Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, CHJ, Noel, Charley

By Arnold9801
I would like to upgrade from a basic hobby scrollsaw. What are the forums views on the most recommended scrollsaw?

The Record and Scheppach seem quite popular on adverts. What are they like or should they be avoided? If so, for which one?

Your view some would be appreciated.

An awful lot depends on how much you want/are prepared to spend. I have no personal experience of either the Sheppach or Record machines, but according to many posts on here, just about all these machines, including those 2, come from the same (probably Chinese) factory. Nothing wrong with that per se, BUT they just about all seem to be made down to suit a (low) price.

As such they will all definitely cut (!!!) but you will have problems with things like blade changing, pinless blades, perhaps (luck of the draw) not cutting precisely square in the sideways plane, excess vibration, not very good dust clearance (from the cut), etc, etc. In other words, "workable" machines (and at least in some areas improvable) but likely to become somewhat frustrating and irritating in regular use.

That leaves you 2 possibilities - buy SH as and when they come up. IMO you'd be looking at Hegner (still very much THE standard I think, but expensive for what they are now), Delta (I have no experience and quite rare this side of the pond, but have a very good reputation), and Excalibur.

If buying new then the above makes of course, plus Axminster Tools do their own label clones of both the Hegner and Excalibur machines. Again I have no experience of either but again, these Axi machines have a good reputation from posts on here, AND from my own experience, Axi's customer service is 1st class.

Personally I own an Excalibur 21 and am VERY pleased with it. Within the next few days you'll see a post from me about some updates I've made to my machine, but in short, I'm delighted with mine, as several others posting here seem to be also.

If you search back about 4 years for my post "Biting the Bullet" you'll find a detailed "report" from me as to why I chose the Exc 21 (I tried it alongside a Hegner).

Please note that at the time I bought my Exc 21, the Axi version (cheaper but virtually identical it seems, but with the addition of an NVR, not fitted to the Exc machine) was not available, otherwise I would, most probably, have bought Axi.

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By Droogs
If you are at the point of looking to upgrade to a "decent" scrollsaw, then as AES said "bite the bullet" and go for the best you can afford. This basically gives two choices Hegner or Excalliber (now sold as Axminster EX range). I have tried both makes and chose to go for the Axminster EX30, both brands are excellent bits of kit but the large plate and the fact that the saw arm swivels rather than the table are what swung (no pun intended) me to the EX30. There are plenty of threads on here about both ranges and it comes down to personal working habits as to which you go for. All the others are really just clones of each other built to slightly differnt budget with a few extras added. An interesting note is that the most popular blade supplier Pegas, who are just down the road from AES, sell an Excaliber clone saw under their own brand along with a niffty scroll bandsaw
Hi Droogs, re your, QUOTE: ...... popular blade supplier Pegas, who are just down the road from AES, sell an Excaliber clone saw under their own brand along with a niffty scroll bandsaw . UNQUOTE:

Part of the above is not quite correct. I've been doing some background research and will be posting the results under "Upgrades to my Exc 21" currently in draft and will be posted on the Forum soon.
User avatar
By George..
Hi, I’ve only used a Hegner 2s so cant compare with the competition. I find it a decent piece of gear, solid and free of vibration. To solve the table being at an angle when doing Bowl rings with the head tipped ,I’ve bolted the saw to a board which is hinged along its length to my bench. With the head tipped the saw is pivoted so the table is flat a suitable wedge is clamped between bench & board. Looks easier than it sounds and works a treat.
George (hammer)
By aramco
Hi Arnold9801 do not know if you have purchased another saw yet, I have a record power 16 inch scroll saw, I was really pleased for 18 months with it, after I got the vibration problems sorted out - turned out it was my fault - what got to me was the length of time it took to make an internal hole change, could take up to two minutes, I bit the bullet and bought and Axminster ex 30 , to date I have not used t to its capacity, but the blade changes are down to 10 to 12 seconds, and that makes a difference with 200 internal blade changes , which ever saw you settle for new or used make sure it has a quick blade change .

take care
By Chlad
I'm in the marketfor a scrollsaw as well. Would the OP mind if I ask questions in this thread rather than opening yet another one like this?
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By Droogs
Chlad, the protocol is to usually just apologise and then hijack with your question and see how it goes :shock:
Yup, +1 for Droogs? comment. I for one am often "guilty" of this (and I'm by no means the only "offender")!
By Chlad
Ah well, in that case, when in Rome... :D

So apolgies for hijacking the thread Arnold... :mrgreen:

I just wanted to ask, I am new to using scrollsaws and as such I am a bit reluctant to splash out on a £500+ scrollsaw. Especially considering that I will be doing amateur light work. Would the Ax Craft AC456SS be a good one for me to start with? Or should I look at something else?

I would happily buy a second hand Trade but they dont often come up.
By aramco
hi and welcome , there has been a few axminster and hegner recently on ebay , dont know the condition ,there is a for sale section on this forum and axminsters sometimes come up on that .

take care
Last edited by aramco on 23 Jan 2019, 12:50, edited 1 time in total.

Can I please direct you back to the first couple of lines in my post of 2nd Jan (above). Make no mistake, all these cheapo scroll saws WILL cut wood, and with care they do quite a good job (my first two were cheapo/very simple machines).

I can well understand anyone who does not know enough about scrolling to want to avoid splashing out 500 quid (or more!) on a machine if they're not yet sure that scrolling is what they want to do. But 2 points there -
1. if you DO get fed up with the machine you'll stand a better chance of getting more (NOT all, but most) of what you spent if you're selling on the SH market a machine that has a good reputation; and;
2. don't forget that even a "simple" machine is capable of doing quite a lot of stuff in the "normal" workshop as well as "conventional" scrolling. In fact I remember see a Youtube video some time back (can't remember by whom and when, sorry) from a bloke who was saying that a scroll saw SHOULD be found in just about every woodies shop! (And I do a fair bit on sheet metal cutting on mine too).

Where cheapo/simple machines fall down is when you get to the point of having done enough work to know that you like scrolling and want to do more, only to become more and more frustrated because:
blade changing, squaring up, making angled cuts, getting and keeping the right blade tension, and being able to use both pinned and pinless blades, etc, etc,
all become aright PITA because the cheapo/simple machines are poor in all those respects, being both poorly designed and cheaply made.

So I'd really only suggest that anyone buy an Excalibur, Hegner, Delta, etc WHEN they're sure that scrolling really is for them.