Craftsman 16 inch Scroll Saw Review

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Review by Daris posted 04-19-2012 07:03 PM 13018 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Craftsman 16 inch Scroll Saw Review Craftsman 16 inch Scroll Saw Review Craftsman 16 inch Scroll Saw Review Click the pictures to enlarge them

For my birthday recently my wife purchased me a scroll saw. (That’s right fella’s she’s all mine) Having never owned a scroll saw, and quickly realizing that I’m a novice to this tool; I’ll do my best to give an honest review of this tool.

But… Before I can start I have to give a little insight to my scroll saw bias’.

I’ve been doing the “woodworking thing”, for a few years now and I’ve always thought I had all of the tools that I needed. I also have always had two opinions when it came to scroll saws. The first was that anything that I needed to do with a scroll saw could just as easily be done with a band saw and a router. My second opinion was that these things were for people who like to make really intricate wood details. A tool for a wood-carver, or a tool for a whittler. After owning a scroll saw for less than a month now; I still believe my opinions are correct…. Mostly…. What I’m discovering though is how much easier it is to make more accurate cuts for smaller projects. I’m currently working on a music box project, where I wanted to make a small rounded cut into the base. In the past I would have gone straight to the bandsaw for this. I chose to use my scroll saw to do this work and even though I screwed up a few times, I quickly learned that this was going to be a tool that I’ll use going forward.

The scroll saw I have is the Craftsman 16 inch variable speed scroll saw(Model # 21602). This was a good introduction model for me. Craftsman hand tools I almost always give 5 star kudos too. Power tools on the other hand I think craftsman is that great middle model. It balances cost with performance, and amount of use. I’ll be the first to say if your going to use your scroll saw intensely or for professional uses this model is probably not for you. For everyone else though it seems to be pretty solid.

The saw allows for cutting wood up to 2 inch thick. I’ve only cut wood that is 3/4 inch thick and it did excellent work on it. I have cut pine and oak wood with various widths and for both hard and soft woods it seemed to handle the job nicely. It uses standard 5 inch blades and can use both the straight blade and those that have a pin on the end of them. The saw came with four blades to help get you going. Depending on what types of wood you’ll be cutting there are various size blades. The manual includes a pretty good chart on what to use for this. Another nice feature is that the saw base can be adjusted to a 45 degree angle allowing for beveled cuts. The saw includes a dust port, although from what I can tell most of the dust stays on the top of the table. There is a small dust blower on the top of the table which helps somewhat. There is a blade holder on the side of the saw, but its a little flaky because there is nothing that keeps them in place. If your saw is going to stay in a stationary position and not be moved around then no big deal. If however, you have a small shop like me and move tools left and right those blades won’t stay there for long.

I think my biggest complaint for this saw was the initial setup of the saw. Usually when I get a new power tool everything is set and calibrated before receiving it. Only occasionally do you need to make a minor adjustment. This was the case for the scroll saw. The table was not level when set to 0°. No problem though, there is an adjustment screw located under the table plate that is adjustable. On my setup it was WAY off so I had to really adjust the screw. It makes you question was there any testing done on this before it was boxed? Somehow I doubt that. After leveling the table with the adjustment screw I also had to adjust the measure screw to point it to 0°.

Overall I like the saw, and think it’s a great starter saw. If you’re a serious SS’er™ (“Scroll Sawer”, I just created that term ) then you may want to look at other models that have more features, and are a little more rugged. If you’re a casual woodworker who enjoys playing around with these tools, then the Craftsman 16? Scroll Saw is an excellent way to go.

For more photos and information about this, head over to: woodlogger

-- Daris, Indianapolis,

View Daris's profile


120 posts in 3120 days

3 comments so far

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 3731 days

#1 posted 04-20-2012 01:00 PM

I do not have any experience with that saw. However for my first scrollsaw I purchased a simular one, Poter Cable. I kept that one for about a year and a half. It worked fine and I have no real problems. I did upgrade to a DeWalt for the type of work I try to do. Accept the tool for what it is and use it for everything you can find. The are great for cuts that other tools can not make. I now have an old General Machine (I think) on my bench top that my neighbor gave me. Works great for a quick cut off or just one or two cuts.

Happy Scrollin’

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3850 days

#2 posted 04-28-2012 02:34 AM

I bought one (Delta) in 2005, it is on the stand and still has the plastic wrap on it. I had a back injury right after I purchased it and never got around to using it for what I had made the purchase for I will get around to using it someday

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View DocSavage45's profile


9017 posts in 3689 days

#3 posted 06-27-2014 04:21 PM

Just purchased this saw on sale.

Looked at Porter cable which I love their tools but I didn’t like the table. This little saw has all the bells and whistles but there are short comings. The saw is cast Iron in the places where needed. the table finish is rough, but usable. It is cast iron as well. The heaviness of this little saw appears to reduce vibration.

I have recently rehabbed an old Delta 18 inch40-650 C arm saw. Had to wait months for the parts. Probably should have purchased the craftsman 6 months ago. I’d be farther along in my cutting skills. I’ve added a dead man switch for efficiency and I had a flex arm desk lamp that adds additional lighting.

I am also using it to compare with my rehabbed Delta and figure out my cutting skills. Now there’s a problem I can’t repair. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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