Tools: Scroll saw vs band saw. Fight!

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NormanF

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm not sure if this is the right area to ask, so here goes. The Sears near my mom is one of the ones being closed. Tools finally changed to 20% off this week. I do not need a saw right now, but a project or two down the road I probably will. I do not know what that project will be so in general would you recommend a 9" band saw or a scroll saw? I think a band saw will be better but I thought I would ask the experts.
 

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Arketh

New Member
I'd go with the scroll saw. The ability to cut out details within a work piece as well as tighter curves is pretty valuable.
 

ZOMBIEREPELLENT

Sr Member
Even though I love the smoothness of a band saw, I'd have to say the scroll saw is more versatile, and blades are much cheaper, and interchangable.
 

Galane

New Member
For a scroll saw the best type drives the blade from both ends with a parallel arm linkage.

There's a cheaper type that just pulls the blade down and uses a strong spring at the top to keep it tight and pull it up. Some of these can use single ended tooling like jigsaw blades and files.
 

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Dirty

Member
I have both and have to admit my scroll saw is used 99% of the time compared to my band saw. Detail work is so much easier to handle and complete
 

ReverendCasey

New Member
I also vote scroll saw. I just got a porter cable at the beginning of the year and I'm really enjoying it. There are a ton of different applications. Everything from straight cuts to tight patterns. And there are wild things you can do like compound cuts. I'm a total noob but here is my first scroll saw project that is currently in progress. Certainly can't do this with a bandsaw.
http://www.therpf.com/f11/quick-intro-star-wars-shelf-build-pics-up-139097/#post2143419

A bandsaw would certainly be nice to have, If you can have both. But if you need to pick I'd go with the scroll saw any day.
 

avianoguitarist

Active Member
Scroll saw for better curves and detail, but they don't do thick pieces well. Make sure to get a bunch of spare blades--they snap like dental floss.
 

Orbital Drydock

Active Member
Each tool has its purpose, scroll definitely for detail & lighter materials, band for denser or thicker materials. Also quick ripping of large pieces, then moving to the scroll for clean up & detail.
Might suggest a 12" instead of a 9", the extra clearance is worth it.
Check Craigslist for the band saw, I just got a 12" craftsman in great shape with many extras for $100
 

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EricHart

Member
Yeah, it totally depends what you want to do; do you want to mostly build large or small props? Do you want to work mostly with thin and delicate materials, or with more hefty materials like in construction? It also depends what kinds of tools you already have; if you already have a jigsaw, than a scroll saw will give you more versatility. If you don't have any power saws, than a band saw will take care of a lot of your general cutting needs.

I personally never use a scroll saw (but then, I rarely make anything smaller than a fist); if I need to do anything precise and delicate, I'll attack it either by hand or maybe with a Dremel. I find a band saw extraordinarly useful for cutting all sorts of stuff, from thin plastic up to really thick wood. Also, if you ever want to cut thick styrofoam, a bench top band saw can usually cut pieces around 3-4" thick, while a scrollsaw may only let you do 2-3".
 

Rebelscum

Sr Member
As stated, these are two completely different tools, with essentially no overlap.

If you need to do scroll saw detail work, that's the only way to do it unless it's small and you're good with a coping saw, but you can do bandsaw work with a jigsaw.
 

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