I'm going to start making tobacco smoking pipes, Is a scroll saw strong enough to cut 2 1/2-to-3" pieces of cherrywood or should I stick with a band saw? I like the idea of a scroll saw for the detail aspect.
There are a TON of different sizes of scroll saw. I'd suggest going to a local woodturners or woodworkers meet up and asking them, if you aren't sure. There's sure to be at least one pipemaker.
A scroll saw would work. To make any decent speed at that thickness, you'll need a coarse-tooth blade made to clear dust quickly. A thicker blade will let you apply more pressure, while a thinner blade will let you cut finer detail. Note that even aggressive blades on a scroll saw are a lot slower than a band saw.