Curve cuts used to be difficult to do on wood. They would appear coarse and unrefined because the power tools we have today weren’t available back then. Now we have two of the most wanted wood cutting equipment in the market, and they come in the form of bandsaw and scroll saw. These stationary power tools are designed to produce the smoothest curve cuts on wood. What we’re going to be discussing here is the difference between the two and which one is the right machine for you.
Between the Scroll saw and the Bandsaw
Before getting any one of these excellent tools, you must first determine what would fit the task at hand. Both power tools serve the purpose of cutting curves, but it will depend on your project. Are you into making decorations and intricate puzzles? Or are you going to create more significant projects such furniture with curved lines or moldings? From here, we’re now going to see the difference between these cutting machines.
The Rundown: Scroll Saw
What the scroll saw is a saw machine which is either pedal-operated or electric used to cut convoluted curves in wood. Its blade is so thin that it is capable of delicate cuts than any other equipment. It can be pivoted and produce curves incorporated with edges. Because it is traditionally used in creating scrollwork on different materials, it eventually took the name. So what can a scroll saw cut? Wood, metal, plastic, and so much more!
The scroll saw, and the bandsaw are both specialty tools, but it has carried the title because of its clean and sophisticated cuts. Woodworkers would have this equipment in their workshops. Those taking wood shop classes will have used one. Scroll saws usually enable the user to create precision cuts with unparalleled accuracy. Wood that went through a scroll saw rarely has to be sanded because of how clean the cuts were. Since a pedal also operates some scroll saws, it will allow you to make use of both your hands to steady the material while being cut. For projects that require small and tight curves, this is especially beneficial.
The Scroll Saw ADVANTAGE
- An excellent cutting tool that can produce even small, pin-sized arcs.
- The blade has a thin kerf that most cut pieces fit back together almost perfectly.
- It can make cuts cuts in the middle of a design (imagine cutting a donut-hole).
- Inlays and marquetries are easily produced.
- Various techniques will help you create artwork such as portraits, abstract pieces, and landscapes
The Rundown: Bandsaw
A bandsaw is a larger type of equipment that uses a toothed band of metal as the blade. It is stretched and looped usually between two wheels that run which creates the cutting action. This type of saw is not only used in woodworking but also with lumbering and metalworking industries proving its versatility.
While the scroll saw is also a versatile machine, it’s not capable of everything. Scroll saws can produce detailing and curved cuts, but bandsaws fall on the heavy-duty side of the woodworking arena for thicker materials. Bandsaws also come in varieties:
- Stationary bandsaw – have bigger motors and designed for more prominent projects that make use of hardwoods such as pecan, oak, and hickory. It produces cleaner and smoother cuts. They are not for tight curves but is excellent for ripping. This type of bandsaw also accepts different blades.
- Benchtop bandsaw – portable bandsaw that professionals make use of and transport to different sites. They have smaller motors but are capable of cutting amply sized curved cuts on either thick wood or plywoods as well as ripping.
Bandsaws are much safer to use when cutting materials with less than good conditions compared to a table saw. Because the blade drives down to the table, a kickback is not possible with the bandsaw. Some may start off with a more significant piece of wood then plan after. Most bandsaws come with fences for making rip cuts and different jigs for cutting various shapes.
The Bandsaw ADVANTAGE
- The bandsaw is great for cutting thicker materials at least 2 inches thick and more.
- When it comes to aggressive straight cuts, the bandsaw is the best go-to cutting machine between the two.
- Because the bandsaw is capable of making use stronger blades, cutting straight lines is easy.
- It is faster and more accurate to use with thicker materials.
- Best for both regular and specialty cuts because it has a powerful motor.
Scroll saw VS Bandsaw: The Conclusion.
These two power tools are capable of curve cuts but still answer for different purposes and limitations.
The bandsaw best handles thin rips and curved cuts on thicker pieces of materials. It is for those who create furniture with precise curved cuts. It is also faster when working with more substantial materials. It is designed for increasing productivity. Bandsaws tend to be pricier, but its features and functions are worth every penny.
For smaller intricate cuts on ornaments and scale models, the scroll saw is the best cutting machine for this job. It transforms materials into statues and other crafts. These type of saws are usually low-priced as well.
Serious woodworkers will choose to have both cutting equipments in their workshop provided that they have enough space and budget to accommodate them. Scroll saws can’t cut through thick materials and bandsaws are not for cutting tight and small curves. What one lacks, the other has so it would make sense if both machines can find a place where you regularly work.
However, for hobbyists and professionals, it is a clear decision on what capabilities they would need. Those who only want to work on decorative items and crafting projects that are relatively small, the scroll saw is the best. For carpenters working to produce molding, cabinetry, and furniture, the bandsaw is still king. Whatever the case, there is something for the industrious hands-on worker. Choosing from the various brands out there is also one that you need to decide on carefully. Research for reviews on such models, so you’ll know that you’ll get the best out of your money.