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Reciprocating saw Vs Circular saw – Which One is Perfect for Your Project

By: David S. Miles | Last Updated: January 14, 2024

If you are thinking about buying an efficient saw and searching the Internet, there would be numerous search results.

In addition to that, if you are a newbie and don’t have any prior ideas about carpentry and related tools, then going through all the search results will confuse you even more. However, you may clearly notice a head-to-head competition between Reciprocating saw vs Circular saw.

Guess what? Today, I will talk about different aspects of both saws so that you can choose the best cutter for your workshop. So, take a cup of coffee and keep reading…

Circular Saw vs Reciprocating Saw: Let’s Differentiate Between Them

Circular Saw vs Reciprocating Saw

Reciprocating saws and circular saws are the most commonly used tools in any woodworking project. You should have both in your arsenal. However, if you have the option to choose only one, the following section will be useful for you. Let’s start.

Blade Types

If I put a Circular saw and reciprocating saw in front of you, you will notice the difference between the blades attached to their system. A reciprocating saw has a knife-like blade attached to the system, while a circular saw has a disc blade with quite a large number of carbide or diamond coated teeth.

The blades are quite different from each other and these peculiar characteristics of the blades gave them different levels of functionality and applications.

Cutting Ability

As they both have different types of blades attached to their system and both the circular and reciprocating saw has individual, unique sawing action of their own, it’s evident that their cutting ability or capacity will be different.

For example, if you use a reciprocating saw, it will easily slice through any piece of wood in no time, though it will leave a rough cut edge. In comparison to a reciprocating saw, a circular saw will give you a precise and clean-cut, though the cutting pace is a little bit slow. The functional flexibility of these saws is also different. A Reciprocating saw is mostly used in rough, dimensionless jobs, where you don’t need that much fine and smooth finishing. On the other hand, a circular saw is used to get clean, precise cuts.


In general, you can differentiate between a circular saw and a reciprocating saw based on their shape and sizes. As the name indicates, a circular saw is circular shaped and holds a disc blade in the center. Meanwhile, a reciprocating saw has an identical appearance and holding grip of a rifle.

Generally, you would need both of your hands to operate the circular & reciprocating saw. However, the placement of your hands will be at different places to balance the power tool.


You can also find a difference between their price range. Generally, the price of a circular saw is a little bit higher than the reciprocating saw.

If you are thinking about buying a reciprocating saw,  it will cost you almost $40 to $160, and it’s an affordable choice. And if you have made up your mind that you would buy a Circular saw, it will cost you from 90 to 240 bucks. Its versatility and level of performance is the reason behind the price tag.

Best Selling Reciprocating Saws

Best Selling Circular Saws

Reciprocating Saws vs Circular Saws: Let’s Dig Deeper into the Matter.

Reciprocating saw vs Circular saw

At this point, I hope you have an overall idea about the difference between a circular saw and a reciprocating saw. Now let’s delve deeper into the matter, learn more about Circular saw, and Reciprocating saw, advantages and disadvantages, and uses of these saws.

Reciprocating Saw

Reciprocating saws employ a push & pull motion to cut through the material. It contains a knife-like blade with jagged teeth attached to the system. You can easily cut through timber, metal, or plastic. You would need both your hands to handle, and a dual handgrip gives an extra edge on the stability.

This saw is unable to give you angled cuts. While working, it generates lots of vibration, resulting in unpredictable outcomes. Reciprocating saws can cut through any material no matter how dense the texture, but it leaves a rough edge cut; you would have to put extra effort to get a smooth texture from the curve.

Also Check- A Complete Guide of Top 5 Cordless Reciprocating Saws.


  • Portable: There are two types of Reciprocating saw available on the market. Corded & cordless. Both of these are travel friendly. However, for a fully portable solution, you can choose the cordless one.
  • Pace adjustment: You can change the speed of this saw according to your desire. Different speed adjustment is required for different materials. Speed adjustment gives you the freedom to control the excessive vibration.
  • Versatility: You can get both vertical and horizontal cuts with a Reciprocating saw. You can cut hard to reach the curve and surface thanks to the knife-like blade.


  • Won’t give you smooth cuts; always leave behind rough edges.
  • Unable to give angular cuts.
  • Doesn’t have any blade guard. The exposed blade is relatively unsafe to handle.

Use of reciprocating saw

  • For cutting branches and hedges, the best tool for yard work.
  • Demolishing different materials, wooden furniture, and related stuff.
  • For making flush cuts.

Circular Saw

A circular saw is the best power tool for getting a clean and precise cut. The disc-blade has quite a large number of teeth that are coated with carbide or diamonds. The blade is capable of cutting through timber, dense granite, or metal sheets.

With a circular saw, you can get varieties of cuts such as cross-cut, rip cut, and plunge cuts quite effortlessly. You can get excellent angular cuts with this saw. A circular saw is easy to carry and handle. There are corded, cordless, gas-powered, battery-powered, and many more variations available on the market. If you rotate it upside down and attach it to a table, you can use it as a table saw.

Also Read- A Complete Guide of Top 5 Corded Circular Saws. 


  • Can give a precise and clean cut.
  • Can provide effortless angular cuts.
  • A quite versatile tool, can give effective straight, angular, rip cut, cross-cut.


  • It needs a flat surface to work.
  • Relatively heavyweight, a little bit hard to handle.
  • Frequent overheating issue.

Use of circular saw

  • For getting accurate and clean-cut in various material.
  • For getting straight or angular cuts in heavy dense materials.
  • It is also used in the construction site as it can effortlessly cut through metal, plexiglass, and granite.

Final words

A circular saw will give you an accurate and clean-cut, where a reciprocating saw will provide you with power and flexibility. A circular saw would be best for woodwork or household daily projects; whereas, a reciprocating saw will be perfect for demolition and other rough-cutting jobs.

This Reciprocating saw vs Circular saw comparison aims to give you in-depth knowledge about both tools and help you decide which saw will be best for your job. And, I will consider my efforts successful if this piece assists you in making a worthy pick.

You May Also Like:

Top 5 Corded Reciprocating Saws in 2021.

A Complete Guide of Top 5 Compact Circular Saws.

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One thought on “Reciprocating saw Vs Circular saw – Which One is Perfect for Your Project

  • It helped when you mentioned that you will notice the difference between the blades if you put a circular saw and a reciprocating saw in front of you. My uncle mentioned to me last night that he is hoping to find disc blade tools for his project and asked if I have any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks to this informative article and I’ll be sure to tell him that he should consult trusted agricultural equipment manufacturing company as they can answer all his inquiries.

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