General International 1.2 Amp 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw

Last updated date: October 19, 2020

DWYM Score
8.2

General International 1.2 Amp 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw

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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 low-noise, minimal shaking, variable-speed scroll saw incorporates convenient features such as a flex-neck work light, dust port and dust blower to make sure you can see your cut line with ease. The patented blade holder design accepts both pinned and pinless saw blades, while the top-mounted tension knob allows for easy adjustment of the cutting edge. In our analysis of 16 expert reviews, the General International General International 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw placed 4th 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
0.0
1 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.2
157 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
This is a great option for thicker woods where you need to go slowly. The dial is easy to access and doesn’t require you to reach around dangerous or moving parts.
- Saws Hub
What experts didn't like
It can only cut sections u​p to 1.9″ deep, however, so it’s best saved for smaller jobs. The ​General Intl. Saw​ is heavier than other inexpensive ​similar saws.
- Saws Hub

From The Manufacturer

The General International 1.2 Amp 16 in. Variable Speed Scroll Saw gives you full control over your designs and creativity. The variable speed ranges anywhere from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute and can be easily adjusted by the speed knob located on the front of the machine. The spacious 16 in. by 10 in. table bevels up to 45-degree to the left. Easily cut in woods up to 1.9 in. thick while the 16 in. throat depth allows for the manipulation of larger work pieces. The General BT8007 Scroll Saw also has a 9/16 in. stroke with the allowance of both pinned and painless blades. These fit securely in our Patented blade holder. The sturdy cast iron build limits vibration for precision and convenience and has bolt holes for attachment to any tabletop or work surface. The tension-release switch is easily accessible right at the top of the machine, as well as easy-access motor brushes. The cutting speed is easily set with precision dial on front of housing. The 1.5 in. dust port keeps your work area clean so you can focus on your cuts. The saw also includes a clamp for securing your project in place along with a flexible work light that bends and adjusts to whatever position your desire. The Flex Neck LED lighting system also allows you to highlight the work material where you want it. A convenient slide storage compartment is built into the housing for spare blades and wrenches. Includes a 2 year limited warranty.

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.