A few months ago I decided to get into some woodworking. Okay, it was more like this: my wife wanted to buy a tissue box and I said “pffft, I could make you one of these.” Being a handyman of sorts I had some general experience, but I've never done anything like this before. Truth be told, I was considering getting a scroll saw for a while and this was a good opportunity. I had very specific requirements though. Since I don't have a proper workshop, the saw had to be small, as well as easy to assemble, disassemble, and store. I also wanted it to be fairly cheap and versatile (it is a hobby after all). It seemed like Dremel® Moto-Saw™ was the perfect choice and that's what I got in the end, but am I happy with it?
Here's a few things I made using the saw.
In general, yes I am. The saw is doing it's job properly and it's great for what I'm doing. In this review I will mostly cover the saw's flaws and quirks. Because of that, this might seem like a negative review, but it's not. I just think that these things are good to know before you spend any money.
You can easily find all the basic details so I won't bore you with them here. However, I have to say that the small size limits straight cuts to around 25 cm (9.84 in.) since that is the distance between the blade and the frame. Of course, you also won't be able to easily maneuver while freehand cutting any piece that is larger than that. As a workaround, you can get some side-cutting blades, but they're not ideal (read more about them below).
Blades & Cutting
The saw I bought came with five blades: 2 x MS51 (wood and plastic blade), 2 x MS52 (fine wood blade) and 1 x MS53 (metal blade). I also separately bought 5 x MS50 (side-cutting blade). One of the MS51 blades was unfortunately defective: the teeth were bent too much one way. As luck would have it, it was the first blade I tried and I had to fight the saw to make a semblance of a straight cut. I was not impressed and when I researched the problem I found out I was not the only one to get a blade like that. After switching to another blade, I really started to like the saw. Cutting various shapes gets pretty easy with a little practice and you can make some really tight turns, especially with the MS52 blade.
Tightest cuts I could make (size in mm).
I got the side-cutting blades as a way to make the saw more versatile, since I knew I sometimes might need to cut a longer piece and I don't have any other power saw. Maybe it's me, but I can't really warm up to this way of cutting. With the foot up, the saw is heavily vibrating on higher speeds. With the foot down, you can't really see where the blade is going. Additionally, bulkier pieces are much more difficult to control since the table is rather narrow. For now I'll only be using the MS50 blades for rough work.
The scroll saw's table does not tilt so it is not easy to make bevel cuts. Since I needed to make some, I constructed a temporary jig. While it allowed me to get what I wanted, it works only for one angle and the downside is that you need to make two cuts (first a regular cut and then the bevel cut) which at least doubles the time needed to complete the cut. The lack of this feature is by far my biggest gripe with this saw. Of course, I knew this beforehand, but it still would have been great to have it.
The jig I used to make bevel cuts.
The pipe from my vacuum cleaner doesn't fit into the slot on the device. Fortunately, it's not too large, but too small, and only a little. A paper towel wrapped around the pipe makes for a tight fit and a good seal so it's an easy fix for me.
If you're looking for a small scroll saw to use now and then for small projects, the Dremel® Moto-Saw™ might be perfect for you. For more advanced work, you might want something a little more sophisticated, but it is possible to work around the saw's limitations. Definitely a good choice for anyone wanting to try their hand in woodworking. I know I'm keeping mine.