A scroll saw is a small electric saw that is useful for cutting intricate curves in cases where a jigsaw or coping saw is not appropriate.
It is somewhat similar to a band saw, but unlike band saws, in which the saw blade is a continuous loop, scroll saws use saw blades similar to those of coping saws and operate through a quick reciprocating up and down motion. Scroll saws are often used to cut intricate curves and joints, a task they can complete quickly and with great accuracy. They can also be used to cut dovetail joints. The tool allows a substantial amount of creativity and requires comparatively little space.
A scroll saw has two main advantages when compared to a band saw. The first is that the blade can be removed and placed through a pre-drilled starting hole. This feature allows interior cutouts to be made without creating an entry slot for the blade through the edge of the workpiece. Second, a scroll saw can cut significantly more intricate curves.
Scroll saws are comparatively safe. In particular, inadvertent contact between the blade and the operator's fingers are unlikely to result in serious injury.