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By Mreco99
#1266756
Hi
Looking for my first scroll saw (in the UK), such a tricky choice. I've read a lot since deciding to get one.
Many around the £100 mark and then a gap to around to £500+ mark.

There are very few reviews in the UK so that doesn't help.

The £100 ish ones mostly say 'Hobby' saws, but who knows what that really means? 1 hour a day max?

Looks like the Axminster ones are possibly a better (UK) choice, but again they range from Sub £100 to over £700 with no obvious feature upgrades. The Axminster site doesn't help, it seems to assume you know everything. It would be handy if they explained why spending £150 is better than the £88 one, or why £500 one is worth the extra money than the £150 one etc. Then again maybe I should wait until Aldi have their £60 Scroll saw available.

I know id like a quietish machine and less vibration, also 16inch throat is plenty for me. Id like to cut some 1inch hard woods if possible.

Can anyone help is making a choice?
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
MrE.
By bourbon
#1266904
Even better, wait until Aldi have them in again, wait a couple of weeks and if you are lucky, the shop discount them to £35!! I didn't get one as I hadn't got room in my workshop (until I had a tidy up)
By whatknot
#1267048
Rather like most things in life, you (mostly) get what you pay for

It depends mostly on your budget

Up to say £200 save yourself the grief and get an Aldi (Scheppach rebadged) £70 retail often knocked down after, I have seen them to £60 and once at £50

Its a reasonable started machine and has a 3 year warranty, Aldi are also very good if you have a problem and need to return it

A great many of the sub £200 saws are all the same, just different badging, so why pay more than you need to

If you are using pinned blades all the time it will be fine (get some good quality pinned blades though not the agricultural things that come with it, such as Pegas)

The Aldi saw will take pinless blades but uses adaptors, they work but can be a pain to keep changing (a bit fiddly) you can fit a different type of clamp top and bottom which are a better type (about £10 + postage)

But if you are looking to cut 1" hardwoods on a regular basis I would suggest looking at the Axminster AT460SS (was the AWFS18) which is a Hegner clone, its £500 but is a far more robust machine and far nicer to use than the cheapy machines

If you go that route I would also recommend getting a Hegner quick clamp which makes it much easier to change blades (retails at about £24 + postage but worth it)
By sunnybob
#1267050
Cutting 1" hardwood on a scroll saw is painfully slow. I hope you have a lot of patience.
I had a hegner scroll saw but i work almost exclusively with hardwoods and after a few tries I just sold the hegner. i did not have the temperament for taking that long to cut a shape :roll: :roll:
User avatar
By Honest John
#1267115
I went to Axminster yesterday for some Chestnut Stain that I needed, and I thought whilst I was going I would have a look at and maybe even buy a Trade scroll saw. I was, am interested in the middle sized Excalibur, but thought I’d look also at the Hegner clone at £200 cheaper. I took some scraps of ply and hard and soft wood with me having drilled a few holes in each so that I could have the opportunity to perform some internal cuts and go through the blade changing procedure a few times. Well, Axminster were very accommodating and moved an Excalibur to the demo area so 5hat I could try it. I’ve heard wonderful comments and reviews from Excalibur owners on this and other sites and so I had high expectations that I would be so blown away by the experience that I would be leaving with one in the boot, ready to be sneaked into my workshop after dark when Coronation Street would be on. I tried the smaller Excalibur after I realised they were all actually the same machine but with different sized tables. ... Actually now I think about it that’s not quite true as the arms and chassis’s are bigger on the others and they are heavier and therefore have greater vibration absorbing mass. Blade changing and internal cuts were superb with the Pegas clamping system. I have no major issues with internal cuts on my current saw, but the Excalibur was better. I was disappointed by the level of vibration particularly at the full speed. This was not at all excessive, but my expectation fuelled by what others have said was for something much less. My current scroll which is badged as Peugeot is not at all bad vibration wise, much more than the Excalibur of course, but it surprised me non the less. I expected to come home with a new saw because I expected to feel that there was such a different experience in using the top of the range machine that it could justify the huge expense in buying it. I’m not normally given to cautious kit buying, if I can afford something without financial jeopardy I don’t deny myself. Hell life is too short and I’d hate to end my days wishing that I had bought something ten years ago that would have been a game changer in my crafting activities.
I’m going to get my scroll out when I’ve finished my current woody projects and turning jobs that I have to complete, and try some scroll cutting to check if it is as I remember it. It’s not a machine I use every day, but it could become a prime activity. I’ve done a bit of intarsia and I would very much like to do more, and I wa# expecting the Excalibur to be a game changer. Is it possible that the middle and big Excalibur’s have even less vibration than the 16 inch one? Or are my expectations just just wrong?
By whatknot
#1267122
Did you try the Hegner clone?

I have its earlier version and when I bought it put it on the stand, meaning to bolt it down but wanted to try it out

Its still just sat on top of the stand, hasn't moved an inch, never needed to bolt it down

Can't comment on the Excalibur as haven't tried one
User avatar
By Honest John
#1267134
I did look at the Hegner clone, but I didn’t try it. If I bought that one then I would immediately be in to replacing the clamp(s) with the Hegner quick clamp, so the price difference is already being narrowed. I have read many good things about Hegner but also many things that people have found to be less than wonderful. I once read on one site of an old guy whom had had a Hegner for more than 20years and decided that it was time for a replacement. He replaced it (against much advice to the contrary) with a Peugeot like mine. He l@ter reported that it was the best machine he’d used and much better than the Hegner had ever been. All this is subjective and I cannot claim to be any kind of expert, I just wanted to see what the machine that many consider the best around was like to use. I was not disappointed, but then I was surprised that it wasn’t as different as I expected it to be. It’s perfectly possible that I I’ll buy one, but it seems a lot of money for a smallish (but noticeable) improvement.
By whatknot
#1267141
Hmm, the only thing you would need is one quick clamp at £24 nothing else and it frees up one standard v block clamp so that enables you set up several blades ready for use

On the peaugeot V Hegner, subjective certainly but its like saying I drove a rolls royce for 20 years and then bought a mini and that was better, err don't think so ;-)

You can only assume the Hegner he had was in a pitiful state

I bought a used Hegner, found it vibrated all over the place and sold it on

But the Hegner clone, ie the Axminster is a very good machine, certainly subjective ;-)
User avatar
By Honest John
#1267171
Absolutely right Whatnot. I like you Rolls Royce v modern mini ideas. I suspect you are right also about the state of 5his guys Hegner. It was a single speed one as I remember, and the Peugeot he bought has quick release toolless top clamp, variable speed and a foot peddle which also controls the speed between zero and whatever the max set on the dial. A very different device to his well engineered yet simple Hegner. I didn’t look too closely at the Axi clone as alongside the Excalibur’s it looked rather “agricultural” and if I change my saw I don’t want to wish later that Id bought the dearer machine. If I change it at all I only want to do it once. What brought me to this position was the number of comments that I’ve seen on this and other forums from people who “bit the bullet” and bought the excalibur then said that they wish they had done it years ago, and have never regretted their decision. I’m equally sure that the Axminster Hegner clone is an excellent machine. It also has many fans. If I can decide to upgrade, I shall certainly try it out, the people at AXY seem very accommodating.
By Mreco99
#1267198
Great replies, thank you.

Can you explain the model names. IE Axminster, you say excalibur, none of them are called that on the current UK website, see here
https://www.axminster.co.uk/machinery/saws/scroll-saws

Are you able to use the actual model names? as I've no idea which ones you are talking about.
Also which one is the hunger clone?

Sorry but i an not versed in the older model names. Im a noobie :-)
By Mreco99
#1267199
Wow that bad? if you had to guess, how many times slower, 5 times slower than soft wood for the same thickness?

sunnybob wrote:Cutting 1" hardwood on a scroll saw is painfully slow. I hope you have a lot of patience.
I had a hegner scroll saw but i work almost exclusively with hardwoods and after a few tries I just sold the hegner. i did not have the temperament for taking that long to cut a shape :roll: :roll:
By AES
#1267205
Sorry sunnybob, you're quite wrong, cutting one inch hardwood with a scroll saw is NOT painfully slow - IF you have the right speed, right blade tension, and above all else, the right blade.

There's a lot of info on here about choosing blades, AND a lot of info on here about choosing scroll saws - it's just a question of searching.

Re Excalibur machines, there are 3 versions, 18 inch. 21 inch, and 30 inch. Axminster now have them with their own labels on, and I've posted here (at length) about how they're identified - all Excali saws are instantly identifiable because unlike any other saws available in the UK, you tilt the head to make angled cuts, not the table.

I'll add a P.S. in a mo to some detailed info, but before I do, to reduce vibration to minimum levels (not stop it completely) the machine needs to be bolted to a stand or substantial bench.

Here's the promised P.S:

1. Link to Axi for their own label range of "Excalibur" scroll saws:

https://www.axminster.co.uk/machinery/saws/scroll-saws

2. Link to a post (my own as it happens) to the current situation re scroll saws, the history of Excalibur saws, and my own mods to my Ex 21. There's 2 separate detailed .pdf files that you can either download and keep or just view on screen (separate window) without downloading. Also contains a link to a detailed post about why I chose the Excali over a Hegner about 5 years ago, with lots of comments from other users.

post1263309.html#p1263309

I've always found that if I'm buying something completely new to me it's well worth while to do some background research first. It enables you to better evaluate both what you're seeing and what the shop people will tell you. NOT "blowing my own trumpet" but the above is exactly what I've tried to do to help newcomers because I was in the same situation myself about 5 years ago. And if you do some more searches in this section you'll find similar levels of help and info from several others here too.

HTH
By Mreco99
#1267218
Thats what i mean, you get what you pay for.... £60 aldi and up to £200 many others, big difference on price, not big difference in quality

whatknot wrote:Rather like most things in life, you (mostly) get what you pay for

It depends mostly on your budget

Up to say £200 save yourself the grief and get an Aldi (Scheppach rebadged) £70 retail often knocked down after, I have seen them to £60 and once at £50

Its a reasonable started machine and has a 3 year warranty, Aldi are also very good if you have a problem and need to return it

A great many of the sub £200 saws are all the same, just different badging, so why pay more than you need to

If you are using pinned blades all the time it will be fine (get some good quality pinned blades though not the agricultural things that come with it, such as Pegas)

The Aldi saw will take pinless blades but uses adaptors, they work but can be a pain to keep changing (a bit fiddly) you can fit a different type of clamp top and bottom which are a better type (about £10 + postage)

But if you are looking to cut 1" hardwoods on a regular basis I would suggest looking at the Axminster AT460SS (was the AWFS18) which is a Hegner clone, its £500 but is a far more robust machine and far nicer to use than the cheapy machines

If you go that route I would also recommend getting a Hegner quick clamp which makes it much easier to change blades (retails at about £24 + postage but worth it)
By Mreco99
#1267461
After everyones help here and lots of other research, I am pretty sure I am going to buy the Axminster Trade AT406SS Scroll Saw £649 (which is the older name of EX-16 I believe).
I think 16 inch (400mm throat should be plenty for me, as far as i can tell)
https://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-t ... saw-101771
I considered the Axminster Trade AT460SS at £499 but i think for a little more (its always a little more!!!) the AT406SS is worth it.
The head tilts, PEGAS blade clamps included.
My work bench measures 680mm deep so that will fit on the ok (unless the bench is too high)

It comes with some Pegas blades, but do i need anything else? Apart from some wood :-)
By AES
#1267473
Depending on the sort of work you'll be doing, and the wood you'll use, you'll probably need some more blades. Search here and I posted a blades chart from Pegas some time back, alternatively Axi should have one, the Pagas web site has several downloadable ones, and search the Internet too (especially US sites, there's loads of info there, and Pegas aren't the only good blade maker by a long chalk).

Just for info, for cutting wood (just about any sort, inc ply and MDF) I normally have Pegas MGT blades standing by, Nos. 9, 7, 5, and 3 cover just about everything wood for me (but you'll need something else if you're going to be cutting much plastic or metal).

Good luck with your new purchase, lots of fun ahead!