DEWALT DW788 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw, 1.3 Amp

Last updated date: October 19, 2020

DWYM Score
9.8

DEWALT DW788 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw, 1.3 Amp

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We looked at the top Scroll Saws and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Scroll Saw you should buy.

Overall Take

This scroll saw is defined by its arm, which can be moved up to allow the blade to be placed inside the work piece for cutting hard-to-reach places. The double parallel-link arm design reduces noise and vibration, while the oversized cast iron table can bevel both left and right. In our analysis of 16 expert reviews, the DEWALT DEWALT DW788 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw placed 1st when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note October 19, 2020:
Checkout The Best Scroll Saw for a detailed review of all the top scroll saws.

Expert Summarized Score
10.0
1 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.4
849 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Sturdy and powerful. Users like the numbered blade tension dial and the blades are very easy to change. Operates smoothly and relatively quiet. Good warranty service.
- BestReviews
What experts didn't like
A few reports of blade alighnment being off center. Bevel control knob being broken for some users on arrival.
- BestReviews

From The Manufacturer

Double parallel link arm design dramatically reduces vibration and noise, for extremely accurate cuts. Exclusive tool-free blade clamps, On-off switch, electronic variable speed, flexible dust blower and blade-tensioning lever are all located on the front upper arm. Arm design pivots from the back of the saw to the front and lifts so blade can be easily threaded through the material for inside cuts. Unique arm design keeps the blade perpendicular to the work. Oversized, cast-iron table provides excellent material support and bevels 45 degrees left and right. Specs: Motor 1.3 amp rating, 120V AC. 400-1,750 cutting strokes per minute. Table size 16" x 23-3/4". Weighs 56 lbs. Meets OSHA standards, CSA approved and U.L. Listed. Stand Not Included . Featured length of the flexible shaft is approximately 22 inches long. The dependable DEWALT 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw is designed to help you create accurate, detailed workpieces with ease. Its user-friendly configuration with easy-to-access controls, reduced-vibration design, and variable-speed performance allow for incredible precision. For added convenience and durability, an integrated cast-iron table provides material support, and a flexible dust blower helps keep your work area pristine. Unique Arm Design for Accurate Cuts. A scroll saw needs to perform both reliably and accurately, whether you're crafting custom jigsaw puzzles or designing unique trim pieces. This DEWALT scroll saw's double parallel-link arm design helps it deliver on both fronts by reducing vibration. The specially designed arm pivots from the back of the saw to the front, shortening the distance that the arm needs to move and allowing for smoother, quieter saw operation. With less vibration, you can produce accurate cuts with ease. This unique arm design also works to keep the saw's blade perpendicular to whatever you're working on, reducing the chance of over cutting or under cutting. Easy to Handle with Variable-Speed Control. Adding to the saw's intuitive, design are convenient controls engineered by DEWALT to keep your workflow smooth. The saw's on-off switch, speed control, and blade-tensioning lever are all located within easy reach on the front, upper arm. The saw's flexible dust blower is also located on this portion of the arm so it can easily be directed where you need it, keeping your work surface clear of unwanted debris. The scroll saw's electronic variable-speed control allows you to make quick, accurate adjustments and utilize speeds ranging from 400 to 1,750 strokes per minute. The saw relies on a dependable 1.3 Amp motor for the power you need and delivers a variable stroke length between 3/4 inch and up to 2 inches deep. This application-specific performance translates to improved control and cleaner results. Save Time with Tool-Free Blade Changes and Adjustable Table. Whether you're working with a variety of specialty materials or you're simply ready for a more aggressive cut, the DEWALT exclusive, tool-free blade clamps allow you to complete blade changes in just seconds. And the arm is easy to lift, making it easy to thread the blade through materials when making inside cuts. Weighing 56 pounds, this scroll saw has a heavy-duty feel yet is small enough to move around the shop easily. The saw's oversized, cast-iron table provides excellent support no matter what you're working on, and the table bevels 45 degrees to the left and 45 degrees to the right for added versatility. This 20-inch variable-speed scroll saw comes with a DEWALT warranty package that includes a three-year limited warranty, a one-year free service contract, and a 90-day money-back guarantee. What's in the Box. DEWALT 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw, hex wrench, and blades.

Overall Product Rankings

DEWALT DW788 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw, 1.3 Amp
1. DEWALT DW788 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw, 1.3 Amp
Overall Score: 9.8
Expert Reviews: 1
TACKLIFE TLSS01A Variable Speed Scroll Saw
2. TACKLIFE TLSS01A Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 1
BUCKTOOL 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
5. BUCKTOOL 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Overall Score: 7.3
Expert Reviews: 3
RYOBI 1.2 Amp Corded 16-Inch Scroll Saw
6. RYOBI 1.2 Amp Corded 16-Inch Scroll Saw
Overall Score: 6.7
Expert Reviews: 2
Jet 22-Inch Scroll Saw With Stand
7. Jet 22-Inch Scroll Saw With Stand
Overall Score: 6.4
Expert Reviews: 2
SKIL 3335-07 16-Inch Scroll Saw With Light
9. SKIL 3335-07 16-Inch Scroll Saw With Light
Overall Score: 6.3
Expert Reviews: 2

An Overview On Scroll Saws

Scroll saws are a type of power tool consisting of a table, arm and a vertically-oriented thin blade intended to work on detailed or intricate pieces. Scroll saws and scroll saw blades are designed for precision rather than power, so they tend to be lower-amperage than other saws. The blade moves up and down through a hole in the table, and it can be threaded through a workpiece to make interior cuts.

Key considerations when purchasing a scroll saw include arm type, throat size, table material and bevel and blade type. The arm of the scroll saw arches over the table and holds the saw blade, and there are three types of arm configurations.

C-type arms contain one pivot point, allowing the blade to mode in an up and down position. However, because there is one pivot point, the blade moves in a slight arc. These arms provide a faster cut, but they can cause a lot of vibration and noise, and generally require more skill to operate.

Parallel type arms contain two arms which meet each other in the middle and contain a pivot point in each arm, allowing the arms to travel simultaneously and allowing the blade to move in a reciprocating motion, upwards and forwards.

Finally, parallel-linked arms, the newest style of scroll saw, greatly reduce noise and vibration, allowing for greater accuracy and precision. The arms on these saws are much shorter than on a C or parallel arm, and they pivot, allowing the blade to reciprocate the motion.

After arm type, throat size is often the next-biggest consideration. The throat is the distance between the blade and the back of the tool where the arms meet, and this determines the size of the work piece that can be maneuvered around the blade.

The most common throat sizes range from 16 inches to 20 inches. A sturdy table material is also a must. Tables are commonly made from aluminum, steel or cast iron. Finally, many scroll saws include amenities such as work lights, dust blowers and dust ports to keep the cut line clearly visible. Blades also impact the type of work that can be done, but they are sold separately, and most scroll saws accept every type of blade.

DWYM Fun Fact

The origins of the scroll saw are not entirely clear, but a patent for one from 1829 has been discovered. As fretwork — the sawing of intricate shapes from wood — became more popular, the scroll saw evolved.

While fretwork dates back to ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman times, this woodwork was carved by hand. Mechanical means of creating fretwork did not come about until the 1860s in America. The great variety of blades, with eight popular blade types currently in use, grew out of the popularization of this craft and hobby.

The Scroll Saw Buying Guide

  • Carefully assess your skill level before purchasing a scroll saw. While some scroll saws give a faster cut, they often require more skill to operate. A slower but steadier scroll saw can be a better choice for a beginner.
  • It’s also essential to order work gloves, safety goggles and a dust mask when you purchase your scroll saw. In addition to long-sleeve shirts, long pants and steel-toed shoes, these pieces of safety gear are essential for work with power tools.
  • Check the bevel capabilities of the table. While many scroll saw tables cannot bevel (tilt to allow angled cuts), many can do so for up to 45 degrees to the left, right or both. Not all projects or craftspeople require this capability, but it can be the deciding factor between two otherwise comparable scroll saws.
  • The type of blade in the scroll saw greatly impacts the work that can be done and the skill level required to do it. Some types of blades, like reverse-tooth blades, are particularly suitable to materials like plywood that can chip when cut.