Scroll Saw Question

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Forum topic by BreakingBoardom posted 02-17-2011 07:28 PM 2367 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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615 posts in 3884 days

02-17-2011 07:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: scroll saw question ryobi harbor freight sc180vs

So, I was given a Ryobi SC180VS Scroll Saw (Like This One) that was neglected by it’s owner. Mud all over and missing the light and blower assembly and the On/Off knob and some light rust here and there. I went to and looked up all the pieces I would need to replace and the total would be like $70-$90 depending on if I replace some of the rusted screws and clamp assemblies or whatnot. So, I’ve never used a scroll saw before and don’t think I’d be using it all the time but my question is, should I buy the replacement parts, or take my 20% off coupon down to Harbor Freight and buy a brand new one (Like This) for $56. Is the Ryobi scroll saw substantially better so that I should fix it for more money? Also, I know many may say go the Craigslist route and I have began looking, but I’m not sure what to look for in a scroll saw or what models are good. I live in the Fresno, CA area and there are a few older models available. Any and all help would be appreciated. Thanks!

-- Matt -

7 replies so far

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4727 days

#1 posted 02-17-2011 07:58 PM

My friend, Go for Craigs list but your time something better always comes along you can get a much better one for just about that much. I have the same one and paid $35.00 for it but I have found it is not what I want in terms of quality IDLI.

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

328 posts in 3723 days

#2 posted 02-17-2011 08:04 PM

I really wouldn’t put any money into a used Ryobi, especially since it’s been neglected. Besides, a new one would only be a few $ more than the parts. The Central Machinery one is very similar as I’m sure you have noticed and cheaper than the parts to repair the Ryobi (which is probably no better of a saw IMO). A lot of manufacturers have saws from that same mold… probably all made in the same factories. I really don’t know what you can expect from them as I have never used any of them.

I find it really hard to find any lower priced scroll saw that people generally agree on as being decent so I really don’t know where to steer you.

Read this buyers guide from Scrollsaw Woodworking and Crafts magazine. Bob Duncan had personally tested most of the saws in the guide (except the few that he marked as not tested (N/T) in the vibration category). In the scroll saw forums, however, there have been a few people who’ve had issues with the Porter Cable one he mentions as the best in the sub $200 category.

edit: forgot to add the link

-- Scroll saw patterns @

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3912 days

#3 posted 02-17-2011 08:38 PM

I have had my experiences with cheap scrollsaws and I would not recommend the experience to anyone. The HF saw gets horrible reviews and has been prone to self destruct within about a year. The Ryobi would not be worth the investment of time and energy. You might save a few bucks, but if it were that neglected, there probably are even more issues that lie under the surface. Most of the cheaper scrollsaws use aluminum for their tables. The problem with this is that you get a significant amount of vibration which makes detailed work much more difficult. Some are better than others in the sub 200 category, but I can’t think of any of them as keepers. I would look on craigslist for a good buy on one of the models to get a feel, with the understanding that if you like the hobby, you will want a better saw.

My my opinion,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Diggerjacks's profile


2327 posts in 3942 days

#4 posted 02-17-2011 08:55 PM

Hello Mat

Be careful with the negliged tool

ideas for me : Do you have enough money to buy a beautiful tool ?
What do you really want to with ? occasionaly use or more ?

Personnaly I buy a discount model just to try and now I ‘m addicted with the scrollsaw

You can see all the projects I’ve done with a basic tool in my profile*
At this day I’m happy with my tool but I think I will buy another one in the future : another scrollsaw with better caracteristics

I buy my scrollsaw 100 euros ( ~100 $ )

This is my opinion I hope this will help you

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 4588 days

#5 posted 02-17-2011 11:06 PM

I use an old Delta. that thing weighs a ton for its size and seems bullet proof. I has a quick disconnect on the top blade holder,
No matter who makes the saw…..If it doesnt have a quick disconnect at the top blade holder keep on lookin.
You should be able to find an older model that is worth its weight in gold. I have had the Ryobi and it lasted only a few uses and the HF looks just as junky.
Good luck in your search.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View MrsN's profile


987 posts in 4329 days

#6 posted 02-18-2011 01:16 AM

I wouldn’t put the money in to the Ryobi saw, I don’t think it is worth it. I would be careful of the Harbor Freight saw, I have heard things about them but you could get lucky. I also think that the HF saw only accepts pinned blades, which will cause problems for you if you want to do a lot of scrolling. (the pin in the blade makes it bigger, needing a bigger hole to go through. on fine fretwork you need really little holes).
The buyers guide that keith listed has some good information in it. I use a porter-cable saw for a bit in the store, it seemed solid.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19336 posts in 4479 days

#7 posted 02-18-2011 08:37 AM

I got a really nice Delta off craigs list for $40.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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