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6 Scroll Saw Uses – What Can It Be Used For?

Band Saw Uses

Band Saw Uses

If you need a precise, intricate shape cut in a thin piece of stock, you need a scroll saw.

Scroll saws use a thin blade on a stationary table that you work your stock around. This lets you get tight angles with abruptly changing curves. By their nature, they are also among the safest power saws available.

How does a scroll saw work?

Knowing how scroll saws work starts with knowing how they are generally constructed. You start by inserting your blade into the space between the parallel arms and turning a knob at the back of an arm at the saw’s top to lock it in. You place your workpiece and the pattern you want to cut on a table and lock both into place with a clamp. It won’t prevent you from moving it, but it’ll hold it down and prevent it from sliding.

The saw uses a reciprocating motor, which moves the blade up and down as you push the materials and pattern through. Be aware that if you want to make interior cuts with it, you’ll need to poke a hole in whatever you’re cutting, insert the blade, and lock it into place.

Delta 40-694 Scroll Saw

One important factor to consider is ensuring you have the right blade. The right blade will allow you to make as sharp an angle as you need to cut while being strong enough to cut the pattern into whatever you’re working on.

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The 6 Scroll Saw Uses

Here are some items you can use a scroll saw to make. Several patterns are online, and many can be downloaded and printed for free. You can also buy excellent patterns. If you’re skilled, you can make your own.

1. Toys

Toys are some of the first items people make when they get a scroll saw. Making a simple puzzle is a great way to get experience with the scroll saw. What’s great is that if you mess up on a puzzle, it won’t matter because it’ll all still fit together.

Toys are also excellent for young woodworkers to make. There’s no substitute for the joy of making something you can turn around and enjoy playing with.

2. Musical instruments

Getting the desired sound from a musical instrument requires precision construction. You might wind up with discordance rather than harmony if you cut just one-eighth of an inch off. Fortunately for the music maker in you, a scroll saw is a perfect way to make precision cuts.

If you go this route, you’ll probably start with simple sound boxes. Eventually, you might even move up to stringed instruments.

Musical instruments
Image By: Pixabay

3. Cabinetry

Carpenters use scroll saws to make joints when building cabinets. The most common of these are dovetail joints, which allow a cabinet maker to slide two perpendicular pieces of wood together and glue them in place.

If you’re using a scroll saw to make joints, you can also design inlay patterns to make your cabinets stand out.


4. Home décor

Carpenters often use scroll saws to make inlays and marquetry for furniture. Using a scroll saw can make the difference between a flat, boring surface and one with an intricate design.

You can create unique designs for tabletops, but you can also make interesting braces for shelves.

Cook Shelves by A Crafty Mix
Image Credit: A Crafty Mix

5. Home items

There is a whole range of items for the home you can make that will help you build skills for more complex jobs. This includes coasters, bookends, baskets, bowls, and holiday decorations.

Depending on what you want to make, you can find a ready source of patterns on the internet.

Coat Hanger Rack by Instructions
Image By: Instructions

6. Non-metal materials

To this point, we’ve assumed that you’re cutting wood or at least materials much softer than wood, like plastic or fiberglass. You can also cut soft metals with a scroll saw.

We wouldn’t recommend attempting to cut hard metals, but you can cut softer metals like copper and brass without any problem. If you try to cut aluminum, use a lubricant to ensure you don’t damage the blade or what you’re cutting.

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Scroll saws are pretty useful little tools to make precise, intricate cuts. They’re great for straight angles and curves and work best if you follow either a pattern traced on what you’re cutting or one you’ve drawn on paper and placed over the top of your workpiece. They aren’t dangerous to use and rank among the safest power tools. However, you’ll still need to maintain control and avoid cutting hard metals to stay safe.


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