Circular saw vs jigsaw

Tools comparison can be tough sometimes as people have hard times differentiating power tools. However, this is not the case when comparing a circular saw versus a jigsaw. So, what is the difference and what are these two different tools used for?

A circular saw is a powerful tool that uses a blade to make long, straight and smooth cuts on a variety of materials. On the other hand, a jigsaw has a thin reciprocating (that moves up and down) blade, designed for a variety of curved cuts.

Looking to buy and in a hurry? Here are our top picks:

Circular saws

Jigsaws

Although different, both are fantastic tools that you need to consider. Without any hesitations, let’s get down to business.

General overview – circular saw vs jigsaw

Before I get into a deep and brief explanation, it is crucial to understand and recognize both tools. Since they are completely different, you will notice that it will be a piece of cake.

Circular saw

One of the greatest power tools for woodworkers, a simple design with an electric motor that provides enough power for the blade to spin at enormous speed in order to achieve long and accurate cuts with ease.

RelatedWhat is a circular saw?

With the right blade mounted, you will be able to cut not only wood but also many metals and pipes.

Hobbyists prefer this tool as it is quite handy and has proven to be very helpful for many woodworking tasks. Straight cuts, bevel cuts or angle cuts – nothing of this should be a problem for a good circular saw.

RelatedHow to cut straight with a circular saw?

Jigsaw

Or as you may have heard – a sabre saw, is the same tool that is designed for specific cuts. It features a thin blade that moves up and down in a speedy motion allowing you to make long cuts.

Related: Best jigsaw for DIY & woodworking

It can make both straight and curved cuts, and make bevels with ease. With the right blade, you can cut a variety of materials including hardwood and plastic.

Strong sides and weak sides

To make things clearer, I will include the strong and weak sides of each tool, just to feel the difference between them.

Circular saw

As I already mentioned, circular saws’ main function is straight long cuts. It is perfect for workshops and amateurs as many woodworking tasks require long cuts. Plus, you can cut a variety of materials – find the right blade and you can cut metals, masonry, pipes and so on.

A circular saw can only make straight cuts, but there are a variety of cuts it can do. So, bevel cuts, angle cuts, and beveled rips can be achieved with this tool.

RelatedWhat is bevel capacity on a circular saw?

However, the circular saw has its weak sides.

When making long, straight cuts, you will easily notice that the edges on the wood are rough and this is one of the biggest downsides of this tool.

Additionally, if you want to make curved cuts, the circular saw won’t help you as it is impossible to create a curve with it.

Strong sides Weak sides
Long, straight cuts Rough edges
Can cut through a variety of materials Can’t make curved cuts
Bevel cuts, angle cuts, beveled rips

Jigsaw

What can this tool offer? Check this out.

It can provide a huge range of different cuts – including bevels and intricate cuts. You can make any type of cut, whether it is straight or curved.

Again, if you use the right blade, you can cut through a variety of materials including metals and plastic.

What makes it special is that it can make plunge cuts. I put this aside from the types of cuts on purpose, as this is a special type of cut that can be only achieved with a jigsaw. You can start a hole in the material with a drill, and continue the cut with the jigsaw.

For more info about the plunge cut and how to perform one, take a look at the video below.

Finally, it is lightweight and you can store it easily. If we compare this to the circular saw, depending on the model, some can be bulky and heavy.

On the other hand, it has one huge downside. What is it?

Accuracy. This tool is not extremely precise, so you may want to consider your choice if you need very precise cuts.

Strong sides Weak sides
Straight and curved cuts Not very accurate
Can cut through a variety of materials
Plunge cuts
Lightweight and easy to store

Circular saw or jigsaw – what should you buy?

If you have little or no experience with power tools, it won’t be easy to decide and choose from these tools. The best ending would be buying both, but if you are limited on a budget or for some other reason you need to consider one, my advice would be to think of your needs first.

In case your tasks require long, straight and smooth cuts on different materials, then you should go for a circular saw. This powerful tool will help you in creating amazing things, like the shelf in your garage you desperately needed. Having a circular saw is obligatory for every current or potential workshop owner.

On the other hand, if you want something more convenient, then you should go with the jigsaw. It is a handy machine, for straight and curved cuts on a variety of materials and it is much safer than the circular saw.

Since power tools come in many sizes, variations, and capabilities, you may have hard times choosing the right model. To make that easier, in addition, there are several recommendations for both tools.

Related: Circular saw vs track saw

Top picks

SKIL 5280-01

SKIL 5280-01 - Rating
90%

An amazing motor of 15 Amps with up to 5300 RPM. What else can you ask for? Consider several other features from this quality model.

It has bevel capacity of 51 degrees, allowing you to make a huge range of cuts under different angles. With the 7.25 inches blade, you can cut just about anything.

It comes with a spindle lock for easier blade replacement, as well as a laser guide for better precision. For more information about this model, read the full review of this model and other circular saws under $100.

Check the current price of the SKIL 5280-01 here on Amazon.

Milwaukee 6390-21

Milwaukee 6390-21 - Rating
88%

Milwaukee, as one of the leading power tools manufacturers constantly creates models for the toughest demands. As you can see, there is a reason why this one is trusted by many professionals and contractors.

It has a 15 Amps motor, with amazing 5800 RPM. With the 7.25 inches blade you can cut almost anything, and in case you want to replace it, you can easily do that thanks to the spindle lock.

You can make bevel cuts up to 50 degrees and this model has a great blade visibility from all sides. For further information, take a look at the full review of this model and other circular saws under $200.

Check the current price of the Milwaukee 6390-21 here on Amazon.

DEWALT DCS331M1

DEWALT DCS331M1 - Rating
90%

This jigsaw uses a battery of 20 V and it is much more powerful than any other battery-powered jigsaw. Once you take it in your hand, there is no going back to other jigsaws.

It is built in a way to produce little vibration, and it can handle several materials, although you may have difficulties in dealing with steel.

It has 4 positions orbital action and variable speed up to 3000 RPM for versatility.

Check the price and customer review of the DEWALT DCS331M1 here on Amazon.

Bosch JS470E

Bosch JS470E
94%

In case you want a corded jigsaw, this is arguably one of the models you definitively need to consider. It has a 7 Amps motor with many great features.

It is comfortable, easy to use and one of the most precise jigsaws you can find in this price range. It has a robust aluminum base plate is made to withstand the toughest working conditions.

It has four-orbital-action settings and it is backed by a one year warranty.

Buy the Bosch JS470E here on Amazon.

Conclusion

In conclusion, finding the right model is always a tough process. Choosing a new tool to widen up the tool section in your garage is a nice idea and hopefully, this article will help you with that.

Both circular saw and jigsaw are great picks, although you may have hard times if you need to choose one. Consider the tasks you are going to do, and use this article as a guide – I am pretty sure you won’t make a wrong pick.

Which one do you prefer and why? Post your opinions in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article.

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