Scrollsaw or Bandsaw

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Forum topic by COMO posted 01-02-2013 03:41 PM 1071 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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25 posts in 2555 days

01-02-2013 03:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw

I would like to buy either a small band saw or scroll saw. Right now I have a small budget and very little space. Mainly I would like to use it to cut small projects to shape like bottle openers and cut pieces for inlay like butterflies. Eventually I would like to buy a bigger band saw after I have more space but that could be a while. I guess I am just looking for opinions on what I would need.

4 replies so far

View MJCD's profile


582 posts in 2610 days

#1 posted 01-02-2013 04:26 PM


Our Projects dictate our tool choices.

A scroll saw is great for small projects; but is virtually limited to them – other than the ability to cut near-zero turn radius curves, the scroll saw is almost useless for ‘normal’ woodworking chores. A bandsaw has a much broader capability set.

I don’t know that this helps.

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2413 days

#2 posted 01-02-2013 04:35 PM

Band saw is the most versatile tool IMO.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View MrsN's profile


987 posts in 3765 days

#3 posted 01-02-2013 05:38 PM

Like MJCD said, it really depends on the exact projects that you want to do. A scroll saw will not cut thick material and has a hard time with slightly thick stuff (Anything over 1.25” thick gets really difficult, thiner for some materials)

You mention inlay, which is a great use of a scroll saw. there are different types and detail levels in inlay. If you want detailed/fancy stuff a scroll saw awesome. For some of the simple stuff a bandsaw could suffice.

I love my scroll saw, all of my projects are made with a scroll saw.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3153 days

#4 posted 01-02-2013 05:39 PM

A scroll saw will do “inside” patterns and such, where the BS has to cut itself a path into and out of the piece.

FWIW, I have successfully scrolled 3/4in Soft Maple and UN-successfully scrolled 3/4in White Ash (too hard for the thickness). The Ash, tended to wander too much, especially between the grain/rings. I have an old 21yr+ 16in Delta “pinless” scroll saw.

All that said, I think you may be correct in that a small 10in BS might be your best fit.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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