When it comes to scroll saw blades, I did not think that there would be so many different types of blades to choose from when I started scrolling. So how many types of blades are there? Well, I may not be able to cover all the types of blade out there, but I decided to do a little bit of digging and came up with some different types of scroll saw blades to choose from.
Doing some research, I have come up with some very different looking scroll saw blades out there. Some common ones that seem to be more standard are; Standard Tooth, Skip Tooth, Double Tooth, Reverse Skip Tooth, Precision Ground, Crown Tooth, and Spiral Blades. I also found something interesting I might try called Scroll Sanders. Lets go into some more detail here on each of these types of blades.
Standard Tooth Blades
Standard tooth blades, or regular tooth blades, are just as they sound, standard. From what I have found they are evenly spaced teeth on the blade. I have read that these were the common blades to use until they started coming up with some new variations of the scroll saw blade that are supposed to work better. I have not personally used these types of blades and based on what I have read, I don’t expect that many use these types of blade too much anymore.
Skip Tooth Blades
This is the big common variation from the standard tooth blades. The skip tooth blades are similar to the standard tooth blades but “skip a tooth” between each tooth. Hence the name I suppose. This design was to help clear saw dust as you scrolled through your project. Additionally, I have read that these blades, because of the missing tooth in-between teeth, is supposed to cut faster. I have used these blades and they work well, though I really don’t have any comparison to a standard tooth blade.
Double Tooth Blades
The double tooth blade is kind of like the skip tooth blade but with a bit of a variation in the teeth. You have two teeth and then a space before you get to another set of double teeth. Doing some reading on this blade I have been informed that this blade is suppose to cut better, or have a smoother cut than the skip tooth blades. These blades are not suppose to cut as fast as the skip tooth blades. I have also used these types of blades, they do cut well though I don’t know that I necessarily could determine too much of a difference in the cut.
Reverse Skip Tooth Blades
Reverse skip tooth blades or reverse blades are blades that have your typical tooth skipping like the skip tooth blades but with a few bottom teeth that are facing the opposite direction. These teeth facing the other way will allow the blade to cut in the upward direction as well. This effect will keep you from getting the splinters, small bits of ripped off wood, on the bottom side of your scroll saw project.
One of the tricks with this particular scroll saw blade is to ensure that you put the blade in right side up. Seeing the teeth in the reverse order can at times trick the eye of a scroll saw worker if they are not paying close attention to it. I’ve read that these particular blades to not clear the saw dust as well. Lets hope your scroll saw has a good built on blower to help you out there when using these scroll saw blades.
I have used these types of blades on quite a few projects and I really like how they cut. There is a slightly different variety of this blade where they have double tooth and the reverse skip on the blade as well.
In similar to this skip tooth blade there is a blade called the two way cut blade. This blade has a tooth in one direction and then another tooth in the opposite direction repeating along the blade. This blade was designed for a much smoother cut but you have to take it a bit slower.
Precision Ground Blades
The precision ground blade is very similar to the reverse skip tooth blades. They have a set of teeth that are in the opposite direction. The big difference here is that the teeth are smaller. I have not used these blades but have read they can be a bit aggressive meaning they can end up cutting more then what you expected. They are likely easier to make mistakes with by my understanding. I’ve been told that these blades are not recommended for beginners. If it has a sharper cut, and can do a straighter line, leaving a smoother surface, I think they are definitely worth trying out.
Crown Tooth Blades
I’ve been told that crown tooth blades are the slowest blades to use. The blade has teeth that point in both directions. This of course allows it to cut in both directions as you cut out your scroll saw project, leaving a very smooth cut. One thing you might note with this blade is that you can’t put it in upside down. I have not used this type of blade but I am very curious on how smooth the cut really is.
I’ve been told that these types of blades may not really be used too often for wood working type projects but may be used for other materials.
This blade by far has been a very nice blade for me to use. The spiral blade is a blade that is twisted with teeth on each twist. This particular blade I have noted can also come as a specialty spiral blade where there is teeth on both sides of the twist. This would make it a bit cleaner of a cut than the regular spiral blade. The best thing I have found with this blade is the ability to cut out your scroll saw projects without having to turn the wood in any direction.
The blade cuts in all directions. This can be great, but can also be a problem when it comes to having controlled cuts. Any which way to move will start your cutting. If you have some fatigued fingers, that could be a bit of a bad thing.
There are a few sources out there that mention this type of blade is not for beginners. So, in light of that, maybe you should attempt a few projects with some of the other blades before you attempt the spiral blade. I know I did this and I think it was a good idea.
By far the best use for this blade for me has been on larger projects. Turning a larger project around under your scroll saw can be a bit tricky at times and not having to do that will save you a good amount of fatigue on your fingers.
What are Scroll Sanders?
So in my research I was out there looking at scroll saw blades to write about. I stumbled onto something entirely different than your typical scroll saw blade. These were called scroll sanders. They are essentially a scroll saw blade but with a strip of sand paper instead of a blade.
I am fairly intrigued by this concept and plan on purchasing a few of these types of blades to see how beneficial they are. Most projects that I have done do not really need me to thread any sand paper into them, but I can see myself wanting to use it as a bit of a tight area sander for not only scroll saw projects but other wood working projects as well.
Scroll Saw Blade Things to Consider
I thought I would do a quick mention here of scroll saw blade sizes. The key to remember here is the smaller the blade the smaller in thickness the wood you should use. I sometimes push the envelope here and cut a 3/4″ thick wood with a size #2 scroll saw blade. If you wish to keep from breaking blades more often, I recommend staying in the recommended range. The ranges can go from #3/0, #2/0, #1, #2 to #12. You can typically find some variety packs out there with a range in sizes for scroll saw blades.
I also wanted to make a mention of putting in the blade correctly into your scroll saw. I cannot count the many times I have been absent minded and put the blade in upside down. Now, the blade will still cut, but you may find that the smoothness on the front of the project looks bad. I also found that an additional way to tell that your blade might be in upside down is if you experience more board jumping. This is when the board jumps, or bounces, with the blade as you are doing your cutting.