Scroll Saw vs Bandsaw: What’s the Difference?

Bandsaw vs Scroll Saw

Which is the best model between a scroll saw and a band saw? As an artisan, your workshop needs to have the correct tools for the right job. The only way to appreciate how the two products work is by performing a comparison. 

Furthermore, these two products share some similarities. It makes more sense to establish the merits and demerits of each saw. Such allows you to make an informed decision without following with the crowd.

Many are at crossroads when they encounter the two tools in the market. Undoubtedly, we are here to sharpen your understanding as we compare the tools. We intend to assist you in knowing the purpose of each.

Scroll Saw

female using scroll saw

A scroll saw features small blades which have less than 45 inches in width. This tool relies on electrical power as you use a pedal to control its speed. In addition, this saw consists of a tabletop to allow it to oscillate at high speeds. Some of its notable features are:

The Throat

The throat determines the size of the material under processing. It is the space between the rear part of the saw and the blade. Such a distance brings the back and the overhead arm together. Suppose the throat is more petite, which means it will accommodate smaller pieces. 

For example, if the throat size is 20 inches, it allows you to work with material widths of 40 inches. However, you should stick with the size of the materials that are within the same range.


A scroll saw has a 6-inch blade that cannot handle pieces that are thicker than 2 inches. The cool thing is one can change the blade and adjust the tension effortlessly. You can use the knob to facilitate the adjustment process. What makes the scroll stand out is it makes deep cuts.


The ram holds the blade firmly using pinned or pinless features. There exit three arms types, including a parallel-linked arm, parallel type, and a C arm. The arm attached to the motor cause different types of arms to produce unique cuts.


  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Patterns and word art
  • Fretwork


  • Cuts intricate shapes, small arcs, and thin kerf
  • Less vibration and noise
  • Better control via foot pedal

Band Saw

using a bandsaw

A band saw has a flat work table where a single column stretches from its rear vertically. This option produces more power than the scroll saws counterpart. That is so thanks to strong motors with higher RPM. As such, this alternative works in large pieces of materials.

Related: The 6 Best Benchtop Band Saws in 2023

The Throat

We refer to the width as the throat of the bandsaw. We determine it by the wheel’s size, which allows you to work on long pieces of materials. It also allows you to perform long rip cuts.

The Blade

It has compact and durable blades necessary to cut hard materials effectively. The bandsaw enjoys more versatility than the scroll saw. It tolerates a wide range of blades for cutting various types of materials. Such could be plastic, metal, and wooden materials. 

Motor and Battery

Most of the band saws have motors with ten amps or higher. Such provides enough power to slice through various materials. We measure motor speed in Feet per Motor (FTP). It is time it takes the blade to move within a minute.

The design is cordless, whereby the power stems from the battery. One must charge it for it to perform. It can last for several hours as it cuts through thick materials.


  • Cutting meat
  • Metal carpentry
  • Re-sawing and general woodworking


  • The saw is more versatile
  • Higher cutting capacity
  • Ability to cut both soft and hard materials

Differences Between the Bandsaw and Scroll Saw

Working Principle

The band saw uses a continuous loop of the blade that circulates at a fixed position. The designer intended the band saw to slice through thick materials hence suitable for an industrial and professional setting.

On the other hand, the scroll saw allows one to move the work-piece against a reciprocating blade. It becomes helpful when making an intricate design of your project. It also offers a smooth and professional finish.


One can involve a scroll saw for cutting curves and circular cuts. This fixed saw allows one to perform detailed cuts as you remove materials accordingly.

You can revisit a band saw when you want to make straight cuts. Such allows the carpenter to be as precise or complex as possible.


The scroll saw is ideal for cutting thin pieces of materials. The saw comes with delicate blades featuring ¼ inches thick with 8 inches in length. As such, this option does not favor thick pieces of materials.

The band saw can work in thick pieces of materials effectively. Such could range between 6 inches and 30 inches. Typically, the size of your work-piece determines the type of saw to use.


Generally, powerful tool attracts high prices. For that matter, a band saw can be more costly because it has more features to handle heavy-duty applications. It is the right option for commercial and professional reasons. A scroll saw is suitable for DIYers and crafters.  It is a cheaper option than its band saw counterpart.


The scroll saw helps make regular cuts, whereas the band saw helps create a wide range of cuts.


You do not have to drown in confusion when you want to buy a suitable saw among the two options. Understanding the purpose of each product simplifies your choices. For example, if a craftsman wants a saw that creates carvings on wood, then a scroll saw will work perfectly.

Again, if your task involves cutting through thick pieces as you make irregular shapes, then a band saw awaits for you. It is also a better option if your work involves moving from one site to the next.

At this point, you have the correct insight about the two products. Every saw type is proper when performing specific tasks to promote your sawing experience.

Marcus Weldman

Marcus Weldman is the main author of Marcus is a tool and DIY enthusiast. He spends his time discovering the comparative differences and practical limits for all kinds of tools.