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At some point, everyone has to replace their scroll saw blades. No blade lasts forever, and some brands last for a shamefully short amount of time before you have to replace them.
It’s not always easy to find a good replacement online. There’s no sure way of telling what’s useful in a product description, and what’s just marketers downplaying a fault and overselling the strong points. You may avoid buying online, just because you can’t be certain you’re getting a good deal.
However, if you’re looking to upgrade your scroll saw experience, you’ve come to the right place. This list includes our top scroll saw blades of 2020, and reviews for each pack, which should help you find the variety that is right for you. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide which is designed to teach you everything you need to know about scroll saw blades before you buy.
|SKIL 80182 Plain End Set |
|Flying Dutchman Spiral Five Variety Pack||60-piece||4.6/5|
|Olson Saw FR49501|
(Best for the Money)
|Delta 40-519-Precision Blades||12-piece||4.2/5|
The SKIL 80182 Plain End Set (36) is our top pick among scroll saw blades. It comes with 36 blades, 12 with 28 teeth per inch, 12 with 11.5 teeth per inch, and 12 with 9.5 teeth per inch. This set strikes a nice balance between variety and quantity, giving you a good selection for different projects, but giving you enough blades of each type to do a lot of repetitive tasks without worrying about running out. Each blade is precision sharpened so that you’ll get good cuts with it right out of the box.
They’re also made of high-quality steel, which increases their endurance and helps them hold their edge for longer relative to inferior blades. They’re also good for working with wood, plastics and non-ferrous metals, which means you’ll be able to cut almost anything that you can cut with a scroll saw with these blades. The one gripe we have about these blades is that while they hold their edge well, they do wear out, and if you’re looking for blades that will last for a very long time, you’ll need to invest in something more expensive. However, this pack will be right for most home users.
The Flying Dutchman Spiral Five Variety Pack is a good choice for anyone who’s not sure what blades they want or knows already that they’re going to need a large variety of blades for multiple kinds of projects. This set includes blades that have been milled, which means they arrive with exceptional sharpness, and you get excellent cuts out of them. Included are five different styles that excel in different areas. Of note are the Ultra Reverse #5, which is a great general-purpose blade and the Polar #5 which is good for bone, Corian, wood, and acrylic pieces.
You get 12 of each kind of blade in this package, so you get plenty of each style in this set. That means that if you find one you like more than the others, you can use it frequently without running out of backups for it anytime soon. These blades are also some of the more durable ones on the market, so you won’t have to replace them that often unless you’re constantly using your scroll saw. What keeps this set out of first is the fact that the price is high relative to the value that you get.
The Olson Saw FR49501 is a great choice for anyone looking to get a great deal on their next scroll saw blade purchase. These blades are pinned, which means they’re what you’re looking for if you have a scroll saw that uses pinned blades. More modern scroll saws use pinless blades, which is the blade style in the previous two entries on our list. If you have an older model, then this is probably the set for you.
It comes with three different blade types, which gives you options depending on the material which you want to cut. You also get six of each blade type, which means you can work with one style consistently for a long time before you wear out all of the blades in a certain style. But, the very best thing about this model is that it is incredibly cheap, despite being great value, too. The one flaw it has is that the pins are of inconsistent quality, which sometimes means you get a blade that quickly breaks or that lasts until the blade is dull. However, if you have a scrolling saw that uses pinned blades, this is the set for you.
The Delta 40-519 Precision Blades set is the most polarizing set on our list. You’ll either love it, or you’ll hate it, depending on how you feel about particular features. These blades come with dual-direction teeth, which means the blade cuts very fast since it cuts on both the upstroke and downstroke on your scroll saw. That gets jobs done faster, but it could leave you feeling like you have less control than you’d like. It also comes with raker teeth, which help you get clean, accurate cuts with square sides and corners.
However, Delta doesn’t sell these blades in a variety pack, so you have to know which kind of blade you’ll want to use before you buy. There’s a chance you know that already, but if you’re looking to experiment or do a lot of different projects, you’d be better off with a variety pack. It also comes with relatively fewer teeth per inch than other blades, which means it may not cut as well, despite the high-quality tooth design. Overall, this is a set that’s going to be just right for some people, and very wrong for others, and drops it to the bottom of our list.
Hopefully, our reviews already have you thinking about what features you want to have in your next set of scroll saw blades. If you’re still not sure which set is right for you, be sure to check out this buyer’s guide, which is full of useful information. If you’ve never bought replacement blades before, this is a great place to learn everything you need to know before you buy. It’s also a good resource for people who haven’t bought replacement blades in a while and want to find out if there’s something better on the market.
There are two kinds of scroll saw blades, and you first need to figure out which kind you need before you buy. Older scroll saw models are far more likely to used pinned blades, which use pins to hold the blade in place. The advantage to this kind of blade is that it’s very easy to change out relative to the pinless blade. The cross piece that forms the pin rests in a hook-like holder that holds it in place while you cut, and all you have to do is release the blade tension and pop it out of the hooks when you’re ready to change out.
The downside is that in many projects you have to thread the blade through the project before you start to do an interior cut. The pin adds significant thickness to the blade in that one spot, which means you’re going to need a larger hole in order to get the blade through.
While you could thread a pinless blade through a project with a hole as small as 1/64”, the likely minimum size you could get a pinned blade through is 1/16”, which is a much larger hole. It’s not massive, though, and for many projects, it will be just fine, but if you have very tight tolerances, you’ll probably want to use a machine that uses pinless blades.
Pinless blades are superior for situations where you need a very precise cut and want to start with the smallest hole possible. Most modern machines use these blades for this purpose. They’re also straightforward to install and replace, though they do take a bit more time. Once you’ve threaded the blade through the piece, you have to insert the blade ends into slots above and below the table, and then tighten clamps at both locations to hold the blade in place.
Some models use quick clamp systems to make the clamping process faster, but they’re still not quite as fast as changing out a pinned blade.
While it may sound like pinned blades are held more securely than pinless blades, there is no difference between the two in this area, as both are safe to use if installed correctly. You should also keep in mind that you can’t use both types on a single machine. All scroll saws use one kind or the other.
The number of teeth per inch greatly changes the way the blade performs.
Blades with more teeth per inch more slowly because the teeth are smaller and remove less wood with each cut. However, this means that they can cut smoother curves than blades with more teeth per inch. If you’re working on a project that calls for a lot of tight curves, you’ll want to go with a blade with a very high tooth per inch count. However, these blades tend to be thinner and more fragile, which means that they won’t be up to cutting the hardest materials and that their durability will be lower than thicker blades with fewer teeth.
Since thicker blades are more durable, and faster, there are projects in which it makes a lot of sense to use them. If you’re making a rough cut, or have a design that calls for few, large curves, you can get it done a lot faster if you use a thicker blade with fewer teeth per inch.
The good news is that you can find blades at both extremes, but also find a ton of blades that fall somewhere in the middle and give a nice mix of speed and precision.
You’ll also find that while most manufacturers identify their blades with a teeth per inch designation, some brands use a differing numbering system to identify the same thing. Instead of saying what the teeth per inch on a given blade is, they instead assign it a number, ranging from 2/0 at the smallest, up to 9 in increments of two, so 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 are all common sizes in addition to 2/0.
On standard blades, all the teeth use the same design, and they are spaced an equal distance apart from each other. While most blades in this category are metal, you occasionally find wooden or plastic ones designed for use on plastic and metal surfaces.
Skip-tooth blades are often recommended to beginners because they don’t build up as much heat and because they cut very smoothly. Their tooth shape is similar to that found on a standard blade, but every other tooth is left out of the design, leaving larger gaps between each tooth. These blades will also cut a bit slower, so they’re a good choice if you’re worried about cutting too fast, or want to learn with a blade that feels like it’s under control.
Reverse skip-tooth blades
Reverse skip-tooth blades feature the same pattern as skip-tooth blades, except that the teeth closest to the bottom of the blade have been turned around and face the opposite direction. You’ll want to make sure that only a few of those teeth extend above the table when the blade is mounted. This tooth configuration results in less tearout on the bottom of the piece and is also useful for working with plywood, which is prone to splintering.
Double-tooth blades take the idea behind the skip-tooth blade and kick it up a notch. Every third tooth is skipped so that you have pairs of points down the blade separated by a single tooth-width gap. They’re a bit slower than skip-tooth and standard blades, but you can get an exceptionally smooth cut with them, which makes them good for detail work.
Spiral blades are twisted blades that feature points aimed 360-degrees around the blade’s center so that you can cut in any direction. They aren’t very precise, so they’re not great for precision work, and they don’t have too many uses overall, but they are good for quickly expanding a hole you plan to finish later neatly.
Crown-tooth blades feature teeth that come in pairs. Each pair features a tooth facing up and another facing down. This means that it doesn’t matter which way the blade is mounted, and it can cut in either direction. They’re not the fastest blades on the market, but they are good for cutting plastic, so this is a great blade to add to your arsenal if that’s the medium you’ll be cutting the most.
The SKIL 80182 Plain End Set (36) is our top pick due to its inclusion of 36 blades of three different types, the high-quality steel it’s made from, and its excellent precision sharpening. The Flying Dutchman Spiral Five Variety Pack includes five different blades styles, each precision-milled for sharpness, and known for good durability, though its price drops it out of first place. The Olson Saw FR49501 comes with 18 blades in three styles, and are pinned, making them the best choice for people who need pinned blades, and also provide great value for the money. The Delta 40-519 Precision Blades set features blades with dual-direction and raker teeth, but with a low tooth per inch count and only coming with one size per pack, it falls to the bottom of our list.
We hope that our buyer’s guide and reviews have taught you everything you need to know about scroll saw blades. Armed with that information, you should be able to buy the set that will make your next project a breeze.
More blade-types we’ve covered: