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  • Scroll Saw Vs Bandsaw: Which do you need?

Scroll Saw Vs Bandsaw: Which do you need?

It can be hard to choose between investing in a new Scroll Saw or in a new Bandsaw. Both are designed for cutting, but for very different operations. 

When deciding which one suits your needs the most, it’s important to consider the materials and projects that you are planning on working on to help ensure that you invest in the right machine.

Scroll saws are generally regarded as safer than a bandsaw, but a moving blade on any machine MUST be taken seriously.

Scroll Saws

A scroll saw is a highly versatile powered tool which uses a very thin reciprocating blade mounted vertically, for cutting precise, intricate and tight curves. In fact, its use can be likened to using a sewing machine as you push the material in and out to design your pattern.

Scroll saws are designed for smaller, more intricate projects on thinner wood. Scroll Saw blades are only 130mm long, making them less suitable for cutting materials that are thicker than 50mm. 

Both Bandsaws and scrolls saws can make straight, angled, or round cuts, but scroll saws also allow you to do inside cuts. The scroll saw’s blade can be removed and placed in a pre-drilled starting hole for inside cuts without the need for an entry slot! You also rarely have to sand a scroll saw cut because it’s very thin blade cuts so cleanly.

Bandsaws

Bandsaw blades are a continuous loop of sharp toothed material, stretched tightly between two rotating wheels. The bandsaw’s much larger cutting depth and their ability to cut curves and irregular shapes, tapers and fairly good straight lines, makes them one of the most popular and versatile machines in the workshop today.

A Bandsaw is generally used on larger stock, for bringing the dimensions of the timber down into usable board widths and thicknesses. They are measured by their cut depth capacity, and their ripping capacity from the blade to the upright column. 

Bandsaw blades are available in a range of widths, types and tooth patterns to suit different jobs and materials. Wider blades are perfect for timber sizing or cutting veneers, while thinner blades (with more teeth) are great for curves and free hand work.

Compared to a scroll saw, the thicker Bandsaw blade makes for a less accurate cut, with a cut surface that needs cleaning later on.

So, which one do you buy?

Many workshops include both machines as they both offer unique features. But which one do you buy first? It all comes down to which one suits your current and short-term future needs the best.

Scroll saws are great for intricate, decorative projects and band saws are great for larger projects such as furniture making. 

If you need a machine to work on large, thick materials, then the Bandsaw may be more suitable. If on the other hand your preference is to make toys and detail-oriented intricate projects, then the scroll saw will be more suitable. 

For more information on selecting a scroll saw see our article, Choosing the Best Scroll Saw for You!