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What Are the Different Scroll Saw Blades?

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  • Written By: Sandi Johnson
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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Scroll saw blades are available in two primary categories: pin-end blades and plain-end blades. Within these two categories, hobbyists and professionals alike have options for numerous blade types based on the material to be cut. The primary difference between these blades is the number, spacing, and position of the teeth on the blade. Each scroll saw blade has a specific function or material which it is intended to cut. Blade types include standard, skip, and reverse skip tooth; double tooth; spiral tooth; precision ground; crown tooth; and numerous specialty blades with varying thicknesses and numbers of teeth.

In terms of pin-end and plain-end, the two major categories of scroll saw blades, the classifications indicate how the blade attaches to the saw. A scroll saw only accepts one type of blade end or the other. A plain-end scroll saw blade features a flat end that clamps into the scroll saw above and below the table. These are the most common blade ends, readily available at any hardware store that sells scroll saw blades. Alternatively, pin-end blades are attached to the saw using a small pin and hook, with replacements being more difficult to find.

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Aside from the method of attachment to the saw, scroll saw blades come in a variety of types depending on numerous factors. Wood and metal require different blades, as do various thicknesses of material and the cuts being attempted. Generally, the space between the teeth of the blade, known as the gullet, as well as the number of individual teeth determine to what projects each blade is best suited. All blades, regardless of number of teeth or size of gullet, require the majority of teeth to point down once installed.

Standard-tooth and skip-tooth blades are the most common of all scroll saw blades. These versatile blades feature teeth of the same size and equal spacing. Skip-tooth blades are virtually identical to standard blades, with every other tooth removed. Double tooth blades are cousins to skip tooth blades and are exactly what they sound like, a blade with a double row of teeth. Reverse skip tooth blades are the same as skip tooth scroll saw blades, with the addition of a few backward facing teeth at the end to prevent tearing material as the blade is removed.

Each of the many types of scroll saw blades serves a purpose. Specialty blades, such as spiral blades, provide the ability for experienced woodworkers to complete complex cuts or work with material such as plastic or composites. Bigger teeth and thicker blades provide better results on thick or hard materials. Detailed or complex designs call for smaller, more agile blades. When a smooth, precise cut is desired, the number of teeth per inch (TPI) should be increased, although the blade becomes more fragile and subject to damage from increased heat.

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