape over time.
Crown tooth blades are a relatively new design with some unique advantages. This design uses paired teeth with a small gullet between each “crown”. Each crown consists of two roughly triangular teeth, each mirroring the other to form a crown shape. Unlike other blades, crown tooth blades have neither an up nor a down position, making them easy to install. This also means that as the blade dulls, it can be flipped “upside-down” for a “new” blade. This design is also very controllable. While not great at removing sawdust, these blades shine brightest when cutting plastic, plexiglass, and polywoods.
With over a century’s worth of manufacturing experience, Bosch first entered the American power tool market in January 2003. The company focuses on power tools, rotary and oscillating tools, leveling devices, range finders, and accessories. Products like the Bosch Pin End Scroll Saw Blades illustrate the company’s commitment to providing customers with top-notch quality.
Flying Dutchman is a brand of Mike’s Workshop, a company specializing in scroll saw blades. The company partners with high-quality German manufacturers to provide American carpenters with the best blades available today. Classic examples of these high-quality products include the Flying Dutchman New Spiral Scroll Saw Blade Variety Pack and the Flying Dutchman Five Dozen Scroll Saw Blade Variety Pack.
Olson Saw is one of North America’s leading manufacturers of scroll and band saw blades and accessories as well as handheld saws and blades. The company maintains its company headquarters in Bethel, Connecticut, and makes products like Olson Saw Pin End Scroll Saw Blades and Olson Saw PGT Scroll Saw Blades right here in the United States.
Scroll Saw Blade Pricing
- Under $10: Most saw blades in this category will be more common blades and will feature packages with only a small number of blades, usually under 10.
- $10 to $20: Blades in the range include almost every type of blade and come in large quantities; however, precision ground tooth blades in this range will usually come in small quantities.
- $20 and up: These blades are high-quality blades, and many of them will be precision ground tooth blades. Quantities will usually be well over 10 per package.
Scroll saw blades fit onto your saw via one of two methods: pinless or pin end. If a blade is a pin end product, it has pins on the ends that hold it into place on your saw. This can improve blade retention and enhance its stability and security. If a blade is pinless, it has no pins — but it can only be used in saws that can accept pinless blades. Make sure to check your saw (or your saw’s owner’s manual) to determine which type is the right fit. Then, you can narrow down your options to blades that feature the correct attachment method.
Blade length isn’t too much of a factor for scroll saw blades, as these blades tend to reach only five inches in length. However, blade thickness can make a difference. Thicker blades tend to be tougher, stronger, and longer-lasting. However, they can be less ideal for more intricate jobs. Thinner blades, on the other hand, are a fantastic choice for fine-tuned and highly precise detail work. You’ll want to consider which is best for the job at hand. To determine the thickness of any scroll saw blade, look at the universal number code. A thicker blade has a higher number, while a thinner blade has a lower number.
All scroll saw blades, like all saw blades, have a TPI rating. TPI stands for teeth per inch — a rating that’s really a measurement of the density of teeth on a particular blade. The higher the TPI rating is (or the bigger the number), the more teeth there are for every inch of the blade’s length. That increased density is great if you’re looking for a slower blade speed and smoother cuts. However, most scroll saw blades only reach a maximum of 10 TPI. If you’re looking for a higher TPI rating, you’ll want to opt for a bimetal blade.
- Manufacturing Method. When shopping for saw blades, most people pay little attention to how a blade is made. Most scroll saw blades are milled, shaped into a particular profile. For metal cutters and hobbyist woodworkers, these blades are more than sufficient, but for professional carpenters, a ground blade is the only way to go. These blades are ground to a specific sharpness rather than specific dimensions. Precision ground tooth blades are especially sharp, ideal for intricate, efficient cuts.
- Blade Material. A scroll saw’s blade is most commonly made from hardened steel or a milder steel that’s heat-tempered. However, these materials can affect the size — specifically, the thickness — of the blade. If you’re working with thicker materials, you’ll want to make sure you choose a material that’s thick enough and hardy enough to make easy cuts. You’ll also want to decide if you’re working with harder materials other than wood, as that can make a stronger blade material more desirable.
- Pattern Complexity. Make sure to consider what you’re planning to work on, or which pattern you’re hoping to master, as you choose a scroll saw blade. The complexity of your pattern will determine which kind of blade is best for the results you’d like to achieve. More complex or intricate patterns need blades with smaller teeth. Less complex patterns are well-suited for bigger teeth.
Best Scroll Saw Blades Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- When shopping for scroll saw blades, be sure to match the intended job with the proper blade type.
- If possible, find a scroll saw that accepts both pinless and pin end blades. This will make finding new and replacement blades much easier.
- If a reverse skip tooth blade will not fit properly when installed, use a standard metal scroll saw to trim it to the proper size.
Q. What are spiral scroll saw blades used for?
Spiral scroll saw blades are designed to allow for omnidirectional cuts without users needing to stop and reposition or reorient the material being cut. It is a sort of plug-and-play blade for quick rough cuts.
Q. Do scroll saw blades go up or down?
Yes, scroll saws are designed to move their blades vertically in order to give users a clear view of and fine-tuned control over their work.
Q. Do they make pin end spiral scroll saw blades?
Unfortunately, pin end spiral scroll saw blades are virtually non-existent. In our research, we found no such blades, only statements saying that such blades do not exist. While we will not make a blanket statement,
Q. Do all scroll saws use the same blades?
There are so many different types of scroll saw blades available to choose from that it can be overwhelming. But to keep it simple, there’s really one factor that determines whether or not a scroll saw can use a particular blade: its installation and fit. If your saw only uses pin end blades, then you’ll be able to use any variety of this kind of blade. If your saw only fits pinless blades, then that’s the selection you’re limited to. It’s up to you to decide which exact blades you like best, and which ones can get the jobs you need done nicely.
Q. How long should a scroll saw blade last?
All scroll saw blades last just minutes or hours, and their longevity depends on their construction, their durability, and how you’re using them. You can expect the average blade to last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes with continuous use at a moderate speed. Higher speeds, thicker pieces of wood, and hardwoods can result in a shorter lifespan.
When shopping for some good all-around scroll saw blades, Olson Saw Pin End Scroll Saw Blades are a reliable, well-performing option. This set of 18 blades will accomplish most tasks at a reasonable price. When pennies are limited, Bosch Pin End Scroll Saw Blades are another solid option.