Reviewed by Raf Nathan
Call it a scrollsaw or an electric fretsaw. Either way it’s an unashamedly light duty tool that surprised me. According to the specs it will handle, wood, thin metal and plastic. Pretty well an all-plastic build, it does have aluminium arms and metal blade attachment. Guess where it’s made!
Blade change, a critical point, is good. Release the large top-mounted plastic lever and drop the lower end of the sawblade into the lower steel mount and then just swing the other end of the blade into the top slot.
Magically when you swing the lever back the blade is automatically mounted. I am too old to see what was happing inside the slot, but it works.
It can be used as a handheld saw but I personally found it difficult in this mode. With the saw mounted in the supplied plastic table is where it shines as a small scrollsaw. This assembly is clamped to a bench with the supplied clamps. The specs said variable speed is from 1500 to 2250 strokes for wood however I found that at top speed there was too much vibration so I opted for a lower speed. It does however cut faster at high speed.
Throat size is over 250mm and the specs say it will cut wood 3/4"thick. It did saw blackwood 16mm thick but that was pushing it and the cut surface was rough. Thin softwoods are best and a smooth cut will leave an edge requiring only a light sand with fine paper. Plywood cut very easily. I found silky oak, a soft hardwood at 6mm thick, was the ideal type of material.
As a scrollsaw novice I found it was all about following the line as smoothly as possible. Not easy and a new skill to learn.
The on/off switch is a bit clumsy, you pretty well have to look underneath every time to turn it off, not intuitive enough. With the dust port connected to a portable vacuum suction was excellent, so much power is directed to the point of cut that the workpiece is pulled down to the table.
At a weight of 1.1kg the Moto-Saw is light duty but if you want to work with plywood shapes, build models, or do the odd one-off job with some softwood inlay or fretwork then this tool will do it.
The Moto-Saw is available from power tool suppliers and hardware stores. More information from www.dremel.com