What Scroll Saw Blade to Use?

by Marianne Vander Voord

What Scroll Saw Blade to Use?

It is important to maintain square cuts in order for Intarsia pieces to fit. There are so many variables from the scroll saw, which blade, to the lumber you are cutting. The easiest part of this equation is making sure your blade is square to the table. After that it can be a guessing game, the following information may help.

The most frequently asked question: What scroll saw blade do I use? I always hesitate to give a definitive answer because there are so many variables that can affect an accurate cut and the ability to keep your cuts square:

• Scroll Saw/Scroll Saw speed
• Wood - Soft, Medium, Medium Hard, Hard or really Hard?
• Thickness of Wood
• Density (how compact or concentrated.)
• Grain - Tight, Loose?

For the tests, we used the Seyco Saw (4000 – 1600RPM). Average saw speed was between 1400- 1550RPM.

We gathered many different species of 7/8” thick wood from Western Red Cedar to 7/8” Blood Wood. Clear packing tape was placed on the hard to really hardwoods. We tested Platinum, Platinum Plus, Titanium, Titanium Reverse, and TLB blades from size #3 to #9. 
The most significant finding:
If cuts are labored (sluggish), not staying square, don’t automatically go up a blade size, try going down a size. Adjust your speed up or down. Pay close attention to feed rate and avoid pushing. With the smaller blade size make sure you change your blade often. The narrow blade seems to move through the wood with less resistance. I could consistently use a Titanium or Platinum Plus #3 for smooth square cuts. I found that going up to a #9 presented some problems: With the #9 blades I felt the need to push the wood harder into the blade. Which in turn caused more burning and the inability to follow the line with accuracy, and caused the cuts to be out of square.
Here is a graph of our findings:

Marianne Vander Voord
Marianne Vander Voord


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