An Overview of Scroll Saw Blade Types and Sizes

understanding your scroll saw blade types

Creating custom woodworking pieces sometimes requires fine detailed work you can achieve by using a scroll saw. These saws provide precision cutting on the exact cut lines you have determined and it does so with incredible accuracy and intricacy. 

Depending on the type of blade you use for your scroll saw, you can easily refine your woodworking skills and create personalized pieces that are unique in their design. Understanding your blade options can help you become a master at scrollwork and enhance your woodworking abilities. 

Scroll Saw Blades Types

​Scroll saws use a reciprocating blade that allows you to cut in the middle of a piece of wood without an edge entry point. ​This allows you to enter and exit from practically anywhere on the wood. These saws are perfectly suited for intricate cuts that involve a lot of tight turns and adjustments. 

There are several types of scroll saw blades types to consider when using your scroll saw. The following blade options are most commonly used with a scroll saw:

Standard tooth blades:

This is a uniform blade with teeth, spaced evenly along the edge. All teeth face downward to help clear saw dust as you cut. This is a good beginner blade, and usually the first type of scroll saw blade you'll use. 

Many of the saws in our scroll saw review article come with a standard tooth blade so you can get started right away.

Skip tooth blades:

As the name suggests, these blades skip every other tooth. The benefit of this blade is that it operates cooler and prevents scorching as you cut.

This is also a good blade for a novice.

Double skip tooth blades:

For a smoother cut, you will want to try a double skip tooth blade. This blade incorporates a double space between every two teeth.

Crown blades:

This newer blade option has the teeth affixed in a crown fashion. This allows the blade to be used in either direction, giving you two cutting-edge options. It is typically used to cut plexiglass.

Reverse skip blades:

The bottom few teeth of this blade face upward rather than downward. This helps when cutting wood that easily splinters and also prevents burning as it is able to stay cooler as you cut.

Spiral blades:

This blade is not as common as the others mentioned here, but it can be useful as it allows you to cut in any direction without rotating  your wood piece.

Because the blade incorporates several toothed blades that are wound together, you get a rougher cut which may only be optimum for certain cutting applications.

Depending on the type of scrollwork you are doing, you may also want to invest in a diamond blade to cut glass or a hardened steel blade to cut metal. This can give you additional flexibility in with your scroll saw.

Scroll Saw Blade Sizes

Scroll saw blades come in a variety of sizes. This can help determine the types and size of wood or other material you are able to cut with your scrolls saw.

scroll saw blade types

Photo credit: cdsessums on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

The blades of a scroll saw are numbered, with some of the largest being a #12 and some of the smallest being #30, which is used in jewelry making. You'll want to pay close attention to the number, and adjust depending on the scroll project and plan that you are following. 

Large Scroll Blades

The larger the blade, in most instances, the thicker the cutting surface is. Larger blades also have a smaller number of teeth per inch on the cutting edge, giving you less of a fine cut as you work.

The size of your scroll saw blade determines your turning capability as you cut. A large #12 blade does not have as much flexibility in cutting curves and precise angles as a small #30 blade that is designed for more intricate cutting.

Small Scroll Blades

Smaller scroll saw blade sizes also allow you to get into tight corners of your wood piece easier. This is because they can follow the cutting outline without creating a rough cut that goes outside the lines of your guide.

When you use a large scroll saw blade, you have less control over how the blade turns. It isn’t as nimble in its cutting abilities.  With a large blade you will not be able to make tight turns.

The Best Scroll Saw Blade

Choosing the right scroll saw blade for your woodworking piece is essential to the success of your project. You will need to consider several factors to ensure you have selected the right blade for the application you are performing.

The material thickness you are cutting will dictate if you use a thick or thin blade. Thicker or heavier materials need a larger blade to ensure complete cutting.

Along with the thickness of the material, you need to understand and identify what type of material you are cutting. Wood requires a different blade for cutting than a harder material such as metal would need. If you proceed to cut metal with a blade that is designed for wood surfaces, you will easily dull it and make it more difficult, if not impossible, to cut.

Typically, for thicker material, a bandsaw is preferred to a scroll saw. These saws are much more substantial, and cut thicker material with ease. However, the bandsaw cannot make as intricate of turns.

Your cutting design is also central to choosing the right blade to use with your scroll saw. More intricate designs will require a finer blade that is able to generate the curves, angles, and precision cuts you need without leaving rough edges or burn marks.

scroll saws are used for fine detailed woodworking

When choosing the right blade for your scroll saw, always opt with the largest blade that will provide you the finest cut you need for your woodworking project. This will ensure you get the maximum usage out of your blade. It will also help you maneuver and control your cuts with precision and grace.

Your scroll saw will benefit from the use of a blade that is specifically designed for the work you are completing. Going with too large a blade or too small a blade will sacrifice the quality of your project and not produce the results you are looking for.

Conclusion

When creating custom woodworking pieces, ​a scroll saw is one of the best saws to use for detailed and ornate pieces. . Always choose scroll saw blade types that compliment your cutting application both in the size and blade configuration offered.

You will find that it is easier to cut your woodworking piece and create the scroll work you have envisioned for your wood project.

Leave a Comment: