What is the difference between a scroll saw and a jig saw?

What Is A Scroll Saw?

A scroll saw is a hand-held circular saw with multiple cutting teeth that are used to cut through wood. The blade is usually made from hardened steel and measures approximately 3 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 0.5 inch thick. The width of the blade varies depending on how many teeth it has. The most common size for a standard model is 2 inches long, but some models have blades up to 4 inches in length (see image).

The blade is held in place by a pair of sliding jaws, which allow the user to make cuts without having to hold the blade. A typical model has two sets of teeth; one set at either end that allows for cutting straight lines and another set near the tip that makes diagonal cuts. The teeth are held together by a thin metal strip called a guide rod. A small hole is drilled into the side of the blade at the point where the teeth meet. When you want to cut through two pieces of lumber, you hold your thumb over one piece and use your index finger to push down on the other piece until it snaps off like toothpaste being squeezed out of a tube.

You then pull out both pieces with only minor damage done to them. These types of saws are commonly found on table saws.

A scroll saw is typically operated using a thumbscrew that locks into the blade’s head. The screw turns a cam located inside the handle, which in turn moves the jaw forward and back to cut through material. If you were to remove the screw, then you would no longer be able to move the jaw back and forth quickly enough to make precise cuts.

Some scroll saws have an adjustable cutting depth that allows you to cut through a piece of wood in one pass. Other models come with a pin that helps you quickly change the blade without the need for any screwdrivers or keys. However, these models are less common and tend to be more expensive than traditional scroll saws.

What Is A Jigsaw?

The quality of scroll saw blades depends mainly on the type of material used to make the teeth. Higher-end blades tend to be made from a harder metal, while cheaper blades are sometimes made from softer alloys. Blades with more hard metal in them can withstand much more pressure, making it easier to cut through thicker wood without snapping the blade or the tooth.

When a tooth snaps off, it is not a quick and clean break like you might expect.

A jigsaw is a stationary saw that you mount on a table with a blade that rotates to cut through both wood and metal. It has an adjustable shoe at the bottom that ensures the blade does not crush the material you are cutting. The blade is connected to an electric motor by gears and uses a variety of different types of teeth to make precision cuts (see image). Jig saw blades can be found in most DIY stores and cost around $10. No, the tooth usually does not snap off at the base where it is fastened onto the guide rod.

what is the difference between a scroll saw and a jig saw from our website

Instead, it tends to hang on for a while until you use enough pressure to cause the entire tooth, from base to tip, to separate from the blade. Of course, if you’re holding your piece of wood at the time this happens, then there is a good chance that a sharp tooth will sever a finger before flying across the room.

How Do I Make A Cut?

The first thing you do is clamp your work piece in place. Next, adjust the depth of cut so that the blade is only a few millimeters above the surface of the wood. Finally, start cutting from one end to the other. Be patient and try to keep the blade under constant pressure. If you’re having trouble cutting all the way through, then flip the piece over and finish the cut from the other side.

Once the blade has passed over a particular spot, there will be a rough section of wood where the fibers have been ripped apart. If you attempt to cut that same spot again then the blade is likely rip right through the work piece and possibly your leg as well. If you let up even slightly then the blade will stall and cause a rough edge on your project.

Of course, things rarely go as planned, so here are some common problems and how to fix them.

My Cut Is Rough

If your cut has small ridges in it and is not evenly carved through the entire piece of wood, then the most likely culprit is the blade that you are using. This can be caused by dull blades, dull guides or a combination of both.

The easiest way to solve this problem is to replace the blade or sharpen the one you have. If you’re unsure about how to do either of these, then ask someone who works in the store for assistance.

If you’ve replaced or sharpened your blade recently, then it is possible that the blade guide might be causing your problem. The blade guide helps keep the blade straight and at the proper cutting angle. Many blades are available for jigsaw and scroll saws. Some are designed to maximize the amount of cutting you can do before changing the blade, while others (called carving blades) are designed to cut fast but not very clean cuts.

what is the difference between a scroll saw and a jig saw - Picture

If you have been using a cutting blade, then you will want to try a different type of blade or at least change the one that you’re currently using. If it is not sitting in the right position, then it will cause your blade to cut at an angle.

You’ll need to adjust the blade guide. Most saws have a small set screw that enables you to change the angle of the guide. Turn this screw with a hex wrench either left or right until the blade is straight when you look down on it. If you have been using a carving blade, then you definitely want to try a different type.

Most blades are either universal or designed for either a jigsaw or scroll saw. Be sure to read the packaging before you buy to be sure that you’re getting the right one.

Once you have the proper blade installed on your saw, clamp your work piece in place and start cutting again.

Your jigsaw does not have a blade guide. Instead, the base plate is designed to hold the blade at the right cutting angle. If the blade is warped or damaged, then replacing it should solve your problem.

My Cuts Are Rough On The Bottom

If you are only having problems on the bottom side of the wood, then this is probably due to the tip of your blade dragging across the wood. If your cut is still rough, then the blade probably isn’t at the proper angle or it has a burr on it.

Check the blade guide and make sure that it is still adjusted properly. If it is, then you’ll need to remove the burr from the blade.

The easiest way that I’ve found to do this is to start the saw and let it run at about 2000rpm (or whatever speed yours happens to be). The easiest way to check this is to turn your project piece over and look at the bottom. You may see small scratches in the wood at varying distances apart.

This problem can be caused by dull blades, but it can also be caused by a bent blade. The blades are very thin and can easily bend if you push too hard on them. If you suspect that this might be the problem, then carefully inspect the blade for any visible warping. Then with your free hand, hold the tip of the blade at a 90 degree angle to the table and draw it along the edge of the table. Do this a few times and you should be able to feel when the burr has been removed.

Try cutting again and repeat as necessary.

My Cuts Have Ripple Marks On Them

This problem is generally caused by dull blades or not having the proper tension on your blade.

To check your blade tension, turn on the saw and slowly lower the blade into your project. The blade should be tight enough that it doesn’t move side to side at all (you don’t want it to rub on the outside edges of your cut). If you’re using a clamp to hold your work piece, then the board should not be able to flex more than 1/16th of an inch in any direction. If it can, then the blade needs to be tighter.

what is the difference between a scroll saw and a jig saw at remodelingmate.com

If your blade is loose enough that the board flexes more than 1/16th of an inch, you run the risk of burning the wood because the sawdust that is generated will catch on fire. This has happened to me several times while experimenting with different blades and settings. It tends to leave burn marks on one side of the cut.

The marks are dark and have a rippled texture. Take a look at the cut on the right. See how it has dark areas with a slightly swirling pattern to them? That is a burn mark. The picture is not very good, but you can still get the idea.

The only fix for this is to tighten your blade or replace it altogether.

Sources & references used in this article: