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Axminster AWVFS Variable Speed Fretsaw

Specification

Cuts per Minute 700-1,700
Max Depth of Cut: 28mm
Motor Speed: 3,600 - 4,000rpm
Nett Weight: 14kg
Power: 90W
Rating: Hobby
Table Size: 412 x 254mm
Table Tilt: 0-45
Throat: 400mm(16")

Review

I've been looking around for a jigsaw/fretsaw/scroll saw for some time. I need one for occassional use and this is what I ended up with.

When looking at the different fretsaws available I was particularly interested in this one as it will accept pin or plain ended blades. This opens up the options.

A small rubber bellow is fitted between the fretsaw frame and the outer casting, when the arm moves this pumps the belows and a small puff of air is directed through a pipe and towards the cutting area. Very simple.

The guard fits over the pin that the foot is attached to and is held in place with a bolt and locking nut. The problem is the plastic on the guard is bent out to fit it over the pin and I can see that this may not survive so long - especially as the whole machine vibrates as expected.

The angle of the table adjusts very easily from 0 through to 45.

Well, straight out of the box, I checked the tension on the blade, plugged it in, adjusted the speed and quickly cut out a simple 4 piece jigsaw from 3/8" plywood.

The speed adjust works well and there is a good speed range, the table is solid and the motor noise is low. I will need to bolt it down so that I remove any movement on the bench and noise created due to vibration on the bench.

The power is more than adequate and was able move the wood around at a very smooth pace. The blower does the job.

This was without me even bolting it down, will drill the bench and find some bolts at the weekend as I can see me wanting to use this saw quite a lot.

Price: approx 75.00 from Axminster Tool Centre.

Conclusion

A very well priced fretsaw that does exactly what you would expect and is very solidly constructed.

The only minor issue is the guard does not look that robust and I may end up altering this - just needs a more robust attachment and hinge.

Overall very nice and would highly recommend it. I will be using this a lot.

See also: Tools.

Long Term

Well, I've been using the fretsaw for some time now and there are a few issues. One is that there is a lot of fretting of the tension adjusting knob on the casing.

I will have to take the arm apart and modify the case to clear this.

Another issue was the insert around the blade as there is quite a large gap around the blade and it sits below the level of the aluminium table.

My solution was to cut an aluminium disc to fit where the plastic insert fits with a small hole in the centre. I then laminated this with a thin sheet of hardwood.

I then sanded the wood to a flush finish with the table.

This feels much better to work on.