What Materials Can A Scroll Saw Cut?

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A scroll saw is used only for detailed work. Those who create designer furniture with intricate details use a scroll saw for fine woodworking and other detailing. Inlays, fretwork, and other types of detailing can be done on wooden furniture with this saw.

​You can create themed furniture themed from various eras with this saw. Create period furniture with decorative detailing using this saw.

Those who love designing furniture will love working with this saw as it keeps them engaged using it for fine detailed work. The blade alignment is important in a scroll saw. You can use various blades for design works using this saw.

What Materials Can a Scroll Saw Cut

A scroll saw can cut a variety of materials with the correct blade, including all types of wood, metal, plastic, brass, copper, plexiglass rubber, acrylic, leather, and even bone.

The best scroll saw for the money typically comes with good blade tension and alignment. ​You can use blades of finer width for jewelry making, all the way up to thicker blades for cutting hardwood.

You can create kerfs, make tiny cuts, as well as variable speed adjustments for creating a variety of designs on wood.

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Cutting metal material is a lot harder, and you have to be sure you have the right blade to use different blades for cutting metals.

How to Cut Different Materials with a Scroll Saw

A scroll saw is ideally used for artistic woodworking. Though it can cut a variety of materials, some are safe to use and a few unsafe.

It is essential to choose the material before you start cutting with this saw as it could result with chipping and burning the material if the wrong one is used. It is important of thickness or thinness of materials when you choose this saw.

Thicker materials could break the teeth of the blade. It is best to use this saw to cut material of thinner dimensions.

If you want to create large patterns you can choose a thicker material. It could smoke or burn but if you use the blade with proper alignment and setting, you can work efficiently with thicker materials as well.

Beginners can choose softwoods for practicing to use this saw and gradually work with hardwood once they know how to use the saw.

A scroll sits on a table, ready for use

1. Cutting plywood

The range of thickness for plywood and veneers is from 1/16th to 2 inches. You cannot cut thickness higher than 2-inches in wood with this saw. It is suggested that you choose a low-speed setting when cutting hardwood with this blade.

It is easy to use this blade with various speed settings. No matter what material you cut with this saw always use protective gear.

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You can use it for cutting cedar, birch, and plywood’s in softwoods. You can also cut through Polywood material which is less than 2-inches. It is the most durable material to work with and is eco-friendly.

2. Cutting Non-wood Materials

Plastic, Plexiglas, and acrylic are some of the materials that the saw can cut. Cutting material like plastic on a scroll saw is pretty easy, provided you have the correct blade.

Corian is also a type of plastic which is heat resistant and can be cut with a scroll saw.

You can use it for cutting leather as well as fabric and intricate designing works. But it works only with stiff fabrics and can snag when used to cut delicate fabrics.

With the right choice of blade, you can do a good job cutting a variety of materials with different patterns. You can as well carve a bone using this scroll saw. A few materials can release bad odors when you cut them for intricate and delicate designs.

3. Cutting Metals

This could get messy and you need to take precautions to protect the material. The ideal way to use a saw for cutting metals is to sandwich it between two pieces of plywood.

The metal you work on will not slide or fling when you work on it when you use this method of placing it in between two pieces of wood and cutting it.

You have to take safety precautions when cutting metals to prevent tool-related injuries. Wear safety goggles before you start with the cutting job to protect your eyes.

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You can lubricate the blade for cutting various types of metals such as aluminum, thin sheets of steel, etc. For cutting brass, copper, gold, and silver you don’t have to lubricate the blade.

Close up of a scroll saw

Other Types of Scroll Saw Cuts

​As you can see, this type of saw is far more versatile than you might think, and can cut through a variety of materials. Here are a few different types of cuts you can make:


This is a tedious method and requires patience as this is a time-consuming method. It could take many hours to complete the carving work using this saw.

You have to arrange various dimensions of blades when it comes to carving through wood or any other material. You can sort easily with some experience. The work you get done choosing the right blade can be impressive and admirable.

​Stack Cutting

With the right adjustment and alignment, you can choose to cut a stack of materials in a single pass. It is not built for heavy-duty cutting but can cut multiple pieces in a single go. You can stay productive using this saw if you are cutting multiple pieces at once.

Safety Precautions

While one of the safer power saws available, you still need to be careful when using a scroll saw.

  • Always clamp the materials for maximum safety.
  • Clear the sawing area from any objects or obstructions when you start sawing the materials. This prevents accidental cuts into other materials and lets you focus on cutting the material you have selected.
  • For every cutting you make, choose the right blades and tools to complete the job with high precision and perfection.
  • No matter what pattern you work with or the material you choose always do it under a good light. It helps you make accurate cuts and adjust the light at different angles to bring out the best work.
  • For creating intricate works, you ​should consider wearing magnifying glasses.


You could choose a scroll saw which comes with or without a stand. You have to look into features such as throat width, LED, dust blower, blade tension and width, arm spring, and other special features you want to look into before buying this saw.

​Choose the metrics and features depending on the material you choose to work with regularly. And, if you are looking for different types of saw, machines and tools then you must visit Machinefanatic.

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An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.