I was telling a friend that I intended to purchase a scroll saw (Dewalt
788) and a band saw (still deciding between Jet 710115K, Powermatic
1791216K, and the Grizzly G0513).
He said, "Heck, just get the band saw and use that for scrolling.
Okay, I realize that the scroll saw can scroll both exterior AND
interior designs whereas the bandsaw can only cut exterior.
But ... other than that one limitation, how does a high quality band saw
(like the Powermatic or the Grizzly) compare to a nice scroll saw?
For one thing there are spiral scroll saw blades that will
cut in any direction. You can cut tighter radii with
those than with any bandsaw blade.
A scroll saw lets you do finer work than with a bandsaw.
Scroll saw blades are cheaper and easier to replace, but
(I think) wear out faster.
A bandsaw will cut stock of appreciable thickness much
faster because it sweeps the sawdust out of the kerf
no matter how thick the piece is. A reciprocating blade
loses effectiveness when the thickness of the material
approaches or exceeds the stroke length.
I had alsways heard it as " You don't need butter knives if you have
Scroll saw will do extremely detailed work in stock of moderate
thikness (1" or less)
Bandsaw is limited in the radius of the curve by the depth of the blade
but will cut much thicker stock.
You can back out a cut in a scoll saw, try the same thing with a
bandsaw and on mine the blade falls off the drive wheel.
On Thu 22 Sep 2005 03:23:11p, "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"
<"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in
The band saw's great for larger work, and with something like a Carter
Stabilizer and a small blade, you can do some really fine work with it. But
snipping the blade and rewelding it isn't my idea of a great way to do
intricate scrollwork. I'm sure it's possible and I'm sure you could get to
the point where you could do that with a bandsaw blade as fast as you could
change the blade with a scroll saw.
But if'n I had the wherewithal to get both, I would most certainly get
If I had to have just one for a while, it's the bandsaw. I'm probably only
saying that because I don't have a working scrollsaw yet but I sure have
found plenty of uses for the bandsaw, and so far no times when I had to go
borrow somebody else's scroll saw.
I can buy a decent scroll saw with what I've just spent on bandsaw
blades. They're pretty much entirely different tools, and the budget
for a usable machine differs by a factor of at least 4 or 5.
If you _can_ do it with a scroll saw, then a scroll saw is probably the
better tool for it. But there's a huge amount where only one or the
other can really achieve it.
There is some overlap in what a bandsaw and a scroll saw will do but
they have different emphasis. As you pointed out, a scroll saw can do
interior cuts, and can easily make a smooth cut that reqires no
sanding. If you are going to do mostly fine, intricate cuts, fretwork,
toy making, etc. the scroll saw would be a good choice. If you are
making larger projects with "furniture sized" curves using thicker
stock the band saw would be best. If you choose to buy only one, a
good jig saw like the Bosch or Milwaukee will enable you to do much of
what the other saw can accomplish. Another option would be to purchase
a good bandsaw and a cheaper scroll saw, The smaller Delta and similar
models in the $150 range can do pretty good work at the cost of
increased vibration and discomfort of operation.
What tyes of saws are we really taliking about comparing...
Saber, or jig saw
When I read the original post I though of only stationary saws...
Oh well time to grab another cup of coffee and try to get my brain in
I believe the OP was talking only of stationary saws also. What I
meant was that if the OP had a good hand-held jigsaw, it could do much
of the work of either the scroll saw or the band saw, so a possible
alternative to having both stationary saws would be a jig saw and
whichever stationary saw would be most useful for the work he is
Bandsaw = powered Bow Saw.
Jig Saw = powered Key hole saw
Scroll Saw = powered Coping Saw / Fret Saw
(for about 90% of the time.. ) If you can't figure out how you would
do it with hand tools, a power tool will get you no-where
faster and with less effort.
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