Jigsaw vs Circular Saw

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When we do tool comparisons, sometimes it is a very close race. Impact wrenches and drills can both be used for the same tasks, but with other tools, things are quite different.

That’s case in our jigsaw vs circular saw battle where we pit the two tools against each other. Actually, it’s not much of a fight although one clearly comes out on top. If you are debating between the two, we are also going to break down the differences and tell you what each is best suited for.

Which is better: Jigsaw vs Circular Saw? 

Before we can answer that question, you will have to ask yourself a few things. How often will you use the saw, and what are you buying it for?

Jigsaw

BLACK+DECKER Jig Saw, 4-Amp (BDEJS4C)
  • 4 amp power of jigsaw tool is made for all common cuts
  • The jig saw features an integral dust blower to keep cutting surface free of debris
  • 4 orbital settings to match many cutting applications
  • Tool free blade clamp provides fast and easy blade changes
  • Variable speed to start, stop and change directions with ease

Jigsaws are versatile and smaller than a circular saw. They are lighter as well although not nearly as powerful overall.

Pros 

A jigsaw can cut curves a circular saw…. well, they aren’t made for that. Our jigsaw vs circular battle could already be over if you need a tool for wavy cuts.

This style of saw is also considered safer than circular saws due to their design. The blades are smaller, and while they can be sharper, you won’t lose an entire appendage to a jigsaw. People have lost hands to circular saws – a 7-1/4” blade can do some serious damage.

Is dust a concern or are you working an area where debris needs to be kept to a minimum?

The jigsaw wins again in this area as they do not produce nearly as much dust. They are great for quick or curvy cuts and work on a wide range of materials.

Cons

If you have used a jigsaw before, you know they can do some wonderful things. They are also seriously underpowered when it comes to certain types of cuts.

The blades also tend to break no matter the quality. Again, as they allow you to cut curves, the blade can bind which will snap it in a second. That means you may need to stock up on blades. Once you consider the variety available, it can get expensive.

Do you need to rip some lumber or frame a structure? You will get laughed off the job if you show up with a jigsaw – nuff’ said.

Circular Saw

SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide, 15 Amp/7-1/4 Inch
  • Powerful 15-amp motor delivers 5,300-RPM for greater speed and faster cuts
  • 7-1,4-inch carbide-tipped blade included. Spindle lock for easy blade changes.
  • 51 degree bevel capacity for a wide variety of cuts. Arbor size: 5,8 inches, cord length: 6 feet
  • Lightweight 6.95-pounds design reduces fatigue
  • Dust blower keeps line-of-cut free of sawdust for improved visibility. Anti-snag lower guard reduces snags when making narrow cut-offs

Whereas a jigsaw is a tool that allows you to perform a little artistry, a circular saw has one main goal – cutting wood quickly.

Pros

Circular saws are heavier than other types of saws. They are also able to cut through thicker stock with relative ease including hardwoods that would dull a jigsaw blade quickly.

You may not be able to cut wavy lines, but you can cut straight ones in a matter of seconds. Not a 6-inch dowel for a craft project, but full-length boards. These tools are used to frame houses and are a “must” if you work construction.

As for the blades, they are more expensive but last considerably longer unless you run into nails. You can also have blades sharpened or even re-tipped in some cases.

Cons

You can’t cut curves. Circular saws are also noisy and heavier. Needless to say, you will want to have a broom handy as well. These types of tools can make quite the mess and go well with a good shop-vac.

Aside from not being as versatile, they are still an amazing tool and will make short work of wood and a few other select materials.

When to use Jigsaw and When to use a Circular Saw?

Use a Jigsaw When… 

DEWALT Jig Saw, Top Handle, 5.5-Amp (DW317K)
  • Keyless, lever-action blade clamp for quick and easy blade changes of the jigsaw tool
  • 5.5 amp motor of the jig saw deliver powerful cuts in the hardest materials
  • Variable speed delivers 0 - 3,100 strokes per minute for optimal cutting speed
  • 4-position orbital action provides control of cut quality and speed
  • All-metal gear case provides superior durability on a professional site

To keep it simple, use a jigsaw when you need to make a curved cut. They are also speedy on smaller pieces of wood or metal and great for tight spots where others saws cannot fit.

If you need to do more delicate work, this is definitely the tool for you. It’s ideal for small projects around the house and extremely handy if you make a lot of crafts.

You can check some of our reviews for Dewalt and Bosch jigsaws.

Use a Circular Saw When… 

DEWALT 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Electric Brake, 15-Amp (DWE575SB)
  • DEWALT 7 1/4 circular saw is among the lightest saws in its class (8.8 lbs.)
  • Electric brake of the corded circular saw stops the blade after trigger is released
  • 15 amp motor of the compact circular saw delivers power for even the toughest applications
  • 57degree beveling capacity with stops at 45 degree and 22.5 degree
  • Depth of cut capacity of 2 9/16 inch

Use a circular saw when you want to build something. You may be able to build a birdhouse or take on thousands of craft projects with a jigsaw, but you can’t frame a house or garage.

If you need to rip sheets of plywood, cut stakes or saw a long, straight line, choose a circular saw.

You can check some of our reviews for Hitachi and Dewalt circular saws.

Conclusion 

In the end, this jigsaw vs circular saw battle comes down to the tool you need for the job. Comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges as they are totally different tools. While the only true similarity is the fact they are both used to cut things, both tools belong in your shop if you can afford them.

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Categorized as Saws