Circular Saw Vs Jigsaw – Which is Best & Why?

Jigsaw Vs Circular Saw

Whether you are an experienced woodworker or a beginner, jigsaw and circular saws are among the most important power 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.

If you are looking to cut plywoods, and 2×2’s and afraid of using an either jigsaw or circular saw. Don’t worry! Both are safe as per the safety precautions provided on the tool. Just make sure to follow the instructions provided for safety while changing bits and angles.

A jigsaw will be more flexible for curved cuts but for long straight cuts, you need a circular saw with a handle on the top.

However, what most people don’t understand is the difference between the jigsaw vs circular saw. 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.

Key characteristics of Jigsaws


This is also known as a saber saw. It uses a motor that moves the reciprocating saw blade up and down 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 jig saw 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
  • To Cut Medium Density Fiberboards (MDF)

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 make straight lines, curves, or bevel cuts, a jigsaw will allow you to do so with ease. Apart from that, it can also be use to make incline cuts, slanted cuts, crosscuts, 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– A jigsaw blade is more affordable as compared to those used in circular saws.
  • 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 hardwood, 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 jigsaw 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 Jigsaw

  • 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 that 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.

Key characteristics of Circular saws

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 inchesWorm drive saws and sidewinders 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.

Circular Saw Uses:

  • Bird feeders
  • Cabinets
  • Tables
  • Toolboxes
  • Cutting shelves

Why should you use a Circular saw?

  • Speed– This power tool 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 long straight cuts. With a circular saw, you can easily do this. The rotating blade enables it to make straight line 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 types of cuts such as right-angled bevel cuts, 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.

Jigsaw vs circular saw: Conclusion

It is not easy to tell which one is better between the jigsaw vs circular saw 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. You can use Jigsaws to do small cuts or boxing out a corner. It can cut MDF as easily as plywood but, to cut laminate flooring you need a medium or fine-toothed jigsaw blade. 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 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. Read more about him

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