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The words “hand me the Dremel” call to mind a compact rotary tool.  But after spending some quality time with Dremel’s 18″ Scroll Station, that’s not necessarily the case anymore.  The Scroll Station is a full-featured benchtop scroll saw with plenty of power.  Read on past the jump to find out about our experiences with it with lots of pictures to boot.

Unboxing

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The Dremel Scroll Station is heavy — 49 pounds to be exact. Once freed from the cardboard, the Dremel’s top handle made it much simpler to haul around.  It’s still heavy, but as we found out later, that works to its advantage.

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The first thing we noticed was that the power switch and variable speed control are located right on top of the upper arm. This is good for two reasons: you don’t have to reach behind or around anything to power the saw down in an emergency, and it”s simple to see how fast you have the saw set and to adjust it as needed.

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The blade tension adjustment is also located on the upper arm. It’s a simple flip lever that keeps tension to the blade once it’s inserted in the key slot.  Through many adjustments and blade types, we never encountered any issue using it.

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The blade slot accommodates both easy-pin-type blades and plain-end flat blades, so you’re not tied down to any specific blade type.  We always opted for easy-pins because we’ve just had better luck with them.  But it’s nice to know you have other options.  To secure a blade in the slot, just give the adjustment knob about a full turn.

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One of our favorite features was the large cast iron table.  It’s a sturdy support that provides crazy stability for larger projects.  The big blue knob attached to it controls the adjustable bevel; the table has a bevel capacity of 45 degrees left and 5 degrees right with detents every 15 degrees.

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There are also mounting holes located on the bottom of the steel base — two on the left and one on the right.  We didn’t use them, but it was good to know they were there in case we wanted to hard-mount the saw.

There’s a flexible dust blower located on the right side of the upper arm.  It looks like the tail on the queen from “Alien,” but did keep the cutting line clear of sawdust.

The unit comes out of the box pretty much ready to go so we plugged it in and put it to use right away.

Read on to page two for our in use experiences.

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6 Responses to Hands-On: Dremel’s Scroll Station

  1. Chris says:

    I’ve been wondering this for a while now, but I’ve not looked into the idea any further than simply wondering: would a scroll saw like this, with an appropriate blade, be usable in place of a band saw for cutting metal? If not, why not?

    For that matter, would a typical wood-cutting band saw like you’d see at Home Depot or Lowe’s be usable for metal if you slowed down the blade a bit and put a metal-cutting blade on it?

  2. Stuart Deutsch says:

    A scroll saw CAN be used to cut metal, but it won’t exactly be a picnic if the desired cut is large or the metal is thick. I’ve used a bandsaw before with a metal cutting blade and it sliced through aluminum and steel like butter. A lot of solid lube was used to cool things down and smooth the cut. The same bandsaw model was used in the woodshops and metal-fab shop so I assume the only difference was the blade and speed settings.

  3. Roscoe says:

    I’ve never been around a scroll saw, but a “wood-cutting” band saw works well for small or decorative cuts in light metal and plastic. Just use the right blade and take your time.

  4. Rob says:

    The main difference between a metal cutting saw and a wood cutting saw are the blades and the speed. The blade runs a lot slower to cut metal. One other thing is that many metal cutting bandsaws have clamps built in for bar stock and can tilt and cut like a chop saw for nice square cuts.

    As far as cutting metal on a scroll saw, I wouldn’t think it would be that good unless the metal was pretty thin, I’d think you’d go through blades pretty fast otherwise.

  5. Matt says:

    All I want to do is cut out a series of zig-zag teeth that wrap around a cardboard tube, roughly 1/16″ thick. Each cut will only be about 3/16″ into the the tube. One half of them go at a 45 degree angle to the right, the others to the left, so each full tooth only needs 2 short cuts.

    The salesperson at Home Depot sold me 3 things to do this job: the MS 400 XPR; the XPR multi saw that attaches to it; and the Dremel workstation 220-01 that was supposed to hold the blade in vertical place so that I can turn and push the tube into the blade with both hands. (all this cost $200!)

    But for the life of me I / we can’t see how to lower the arm of the workstation and lock it there. This should not be rocket science. I suspect that this is not the right trio of tools for my job. Dremel has not returned my calls and emails! I’d prefer to have a small hobby sort of tool(s) like a Dremel, rather than some larger, more serious power toll. But whatever can get the job done. Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Matt

  6. Joanna B. says:

    I’ve been trying to find blades for this saw. Can you please tell me the size or part number for the blade. Thanks

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