Scroll Saw Vs Band Saw – Unfolding the Differences

The scroll saw and band saw are two specialty saws that appear pretty much identical in shape and operating principle. Each of them features a work table along with a blade running vertically across the center. But what is the difference between these two pieces of equipment?

And, which tool can exhibit excellent results based on a given woodworking project? In this article, we will be explaining the difference between a scroll saw vs. band saw to help you understand what job each is best for. Let’s dive right in.

Scroll Saw Vs Band Saw

What is a scroll saw?

A scroll saw is a form of specialty saw with a flat work base and thin, short blades that are approximately less than a quarter inch wide. It operates using a foot pedal that can be pressed to control the oscillation speed during the cutting process and make accurate cuts. Thanks to the scroll saw’s fine blades, it is possible to achieve complex, ultra-precise cuts.

What is a band saw?

A band saw is another specialty saw consisting of a single elongated band of metal held between two wheels. It uses a dual-wheel system, with one located below the table and another one above it. Some band saws can have up to 4 wheels. A band saw has circular saw blades that are versatile enough to cut through different materials, including metals.

Scroll saw Or band saw: Uses

A scroll saw is an ideal choice for cutting tight curves on projects like puzzles, clocks, artwork, and more. This delicate saw uses an oscillatory motion to provide a smooth and professional finish. It can cut arcs as small as the pin head, with narrow blades that produce an ultra-thin kerf that enables pieces to bind back together almost as though they were never separated.

A band saw, on the other hand, is an extremely versatile tool with the ability to handle most common specialty cuts. It is often found in a professional or industrial setting and can cut thick materials with ease. A band saw can be vertically adjusted to cut much larger materials than with a typical saw. Although it cannot match a scroll saw in terms of cutting intricate patterns, a band saw blade is available in many different widths and tooth styles, allowing for a reasonable amount of variations.

Scroll saw & band saw: Thickness

The type of saw you choose determines the size of material you can be able to cut. A scroll saw brings onboard thin and delicate blades, whose length is anywhere between ¼ and 8 inches. For this reason, it might not be able to cut through thick pieces of wood. A band saw—on the other hand—can work with a variety of materials ranging between 6 inches and 30 inches thick.


No other saw can beat a scroll saw in making curves or circular cuts. Thanks to the fixed saw, you can easily maneuver the material around to achieve more detailed cuts. A band saw is going to be the ideal choice when you want to make a straight cut. This type of saw cannot make designs as precise or intricate as you wish to achieve.


A scroll saw is considered more versatile since it can produce a wide range of cuts. On the contrary, a band saw is a suitable option for those who want to make regular cuts.


Power tools are typically expensive. You will need to put your budget into consideration before deciding between a scroll saw vs. band saw. A scroll saw is largely intended for crafters and DIYers and is going to be on the cheaper end of the spectrum. A band saw is designed for commercial purposes and is more expensive than a scroll saw. Professional woodworkers are typical handlers of a band saw.

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