Band saw or scroll saw?

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Forum topic by christherookie posted 05-30-2017 07:13 PM 889 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View christherookie's profile


135 posts in 3651 days

05-30-2017 07:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: saw

Occasionally, I’ll have a project where I need to cut curves. I’ve been using a jigsaw and while it works, sometimes I’ll have a piece of wood that’s narrow and would be better for cutting on something like a scroll saw or band saw. The curves I do cut are usually in soft wood under 3/4-inch in thickness.

I’m also looking at lower-priced options so bench-top would be best.

Should I go with a band saw or scroll saw?

9 replies so far

View builtinbkyn's profile


2999 posts in 1545 days

#1 posted 05-30-2017 07:19 PM

You can turn your jigsaw into a bench top scroll saw. Check Stumpy Nubs on YT for the build. An inexpensive option is a Dremel scroll saw. It clamps to a bench and can also be handheld.

Band saw is an all together a different animal and has different capabilities.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Redoak49's profile


4349 posts in 2593 days

#2 posted 05-30-2017 07:45 PM

I think it depends on how much you cut, how tight the radius and other uses.

You can get a 10” Rikon bandsaw for $279. I have one in addition to a 16” bandsaw. The Rikon works well for smaller stuff. A scroll saw is great for detailed work.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4252 days

#3 posted 05-30-2017 07:46 PM

You’ll find a band saw a lot more versatile
but also blades are more costly and the
narrow ones for cutting curves are prone
to break before they get dull.

Scroll saws vary quite a lot in the smoothness
of cut. I have a Hegner that only runs at
one speed but it’s very well made and
smooth cutting. I’ve used some scroll
saws that vibrate quite a lot, making them
unpleasant to use.

View BurlyBob's profile


6906 posts in 2870 days

#4 posted 05-30-2017 09:10 PM

I know for a fact you can cut some very tight curves with a 1/8” band saw blade. Also from my limited experience the only advantage a scroll saw has over a band saw is the ability to cut anything inside the piece, like fretwork. I find my band saw, even as old as it is, much more versatile than a scroll saw.

View bigblockyeti's profile


6180 posts in 2325 days

#5 posted 05-30-2017 09:23 PM

Are you looking to but new or used? I regularly see OK used scroll saws for $30 – $50 and smaller (9”) band saws for $60 – $100. The four big differences that I’ve seen are 1 initial cost, 2 minimum cutting radius, 3 cutting speed and 4 smoothness of the cut. Band saws are more expensive (as are the blades), won’t cut quite as tight as some very small scroll saw blades, cut faster & usually (not always) cut smoother.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2780 posts in 3526 days

#6 posted 05-30-2017 10:26 PM

One difference , that is often overlooked, is that the cut edge made with a band saw will require sanding to be smooth. A scroll saw cut would be degraded by sanding it at all. It leaves a burnished edge. I have both and only use the bandsaw for resawing.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View ArtMann's profile


1462 posts in 1420 days

#7 posted 05-31-2017 02:07 AM

One other notable difference is that you can’t use a band saw to make “interior” cuts but scroll saws are used that way all the time. Which tool is best depends entirely on the type of work you are doing.

View christherookie's profile


135 posts in 3651 days

#8 posted 05-31-2017 01:14 PM

Thanks to everyone for the help. The curve cuts I’d be doing are large decorative curves, not the small interior detail work. Sounds like a bandsaw is the way to go. I’ll see what I can find new/used. I’m looking for a small table top version if such exists. The DIY version with a jigsaw is intriguing and a possibility if I can’t find something that fits my needs.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


6812 posts in 1317 days

#9 posted 05-31-2017 03:37 PM

THIS is not such a bad deal :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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