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Jig Saw vs Circular Saw: Which One is Better for You?

By: David S. Miles | Last Updated: May 16, 2022

Every professional woodworker and experienced DIYer knows that the jig saw and the circular saw are amazing, powerful tools that anyone should be proud to possess. If you are wondering which one you actually need, you are in the right place.

Since we know how hard it may be to make the right choice for a tool such as a saw, we decided to make a detailed comparison between jig and circular saw. We will cover the basics of each tool and we will compare them, so you can make your choice.

General Overview

In general, both jig saw and circular saw are powerful tools that can deal with a lot of tasks with ease. A jig saw will give you the opportunity to make intricate and curved cuts, while a circular saw will be perfect for quick straight lines.

Both of them are used by professionals and DIYers, both of the tools can be found as corded or cordless options, but generally they are absolutely different. The jigsaw is safer than the circular saw, good for beginners and definitely a budget option.

Jig Saw 

What is it?

A jigsaw is a small, lightweight handheld machine that has a blade which moves up and down while cutting. They are perfect for cutting curves, or for following a pattern. 

These machines are considered to be safe, since there is almost no scope for causing damage because of the size of the blade.

However, they are not very powerful, which makes them not suitable for harder tasks. Furthermore, they break often, but their repair does not cost a lot.

Functionality

As we already mentioned, the jigsaw is good for cutting straight lines, but not as accurate as other models. It has a lot of functions and it can be used for home or craft projects. It is perfect for cutting irregular cuts.

It is an easy to use machine, which makes it perfect for beginners. It is safe, and it is equipped with different useful features. This tool is light and this makes it portable. It can be easily carried around and it is good for people that are changing their locations often.

However, if you are going to do some hard work, then the jig saw may not be functional. It is not as powerful as other saws, and its blades are thinner than usual, that’s why they break easier.

Happily, the blades are not expensive, so you can change them when you need to.

Versatility

The jig saw can be used with a variety of materials such as wood, metal and plastic. It is a versatile tool, since it can be used for almost any task, even though it may not be very accurate.

You can make a variety of cuts with this tool. It is easy to use, and the blades can be changed easily. However, you should know that the blades can be broken very easily, so you should be careful and always prepared with extra ones.

With a jig saw you can work on crafty projects, you can cut numbers and shapes in different materials. The control over the saw is high, so you can easily make detailed curves.

When to use a jigsaw?

A jig saw can be used for many tasks, especially if you need precision. If you are going to make curved cuts, or bevel ones then this tool will be perfect for you. If you are a beginner, and you are still not experienced, then again you need a jig saw since it is a very safe saw.

If you are going to work in different locations and you need a portable machine, this may be your perfect choice. However, if you are going to deal with harder tasks, then you should definitely choose another type of machine, since this one can be easily broken.

Pros:

  • good for cutting curves
  • lightweight, easy to use
  • can make variety of cuts
  • less expensive

Cons:

  • not accurate for straight-line cuts
  • blades can easily break

Circular Saw

What is it?

A circular saw is a powerful machine that can make the perfect, accurate straight-line cuts. This may be considered to be one of the most versatile tools, since it can make almost any type of cut.

It is perfect for professionals, and it can work with a lot of materials. It is good for harder tasks, since it has great power and fast blades. The blades are long-lasting and they can not be broken easily.

However, the circular saw is heavy and not as portable as other saws. Furthermore, it may be dangerous, so you should always be careful when using this tool. It is noisy, and it is expensive.

Functionality

The circular saw has a lot of functions. As we already mentioned, it can work with almost any material with ease. Most of the time it is used with wood, but it can be used with other materials too.

This machine can make almost any cut with ease, but the curved cuts may be difficult. Its portability depends on the model, but most of the time it is heavy and it can not be moved around easily.

You can get this machine as a corded or cordless version, and thanks to its powerful motor you can cut through many materials with ease. It is very fast, and it is perfect for big projects.

Versatility

The circular saw is extremely versatile. With this machine you can make rip cuts, crosscuts, bevel cuts, freehand cuts and miter cuts with ease. Furthermore, you can work with different materials, if you have the right blade.

However, you should be experienced if you want to make good cuts, since using a circular saw is not an easy task. This tool can’t make curved cuts, but if you are experienced enough you can give it a try.

When to use a circular saw?

If you are working on a bigger project and you need a powerful tool that will make quick and deep cuts, then a circular saw is perfect for you. If you need long-lasting blades, and you are going to make different cuts, then again, this may be your best choice.

The circular saw can make almost any cut, so if you are working on big projects with different materials and tasks, you should consider buying this machine. 

However, if you are looking for a light, portable machine that can be easily carried around, this may not be your best choice.If you are a beginner, you are looking for an easy to use tool and you do not have a lot of experience, you should not focus on a circular saw.

Pros:

  • powerful machine, fast
  • long-lasting blades
  • perfect for accurate straight-line cuts
  • good for dense woods

Cons:

  • heavy
  • can’t make a curved cut
  • not as safe as the other machines

Similarities between a jig saw and a circular saw

As we already mentioned, the similarities between a jig saw and a circular saw are few. Both of the tools can be used with different materials such as wood, metal and plastic. They are capable of cutting straight lines, bevel cuts and cutting angles.

However, this is all. They are used by professionals and DIYers, but as two completely different tools.

Differences between a jig saw and a circular saw

The differences between a jig saw and a circular saw are a lot. As we already mentioned, the jigsaw is not good for straight cuts, while the circular saw can make the best straight cuts.

The jigsaw is a less expensive version, its blades can be easily broken, while the circular saw is more expensive, and its blades can not be damaged easily.

The circular saw is more powerful than the jigsaw, which makes it perfect for bigger and harder projects. However, it can not make curved cuts, so if you are going to make details then you need a jig saw.

Last, but not least, the jigsaw is safer than a circular saw. If you do not have experience, you are a beginner, then you better work with a jig saw. The circular saw may be dangerous in some situations. 

Conclusion

To conclude we can say that the choice between a jig saw and a circular saw will always be hard, since these are two astonishing machines capable of finishing many tasks with ease.

You should think about your needs before making your choice.If you are looking for a lightweight machine that can make different cuts, is easy to use and not an expensive one- then you need a jigsaw. 

However, if you are looking for a powerful machine that can accomplish any task with ease and you are going to work on bigger projects- you need a circular saw. We wish you good luck!

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