Scroll Saw vs Jigsaw – What’s The Difference?

In the world of scroll sawing, the debate of scroll saw vs jigsaw is a long and heated one. Both of these tools have their own advantages and disadvantages, which makes it hard to make a choice between the two. We will try to bring some clarity to this debate focussing on the practical aspects and long-term use of both tools.

Scroll Saw vs Jigsaw
The main difference between scroll saw and jigsaw is that scroll saw is more precise and is better for making detailed cuts, whereas jigsaw is less precise and is better for making rough, wide cuts.

What is Jigsaw

What is Jigsaw

A jigsaw is a small reciprocating saw which is used for cutting different types of materials. It has a thin, flexible blade that can be bent in any direction. The blade is short so that it can be twisted or bent to make curved cuts.

A jigsaw is one of a group of hand-held power tools that can be used for a wide range of cutting applications, including cutting drywall and other building materials, metal, and plastic. The term jigsaw is also used to describe a particular type of blade used in this saw; the teeth of this blade have a shape that resembles the letter “V”.

What is it used for

What is jigsaw used for

Jigsaws are often used for cutting plywood, plastic, metal, and other soft materials. Jigsaws with a detachable blade is used for cutting sheet material and for cutting a single object without the need to change the blade. A jigsaw may be used to cut out shapes in wood or other material, in which case it may be known as a circle cutter.

  • Can cut irregular shapes with ease;
  • Very big cutting capacity;
  • Small size of the jigsaw makes it easy to move from one place to another;
  • It is a versatile tool that can be used to cut both soft and hard materials.
  • Needs to be sharpened frequently.

What is Scroll Saw

scroll saw

A scroll saw is a type of power tool used to create ornamental designs in different types of material like wood, plastic, metal, etc. It uses a long, thin, and flexible blade which is mounted on a spindle. The blade can be adjusted in any direction and can be bent to make different designs.

These tools are characterized by their plain bearings and lack of vibration dampening. The blade, when controlled by the user, allows the saw to cut in any direction, making it easy to create delicate designs.

The scroll saw is a popular choice among woodworkers because it allows them to keep their hands close to the material that they are cutting. It’s not a dangerous tool, however, you should know the safety rules while operating the instrument.

What is it used for

What is it used for

Well, scroll saws are used for cutting intricate patterns on wood. The patterns are made up of different shapes and designs. These types of saws are used mainly by craftsmen and hobbyists.

Generally, this type of saw is used to cut the wood for artistic or decorative purposes. The design and pattern that you want to cut on the wood can be transferred onto the wood using a template.

  • Great for intricate detail work;
  • The blade is thin, so you can cut very tiny details;
  • Scroll saws are able to cut curves, and that’s why they are recommended to anyone who wants to create a beautiful and unique design on wood.
  • Not able to make straight cuts;
  • They are not very portable.

Difference Between Scroll Saw And Jigsaw

The scroll saw and jigsaw are both used to cut curves, but they cut curves in different directions. The jigsaw is typically used to cut orthogonal to the direction of the curve, while the scroll saw is typically used to cut in the direction. So, what do you need, scroll saw or jigsaw?

Basic differences between a scroll saw and a jigsaw are given below.

Cut direction

One of the primary differences between these tools is the direction in which the cuts are made. When using a jigsaw, the cuts are usually made orthogonal to the direction of the curve. This means that the cuts are parallel to each other. This is desirable when cutting out the material that is going to be used in making the curved shape.

The jigsaw is suitable for cutting straight lines and is used for cutting out the material that is going to be used in making a curved object.

The scroll saw is used to cut in the direction of the curve. This is desirable when the material is already curved. It is not necessary to make cuts orthogonal to the curve to get the desired shape.

Cutting speed

The scroll saw is a slower saw as compared to the jigsaw. The last one has a blade that rotates at a very high speed. Jigsaws are designed to cut at a rate of about 2000 to 3000 cuts per minute.

The scroll saw, on the other hand, is designed to cut at a much lower rate of about 400 to 1800 cuts per minute. There are some models of scroll saws that can cut at a higher speed, but they tend to be more expensive.

Cutting depth

The jigsaw can cut deeper into the material than the scroll saw. The jigsaw is designed to cut only about 1-2 inches into the material, while the scroll saws can cut a little deeper, about 2-3 inches into the material. It is used to cut the material into a shape with a curved bottom surface, while its counterpart is designed to cut the material into a shape with a flat bottom surface.


A jigsaw is a portable tool and can be operated anywhere. A scroll saw is a stationary tool and can not be used while standing. A jigsaw is a hand-held tool that is operated by placing it on a flat surface such as a table. It is also possible to attach a jigsaw to a bench grinder. The right hand of the user is used to operate the tool.

Cuts types

Another difference between scroll saws and jigsaws is the type of cuts that are made. A jigsaw is capable of making both straight and curved cuts. On the other hand, it is not possible for a scroll saw to make great straight cuts.


Check out this section to find answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Is a scroll saw worth it?

A scroll saw is an investment. Once you have one, you will be using it more than you can imagine. It will become your new best friend in the workshop.

How do you clean a jigsaw saw?

Wipe the blade with a soft cloth to remove any stain and dirt.

What should I choose – scroll saw or jigsaw?

The most important factor to consider is the kind of work you would be doing and what you would be using it for. If you are looking for a good tool for cutting out small works for crafts, then jigsaw is not for you.

On the other hand, if you are looking to create larger works that require a lot of precision, then a scroll saw is the best tool for the job.

How thick of wood can you cut with a scroll saw?

That depends on the scroll saw you’re using. Typical scroll saws will cut wood up to 1 1/2 inches thick. However, there are some saws out there that can cut wood 2 inches thick.

Can a jigsaw cut straight lines?

Yes, it is an important tool that cuts straight lines. Many new jigsaws come with a feature that allows you to guide the saw along a straight edge. If that’s not enough for you, you can buy a jigsaw with a laser guide.

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In Conclusion

A scroll saw is a tool that can be used for cutting different types of wood materials in a more precise manner. It’s primarily used for cutting intricate patterns and designs in wood. A jigsaw is also a tool that can be used for cutting wood. It’s primarily used for cutting flat patterns and designs in wood.

Both these tools are very useful. As far as uses are concerned, a jigsaw is more versatile. It can be used for cutting a wide range of materials. However, a scroll saw is more flexible for cutting curved lines.

What do you think about the scroll saw vs jigsaw debate? Do you have any experience with either tool? Do you have a favorite between the two? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

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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