Scroll Saw vs Band Saw: Which is Best for Your Needs?
When budget or space restraints make you choose between two saws, the decisions can be quite tricky. The scroll saw and band saw are both great saws to own. Each has strengths and weaknesses that should be considered before making your final purchase. In this guide, we will break down the difference between a scroll and a band saw and help you determine which one you should purchase.
Scroll Saw OverviewA scroll saw looks a bit like a sewing machine. The blade on a scroll saw moves up and down. You can maneuver the workpiece in and out of the scroll saw blade to get the desired cut.
Several types of scroll saw blades are available depending on the kind of work you are trying to do. The blades are narrow and typically not as strong as other options.
The essential function of a scroll saw is to make intricate and delicate cuts. The scroll saw is a great choice if you want to make a jigsaw puzzle or an intricate sign. It also has a foot pedal that leaves your hands free to guide your work.
Types of Cuts
Scrolls saws can make straight, angled, or round cuts. Perhaps the most exciting type of cut that a scroll saw can do involves removing the blade and inserting it into the center of your workpiece. When you take the blade out, you can put it back through the center of your piece of wood and carve out circles or other shapes in the interior of your design. This is a feature that most saws do not offer.
Band Saw OverviewA band saw is a bit different than a scroll saw for several reasons. The band saw is a much larger machine, and it cuts differently than the scroll saw. A band saw’s blade rotates on a band instead of just moving up and down as the scroll saw. Band saws are versatile saws that can be used for various purposes.
The band saw blades are thicker and more reliable than scroll saw blades. This makes them faster at cutting but makes the cut a bit more coarse. You can’t make tight turns, like with a scroll saw, but you can use thick wood, which a scroll saw won’t accommodate. Band saws are popular with furniture makers because you can easily use one to make curved legs for tables and chairs.
A band saw is used to make cuts in wood (and some other materials). It works very well with straight and angled cuts, but you can also get it to cut round corners. Since the band saw is a bit larger and more powerful than the scroll saw, the cuts will be rougher.
Types of Cuts
Band saws cut angles and straights well. Since they are more robust and powerful than the scroll saw, you can use a band saw to cut a large piece of plywood. Band saws do not allow you to cut an inner circle in a piece of wood like a scroll saw does. If you are working on building furniture, the band saw is a great tool.
Which Saw is Right for Your Needs?
A scroll saw and band saw are similar in the work that they can do; however, there are a few differences that should be considered before you make your final purchase.
What Are You Cutting?
If you are making a jigsaw puzzle for your children, there is no question that you will need a scroll saw, not a band saw. Very detailed and intricate work with the band saw will not go as well. If you are a person who likes crafting and ornate projects, the scroll saw is going to be a much better choice.
With a band saw, you can still make round, straight, or angled cuts, which makes it quite versatile. The problem is that the cut will be a bit rougher.
If you are building a dining room chair and the cut is rougher, you can sand and finish it and have it come out beautifully. With a jigsaw puzzle, it will be harder to build if the cut is ragged.
Who Is Doing The Cutting?
Is this a saw you are buying to teach your children how to work with tools? If you want a safe saw that is great for teaching children to work with tools, the scroll saw is the way to go.
The band saw is not the most dangerous saw on the market, but it is louder, larger, and more powerful. As we mentioned earlier, the scroll saw is very similar to a sewing machine. If you think of a residential sewing machine, you can compare the band saw to a commercial sewing machine.
The price difference between these two saws is not enough to help you make a decision. Many professional woodworkers use a scroll saw and a band saw; unfortunately, that is not a reality for most homeowners. If your projects involve working with larger workpieces, we suggest going with the band saw. If you want to make intricate crafts, get a scroll saw.
- See also: Bandsaw vs Jigsaw: Pros, Cons, and FAQ
Choosing between a scroll saw and a band saw is challenging because, in a perfect world, you would have both. If you work on several woodworking projects, you can probably get away with purchasing either one of these tools. If you work with thicker and heavier materials, the band saw is the way to go. For detail-oriented crafters who want to spend time working on intricate pieces, the scroll saw works best.