Reciprocating Saw vs. Jigsaw: Which is Better for You?

Software Developer vs Software Engineer: What’s The Difference & Job Function?
January 29, 2020
Difference Between Reflecting and Refracting Telescopes
February 2, 2020

It’s hard to decide between jigsaw vs reciprocating saw because both tools are great in terms of cutting a wide variety of materials. Both tools are versatile and can make for a great investment for a professional handyman and any average homeowner out there.

But it’s important to know that these tools are different in many ways. Each tool is very useful for different situations. To learn more about them and decide which tool is best for your needs, let’s take a closer look at the designs and features of these tools.

What is a Reciprocating Saw?

First, let’s talk about the reciprocating saws. This type of power saw is capable of cutting materials in a push or pull motion. It’s no doubt one of the best saws for cutting.

While most of the reciprocating saws work by means of a pull and push motion, it’s also possible to use it in an orbital or pendulum action. Furthermore, some models of the reciprocating saws have a switch that will let you use it in either of these two motions.

When looking for a saw for plumbing and construction, the reciprocating saw is highly recommended. You can also use it for electrical work. But it’s generally more preferred for creating rough cuts and doing demolition jobs.

The saw’s motor provides a lot of power to its short blade, which allows you to easily and quickly cut through different types of materials. You can use this saw to cut plaster, fiberglass, metal, stucco, and wood.

Its horizontal blade action makes it one of the most reliable saws for aggressive and rough cutting. Thus, the reciprocating saw is very useful at framing windows and cutting pipes.


Best for demolition jobs
Capable of cutting different types of materials
Easy to use for cutting different materials
Ideal for cutting materials above the head


Not suitable for making intricate cuts
The saw produces rough cuts

What is a Jigsaw?

To compare reciprocating saw vs. jigsaw, let’s take a closer look at the jigsaw and see what this tool is capable of doing. One of the best things about the jigsaw is that it’s more capable of performing delicate cuts, unlike the reciprocating saw.

It has a long slim blade that allows you to make more precise and intricate cuts. This power tool has the same level of versatility as that of the other power tools as the drill and table saw. For woodworkers, this tool is what they would prefer to use the most.

Jigsaws are handy power saws that will allow you to produce plunge cuts. These are cuts that start at the center. You can also use the saw in making freehand and more accurate curves.

Just like the reciprocating saw, the jigsaw can also be used for different materials for as long as you have the right blade. But some woodworkers would prefer to use this tool when working on ceramic tiles, wood, sheet metal, and countertops.


It can cut through curved lines
Capable of making accurate cuts
Ideal for intricate cuts
Makes plunge cuts
Perfect for bevel cuts and compound cuts


It cannot be used to cut thick hardwood
Not reliable when making flush cuts

Similarities Between Jigsaw vs Reciprocating Saw

Here’s where these Power saws are similar:


When it comes to pruning, the reciprocating saw is more reliable. You probably have not seen anyone using a jigsaw when cutting low hanging branches on the yard.

Although the jigsaw can probably do this task, you will look ridiculous doing it. The reciprocating saw is definitely a much better choice for performing outdoor work such as pruning.


When comparing jigsaw vs reciprocating saw, let’s take a look at what each saw is capable of doing. First, the reciprocating saw is much more capable of doing demolition than the jigsaw.

Although you can use certain blades that will allow you to use both saws in cutting almost any type of material, the reciprocating saw is much more capable for this task. Although the jigsaw can perform this task, it could take much longer.


Both the reciprocating saw and Jigsaw are able to accomplish cutting tasks involving plywood and PVC pipe. However, the reciprocating saw is more capable of handling hefty jobs.

The jigsaw is more suitable for cutting tasks that need more finesse and attention to detail. Both tools can be used for remodeling jobs, but the reciprocating saw is more reliable when it comes to bigger jobs.


When it comes to tracing or carving letters from plywood, the jigsaw is more capable of this. The jigsaw will allow you to easily cut through the lines and come up with a clean and precise cut.

Since the reciprocating saw may require you to use two hands, it’s not that effective for carving out letters or designs from plywood.


Both tools are portable. They operate using electricity and are either battery-powered or corded. They are relatively lightweight and small. Thus, you can easily carry them to wherever you need to.


From what you have learned above, you should be able to decide what to choose between the reciprocating saw vs. jigsaw. If not, then consider some factors in your decision.

For instance, if the cost is not that big of a deal, it’s best to get both since you can use these tools for different purposes and applications. Both tools are also portable and won’t take up a lot of space in your workshop.

But if you only need to purchase one, you should think really hard which among the two is most useful for your needs. If you’re going to use it for renovation, home improvement, or remodeling, the reciprocating saw is the best choice.

This saw can perform demolition jobs better and can cut through different materials with ease. For woodworking jobs, the jigsaw is a better option, especially if you need something portable.

This saw can cut through different materials and can be relied on for different woodworking projects. When comparing the reciprocating saw vs. jigsaw, the latter is better at producing accurate curved lines as well as bevel cuts.

What do you get from three nerds (Joe, Ray, and Paul) that decide to create a functioning tech gadget review site? The first is data-driven arguments lasting way into the night. You can read more...

Comments are closed.