Band Saw Vs Scroll Saw: Which One Is The Best?

Every woodworker has a set of essential tools that will get him through his projects. Some are rarely used while some are needed for even basic tasks. When it comes to these basic tasks, a band saw vs. scroll saw choice baffles him.

These would be essential tools, but what is the difference between them? Let us try to find out here in this guide.


Which features make these two tools stand out?

Essentially, the main difference between these two tools is what their objective is when it comes to cutting wood.

For an example, a band saw is superior to the scroll saw when it comes to making exterior cuts. This means that every time you want to shape your project, you will want to use a band saw.

Meanwhile, a scroll saw would be superior when it comes to making interior cuts because it curves easily at several angles, even their saw teeth are made for that.

Depending on which area of your wood you want to cut, you will have to decide between either the band saw or the scroll saw, both have their specific features.

Difference in value between the band saw and scroll saw

difference between band saw and scroll saw

Since both of these tools have their own specific purposes, you will have to decide which one to get based on what you’re planning to do. Do you need to make deep cuts and get large chunks of wood off for your project? Then a scroll saw is a great tool for that.

Vice versa, if you’re planning on shaping your object and making its exterior more aesthetically beautiful, then you will have more use of a band saw.

Depending on which task you do more often, you should decide which tool to buy based on that.

1. What about precision?

As a woodworker, the number one thing that you will need in every project is precision. Precision can be obtained through years of experience and unique techniques, but behind every cut, the precision of it will mostly be determined by the tool.

When it comes to the difference of precision between the scroll and band saw, you will notice a gigantic difference. Because of certain features present in the band saw, you will notice that their cuts are a lot more rigid and unprecise.

This is all caused by their thick blades and huge build size. If you want the most out of precision, then you should look for something else as the specialty of the band saw is cutting thick wood.

What do you do then if you want precision? 

Your best bet is to get a scroll saw. Their number one feature is their precision, this is all supported thanks to their small size and tiny but numerous blade teeth.

2. Construction and blade size difference

As we already mentioned, band saws are generally unprecise because of their thicker blades but mainly their large size. Not only that the construction of the machine is larger, their blades are also gigantic when compared to a scroll saw.

That’s why you’ll find the exact opposite when it comes to Scroll saws, they have smaller blades and a smaller construction size. Scroll blades are sometimes just 5 inches in size, which is really small when you compare to the severally feet long band saw blades.

Band saw vs. Scroll saw: Pros and Cons

Scroll saw pros

1. Budget Friendly

When it comes to tools, besides the quality of them you’re mainly going to look at their price. A woodworker will need several tools in order to make even the most basic projects, that’s why you need tools that are cheap.

A major positive side of scroll saws is that they’re quite affordable compared to band saws.

2. Precise

A woodworker will need to always be precise when making cuts, with a Scroll saw you can enjoy the benefit of being more precise. You don’t even need to be that much experienced, the scroll saw will help you.

3. Wide variety of sizes

Being able to choose from a wide set of sizes is what you need when it comes to blades.

If you opt out for the scroll saw, you’re in luck because you can choose between both thick blades and small or thin blades.

Scroll saw cons

1. Lack of stability

When you cut wood, you will need a lot of precision, but because the blades are removable on scroll saws, you will experience some problems.

Mainly, the table might vibrate which can be a huge problem.

2. Overheating

The number one problem when it comes to electrically powered tools is that they overheat.

In this case, a scroll saw isn’t an exception as It tends to overheat when overused.

3. Needs to be adjusted regularly

Something that may cause discomfort while working is the fact that you will need to re-setup and adjust the blade’s tension every time you continue your project.

If you have problems cutting straight lines, then you’d need to configure your blade’s tension again.

Band Saw Pros

1. Can be used with all wood types

The best thing in the world that a woodworker can experience is that a single blade can be used with all the wood types.

That’s why you’re in luck if you decide to pick the band saw because their blades can be used with most types of wood.

2. Offers a variety of features

Having a plain tool that does a single purpose and offers no special features won’t do justice, you will need more features that help you while cutting as well.

That’s why with a band saw, you can expect a quite good number of features that support you during your projects.

3. No need to care about wasted wood

Wasting wood is the worst thing that you can do but most of the time it’s the tools fault for that.

With a band saw, you don’t need to worry about wasting wood at all because they offer you a significant reduction when it comes to wasting wood.

Band saw cons

1. Lack of precision

The major negative side of a band saw is that they’re really inaccurate. This is all because of their thick and long blades which can only be moved downward while working.

You can expect even more unprecise cuts when your blade is dull.

2. Blades break easily

Another bad side of band saws is that their blades can break easily if the user doesn’t handle the tool properly.

Just one mistake is enough so that you end up with a broken blade.

3. Bad cuts

If it does happen that your blade gets dull or damaged, you will notice that you will make really bad cuts.

This can also happen when you use the wrong blade tension or speed, so take care of that.

Benefits and uses of a scroll saw

Scroll saws are the perfect option when it comes to making precise cuts to the interior of your wood. Their precision is supported by their small size, as well as the small size of their blades.

There are also several benefits when it comes to using this tool, you can make small and detailed patterns and you can work a lot faster because of their power.

Another interesting thing is that most of them come with a disc sander, which helps you prevent your blade from becoming dull. Most models even have a foot pedal which helps you with controlling how you want to cut the wood.

Benefits and uses of a band saw

Although band saws aren’t the most precise tools out there, you will still enjoy a level of accuracy and speed to some degree. They are also a great tool if you have a lot of work on your hands as their cutting capacity is really large.

Band saws are really useful because of numerous things, you can use it when it comes to re-sawing your project and it does a decent job at redesigning the edges of a project.

Realigning the edges and making them just how you pictured it is made easier with a band saw. Making veneers is also easier because you can efficiently cut tiny slices of wood.

scroll saw or bandsaw

What should you do if you’re on a budget?

What should you do if you’re on a limited budget you ask? 

There are several things that you can do, you can either wait and save more money or decide for the cheaper tool. Generally, you will notice that scroll saws are a lot more affordable compared to their counterpart.

They are mainly used by DIY woodworkers and besides precision, another positive side of them is that they’re cheap.

Band saws have a completely different situation, they’re used by professional woodworkers who have years of experience behind them, most people agree that you have to make a notable investment in order to buy a band saw (And of course, you also need the best benchtop bandsaw to go with them)


Deciding on which tool to go for can be quite a difficult job, but hopefully, with our small guide on band saw vs scroll saw, we made it easier for you.

To make it short, if you’re someone who is just a beginner and wants to make deep but precise cuts, the best thing you can do is get a scroll saw. They offer you a number of great features and they are cheap as well.

If you can make a size-able investment and if you want to make complicated projects that require a lot of cutting, then we recommend the band saw instead. They are quite expensive, but their value in performance is so much bigger.

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