Hawk BM 20 and 26 Review

Hawk BM-20

Bushton Manufacturing is promoting its two new Hawk Precision Scroll Saws—the BM-20 and BM-26. Both saws are relatively expensive compared to most on ScrollSawReviews.com; but this model offers some features that truly make the Hawk Precision Scroll Saw a considerable upgrade for “scrollers” looking for a saw that has:

  • Easier blade changing
  • Longer lasting motor
  • Wider stroke range
  • A broader range of materials it can cut!

The main difference between the two Hawk models is the throat capacity—20” and 26”, respectively. But let’s take a closer look at the features and capabilities of the Hawk BM Scroll Saw from Bushton.

Price

The BM-20 model runs a “hefty” four figure price. The BM-26 model costs slightly more. This is 3x to 4x more expensive than low- to mid-range scroll saw, which puts it in the high-range of scrolls

What are you using it for?

The BM-20 and BM-26 can cut an impressive array of materials including: soft and hard woods, plywood veneer, melamine, glass, ceramic tile, stone, plastic, organic materials (horns, antlers, bone) and both precious and non-precious metals (aluminum, copper, brass, silver, gold). With less expensive saws, you won’t find a saw capable of cutting so many materials.

Thickness of the cut

The thickness of the cut is a huge plus—an extra 5/8”, totaling a 2 5/8” capacity. This applies to all materials on the above list.

Throat Length

The throat length varies for both models, as the names indicate—20” and 26”, respectively. This is also an upgrade from most mid-level scroll saws that average about 16”.

Safety

The safety mechanism on the saw is a key upgrade from low and mid-range scrolls. The Hawk utilizes a safety spring and stop that will shut down the machine in the event of a blade break during operation.

Table Top Tilt

What really makes this price competitive is that it can cut basically anything, can cut thicker materials, has both left and right tilt (up to 45 degrees), and changing blades is rarely this easy.

The option to tilt the table in both directions opens up a whole new range of projects while scrolling. Instead of having to stop and reset for cuts—or rearrange your cut order to accommodate the limitation—the Hawk (20 and 26) lets you stay put while the saw does the work.

Dust Blower

Although the saw lacks a dust port for attachment to shop vacuums, it does come equipped with a flex bellows and Loc-Line design for keeping the cutting area clean so you can see the work as you’re doing it.

Weight

It’s a heavier saw. The weight of the BM-20 comes in at 93 lbs. The BM-26 is a little heavier at 97 lbs. This is about twice as heavy as the less expensive models; but the upside is that a heavier saw always means less vibration. (More on vibration later.)

Warranty

In terms of longevity, customer reviews and the manufacturer brag about the durability of the BM models. However, in case of a malfunction, there is a Manufacturer’s Warranty for 1 year including all parts and labor.

Blade Tension

The saw uses front and rear cam over design that allows the blade(s) to be released quickly and set precisely, and improves blade tension. The front cam over design will make your inside cuts much easier.

Pin-end vs Plain-end Blades

Whereas other saws offer both pin-end and plain-end blades, the Hawk only accepts 5” pinless blades. Changing the blade is much easier here though.

Other Distinct Features

On the product’s site, the company boasts that the saw has been “engineered to run quietly and limit vibration.”

The steel legs and “heavy-duty” base deliver a more stable cut and increased durability. The adjustable nose also creates a more advantageous cut and more options. The upper arm is 38% lighter. The lower arm is 34% lighter; and the Pitman arm connecting the motor to the lower arm is 78% lighter.

Don’t worry about these weight reductions. The steel legs, heavy base and the integration of the motor and motor bearing block add the necessary weight and stability for smooth cuts. The flywheel has been replaced by a counter-weight to add to the scroller’s precision.

Blade Changing

You can feed the blade from the top or bottom, and “quick change blade holders” allow you to change blades with less work, and no tools. Both the top and bottom blade holders quickly clip into place.

Vibration

The manufacturer gave special attention to reducing vibration—adding a motor bearing block, a 10 gauge steel legs and a cast aluminum table.

Speed

Perhaps one of the most obvious upgrades is the strokes per minute. Saws on the lower end of the price range average around 400-1600 spm. Both the BM-20 and BM-26 give you a wider range on both the low and high sides at 100-1750 spm. Don’t be surprised to hear the manufacturer suggest that users will need to sand their pieces less. (No customer reviews comment on this.)

Type of Motor

The TENV (Totally Enclosed, Not Ventilated) DC motor keeps dust out, and prevents stalling and over-heating.

Noise

On the product’s site, the company boasts that the saw has been “engineered to run quietly and limit vibration.”

Table Size

The table is about average for scroll saws with a 13.5” diameter. The blade is centrally located on the table, and with the ability to tilt in both directions, only the most obscure projects will be out the range of possibilities for these models.

Wheelchair Accessible

An important feature often overlooked in saw designs is wheelchair accessibility. The distance between the legs is 27 ½”. If one were to purchase an after-market stand for this purpose, they would be buying a stand with at least one side having a 30” width between the legs.

Customer Reviews

The internet has a shortage of customer reviews on the Hawk BM-20 and BM-26 models; but here are a few notable comments:

  • The lower blade holder had to be replaced
  • The speed control can become erratic, but is fixable by clearing dust off the speed sensor
  • Reliable
  • Worth the price
  • May be at its best value used

Pros vs. Cons

ProsCons
Can cut almost anythingSafety features

45-degree left and right tilt

Quick blade change/top and bottom feed

Large strokes per minute range

Lighter than comparable saws

Thicker cut (2 5/8”)

More expensive than comparable sawsHeavy

Small table size

No dust port

Pinless blades only

If the price is right for you, this is an excellent saw for upgrading your shop and projects. If you’ve been looking to “broaden your horizons” in terms of materials, few saws offer as many features to go along with it. With a significant reduction in vibration, a quieter run and a parts-and-labor warranty that lasts a year, consider the Hawk BM-20 and BM-26 as a new addition to your woodworking shop.

Happy Scrolling!