Jigsaw vs Circular Saw – Which Do You Need?

Jigsaw vs Circular Saw – Which Do You Need?

Often, woodworkers who need a saw for their task wonder which is the best option, Jigsaw vs circular saw.  So, they frequently search for the best solution for their current task. Since these two types of saw can handle similar tasks that involve vertical cutting including wood and other materials, deciding on the best suitable option can be a bit tricky.

However, while using a jigsaw, you will notice that the blade is wavering but in the case of a circular saw, the blade revolves and this signals the differences in the strengths of the two saws.

circular saw workshop

As a woodworker, you should be proud to have these two in your workshop, but then, you wouldn’t use them for the same job as they have their differences too. Failure to use the suitable one could be disastrous for your cutting job. Hence, we will explain in this guide, everything you need to know about the type of saws and projects you could use them for to get a neat and perfect finish.

Main Differences Between Circular Saw And Jigsaw

  • A jigsaw lets you handle more complex cuts, and curved cuts, whereas a circular saw handles just a kind of job and that is straight cuts.
  • Jigsaws have weaker blades and that is why they break easily, even though they don’t cost much when getting a replacement, whereas circular saws come with stronger blades.
  • The curve in a Jigsaw is doesn’t bevel, whereas that of circular saws slightly bevels.
  • Jigsaws are extremely light due to their small size, whereas circular saws are heavier and are quite larger.
  • You can use a Jigsaw to make a good curved pattern, whereas, with a circular saw, you cannot achieve that.
  • Jigsaw has higher safety ratings and is a safer alternative because it has a small blade that cannot injure like a circular saw, whereas the circular saw is riskier to handle.


What is a Circular Saw?

A circular saw is equivalent to a table saw but is designed for one purpose which is to accurately and precisely make straight-line cuts.

It’s popularly used in the professional wood workshop and for construction sites. Since many woodworkers choose it in their construction or repair jobs, you can use it to cut boards that have large sizes. With it, you can make fine cuts that are very straight and neat.

Key characteristics of circular saws

The best saw to use when making a straight line quickly is a circular saw as its blade dimension ranges from 85mm to 235mm. Even though a circular saw makes straight cuts neatly, you can as well use a guide object to achieve maximum results. The RPM (revolutions per minute) of the saw is a feature that you should pay attention to as the RPM of Bosch Professional corded circular saws for instance could reach 5900rpm. However, their cordless saws that have an 18V power battery have an RPM of 4250rpm.

Still, it depends on the type of material you are cutting as it can affect the speed of the saw. Apart from using it on woodworking, you can use circular saws to work on plastics, masonry, metal, ceramics, etc. This means that you will need a special and different blade for each of the materials. Blades for cutting masonry and metal do not have teeth and blades for cutting plastic have many teeth that could reach 60 in number. There are facts relating to circular blades for woodworking.

dewalt circular saw

  • Blades for splitting (cutting with the grain) have less and bigger teeth
  • Crosscutting blades have many and tinier teeth
  • Carbide tips enhance durability

The weight of a circular saw is not important since it makes straight cuts that involve it resting on the surface. The smooth and swift movement it exhibits is as a result of the grip handle beside the tool’s center of gravity. However, Bosch still gives you the option of getting a circular saw that is smaller and lighter if you will have to move several times while working.

Common Uses for Circular Saws

There are several things you can use a circular saw to do and these include;

  • Crosscuts
  • Freehand cuts
  • Miter cuts
  • Rip cuts
  • Bevel cuts

The circular functions similarly to a table saw as you can use various kinds of blades when handling different kinds of jobs. Some of these blade types and their uses include;

  • Carbide-tipped general blades can handle any kind of job as it gives a neat and beautiful finish.
  • Fine-tooth blades do not cut quickly so it’s best to use them when cutting plastic-laminated boards and chipboards.
  • Chisel-tooth blades can rip and crosscut wood neatly and this makes them popular as an all-in-one blade preference.
  • Pointed-tooth blades are best for making a cross-cut on solid wood to get a straight finish.
  • Rip blades have tungsten carbide tips and they are suitable to rip softwoods.

Circular Saw Pros

  • Superior control and quicker blade speed
  • Durability and resilience of blades
  • Exceptional for accurate and perfect straight-line cuts
  • The best alternative for thick woods

Circular Saw Cons

  • Weightier than a jigsaw
  • Cannot handle curved cuts
  • Needs more concentration when working for the safety
  • Has a high cost
  • Noisy

 What is Jigsaw?

A Jigsaw is called a scroll or saber saw in most cases and has a slogan that reads, “Do it all”. You can use it to handle your tasks at home, including craft and draught tasks. Many saws out there find it difficult to make irregular curves, but this is not the case of a Jigsaw and that is why it is incredible.

The saw has an upright blade set in a parallel cover and when working, it has superior guidance from a metal shoe covered by a blade guard you can observe through. This helps to avert accidents. When you look within the handle, you will discover a selector you can use to adjust the speed of the blade, and a switch to set off the blade’s power.

Key characteristics of Jigsaws

Jigsaws utilize a fairly thin blade that mostly functions in a wavering motion, and this is why they are best when you want to make curved and complex cuts. When doing this, you should as well ensure you follow certain procedures so that you can make neat cuts. Jigsaws come with cutting guides so that you don’t make errors.

Some jigsaw manufacturers like Bosch manufactures Jigsaws that are not heavy so that you can use them for jobs where you move around frequently. These types of saws also have their handles at the top and side so that you can use both handles when working to apply sufficient pressure on your work.

Finally, Jigsaws have a mechanism that involves a pendulum that causes the forward, backward, upward, and downward motion of the blade to increase the blade’s cutting speed. This is necessary when you have several tasks to handle in a short time.

Common Uses for Jigsaws

There are several things you can use a circular saw to do and these include;

  • Freehand cuts
  • Parallel cuts
  • Bevel cuts
  • Making a hole in a board
  • Making sweeping curves

Jigsaw Pros

  • Brilliant for making curves
  • Non-heavy and is user-friendly
  • Best for fewer accuracy projects
  • Achieve cuts that are difficult for other saws
  • Not as expensive as circular saws

Jigsaw Cons

  • Extremely hard to use in cutting precise straight lines
  • Cheaper models, mostly vibrate frequently
  • Thin blades can break

Jigsaw vs circular saw: different uses

When comparing a jigsaw to a circular, you should look at some points. First, the jigsaw is fast in cutting and gives neater cuts while the circular saw can handle curved cuts and is jot that complex.

Circular saws have several uses as you can adjust it sideways to get any angle you are trying to achieve. You can as well adjust the cutting depth and this is ideal when cutting thick woods that require you to go deeper when splitting. Hence, this makes the circular saw suitable for several carpentries and woodworking tasks.

In the case of Jigsaws, you use them to handle tasks that you won’t handle when using a circular saw. These comprise of tilting and straight cuts. You can use a jigsaw to make kitchen fittings and can be used for most of the tasks that a circular saw can perform, including straight cuts and cuts on a tilt, the jigsaw uses that take advantage of the tool’s qualities are jobs such as kitchen fitting and cabinetmaking.

However, there are some similarities you will find in the saws. For instance, Bosch Professional provides its customers with saws whether circular or jig, one that has a LED light that will help you see your cuts better especially in dark places and at night.

Corded vs Cordless Tools – Is Now a Good Time to Switch Over?

As aforementioned, some of these saws could be cordless or corded too. A corded saw has longer durability as it uses direct electric power when you are working hut a cordless saw runs on battery and with time, batteries lose their power and will need replacement.

However, it is advisable to go for a cordless saw if you are a professional that has to move from place to place to complete woodworking jobs.  Nowadays, several manufacturers are making batteries with Li-ion technology that can last long before you have to replace it.

On the other hand, you should use a corded saw to do your tasks if you are a hobbyist, DIYer, homeowner, or one that does not have to move around for your tasks. Let’s say you have your workshop where your customers bring their tasks to you and you do not need to go out. The corded saw is ideal for you in this situation though you can have both too.

What Would You Buy First, A Jig Saw, Or A Circular Saw?

This could be a tricky choice when selecting between a jigsaw and a circular saw. However, I would take the Jigsaw for some particular reasons. With the capability to make various kinds of cuts, saw through various materials, and the precision of the blade, there is no reason I would leave it out.

A jigsaw can easily cut all kinds of 2x boards and give either a straight cut or different shapes of cuts depending on your choice so tell me why you won’t choose it.

5 Reasons To Hold Onto Your Corded Saw

Even though the cordless saws are taking over the market nowadays, it is still advisable to have a piece or some pieces of your corded saws. The reasons for this include:

1. Higher Top Speeds

Just like corded drills, saws that come with cords usually function at high speeds at this makes them better than the cordless saws. This happens because the corded saws are larger and have more components. Hence, you can indirectly say that the smaller the saw, the lesser the cutting speed.

2. Always Ready and Infinite Power

When you use cordless saws, you are watchful of the battery so that it doesn’t run out between jobs. This could be a bad situation as you will have to begin searching for where to recharge it to continue your work. However, you won’t use a corded saw if there is no power there. Since the power grid remains constant, you will begin your work and end it without your saw stopping your progress.

3. Ergonomics

Cordless saw are usually ergonomic and easy to use due to their compactness and lightweight. However, when you use it for a long while, it will weigh down on you and that’s where the advantageousness of the corded saw come in. You don’t need to hold it for hours since it has a platform that bears the weight making you work for hours without your arms tiring.

4. Keyed Chucks

The keyed chucks on the corded saws are something you would enjoy when using it to work. While cordless saws do not have this mechanism, corded saws sport it to make the work less stressful and easy to control.

5. Long-Term Economy

The durability of corded saws is incomparable to corded saws as they do not have batteries and their components are usually stronger and larger. This means that you can use your corded saw for years without having to change it while you might end up changing your cordless saw’s battery in two years or thereabout.


What’s the difference between a circular saw and a jigsaw?

The major difference between circular saws and Jigsaws is the numerous cuts achievable by a Jigsaw. On the other hand, circular saws cut in a straight line and fewer kinds of cuts.

How useful is a jigsaw?

Jigsaws have many applications like cutting thick and dense woods, various kinds of materials, and various kinds of shapes too.

What type of saw should I buy first?

It is advisable to buy a Jigsaw first since it has more applications.

Can I cut a 2×4 with a jigsaw?

You can cut a 2×4 lumber by gradually guiding the jigsaw steadily to get a neat and beautiful cut.

Are circular saws dangerous?

Since circular saws have lighter weights and can quickly cut through wood; they are seen as dangerous tools. With such movement, the spinning blade can injure you and the board can even split suddenly and ram into someone around or the woodworker.

What can I use instead of a circular saw?

It is more advisable to use a Jigsaw or bandsaw instead of a circular saw.

Which Saw is Right for You?

After seeing the capabilities of the saws and wish to make a choice, you need to first note the project you want to carry out. Since the two saws are used in different applications, you should get the one that best suits your projects to get the best results.

Jigsaws produce less precise cuts, however, they can make multiple types of cuts compared to circular saws. This makes them more suitable for tasks that don’t require so much accuracy and precision like when you need to engage in arts and crafts projects, a few types of home improvement projects, and when you want to make ornamental woodworking pieces. Their capacity to cut broad, sweeping curves with ease is what most sets them apart from circular saws.

Circular saws, on the other hand, come with a high degree of precision and accuracy plus a larger combined cutting power.  They’re frequently utilized with a dedicated table saw, they’re particularly structured for creating very precise straight-line cuts. If you’re searching for a saw that can manage the tough handlings of a construction site or furniture-making workshop, circular saws are evidently better options than jigsaws. In the end, it all boils down to the task you have at hand.

Let me mention here that you can own these two saws since they are meant for different situations and projects. While one is meant for accurate straight-line cuts, and the other is more suited for trickier curves and simple DIY projects. If you aren’t under any budget constraint, you can even utilize these two types of saws together in a project for improved woodworking results.


Are you a professional woodworker or you simply just do woodworking jobs in your leisure time? Then you should know that you need a saw. Without cutting your wood or any kind of material, you can’t form a new object. You can get a saw for your project but the issue will be the capability of the saw. Can it handle your job and give you what you desire? This is why before getting a circular saw or a jigsaw, you should know if it will suffice. With our guide, you can understand the functionality of the two saws and find the best one for your job as long as it fits into your budget.

Best Cordless Option
DEWALT Flexvolt Advantage Circular Saw | Amazon

Powerful brushless motor of the cordless circular saw delivers 5,500 RPM for faster cutting. It's a versatile cutting tool and will be like cutting in an electric-powered saw when paired with a 60V battery.

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02/14/2023 10:59 am GMT

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