History of Scroll Sawing

The evolution of the scroll saw is linked to the rise in popularity of fretwork—the sawing of intricate shapes from wood.  Although there are examples of fretwork-like decorations on early Egyptian, Greek and Roman furniture, these were probably carved or cut with a knife. Sawing delicate wooden shapes wasn't commonly practiced until the late 1500s, when a German craftsman (most likely a clockmaker) devised a method for making fine, narrow blades.

Soon thereafter, a Parisian began to develop specialized hand tools for cutting these intricate designs. He designed a U-shaped fretsaw which was originally known as a Buhl-saw (Buhl being a corrupted pronunciation of the man's name) and was very similar to a coping saw.  As Mr. Boulle's work gained notoriety, the craft was legitimized and quickly spread to Italy within a generation.

Fretwork was introduced to America in the mid-1800s as Sorrento wood carving. Sorrento is so named because of the area in Italy in which such carving was most popular. By the 1860s, the first mechanical fretsaws—called scroll saws—began to appear in the U.S.  Thus, a great art form and hobby was born.

Today there are over fifty models of scroll saws available with many options for blades. We’re proud to offer what we believe are the best scroll saw blades on the market. Visit our SHOP to see for yourself.