Bandsaw VS Scroll Saw

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Regardless if you’re a beginner or a seasoned expert, choosing the right type of saw for your woodworking projects can be challenging. Some cutting tools cause confusion but assorted saws are used for achieving different patterns and curves. Through this evaluation, our team will compare band saw vs scrollsaw to help you determine which option can fulfill your needs.

Bandsaw Vs Scroll Saw

What is a Bandsaw?

A band saw is a stand-alone cutting tool that mostly runs with a powerful motor and a long sharp blade suited to produce long detailed cuts and rip cuts. This type of saw also features wheels equipped with an equally-distributed set of metal teeth. Although its wheel system usually comes in two, it still depends on which band saw model you chose to purchase. 

From portable band saws that offer excellent maneuverability up to wood and metal band saws used in achieving fine straight cuts and curves — this machine comes in different types, so our team highly recommends looking through your project’s requirements before selecting a product [1].

JET JWBS 15 1.75 HP Bandsaw Pure White

If you’re wondering why band saws are often confused with a scroll saw, everything comes down to its design. Both cutting tools feature a flat work table and extended column with a horizontal arm that holds the blade. 

Other than that, the kinds of materials and projects a band saw could handle differs entirely from a scroll saw, which we’ll further discuss in this comparison. 

Advantages of a Bandsaw

Despite many similarities in appearance and design, bandsaw reigns superior over scroll saw in terms of power. Equipped with a high-performing motor, you can use a band saw to cut thick materials without any hassle. 

And because band saws also operate at a high variable speed, the productivity of the cutting operations is naturally on another level. It also has an extensive throat size that allows easy handling of long and thicker pieces of wood. 

You can also use a band saw for projects that require cutting of various thick materials such as softwood and hardwood, metal, pipes, or even meat.

how to use band saw

It also has a versatile blade that can cut through pieces of wood or any material thicker than 2 inches. However, always remember that the distance between the blade and the work table still determines how many inches long a band saw could further cut. 

As previously mentioned, this tool operates with two to four wheels, depending on the model. These wheels make the blades of the saw rotate like a band and allows the teeth to operate in a downward and uninterrupted motion. There are times wheels or tires need replacement, in order to get your bandsaw at the optimum, you need to know the ways to measure band saw tires for speed and performance, as well. 

Purpose and Uses of a Bandsaw

Apart from producing fine straight cuts and rip cuts for woodworking projects, band saws can also be used for distinct purposes. Owing to its wide throat size that allows blades and arm columns to move freely, they are a standard tool often involved in timber cutting. 

On top of that, it has flexible blade functions that make it easier to be used in metal fabrication, especially for reliable metal cutting band saw products with horizontal design. Integrated with a powerful motor engine, it’s no surprise that this tool can cut through pipes and other metal-type materials. 

There are also specific band saws used for meat cutting purposes. Designed in stainless steel construction, this cutting tool has impressive durability and is expected to serve its purpose for a long time. 

Bandsaw Projects

Although a band saw isn’t very well suited in making intricate pieces, many workshops nowadays that handle projects involving thick material make use of this tool to construct vertically mounted pieces like a cabinet stand, table, or bench. 

Edwin's bandsaw box

If you’re looking for a more challenging task other than the basic table and chair, you can also try constructing a planter to organize your garden or a wine rack to add a sophisticated touch to your walls. 

What is a Scroll Saw?

Like a band saw, a scroll saw is designed with a flat work table, one column at the back of the saw, and a horizontal arm integrated with a small blade that runs vertically. Most scroll saws such as WEN 3920 that are available in the market have a blade with a total length of 6 inches. 

Unlike the band saw, a scroll saw blade can’t cut through material that is thicker than two inches. Depending on the type of material, scroll saws may even have a hard time dealing with pieces of wood that’s 1 to 1.25 inches thick.

Despite the small drawback caused by its small blades, scroll saws are perfect for detailed cuts and intricate cutting action, especially when working with extremely thin material. 

Advantages of a Scroll Saw

A scroll saw’s most significant advantage over a band saw is its variable speed. Thanks to its tension adjustment knobs, you can change blades easily and plunge inside cuts over the material swiftly. 

scroll saw stand

Besides speed, one of the features that impressed our team is its specific throat size. When using this tool, this function determines the total inches of material your scroll saw could actually handle. 

Suppose you have a throat size amounting to 15 inches, this means your sawscroll can accommodate material as wide as 30 inches (76 centimeters = 30 inches). While this is a known fact, we still advise you to use a 26 to 28-inch material if you intend to make thin detail work, and inside cuts. 

Having specific throat size measurements also make it convenient for beginners to select the right materials for their project, avoiding any unintended mishaps amid the cuts. 

If you’re working on wood material, using something like the 1.3 amp motor Dewalt DW788 scroll saw could save you an ample amount of time as it produces smoother and better cut finishes than a band saw. You wouldn’t need to sand the wood as much as you regularly do. Some manufacturers also integrated a dust blower to this tool to eliminate hindrance in users’ line of sight.

scroll sawing with kids

On top of that, you can control your blade’s motion and the precision of your cuts better with its foot pedals. Through this, you can freely use both hands especially when using the powerful Porter-Cable PCB375SS scroll saw to do inside cuts or cut along any thin materials, whether you’re aiming for straight cuts or rip cuts.

Purpose and Uses of a Scroll Saw

Thanks to its small but powerful scroll saw blades, this tool can cut intricate patterns, unlike other cutting tools such as the band saw and table saw. Because of this, scroll saws are widely used by artisans, craftsmen, and woodworkers.

Scroll saws are purposely integrated with small-scale blades not only to do inside cuts but also to make every cut precise and perfectly produce detail work on different wood joint varieties, metals, and plastics. 

Scroll Saw Projects

There are many woodworking projects where you can use a scroll saw, but one of the most interesting pieces you can create is jigsaw like puzzles. Every cut needs to be precise in this type of woodwork, which you can exclusively get through scroll saws. 

basket full of wooden toys

Scroll saws are perfect not only for wooden toys like jigsaw puzzles, but carpenters also saw them as an important tool to create artworks through wood carving. If you fancy wall decorations and signages, you can also make elaborate letterings with its blade. 

Differences Between a Bandsaw and Scroll Saw

One of the major differences between these two saws lies in the type of blades. As mentioned previously in this band saws and scroll saw comparison review, scroll saws are integrated with smaller blades meant to be used for intricate cuts and detailed curves. 

Although band saws can make a rip or straight cut effortlessly in the surface of any thick material, it doesn’t create a smooth and clean finish when you use a scroll saw. Our team also highly recommends this kind of saw if you’re more into creating artistic pieces. 

On the other hand, the blade integrated into a band saw is more suited for a big or industrial project. As it can handle wider and longer materials, users can make their workflow more productive and extensive. 

Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Band Saw

Even though the biggest edge of a band saw is its aggressive cuts, you can still make decent curves if the blade is used appropriately. 

Scroll Saw and Band saw: When To Use And Buy

When choosing whether to buy a scroll saw or band saws, it’s not really about which one is better than the other. This evaluation is more about what your small projects require. If your project includes dealing with 1-inch thick pieces of wood, you should use a scroll saw instead of a band saw. 

Band saws tend to overpower delicate materials because it’s equipped with high-performing motors and bigger blades compared to scroll saws. 


scroll saw Vs band saw: Which Is Better?

A bandsaw is better than a scroll saw if your project includes materials as thick as 2 inches. Unlike scroll saws, band saws have blades and motors that can cut through a variety of boards. On the other hand, you should consider using a scroll saw if you’re working on a decorative piece like wooden letterings.


After reading this comparison review, you probably made your choice of which tool you’ll be needing in your project. The most important thing is that you’re able to consider all the requirements before making your final decision to purchase.

If you’re planning to create different DIY pieces consistently and you have the space and money for both saws, then our team encourages you to get both for your woodworking shop. Not only does it give you versatility and convenience, but it also gives you a chance to explore your crafting skills further.

Leave a comment and tell us what saws do you prefer using.

Looking for a 100% accuracy in your band saw cutting work? Then, buying the top aftermarket bandsaw fence listed here is a smart choice. Read next!

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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