Difference between Jigsaw and Circular Saw

The fans of DIY and crafting are familiar with a jigsaw and circular saw. But it is perplexing either to use a scroll saw or jigsaw for different carvings. If you want to know about jigsaw vs. circular saw for cutting wood and other purposes, we will walk you through the required information.

These two saws are not much different from each other. That is why it makes people and artisans ponder over using the appropriate one for required work. A wrong decision in selecting a saw can make the whole works a big failure. So one should have both saws but must know about the difference and similarities between them so that they can get the work done right.

So let’s get to know both saws first.

What is a Jigsaw?

Jigsaw is a simple saw which you can operate with hand. It can cut wood or any other material and carves smaller cuts. Their structure is not that complex. They use the guide, blade, foot, wire, and other needed parts. Learn more about what a jigsaw is in our comprehensive guide about jigsaws and their use.

What is a Circular Saw?

man in white shirt standing near brown wooden table
Photo by Cleyder Duque on Pexels.com

A Circular saw is a unique type of saw with a perpendicular blade. It cuts the material in straight lines. You can make both cuts with it, but mostly it is used for making larger cuts into the wood. It can cut other materials as well. The blade of the circular saw has a shape of a disc which attributes the name of this saw. You can use a variety of blades for cutting different materials.

Let’s compare which one is good to use Jigsaw or circular saw for decking.

Pros and Cons of a Jigsaw

Advantages of a jigsaw:

  • A jigsaw is lighter in weight that is because of the smaller size. This quality makes them suitable and best for tighter spots.
  • They precisely make diverse cuts. So they are apt for making different cuts.
  • Jigsaw is good at making detailed and refined cuts. They do good detailing.
  • They are very easy to use.
  • A jigsaw is good at carving straight long lines.
  • There is an extra pendulum option in the jigsaw which brings a variety into cutting options.
  • You can buy a cordless jigsaw too.
  • Jigsaw is good at cutting into diverse materials.
  • The blades of the jigsaw are not very expensive.
  • The usage of the jigsaw is so easy that even a beginner can get the hang of it.
  • A jigsaw is good at following unique patterns and cutting curves.
  • You can hold it in your hand and move it up and down.
  • Jigsaws do not create so much dust.

Disadvantages of a Jigsaw

  • The blade of the jigsaw is so delicate than other saws and they break frequently.
  • You can use them for DIYs but not for big jobs.
  • The battery of the jigsaw is also not as much powerful.
  • You have to replace the blades often.
  • They do not cut a perfectly straight line.
  • The precision is not that much good.

Pros and Cons of a circular saw

wood cutting guide for beginners

Advantages of Circular Saw:

  • The motor of a circular saw is quite powerful.
  • As the shape of the blade of the circular saw is disc-like which gives it an edge to cut through any material.
  • It comes with a cord or without a cord both.
  • The blade of a circular saw is more durable and strong.
  • If you want to cut in a straight line then it is the best choice.
  • A bevel cut can also be made with the help of a circular saw if you do the required adjustment.
  • The working of this saw is efficient and simple.
  • You can make a straight line cut very easily.
  • The power tools are great for working at high capacity.

Disadvantges of Circular Saw:

  • A Circular saw is heavier than a jigsaw.
  • This is not good at making curved cuts.
  • The blades of this saw are quite expensive.
  • A circular saw is hard to manage because of its heavyweight and noise.
  • They are dangerous to an extent.
  • When you are working with a circular saw then beware of the dust because it produces a sufficient amount of it.

Difference between Jigsaw and Circular Saw:

Sr NoJigsawCircular Saw
1It is mainly used for making curves and lines.The circular blade makes it valuable and appropriate for use for different purposes.
2It is not high-powered and can be used in home DIY projects.You can use it for bigger projects because of the strength of the saw.
3Jigsaw has a narrow and fine but long blade. It is suitable for making up and down motions.The blade of the circular saw is disc shape and circular. The teeth are present along the rim of that blade, which are quite sharp.
4Jigsaw does not have a wider blade but a narrow one.Its blade is wider than that of the jigsaw.
5Jigsaw makes a fine angled cut because it can be handled easilyThe circular saw cannot make a fine and deeper angled cut, but it is good to work with if you want a slight angle.
6The cuts made by jigsaw are not very clean.A Circular saw makes cleaner cuts with no nicks.

When to use a jigsaw and when to use a circular saw:

Difference between Jigsaw and Circular Saw
Source: sawinery.net

The difference in both of these tools comes down to these four basic elements:

  • Speed
  • Intricacy or neatness
  • Curved surfaces
  • Complexity of the job

When to Use a Jigsaw Instead Of Circular Saw:

When deciding whether Jigsaw or circular saw for MDF and which saw is the best for cutting wood, you must decide after looking through all aspects. Jigsaw is known for the versatility of cuts it offers. If you need curves in your work, then you must use a jigsaw. Jigsaw is good for making deeper cuts in the wood because of its thin and long blade. For quick DIYs, it is the best because it can cut a variety of materials. If you want to cut a hole in the center of the material, then you can use a jigsaw.

When to Use a Circular saw instead of Jigsaw:

A Circular saw is good when you need to make fast and long cuts. If you are cutting a long piece of wood, then always choose a circular saw. When you are working on bigger projects requiring angled work, then a circular saw is best instead of a jigsaw. But you can use it to cut through metal because of its high power.

Final Verdict:

Both saws are good according to their purposes. You need to choose the right one for the right job. A circular saw is good for angled cuts and cutting through thick materials. There are so many carpentry tasks that you can perform with the help of a circular saw.

While a jigsaw is good for performing home-based tasks like doing DIYs etc., this makes curves neatly and good for making frequent tasks. So you need to choose wisely depending upon the work and material.


Can I use a jigsaw instead of a circular saw?

The use of a jigsaw and a circular saw differs based on the material you are working with and the type of cuts you need. For most of the work, these are interchangeable. But some things are specific to these tools, and you can not use one for another in that case. For example, you can not use a jigsaw instead of a circular saw when you need to make deep cuts or when you need to rip plank timbers. Similarly, it is not good to use a circular saw instead of a jigsaw when it comes to the tasks that involve complex, intricate cuts that are the specialty of a jigsaw.

Which is safer, jigsaw or circular saw?

The answer is pretty obvious. A jigsaw is relatively safer than a circular saw because of the small blade. It also blows less dust into the environment as compared to a circular saw. So, if you are a beginner, who does not have much experience in carpentry, it is better to buy a jigsaw rather than a circular saw. The blade of the circular saw is dangerous and needs caution to work.

What is the best saw for a beginner?

Jigsaw has a simple manual. It is easy to use and is versatile. These properties make it perfect for people who are trying to experiment with such tools for the first time. Moreover, its blades are not only expensive but also come very cheap. Jigsaw is a lot safer than other saws like a circular saw or angle grinders etc.

How thick wood can you cut with a jigsaw?

A jigsaw can only cut wood up to one and a half inches. If you want to go deeper than that, you need to buy a circular saw.

Should I buy a jigsaw or circular saw first?

If you are a beginner and want to have your first tool for occasional cutting jobs at home, then jigsaw is definitely a winner. But if you are looking for something that can cut big planks, then a circular saw is the only choice.

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