Jigsaw vs Circular Saw: Making the Right Choice

If you are not sure which tool to buy, this jigsaw vs circular saw comparison is for you. Apart from cutting any type of wood, these saws have numerous features. One day, you might require both of them in your workshop. How to choose which one you need?

The first thing you have to do is clarify the “what is circular saw used for?” question and understand the main jigsaw’s specialty. The choice can be difficult to make when you don’t know the pros and cons of both tools. Yet, it is highly important to use the right tool for a specific occasion.

Circular Saw vs Jigsaw
The biggest difference between a circular saw and a jigsaw is that a circular saw is mostly used to cut straight lines, while a jigsaw is better equipped to cut curves.

Guide to the Jigsaw vs Circular Saw

This article is about the pros and cons of both tools. You will learn the difference between a jigsaw and a circular saw. While a jigsaw is for accurate cuts, a circular saw speeds a job and works on any heavy wood. Choosing the right saw is essential to end up with accurate and clean cuts.

Details on both power tools

While these tools’ looks vary, many people still have no idea whether there is a difference between them. Some of us believe that the word “saw” determines everything. It is partly true since both power tools cut wood. However, once you find out more about them, you will never mistake them for each other.

What is a jigsaw?

a jigsaw

Once you receive the wood to work with, you have to find the proper tool for it. Let’s start with a jigsaw. What are jigsaws used for, and which features do these tools have?

A jigsaw is also called a scroll or saber saw among professional carpenters. It is a perfect tool for multiple kinds of work: home projects, crafts, and even art. This saw provides accurate and precise cuts, apart from making curves up to your needs. It is widely used by professionals and newcomers.

Before we go to the list of jigsaw uses, let’s understand how it works. This model has a so-called housing on its vertical blade. The blade is reciprocating and is guided by the shoe, usually made of high-quality durable metal. It has a specifically designed blade guard to protect and prevent any injuries.

Yet, I still recommend you to work with the tool carefully, paying attention to what you are doing since the blade is incredibly sharp. Don’t take your hand off the handle while you are working with a jigsaw.

Inside of it, you will find buttons or triggers to turn off, as well as on the blade. Many jigsaw models contain the speed selector right on the handle.

Popular ways to use a jigsaw:

  • bevel cuts by adjusting the angle of the blade inside the shoe;
  • cuts without any precision;
  • parallel cuts to the edge;
  • accurate cuts with a temporary fence;
  • sweeping curves;
  • cutting inside the board.

The jigsaw pros:

  • cuts curves;
  • simple to hold since it does not weigh much;
  • wide range of cuts;
  • not expensive compared to a circular saw.


  • if you want straight line cuts on numerous wood types, a jigsaw will only slow you down;
  • the blades are thin and can easily break down on the big logs;
  • cheap models provide unnecessary vibration.

What is a circular saw?

When choosing a circular saw or a jigsaw, you have to concentrate on the materials both models specialize in. It is similar to a table saw. However, you have to hold this model in your hands while working.

It was created for straight-line accurate cuts. The power tool is widely used in construction. It works incredibly easily with the big and large boards, no matter the length.

Most popular ways to use a circular saw

You can adapt the saw for any woodcutting purposes, except for probable curves. When it comes to skill saw vs jigsaw curved cuts, I pick a jigsaw. For the rest of them, I use my circular saw. It offers:

  • crosscuts;
  • miter cuts;
  • bevel cuts;
  • rip cuts;
  • freehand cuts.

You can change the blades on this tool, similar to a table saw. If you need to make a specific cut, you need to have a particular blade for it. Circular saws provide a wide range of cuts once you change blades:

  • If you need to make rip cuts, you have to search for the rip blades. They are available almost in every store with power tools;
    For the crosscuts, you need the pointed tooth blade. It easily cuts through any type of wood, making precise cuts;
  • The mix or crosscuts and rips can be done with the chisel-tooth blade. You can order this one if you prefer to switch between several projects;
  • The fine-tooth blade can cut the hardened wood and plastic. This classic option is suitable for many construction works;
  • If you want to have a fine finish in the end on any cut you make, you can use a circular saw with the carbide-tipped blade. This blade is also universal and hardened. It is sharper than others and cuts through difficult cases.

yellow circular saw

The pros of circular saw:

  • it works faster and is more powerful compared to a jigsaw;
  • the blades are durable;
  • you can switch different types of blades;
  • this saw cuts deeper through the wood.

Consider the cons:

  • it is heavier to hold than a jigsaw;
  • it is more dangerous for your safety;
  • it works loudly;
  • there are no curved cuts.

Main differences

When it comes to choosing a jigsaw vs a circular saw, you have to think about the work you are going to perform with the saw. You might already have an idea of which saw you need the most, going through their pros and cons above. Yet, if you can’t decide, think about the projects you will take in the future. Pay attention to the crucial points:

  • If you want precise cuts, you need a circular saw. However, jigsaws can provide you with curved cuts. If accuracy is not that important for you, you can use a jigsaw;
  • Jigsaws are perfect for carving, decorative arts, crafts, and even minor home improvements;
  • Circular saws are great for precise cuts and big orders. If you work in the construction business, a circular saw is your choice.
  • It cuts simpler and deeper. However, it is not that easy to hold, and you might need to take numerous breaks.


Here are the most frequently asked questions about these two types of saws I have found on the Internet. I will answer them in detail. Read this section before you decide on the saw you need.

Can you cut straight lines with a jigsaw?

In theory, you can. However, it is difficult to do. A jigsaw doesn’t provide accurate straight lines and is widely used for decorative works. I recommend using a circular saw for it. Still, if this is your only option, you can practice and make straight cuts.

What should I buy first, a circular saw or a jigsaw?

It depends on what you are going to do with the tool. If you already have a plan of work that must be done, follow my instructions above and choose the most suitable option. To be honest, my first choice was a jigsaw since I was obsessed with wooden art.

A few months later, I bought a circular saw for my first house repair. You can buy both of them if you often work with wood. They will be useful for home or professional projects.

Can I use a jigsaw instead of a circular saw?

You can try it if you do specific work with the tool. If you need to make accurate cuts through difficult material, you still need a circular saw. They can’t replace each other in every feature.

For example, if you need to use it for home construction and don’t have to cut lots of wood, try to do it with a jigsaw. Yet, it will take lots of time and can be harder to perform than with a circular saw.

Also read:

Choosing the Best Saw for Home

Do you know which type of work you will perform with the saw? If the answer is “yes,” you might have already found the tool you need. Follow my recommendations and detailed comparison of both tools to decide which saw you need to buy in the first place and which comes next.

I also recommend paying attention to the description of each saw by the developer before you buy it. Compare your needs with the offered services. Once you buy the tool, share your thoughts about it below. Which type do you use the most? Do you have both of them?

Sean Chapman
Sean Chapman

“A good tool stays with you for many years and choosing carefully ensures the job is done right, your work is neat, and the tool is always a pleasure to use”

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