Scroll Saw vs Band Saw: What should you get in your shop?

Scroll saw vs band saw. That is one of the things for woodworkers and construction professionals to consider in their work routines. The power saws that they will use to cut in various projects will determine the efficiency of your work. Picking which saw to cut one’s workpieces can be a bit overwhelming.

For starters, depending on your skill and budget, you can only have room for one in your workshop. Your choice will also depend on the type of projects and materials you will work on. When picking the saw to use, know first their capabilities and suitability to the task you want to do.

A scroll saw is a power saw that is versatile for woodcrafts. It is designed to make circular cuts and plunge cuts (cuts that start in the middle of the material). This makes it perfect for intricate works such as decorative scroll motifs, parquetry, and wood crafts made of interlocking pieces of wood. They are well-known for precise and accurate cutting.

On the other hand, a band saw is a larger power saw great for hard woods and thick timber. This is strong enough to cut thick wood in curves, angles and straight lines. Furniture makers love the band saw because this saw enables them to work on curved legs on chairs and tables.

The sheer choice between scroll saw and band saw seems too much to handle. But don’t worry! We at Saws Expert present a comprehensive guide on Scroll Saws vs Band Saws.

Here, we will talk about:
• the difference between a scroll saw vs a band saw,
• Best Scroll Saws and Band Saws for 2020,
• And what Saws Expert has to offer

What’s the Difference between a Scroll Saw vs Band Saw?

Scroll Saw vs Band Saw
Scroll Saw vs Band Saw

Both scroll saw and band saw works well for anyone working in construction or home improvement. Whether you are a carpenter, woodworker, or furniture maker, you will find either saw a welcome addition to your workshop.

However, they are vastly different from each other. Before you choose which one to invest in, you need to understand each saw’s specialties and flaws. Once you know the difference between the two, then and only then can you choose wisely.

Scroll Saw

Scroll saw cutting wood.


The craftsman’s partner is the scroll saw. It is often used to create intricate curved designs in woodworks. This sits stationary as you move the material around it. The scroll saw can cut curves, carvings and patterns into wood or thin plastic with its thin blade.

Here are the advantages of using a scroll saw over a band saw.

• Scroll saws are user-friendly. They work quietly and with little dust output. It’s also very quick and easy to change the scroll saw blades. This user-friendly saw is even safe enough for children to work on. So if you want to teach your kids to a woodworking hobby, getting a scroll saw for them is one of the best ways to go.
• Scroll saw cuts are precise and accurate. Scroll saw blades make precise and accurate cuts. Using a scroll saw is ideal when you fine and smooth cuts that require little to no sanding at all.
• The scroll saw specializes in cuts on the inside of the material. This particular cut, called plunge cuts, help in delicate craftsmanship. It works by inserting the thin blade through a hole. Here the scroll saw can cut intricate designs or a circle inside the material without having to pass through the outer perimeter of the material.
• Most importantly, the scroll saw is more affordable than the band saw so this is perfect for those who want to keep overhead costs low.

But there are some things that scroll saws cannot do. Here are some disadvantages to investing in a scroll saw.

• The scroll saw cannot cut thick materials. It struggles in cutting thick material. Don’t even try using it on these lest you want to end up with a broken saw and injuries. In particular, do not use this for wood and other materials that are thicker than 3/4-inches.
• This saw cannot do straight cuts accurately. While scroll saw cuts can make straight cuts, it is not always reliable in this function. The quality of the straight cuts can be affected by the swerving tendency of this power saw.

Band Saw

Band Saw from Monotaro

Band saws may not be specialty saws, like scroll saws are. But they pack a lot of functionality in their large built, especially for masonry and furniture making. They can work better than a table saw or circular saw when it comes to thick materials, for one.

Here are some advantages to getting a band saw over a scroll saw.

• A band saw cuts thick materials efficiently. This power saw outperforms the scroll saw and other saws in cutting thick materials such as timber and hard wood. With the right blade, it can also cut into various materials twice most saws’ cutting height of 12 inches. This also works well when you resaw boards into smaller thicknesses (imagine the ease of slicing cheese from a block).
• The band saw easily cuts straight lines and clean smooth curves. It features tougher bigger saw blades that can tackle all materials of varying thickness. This saw can cut cleanly and smoothly on materials. While it is not as versatile in curves as the scroll saw, you can work your craft on thicker woods.

You can cut a perfect circle or irregular waves and you’ll get a smooth surface every time. This makes the band saw a must have for furniture shops because they can use this to create curvatures on woodworks that are built to be tough such as bedframes, tables, chairs, and sofas.

• A band saw works fast and accurately. With this power saw, you can cut thick materials with impressive speeds and accuracy. This works well whether you make some straight cuts or lots of cuts at odd angles. Another reason for this advantage is the ease of full control with this tool. Here your hands are free to handle the workpiece for better control of the cut and accuracy.

Many also love to use it to safely rip and resaw boards faster. But a band saw leaves behind character in the grain you usually only see when using hand saws. For example, you could resaw a board into two pieces and use the inside faces as two doors on a cabinet to highlight the continuity in the grain across the entire front of the piece.

However, there are certain drawbacks to this tool.

• Rougher edge cuts. A band saw’s very aggressive cuts will end up with rough edges or at least not as smooth as what you would get from a scroll saw. Scroll saws will cut more slowly and leave your work with cleaner edges.
• Cannot make inside/plunge cuts. You cannot make plunge or inside cuts with a band saw. The fixed blade on the band saw means that you will have to cut through the perimeter of the materials to get to the inside.

How to choose which saw to use

Both a scroll saw and a band saw will be a welcome investment in your work routine. Here are some tips to help you choose which one to use in your work.

1. Material you work on: Choose the saw that can handle the softness or hardness of the material. A mismatch of material and saw will cause injuries and tool breakages – something that no worker ever wants in the process of working. If you work on thin materials such as soft wood, plastic and metals, go for a scroll saw. But if you need to handle thick matter such as timber, get a band saw instead.

2. Type of Cuts you want to do: What type of project do you want to work on? Woodcraft or furniture carpentry? When your work project requires small precise cuts (plunge cuts, in particular) and curves with no need for sanding, a scroll saw can help you through all intricate details. But if you need to make fast and accurate aggressive straight cuts, you can work more efficiently with a band saw.

3. Your Budget: Gauge how much you are willing to spend for the saw. If you are just starting out, you can get a scroll saw which is more budget-friendly and great value for craftsmanship. On the other hand, you can also save up and invest in a band saw – it is higher-end power saw but you can use it as your business expands to work on thicker and tougher materials.

Learn more – Choosing The Right Saw for Your Needs

Best Scroll Saws and Bands Saws for 2020

Best Scroll Saws

Top Pick
DEWALT DW788
This is the most five-star rated and most frequently recommended scroll saw in the market. It works well in detailed work through easy ergonomic controls. It’s certainly worth paying for.

Most Budget-Friendly

WEN 3921
Starting out in scroll sawing? Or looking on a budget? WEN developed an affordable and versatile model that can handle any kind of wood. Another bonus, it comes with a handful of accessories to help you work with it efficiently.

1. DEWALT DW788 – Best Scroll Saw