You may have heard the words scroll saw, jigsaw, and combination when speaking of hand tools used for woodworking. You might even have seen them side-by-side at one time or another. What you might not have known is that these two basic tools are actually different types of tools and machines. While it is possible to build both a scroll saw and a jigsaw with a few simple tools and machines, they are very different machines that do different jobs. A jigsaw is the general term used to describe the more commonly used wood cutting machine while a scroll is a term used to describe a tool that is more specialized.
Jigsaws and scroll saws are the exact same tools but they are also similar in many ways. Both machines make deep, intricate cuts in wood. The difference is that a jigsaw is a powerful tool to a scroll saw is more suited for precision work where the cut is made to a very fine detail. In fact, the precision is critical in many cases because if the cut is off just a little bit, the wood can be ruined.
Many woodworkers own both a jigsaw and a scroll saw. They are so versatile that some woodworkers use them in combination with each other. Some people like to make jewelry, furniture, and miniature sculptures while others build complete homes for their woodworking projects. The versatility of the two tools is part of what makes them popular choices. Each one of them is a powerful tool, but they also can be combined in many ways to create even more versatility.
A scroll saw is often compared to a sander. The truth is that both machines perform similar functions. They are both used to remove small pieces of wood from hard surfaces. However, the way in which they accomplish this task is drastically different. A scroll saw cuts the wood from top to bottom while a sander cuts the wood in crosswise and perpendicular cuts.
scroll saws are also referred to as “ciphers” and they have a cutting surface that is concave. A cipher has much more power than a sander because it utilizes a reciprocating motion. That is why they are generally used on heavier materials such as wood and metal. On smaller items, such as paper, they are more suited.
The design of a scroll saw is very similar to that of a sander. They use a diamond-tipped cutting edge on one side and two wheels on the opposite ends for grinding. Most of the time, two wheels are set in tandem with one wheel in front of the other. These types of machines are best used for cutting out narrow boards and the like.
Another common question concerning these machines is whether they are cordless or corded. In other words, do they require cords for operation? A scroll saw is a heavy duty machine and therefore it does require a cord. Cords are available for cordless units but you should not expect great battery life from them. If you are looking for cordless versatility, you might be better off going with a corded model. This would allow for greater versatility but you will sacrifice the battery life.
When shopping for any type of cutting equipment, always consider what you are going to be using it for. There are some models on the market that specialize in intricate cuts only and these cuts can take up more room than a regular table saw. Also, make sure that the product you choose has all the necessary features for your needs. For example, a cordless unit should have an automatic lock so that the cutting device cannot become misaligned during use.