What Is a Scroll Saw Used For?

October 21, 2022

Use scroll saw to cut detailed curve line on wood.

A scroll saw is an excellent sawing tool for several woodworking tasks, including inlay, fretwork, and the creation of stunning woodcuts. If you are a wood artist, you would probably need a scroll saw on your collection.

Different Types of Cuts That Scroll Saw Can Make

Curved Cuts

Most sawing tools are having a hard time cutting accurate curves. This may not be a problem for ordinary building jobs, but flawless curves are required when it comes to more complex tasks. Scroll saw is the best when cutting such delicate cuts.

The shape of a scroll saw’s blade makes cutting curves into workpieces simpler. The cutting may take some time, but the scroll saw provides the most accurate and most delicate cut among other types of saw. Scroll saw is useful for a variety of tasks.


If you’re searching for the most effective way of cutting letters from wood and other suitable materials, it isn’t easy to imagine anything better than a scroll saw. Scroll saws make it simple to create precise right angles, curves, and other complex cuts.

Dovetail Joints

Dovetail joints are one of the world’s oldest types of joints. Ancient churches and even Egyptian pyramids used dovetail joints during their time.

This joint is created by cutting two materials’ ends into matching trapezoid shapes, which fit together precisely and keep in place. If you followed the steps properly, a dovetail connection requires no metal fasteners. You would need wood glue or other suitable adhesives to keep it in place. 

These dovetail joints are made tiny and complex, and their proper operation requires the greatest accuracy. Cutting becomes much more difficult when dealing with a small workpiece. In nearly all cases, particularly with smaller parts, a scroll saw is the optimal tool for producing dovetail connections.


Intarsia is a traditional type of art that uses chopped hardwood pieces to create depth and a more three-dimensional appearance. Each material is cut separately and then attached to a surface or connected to other parts to create the design.

While intarsia may be challenging to create, it is still possible for a beginner woodworker to create one.

The wood parts must perfectly match together to get the finest design on an intarsia project. The scroll saw excels in creating tight-fitting joints easily.

Here are some advice gathered from some of the country’s top scroll saw intarsia artisans.

Intarsia is a technique that involves making a picture using wood as your color and shape palette.

For the majority of intarsia projects, you’ll need a range of various types of wood from which to choose the appropriate pieces to bring your design to life. You have to consider the color and the durability of the wood in intarsia projects.

As you would guess, intarsia needs the utmost precision and attention to detail skills to make it successfully. A scroll saw is the only tool capable of doing this. If you want to do it with a knife, then it would really take you a long time to finish one intarsia project.

The capability to stack cut also adds to the appeal of fretwork, particularly when many reproductions of a design are required on a single job.

The scroll saw simplifies the task of precisely matching patterns. 


Fretwork is often used to design Victorian houses, as well as the furnishings and furniture found inside. 

Fretwork is the complex and intricate geometric patterns seen on a variety of wood and metal ornaments. Excellent fretwork resembles delicate lace rather than metal or wood. The best way to create fretwork is by using a scroll saw.

On the outside, fretwork seems complicated, which discourages some woodworkers from attempting to make one.

Fretwork is a very simple process when using a scroll saw. Proper blade selection and a thorough knowledge of the pieces you are cutting with are two critical factors in completing excellent fretwork tasks.

You can only make a fretwork by using a scroll saw. Using other sawing tools will only lead you to disappointment. Nothing can beat scroll saw in terms of accurate cutting.

The key to creating a successful fretwork is a detachable blade that goes through a tiny hole in the metal or wood you are working with. Handsaws were used for fretwork projects in the past.

With the invention of the scroll saw, it became possible to create fretwork easily. 


When it comes to amazing scroll saw projects, nothing beats inlay work.

A scroll saw can simplify and enhance this creative and elegant process, resulting in magnificent masterpieces.

An inlay is a method that involves putting various colors and kinds of wood into depressions cut to create creative designs that are flush with the top surface.

It is possible to create delicate inlay patterns, complex designs, and even images using a scroll saw. Metal and wood can be used for inlay work.

An inlay, like intarsia, needs exact joints to achieve the desired appearance.

The goal is for the pattern or picture to look seamless between the inlay materials and the base material through which the inlay is placed.

Inlay work, unlike intarsia, does need high woodworking skills. Scroll saw will definitely help cut, but woodworking skills will also play a significant role in inlay work.

Carving or chisel work is required to create the depression in the base material. If you are looking to extend your woodworking abilities beyond the scroll saw, an inlay method is an excellent place to start.

Advantages of Using Scroll Saw

A scroll saw is fundamentally different from a miter saw, band saw, jigsaw, or any other kind of sawing tool. Generally, you can substitute another saw for one type of saw, but you cannot replace a scroll saw with another type of saw.

To put it another way, a radial arm saw is almost as excellent as a circular saw, and a circular saw may be used instead of a miter saw. However, a scroll saw exists in its world. Is it a good or bad thing that scroll saw can’t be replaced by other sawing tools? Let’s find out more!

Smaller in Comparison

A scroll saw is relatively tiny in comparison to other sawing tools. Generally, it does not need a connected workbench/table. The scroll saw base would serve for the most part since the sawing tool is rarely used on large boards.

It is capable of working on parts as small as a few inches wide. Additionally, you may create angle cuts by tilting either the top or lower portion of the saw to one side.

Lower RPM And Torque

Additionally, the motor utilized in most models of a scroll saw is on the weaker side. The reason for this is because the tool is intended for use on fragile and intricate cuts. You will undoubtedly take your time using it, but rest assured that you will have the most precise and finest cuts you want as a result. Even with a strong motor, you will never be able to cut quickly with a scroll saw.

Ultra- Thin Blade

Because the blade used in this sawing tool is so thin, it is unnecessary to account for the blade’s kerf. You can even do a 90-degree rotation at the moment without risking harming the piece or the blade. This is the reason why the scroll saw has an ultra-thin blade.

Detachable Blade

The saw’s blade is narrow and lengthy. It is attached to the jaws on both sides. However, it is very simple to remove one end. This is critical for accessing the piece’s core while maintaining the edges completely intact.

Simply drill a hole in the center, loosen the blade, and put it through the hole. You are now ready to bend the center portion out without approaching it from one side as regular saws require.

The Perfect Finishing

A scroll saw’s cut is almost flawless. This is because of the blade’s sharp teeth. While cutting, the edges are often so fine that they do not need sanding to become polished. This is an added benefit for those who own a scroll saw.

Cut At A Low Speed

You will undoubtedly end up disappointed if you expect your scroll saw to cut your materials fast and swiftly. Scroll saw are intended to cut delicate patterns. They are not strong compared to other types of saw since they have low RPM and torque. You may have to find other sawing tools if you just want to cut materials quickly.


A scroll saw has been around for a long time. Over time, the scroll saw was improved to provide finer cuts for woodworkers. Few other instruments can match the degree of intricacy and reach provided by a scroll saw.

If you want to start woodworking, it is recommended to have a scroll saw in your collection. It will train you to improve your patience and self-discipline, which will come in handy later on.

When faced with a difficult job, the good old scroll saw comes in handy. It may require some time, but it will undoubtedly finish your task successfully.

Scroll saws have a surprising number of applications, both within the home improvement, construction industry, and beyond.

They are unmatched for producing the most intricate cuts and are suitable for artwork and fine carpentry for household tasks.

Additionally, they may be very affordable, making it simpler to add one to your tool collection.

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