Scroll Saw Vs. Band Saw Comparison – Which Is Better for You?

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

The type of power saw you have in your workshop will always play a major role in the efficiency and speed of cutting your materials. Over the decades, many DIYers and woodworkers have had to make a decision on whether to purchase a scroll saw vs. a band saw. Although these saws are somewhat similar, they vary in functionality with some major differences between them.

However, it is very important for you to know the major differences between these tools and what they are used for. In this article, you will learn which one is best for your project and we will also review some of the best models of both scroll saws and band saws.

Our top choice for the scroll saw is the DEWALT DW788 Variable Speed Scroll Saw because of its great features, portability, price, and great bevel and tilting directions.

Scroll Saws vs Band Saws: Reviews

ProductDetails
1. WEN 3921 Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw

  • No-load speed: 400 to 1,600 strokes per minute
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Weight: 26.2 pounds
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2. DEWALT DW788 Variable Speed Scroll Saw

  • No-load speed: 400 to 1,750 strokes per minute
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Weight: 56 pounds
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3. Shop Fox W1713 Variable Speed Scroll Saw

  • No-load speed: 550 to 1,700 strokes per minute
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Weight: 37.5 pounds
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1. WEN 3921 Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw

The WEN 3921 is one of the best scroll saws you can find in the market. Not only is it one of the best, but it is also reliable and very affordable. This tool comes with a variable speed motor that ranges between 400 and 1,600 strokes per minute. With such speed, you can use this tool to make a wide range of applications. It also comes with a unique design that accepts blades in both standard and 90-degree directions. This unique feature gives this tool an infinite ripping capacity.

You can also use it for all your scroll saw demands. It also comes with a spacious table (16 inches by 11 inches). For angled cuts, the table bevels up to 45 degrees to the left. In the standard position with a 16-inch through depth, this tool can cut woods up to 2 inches wide. It features a thumbscrew blade adapter for tool-free blade changes.

Specs

  • 400 to 1,600 strokes per minute
  • Corded-electric
  • 26.2 pounds

Pros

  • Variable speed
  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Large working table

Cons

  • A heavy-duty table would have been better

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2. DEWALT DW788 Variable Speed Scroll Saw

You should consider the Dewalt DW788 if you are looking for the most reliable scroll saws in the market. This saw is a great addition to the toolset of any professional or DIY woodworker. It comes with a very powerful motor that provides a variable speed between 400 and 1,750 strokes per minute. With this variable speed feature, you can make accurate and quick adjustments for a wide range of applications.

This scroll saw offers very quiet operation, thanks to its unique arm design that minimizes vibrations. It also comes with a control system that is very convenient and easy to reach. You can change the blade of this tool in two seconds, thanks to its exclusive tool-free blade clamps. It comes with a cut depth of 2 inches and arm lifts that allows you to thread the blade easy through the material for inside cuts. It also features a heavy-duty cast iron table and a bevel capacity of 45 degrees to either right or left.

Specs

  • 400 to 1,750 strokes per minute
  • Corded-electric
  • 56 pounds

Pros

  • Bevels in both right and left directions
  • Heavy-duty, durable table
  • Easy to reach control system
  • Reduced vibration and noise

Cons

  • It is heavy
  • It is expensive (but it is worth the price)

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3. Shop Fox W1713 Variable Speed Scroll Saw

The third scroll saw on our list is the Shop Fox W1713 Variable Speed Scroll Saw. This scroll saw comes with a 1.2-amp motor that delivers a no-load speed of 550 to 1,700 strokes per minute. It is also one of the most affordable, yet powerful options in the market.

It comes with a dust blower and dust port. You can also tilt the table for horizontal angle cuts, thanks to the table lock knob and tilt scale. It features a 16-inch maximum cutting depth, a cast iron construction, and a gooseneck work light.

Specs

  • 550 to 1,700 strokes per minute
  • Corded-electric
  • 37.5 pounds

Pros

  • Variable speed
  • Dust blower
  • Work light
  • Durable iron

Cons

  • Does not tilt in both directions

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ProductDetails
1. DEWALT DWM120K Portable Band Saw

  • No-load speed: 100 to 350 strokes per minute
  • Blade Length: 44 inches
  • Weight: 15 pounds
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2. WEN 3962 Two-Speed Band Saw

  • No-load speed: 1,520 to 2,620 strokes per minute
  • Blade Length: 72 inches
  • Weight: 73 pounds
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3. SKIL 3386-01 Band Saw

  • No-load speed: 2,800 FPM
  • Blade Length: 59.5 inches
  • Weight: 30 pounds
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1. DEWALT DWM120K Portable Band Saw

The Dewalt DWM120k is one of the best band saws out there. This tool comes with a 10-amp motor that offers a variable speed control between 100 and 350 SPM. It comes with an LED sight light to provide you with a visible line of cut in the dark. Dewalt DWM120K is the best budget bandsaw.

For improved control, this unit comes with an ergonomic handle. It offers a depth cut capacity of 5 inches for rectangular or round stock. It is also built to withstand jobsite abuse without damage.

Specs

  • 100 to 350 strokes per minute
  • 44 inches
  • 15 pounds

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to maneuver

Cons

  • Very low SPM

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2. WEN 3962 Two-Speed Band Saw

The band saw features a blade of 72 inches. It comes with a 1/3 HP motor that delivers a variable speed control of 1,520 to 2,620 strokes per minute. It can also tilt to both the left and right direction with a bevel capacity of 45 degrees. This band saw comes with a stand and it is also pocket-friendly. WEN 3962 is a good bandsaw for resawing.

Specs

  • 1,520 to 2,620 strokes per minute
  • 72 inches
  • 73 pounds

Pros

  • Precise and powerful
  • Affordable
  • Light for better visibility
  • Comes with a stand

Cons

  • Hard to set up

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3. SKIL 3386-01 Band Saw

This is a lightweight, small band saw that you can use for a wide range of applications. This tool is designed for small crafts and DIY jobs because of its small horsepower. It comes with a blade length of a 9-inch band saw. The 0.4 HP motor delivers a blade speed of 2,800 FPM. It also tilts in both directions with a 45-degree bevel capacity.

Specs

  • 2,800 FPM
  • 59.5 inches
  • 30 pounds

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Easy to adjust
  • LED lights

Cons

  • Options engine
  • Low horsepower

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Scroll Saw Versus Band Saw Comparison

What Is A Scroll Saw And What Are Its Uses?

A scroll saw is a handy electric saw that you can use to make complex curves on a wide range of materials such as metal, wood, and other materials. This is a very powerful saw, but it is also gentle enough to cut subtle patterns and you can also use it in multiple applications. It is a much better option than a fretsaw or coping saw.

If you want to cut small lumber pieces or you are into crafts, we recommend you go for a scroll saw. Scroll saws offer more precision cuttings. They come with a short, thin blade that is usually less than 0.25 inches in width. They also allow you to use a wide range of blade saw when cutting different types of materials. A scroll saw is also very useful in making plunge and circular cuts.

In most cases, craftsmen and woodworkers use this saw to make jigsaw puzzles. However, scrolls saws are not the best saws for straight cuts. They are also not suitable for thick materials.

What Is A Band Saw And What Are Its Uses?

Band saws feature a different design from scroll saws. Band saws usually come with a long sharp blade. The term “band” as a result of the sharp and continuous band of toothed metal stretched between two or more wheels to cut the material. This tool comes in very handy for metalwork, woodwork, as well as cutting or lumbering large pieces of materials.

Band saws are used to cut very thick materials. They can cut materials that are a least two inches thick or more. This tool tends to excel more when it comes to making aggressive straight cuts.

Band saws are also very versatile, as you can use them to make both specialty and common cuts. They are known for speed and accuracy. However, band saws cannot make a plunge or inside cuts. They also make rougher edge cuts.

Buying Guide: How to Pick the Best Product

The Quality Of The Saw

After making up your mind on which to settle for: band saw vs scroll saw, you need to consider the quality of the tool. There are many factors that determine the quality of a power saw. You need to consider the design and material of the tool. The basic features, accessories and ergonomic features will also determine the quality of the tool.

For a scroll saw, the motor power, precision, and portability will tell if the tool is of poor or high quality. For a band saw, quality is measured by its cutting ability, good motor, ergonomic features and more. Putting all these factors into consideration will help you settle for the best band saw or scroll saw.

Weight

Scroll saws and band saws are lightweight power tools. Nevertheless, scroll saws are lighter and more portable than band saws. Hence, you should consider the weight of the tool before buying it.

If you are more interested in a lightweight tool, then we recommend you go for a scroll saw. Nevertheless, many band saws come with stands that make them very easy to use.

Motor Speed Options

There are single and variable speed motor power saws. We recommend you settle for a power tool with a variable speed motor. This provides you with a wide range of speed options, and you can set the speed depending on the material you want to cut.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to a band saw vs scroll saw, you need to make your decision based on your personal or project needs. From the products reviewed above, the Dewalt DW788 is the clear winner in the scroll saw category because of its build, powerful, durable table and more. For more comparison articles check this bandsaw vs table saw.

For the band saws, the winner is the WEN 3962 Two-Speed Band Saw because of its powerful motor, long blade, durability, and versatility.

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