Scroll Saw Vs Coping Saw

If you’re wondering whether a scroll saw or coping saw is the right tool for your next project, you’re not alone. Both saws have distinct advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to know what each is best suited for before making a decision.

Coping saw vs scroll saw

There are a few key differences between scroll saws and coping saws that you should be aware of before making a purchase. Scroll saws are designed for making intricate cuts in wood while coping saws are better suited for cutting shapes out of wood or other materials.

When it comes to price, scroll saws tend to be more expensive than coping saws. This is because scroll saws offer more features and capabilities than coping saws. Keep reading to learn more helpful information to know which is best for your needs.

Scroll Saw Vs Coping Saw

Price Overview: Scroll Saw Vs Coping Saw

What Is a Scroll Saw?

A scroll saw is a hand-held power saw typically used to cut intricate curves in wood. The name “scroll saw” comes from the saw’s blade resembling a scroll or spiral.

Scroll saws are relatively small and portable, making them a popular choice for woodworkers who do not have a lot of space in their workshops.

Scroll saws are very versatile tools and can be used to create various projects. Some common uses for scroll saws include creating jigsaw puzzles, Intarsia projects, and fretwork. Scroll saws can also cut metal, plastic, and other materials, although they are most commonly used on wood.


  • The blades on scroll saws are much thinner than those on coping saws, which allows them to make more precise and intricate cuts.
  • Scroll saws typically have a lower speed than coping saws, which makes them better suited for delicate work.
  • Most scroll saws allow you to adjust the tension of the blade so that you can use different thicknesses of blades for various tasks.

What Is a Coping Saw?

Cutting intricate shapes in wood is done with a coping saw. It has a thin, flexible blade that can be turned in different directions to follow the contours of the workpiece. Coping saws are often used to cut door and window frames, moldings, and other ornamental details.

The blade of a coping saw is held in place by a metal or plastic frame. The frame has a handle on one end and a small pin on the other.

The blade is tensioned by tightening the handle. This allows the blade to be turned in different directions without coming loose.

To use a coping saw, first mark out the shape you want to cut on the wood. Then, clamp the workpiece in place so it cannot move. Next, hold the coping saw frame in one hand and position the blade against the wood.

Start cutting along the line with gentle back-and-forth strokes. As you get closer to the end of the cut, you may need to turn the blade around so it can exit through the opening you have created.


  • Coping saws have thicker blades than scroll saws, making them better suited for straight cuts.
  • Coping saws typically have a higher speed than scroll saws, which makes them better suitable for quickly cutting through thick materials. 
  • Some coping saws come with an adjustable throat plate that allows you to change the depth of the cut.

How Do Scroll Saws and Coping Saws Differ?

To understand the difference between scroll saws and coping saws, it is essential to understand the functions of each type of saw. For example, scroll saws are designed to make intricate cuts in wood, while coping saws are designed to cut shapes out of wood.

Scroll saws have a thin blade mounted on an arm that can be moved up and down. The blade is held in place by two clamps, one at the top and one at the bottom. The arm of the scroll saw can be moved from side to side to create different patterns.

Coping saws also have a thin blade, but the blade is not mounted on the arm. Instead, the blade is held in place by a frame surrounding it. The frame of the coping saw can be moved up and down, but it cannot be moved from side to side.

The biggest difference between scroll and coping saws is how they are used. Scroll saws are typically used for making detailed cuts in wood, such as when creating intricate designs or patterns. Coping saws are usually used for cutting shapes out of wood, such as when creating moldings or trims.

How Do I Choose the Right Scroll Saw or Coping Saw for My Needs?

If you’re looking for a saw to cut intricate shapes out of wood, you might wonder whether a scroll saw or coping saw is the right choice for your needs.

Here’s a quick rundown of the differences between these two types of saws to help you decide which one is right for your project:

Scroll Saws

Scroll saws are ideal for cutting intricate, detailed shapes in wood. They have a thin blade mounted on an arm that can be moved up and down, allowing you to make precise cuts. Scroll saws also have a table that tilts, making it easy to create angled cuts.

Coping Saws

Coping saws are similar to scroll saws but have a thinner blade mounted on a frame. This makes them more maneuverable, making them better suited for cutting curves and other irregular shapes. However, coping saws also have a smaller throat depth than scroll saws, so they can’t make as deep cuts.

Can You Use a Scroll Saw for Coping?

Scroll saws are great for making intricate cuts in wood, but can they be used for coping? The answer is yes, but there are better tools for the job.

Coping is a type of cut that’s typically used to create molding or trim. It’s done by cutting along the edge of a workpiece at an angle, then sanding or filing down the rough edge.

A scroll saw can make a cope cut, but it could be more efficient than a coping saw. A coping saw has a thin blade designed specifically for making these types of cuts. It can make much cleaner and smoother cuts than a scroll saw.

If you’re set on using a scroll saw for coping, there are a few things you can do to improve your results. First, use a very sharp blade.

A dull blade will create more friction and heat, which can cause the wood to burn. Second, use a slow-speed setting. This will help to prevent burning and produce cleaner cuts.


There are many types of saws on the market, each with unique benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately, the right saw for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

However, if you’re looking for a versatile saw that can handle various tasks, the scroll saw or coping saw may be perfect.

Read Also: Miter Saw Vs Radial Arm Saw

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