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Reciprocating Saw Vs Jigsaw – Which Is Perfect for You?

By: David S. Miles | Last Updated: January 12, 2024

In many ways, jigsaws and reciprocating saws are similar. Both the power saws belong to the reciprocating saw family. But, they are not the same. You’ll see distinct features in each of the tools that allow you to perform different actions more conveniently. So, what are the characteristics that both of the devices have in common? What exactly are the differences between them?

Throughout the article, we will be discussing ‘jigsaw vs reciprocating saw’, providing you an understanding of their features and applications. Learning about them will help you pick up the right tool at the right time.

Difference Between A Jigsaw And A Reciprocating Saw

jigsaw vs reciprocating saw

The push and pull motion of a jigsaw makes it a reciprocating saw. Otherwise, no one calls it a reciprocating saw. However, a reciprocating saw refers to a separate tool used for pruning, cutting, and demolishing. On the other hand, a jigsaw performs irregular cuts such as a circle in wood or a bevel cut. Despite their differences, a jigsaw and a reciprocating saw have the following things in common:

  • Both saws perform a push and pull action or reciprocating action.
  • Both have variable speed control.
  • Both are used in cutting wood and metals.

Why Do You Need A Jigsaw?

A jigsaw may be used for many purposes that you can do with other saws. But, a jigsaw offers you some unique benefits when you need to cut irregular shapes. You can use a guide when you need to cut a parallel or circular shape. The saw is absolutely able to perform intricate cuts, allowing you to make your desired shapes.

Moreover, you have speed control that allows you to set different speeds for different materials. When you are working on wood material, you would need more speed compared to metal. A variable speed helps you cut accurately and more conveniently on any material.

Imagine you want to cut a circle in the middle of wood material. All you need to do is to make a hole with your drill. Make sure the hole is big enough for the jigsaw blade. Now, start cutting a circle in that place. Look how easy it becomes with a jigsaw!

The only thing you may not love about the machine is that it has to be put on a table-top or a plane surface.

 Why Do You Need A Reciprocating Saw?

While a jigsaw is suitable for making intricate shapes, a reciprocating saw comes with the ability to demolish buildings and materials. But, its job is not limited to only smashing. You can use a reciprocating saw for many other purposes, such as pruning, cutting pins and nails, and woodworking. Many people choose a reciprocating saw for DIY projects.

The versatility of a reciprocating saw made it so adorable that you’ll often see it in the hands of professional woodworkers to amateur gardeners. Like in jigsaws, you can use various blades in a reciprocating saw, depending on the material you’re working on. The variation of blades allows the saw to cut wood, metal, and even plastic. You want to cut PVC pipes or tear down the drywall? A reciprocating saw is your tool.

This is a portable handheld saw, which means you can use it above your head. Imagine, you need to cut a curved rod in the ceiling. You’ve to stand on your ladder and cut the material with your reciprocating saw. When you need to prune shrubs or trees, or even the entire tree itself, a reciprocating saw is enough for you.

Despite being so versatile, it has some drawbacks. You can’t achieve fine cuts with a Sawzall. Therefore,  a jigsaw can be an alternative in that situation.

The Blades

The jigsaw blades are narrower and frail, which means they are appropriate for intricate cutting. Ripping, crosscutting, or making irregular shapes is easier with these blades. You’ll find different types of blades for cutting wood, ceramic, or plastic respectively.

Reciprocating saw blades, on the other hand, are thicker and more robust. With a powerful motor, the saw works faster than a jigsaw. The serrated blades are suitable for plumbing, electrical, and construction works.

The right blade in the right power saw makes your job so simple and satisfying that you end up loving your job.


Different types of power saws are made for various purposes. They may have things in common, but they are different because of their different make and functions. Once you know their purposes and what they are suitable for, choosing the right tool becomes easier for you.

Hopefully, you have got a comprehensive idea about the two power saws. Now, pick up the right tool for your next DIY project.

You May Also Like:

5 Most Accurate Cordless Reciprocating Saws for Your Project.

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