A scroll saw is a small electric or pedal-operated saw used to cut intricate curves in wood, metal, or other materials. The fineness of its blade allows it to cut more delicately than a power jigsaw, and more easily than a hand coping saw or fretsaw. Like those tools, it is capable of creating curves with edges, by pivoting its table.
The scroll saw's name derives from its traditional use in making scrollwork, sculptural ornaments which prominently featured scroll-head designs.
Scroll sawing is a popular hobby for many woodworkers. The tool allows a substantial amount of creativity and requires comparatively little space. In addition, many scroll saw projects require little more than the saw itself, reducing the investment in tools. A drill is required for interior cutouts, preferably a drill press for finely detailed work.
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 and are a common tool for thicker intarsia projects. When a fine blade is used, the kerf of a scroll saw is all but invisible.
Along with band saws, jigsaws, and now recently seen chainsaws, scroll saws are used with modern intarsia.
Scroll saws are comparatively safe. In particular, inadvertent contact between the blade and the operator's fingers or limbs is unlikely to result in serious injury, due to a smaller blade and relatively slower speed compared to tools such as a table saw.