Whether you’re looking to buy a scroll saw to meet DIY demands or keep up with a much-loved hobby, our Harbor Freight Scroll Saw review will help you find out if this is the model for you.
We'll highlight this particular scroll saw's standout features before weighing its pros and cons.
We'll make sure you have the information you need before spending your hard-earned cash.
Harbor Freight Scroll Saw
Harbor Freight Tools is a discounted tools and equipment retailer based in California, USA.
They source their tools from the same trusted manufacturers as their competitors but offer them at massively reduced prices by cutting out the middleman.
They test all the tools that come to them in state-of-the-art labs to ensure they perform well.
With over 40 years of experience in the market and 40 million satisfied customers, Harbor Freight is a reputable company that you can rely on for quality.
Who Is This Product For?
The product we feature in this Harbor Freight Scroll Saw review is an economical option that would be ideal for those who make a hobby out of woodworking.
It's also excellent for DIY enthusiasts who need to make tighter and neater cuts on joints and corners.
If you need to make more accurate and curved cuts than your other saw tools will allow, then a scroll saw will do a better job.
It’s also really handy for cutting thinner pieces of wood without splintering or breaking it.
The corded Harbor Freight Scroll Saw is also great if you’ve never tried using a scroll saw before.
By purchasing it, you can check if you like a scroll saw or see how often you use it.
Many other models are more than four or five times the cost of this one. Therefore, a risky investment if you’re not sure you’ll get much use out of it.
If you feel that a scroll saw will be a useful addition to your work area, but won’t use it very often, then this budget-friendly tool is perfect for you.
On the other hand, the Harbor Freight Scroll Saw may not be the best option if you're looking for a scroll saw for more heavy usage or are already very skilled with a scroll saw.
We recommend that you invest in a more robust and precise model in both of these cases.
When you receive your scroll saw, it will already be assembled and ready to be mounted onto your workbench or work area.
A 15 TPI blade will also already be mounted on the machine. You’ll also receive a spare 18 TPI blade to get you started.
You should also receive two plain end blade adaptors, two differently sized hex keys, and an owner’s manual containing maintenance and warranty details.
Overview of Features
Here are the standout features of this particular scroll saw by Harbor Freight Tools:
- Budget Price
A scroll saw is a pretty heavy-duty power tool that offers unrivaled performance when it comes to making detailed and intricate cuts on wood and metal.
So, to find one at this price is quite remarkable!
The price makes it more viable for hobby woodworkers and DIYers to own their scroll saw at home.
- Tilting Table for Bevel Cuts
Like most other scroll saws on the market, the blade moves in a reciprocating motion or vertically.
The table also tilts, allowing you to create straight or angled cuts.
When you first receive the Harbor Freight Scroll Saw, you’ll need to check and align the bevel scale indicator.
But, unlike more expensive models, its bevel scale indicator should only be used as a guide.
If you need precisely angled cuts, you should mark the workpiece you’re cutting or practice your scrap wood angles first.
The table also only tilts to the left, which means you have to move your workpiece around quite a bit to achieve the cuts you want.
The main thing is that with a 45-degree tilting angle, you can achieve all the same cuts that you’d expect on any scroll saw.
- 16-Inch Throat With Variable Speed Settings
The Harbor Freight Scroll Saw has a 16-inch throat. That means you can cut wood up to two inches thick, which is ideal for most home project users.
You can also tackle projects made from different kinds of softwood and hardwood with the tool's variable speed settings.
You can also change the Harbor Freight Scroll Saw's speed settings easily by adjusting the knob on the machine's front.
- Built-In Air Pump
Another great feature offered by this scroll saw, again, especially for the price, is the built-in air pump that keeps your work area clean.
The pump will blow away the dust created as you saw, allowing more continuous cutting and unobscured visibility at what you’re cutting.
The scroll saw from Harbor Freight also comes with a 90-day limited warranty.
If anything should go wrong with the product, through no fault of your own, in the first three months, then you can return it for a free repair or replacement.
It’s a very short warranty against other scroll saws on the market, but it’s great to be offered a warranty in this price range.
Unfortunately, the scroll saws that come with longer warranties also cost four or five times as much as this power tool.
How To Install and Setup the Harbor Freight Scroll Saw
Before you use the scroll saw, you’ll need to mount it to a stable workbench capable of bearing the weight of the tool and projects you might be working on.
You’ll need to buy four sets of ¼ inch bolts, washers, lock washers, and nuts in order to mount the power tool.
The Harbor Freight Scroll Saw has four holes in its base. You need to measure them up on the surface.
Then, make marks through the holes and drill out the four holes.
Replace the scroll saw and mount it to the workstation with the nuts and bolts you bought.
Make sure they are tight enough before using the Harbor Freight Scroll Saw. You may also want to check and align the bevel scale indicator.
You’ll need a combination square to complete that process for you to measure the angle of the tilting table against the blade.
Loosen the table lock knob on the front left of the Harbor Freight Scroll Saw.
Next, measure up the blade and table to a 90-degree angle before tightening the knob again.
Lastly, loosen the screw on the bevel scale indicator, and then adjust it to point to “zero degrees” and then tighten it again.
We decided to check out another slightly more expensive model to see what extra features you can get for your money. We found the Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw that fits the bill.
The machine is available at an affordable entry price, but not as cheap as the Harbor Freight model.
Shop Fox W1713 Scroll Saw
The Shop Fox Scroll Saw also features a 16-inch throat, variable speed setting, and tilting table that tilts up to a 45-degree angle to the left.
It also accepts both pin and plain end blades and has a built-in air blower to keep your workstation free of dust.
This model also has a dust port so that you can attach your shop vac and collect dust from the underneath of the machine.
That means your work area will need less cleaning up at the end of the project.
It also has a gooseneck light that hangs over the scroll saw, which is great for visibility, especially when it comes to seeing dark corners into where you’re cutting.
This product also comes with a two-year warranty, so manufacturer faults are covered longer than with the Harbor Freight Scroll Saw.
Unfortunately, the noise levels and vibrations of this scroll saw are quite high on the higher speed settings.
Plus, the light jiggles around.
With the machine's design and the mounting holes' placement, it’s also difficult to mark out the holes you need to mount it to the workbench.
Harbor Freight Scroll Saw Review: The Conclusion
There’s no doubt that the Shop Fox Scroll Saw provides great value for money and some neat extras that you don’t get with the Harbor Freight machine.
The two-year warranty is incredibly impressive, while the gooseneck light is really handy, although it could easily be replaced with a desk lamp.
To conclude, though, our overall favorite is still the Harbor Freight machine.
The ultra-low price makes it the perfect entry-level scroll saw for hobby woodworkers or DIY enthusiasts.
It does everything you need a scroll saw to do, making finely detailed, curved, and bevel cuts, all without breaking the bank.