Are you a woodworker in search of a capable power tool for cutting wood for furniture or craft making? There are two types of saws that are known to cut wood in the most artistic and innovative of ways: the scroll saw and the bandsaw.
These are not the same thing, however. While both saws specialize in cutting difficult curves, they both serve unique purposes from one another. They look differently, cut wood and other material in different ways, and come with features that the opposite saw does not have.
To determine which saw will suit you better, read through this article to better understand each saw’s strengths and weaknesses.
Scroll saws are more ideal for curves on wooden items such as jigsaw puzzles, crafts, and decorations for the living room or kitchen. Scroll saws are great for cutting arcs so unbelievably small that you can cut a piece of wood into dozens of pieces and put it back together, thanks to such a thin kerf that the blade of the scroll saw provides.
It is also the saw of choice for engraving text and other designs into pieces of wood that are big and small.
With a scroll saw, it can do something that the band saw cannot do: star a cut right in the middle of the wood. If you want to create lettering for instance and you rather want to use the negative space than the letters themselves, you would have to use a bandsaw to cut right through the space that you want to keep uncut just to bake it to the areas that you want to saw off.
With a scroll saw, however, you can take the blade out of the scroll saw, drill a hole in the area you want to cut, slip the blade through the hole while fastening it back into place, and you can easily make the cut that way. This is a technique used by veteran woodworkers that is very useful when crafting delicate wood projects.
Consider getting a scroll saw if you are making small, handheld wood crafts that you tend to sell online or at craft shows. Most scroll saws are capable of cutting up to 1.5 inches thick. For projects that require thicker wood to be cut, look to the bandsaw.
While the scroll saw has a lot of versatility, it is not capable of doing any kind of woodworking task. While the scroll saw is a tool for fine, delicate tasks, the bandsaw is an industrial-quality saw for a broader array of woodworking projects.
There are multiple different types of bandsaws on the market today, and each one is designed to perform certain tasks more effectively than others. These include benchtop, stationary and resaw bandsaws.
Many bandsaws come with fences that help guide the user along with rip cutting. There may also be extra jigs included for cutting basic curves and bevels.
Stationary bandsaws are the most traditional type of bandsaw. They are big and have powerful motors built into them. They can not only cut thick wood, but also the toughest of woods such as pecan and hickory.
Stationary saws are versatile in the send that they can either use fine saw blades or wider saw blades that can cut wood straight and smooth. Wider blades are mostly ideal for rip cuts. For curved, warped or bowed wood, you will want to use a stationary bandsaw, as there is is a greatly reduced chance of kickback involved.
Benchtop bandsaws are smaller than stationary bandsaws, but are smaller and can be carried from one place to another. You can use it on a surface in your workshop, and then take it outside and place it on a picnic bench or another surface for outdoor use. Despite their portable nature, they are very capable tools used to make all kinds of cuts.
Large, curved cuts can be made in plywood, and rip cuts can be made in thicker hardwoods. If you are interested in taking up a hobby or use a bandsaw commercially, make sure that you buy a good one for the money that you spent.
Resaw bandsaws are big, forceful saws that are designed to slice thick, stiff boards into thinner veneers. These saws have loud motors, wide blades, and are developed to make incredibly straight cuts.
Resaw band saws are also capable cut curving cuts, but they have limits when it comes to their wider blades. While you can replace the blade with a smaller one, it makes better sense to buy a different bandsaw if you want to primarily use it for curved cuts.
In summary, scroll saws are great for controlling curved cuts to make wood crafts and other smaller products, but they are not ideal for projects on a bigger scale. Bandsaws are primarily for cutting woods to create tables, desks, and other large furniture items with blades you can change for different types of cuts; straight and curved.
There is a scenario where you may need to have both a scroll saw and a bandsaw as when situations arise that would call for either saw, you know that you will have the right tool to make the right kinds of cuts. Many woodworkers have both types of saws, but if you can only afford to buy one, be sure that is the one that you need more than the other.
We hope this has helped you understand the differences between the two saws. Thank you for reading this article and feel free to give your thoughts in the comments section below.