For what is probably the best manual fret saw frame see:
This is a Swiss site for Hegner who also may well make the best
electric scroll saws. Hegner is sold in the US by Advanced Machinery.
I don’t know if they sell the manual saw, but Switzerland is on
our small world. They are EXPENSIVE . Everyone who has one swears by
them. If you are making money with your work really consider the
Hegner. I don’t have one but have a couple of the asian knockoffs
at about 1/10 th price. one is a vari speed 400-1800 strokes per min
and the other is one I modified to about zero - 400 strokes per min
with a longer adjustable stroke to use more of the blade. I use this
one to cut up to 1/2 " 6061 T6 aluminum tooling plate. The best
blades are the expensive ones and even then they don’t last
spectacularly long on this type cut.
The short stroke on the power saws is one thing that causes the
apparent slow cutting. Broken blades are caused by pushing the
cut and twisting the blade as well as trying to use a dull blade.
Cheap blades have poor quality control and are often very hard or
very soft as well as not very sharp.
For fancy cuts on smaller and thiner material the old bench pin and
saw frame is probably better than a power saw.
When using any tool I find it best to either fix the tool or the
work. Trying to control both at the same time leads to poor results.
Manually gives much better use of the blade length. For a manual
guided frame The Bonny Doone one from Rio or direct from Bonny
Doone is probably your best buy. If these don’t work it is either
poor blades or poor operator.