You want the best Excalibur scroll saws, right? I understand your plight. There is a need to get the best tools on hand for such projects which places a high demand on one’s creativity and emotion.
The Excalibur scroll saws are undoubtedly the best brand of power tools for professional woodworkers and enthusiasts. So, anyone would be pleased to talk about the brand.
However, the best Excalibur scroll saw on the market is by far the Excalibur Ex-16. It works calmly, easy to change blades, and features a dust blower for a cleaner cut and offers variable speed, making it more convenient for novice and expert woodworkers.
In this article, you will find out more about the Excalibur scroll saw brands, which comprise of the EX-16 and the EX-21. You will also understand why they are suitable for professionals, beginners, or DIYers.
The Best Excalibur Scroll Saws On The Market
So, of all the different scroll saw brands, one that has been high on the list of many woodworkers is the Excalibur. But there are different Excalibur scroll saws out there, so it’s easy for one to get confused regarding the best option to choose that would be most suitable. So without wasting any more time, let’s dive into the best Excalibur scroll saws on the market.
Our first pick on this list is the EX-16 Tilting Head Scroll Saw. We are proud of this product and have confidence every professional woodworker will as well. It’s a great tool that’s suitable for novice to expert woodworkers. Regarding safety, this tool comes with the upper and lower blade guarded to prevent the user’s hand from touching the blade by mistake.
If you are also seeking a quiet but powerful scroll saw, this hand tool is a wise buy. It’s one of the saws from the Excalibur brand that works quietly and efficiently. Blade changing is also a breeze due to its finger operated blade clamp. So, you will not be needing tools for that or spend tons of hours and energy trying to change from one blade to another when the need arises.
The built-in dust collector on the Excalibur Ex-16 is another excellent feature the tool has, which helps to clear the dust away so you could get that clean and perfect cut. And whether you are seeking to get your work done quickly or slowly, this machine is also up to the task. It has variable speed ranging from 400 – 1400 strokes per minutes.
And remember we made mention of the speed knob and how important having it at the front of the machine is? (You’ll find this information in the buyer’s guide section). Well, the Excalibur Ex-16 is made that way. Speed knob is situated at the front of the device for easy adjustment.
What I Liked:
- Works quietly
- Simple tension control
- Sturdy cast iron build
- Easy changing of blades
- Dust blower for a cleaner work surface and precise cutting
- Variable speed ranging from 400 – 1400 strokes per minute
What I Didn’t Like:
- Price is on the high side
Here’s a video that might be helpful for you.
This Scroll Saw is available on Amazon. You can check the latest price and availability by clicking here.
The EX-21 is another powerful tool from Excalibur. It has a 21 inches throat capacity, which is large enough for more significant projects. It also has tons of features, which makes it more convenient to use. Regarding price, the EX-21 is a little below the EX-16 earlier mentioned. But it’s not as reliable as the Ex-16. It also features upper and lower blade guard, making it conducive for novice and expert woodworkers to use.
In this case, the guard protects the woodworker’s hand from coming in contact with the blade, which can be a disaster, you know. This scroll saw also has plenty of power when operated at high speed. So you will be able to cut thicker wood materials to the desired patterns with it.
Regarding weight, the EX-16 is a bit lightweight than the EX-21, making it easier to transport from one location to another. The Ex-21 is also convenient for cutting materials, considering how the head is tilted, which is 45 degree to the right and left, giving users total control over the material once placed on the flat table surface. This feature also ensures an accurate cut and is far better than what other scroll saw brands have in which tables are tilted for angled cuts.
What I Liked:
- Tilt head design
- Sturdy base to work on
- 21 inches throat capacity
- Convenient foot switch
- Features upper and lower parallel arms
What I Didn’t Like:
- A bit noisy
- The tool doesn’t look solid enough
Here’s a video review on this Scroll Saw that might be helpful for you.
Comparison Between The Excalibur Ex-16 And EX-21
I previously mentioned that the Excalibur EX-16 and EX-21 are two of the best Excalibur scroll saws on the market. When it comes to power tools in general, the Excalibur is a brand that stands out. The company has also built a name for itself and has been in the industry for quite some time. Let’s compare both Excalibur scroll saws to make it easier for intended buyers to make their choices.
However, below is a comparison between the EX-16 and EX-21
|Excalibur EX-16||Excalibur EX-21|
|Throat capacity||Has 16 inch throat capacity||Has 21 inch throat capacity.|
|Max cutting depth||2 inch||2 inch|
|Table surface||12-inch x 18-1/2-inch||13-1/2-inch x 23-1/2-inch|
|Compactness||More compact and easy to transport between job sites, and idea for mobile workshop.||Ideal for heavy duty use particularly in workshops and commercial centers.|
|Tension & speed controls||Accessible and extremely simple to adjust||Quit simple to adjust|
|Blade guard||Has upper and lower blade guard||Has upper and lower blade guard|
|Price||Tool is pricey but provides great value for money||Reasonably priced for a DIY tool.|
Scroll Saw Buying Guide: Information For Novice & Professional Woodworkers
What’s a Scroll saw?
First, I would like to make this point clear; a scroll saw is different from a jigsaw. The scroll saw is just a saw that has a narrow blade, and it’s majorly used to cut materials, in a bid to produce spiral lines or patterns.
The thing is the scroll saw, and jigsaw can cut non-straight lines. But the scroll saw has been the favorite power tool used by woodworkers for cutting intricate curves or designs on diverse materials, such as wood, plastic copper, among others.
Can a scroll saw cut through hard metal?
A fair question if you ask me! The answer is no! Using a scroll saw for hard metals marks the beginning of the end for your power tool. The thing is the blades are not strong enough to handle such tasks. But you can use a scroll saw to cut thin metals, though that depends on the blade type your tool has.
I will discuss briefly on blade types for the scroll saw. But first, know that the metal blade is the one you can use for tasks that have to do with the cutting of thin metals.
What wood thickness can scroll saw handle?
The scroll saw can handle wood thickness of up to ¾ inch. However, if you are planning to cut through thicker or harder wood, I would suggest you get a band saw for that.
Easy Tips On How To Use The Scroll Saw
If you are just getting started with using a scroll saw, you can get ideas from these simple tips. The scroll saw isn’t that difficult to use, though you need to have some level of skills to cut and create whatever design you want.
So, I will discuss two types of cuts you can make with this saw. The first is the interior cuts, next is the exterior cuts.
Making exterior cuts with the scroll saw
First, create a pattern on a piece of wood and place it on the saw table. But before you perform this action, make sure the blade is in the right position. Tension should also be proper.
Your next action should be to connect the scroll saw to a power source and then put it on. Now bring the wood closer to the blade, with both in close contact.
Every woodworker understands what it means to have a straight cut. It is essential to have such jobs done neatly. So, while cutting, make sure the wood does not move from the right position. The blade is thin, so expect it to drift off the original line you are trying to cut.
So, as you push the wood forward, consider adjusting it from time to time. Continue to position the wood as you cut through until you finally produce your desired cut.
Making interior cuts with the scroll saw
The first thing you need to do after sorting your wood is to drill a tiny hole on it. The hole should be about the size of the saw blade or a bit bigger. The bottom line is to get it to fit through for easy cutting.
The drilled hole on the wood should also be vertical and a perfect one at that, too. Remember you need to follow the vertical line through, so it has to be accurate. Now, get to work by unhooking the blade’s bottom end from the motor, and pass it through the hole you made in the wood, back through the saw’s table and then reattach it to the saw’s motor.
Also, you need to ensure that there’s good tension on it as you continue from one stage to the other. And at this point, you can keep cutting the wood. But ensure you are following the circle, spiral design, maze, or whatever pattern you have been following.
Type Of Blades Used In The Scroll Saw
There are two main blade types: pin end, and plain end types. But we are only going to focus on the plain end saw blades, which are five inches long. The impressive thing about the plain end blades is that you can use them for most scroll saws.
However, writing a complete book on the scroll saw blade types alone is possible, given the plethora of blades out there. And as a consequence, first-timers are usually confused on the right blade to purchase.
So, let’s consider some of the different plain end blade types to have a better idea.
Standard tooth blade
The teeth on a standard tooth blade are all of equal sizes and distance apart. You will also find two kinds of scroll saw blades here, which are the wood blade (made explicitly for wooden materials) and metal blade (made for cutting thin metals).
However, the wood blade comes designed with more prominent teeth, and space between each blade teeth is wider. And the reason they are designed in this manner is to be able to clear out dust while cutting, making it easier for woodworkers to have a clean cut.
The second type is the metal blade, which has smaller teeth, and the space between them isn’t wide enough.
Double tooth blade
The double tooth blade, as the name implies, is a blade that has wider space between two teeth, which happens to be a set. Also, the blade doesn’t cut that faster. So, this might not be a wise choice if you are looking to cut through a wooden material more quickly. But its cuts are always smooth, something any woodworker would want.
Skip tooth blade
The skip tooth blade is similar to the standard tooth blade. And as the name implies, there is space between each of the teeth on this blade, which is also an advantage. The broader teeth spacing makes the blade cooler and suitable for beginners.
This blade is not a good fit for beginners. Reason being that it is sharp and can be too aggressive when in use. But then, the blade usually produces a clean cut surface when used. It is also a skip-tooth blade but one with smaller-sized teeth.
The spiral blade comprises of blades, which are in groups, twisted together to provide teeth all over. And with this blade, you can cut wood without shifting it here and there. But it’s not the type of blade to recommend for special applications because of the wider surface it creates.
The crown-tooth blade is a new blade type found in scroll saws. As the name implies, the blade teeth have a shape of a crown, with space in-between each teeth/crown.
However, this blade doesn’t cut as fast as the regular blade type but performs very well when used to cut plastic materials.
Note: There are blades designed for special applications, such as to cut thin metals, glasses, and even plastic. You might need them for special applications as you advance in skills, and want to add some variety to your work.
Criteria For Choosing The Ideal Blade
It’s not advisable to purchase all the blades mentioned in this post. You won’t be using all of them. The best thing is to choose the one that’s most suitable for your project and need.
However, there are numerous criteria to follow to help you choose the ideal blade for you. Let’s go over them quickly to help you make a choice.
The thickness of the material
The material thickness determines the kind of blade to purchase. For thicker material, choose bigger blades.
The hardness of the material
You need a blade with larger teeth is you are working on harder material. With this type of blade, you will not experience difficulty getting the desired results.
The complexity of the pattern
The pattern can also determine the type of blade to acquire. If your focus is to design an intricate pattern or design, then a blade with a smaller tooth will be preferable.
Things To Consider When Before Taking A Decision To Buy A Scroll Saw
Maybe you are that beginner woodworker who is still thinking of factors to consider before choosing a scroll saw. Well, you are in the right place. However, tons of scroll saw types are out there. Hence it might be quite challenging for beginners to make the right choice.
However, there are certain things that one needs to consider before buying a scroll saw. These factors will also help you to make the right choice. So, without wasting further time, here are a few key things you can consider to help you purchase the best scroll saw for your woodwork, whether you are a beginner or professional woodworker.
Decide your budget
How much does the scroll saw you are planning to buy cost? That’s one of the things you should first consider. There is a common saying that you can only get what you pay for in terms of quality. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot find a good quality saw on a budget. And you don’t have to break the bank to find a good quality saw either.
On the issue of budget, I would suggest you compare the price of the scroll saw you initially have in mind to the others. See which is cheaper. But don’t just compare the prices and conclude on that. You should also consider the features of each scroll saw, and choose the one that’s going to be most convenient for your woodworking career and tasks.
Now ask yourself this simple question: will the scroll saw you have decided to splash the cash on be comfortable for the material you plan on using occasionally? Will you get the desired design and pattern with the saw you plan to acquire? These are some of the critical questions to ask.
Ease of blade changing
Blade changing is another thing you need to consider when buying a scroll saw. Some products are a pain in the neck when it comes to blade changing. However, changing of the blade is something you will find yourself doing most of the time. Numerous blade types are available, and you may want to have different cuts, depending on the design type you seek.
Generally, the Excalibur is built for convenience. So in clear terms, blade changing is a breeze on this saw type. The design of the tool makes it much easier to reach the bottom clamp. Plus one doesn’t require any tool to change the blades. The blade clamp at the top and bottom arms can be operated with the finger.
Choice of throat length
The throat length is the distance from the back of the scroll saw to the blade. However, you will not be the one measuring the throat length. The manufacturers usually measure and list it among other specifications of the product.
The throat most scroll saws have is between 16″ – 21″ and the larger the throat, the bigger the product. You should also choose saws with larger throats if you are hoping to work with bigger materials (wood, plastic, and others).
Blade tension knob
Again, you need to consider when the blade tension knob is located on the scroll saw that you are planning to purchase. Is it up front and easy to access? Or is it situated at the back of the scroll saw? These are one of the things you should figure out.
However, having the knob seems to be most convenient. Reason being that you will have to tighten the tension for every cut made. That’s the thing. But most people might be comfortable with budget scroll saws whose tension knobs are usually located at the back.
Sometimes, you may want to continue discussing while cutting your wood, plastic, or metal to the designed pattern. That’s how woodworking is. It’s something one should enjoy doing.
So, noise should be out of the equation if you are the type that cannot handle being in a noisy place. Find a scroll saw that produces little vibration, one that can even allow you to work during night hours without waking up your family members and neighbors.
Scroll saw arm type
The arm type is another essential factor every woodworker needs to consider when thinking of buying a scroll saw. What kind of scroll saw arm would be suitable for your skill level?
The primary concern is the safety of the user and that of the project. And there are three primary scroll saws arm types out there. First is the C-arm, while the rest two are the parallel arm and double parallel link.
However, each arm type is not the same; they have their unique advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at them briefly to help you decide when buying your scroll saw.
What Is A Different Scroll Saw Arms Out There?
The C-Arm Type
Well, the first, as mentioned above, is the C-Arm Type. At the end of this particular arm, you will find something like a single pivot point. However, the only concern with this arm type is that it has a more aggressive cut. Also, whenever the blade breaks, you will find the top reciprocating up and down. It won’t stop unless you kill the power.
The Parallel Arm Type
This arm type is the most common among the different types around. You will find two arms running in a parallel direction to each other, with a blade attached to both ends. The parallel arms are also the safest among the different scroll saws. Reason being that when the blade eventually breaks, the top arm swings out of the way and it also stops immediately. So, you can see why this scroll arm is so popular.
The Double Parallel Link Arm
Well, this arm is new in the market. It’s one of the newly developed scroll arm types on the market. It features two parallel arms, but this time both arms convert motion at the tips and not the entire unit, which in turn result in lesser vibration. It’s also the arm type you will find in some of the most expensive scroll saws on the market.
If you’re into woodworking and not interested in creating top-notch designs for commercial purpose, you might be comfortable using any scroll saw. But it would be better for a beginner to start their woodworking journey with a top quality scroll saw or tool. That way, it would be a breeze to progress faster.
In addition to that, the high-quality scroll saw come designed with features that help to prevent accidents such as having a hand contact with the blade. And this makes it more conducive for beginners too. However, the Excalibur brand of scroll saw has met all these requirements and is considered a favorite tool for beginners and expert woodworkers.
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