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band saw or scroll saw

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Forum topic by JIM COLLINS posted 909 days ago 4260 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JIM COLLINS

29 posts in 1432 days


909 days ago

I am making a flag box for my father and on the top and the door there is some curves and as I am new to woodworking I was wondering for these cuts should I have a band saw or scroll saw? I have a good jig saw, but will not attempt these cuts with that and thought that either one of those would be better and easier to use.

-- Jim in the U.P. nothing like the smell of fresh cut wood


13 replies so far

View Ben's profile

Ben

302 posts in 936 days


#1 posted 909 days ago

If you are deciding which to buy, I would definitely go for a band saw. Much more versatile and you can do much of what you might do on a scroll saw. a scroll saw would be better for finer details, but if you are just looking to do some curves, a band saw would be great and have more general use in your shop. There is a price jump between the two, the scroll saw being lower. If you can afford it, I’d say go for the band saw.

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View stefang's profile

stefang

12611 posts in 1940 days


#2 posted 909 days ago

Both machines work well for curves. I tend to use the bandsaw if the curves are well within the blade widths capacity and the stock is relatively thick or the scroll saw for tight curves in thinner stock. You can probably cut a curve in up to 2” on most scroll saws, but it goes slower than a bandsaw.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View William's profile

William

8936 posts in 1448 days


#3 posted 909 days ago

A scroll saw is better for detail. Stock thickness though, as stated, is limited to about two inches.
A band saw can cut thicker material, but is limited on how tight a curve can be cut on it.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View Loren's profile

Loren

7284 posts in 2253 days


#4 posted 909 days ago

Scroll saw is much easier to set up and use for tight curves. Plus
it can do enclosed shapes easily, which a band saw cannot.

The band saw is a nearly essential machine for furniture making
and is very versatile in preparing wood and in joinery, but for
scroll work the scroll saw is king.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1643 posts in 1528 days


#5 posted 909 days ago

I find that after a cut on my band saw, sanding is required whereas the cut on my scroll saw would not be improved with sanding. The Scroll saw is a MUCH smoother cutting tool but a lot slower. I am comparing a $325 band saw with a $2500 scroll saw though.

-- In God We Trust

View Danpaddles's profile

Danpaddles

534 posts in 917 days


#6 posted 909 days ago

A $200 scroll saw is pretty functional. A $200 band saw is crap.

Add that formula into the excellent advice given above.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112002 posts in 2183 days


#7 posted 909 days ago

I use my band saw all the time and hardly ever use my scroll saw.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View BilltheDiver's profile

BilltheDiver

227 posts in 1491 days


#8 posted 908 days ago

I have and use both. Two different tools for two different purposes. There may be some overlap, but not much. You would have to give us a lot more detail in order for anyone to prescribe which is the tool for the job you are doing.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

View stefang's profile

stefang

12611 posts in 1940 days


#9 posted 908 days ago

I wouldn’t decide on which tool to buy based on one project. Unless you are doing a lot of scrolling work which a scroll saw excels at, I think for general woodworking the bandsaw is the best choice by far. So it depends on what type of work you plan doing.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View JIM COLLINS's profile

JIM COLLINS

29 posts in 1432 days


#10 posted 908 days ago

I am looking at alot of small projects, and some have tight turns, and all the wood is 3/4 or 1 inch so I think for now I will start with a scroll saw. Like I said I am new to this. I want to thank everyone for your help and advice. cheers

-- Jim in the U.P. nothing like the smell of fresh cut wood

View MagGeorge's profile

MagGeorge

53 posts in 763 days


#11 posted 757 days ago

I would also go for a band saw. There is nothing you can do with a scroll saw that you cannot do with a band saw except for intricate patterns. A band saw is one of the most versatile machines in the shop.

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

208 posts in 1927 days


#12 posted 757 days ago

@MagGeorge Don’t forget inside cuts with the scroll saw. I do agree the bandsaw is one of the most versatile machines, otherwise I wouldn’t own a bunch of them.

View Heisbert's profile

Heisbert

34 posts in 785 days


#13 posted 757 days ago

I absolutely agree with Ahuxley! Let’s not underestimate what a scroll saw can do but band saw is my personal favorite.

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