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I haven't owned a scroll saw in probably 20 yrs, but now I've got a couple of projects in mind that will require that resource. I'd like to keep the price under $200. What would you recommend?
 

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Bart - I'm in your boat.
I've read all the threads I can find on this forum and others and still can't make up my mind.
I would be a very limited user so a good used one would suit me fine. but, finding one in my price range that is in good condition is fruitless. it must be the Pandemic - everyone is getting back to their old hobbies or want to stay home and start new hobbies. so used power tools are scarce in my area.
tell us what you would be doing with a scroll saw and will you be cutting any metal ?
 

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I've had one of these several years, the only scroll saw I've ever used. It doesn't scream "quality" and I wouldn't recommend it for heavy pro use, but it works and has been reliable for me. I think it is good for it's price. If you search Amazon etc for "Wen scroll saw" you'll see several variations of it.

And it is one of those generic power tools you'll see sold by multiple brands.
 

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I haven't owned a scroll saw in probably 20 yrs, but now I've got a couple of projects in mind that will require that resource. I'd like to keep the price under $200. What would you recommend?
Have you considered used?
 

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I have a DeWalt and they are good machines. Under $200 I doubt you’ll get a very good machine unless its used.

Based on my experience be very careful buying a used one. Bearings and bushing have a limited life in a reciprocating mechanism.

I thought I got a good deal on mine. Plugged it in and sounded fine. when I put some wood through it, it was knocking badly. It needs to be rebuilt it I use it anyway. Eventually I’ll sent it off for a rebuild.
 

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I have the dewalt as well, and it is a good machine for fine work like marquetry. The price has grown substantially in the past 15 years. I don't know other good options but have been happy with the saw.
 

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It is totally outside your budget, but we have a DeWalt DW788 as well. It is my spouse's primary woodworking tool. She uses it almost daily. It has lasted several years without a problem.

There is a scroll saw club in our area. I consulted them for advice before buying the DeWalt. I would estimate that 75% of the members have the same DeWalt scroll saw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a DeWalt and they are good machines. Under $200 I doubt you’ll get a very good machine unless its used.
Based on my experience be very careful buying a used one. Bearings and bushing have a limited life in a reciprocating mechanism.
I thought I got a good deal on mine. Plugged it in and sounded fine. when I put some wood through it, it was knocking badly. It needs to be rebuilt it I use it anyway. Eventually I’ll sent it off for a rebuild.
I've looked at the DeWalt 788 but just don't think I can justify the price for my expected usage. I would love to find a decent used saw, but I've been burned on used tools several times already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
...tell us what you would be doing with a scroll saw and will you be cutting any metal ?
I don't plan on cutting metal, except for maybe some very thin non-ferrous. As for probable uses, my wife wants some new unique Christmas ornaments, I'll try my hand at marquetry, my daughter wants to make some puzzles -- I'm sure there will be others.
 

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I think because I'd have to find the ticket, but I think I bought mine from a pawn shop for $125...

I have a few pawn shops that have layaway. I would find a tool I wanted, drop $10 and make payments if I didn't need it...

I bought a Senco Senclamp for $30. A Matabo jigsaw for $10...
 

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It is totally outside your budget, but we have a DeWalt DW788 as well. It is my spouse's primary woodworking tool. She uses it almost daily. It has lasted several years without a problem.
For that much use a DW788 makes sense over the generic Wen I posted about above.

As for probable uses, my wife wants some new unique Christmas ornaments, I'll try my hand at marquetry, my daughter wants to make some puzzles -- I'm sure there will be others.
Your wife wants you to make the ornaments or she will? Either way, 2 or 3 users, if you are making that much stuff I think you'll be happier with a better saw than the low end of the market saws. The DeWalt has about 4" more capacity between the blade and rear of the arm. I expect it's noise and vibration are smoother too, and far more durable. Think of the DeWalt as a Christmas gift the 3 of you are giving each other. ;)

I only use my Wen an hour or 2 a year, for things a bandsaw won't do, nothing intricate but when I want to make a hole without cutting a path into it with the bandsaw. My #1 use: making templates for routing oval cat holes lol.

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[...] [my spouse] uses it almost daily. [...]
For that much use a DW788 makes sense over the generic Wen I posted about above.
Just to clarify, my spouse averages a couple hours a day. Some days are several hours, others are none at all. The scroll saw isn't running all that time. There is all the design/pattern work, the glue-ups, the sanding/dremeling/finishing, etc. But every day, there is usually a few minutes of cutting time on the scroll saw.

Don't underestimate the "crafting" potential of a scroll saw for your wife or children. The kinds of crafts and projects you can build with it are nearly endless. The scroll saw is one of the safest tools in the shop. Every year there are kids running the scroll saw demos at the county fair. There are a lot of little kids, but also some tweens and teens, plus a few kids in their 80s and above.
 
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