Scroll Saw Blade Direction

January 20, 2022

Setting the scroll saw blade.

If it is your first time using the scroll saw, you might get fascinated by its blade movements. One thing for sure is that the scroll saw blade appears to be moving up and own. So, if you look intently at it, you might get confused as to what stroke it cuts. The scroll saw blade cuts on its downward stroke. Knowing how the scroll saw blade cuts would allow you to position its saw blade correctly. 

At the onset, it will help to check whether the teeth’ direction is pointing downward. Remember that if you install it wrongly, the saw blade will not cut. Worst of all, it will pick your wood piece up and hurl it back at you, injuring you in the process.

Which Way Should Scroll Saw Teeth Face?

Checking the direction of the teeth of the scroll saw blade is crucial to the effective use of this saw. Hence, at the start, it will help if you check the teeth’ direction. Ensure that they are pointing downward in front of your saw. As mentioned above, you can never cut if the saw blade’s teeth are pointing backward or installed backward. 

Moreover, it will put you at risk of injuring yourself if you install it wrongly. Besides, when installing smaller blades, you might find the blade rotating as you tension the saw blade. So, make sure that when you cut, the blade does not turn in a different direction.

Does the Scroll Saw Cut on Its Downward or Upward Stroke?

The scroll saw, of course, is perfect for cutting intricate curves. It can complete these jobs with ease and accuracy. You can likewise use the scroll saw to make dovetail joints. Plus, you can use it for intarsia projects that are thicker. 

The scroll saw’s kerf is hard to see when you use a finer scroll saw blade. So, it will be challenging to figure out on what stroke the smaller blade cuts.

However, as mentioned above, the scroll saw blade cuts on its downward stroke. Yet, the spiral blades and the crown tooth blades can also cut on both up and down strokes. These two saw blades are specialized scroll saw blades. Besides, you can use them for cutting various shapes with abrupt curves and turns. 

How Would You Determine the Scroll Saw Blade’s Direction?

You will find it easy to figure out the direction of the scroll saw blade when it cuts by simply looking at the saw blade in most scroll saws. In the majority of scroll saws, you will see the saw blade pointing downward and the teeth’ rake pointing downward. However, on several reverse tooth blades, you might find it a challenge to determine the direction of the saw blade. 

Hence, many manufacturers print the pieces of information about the blade on the blade’s top portion to help users use the saw blade correctly. So, you need to check the label, especially those of the reverse tooth blade, before you mount it on the scroll saw.

Simple Steps on Installing Scroll Saw Blades

When installing a scroll saw blade, you will see a slot on its clamp to which you would insert the saw blade. Then, tighten the screw to affix it tightly. The clamp serves as a hook. The upper end of the saw blade, however, doesn’t necessitate a clamp. Instead, the upper arm works like a clamp, which means the screw and the slit serve as a permanent feature of the scroll saw’s upper arm. Hence, if you want to replace the saw blade, you only need to unscrew the locker screw of the upper arm. Afterward, release the saw blade. 

You can then jiggle up and down the saw blade, releasing the hook-like adaptor on its bottom end. This process will entirely release the saw blade. Pull out the saw blade. Then, do away with the bottom clamp. Afterward, prepare the new saw blade and fix the bottom clamp on this new blade. 

Do not forget the bottom side. Ensure that the teeth are pointing downward. Once you’ve added the bottom clamp, you can now set the new blade. Insert the new blade in the like manner that you have pulled out the old saw blade. Locate the saw’s lower arm’s tip. You will see a curved edge. Put the clamp around this curved edge. Then pull the saw blade upwards. 

Use an upward force a bit when installing the new blade. This will keep the new blade from going off the right spot and from moving. Hold with your one hand the new saw blade. Push the saw’s upper arm downward. With minimal force, the upper arm will lower itself. Afterward, you can slide the saw blade through the slit. Then, tighten up the screw again.


Before using a scroll saw, it will always be best to check the teeth’ direction. Such routine checking will enable you to avoid the risk of using a scroll saw with a wrongly installed saw blade. Remember that if you use a scroll saw with a wrongly installed saw blade, the risk of injuring yourself gets higher. So, at the onset, you should ensure that your safety is your foremost priority when using woodworking tools like the scroll saw. 

Make sure likewise that you have good lighting when using the scroll saw. With good lighting, you can clearly see the pattern you would need to cut. Check the blade tension likewise. It should neither be too much nor too little. By following the safety precautions and simple tips, you can safely use your scroll saw blade and make precise cuts in the process. 

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