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Scroll Saw vs. CNC Laser: A Comparative Study

At first glance, it might look like the scroll saw will be replaced by the laser cutting machines. However, there’s more to this story than meets the eye. Find out more in this scroll Saw vs CNC Laser Showdown.

Comparing Scroll Saw and Laser Cutting: Techniques and Applications

Precision cutting is a cornerstone in various industries and hobbies, enabling the creation of intricate designs and detailed products. Scroll saw and CNC laser are two popular techniques that offer precision cutting capabilities. In this article, we will be comparing their techniques, applications, advantages, and limitations.

Scroll Saw Cutting

The scroll saw technique involves using a motorized saw with a thin blade to create intricate cuts in materials such as wood, plastic, and metal. The saw’s design allows for precise control, making it suitable for detailed designs and tight curves. The tools required for scroll saw cutting include the saw itself, various blades for different materials, and a stable work surface.

Pros and Cons of Scroll Saw Cutting:

Scroll saw cutting offers several benefits, including unmatched precision for intricate designs. It is a versatile technique that works well with a range of materials and allows for manual adjustments during cutting. However, scroll saw cutting requires a high level of skill and practice. It also has limitations in terms of cutting speed, material thickness, and the complexity of cuts.

CNC Laser Cutting

Laser cutting, on the other hand, is a high-tech method that utilizes a focused laser beam to vaporize or melt material, resulting in clean and precise cuts. Different types of lasers, such asCO2 and fiber lasers, are used depending on the material being cut. Laser cutting machines are computer-controlled, allowing for automation and precise repeatability.

Pros and Cons of Laser Cutting:

Laser cutting boasts exceptional precision and accuracy, making it ideal for intricate designs and patterns. It offers automation and the ability to process a wide range of materials with varying thicknesses. However, laser cutting machines come with higher initial costs and maintenance requirements. Additionally, certain materials may emit toxic fumes when laser-cut, necessitating proper ventilation and safety precautions. Not to mention the environmental concerns that arise from such operations.


Scroll saw cutting finds its place in various industries, including woodworking, art, crafts, and model making. Its ability to produce delicate designs makes it a favorite among artisans seeking intricate detailing. On the other hand, laser cutting dominates industries such as manufacturing (metal, plastic, textiles), architecture, prototyping, and jewelry. Laser cutting’s speed and accuracy are critical in industries where large-scale production meets precision requirements.

Lately however, smaller desktop versions of CNC laser machines have found their way into various art practices. New age designers and craftsmen are also leveraging local laser cutting services to create unique masterpieces. We are finding more and more laser cut and engraved wooden decorations, utility items, toys, art pieces, etc. in the markets all over the world.

Comparative Analysis of Applications:

The choice between scroll saw vs CNC laser cutting depends on the project’s nature and requirements. While scroll saw cutting shines in artistic projects and small-scale productions, laser cutting excels in mass production and industries where speed and precision are paramount. At the same time, there are certain things that a scroll saw can do like precise beveled cuts into thick materials that a laser cutting machine will not come close to at the moment.

Check out these guides for more information

Dewalt DW788

A popular choice with a double parallel-link arm design for reduced vibration and improved accuracy. Check out our in-depth review here.

Dremel Moto-Saw

Known for its user-friendly features, adjustable speed settings and hybrid
design that can be used handheld. Good for small craft projects.

Genmitsu 3018 Pro CNC

Also check out the review for the Genmitsu 3018 Pro CNC that can be fitted with a laser for desktop laser cutting.


When it comes to Scroll saw vs CNC laser cutting they are two distinct techniques with their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. The choice between the two depends on factors such as the project’s complexity, desired precision, material requirements, and budget considerations. While scroll saw cutting allows for an artisanal touch and intricate designs, laser cutting offers unmatched precision, speed, and versatility. By understanding the nuances of each technique, creators can make informed decisions that align with their specific project goals and requirements.

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