You might be wondering: What is really the difference between reciprocating saw and jigsaw?
Now, if you are a big tool fan, or simply interested in DIY tasks there will always be a saw that you must have in your workshop, and then another one, and another one…
This is maybe crazy, but you will always need at least one more saw!
Now get this: You want to do some home renovations; well maybe you don’t, but your lady is very determined that she wants some changes! Maybe a new kitchen, and a new kitchen sink or new windows maybe?
How to know which saw you should use for which cut? It`s even worse when two saws look alike and also perform almost the same roles.
Here is the deal: stay at this page and you’ll find out what’s the difference-reciprocating saw vs jigsaw?!
You could be saying: Why shouldn’t I have both of them?
And yes, why shouldn’t you?! But if that is not possible, let`s help you in choosing!
What is the bottom line? We can say for sure that these two saws come from the same saw family but can be used for different purposes and cuts.
Let’s cut the chase and give answers to some basic questions first and meet our two friends.
What is a jigsaw?
A jigsaw is a lightweight power saw mostly used for cutting wood, composite materials such as particle board or chipboard.
Jigsaws offer the cutting power and flexibility needed for many constructions. It makes both straight and curved cuts, crosscuts, ripping, beveling and plunge cuts. This saw can cut angles anywhere from 90° to 45°.
A jigsaw is handy and lightweight and has a cutting depth of between 45 and 100 mm. While generally, they are corded, jigsaws can also be cordless.
What is reciprocating saw?
Reciprocating saws are mostly used for construction, plumbing, and electrical work.
It is a very powerful machine which can make quick cuts through materials such as metal, masonry, wood, plaster, fiberglass, composites and drywall.
Our Picks from both worlds: Reciprocating saw vs jigsaw
We found DEWALT DCS331B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion as the best option for you if the jigsaw is your choice.
This jigsaw has four-position orbital action that provides control of cut quality and speed.
It also has an adjustable dust blower to keep the line of the cut clear of chips. With a variable speed of 0-3,000 (strokes per minute), this saw gives versatility in a multitude of materials and applications, together with an anti-slip comfort grip for increased comfort and control.
- Keyless blade change will help you change blades easily
- Keyless shoe bevel with detents at 0 degrees, 15 degree, 30 degrees and 45 degrees provides versatility for easy bevel cutting
- It has 4-position orbital action for better control of cut quality and speed
- Adjustable dust blower keeps the line of cut clear of chips
- Anti-slip comfort grip for increased comfort and control
- Accepts T-shank jig saw blades for professional results
- Includes jigsaw blade
If you liked reciprocating saw more, we can suggest Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 FUEL SAWZALL Reciprocating Saw Kit with 1 Battery.
This saw is the fastest cutting 18-volt cordless reciprocating saw on the market. The power-state brushless motor provides cutting power at the same level as some corded saws.
It is featured with REDLITHIUM XC 4.0 Extended Capacity Battery Pack which delivers up to two times more runtime of competitive 18-volt tools and will provide more work per charge and more work over the life of the pack than competitive batteries.
This saw comes with one battery, one metal cutting blade, charger and the M18 FUEL case.
What we found as an excellent feature is that this saw has a tool-free blade change. The tool-free blade change is great because you don’t have to worry about carrying your tool bag with you for the case you have to change the blade.
- Up to 2x more run time
- Delivers faster than corded cutting speed and the durability of a corded saw
- Up to 5x tool life
- It is featured with LED light, hang hook, and adjustable shoe
- REDLITHIUM™ XC 5.0 Battery Pack: Provides superior pack construction, more work per charge and more work over the life of the pack than competitive batteries
- POWERSTATE™ Brushless Motor: Supplies constant power for faster cuts and reduced heat for extended life
- Up to 30% faster cutting
- REDLINK PLUS™ Intelligence: Provides optimized performance and overload protection using total system communication between the tool, the battery and the charger
Another great feature on this tool is a tool-free blade change. Imagine a situation in which you need to change your blade and you forgot to carry the tools necessary to do it. This means you have to rush to the garage or purchase the tools necessary. To avoid this, the tool comes with a tool-less blade change that allows you to change the blade in a couple of minutes.
The hang hook in this tool allows easy storage on the job site. The kit also has everything you need for your job site and it’s easy to carry. This tool offers so many features. We would recommend it to a hobbyist as well as a building contractor or anyone who needs to remodel a house. It is easy to use and delivers amazing results.
Similarities: reciprocating vs jigsaw
Those two saws are more or less similar in appearance and they are both used to make cuts and curves using a blade. Although the purpose of the cuts is quite different, they are designed to cut through materials.
What to Cut with a Jigsaw?
This is a saw that you want to use when you need a refined, curved cut. It cuts accurate, curved lines in whatever material you’re working with. You can make circular or parallel cuts.
Think to create edges of furniture, or trim details on your walls? With a jigsaw, you can make some beautifully detailed work.
It’s not just limited to woodwork though. It’s important to remember that you do need to be gentle with this saw because it’s not designed to be used with too much force or with heavy duty materials.
But, here is the kicker: You can use a jigsaw to cut wood, ceramic, metal, concrete, soft materials and even bevel cuts.
This saw is specialized to cut curves on wood but for sure you can cut countertop so that you can install a sink in your kitchen.
What to Cut With a Reciprocating Saw?
The blade is open and it is easy for you to see where you are cutting.
These saws will do a great job for demolition projects that you have.
It’s a heavy duty saw, with serious power. With a reciprocating saw, there is no limit to one material. Whether it’s the wood from the trees in your backyard, or it’s the plaster and brick in the wall you want gone, this machine will help you get rid of it.
Remember to keep the safety lock on when the saw is not in use!
Comfort and maneuverability
We always expect that the power tool must offer the most available comfort. If you are going to use your saw frequently than you should look up for a lighter version of the saw.
Someone would say that corded saws are lighter than cordless because they have batteries, but nowadays this fact is not true. There are many lightweight- cordless options that you can pick.
When you are working in compact spaces you definitely need smaller tools for improved maneuverability.
We can say that both saws can give you comfort and maneuverability. Both types are available in corded and cordless version; they are lightweight and very easy to handle with.
Jigsaw Pros & Cons
When we talk about jigsaw, here are the pros:
- Jigsaw cuts curved cuts. Of course, you must have an appropriate blade and you can cut curved lines into almost any materials that you might be using.
- Makes accurate cuts. Many people will say that a jigsaw is not the most precise power saw, but they will make way more accurate cuts than the reciprocating saw.
- Ideal for compound and bevel cuts. Must have tool if you make compound and bevel cuts.
- Cutting different shapes. You can make many different shapes in wood and other materials.
- Makes plunge cuts. This is where a jigsaw stands out. If you need to start cutting from the middle, this saw is absolutely capable for that.
And here comes “but” part! There are some things which are not so good on this saw:
- Jigsaw cannot cut thick hardwood. If you will mostly cut hardwood than a jigsaw might not be a good choice for you.
- Not useful for flush cuts. The design of the blade on a jigsaw isn’t helpful when you need to make flush cuts.
Reciprocating Saw Pros & Cons
Pros for reciprocating saw:
- Cuts various materials. There is no hard material for the reciprocating saw! You can easily cut wood, metal, pipes and even fiberglass with this saw.
- Best for demolition or renovation. If there is a small old house in your yard that has to be demolished, or if you are doing some remodeling and home improvements that imply bringing down walls and doors, this is one of the best tools you can use. Believe it or not, this saw can cut everything, from nails to pipes and both hard and soft wood; it makes demolition work easy and quick for you.
- Easy to use. This power saw is very easy to use. The blade is open and because of that blade position, it will be easy to make clear cuts.
And what we found as cons:
- Produces rough cuts. Well, this saw makes rough and aggressive cuts, and so it won’t be useful when you want to make straight and smooth cuts.
- Not ideal for precise cuts. If you need to make elaborate cuts that require a high level of precision and accuracy, this saw isn’t right for you. Because of the blade type this saw uses, it is hard to make intricate and precise cuts.
Let’s break it down: Jigsaws have long, slim blades and they are ideal for jobs that require delicate woodcuts. On the other hand, reciprocating saws have horizontal blade action and they are used primarily for rough cutting and demolition jobs, such as cutting wood and metal aggressively.
No matter which one you’ll, reciprocating saw or jigsaw have in mind that safety is very important!
Follow the safety instructions, use safety gear when using your tool and enjoy using it!
For more information about different kinds of cordless saws, check out our page dedicated only to cordless saw editorials and buyer’s guides. Enjoy!