How to Use a Scroll Saw? (6 Steps)

How to Use a Scroll Saw

You must have seen furniture coming with woodwork designs; for doing those cutting designs, you will need a scroll saw. Not only furniture and a lot of metal craft projects, but wood projects also require scroll saws for cutting attractive designs. Making such designs is way too easy with a scroll saw. All you need to know is the right use of the machine.

If you are here to learn the basic use of a scroll saw, then you landed on the right page. Below I have shown how to use a scroll saw easily and effectively. We have divided the entire process into small steps so that you can easily understand and get to work.

With that said, let’s get into the process!

How to Use a Scroll Saw Effectively?

Here we are going to show you the using process of a scroll saw. But to get the best result, you have to make sure that you choose the right scroll saw. In that case, we would suggest you go with the reputed brands which have been serving the market with quality products for a pretty long time.

Products from such brands might be a little expensive, but they will be worth it. Doesn’t matter how skilled you are; if your machine is not up to the mark, then the experience is going to be bad for sure. So make sure you choose the right machine!

Step 1

The very first thing you would want to do is mark your design. Let’s assume you are going to cut a design on a wood piece. First, mark the design with a pencil, making sure the mark is sharply visible. If you are a complete beginner, then we would suggest you go with a very simple design.

Pick a scrap wood piece and mark a very simple design such as a star or round shape or anything. Since you are new, first you should adapt to how a scroll machine exactly works, then you can run into complex designs. However, mark the design with a pencil.

Step 2

This is the most important step of the entire process. After marking the design, now wear safety goggles. When you use the machine on materials, there will be a lot of dust that can come in contact with your eyes.

Not only that, if anyhow the blade breaks, that also can lead to a heavy injury (we hope nothing much ever happens with anyone). But who knows, an accident might occur at any time, and the best we can do is to take precautions.

After wearing the gloves, tie your hair at the back if you have long hair. Wear a face mask so that you don’t inhale the dust. And lastly, do not wear loose-fitting clothe and any jewelry when you are working with a saw machine. Because if somehow they stick to the saw blade or motor, that can also cause you to pay a big price.

Step 3

Now comes the assembling step. There are different types of scroll saws, and the assembling process is not the same at all. For assembling, you better follow the instructions that come with the purchase. Take a look at the instruction guide and find out how to clamp, screw, and bolt the machine into the ground.

Step 4

Now time to think about the scroll saw blade. Which blade should you pick since there are different types of blades? Which blade you should pick depends on the material you will be cutting through. The thinner your material is, the smaller blade you will require.

There is a perk of small blades; they cut through the material slowly, which will give you more control compared to the larger blades. However, for 3.2mm thing wood material, you should choose a #2 or #3 blade.

On the other hand, if you are cutting on thicker material, then with the thickness, the blade size will also increase. If the wood piece you have picked is 19mm thick, go for a #5 or #7 blade. One more thing, be very careful when you are working with large blades. They are faster, which gives you less control. And this is why every professional suggests newbies start with the thinner piece first.

Step 5

After you choose the suitable blade, you have to adjust the tension of the blade. When tensioning the blade, follow the instruction given by the manufacturer. To find out if the blade is properly tensioned or not, apply decent pressure to the middle of the blade with your finger. If the blade doesn’t move more than 1/8 inch, then assume the tension is proper.

The meaning of right tension means finding the correct balance between the blade so that when working, the blade doesn’t cave, which means you get the finest accuracy. That being said, do not tighten the blade too much that it snaps down.

Step 6

When you have the proper tension, it’s time for the action. Plug the saw into an electric outlet and then turn the power button of the machine on. Every scrolling saw machine comes with light; make sure to turn that on too, it doesn’t matter how much light you have in your working place.

One more thing, check if your machine has a dust blower or not. If you have, turn that on. Almost all the dust produced from the workpiece will be removed.

Scroll Saw 101 - How to Use a Scroll Saw


If you are still here, then you must have to learn how to use a scroll saw. This is the basic, which is enough to get you started. Once you get started, you will figure out the rest. That being said, at any cost, do not get to work without wearing safety gear. Silly mistakes can cost you a big price. Do not wait until you experience it.