Scroll Saw VS Band Saw: How to Make the Right Choice


Several novice/beginner woodworkers might not be able to afford all the tools they desire in their workshop, leading them to have to choose between them.

Two of the power tools that have always been having difficulty in making a choice are the scroll saw and the band saw. Though at first look, they might look the same, making you think they also do the same work, but no!

There exist an overlap between these two. They are manufactured for different purposes.

With both tools always confusing, not such expert woodworkers, we decided to take you through the underlying differences and help you choose between the two power tools.

scroll saw vs band saw

Section1: What Are The Scroll Saw And Band Saw?

In one of our previous articles, we explained the uses of the scroll saw and band saw, from which we will now make certain inferences. So let’s take a look at a brief description;

The scroll saw is an exciting tool to have. It was put to use in scroll works and applications where woodworkers needed to design a rolling head design on wood.

These days, the scroll saw is for making intricate and curved patterns on wood. When you also require a high level of detail and accuracy for your wood task, the scroll saw is just the right saw for it.

Due to its versatility, it can make some cuts, and it is best to use with softwood. Like the sewing machine, it has a foot pedal to power through the use.

The band saw is another exciting tool that allows you to make adjustable cuts on some woods. It can cut through various wood materials, large and small, soft and thick. Using the band saw, you can make a straight, angle, and curve cuts on wood pieces at an impressive speed.

Using the band saw allows you greater control, which enables you to move the wood with your hands while sawing. This feature contributes to the ability to make precise cuts on wood. One of the features that put it ahead of the scroll saw is its high-speed ability.

A picture of the band saw used to make high-speed cutting

With this brief overview, you should consider the uniqueness of these tools.

The scroll saw is not the only one that can make exclusive curve cuts. The jigsaw and the band saw can, but the ability to excellent intricate cuts is monotonous to it.

Have you ever seen furniture with intricate pattern designs? It is the scroll saw.

The jigsaw and scroll saw can also create an irregular cut. But the ability of the band saw to powerfully carve through thick pieces of wood and create smooth cuts instead of jagged ones makes them alluring.

A picture of the scroll saw

Section 2: What are the Operating Modes of Scroll Saw VS Band Saw?

Scroll saws operate with blades that are usually thin. Scroll saw blades are majorly thin because they make small and precise cuts on the wood. The scroll saw edges can be 8 inches long as the blade has to move up and down through the hole that is visible at the scroll saw cutting surface middle.

The length makes it possible to put the material between the blade and the table.

Upon activation, the blade that binds to both the table and arm of the scroll saw starts moving up and down. Thereby cutting the materials put in the path of the moving blade. You can move the material while using the blade to get the cut or pattern you want.

A man making use of the scroll saw

The band saw allows you to do much more cutting because of cuts through anything relatively easily and with minimum waste. A typical band saw has two wheels; one above the cutting surface, the other below though some band saws have more than two wheels.

The band saw blade moves around two wheels of the saw in continuous motion. The blade moves once the wheels turn. The thinner blades in band saws look like wire, but they have teeth covering on a closer look.

Upon activation, the blade starts moving downward through the cutting surface, and teeth go through whatever material rests on the surface.

A man using the band saw for his woodcutting proc

Section 3: What are the Limitations of the Scroll Saw VS Band Saw?

With the numerous uses, the scroll saw and band saw the offer. They still have their limitations.

Limitations Of The Scroll saw.

Though versatile and useful in making intricate designs, the scroll saw in its uses.

1. The scroll saw works well on softwood but not on hardwood which sometimes seems impossible. When you decide to do this, you are likely to cause ruins to both blade and the machine. It requires a lot of stress.

2. The ability of the scroll saw is also limited when put to use on the larger workpiece. The scroll saw was found to work better and more accurately on smaller workpieces than the larger ones. It is in part due to the relatively average size of the machine and the delicate nature of its blade.

3. The number and types of cuts the scroll saw can also create makes it a less versatile saw than the band saw.

However, with the right skills, you can maximize your opportunities with the scroll saw.

Limitations Of The Band Saw

This saw has fewer limitations than the scroll saw, and its price is the most popular and assertive of those limitations. With public opinion, its major limitation is its high price-to-quality ratio.

An average Band saw is more expensive than the scroll saw, which further contributes to woodworkers selecting it ahead of the scroll saw.

Section 4: Other Factors That Need to Consider

Without putting their uses into consideration, there are certainly other factors to consider before making a selection between the scroll saw and the band saw. These factors include the cost requirement, safety, and skills requirement, task requirements, and maintenance requirement.

Cost Requirement

Just like the various things we buy, you either pay little or a lot for the two machines. The band saw cost more than the scroll saw. It is because they are more complicated and more extensive than the scroll saw.

It scares most woodworkers and makes them settle for the scroll saw. Hobbyists purchase the scroll saw more, while professionals typically pick the band saw.
Though you might find a cheaper band saw in the store, it might be lacking in some areas.

On the brighter side, if you can’t afford it and you have a task that the scroll saw an effect on, you should go for it and cut yourself some slack.

Safety And Skills Requirements

When using both saws, ensuring safety rules and protection measures are necessary. Personal protective equipment should use adequately. These rules and equipment provide protection from workplace hazards.

While professional woodworkers like using complex saws, we advise beginners to be careful when making their decision.

The scroll saw requires more skills than the band saw. The complexity of the scroll blade makes it safer to use than the band saw. The band saw has a very sharp blade, and it is not always easy to put hands away from the blade during operation.

Task Requirements

Though the uses of these machines have been made visible in earlier sections, for simpler simple illustrations, we should put their uses into practical examples.
The scroll saw is incredibly perfect for making jigsaw puzzles, wooden letters, numbers, names, and plaques with elaborate edges like animals and silhouettes.
With suitable blades and jigs, the band saw is great for making furniture, shelves, trim, and planter boxes.

Maintenance Requirement

During your search for a specific tool, you do not want to buy the one that breaks down every time. There is a difference between buying a saw and maintaining it. The maintenance increases its lifespan and allows you to maximize its use every time you work with it.

The maintenance requirements of the scroll saw are much higher than the band saw. It takes a few minutes to clean the band saw, but to clean the band saw. You need to disassemble the components and clean one after the other with attention and care.

Section 5: So What Now? The Scroll Saw Or The Band Saw?

Scroll saw or Band Saw; how should you choose? A difficult question whose answer lies in the skills, budget, and task type of the user. The various factors to consider make it difficult for woodworkers to decide.

While it is best to work with a band saw as a beginner because it is easy to use, its high cost is a scary factor.

Wooden toys made with the band saw

On the other hand, professionals can select a scroll saw because of the expertise it requires to operate it which they have. The only challenge professionals have with a scroll saw is its inability to work well on hardwood pieces.

The best opinion we can offer you is that provided you have the budget, getting both machines is not a bad idea for a woodworker.

An intricate cut made by the scroll saw


The scroll saw VS Band saw comparison would not disappear anytime soon in the woodworking space. With both machines portraying their importance in different tasks they carry out, selecting one over the other is not an easy task.

So picking one depends on certain factors. One is the type of task you want to do; the second is limitations, budgets, skills, etc. When considering all of these factors and understanding the differences between these machines, the choice becomes very easy.

For inquiries and samples about the scroll saw and band saw, feel free to contact us at

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