The Delta 40-694 20″ is one of the few competitors to Dewalt’s extremely popular DW788 model.
Like the Dewalt, the Delta has a 20″ capacity, dual parallel link arm design, and premium construction.
Delta says that the unique dual parallel link arm design reduces vibration and noise and keeps the blade perpendicular to the work surface which dramatically reduces over or under cutting, improving accuracy and quality.
The table is made from cast iron. Its size can support larger workpieces, and its heft should help to keep things stable.
Additional features include a variable speed control, flexible dust blower, blade tensioning lever, tool-free blade clamp, and on-board storage area.
- 1.3A motor
- 40-1760 SPM
- 20″ capacity
- 3/4″ stroke length
- 16″ x 24″ table size
- Table Tilt: 0-45° left and right
- 2-1/8″ cutting capacity at 90°
- Weighs 70 lbs
- 39″ x 16″ assembled dimensions
Price: $472 (as of 7/31/2021)
The Delta saw sells for $598 at most retailers, and at the time of this posting it appears to be on sale for $472. I have not used this model before, but it looks to have very good ratings at Amazon and other retailers.
Buy Now via Amazon
Buy Now: Stand via Amazon
Compare via Acme Tools
According to Amazon, the MLCS Billy pedal foot switch is a popular add-on accessory. The deadman-style switch allows users to control the scroll saw with their foot.
Compared to the Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw
Dewalt’s specs are very similar, matching the Delta’s motor power, speed (strokes per minute), and stroke length. Both saws’ tables can also tilt left and right to 45°. The Delta beats the Dewalt’s cutting capacity at 90° by 1/8″.
What’s interesting is that the Dewalt has a tool weight of 56 pounds. It’s also made from cast iron, and it’s unsure where the Delta gains an extra 14 pounds.
Extra weight in a saw like this is a good thing, as weight can provide extra stability and help reduce vibrations.
Some folks prefer a saw that tilts rather than the table tilting. The only tilting head saw that I know of in this price range is the $600 General International’s Excalibur.
For me, while I really like my Hegner – I can’t recommend them at their current selling prices unless you do nothing much other than scroll sawing – or have money to burn.
That’s the only one I know of by name. I know there are others though. When I was in high school in the 1990’s my school was partnered with NASA Johnson Space Center for the FIRST Robotics competition. A side-benefit of this was I got to check out the machining facilities at JSC. One of the machines in their “model shop” was an older (I’d guess 1940’s-1950’s) German scroll saw, extremely heavy construction, which had a tilting head. In fact the tilting motion even had it’s own power assist feature and a micrometer style readout for angle. I wish I could remember who made it, there was also an old die filing machine made by the same company. They had a number of other noteworthy old machines including a 36″ double disc sander, and a *fifteen horsepower* oscillating spindle sander with variable stroke & the ability to tilt the spindle. Also a very specialized wood lathe with a massive swing (something 6 feet) but extremely short center distance, probably no more than 2 feet.
I’ve had two Dewalts, a 24” Hefner and an older model of the Delta higher end Q saw. The Hegner was maybe a tad smoother than the Dewalt, but not by much and the Hegner blade changes suck. The Dewalt does most everything pretty darn good, and for the money is a great saw by all accounts.
Better bet – buy a used Dewalt to get the original made in Canada version. No doubt the current made in China version probably cut a few corners.
I’m not sure why anyone would buy anything Delta these days and expect anything better than basic Lowes bullshit bench top power tool quality. Might as well be branded as a Kobalt I’d bet. Even if the design is a clone of the Dewalt – no doubt they made changes which make it a crappier version.
For my Hegner 22 – I have both their standard and quick blade clamps. Neither one is great – but I find that the so-called Quick Clamp is worse especially if you have some arthritis in your hands.
If I were buying today I could not justify the Hegner at more than 3 times the price of the Dewalt.
I’ve got this saw. It’s the only scroll saw I’ve ever used, but it’s worked well for me. I use it on the Delta stand and haven’t had any issues. It stays where I put it and cuts what I ask it to.
Off topic: Acme tools has Apex tool brands 15% off. This includes Gearwrench & I believe Cresent(among other tool brands). The Gearwrench 6 piece plier set at about $76 after 15% discount, looks good to me. The 4 piece plier set was recently increased about $9-10 I think. So the 6 piece set looks better to me. The Gearwrench tool carts are also included in the 15% sale.
Acme has free shipping on purchases over $199.00!
The Dewalt scroll saw is the only one I’ve ever owned. It’s not perfect, but I’ve put many hundreds of hours of use on it and like it. It’s probably the most common / well known scroll saw, goes on sale a few times a year, and holds its value fairly well in the used market. It also has a LOT of aftermarket accessories available for it.
For the Dewalt, I highly recommend the Pegas blade chuck heads, especially the set that includes both the top and bottom heads… They aren’t cheap, but DWs are known to be a bit fussy on getting blades to the right torque and on blades slipping over time, and the blade holders are a known wear item. For $40 or 50 more than the OEM blade chuck replacement, the Pegas heads are amazing… Felt like I had a whole new saw after adding those, with no more blades slipping.
I’d also suggest an aftermarket attachment like “The Lifter” to hold the top head up when changing blades and doing interior cuts, but for a bit less convenience a scrap piece of wood or a bungee/rope rigged up would work too.
I was entirely unaware that DeWALT was considered as “One of the Only” brands to make a Scrollsaw… I thought every power tool brand had one somewhere in their catalogue?
Learn somethin’ new every day… I just kinda figured no one bothers with scroll saws much anymore, that’s why we don’t see a lot of updates or new releases of models.
I’ve skimmed through the comments and I’m only really counting… what is it? 3 brands? 4?
An industrial tool chain up North here seems to reveal another surprise option… a Makita… and what appears to be various brands of blades… What looks like a pretty decent deal for the DeWALT with a stand and light as well… (Remember… All prices are in CAD.)
I’ve always considered there to be 3 main categories:
Dewalt + Delta
Premium & Specialty
A few years ago, Delta was owned by Dewalt and so the two had nearly identical models. A recent reader comment prompted me to update an older post, but it seemed more effective and informative to start fresh with a new post on the updated saw.
As someone in the hobby, I think your grouping is pretty fair for new saws, though I normally see the Delta selling for a bit less than the Dewalt. You basically have the dirt cheap saws (some of which have pin end blades, and usually those saws < ~$250, such as the HF special), your midrange saws in the ~$350-550 range, and your "enthusiast" saws that are in or above the high 3-figures.
One thing worth mentioning about scroll saws is that while they still need to be respected, they are one of the safest power tools out there. If a finger hits the moving blade of another type of powered saw, there are fair odds that an ER visit may be required. If a finger hits the moving blade of a scroll saw, the result is usually more akin to a paper cut, and often even bloodless in my experience. The reasons are obvious, but it's worth mentioning.
When I acquired my Delta Unisaw – the company was owned by Rockwell Manufacturing which was then subsumed into Rockwell International – the aerospace giant conglomerate. Rockwell also owned Porter Cable at that time. By the 1980’s Rockwell and other giant conglomerates seemed to be either struggling or in decline . In 1981 Rockwell sold off their tool making (Delta, Porter Cable) business to Pentair (known more for pumps than tools). In 2004, Pentair sold the tool group (Delta and Porter Cable] to Black & Decker. In 2009 Stanley and Black&Decker merged to form SBD,
Then in 2011 SBD sold off Delta to Chang Type Industrial Co.
Dewalt, on the other hand was an independent company (known mostly for radial arm saws) before it was acquired by AMF in 1949.
AMF went on to sell Dewalt to Black&Decker in 1960. B&D sold off the RAS business and in the early 1990’s started turning Dewalt into their flagship brand. So, from 2004 through 2011 Delta and Dewalt shared a common parentage under B&D
Please, don’t take this the wrong way, Stuart… but between your response, and fred’s clarification… I seem to find it rather soothing to absorb all that you two have said… But I notice one problem with what you both are talking about…
…When I say I was entirely unaware that scroll saw manufacturers were that rare… I literally mean it. I genuinely thought that, buried in nearly every brand’s catalogue somewhere, there’s a Scroll Saw. It might not be the star of the lineup, but it exists somewhere. I was unaware it was down to so few brands, at any level.
I’ve got a Dremel MotoSaw… The modern MS-20 is said to be Dremel’s “Scroll Saw” answer… after all, it operates every bit like a scroll saw when tied down to its worktable… but the vibration and flexing of the magnesium-based tube body, make it an awful example of a Scroll Saw. Make no mistake, when it’s in your hand, it’s a mighty Coping Saw with a motor… But a Scroll Saw this is not. I just figured there were other well-known models of serious Scroll Saws out there. I had no clue it was down to DeWALT, Delta, then a bunch of Specialty brands above and below their base range to fill out the entire Scroll Saw Market.
This is pretty shocking to me. Scroll Saws seem… I dunno… Rather important to anyone that has to literally turn any kind of flat material, into the equivalent spirals, scrolls, or other decorative designs. Even simply for ventilation, the scroll saw seems like it would be more in demand, wouldn’t it?
Again… This is totally new to me. I remember a time when I was just a child, when my Mother would walk by a certain hobby store and whisper to herself “One Day!” as she looked through the window at Scroll Saws. I genuinely believed, until now of course, that every brand made one. It is an education to me that this… seemingly obvious shop necessity… is so rare to find.
I read somewhere that there was a time – perhaps even before electric motors – that scroll saws were quite common. Certainly if you look at the decorative fine woodwork on some Queen Anne / Victorian style houses – you realize that people were engaged in creating lots of filigree.
Thinking back to an age much closer to now, I can recall scroll saws akin in size and shape to these Dewalt machines – bearing brands like Sears-Craftsman, Delta, Dremel, Makita , Rikon, Ryobi , Shopsmith and Wen. I think that Dremel has moved away from full-sized scroll saws, the Makita SJ401 seems in scarce supply (in the USA anyways). I don’t think there is a modern Craftsman – but I think you can still buy a Ryobi, Rikon or Wen. Stuart had a prior post about a Jet as well. So while you might not spot one on a trip to Home Depot – Acme Tool lists some choices – just not from all of the brands we think of when buying cordless power tools:
Home Depot online also offers some choices:
Dremel alternative costs $112…
That’s like comparing a full-size router table to a handheld trim router.