Buying a Used Scroll Saw: Steve Good May 17, 2021 www.scrollsawworkshop.blogspot.com
There are a lot of woodworkers out there who have filled their shop with nice used tools. There are some good bargains out there but there are also some not-so-good bargains.
Should you buy a used scroll saw and what should you look for?
If a scroll saw sells new for under $200, in my opinion, they are not good bargains on the used market. It blows my mind how many $120 new price scroll saws are on Ebay and selling used for $100 plus. The value of these entry-level saws is near zero after just two years of moderate use. You may find one in good condition but the odds are not great.
I see a lot of used DeWalt DW788 and Delta 40-694 scroll saws on the used market. I recently saw the DeWalt on the Facebook marketplace for $250. That is about the correct price for this saw as long as it is in running order.
It may need new clamps or air bellows but those are not expensive parts and would not kill the deal.
On a saw like the DeWalt, I look for one major symptom. Noise. DeWalt scroll saw are notorious for failed bearings after a few years of moderate use. If you hear a noise that sounds out of place then pass on the deal. Of course you have to be able to run the saw to hear the noise so I would only buy these in person.
Rust is not necessarily a deal killer. It looks bad but is often just the table. They are not that difficult to clean.
All of what I just said applies to the Delta 40-694 scroll saw. Unless it is in like-new condition I don't want to pay more than $200 for it used. The price of a new Delta right now is highly inflated but before the pandemic, you could buy one new for $299. Currently, they are over $500 new. Not a great deal at that price.
After you get past the DeWalt and Delta mid-level saws you get into the higher quality saws that hold their value better.
The Excalibur comes up on the used market less often. The pre-China manufactured Excaliburs had very good used value. After they moved manufacturing from Taiwan to China they have had more quality problems than are acceptable to me. I would not buy a used Chinese manufactured Excalibur. I would buy a used Taiwan manufactured Excalibur. I have my fingers crossed that the Chinese manufacturer will get the problems worked out.
The Taiwanese saws sell new for around $600 right now. I would consider a $450 price to be reasonable for a used one. I would not go any higher unless the saw was in near like-new condition.
The more expensive scroll saw like the Hawk and the Hegner hold their value very well. The problem is that they hold their value very well. It is very difficult to get one of these saws for less than 75% of the full new price.
This is especially true of the Hegner scroll saws. They are built to last a lifetime so the used value is understandable. If you sit down at one of these saws and don't see or hear any obvious issues then it is likely a going to run fine for you.
I saw an older 14" Hegner model that was selling used for $725. The current 14" model is $795 new. That sounds crazy but I see this often. They just hold their value.
My opinion is that buying used becomes easier with the higher quality scroll saws. That's no surprise. You just have to decide on how much you are willing to pay for a used saw. This would be my very general guide.
New, Under $200 saw. I would not buy used.
New, DeWalt or Delta. I would want to be at no more than 50%-60% of the new price.
Highend saws in good condition. I would pay 60% - 75%