There’s one distinct difference I think of when comparing the Surface Volume and Cut Fill tool.The Surface Volume tool calculates the difference between an elevation surface and a reference plane, the reference plane being perfectly flat. While the Cut Fill tool can calculate the difference between two elevation surfaces that can both vary across space. So, one compares an elevation surface to a perfectly flat surface (Surface Volume), while the other compares two elevation surfaces against each other (Cut Fill).
Does this make sense?If not, I can try to formulate some examples to better depict this difference.
Hope this helps!
I think you articulated the difference pretty well.
I think in the Surface Volume tool, one surface is flat and represented by a constant value where as in the Cut Fill tool both inputs are surface (raster input) is the key difference.
Other minor differences are (1) in the Cut Fill tool, the order of the input surfaces defines the notion of cut area or fill area whether as in the Surface Volume tool there is a parameter to define where is computation happening, above or below the flat surface, (2) The Surface Volume tool supports TIN and Terrain as inputs where Cut Fill only takes raster as input.
I am sure there are quite a few differences.
Hope it helps!
Redlands, Esri, CA