porter cable scroll saw

A Guide to Porter Cable Scroll Saws

The world of woodworking offers a multitude of tools, each with its own unique purpose. For those seeking to create intricate designs and navigate tight curves, the scroll saw reigns supreme. Within the vast array of scroll saw brands, Porter Cable stands out for its combination of affordability, user-friendliness, and functionality. This comprehensive guide delves into the world of Porter Cable scroll saws, equipping you with the knowledge to make informed decisions and elevate your woodworking projects.

Types of Porter Cable Scroll Saws

Porter Cable offers two primary scroll saw models: the PCB375S and the PSC486. Let’s explore the key features of each to help you determine which best suits your needs.


This 16-inch variable-speed scroll saw is ideal for beginners and hobbyists. It boasts a 1.2-amp motor, providing ample power for tackling most woodworking projects. The tilting table (up to 45 degrees) allows for angled cuts, while the included dust blower keeps your work surface clear for optimal visibility. Additionally, the PCB375S comes with a sturdy steel stand for convenient use.


For those requiring more power and cutting depth, the PSC486 is a compelling option. This 18-inch, 1.6-amp variable-speed scroll saw tackles thicker materials with ease. Similar to the PCB375S, it features a tilting table and dust blower. Notably, the PSC486 comes equipped with a quick-release blade clamp for faster blade changes, a feature well-appreciated by experienced scrollers.

Why Choose a Porter Cable Scroll Saw?

Beyond the two core models, several factors solidify Porter Cable’s position as a frontrunner in the scroll saw market. Here’s a closer look at the advantages:

  • Budget-Friendly: Porter Cable scroll saws are known for their competitive pricing, making them accessible to woodworkers of all experience levels. This affordability is particularly attractive for beginners who are just starting their scroll saw journey.

  • Ease of Use: User-friendliness is a hallmark of Porter Cable scroll saws. The simple controls and intuitive designs make them a breeze to operate, even for those with limited woodworking experience.

  • Versatility: Both models offer variable speed control, allowing you to adjust the cutting speed to match the material thickness and desired outcome. This versatility ensures clean cuts on a variety of wood types, from delicate balsa to hardwoods.

  • Durability: Porter Cable scroll saws are built to last. The robust construction, featuring high-quality materials, guarantees reliable performance for years to come.

porter cable scroll saw

Essential Accessories for Your Porter Cable Scroll Saw

To maximize your scroll sawing experience, consider investing in some essential accessories:

  • Scroll Saw Blades: Different blade types are designed for specific materials and cutting applications. Fine-tooth blades are ideal for intricate cuts in thin wood, while coarse-tooth blades handle thicker materials and curves with greater ease.

  • Dust Collection System: Effective dust control is crucial for maintaining a clear work surface and a healthy work environment. A dust collection system attached to the scroll saw efficiently removes sawdust, enhancing visibility and improving cutting precision.

  • Clamp Set: Clamps are vital for securing your workpiece to the scroll saw table, ensuring stability and preventing movement during cutting. Quick-grip clamps offer a convenient and time-saving solution.

porter cable scroll saw

Getting Started with Your Porter Cable Scroll Saw

Before diving headfirst into your project, familiarizing yourself with the basic operation of your Porter Cable scroll saw is vital. Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Assembly (if applicable): The PCB375S comes with a stand that requires assembly. Follow the clear instructions provided in the user manual.

  2. Blade Installation: Ensure your scroll saw is unplugged before installing the blade. Refer to the user manual for proper blade installation techniques.

  3. Material Preparation: Secure your workpiece firmly to the scroll saw table using clamps.

  4. Adjustments: Set the desired cutting speed and table tilt angle (if necessary).

  5. Cutting: Power on the scroll saw, guide the material along the cutting line, and maintain a steady feed rate.

Tips and Techniques for Flawless Scroll Sawing

With the fundamentals covered, let’s explore some helpful tips and techniques to elevate your scroll sawing skills:

  • Sharpen Your Blades: Regularly sharpening your blades ensures clean cuts and prevents burning of the wood. Blunt blades result in ragged edges and require more effort to push through the material.

  • Support Curves: When cutting intricate curves, use a thin and flexible blade to navigate tight corners with ease. Additionally, consider using a piercing blade to initiate cuts within your workpiece without drilling pilot holes.

  • Take Breaks: Continuous scrolling can strain your arms and eyes. Take short breaks at regular intervals to maintain focus and prevent fatigue.

  • Practice Makes Perfect: As with any skill, mastering scroll sawing requires practice. Start with simple projects to build confidence and gradually progress to more complex designs. There are numerous online resources and woodworking magazines offering a wealth of scroll saw project ideas for all skill levels.

Safety First: Essential Precautions for Scroll Sawing

Safety should always be paramount when operating any power tool. Here are some key safety precautions to remember while using your Porter Cable scroll saw:

  • Wear Safety Glasses: Eye protection is essential to shield your eyes from flying debris and sawdust particles.

  • Use Push Sticks: When cutting narrow or small pieces of wood, employ push sticks to guide the material through the saw without putting your fingers at risk.

  • Maintain a Clean Work Area: A cluttered workspace can lead to accidents. Keep your work area clean and organized, free from tripping hazards and loose materials.

  • Unplug When Not in Use: Always unplug your scroll saw from the power source when not in use, during blade changes, or when making adjustments.

Conclusion: Unleashing Your Creativity with a Porter Cable Scroll Saw

Porter Cable scroll saws offer an exceptional blend of affordability, functionality, and user-friendliness. They are perfect for both beginners seeking to embark on their scroll sawing journey and experienced woodworkers looking for a reliable tool to tackle intricate projects. By following the tips and techniques outlined above, and prioritizing safety, you can unlock the full potential of your Porter Cable scroll saw and transform your woodworking creations into stunning works of art.

Remember: With dedication and practice, you can master the art of scroll sawing and bring your creative visions to life. Happy scrolling!

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