Whether you have some wood shelves to put up, need to shorten some plastic piping or want to help your child with their school project, you need the right tool for the job. Not having the right piece of equipment for a job or even just a home project can lead to a lot of trouble down the road, from wasted time to hiring an outside contractor if things go poorly.
For projects where I need to cut intricate designs into wood, a scroll saw is my best friend, and one of the top machines on the market is the Shop Fox W1713 Variable Speed Scroll Saw, which I’ll review for you here.
The Shop Fox Variable Speed Scroll Saw: Improve Your Work Shed
A scroll saw originally got its name because it was originally used in creating the ancient art form of scrollwork. A scroll saw differs from a band saw in that it uses a reciprocating blade rather than a continuous loop. Because of the way it is designed, in addition to the size, position, width and tooth count of the blades on a scroll saw you get much better detailing and more intricate cuts than a large band saw.
Main Features of the Shop Fox Scroll Saw
If a scroll saw is the tool you need, it’s important to know what features set the Shop Fox W1713 apart from its competition.
- Variable Speed Control: The Shop Fox W1713 gives you the ability to change speeds between 550 and 1650 SPM (strokes per minute). This allows for finer control over the types of cuts you choose to make, for more intricate, detailed cuts to any material. It also lets you work with more delicate materials without tearing them apart.
- Table Tilting: A 45-degree tilting angle gives you freedom of movement with the material you’re cutting. Instead of trying to move the object around while the saw is going, putting yourself in danger of being injured, you can just tilt the saw. This feature makes cuts safer, angled cutting easier to accomplish, and is perfect for bezel work on wood edges.
- Gooseneck Work Lamp: The Shop Fox W1713 uses a 120V/10W light bulb that is attached to a gooseneck light fixture. The gooseneck design is flexible and can be contorted to shine light exactly where you need it, which is ideal for when you need a cut to be just right or if you’re burning some midnight oil and can’t afford to mess up your work.
- Plain and Pin-End Blade Compatible: Versatility is the name of the game when you want a robust tool set. The Shop Fox W1713 allows for the use of both standard plain or pin-end saw blades, so you can always make sure the blade you’re using is the right one. Changing out new blades is easy with step-by-step instructions with pictures included in the manual.
- Great Pricing: The Shop Fox W1713 is priced with consumers in mind and competitively against other scroll saws, which means you’re getting the best deal possible.
The Pros & Cons of The Shop Fox Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Whenever I’m making a new purchase, especially if it’s something that’s going to get a lot of use around the house, I like to make sure I know what I’m getting. Buyer’s remorse is not something I like to deal with. So here are a few of the pros and cons of the Shop Fox Variable Speed Scroll Saw.
Shop Fox Pros
Solidly Built: The W1713 is ruggedly constructed out of cast iron, which means it will handle the work you throw at it without structural failures. The heavy duty construction is also a bonus for limiting heavy vibration, which if you’re cutting wood, can lead to disaster.
Motor and Changeable Blades: With its 1⁄8 HP, 120V, 60 Hz motor and ability to change out different kinds of blades, even your favorite 3rd party blades, means you can cut various types of woods and materials. Having the flexibility to modify the speed, feed rate, and tooth count means you can handle things like hardwood, oak, soft metals, and pinewood, all with precision and accuracy.
Steel Cutting: One thing to be aware of with scroll saws is that they are for home projects and do have some limitations.
If you’re trying to cut through thick steel pieces, or heavy gauge piping, you may need a larger style band saw for that kind of project.
The Shop Fox W1713 Vs WEN 3920
To improve any buying decision, I like to compare different models together, to see what’s best. A good comparison to the Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw is the WEN 3920 Scroll Saw. Both scroll saws offer similar features, like cast iron table that can tilt to 45 degrees and pin and plain blade compatibility. One thing that separates the Shop Fox W1713 to the WEN 3920 is the W1713 weighs 35 pounds compared to the 20 pounds of the WEN 3920. The WEN 3920 has
The WEN 3920 has a LED light on the end of a piece of rubber hardware, which makes positioning quite easy. However, changing out the LED to be hard as it’s one compartment. The lamp in the W1713 is much easier to switch and can be replaced with a different brand of the lamp if you wanted as well.
What Customers Are Saying
The universal consensus from people who have used the Shop Fox Variable Speed Scroll Saw is that the scroll saw is a great deal for the price. Other people liked that it had so many uses around their house because of its ability to cut so many different kinds of materials. See other top rated scroll saws to compare.
Some people found that attaching a new blade can be tricky when you’re first doing the replacement, but that once you get a feel for it, blade changes can be done in a matter of moments.
Questions and Answers
Here are some of the most common questions asked by people about the scroll saw.
- . Can the saw cut through metal?
- This will depend on the type of metal. Thicker materials in steel or high-grade aluminum shouldn’t be used. However, with softer metals, if you’re using the proper metal cutting blades and cutting at a slower speed, the Shop Fox will do the trick.
- Is the saw good for cutting out wooden jigsaw puzzle pieces?
- Shop Fox W1713 can make very detailed cuts and would be perfect for smaller pieces of wood that need a delicate touch.
- Is the Shop Fox a good deal.
- Yes, it is. The scroll saw has a solid construction with good attention to detail and gives you professional cutting ability at only a fraction of the cost.
Whether there are Christmas gifts you’ve always wanted to create or home improvement projects that have sat on the back burner but haven’t had the right equipment to realize your vision, you can’t do much better than the Shop Fox Variable Speed Scroll Saw.
With a large list of features, like an angled table and wide range of blade speeds, going from 550 to 1650 SPM this scroll saw has what you need to get the job done right. With the right tool, you can work smarter, not harder to get the results you’v