Scroll Saw Vs. Band Saw Comparison

Difference Between Band Saw And Scroll Saw

There will come a time as a crafter and a DIYer that you will be faced with a project where you need a new saw. The problem is, there are so many out there, and you may be confused when it comes to scroll saw vs. band saw and which is best suited for your needs.

To make that decision, you will need to know the differences in scroll vs. band saw, what each one can do, and which is the better tool for your specific task.

The Scroll Saw

Scroll saw is a saw that uses thin, short blades that are usually less than a quarter inch in width. These saws oscillate at high speeds, and they are often likened to a double-ended jigsaw.

working with scroll saw

These tools use electricity, and you’ll have the ability to control the speed at which the blade moves simply by pressing on the pedal, which may be challenging to control if you aren’t familiar with using a skill saw.

With a scroll saw, you will want to pay attention to the throat size, which is the distance between the blade and the rear part of the saw. Depending on your needs, you may want a saw with a long throat or a short throat.

The benefit of using a scroll saw vs. a band saw is that when you’re using the scroll saw on a tabletop, you have the ability to rotate it.

For those who do woodworking and you’re trying to decide between a band saw vs. scroll saw for caricature carving, the scroll saw’s fine blades will allow you the get precise detail work you’re trying to achieve.

Advantages Of A Scroll Saw

Scroll saws are often dubbed a specialty saw because they can create a clean and intricate cut. These saws can create the exact cuts needed for jigsaw puzzles and the figurines you’d find in craft shops.

Because you can control the speed at which the blade moves, you have better control of the cuts. Not only that, but you’ll be able to handle the material as you see fit because you can release the foot pedal and stop the sawing altogether.

The Band Saw

The band saw is a tool that works almost like a jigsaw that will give you a similar cut. You’ll be able to use this tool on a table or let it be a standalone tool.

band saw project

These saws are perfect for contractors who need to take them to a job site, or for those who do not have space for a larger tool. These tools will give you the ability to cut a large curve into the wood, make rip cuts through hardwood, and any job that you’d use a larger for.

A band saw will often have a fence that will help you with rip cutting, but other jigs will help you cut arches, circles and any other shape you want to achieve.

Advantages Of A Band Saw

For woodworkers, a band saw is often preferred when speed and accuracy are important. These saws will allow you to create awkward angles and patterns quickly and cleanly.

You may think that a jigsaw would do just as well as a band saw – which is true. However, a band saw allows you to use your hands to move the material as you need to, thus giving you better control and accuracy.

Scroll Saw Vs. Band Saw: How Are They Different?

When you are faced with the choice between a band vs. scroll saw, you’ll want to think about the purpose of each tool. Here are the main ways these tools differ:

comparison between band saw and scroll saw

Purpose

A scroll saw is ideal when you need to make an intricate design for your project. These delicate saws that use an oscillatory motion and can offer a smooth, professional finish.

The band saw, on the other hand, is intended for cutting through thick materials and is often found in an industrial or professional setting.

Thickness

The size of the material you intend to cut is going to play a big role in which saw you use.

band saw vs. scroll saw blade thickness

A scroll saw uses thin, delicate blades (1/4 inch thick and 8 inches long) that isn’t suitable for cutting through thick pieces of wood

A band saw can work with material between 6 inches all the way up to 30 inches.

Cutting

A scroll saw is going to be the ideal option if you need to make curves or circular cuts, or even detailed cuts because you can move the material around as you need to thanks to the fixed saw.

cutting with scroll saw

A band saw is usually preferred when you need to make a straight cut. If you try to make designs with these saws, they aren’t going to be as intricate or precise as you’d like them to be.

Versatility

A scroll saw is going to offer more versatility, as it can a wide range of cuts. A band saw is usually best suited for regular cuts.

cutting with band saw

Budget

Naturally, power tools are going to cost a decent amount of money, and it is going to be something you’ll need to consider when you are trying to decide between a scroll saw vs. band saw.

A scroll saw is usually going to be the cheaper option, as crafters and DIYers often use it.

A band saw is more expensive because they are more commercial and are often preferred by professional woodworkers.

Conclusion

In the battle between a scroll saw vs. band saw, there is no clear winner because while they may be similar, they have their own uses.

If you’re someone looking for precise cuts, then the scroll saw is the way to go. If you just want to make straight cuts quickly and effectively, then a band saw is a better choice.

We recommend you to check our band saw buyer's guide, as well as the scroll saws buyer's guide, to see the best options on the market for each.

About the Author Chris Miller

As a seasoned DIY woodworking enthusiast, I have over two decades of experience working with a variety of materials and projects. What was once only a hobby has slowly turned into a second career, as I’m now a contractor in my spare time. Frustrated over the lack of objective online resources for those looking for new saws, I started this site as a way to provide fellow woodworkers young and old with informed, detailed reviews that can lead them to a better buying decision. I’m always testing out popular saw products so I can pass along the information to my readers, saving them time and money. If you’re in search of the best saw reviews on the internet, you’re in the right place.

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