When you change a scroll saw blade there are some easy steps to follow. Obviously, not all scroll saws have the same way of changing a blade, however, changing a scroll saw blade will be done many times by the scroll saw hobbyist.
Changing a scroll saw blade consists of; thinking about safety first when changing the scroll saw blade, reducing tension and removal of the blade, inserting the new blade and re-applying tension, and testing out the new blade to ensure the scroll saw blade and scroll saw are functioning correctly.
Several reasons for changing out your blade will include worn or dull blades, broken blades, or even doing some re-adjustments because you may not have got the blade in correctly the first time. I wanted to go over some easy steps to follow on how to change a scroll saw blade.
Safety is the most important part of changing out your scroll saw blade. Not only should you follow your manufacturing warning instructions on safety for your scroll saw, you should also take some time to think of a safety plan anytime you are working with your tools.
For your scroll saw, I would say the most important thing to consider when it comes to changing out a scroll saw blade is ensuring the power is securely turned off. This of course would account for any power tool you are using in which you need to do a little maintenance on.
On my scroll saw the power switch is on the top of the arm. This is a nice out of the way place where you will not bump the switch while changing your blade. I know many feel comfortable by just unplugging the scroll saw, or turning it off at the power strip.
If you have a pedal attached to your scroll saw, I would highly recommend unplugging it or shutting it off at the power strip when changing your scroll saw blades. The last thing you want is to accidentally tap that pedal with your foot while changing a blade.
Un-attach the blade and remove it
In your user manual it will likely have some sort of instruction on how to remove your scroll saw blade. For the most part there will be some sort of tension that you will have to release or ease up on before you do this. So easing the tension will be the first thing you will need to do. Follow your manual on where and how to ease the tension on your scroll saw.
You will then need to find what is holding the blade ends to the scroll saw. My scroll saw has a finger clamp for each end. A quick twist and the scroll saw blade is freed from the end. Some scroll saws may require you to use an Allen wrench or screw driver to loosen the scroll saw blade. Follow any instructions that may be needed in your user manual to loosen your scroll saw blades.
Once you have loosened the scroll saw blade, remove it from the scroll saw and discard. If your scroll saw blade has broken, you will likely need to remove two pieces, one piece from each end.
Take some caution to retrieving all pieces of a broken blade. If you drop a piece into your scroll saw somewhere you may end up with some additional problems when you start to operate your scroll saw again.
Insert new scroll saw blade
Again, the user manual will likely have all you need to follow to installing a new scroll saw blade. Select a blade and inspect it to make sure it is in good condition. Ensure that the teeth of the blade are facing downward. If you have some reverse teeth on your scroll saw blade, ensure you don’t get it wrong by making sure most of the teeth are facing down when you install the blade. There will be less reverse teeth facing upward.
Install the blade on your scroll saw by clamping down or tightening in each pin end of the blade. When clamping in a blade, it is important to hold the blade as strait as possible as you tighten down the end.
Don’t tighten down to quickly. On my scroll saw if I do this, I can end up bending the pin end of the blade as I tighten. I like to slowly tighten the blade, then ease off if needed, the slowly tighten again, until I can firmly tighten the blade in. I don’t want to over tighten, as again, I can bend the blade, and even damage my finger clamps. Bent blades result in loss of integrity at the bend location. Also, it can be quite difficult to thread a bent blade through a pilot hole on your scroll saw project.
If you find your blade coming off the clamp when you start scrolling, try to tighten the blade end a little bit more. This is something you will likely need to get a feel for as you change out your scroll saw blades.
Lastly, re-apply the tension you desire to your scroll saw. This should tighten up the blade and get it ready for cutting. Examine the blade and ensure it all looks like it was installed correctly. No twists in the blade and the blade looking relatively strait is a good thing and should help you feel confident in your install.
Test out the Blade
Re-apply power to your scroll saw if you unplugged the scroll saw from the wall or turned it off at the power strip. Make sure all is clear from the scroll saw blade and then turn the scroll saw on.
Examine the moving blade and ensure that it looks like it is moving correctly and is not loose. If the blade does not look like it is moving up and down in a nice strait vertical motion, you will need to turn off power and adjust the scroll saw blade. Cutting with a blade not oscillating correctly will likely result in bad cuts, broken blades, or blades coming un-clamped.
If all looks good, you can now begin cutting. You will know that the blade is installed when you get cutting and all is cutting out correctly and the blade does not come loose from the scroll saw.
When you have to un-attach the scroll saw blade at one end, usually the top one, for threading into pilot holes of your scroll saw project, consider the same steps as listed above for changing a scroll saw blade (only this time you would be doing only one clamp ).
The best steps to follow are the ones written out in your user manual when it comes to installing your scroll saw blades. I have outlined some simple and easy steps to follow as you learn how to change a scroll saw blade on your scroll saw.
I hope you have gleaned some good information from this article and if you have some more interest in Safety with a scroll saw, please check out this article: Scroll Saw Safety Tips That I Could Not Ignore
If you have some more interest in learning about the scroll saw and doing scroll saw projects you might find this article a good read: Scroll Saw Projects: Tips for Beginners
As always, thanks for reading and if you are looking for resources on what I use for my scroll saw experience check out My Tool Picks, which can also be accessed at the top.