Jigsaw Vs Circular Saw – Which One to Choose?

Jigsaw Vs Circular Saw

Whether you are an experienced woodworker or a beginner, jigsaw and circular saws are among the most important tools that you should have in your workshop. These tools almost work the same and at times, they may be used to do the same tasks.

However, what most people don’t understand is their difference and the best tool to use for each task.  In order to make things clear, we decided to do a detailed comparison of the two saws. This will make your work easier when picking a suitable tool for your projects. Check more details below.

What is Jigsaw?


This is also known as a saber saw. It uses a motor that moves the reciprocating saw blade when cutting. Just like a normal reciprocating saw, the blades of this tool cuts as they move back and forth.  The good thing about jigsaws is that you can use them with your hand or mount them on a platform. Find out our top 5 jigsaw tool.

They also have a very narrow blade that allows them to provide the desired cut. If you are searching for a perfect tool that you can use to cut shapes, 2 X4s boards, letters, curves and patterns effectively, a jigsaw will be the most suitable tool. You can also use it to do the following tasks;

  • Making a wooden cutting board
  • Designing a magazine rack
  •  Repairing broken seats and chairs
  • Cutting a laminate flooring
  • Create intricate cuts when making a speaker cover

Why should you use a jigsaw?

  • Versatility – One of the reasons why most contractors and woodworkers prefer to use a jigsaw is because it is very versatile. This means that you can use it to make different cuts. Whether you want to cut in a straight line, curves or bevels, a jigsaw will allow you to do so with ease. Apart from that, it can also be use to make incline cuts, slanted cuts, cross cuts and other complex cuts.
  • Safe– Unlike a circular saw, this one is safer because it has a smaller blade which reduces the risk of accidental cuts.
  • Price– The blades of a jigsaw are more affordable as compared to those used in a circular saw.
  • Powerful – Even though it is less powerful as compared to a circular saw, you can still use it to cut through different materials. You just need to ensure that you have attached the right blade. Whether you want to cut ceramic tiles, plastics, metals soft and hard wood or any other material, a jigsaw will be a great option.
  • Compact design– Even if you do not have enough storage space in your workshop, you shouldn’t worry because a jig saw has a compact design which makes it easy to store.
  • Plunge cuts– Among the top features of a jigsaw are its ability to make plunge cuts. Again, you can easily use it to make cuts that start from the center. You can do this by plunging it directly into the material or by drilling holes.
  • Less messy– A jigsaw does not create a lot of dust like a circular saw.

Major Drawbacks of a Jig saw

  • Not Accurate – If you want to make accurate and precise cuts for example when making a jigsaw puzzle, this tool might not be the best. Again, it is a handheld device which also affects its accuracy.
  • Bounce– This tool keeps bouncing which makes it hard to use especially when making long and straight cuts. It is almost impossible to pass the blade through the cut line.

What is a Circular saw?

Circular saw

This one is a handheld cutting tool that features a circular spinning blade. The blades vary in size but most of them have a diameter of 7 inches.  Worm drive saws and sandwinders are the most common types of circular saws.  Apart from being powerful, their blades also last longer than those used in a jigsaw. Read this post to know more circular saws.

You can use a circular saw when making;

  • Bird feeders
  • Cabinets
  • Tables
  • Tool boxes
  • Cutting shelves

Why should you use a Circular saw?

  • Speed– A circular saw uses a combination of a spinning blade and a motor. The motor is very powerful and it is able to rotate the blades faster. This enables it to handle cutting projects faster.
  • Straight cuts– Most of the cutting tasks in your workshop will require you to make straight cuts. With a circular saw, you can easily do this. The rotating blade enables it to make straight cuts with or without guidelines. However, if you want to make smooth cuts, you need to ensure that you are using a fine blade.
  • Materials– As long as you have a good blade, you can use a circular saw to cut different materials such as masonry, wood, roofing, pipes, metal, and sheet material among others.
  • Different cuts – With a circular saw, you can make different cuts such as right-angled bevels, smooth angle cuts and rough bevel rips.
  • Loud – Since it uses a motor, it is very loud and messy.

Major Drawbacks of a Circular Saw

  • Heavy– As compared to other types of saws, circular saws are heavier.
  • Rough edges– Even if you can use a circular saw to make straight cuts, the edges are not very smooth. It provides what many woodworkers call tear outs.
  • Curved cuts– If you are in need of a power saw that you can use to make curved and straight cuts, a circular saw may not be the best. Due to its design, you cannot rely on it to make precise and accurate cuts especially on curved surfaces.

Conclusion: Which one is the best?

It is not easy to tell which one is better than the other one since they are both effective. However, if you love DIY projects and you are in need of a versatile tool, a jigsaw will be the best. Jigsaws are mainly only good for very small cuts or boxing out a corner. It might not be as powerful as a circular saw but it is very reliable. Circular saw will make a deeper, long term cut as it is much quicker and powerful. In general, what we would recommend is that you should pick the one that suits your projects since now you already know their differences.


About the Author David Vieria

David Vieira has been a woodworker for most of his life — in his dad’s cabinet shop. After using the tools himself, he decided to share it his woodworking and power tools knowledge with DIYers.

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