If you’re interested in getting into woodworking, using a scroll saw is a great way to start. But getting your hands on a scroll saw is only the first step towards making an incredible wooden piece. You’ll want to choose the right scroll saw blades for your application to get the results you want. But what kind of saw blade is best? There are so many types of blades it’s hard to know which one to choose. Some are best for beginner scroll saw users while others require a more experienced hand to wield effectively.

Although they can cut a wide variety of materials, the vast majority of blades are manufactured to cut wood since it’s the most common application. The teeth on the blade tear into the wood, and different sized and shaped teeth can have different effects. The distance between the teeth can also affect their performance, and what materials they work best with. Since larger are sturdier, you want to find the largest possible

What is a Scroll Saw?

A scroll saw is a device used to make intricate cuttings in various materials including wood and metal. It’s a great option for both novice and experienced woodworkers because it’s relatively safe and quiet compared to other instruments used for working with wood. Compared to other woodworking machinery which is known for being noisy and dangerous, it’s easy to see the appeal of the simple yet powerful scroll saw. But the key to working with one effectively is selecting the proper blade.

Make Delicate Cuts With Ease

Unlike other cutting implements, the scroll saw blades allow it to make delicate cuts with ease. Because of this, choosing the right blade for your machine and project is essential to getting optimal results. Besides getting a blade that is the right shape and size, you also want one that is good quality to ensure performance. The quality of the blade can depend on the method used to manufacture it.

Higher quality blades are generally ground from hardened steel on a stone wheel. These blades leave behind cuts that are both straight and smooth and are the optimal choice for complex cuts. They generally don’t require a lot of sanding after the fact, which helps make the project easier to complete. Manufacturers create milled blades using a milling cutter and soft steel. The steel is then heat tempered, and the result is a blade similar in quality to a ground blade. But since more variables go into its construction, there are more chances for material flow affecting how straight it cuts.

How Is The Scroll Saw Blades Used & What Are They Used For?

When dealing with scroll saw blades, always remember to point the teeth down when installing the blade for both safety and effectiveness. There is a wide variety of different blades designed to suit different purposes. Consider how intricate the design you’re trying to create is, and the composition of the material you’re working with. Materials which are thick or hard require larger blades and larger teeth. Smaller teeth and smaller blades work better for complex designs and softer materials. We’ll go over the seven major types of blades available to choose from:

Standard Too Blades

Standard tooth blades have teeth that are the same size and distance apart. Wooden standard tooth blades have larger teeth and more space between them while metal blades have smaller teeth with less space in between. These blades are designed to clear the sawdust away while you work, improving your visibility and making your project easier.

Skip Tooth Blades

Skip-tooth blades look like standard tooth blades, but every other tooth is missing. This wider gap between teeth helps keep the blade cool, making this a great option for beginners. You’ll have plenty of time to go at your own pace and focus on your design.

Double-Tooth Blades

Double-tooth blades resemble skip-tooth blades but with larger spaces between the teeth. Although these cut slower than other types of blades, they leave a very smooth cut behind. This means they’re ideal for delicate work since you can take your time and get smooth lines.

Reverse Skip-Tooth Blades

Reverse skip-tooth blades have bottom teeth that point upwards. These teeth help prevent the material you’re working with from tearing and splintering. They are a great choice when you’re working with weaker surfaces such as plywood.

Precision-Ground Blades

Precision-ground blades have small teeth which have been ground down rather than filed. They’re extremely sharp which allows them to cut in straight lines and leave smooth surfaces behind. These blades have a great effect, but can be difficult to use and leave little room for error. If you’re just starting out using a scroll saw, you might want to avoid this blade at first. This style can be unforgiving and is best for those who are more experienced.

Spiral Blades

Spiral blades are a group of blades which have been twisted together so there are teeth all around them. This allows you to cut in all directions without having to turn the wood. These blades should be reserved for special applications since they cannot make tight or sharp corners. They leave behind rough, wide surfaces, but allow you to change direction quickly and easily.

Crown-Tooth Blades

Crown-tooth blades are a relatively new design in which the teeth are shaped like crowns with a space between each one. These blades cut slower than most others, but they’re ideal for working with plastics or Plexiglas.

Other Materials

Special blades are designed to work with uncommon materials such as metal, plastic, and glass. Traditional blades may not work correctly on these materials.
Choosing the correct scroll saw blades is essential to making sure your project comes out right. There is a lot of criteria to consider when choosing your blades, but that’s not to discredit the importance of experimentation. Experiment with different types of blades and see which ones you feel most comfortable working with. Start out with a few skip-tooth blades and crown-tooth blades and go from there. As you get used to these, branch out into other types of blades and see which ones you suit your personal preference and skill.

How Is A Scroll Saw Blades Size Measured?

There is a lot of variety when it comes to the size of scroll saw blades. The thicker and wider the blade, the thicker and harder material it can cut through with ease. The smaller the teeth, the more complex designs the blade can cut. With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to think about your project before choosing your blade.

Teeth Per Inch

One way to quantify these blades is by using TPI, or Teeth Per Inch. The higher the TPI, the more intricate cuts it can make and the faster it can turn. These blades are ideal for working with soft wood that requires a delicate touch. Because larger blades are more durable than smaller ones, try to choose the largest size possible without sacrificing the delicate cutting you need for your project. It’s a tricky balance, but it’s necessary to avoid wearing out your blades quickly, or not being able to complete your task.

Between Pins

Manufacturers measure blades between the pins, and a 5″ blade is the most popular. The TPI on these blades can vary significantly, but they fit most standard scroll saws. Another number you’ll frequently see listed for saw blades is the width. Both teeth per inch and blade thickness can stay the same from size to size, or they can vary dramatically. Make sure you read all the numbers carefully when ideal for working with plastics or Plexiglas.

If you’re looking to cut into a material such as plastic or glass, make sure you get a blade specialized for the task. Almost all manufacturers offer blades for these applications, so make sure you get the right one.

Here’s A Video About Scroll Saw Cutting for Beginners Pt1

Scroll Saw Blades – The Conclusion

Using a scroll saw you could create a wide variety of impressive patterns, but you must find the right scroll saw blade first. For complex projects, you’ll need a blade with small teeth to get all the details just right. But for hard or thick materials, you’ll want a larger blade with big teeth. Use the largest blade possible that still allows you to get the intricate cutting you need to be done. This will ensure you aren’t constantly replacing your blades and you still have the control possible to finish the job.

Choose A Blade Specialized For The Task

If you’re looking to cut material besides wood, make sure you choose a blade specialized for the task. When selecting a blade to work on wood, be sure to consider the size of the material and how sturdy it is. Reverse skip-tooth blades prevent tearing and splintering on surfaces such as plywood.

Manufacturers label blades according to the teeth per inch, the distance between the teeth, and the width of the blade. Having 5 inches between the teeth is standard and works with most scroll saws, but other sizes are available. Skip-tooth blades are the most common type and work well for beginning users. Experiment with various blades and work your way up from easy to use skip-tooth and crown-blades to the more complex precision-ground blades.

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