Electric saw and ragged edge

My arthritis is pushing me towards finding an electric saw that will
cut silver and gold. So far the saws I’ve seen vibrate the metal,
and leave a ragged edge. Can anyone help?

Helene S-French
in a cold n’ foggy San Francisco summer.

Hi Helene I have a Hegner scroll saw that cuts silver well. I don’t
usually use it for this purpose. When I first got it, I tested it on
lots of different materials to familiarise myself with its uses. The
trick for avoiding ragged edges is using the right sort of blade and
lubricant and setting the apropriate speed for the material you’re
cutting. You’ll still need to use your hands to direct and steady
your work but the actions are distinctly different from those required
for hand sawing.

Good luck
Liz Shaw

Hi, the slickest electric jewelers saw I’ve ever seen was made by one
of my customers who used it to cutout coins with. He bought an old
sewing machine and refited it to take jewelers saw blades. Worked
great and cost very little to make.


One of my college teachers uses a Hegner scroll saw to do all of her
metal sawing. The edges are so smooth that they rarely need to be
filed. The only drawback is the price. The last time I checked ,
they cost around $1100.00 (U.S.) dollars. I hope this helps. Jay

My arthritis is pushing me towards finding an electric saw that will
cut silver and gold.  So far the saws I've seen vibrate the metal,
and leave a ragged edge. 

G’day Helene (thank goodness you got rid of that previous pseudonym!)
Actually it depends on what and how you want to cut. You can cut all
the precious metals with a motorized scroll saw, but the difficulty
with dodgy hands is that the work must be held down strongly. You
will be able to cut down to 0.2 mm thickness, if you really want to,
but I regularly cut 0.5 mm sterling into fairly intricate shapes and
piercings. But the finer the saw, the less trouble you will have with
the work trying to vibrate out of your hands. And of course, you’ll
remember that what ever thickness of metal, etc, you must have two
teeth of the blade in contact at all times when cutting. I often go
down as low as 8/0 which are the finest blades available. You’ll
break plenty: so what? They aren’t very costly (check in the
catalogues) and are quickly changed, though you may need to have the
saw fitted with more easily tightened nuts than wing nuts. Do make
sure that your saw has a continuously variable speed, and that it
takes the fine jeweller’s blades instead of / as well as the coarse
wood blades which have little pegs to fix the blades in the saw. No
good for jeweller’s though. Then make sure the teeth point DOWN -
silly, I know, but I’ve sometimes wondered why the saw wouldn’t cut!
Finally, a scroll saw using a fairly fine blade (I use 3/0 for most
purposes) will leave a smooth surface that needs only a little touch
up with a fine file. Erratic ragged edges? I don’t know how one
would do it! Don’t get a cheap saw; save up for a good one if
necessary. Cheers and I’m sure you’ll cut a fine dash! – John
Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ where there’s Narcissi,
primroses, rhododendrons, acacia, camellia, azalea, early cheer, etc
all in full bloom, and there’s heaps of lambs dancing about in a
paddock near us. Spring has sprung a month too early this year!

I have a variable speed saw, has a tilt table for angled sawing if
you need that, uses jewler’s saw blades and they are easy to
change…brand is too cute for words…CutiPi and cost about $400.
The cut is so smooth with 3/0 blades that hardly any filing is
needed…no burr. The downside to it is that you should buy your saw
blades by the gross…lots of breakage. Donna in WY

Helene, One of the best saws i have seen is a saw made by Taylor
Manufacturing. Saw blades usually break during the up stroke.
Scroll saws and saws made from sewing machines have a powered up
stroke as well as down stroke. The Taylor saw is the only
reciprocating saw that does not have a powerd up stroke.



DeWalt makes an excellent saw for fine cutting of wood or metal it

is the DW788 you can see a picture of this saw at

I Like that you do not need any tools to change the blade it uses a
nice cam system to lock the blade and it is very accurate and low
vibration. It costs about $600 without the stand or accessory lamp .
Check it out.


James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601