Scroll Saw vs. Band Saw – What to Use in Your Woodworking Project?

Still undecided about what kind of saw to buy for your next woodworking project? Perhaps, you’re torn between buying a scroll saw or a band saw. If that’s the case, then you need to know both of them in detail.

You probably already know that scroll saw and band saw are both mainly used for detailed curved cutting. However, there are some significant structural differences between them. In fact, when you look at the saws on the surface, you’ll notice that they both have unique features. So, if you want to be guided on exactly what saw fits your needs, we’ll provide you with a detailed overview of scroll saw vs. band saw.

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Differences Between Scroll Saw vs. Band Saw 

To examine both woodworking tools, let’s take a look at their features and applications.​

Scroll Saw

What is a scroll saw​

A scroll saw is a pedal-operated or electric saw that’s used in cutting intricate curves in any wooden piece, metal, and other materials. It usually comes with a blade that allows it to cut through materials delicately.

A scroll saw is a pedal-operated or electric saw that’s used in cutting intricate curves in any wooden piece, metal, and other materials. It usually comes with a blade that allows it to cut through materials delicately.

Feature

All scroll saws usually come with similar features. For a more accurate comparison, let’s take DEWALT DW788 1.3 Amp 20-Inch Variable-Speed Scroll Saw as an example. This scroll saw has the following features:

  • Short and straight blade
  • Two parallel-link arm design that can reduce the intensity of noise and vibration
  • Tool-free blade clamps for changing the blades quickly
  • Arm design that can pivot for smoother operations
  • Arm lift to thread through the material without any trouble
  • Dust blower
  • Electronic variable speed
  • Blade-tensioning lever

Applications

If you’ve visited a woodworking shop before or if you own one, then you probably know that scroll saws are used to create jigsaw puzzles and small sculptures. In other words, it’s highly reliable in creating intricate craft items. They are known for their precise and clean cuts.

A scroll saw’s blade is short and straight and you can accelerate your cuts up and down, so you can control it better. You can use it to make detailed curves with accuracy. It can also cut through any intricate shapes. In fact, you can cut a shape inside a shape. You can also make smooth dovetails joints with ease. That’s how detailed you can go with a scroll saw. You can go as creative as you can in making designs as you the scroll saw gives you enough flexibility to make them happen.

We can say that the scroll saw is a specialty saw. If you need to produce detailed curves and intricate cuts, it’s the tool to have.

woodworker using a scroll saw

Operate a scroll saw

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Can produce detailed interior cuts
  • Accurate
  • Exceptional in making craft items

Cons

  • Cuts with less intensity
  • Lacking in terms of universal effectiveness

Band Saw

What is a band saw

A band saw, as the name says, is a band of a thin blade that rotates between two or more wheels. Its design is similar to that of the belt system. It is used in metalworking, lumbering, and woodworking to cut wood and any other material. Because of its design, it’s known for creating uniform cuts.

Features

To display the common features of a band saw, let’s use the DEWALT DCS374P2 20V Max Deep Cut Band Saw as an example. It comes with:

  • Long and sharp blade with a band of toothed metal
  • LED work light
  • Variable speed trigger
  • A dial for control and versatility
  • An integrated hanging hook
  • Tool-less blade changing lever to easy change the blades

Applications

The bandsaw is a bigger and more versatile version of the scroll saw. It can take common and specialty cuts. You can vertically adjust them so you can cut larger materials. It comes with different tooth styles and widths that allow a number of varied results. It’s quick and accurate in cutting materials.

The bandsaw, however, can’t be as detailed as the scroll saw in terms of making interior cuts. Still, you can use it in cutting shapes and curves if they are on the outside edges of your workpiece. If you want to create more details on a piece of wood, you will need to pre-drill a hole into it first.​

​If it’s straight cuts that you’re making, then bandsaw can perform better than the scroll saw. This universal tool can even be used as a resawing machine to create small sections of timber. Thus, you can use it outside woodworking.

Cutting plank with band saw

Man cut a plank with a band saw

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Creates superior uniform cuts
  • More versatile
  • Can cut a straight line with ease
  • Quick in cutting

Cons

  • Strictly a perimeter cutter
  • Creates inferior intricate shapes

Verdict

Both the scroll saw and band saw can perform intricate woodworking cuts. However, in terms of detailed work, the scroll saw visibly wins. It’s more accurate and gives you a chance to be more creative in work. Aside from its agility, it also creates smooth details.

The band saw can perform the same actions, but they are inferior. Though it’s true that you can use the band saw in performing other tasks, it’s barely relevant when you focus on woodworking. If want you want to do is stacked cutting and resawing, then the band saw is what you should buy.


Conclusion

Before you buy any tool, you must first do the following:​

  1. Determine your purpose
  2. Know your budget
  3. Examine several products

If you are solely focusing on woodworking and creating beautiful patterns and cuts, then you should focus on searching for a scroll saw.

If you have more questions about the function of scroll saw and band saw, then feel free to leave a comment below.

References

1. ​https://www.wwgoa.com/

2. ​http://scrollsawreviews.net/

3. ​http://ezinearticles.com/

Ethan Johnson
 

I’m Ethan Johnson. I’m a mechanical engineer, and I’m passionate about Home Improvement. I hope my skills and experience can help you remodel your home by turning simple, inexpensive, and innovative ideas into easy tasks that you can DIY! So no need to go too far, just read on and you’ll be ready to get the ball rolling.

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