Choosing a Blade

Many different scroll saw blades exist on the market; therefore, it is not always easy to know which blade to use. When deciding, you want to consider the following three questions:

  1.  Material Type
    Are you going to use hard or soft wood, plastic, etc? 
  2. Material Thickness
    Are you planning to cut thin sheets or thick boards? 
  3. Project Type
    What are you going to make? Simple scroll sawing or more detailed work with many inside cuts (also called fretwork)? Just outside cutting that can no longer can be done by a bandsaw (called scrolling)?

​Most companies use a number system from 3/0 to 12. (The "/0" is pronounced "ott" and indicates "below zero." So 3/0 means "3 below zero.")  Metal and jewelry blades might start as low as 10/0.  The lower the number the finer the blade. For softer, thin wood, use the lower numbers and a low feed rate. Of note, due to the finer nature of these blades, they have a tendency to break more often. For harder, thick wood, use higher blade numbers.  The blades with less TPI (teeth per inch) will cut more aggressively.  For example, a blade with 8 TPI cuts faster than a blade with 12 TPI,  however there is more control with a blade that has 12 TPI. 

Some of the FLYING DUTCHMAN scroll saw blades have reverse (rev.) teeth.  Blades with 12 rev. teeth will burn the wood more easily and do not clean the kerf as well as blades with less rev. teeth.  They create friction and heat the blade; therefore, you don't get the use out of the blades. 

Double teeth blades—with and without rev. teeth—are preferred by some over single teeth blades as they believe the double teeth give them a little more control.

Straight teeth blades—most of which are called skip-tooth blades—are also preferred by some. Here again it is up to what folks get used to.  Straight teeth blades may follow the line more easily while sawing and they clean the cut well, leaving less chance of burning. However, they leave enough fuzz on the bottom so that the project requires sanding.

Blades with two teeth down and one up are maybe the best for splinter-free cutting. They also work well with plastic; however, make sure to use cast plastic as extruded plastic will melt back together while cutting. We recommend using 2" clear packaging tape over the pattern for burn-free cutting and so that the plastic does not melt back together.

Essentially, everything depends on the level of experience and the type of project you are making.  Whether you plan to do any stack-cutting also makes a difference.  The best way is to experiment with some different blades.  When working on a project you might start with a #3 SR and then find that a #5 or #7 does a better job for that project, as the higher the number the less breakage you will have.

FLYING DUTCHMAN scroll saw blades are made in Germany from very high quality steel and some blades are made of hardened steel.  SR is comparable to PGT blades but are finer and don't burn as fast; therefore, they will last longer. All these blades are 5 inches long and pinless. You can mix and match in the same blade category and choose from many popular sizes. 

Visit our SHOP to begin you search and feel free to CONTACT us if you have any questions.