The Skil Benchtop Scroll Saw Delivers Ample Power for Hobbyists and Makers
When it comes to making intricate curved cuts in wood, nothing quite competes with a scroll saw. A scroll saw works as a sort of jigsaw solution…if you mounted that jigsaw upside-down and gave it an oversized table! The thin blades on a scroll saw let you quickly guide thin material through the blade while following a complex pattern. We wanted to see if the Skil 16-inch benchtop scroll saw had the features and power to present a solid option for the value-minded hobbyist or DIYer.
Skil Corded Scroll Saw Power Plant
- Model: SS9503-00
- 120V, 1.2-amp, 3/25HP motor
- 550 – 1650 SPM
- Electronic variable speed control
- Dual controls
Benchtop scroll saws don’t require a ton of power with their thin blades and Skil’s 1.2-amp motor selection is exactly what we expect.
The speed is variable between 550 and 1650 SPM using a dial on the right side. The dial adjusts the speed electronically, so it’s a very smooth shift up or down.
What’s different than some of the models you may be looking at is that you have two control options: an on/off switch or a foot pedal.
No matter which one you’re using, you start by flipping the safety switch to the on position. If you want to use the foot pedal, just step on it to activate the saw. If not, flip the secondary switch to the on position.
The foot pedal isn’t variable speed in itself, it’s just an on/off switch. If you haven’t used one before, it’s a convenient feature to have because you can keep both hands on the material when you cycle the power and avoid damaging your workpiece.
Skil 16-Inch Benchtop Scroll Saw Design Notes
- 10 x 16-inch table
- Up to 45° tilt left
- Flexible LED light
- Dust blower
- Onboard spare blade storage
The table of the Skil SS9503-00 is larger than some of the entry-level and compact models, giving you more support for your material. For any bevels you want to add, the table tilts to the left up to 45°.
As soon as you flip the Skil scroll saw’s safety switch to the on position, the flexible LED light turns on. We like that it activates between the two power stages to help position the light where it’s most helpful before the blade starts moving.
Opposite the LED light, there’s a dust blower in a fixed position. For all the cuts we made in various thickness levels, it did a fine job keeping the cutline clear.
Rounding out the features, there’s onboard storage on the left side of the tool to store spare blades and the hex wrenches.
Skil SS9503-00 Pricing
- 3-year warranty
You can pay a lot for a corded benchtop scroll saw. In fact, some models cost upwards of $500 or more. Those typically add more power, larger tables, and greater cutting capacity. Skil positions itself at a place where you get some additional features for the money—features we like and want. Given the 3-year warranty and brand, we think it presents a solid value.
The Bottom Line
In the 16-inch benchtop scroll saw category, Skil has some competition. However, it offers a few nice-to-haves, like the integrated blower and foot pedal control. The Skil also supports both pin end and straight scroll saw blades, which gives it a bit more flexibility. You can pay less—but then you also get less. In the end, we find the advantages Skil provides worth the extra investment for those looking for an entry-level scroll saw.