As a woodworker, you often find yourself needing to cut out some letters. Aside from having a perfect pattern and design for your letters, you also need a great letter cutter. For this kind of task, I prefer these two power tools that perfect for cutting letters and words out of the wood most precisely and efficiently. They are scroll saw and jigsaw.
Difference Between Jigsaw and Scroll Saw as Letter Cutters
Both jigsaw and scroll saw are the best power tool saws that most suitable for cutting letters. Their main difference is in the result and level of precision. If you want a cutter that you can use for most general cutting jobs, you can get a jigsaw. It can give you great results provided that you are already adept at using it. Otherwise, you can get a so-so result. If you want a very precise result when cutting letters, you have to get a scroll saw. This type of saw is intended for this particular task alone.
How Jigsaw Been Used To Cut Wooden Letters & Words?
A jigsaw is a portable and handheld saw. Some jigsaws are cordless. It comes with a countering saw blade, placed at the top, and can be moved downward. With a jigsaw, you can do straight and more simple curved cuts. It is safe to use and being multipurpose; it is one of the most popular woodworking tools that you can find in most homes.
Among the reasons why jigsaw is a favorite is its affordable price and many uses. It is very handy and can be used to make various types of cuts.
How Scroll Saw Been Used To Cut Wooden Letters & Words?
As for the scroll saw, it is like a bigger jigsaw that looks like a sewing machine. Because it is a large piece of woodworking tool with a small and thin vertically mounted reciprocating blade, you have to move around it. If you need to cut a large piece of wood, you need to drive the wood into its blade. Picture a seamstress knitting something, feeding the fabric into her sewing machine’s needle!
Scroll saw is used by professional woodworkers and woodcutters. You can find it in a woodworking bench. It is expensive and quite challenging to move it around for portability purposes. You adjust to it. If you are making the more detailed or complex cutting design on your woodworking project, you will need a scroll saw.
Scroll saw is more suitable for the intricate cutting designs and patterns. It can make pierce cuts or make carvings in the middle of the wood. Imagine if you are making a letter O and you need to punch a hole in the middle, a scroll saw can do it for you effortlessly.
If you are doing simple wood letters with less stylish curves, a jigsaw will do. If you are planning to make complexly designed letters with curves along the lines of a pattern, you will need a scroll saw. You will also need a scroll saw for making fancy fonts.
Best Jigsaw & Scroll Saw for Cutting Letters
1) DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw
How can you make a perfect cut with a scroll saw? By having a steady hand and a scroll saw, that doesn’t make too much vibration! This is what the DeWalt DW788 is. Make those complex cutouts with this letter cutter without worrying about vibration and noise. This heavy saw is enclosed in its solid cast iron body with a double parallel-link arm design.
Changing blades is easy with the DeWalt DW788. With this saw, you can also make cuts from 0.75 depth to 2 inches. If you need to cut large woodwork, this scroll saw can help you with its throat length of 20 inches. If you need to make inside cuts, you can just lift the arms of this scroll saw. Also, the table can be tilted to 45 degrees in both directions so it can easily make a bevel. This scroll saw runs with a 1.3-amp motor that is capable of making 400-1,750 SPM.
This scroll saw features an on/off switch, flexible dust blower, electronic variable speed plus a blade tensioning lever, making it a great investment despite its high price. Dewalt even offers a three-year warranty for this product.
The only downside that we can see with this scroll saw is its blade. It seems like it doesn’t make a clean, centered cut. You need to bend the blade slightly to ensure that it won’t cut your other things from your worktable.
2) WEN 3921 Scroll Saw
If the budget is not a problem, you can pick this WEN 3921 Scroll Saw and start making those clean and precise cuts on your woodwork project. This saw comes with innovative features such as infinite ripping capability with its two-directional blades, a unique design for this WEN scroll saw.
This scroll saw has a 16 inches throat capacity. It is shorter than other scroll saws out there but is one of the few brands that can infinite ripping. It is compatible too with pin and pinless blades. However, it only relies on its tool-free thumb screw adapter for blade, and oftentimes, you cannot rely on it when using a pinless blade. With this setup, you might end up fiddling more than making cuts as you keep the blade holder in place.
With so many options when it comes to brands of scroll saw, beginners often find it challenging to pick a scroll saw. The WEN 3921 Scroll Saw is a practical pick because of its price, usage, and warranty from WEN.
It offers 400-1,600 SPM variable speed so you can control your cuts, and with up to two-inch cut depth, you can make different patterns and styles with this tool. For beveled cuts, the 45-degree tilt of its table can surely help you as well.
This saw tool also comes with a light and a blower, but don’t expect too much from it. The blower seems too weak even blow away the thick dust, and the light is not strategically placed, so you cannot use it well. In summary, this WEN 3921 is more suitable for beginner DIYers who are looking for an affordable scroll saw for quite complicated letter cuts that jigsaw can’t do.
3) Dremel MS20-01
The Dremel MS20-01 can be considered as a multi-functional scroll and coping saw. Buying a multipurpose tool is one a practical thing to do for most woodworkers. This is what Dremel Moto-Saw offers – practicality. It offers a scroll saw and coping in one product with the Dremel MS20-01.
This product is a perfect solution for woodworkers who need to make different cuts with different materials. It can cut plastic, wood, metal, and laminates. In addition, it is portable and easy to store and setup as needed. It also comes with a tool-free mechanism that allows blade changing in an instant.
Replacing the blade is easy with its auto-tensioning feature. Furthermore, it can automatically set the blade in taut position, ready to make new cuts. This scroll saw comes with an ergonomic handle so you can easily hold it. It is non-slip, allowing a tighter grip when cutting.
To turn it into a coping saw, you can just remove the saw from its base. In case you need to transport it to make cuts in a different place, just simply disconnect it from the main base. Lastly, this tool has a fast clamp base that you can connect to any flat surface (workbench or table).
4) Bosch JS470E Jigsaw
In most woodworking shops, you can easily spot a Bosch JS470E Jigsaw. It is often described by users in one word: “smooth”.
The Bosch JS470E Jigsaw doesn’t jump around nor grab when cutting. It just produces a straight and seamless cut. It produces a low-vibration movement and doesn’t cause shaky movement when used. It is easy to use with its variable speed dial button that you can lock easily. This jigsaw can do up to 3,100 strokes per minute (SPM) with its 7amp motor.
The amazing features of this jigsaw tool are impressive, which is why it costs a lot. It is one of the most expensive woodworking tools you can find – indeed an investment to reckon. Though not considered as a downside, the six-speed set can affect your productivity as you cannot lock the trigger for every set. Some woodworkers also find the one-year warranty too short.
5) DEWALT DCS331B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Jig Saw
Portability affects maneuverability, and if you want flexibility when doing woodwork, you should get a cordless jigsaw-like the Dewalt DCS331B. It is cordless, yet with its 20V Max power, it can produce the power you need to make those cuts without limiting your movements.
This jigsaw from Dewalt can do3,000 SPM. This blade speed is faster when compared to other corded jigsaw brands. It offers up to an inch length of cut. It only weighs 7 pounds with the battery on, so be aware when using it, it might tire your arms after using it for hours.
With its high price comes a three-year warranty. This is one good consideration if you are planning to invest in your woodworking tools. This jigsaw comes with a dust blower so you can easily dust off and see the line when cutting. However, some users find the blower too weak to blow off the dust.
6) BLACK+DECKER Jigsaw BDEJS600C
If you are looking for a budget-friendly jigsaw, you can check the offer from Black+Decker. This SmartSelect jigsaw from Black+Decker employs a 5amp motor that can do up to 3,000 SPM at a 0.75 inches stroke length.
With the use of this Black=Decker jigsaw, you can still make a smooth, clean, and accurate cut. The only issue that most users have is the adjustability. You can only make the adjustment with speed through its trigger. You cannot lock on one speed, either.
This Black+Decker jigsaw is not compatible with U-shank blades for safety reasons. It might work with its blade-lock mechanism, but after prolonged use, the blade-lock might lose tension and won’t be able to hold the U-shank blade. This is not a problem though with a T-shank blade.
At 4.6 pounds, you will be surprised at how this jigsaw performs without much vibration. It seems like its handle absorbs the vibration. With two-years warranty under its sleeve, this is indeed one of the best beginner’s jigsaw that you can consider on the market today.