Jigsaw vs Circular Saw

jigsaw vs circular saw

Circular saws and jigsaws are incredibly versatile power tools in any woodworker's workshop since they are more than just tools for cutting wood.

Nevertheless, you have to choose the correct tool for a given task as a woodworker since this could be the difference between a professional-looking and shoddy job. For this reason, we've written this piece that will clearly show the difference between jigsaws and circular saws. By the time you're done reading, you'll be able to choose the most suitable saw for your particular project.

Let's get started!

Jigsaw overview

This is a somewhat compact and lightweight power tool featuring a sharp blade with an up-and-down slicing motion. Plus, thanks to the lightweight and compact construction, it is a handheld tool.

Typically, jigsaws are ideal for making curves and patterns on a given material, which you cannot achieve using a circular saw. Again, jigsaws are safer to use compared to circular saws. Even though it's possible to injure yourself using a jigsaw, there is a reduced risk of causing serious harm as the jigsaw's blade is smaller.

Again, they don't generate a lot of dust, and their blades are affordable.

Jigsaw uses

Here are some ways a jigsaw could come in handy;

  • It is compatible with a wide array of blades and thus can be used to cut all types of wood.

  • Freehand cutting where the cuts don't need to be accurate

  • Slicing through a temporary barrier  accurately

  • When you install an adjustable side fence, you can make cuts parallel to any edge.

  • Creating bevel cuts which can be achieved through changing the blade's angle

  • Creating sweeping curves by freehand sawing or by using a fastened compass

  • Cutting through the interior of any wood without interfering with its exterior


  • Great for making curves

  • User-friendly and lightweight

  • Affordable

  •  It's extremely versatile since it can create a wide range of cuts

  • Perfect for tasks that require less accuracy


  • It has thin blades which are susceptible to breaking

  • Cheaper jigsaws usually work with a lot of noise and vibration

  • Cannot make accurate cuts easily

Circular saw overview

A circular saw is a handheld, more compact version of a table saw, and it is exclusively engineered to create accurate, straight cuts on various materials. When it comes to making cuts on larger boards, the circular saw is indispensable.

Additionally, it comes in handy in various home and construction site repairs.

Circular saw uses

Circular saws are a compact table saw versions; they can do almost everything a table saw can. The kinds of cuts you can create using this saw are;

  • Bevel cuts

  • Rip cuts

  • Freehand cuts

  • Cross-cuts

  • Miter cuts

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Besides, similar to table saws, they are compatible with a handful of blades to facilitate cutting more specialized cuts. Here are some uses for certain blades;

  • Chisel-toothed blades come in handy for crosscutting and ripping; thus, they're the go-to all-in-one blades.

  • Blades with pointed teeth are perfect for making crosscuts on hardwood, and they make a neat finish.

  • Rip blades feature tungsten carbide, meaning they're ideal for ripping softer timber.

  • Blades with fine teeth don't cut very fast, which is why they are a suitable option for plastic-laminated and chipboards.


  • Perfect for thicker timber

  • More power and speed compared to jigsaws

  • Great for making accurate straight cuts

  • The blades are robust and durable


  • Heavy thus less portable

  • Only makes straight cuts

When to go for a jigsaw

In terms of looks, circular saws and jigsaws have completely different designs; therefore, you wouldn't confuse one for the other.

For example, jigsaws have an elongated thin blade, like a serrated knife's, and it slices in a swift up-and-down movement. It is engineered to make different kinds of cuts, though this relies on the blade you use. Besides, a jigsaw is constructed to cut through numerous materials.

It is among the most flexible tools, thanks to the numerous cuts it can make. From extended straight cuts to bevel and curved cuts, this tool is capable of almost anything. Truth be told, this is usually the go-to power tool for making curves, and it can cut through the interior of a given surface without touching the exterior.

Furthermore, jigsaws can as well cut a wide range of materials, including hardwood and softwood, countertops, particleboard, ceramic tile, plywood, metal, and plastic. However, the blade you use will determine the quality of the cuts you make on these materials.

Some of the blades you can use with a jigsaw include reverse tooth, progressive tooth, U-shank, and regular TPI blades. Also, when you want to pick the right blade, you should know that the blades equipped with huge but few teeth are most suitable for swift cuts, though they will leave behind a course edge. On the other hand, blades featuring small teeth are gradual but lead to a smoother finish.

When to go for a circular saw

A circular saw has a circular blade that revolves very fast to make extended straight cuts effortlessly.

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It can slice through various materials such as masonry, metals, wood, roofing, and sheet materials. However, the quality of the cuts you make relies on the blade you pick. Most circular saw blades have 24 teeth, though a blade with more teeth, say 50 to 60, makes neater cuts.

The regular 24-teethed blade functions impressively on timber. All the same, ensure you utilize a diamond blade when working with masonry materials. Again, go for a carbide blade with fine teeth for pipes, excluding those made of cast iron. For this and other thin metals, use a metal-cutting specific blade.

In terms of curved cuts, this saw is certainly not the ideal selection. And while circular saws are not as safe to use as jigsaws, you can always avoid injuring yourself with proper safety precautions.

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The circular and jigsaw are valuable assets to have in your garage or workshop, and they serve different purposes. As you have seen in this write-up, you can't really tell which one is better since they're both different and excellent at what they do.

A circular saw is ideal for cutting straight cuts through wood and other material, while a jigsaw will come in handy with complex cuts and curves.

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