Scroll Saw vs Band Saw: Which One Should You Buy?

If you are a woodworker, decorator, carpenter, or general handyman, you will need to have the right tools. Among the tools you will require is a scroll saw and a band saw. The two types of equipment look more or less the same at a glance.

Most people cannot tell the difference and assume they work the same. However, if you look closely, you will discover some major differences between them. This is especially with the kind of work they are good at carrying out.

If you have to purchase either of them, you need to understand their differences and functionality. This discussion will shed light on various aspects of a band saw and a scroll saw.

Main Differences Between a Band Saw And a Scroll Saw

Whether you are a seasoned expert or a beginner, choosing the right type of saw for woodworking projects can be quite challenging. Though a scroll saw and a band saw may look similar, they have their differences.

Band saws feature a continuous, flexible blade that moves in a constant downward motion. They can tackle thick materials that are long since they are powerful.

Depending on the blade type, you can successfully do detailed work. However, blade saws work best for large outside cuts.

Scroll saws, on the other hand, feature thin short blades. They constantly move in and up and down. They are perfect for detailed work and can even do inside cuts. However, they are limited in the length and width of the material they can cut.

What is a Scroll 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 down vertically. Most of the scroll saws in the market have blades that have a six-inch length.

They can cut through materials with a thickness of 2 inches or more. You, however, should note that it may be hard to cut material with a thickness of fewer than two inches depending on its material.

Where Can a Scroll Saw Be Used?

Since the blades of the scroll saw are small, the user can cut various patterns with ease. For this reason, woodworkers, craftsmen, and artisans like using them.

Scroll saws are perfectly integrated with small-scale blades to make deep inside cuts and also ensure every cut is perfect and precisely placed to produce detailed work on plastic, metals, and wood joints.

What Kind of Projects Can a Scroll Saw Be Used On?

There are several woodworking projects where one can use a scroll saw. One of the most pieces you can create using a scroll saw is a jigsaw-like puzzle.

In this type of project, precision is vital and, this can be achieved using a scroll saw.

You must also note that scroll saws are not only ideal for wooden toys such as jigsaw puzzles. Woodworkers and carpenters can also use a scroll saw to create artworks through wood carvings.

In case you are an individual who fancies decorations, you will be able to make precise letterings with the blades of a scroll saw.


Top 3 Best Scroll Saws Reviews

1. WEN 3921 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 26.38 x 13 x 14.75 inches
  • Weight: 27.5 pounds
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Speed: 400-1600 strokes per minute

The WEN 3921 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw is made of a unique design that accepts blades uniquely in two directions. There is the standard and ninety degrees. All this helps in enabling the machine to have infinite ripping capacity.

It is a machine that goes from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute with ease. It features a large 16 x 11-inch table bevels up to forty-five degrees to the left for some angled cuts.

It can effectively cut wood about two inches thick with a sixteen-inch throat depth in the standard position.

It comes with a thumbscrew blade adapter that enhances a tool-free blade change, three blades, onboard storage, a foot lock clamp, a dust port, a flex light, an air pump, and a cast iron base.

Pros
  • Operates at a variable speed
  • Comes with a spacious table allowing you to place the items you are working on with ease
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • The blower may not blow away all the dust

2. DEWALT DW788 Variable Speed Scroll Saw

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 29.5 x 19.5 x 12.1 inches
  • Weight: 56 pounds
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Speed: 400-1750 strokes per minute
  • Warranty: 3 years

The DEWALT DW788 Variable Speed Scroll Saw features a double parallel link arm design. The design significantly reduces noise and vibration when making cuts.

It also features blade clamps that allow you to alter your blade to achieve different cut depths. It comes with an on and off switch. It is fitted with a blade tensioning lever, a dust blower, and an electronic variable speed.

This scroll saw comes with an arm design that effectively pivots from the saw to the front part. This shortens the arm movement allowing a smoother and quieter operation.

The machine arms lift smoothly, making it easy for the blade to thread through the material for precise inside cuts.

Pros
  • Comes with a three-year limited warranty
  • Operates quietly
  • Can operate at variable speeds
  • Features an exclusive tool-free blade clamp that allows the blade to change in a matter of seconds
Cons
  • You cannot adjust the table from front to back

3. PORTER-CABLE 18″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 34 x 24 x 45 inches
  • Weight: 45.9 pounds
  • Speed: 500-1500 strokes per minute
  • Voltage: 110 Volts

One incredible thing about the PORTER-CABLE 18″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw is that it comes with a large aluminum 20” x 12 5/8” dual tilting table. This large table allows the user to make 45-degree cuts using the bevel.

In addition, this scroll saw also features a patented tabletop bevel scale that helps the user to have the correct readings. It comes with a tool-less blade holder that enables easy five-inch pin or plain end blade changes.

It comes with a built-in adjustable LED work lamp for improved illumination of the working area.

Another incredible thing about this speed scroll saw is that it can operate at various speeds between 500 and 1500 SFM and, it has an upfront control knob.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Can operate at different speeds
  • Sturdy
Cons
  • The blades may flutter sideways while vibrating

What is a Band Saw?

A band saw is a stand-alone cutting machine run by a high-power motor. It features a long sharp blade whose purpose is to make long detailed cuts and rip cuts.

It also features wheels equipped with an equally distributed set of metal teeth. You can get a variety of band saws.

There are metal and wood versions that will help the woodworker achieve fine curves and straight cuts.

There is a solid reason why band saws are confused with scroll saws. Both of them feature a flat work table and an extended column with a horizontal arm that effectively holds the blade in its rightful place.

Where Can a Band Saw Be Used?

By now, we understand that a band will help you make some fine cuts for woodworking projects. However, they can still be used for other purposes.

Going by its wide throat size, its arm columns and blades can move freely. Owing to this reason, band saws can be involved in timber cutting projects as well.

Its flexible blade enables it to be used in metal fabrication projects. A band saw is integrated with a powerful motor engine that helps it to cut through pipes and other metal-type materials.

Other band saws are solely designed for meat cutting purposes. These feature stainless steel construction, making them long-lasting.


Top 3 Best Band Saws Reviews

1. DEWALT DCS371B 20V MAX Portable Band Saw

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 12.2 x 15.38 x 8.7 inches
  • Weight: 10.2 pounds
  • Voltage: 20 Volts
  • Warranty: 3 years

The DEWALT DCS371B 20V MAX Portable Band Saw is one of the best band saw available in the market today. It has a two-and-a-half-inch cut capacity and cut through various materials with ease.

This portable band saw features a handle fitted on a central position, and that provides incredible balance allowing the user to make accurate cuts easily. It comes with an LED work light that provides you with visibility when you are working on a project.

It is integrated with a hanging hook that allows you to hang it and prevent damages on its base or front handle. A unique feature about this woodworking machine is that it includes adjustment trackers that help increase the blade’s lifespan.

It comes with a lever that effectively reduces the tension on the blade. This helps you to change your blade with ease. The rollers in this saw ensure that the blades last for a long time.

It has a soft ergonomic grip back handle that increases its flexibility and comfort while handling it.

Pros
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to use
  • Comes with a hook to hang it while not in use preventing any kind of damages
Cons
  • May be too loud when operating

2. WEN 3962 Two-Speed Band Saw

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 20 x 25 x 58 inches
  • Weight: 73 pounds
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Motor: 3.5 amp
  • Speed: 1520 or 2620 feet per minute
  • Warranty: 2 years

The WEN 3962 Two-Speed Band Saw comes with a powerful 3.5 amp motor that can create cuts that are up to six inches deep with a width of 9.75 inches.

It utilizes 72-inch blades that range from an eighth or half an inch. Its worktable bevels up to forty-five degrees and spacious to handle everything that you may need to work on.

This band saw operates at variable speeds ranging from 1520 to 2620 FPM respectively. It also features an optional stand that allows for either benchtop applications or floor standing.

An incredible thing about this band saw is that it comes with a two-year warranty. Anything about it that is faulty will be replaced within this period. It has a work light that provides visibility when working in the dark.

It comes with a 3/8 inch blade (6 TPI), a miter gauge, a fence, and a 3 in 1 dust port.

Pros
  • Features a work light that provides visibility when working in a dark environment
  • Sturdy
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a two-year warranty
  • Operates at variable speeds
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • It needs some tweaking on its features to perform optimally

3. Rikon 10-3061 10″ Deluxe Band Saw

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 12.75 x 35.5 x 18.25 inches
  • Weight: 77.5 pounds
  • Speed: 1720 RPM
  • Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Warranty: 5 years

The Rikon 10-3061 10″ Deluxe Band Saw comes with a 10-3061 deluxe band saw that is one of the best out there. It enables the machine to produce some smooth cuts on metal, wood, and many other materials.

You can use the tool for any craftsman project. The machine operates at variable speeds enabling it to cut different materials. It gets its incredible cutting capabilities from the powerful motor it is fitted with.

It comes with a table that allows you to tilt the cuts to 45 degrees. It is fair to say that the Rikon 10-3061 is dedicated to manufacturing and designing woodworking products of the highest quality.

They also enhance your woodworking experience.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Thick of Wood Can You Cut With a Scroll Saw?

A good scroll saw can cut many types of wood. The thickness and density of the wood you use will determine how deep your cuts can go. In general, you can expect to make cuts up to about 2 inches deep.

Can a Scroll Saw Cut 2×4?

A scroll saw might seem like a an odd tool for cutting things from a 2×4, but it certainly can be done.

You just need to have a very steady hand, and the ability to not get frustrated and protective of the wood you are working on. Doing this while keeping up with a few other projects would be even more difficult.

What is the Best Wood For Scroll Sawing?

Woods that are recommended for scroll sawing projects vary slightly depending on who you ask.

Hardwoods such as Cherry, Oak, and Walnut are the preferred woods for scroll sawing although many other artisans prefer softer woods such as Pine and Poplar as the starting point to their woodworking journey.

Nearly every scroller would agree that using soft woods will allow beginners to familiarize themselves with techniques used in scroll sawing as well as make mistakes in a somewhat forgiving material.

What is the Maximum Thickness of Material to be Cut For a Bandsaw?

Bandsaws are designed to handle only a small range of material thickness. Band saws aren’t only limited to three or four-inch thick cuts; they can cut lumber up to six inches thick if you have a large band saw.

But regardless of the size of the band saw, it’s important you avoid overloading the saw, which can cause it to damage the blade, kick back at you, or become overheated and shut down.

What Size Blade Does a 10 inch Band Saw Take?

A 10-inch bandsaw is a pretty standard-sized piece of machinery. It’s not too big, not too small, and is used in most woodworking stores to cut boards.

These machines will be able to handle small, medium, and large cuts depending on the blade you use. Typically, they use a 70.5 inch blade in their ten-inch models, which are only ten inches wide.

What is the General Rule for Selecting a Bandsaw Blade For Cutting Curves?

The size of the curve that needs to be cut will determine the size and length of blade that should be used. Smaller curves are typically achieved with thinner blades, while wider edges may require larger blades.

When cutting curves, the width of the blade will determine the smallest radius that may be cut. Smaller width blades are used for smaller radius cuts. Larger width blades are most often reserved for resawing or near straight line cuts.

Conclusion

For any woodworker out there, it is only fair to acknowledge that you need both a scroll saw and a band saw to design your woodworking projects to perfection.

You will achieve different styles and designs while using these tools on your crafts. If you are looking for the best band saw and scroll saw for your projects, look no further. The above-discussed products will be ideal picks to complete your job.

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