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Anguirel

Jet or Dewalt scroll saw

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Hi All,

 

I’m on the market for a scroll saw. My inclination was for a Excalibur but they are no longer available. My question to you fine gentlemans is: is the new Jet scroll saw (http://www.jettools.com/us/en/new-products-and-offers/new-products/scroll-saw/) worth the extra $500?in the last toon to the Dewalt (http://www.dewalt.com/products/power-tools/saws/scroll-saws/20-variablespeed-scroll-saw/dw788). Christmas is coming so now is the perfect time to convince the Admiral that I need another machine...

 

Thanks in advance

Edited by Anguirel

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I don’t see how there could be $500 worth of difference between these two saws. Personally I would get the Dewalt and use the $500 towards a Mini Milling machine. You could explain to the Admiral how you saved money by getting two pieces of equipment for the price of one.

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Interesting.  I've had my Hegner Multicut 2 since December 1981, and I've had a fair bit of use from it.  Works well, but the darn thing vibrates like mad!  Even when it's screwed firmly down to the workbench I swear I can feel my workshop jumping up and down while I use it.  Every now and then I get the urge to sell it off on Ebay, and replace it with something that might be easier to use.
I looked at the DeWalt 788.  It's not a recent model - I've seen online references to it dating back to 2007, and frankly the reviews are only average.  Around 3 stars.  But it's not marketed in the UK, and if I were to buy one from the USA it'd probably cost me around $770.  So, no thank you.
I couldn't find the Jet JWSS-22B for sale here either.  Importing one would cost over $1000, so not even worth thinking about, for me.  However, Axminster do sell the smaller Jet JSS-16A here, for £123 (say $160).  The smaller size would suit me, but a lot of quality seems so have been sacrificed in order to make it at the low price.

But it seems vibration, in one degree or another, is inherent in any scroll saw.  Can anyone recommend a model where this problem has been overcome?  Or at least minimised?

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I've used an almost vibration-free DeWalt 778 successfully for 15 years. (Sorry, Brian!) I'm very happy with its performance. It is a variable speed machine. It's not clear whether the Jet offers this very useful feature. Foe instance, one can cut acrylic successfully at very slow speed without melting the plastic to the blade.

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I can't get the DeWalt, neither can I get the Jet here, so I am looking at two prospective machines:

Pégas SCP21CE (Swiss)

Hegner Multicut MC2se (German)

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I also use a Hegner, free of vibration...

It excels at cutting thick hardwood up to 1 inch in straight line and at exactly 90 degrees.

It is also very good at cutting very thin slices of wood few millimeters thick.

 

For jobs thinner than 3/32, it does a similar job as a less expensive saw.

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In the USA, the DeWalt 778 has an excellent reputation.  It is the choice of the scrollsaw artist Steve Garrison

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYhLxb3n4JeuZrrgejr8cWw

 

To minimize vibration, I placed my cheapo Ryobi on vibration dampeners made by sandwiching a layer of cork between two layers of carpet padding. 

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Brian; when i first mounted my Hegner on a bench there was vibration. I added a 2x4 (vertically) under the bench directly below the Heg.  No more vibration.  When I had a shop with more space I had it on a Hegner base and it was awesome.....Milo/Allan 

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Thanks Milo/Allan.  Good thinking.
I didn't want my own Hegner to be permanently installed on a workbench, due to fairly limited space in my workshop.  So my long-standing (36-years) method of mounting it had been to put it on a bit of 3/8" plywood with a single strip of 2"x1" deal underneath, which went into the workbench's wooden vice whenever I needed to use it.  That held it steady enough for working, but the vibration could still be felt (and heard) through the bench and into the concrete floor.
After reading Bob's suggestion of a cork+carpet damper, I decided to try something similar.  I put 10 thicknesses of bicycle inner tube rubber beneath each of the screws that hold my Hegner to its plywood mounting board.  It's now noticeably more pleasurable to work with.
I had been planning to sell it on Ebay and buy a 'better' scroll saw.  But I've changed my mind.  Whoops - I've just saved about £500!  What can I spend it on???

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I have used a Dewalt machine for years and in my opinion is the very best out there for the price. I outperforms saws that cost 2-3 times as much. The only comparable machine I have found is the Excalibur. It vibrates slightly less than the Dewalt but not $1000 worth. Every other machine I have tried vibrates more than I like. You just can't go wrong with this saw. Best feature in my opinion is the lifting arm. If you are scrolling a piece that has a lot of cutouts, you have to drill holes to make a place to start your cut. On a normal saw you have to take the blade out, feed it through the hole and then reconnect both ends of the blade. On the Dewalt you just loosen the top blade holder and lift the arm. Then the blade is sitting by itself and you can thread it through the next hole. Saves a ton of time and frustration. They have an optional attachment that uses a foot petal, to keep both hands free. (Well worth the money if you do lots of scroll sawing). You can do very accurate sawing with the Dewalt, but like any machine it requires good quality blades and a little practice. I use spiral blades most of the time, but takes some practice to make a straight cut. Advantage to these blades is that you don't have to turn the work piece, because they saw in every direction.

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The DeWalt scroll saw used to be good.  When it was made in Canada.  Then they moved the manufacturing to Taiwan and the quality slipped badly.  I know because I had to order FOUR of them for my father (we had to return the first 3) before he got one that was manufactured correctly.   These were not small problems either.  Two of them had tables where the mounting holes were drilled so far off that table was mounted so that the blade hit the side of the hole in the table and there was no way to adjust it.  At least now, the newer one has an adjustment for that to cover up the manufacturing problems.  The DeWalt USA rep admitted there had been problems for months and he had 7 of them sitting in his office that had manufacturing defects.  Then, a year or two later, they moved the manufacturing again... to China.  Now these saws are complete junk and made poorly.   Get the Jet 22 inch or the Pegas 21 inch, or possibly the Excelsior (made by the former maker of Excalbur) all made in the same factory in Taiwan.  Any of these are light years ahead of the DeWalt.   They also have a blade plumb adjustment to change the aggressiveness of the cut, which  the DeWalt does not have.  Of course, the Hegner is good as well.

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On 9/11/2019 at 9:13 PM, JB1 said:

The DeWalt scroll saw used to be good.  When it was made in Canada.  Then they moved the manufacturing to Taiwan and the quality slipped badly.  I know because I had to order FOUR of them for my father (we had to return the first 3) before he got one that was manufactured correctly.   These were not small problems either.  Two of them had tables where the mounting holes were drilled so far off that table was mounted so that the blade hit the side of the hole in the table and there was no way to adjust it.  At least now, the newer one has an adjustment for that to cover up the manufacturing problems.  The DeWalt USA rep admitted there had been problems for months and he had 7 of them sitting in his office that had manufacturing defects.  Then, a year or two later, they moved the manufacturing again... to China.  Now these saws are complete junk and made poorly.   Get the Jet 22 inch or the Pegas 21 inch, or possibly the Excelsior (made by the former maker of Excalbur) all made in the same factory in Taiwan.  Any of these are light years ahead of the DeWalt.   They also have a blade plumb adjustment to change the aggressiveness of the cut, which  the DeWalt does not have.  Of course, the Hegner is good as well.

It's sad to read this.  

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On 1/15/2018 at 4:30 PM, Landlubber Mike said:

I have the Dewalt and love it.  One tip is to look at Craigslist (how I found mine).  Many barely used scroll saws on there because dad’s and others use it once or twice for school projects for kids, then never use them again.

    I've never been a Craigslist type of guy, but as I prepare to get around to thinking about planning my next project I know my Dremel bolt=to=the=table scroll saw just won't cut the mustard.  With the credo "go with quality" as is often espoused here and with this post in mind, I set my sights on Craigslist with the idea of getting a reasonably priced DeWalt.  Patience paid off.

 

    In addition to many "one project and sold" saws on the market, I saw many "husband bought this many years ago and no longer needs it" saws.  In this category I am sure there were many older models that used to be good but are now made overseas. 

 

    As I said, patience paid off.  I paid more than I planned for a used DeWalt...but FAR less that I would have for a Hegner.  :cheers:

 

    Thanks for the tip.   I recommend to all.

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Several of my tools were purchased on Craigslist, and I recommend that you research the tool before going to look. Know how it operates, and see if there are particular problems in using or breakdowns.  Find out if parts are available. Never pay more than 50-66% of original price unless it is pristine. Look at the seller's place - are other things in order? 

 

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