Band saws and scroll saws may look pretty similar, but they are not the same. When space or budget constraints only allow you to choose between two saws, the decision can be tricky. The band saw and scroll saw are both remarkable saws to have in your workshop.
Before making a final decision, you want to know everything about both of them. All the strengths and weaknesses should be considered before finding the best one for your workplace.
If you are looking out for the best saw to make your experience worthwhile, then we have got you covered. Here, we have a detailed discussion on a scroll saw vs band saw to help you make a better choice.
After hours of research and getting expert advice, we have distilled all of our research into this post for you.
What’s the difference between a scroll saw and a band saw?
Even though scroll saws and band saws look similar, they’re meant for entirely different uses. Scroll saws are meant for making accurate and precise cuts: ideal for projects like letters and jigsaw puzzles. Band saws have much stronger blades and are used for make large straight and angled cuts.
What is a scroll saw and what is it used for?
- It is mainly used by craftsmen, artisans, and woodworkers
- A scroll saw’s primary use is cutting intricate patterns, profiles, and joints on plastics and wood
Types of Cuts
Scroll saws can usually make round, straight, and angled cuts. The most remarkable cut that a scroll saw provides is removing the blade and then inserting it in the center to create a circle or other shapes. That is a feature most saws don’t usually offer.
A scroll saw enables the worker to make accurate and precise cuts. They are great for crafting and making designs. The best part about a scroll saw is that it easily lets the user make inside cuts and circles through the material.
Pros of scroll saws
Great for Crafts
Whether you plan to make carvings or create any elegant jigsaw puzzles and plan to do any crafts for decorating the house, then a scroll saw is the best tool for you. It will be beneficial as it can easily make all these cuts.
Accurate and Precise
The small blade on the scroll saw usually makes exceptionally accurate and precise cuts. It is also great for creating smooth and fine cuts effortlessly. You might not need to sand at all after doing these reliable cuts.
Decent Cuts on the Interior Side of the Material
The things that make a scroll saw unique it’s the ability to make plunge cuts by cutting inside the material.
You have to insert the thin blade over the hole; the saw will enable you to cut intricate designs or a piece of a circle on the interior side of the material without the need to pass it through the outside of the workpiece.
Cons of Scroll Saws
Not Suitable for Thick Materials
Although the thin blade present on the scroll saw is beneficial when you make intricate and precise cuts, when you plan to cut thick materials, it can be difficult.
Materials thicker than 3/4 inches are usually hard to cut by using a scroll saw. That is where the band saw is more reliable.
Not Great for Straight Cuts
Scroll saws usually allow the user to make straight cuts, but they are not the ideal saws to use for this purpose. Mostly they wander when creating straight cuts. This usually affects the end quality of the cuts.
What is a band saw and what is it used for?
A band saw is usually used for making woodcuts. A band saw works well with angles and straight cuts, but you can also use it for getting round cuts. The band saw is a bit more powerful and more massive than a scroll saw; thus, the cuts produced are not as fine.
Types of Cuts
Band saws can do straight and angle cuts very well. You can use a band saw for cutting large pieces of wood as it is more powerful than a scroll saw. A band saw doesn’t allow the worker to cut an interior circle inside the wood. If you prefer to work on building furniture, the band saw is a great option.
The band saw allows the user to cut large pieces of wood easily and quickly. When you want to make straight cuts swiftly and efficiently, a band saw is a reliable option. It will make cuts with less precision, and they might be with rough edges.
When we talk about portability, band saws are usually more challenging to transport, whether from the construction area to the job site or vice versa. Scroll saws are somehow easy to transport compared to a band saw as they weigh less than a band saw.
An important thing to consider when it comes to band saws is the throat size.
The throat size is the distance from the blade to the top of the saw: essentially the width of the item you can insert into the saw to cut.
Tabletop band saws typically have smaller throats of around 12 to 14 inches, whereas larger cabinet band saws will have throat sizes that are much larger and can accommodate larger pieces of wood.
Band Saw Advantages
Great for Thick Materials
The band saw is usually better than a scroll saw when you are planning to cut thick materials. That is because a band saw is more powerful and broad. By using the right blade, you can easily cut into various materials.
Cuts Straight Lines
When you use bigger and tougher blades, it is much easier to cut straight lines. The large size of the band saw allows the user to make precise and accurate straight lines cut. That cannot be achieved by using a scroll saw.
Accuracy and Speed
The most reliable advantage of using a band saw is cutting thick materials with accuracy and speed. Whether you plan to make lots of cuts for a few straight cuts, a band saw is a perfect tool.
In a band saw, your hands are usually free for handling the workpiece, thus ensuring a reliable control over the cut and accuracy.
Band Saw Disadvantages
Rough Edge Cuts
It usually depends on the blade you are using to cut the band saw’s material can make some aggressive cuts. Moreover, if the cuts are straight, even then, the edges might be rough. They are not as smooth as what you get when using a scroll saw. Scroll saw usually cuts slowly but with cleaner edges.
Unable to Make Inside Cuts
A band saw does not allow the users to make inside cuts as you can do with the scroll saw. A band saw has a fixed blade that enables the user to cut over the object’s perimeter for getting into the inside.
A Good Scroll Saw: DEWALT Scroll Saw, 20-Inch (DW788)
The DEWALT 20-inch scroll saw is not going to disappoint you. It is one of the best and most recommended scrolls saw available in the market. It can be your best partner at the workplace due to its accurate cuts and versatile design.
This scroll saw is specially designed to get more delicate and detailed work with ease. The variable speed option and easy control make it one of the most durable and robust scrolls saw available till now. The convenient design and features make it more user-friendly.
It has a double parallel–link arm design that ensures reliability and accuracy, whether trimming pieces or crafting a customized jigsaw puzzle. The remarkable and unique design reduces any chance of over and undercutting.
When we look at the saw’s front side, there is an on and off switch, a speed control knob, and a blade tensioning lever that keeps a smooth workflow, making your work more precise. You can adjust speed ranging from 400 to 1750 strokes per minute. The saw allows the user to change the blade within seconds.
- Durable design
- Reduces noise level
- Comfortable to use
- The arm doesn’t lock in place.
A Band Saw Worth Considering: Shop Fox W1706 14″ Band Saw
When thinking of getting perfect crosscuts, Shop Fox Band saw is durably built and has compact construction. It ensures precise cuts with its advanced features and quick working technology.
The band saw features cast-iron lower and upper wheels, quick release blade, and a miter gauge for high convenience and reliability. With a powerful 1 HP motor and 1725 RPM, it is durable enough to deliver high speed while producing accurate cuts.
The cast iron table and frame the band saw will last for years. The miter gauge constitutes an easy reading scale enabling you to adjust it along 30 degrees.
The band saw features a 4-inch dust port and a durable dust collection system that keeps your workplace clean while improving your visibility.
With a 12-inch high cutting capacity, it is the most convenient equipment in your workshop. The blade speeds vary at 1500 and 3200 RPM ensuring high performance, and with a two-year warranty, it is a must to buy option.
- Incredibly easy setup
- Solid cast iron design
- Convenient blade changes
- The rip fence doesn’t lock solidly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better a band saw or scroll saw?
There is no single winner between the band saw and scroll saw as both may look similar but have different uses.
There is a battle between a scroll saw vs band saw, making it difficult to tell which is better. When you plan to make precise cuts, then scroll saw is more recommended, but when you want to create straight cuts efficiently and quickly, then a band saw is a more suitable choice.
What is a scroll saw good for?
Scroll saws are usually used for creating joints and intricate curves with great accuracy. You can also use it for cutting dovetail joints and are traditionally a journal for intarsia projects.
Is a scroll saw worth it?
A scroll saw must be good enough for cutting frames; you must look for a scroll saw with a reliable blade clamping system, variable speed option, and reduce vibration. Getting a scroll saw with all these options is a good investment.
When you are getting out for the best saw, the most crucial thing you have to do is keep your purpose in mind. It might be a bit challenging task. With various brands claiming them to be the best overall, you might feel a little confusion in this.
Our top pick is the DEWALT scroll saw as an ideal saw for having in your workshop with its versatile design and innovative features. The adjustable speed option with a speed control knob makes it highly convenient and user-friendly.