Reciprocating‌ ‌Saw‌ ‌vs‌ ‌Jigsaw‌ ‌–‌ ‌Which‌ ‌Tool‌ ‌to‌ ‌Use?‌

Two of the most common types of cutting tools in the do-it-yourselfer’s arsenal are the jigsaw and the reciprocating saw. The two tools are different in several ways and share many features. But which one is the better tool?

Let’s solve this reciprocating saw vs jigsaw battle with a head-to-head comparison of these two cutting tools.

What is Jigsaw

What is Jigsaw

A jigsaw is a tool that is used for cutting curves, foam board, plywood, and other materials that are difficult to cut with ordinary tools. It is quite similar to the recip saw in that it has a blade and two handles. The blade of the jigsaw is very slim and can move freely around the two handles.

It is similar to a coping saw, but is much faster-cutting and has a guide to follow the line of the cut. Originally developed for cutting joinery in woodworking and carpentry, the jigsaw is now also used for cutting curves in metal, plastic, and other materials.

When to use it

When to use jigsaw

A jigsaw, also known as a saber saw, is a small saw used to cut curves and shapes in wood, plastic, and metal. It is also used to cut hard materials such as ceramics, glass, and stone. Jigsaw is used for cutting irregular shapes and for cutting curves. It is good for cutting hard materials like wood, plastic, fiberglass, masonry materials, and even metal.

Pros
  • Great for cutting curves and irregular shapes;
  • Very easy to use;
  • No need for drilling holes;
  • Can be used on all kinds of surfaces.
Cons
  • Slower cutting speed;
  • They are not suitable for making flush cuts.

What is Reciprocating Saw

reciprocating saw

As the name suggests, a reciprocating saw is a saw that reciprocates – meaning that it moves back and forth. It has a long shaft and a saw blade on one end. The blade is connected to the shaft by a pin, and the shaft is powered by an electric motor.

The reciprocating saw (sometimes abbreviated as “recip saw” or “recip”) is a powerful tool that is used for making straight recipe cuts. The instrument has a long blade and two handles on either side of it. It is a very useful tool that is commonly used in workshops. The instrument is usually used for cutting wood, metal, and plastic.

When to use it

reciprocating saw

The reciprocating saw is a very useful tool to have around the house, as it can be used for many different applications. You can cut through nails, metal, wood, drywall, and other materials with a reciprocating saw. You can use this tool to cut through studs, 2 x 4s, and plywood. You can also cut through rebar, bricks, and other materials.

Pros
  • Relatively safe to use for non-professionals;
  • Can make very clean cuts and can be very precise;
  • Generally, these are the more powerful saws and have the greater cutting capacity;
  • Very portable and easy to use.
Cons
  • Not very accurate;
  • They’re hard to control and keep straight.

Difference Between Reciprocating Saw And Jigsaw

The reciprocating saw or jigsaw can be used interchangeably to cut most materials. However, each tool has its own set of drawbacks that may make it better to use one tool or the other. For example, the recip saw is more powerful than the jigsaw, and it can cut through hard materials more quickly.

On the other hand, the jigsaw is not as powerful as the reciprocating saw, but it can make curved cuts, and it can be used to cut materials that are difficult to cut with other tools.

The recip uses a high-speed motor to make the blade move back and forth in a quick motion. The jigsaw has a rotary motor that makes the blade spin around the central axis.

FAQ

Read the Q&A below for answers to some of the most common questions about a reciprocating saw and a jigsaw.

How do I know what type of saw I need?

It depends on what you are cutting and what material you are cutting through. If you are cutting through a lot of plastic or metal you will need a reciprocating saw. If you are cutting through a lot of wood you will need a jigsaw. If you are cutting through wood and metal then you will need a reciprocating saw.

What are the advantages of a reciprocating saw vs jigsaw?

The main advantage is that a reciprocating saw is much easier to use in tight spaces than a jigsaw. This tool also has a cutting stroke per each time the trigger is pressed. So, there is not need to move the saw backward and forward.

Why is my jigsaw not cutting straight?

Check the blade teeth alignment. If they are not aligned correctly, the blade will cut out of line. You will need to realign the blade.

Can a recip cut bricks?

Yes, it can cut bricks but it will take time depending on the type of the blade and how thick the bricks are.

Why is my jigsaw getting very hot and not cutting?

The saw has poor blade alignment, most likely due to the blade being installed too deep.

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To Sum Up

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing between a reciprocating saw and a jigsaw. It really comes down to what you’re trying to accomplish and what you’re comfortable using. The reciprocating saw is going to give you better cutting performance and the jigsaw is going to give you better accuracy. But, if you are working in a tight space, the jigsaw’s ability to be maneuvered in tight spots will be a better choice.

My ultimate goal is to provide insights that will help you effectively determine whether this or that tool or product suits your needs/budget or not. I test out home improvement tools at work on a daily basis and enjoy sharing my knowledge with D.I.Y-ers who have similar questions to the ones I used to have. I realize how important choosing the right tools is, that’s why my approach to every review I publish is very responsible.

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