Saws are an essential tool not only for any workshop but also for renovation, home improvement, and other related projects. Nevertheless, with a significant variant of this tool available in the market, it becomes quite overwhelming to pick between certain types of power saw, especially for people with no prior experience.
If you are looking to pick a power saw, one confusion that many people face is deciding whether to buy a reciprocating saw or jigsaw. These two tools can do a lot of cutting, and they are relatively similar in appearance. Nevertheless, there are varying differences between them with their functions and utilities. If you want to know more about this aspect, then continue reading this write-up. It provides a comprehensive comparison between reciprocating saw and jigsaw by pointing out their difference, functions, and other important features. This article also provides a brief buyer’s guide and does a product review. Besides, it answers some of the most frequently asked questions.
Table of Contents
- Comparison between Reciprocating Saw and Jigsaw
- Difference between Reciprocating saws and Jigsaws
- What makes reciprocating saw special?
- What makes jigsaw special?
- Buyer’s Guide
- Best Saws Available On The Market
- Reciprocating Saw Product Review
- Jigsaw Product Review
- Reciprocating Saw and Jigsaw 2-in-1 Tool Review
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What type of saw is a jigsaw?
- Is a jigsaw the same as a reciprocating saw?
- What is a reciprocating saw good for?
- Are all reciprocating saw blades the same?
- Which is better jigsaw or circular saw?
- Related posts:
Comparison between Reciprocating Saw and Jigsaw
Reciprocating saws and jigsaws are the two essential tools when it comes to projects that involve cuttings. They are both powered tools that depend on a trigger system to activate them, and they come in cord and cordless models. For this reason, some people consider jigsaws as a type of reciprocating saws. But, technically, they are two different saws. The thing that sets them apart lies in the position of the saw and its application.
You can use a reciprocating saw for cutting through thick materials, while you can use a jigsaw for making intricate and accurate cuts on less hard materials. You can distinguish between a jigsaw and reciprocating saw by the position of the blade. Unlike a jigsaw, the blade in reciprocating saw sticks out of the front. Besides, you can hold a jigsaw with one hand, while it is difficult to use a reciprocating saw with just one hand.
Difference between Reciprocating saws and Jigsaws
Although many people use reciprocating saw and jigsaw interchangeably, there are some essential differences between them.
The differences between reciprocating saw and jigsaw are:
- Blades: One of the essential differences between reciprocating saw and jigsaw relates to the types of blades used for cutting. The blades of reciprocating saws are thicker and stronger; as such, they can cut through thick materials, such as solid steel, thick planks of wood, and other related materials. Besides, they can complete the cutting process faster as they have more powerful motors. In contrast, jigsaw blades come in different styles depending on the materials you want to cut. These blades are narrow and more fragile; hence, they allow for precision cutting. You can use jigsaw blades for plunge cutting, crosscutting, and ripping, among many others.
- Usage: These two tools perform several different applications. Reciprocating saws are most suitable in construction and demolition works. If you are looking for a saw to renovate your house, then a reciprocating saw is for you. You can also use it for cutting branches, pruning trees, and other yard works. On the other hand, jigsaws are a better option when it comes to intricate projects that require significant attention to details. Hence, you can use a jigsaw for beveled cuts, making angles, carvings on wood, and other remodeling purposes.
What makes reciprocating saw special?
Following are some essential points that make reciprocating saw special:
- Easy to use:
A reciprocating saw is a power saw that is easy to use compared to other types of saws. This tool, with its blade placed in the open, allows you to direct the cuts without any difficulties.
- Cuts several materials:
Reciprocating saws can cut various materials, including metal, wood, and even fiberglass, among many others.
- Perfect for demolition:
Reciprocating saws are a perfect tool for demolition, such as bring down old structures or walls. It allows you to cut through everything from soft to hard materials, thereby making the demolition work easy and quick.
- Allow for cutting above the head:
When demolishing any structure, it is quite challenging to make cuts above the head. However, you do not have to worry about this complication when using a reciprocating saw. This tool allows you to easily cut the objects that are above your head.
What makes jigsaw special?
Some points that make jigsaw stand out from other types of saws are as follow:
- Create intricate and accurate cuts:
Although jigsaws are not the most accurate power saw, yet they can make more precise cuts in comparison to reciprocating saws. Besides, with the proper guide, you can use this handy tool to create intricate cuts.
- Curve cutting lines:
Another point that makes jigsaw special is that it allows you to make curved cuttings. With appropriate guidance, you can use this tool to create curved cuts on various materials.
- Perfect for compound and bevel cuts:
By moving the base of your jigsaw to 45 degrees, you can use this tool to make both these cuts without any difficulties.
- Allows for plunge cuts:
This type of cuts usually begins in the middle, which is difficult to make with many power saws. However, with a jigsaw, you can easily create this type of cut.
As mentioned above, reciprocating saws and jigsaws work quite similar and appear the same. Both of them have a saw blade at the end; nevertheless, the blades are bigger in reciprocating saws. If you are looking for a reciprocating saw or a jigsaw, you should keep the following points in mind, which will help you to pick the right one:
- Corded or cordless:
Whether you are buying a reciprocating saw or a jigsaw, the first thing to consider is the type of power source you need. Both these saws come in corded and cordless variations, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Corded saws are more powerful, cheaper, and lighter than their cordless counterparts. Nevertheless, you cannot use them without electricity, and you cannot cover a large area unless you use an extension cord.
On the other hand, cordless saws allow you to work even without electricity, which means you can use it everywhere. But, a battery-powered saw is much heavier, and it is more expensive. As such, you should choose it depending on the needs of your projects.
- Blade replacement:
The blades of any power saws will wear out gradually, no matter how well you take care of them. As such, it is crucial to select power saws that allow for easy blade replacement. When it comes to jigsaws, there are two models of blades, namely, U-shank and T-shank blades. For easy and quick replace, it would be best to opt for jigsaw models that accept T-shank blades. But for reciprocating saws, we recommend getting those models that do not require the use of tools to replace the blades.
- Variable speed:
Another essential thing to consider when buying a reciprocating saw or jigsaw is variable speed, which allows you to switch the speed of your saw. The reason is that certain materials cut better at a specific speed. In other words, the cutting speed of your power saw will determine the type of materials. For instance, a lower speed is suitable for cutting through metals, while materials such as wood require high speed to cut better.
- Stroke length:
The stroke length of your jigsaw or reciprocating saw is another essential point that you should consider. Deciding the stroke length for your saw will significantly depend on your work requirement. For instance, if you want smooth and precise cuts, then saws with shorter stroke length are an ideal choice. But, if you want an increased speed of cutting, then longer stroke will be the best option. Besides, you will have to invest an extra amount if you are looking for a power saw with adjustable stroke length, which is a perfect option for doing remodeling work.
- Vibration reduction:
Another essential thing is to look for saws that come with vibration reduction feature. Creating intricate cuts or cutting hard materials usually produces vibrations, which can make the cutting process significantly tiresome and difficult. Nevertheless, you can minimize this complication by opting for saws with reduced vibration. Besides, you will be able to maneuver your saw for an extended period without any difficulties.
- Metal housing:
During the operation process, your reciprocation saw, or jigsaw will generate heat as they are power saws. Opting for a saw with metal housing rather than plastic housing will help dissipate the heat significantly. Hence, you will be able to use your power saw for a longer period without any complication.
- Types of handle:
Another thing to look for when buying a jigsaw relates to the types of handle. D-handle and barrel grip handles are the two types of jigsaw handle, located on the top and back of the saw, respectively. The first type of handle is the most common design of jigsaws that allows you to maneuver the saw easily. It also provides a firm grip during operation. While the barrel grip handle lets you push the saw with higher force.
These are some essential things that you should consider when buying a reciprocating saw or jigsaw and are by no means exhaustive.
Best Saws Available On The Market
This session provides a comprehensive review of three products by discussing the essential features and bringing out the pros and cons of each product. The first product is a reciprocating saw, and the second is a jigsaw, while the third product is a combination of both types.
Quick Comparison of the Products:
|Product||Dimensions (in inch)||Power Source||Voltage||Ratings||Price|
|Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall Reciprocating Saw Kit||15x20x21||Battery-powered||18 volts||4.5/5||Check Price|
|Makita Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Jigsaw||9x11x4||Battery-powered||18 volts||4.3/5||Check Price|
|AXIS 2-in-1 Reciprocating Saw and Jigsaw with Orbital Mode||9x5x6.5||Battery-powered||20 volts||4.6/5||Check Price|
Reciprocating Saw Product Review
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall Reciprocating Saw Kit
This reciprocating saw is an ideal choice for anyone who is into cutting related projects. It uses a powerful brushless motor that delivers fast cutting speed without producing much heat, which means you can run this saw for an extended period. It runs at 18 volts and features a multi-charger. This product is fairly heavy as it weighs 8.9 pounds. An essential feature of this product is the inclusion of an intelligence system that guarantees an optimized performance and protects the tool from overheating, overloading, and over-discharging.
One of the features that I like about this product is the blade replacement system. With the help of a spring-loaded lever, you can easily change the blade depending on the materials you want to cut. Additionally, you can adjust the shoe plate, which extends the blade life and enhances the cutting experience. This product has an LED light that illuminates the cutting area. Besides, it has a compact size, thereby allowing you to use in tight spaces such as ceilings or cabinets.
- It comes with an inbuilt LED system that lights up the working area.
- It has a rafter hook above the handle for easy storage.
- Adjustable shoe.
- It delivers high cutting speed.
- Durable construction.
- Some users have reported that the blade breaks easily; as such, you should opt for quality blades.
Jigsaw Product Review
Makita Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Jigsaw
If you are looking for a jigsaw for remodeling purposes, then this product is the right choice for you. This cordless jigsaw allows for easy cutting movement when working on a small or large project. It is compatible with all 18 volts batteries of the same brand; as such, this product will be a huge plus, especially if you have other Makita power equipment. Besides, this product, with its six variable speed control dial and three orbital settings, allows you to experience a faster and efficient cutting process.
An essential feature that has enhanced my cutting experience is the inbuilt dust blower, which makes the cutting process clean and accurate. Moreover, you can expect an extended operation time with this cordless jigsaw for the brushless motor works to boost the battery life up to 50 percent. Given that it has all the essential features, there is no reason why you should not buy this product.
- It features variable speed options.
- Changing the blade does not require the use of other tools.
- It works with all 18 volts batteries manufactured by Makita.
- It has three orbital settings.
- Suitable even for beginners.
- This package does not come with a battery and charger; as such, you will have to buy them separately.
- WORX WX550L 20V AXIS 2-in-1 Reciprocating Saw and Jigsaw with Orbital Mode:
Reciprocating Saw and Jigsaw 2-in-1 Tool Review
AXIS 2-in-1 Reciprocating Saw and Jigsaw with Orbital Mode
If you are looking for a power saw that can perform the functions of reciprocating saws and jigsaws, then this product is for you. With this power saw, you can easily switch from a reciprocating saw to a jigsaw. Besides, this versatile tool, with its firm grip handle and compact size, allows you to maneuver easily, thereby enhancing the cutting process.
One of the essential features that impress many users relates to its versatile axis. It means that you can use any brand of blades for this product. You only need to choose the blade based on the material you want to cut.
- The design of this product lets you switch from a reciprocating saw to a jigsaw within few seconds.
- Accepts a variety of blades.
- Efficient 20 volts battery.
- It features a dust blower to increase visibility while cutting.
- Variable speed is very smooth and precise.
- You can use the battery of this tool with the other 20 volts power tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
Following are some of the most frequently asked questions concerning reciprocating saws and jigsaws:
What type of saw is a jigsaw?
A jigsaw is a type of reciprocating saw that allows you to cut complicated shapes and patterns. If you want an accurate and precise cut, then a jigsaw is a must for you. It not only delivers more precise cuts, but it can also make curved cuts. Unlike reciprocating saws, jigsaws have a lightweight; as such, you can operate it using only one hand. It further allows you to complete your work faster without much complication. Jigsaws also excel in making plunge cuts, which is a difficult cutting process, especially for other types of saws.
Is a jigsaw the same as a reciprocating saw?
Although there are some similarities between a jigsaw and a reciprocating saw, technically, they are two different saws as they perform specific functions. Like reciprocating saws, jigsaws are a powerful tool that uses a reciprocating blade to cut materials. Nevertheless, the blades of jigsaws are narrow and delicate and point downward, which means it cuts vertically. Unlike reciprocating saws, jigsaws can easily make intricate cuts with a high level of precision and accuracy. Depending on the blades you are using, you can use a jigsaw for cutting several materials such as wood, plastic, and soft metal, among many others. Besides, jigsaws are much lighter than reciprocating saws; as such, you can easily handle with one hand.
What is a reciprocating saw good for?
A reciprocating saw is a versatile tool as it allows you to execute various tasks. This tool is a power saw that cut materials through push-pull motion. It is one of the best tools when it comes to cutting tough materials, such as cast iron, concrete, masonry, and hardwood, among many others. A reciprocating saw is also handy equipment during heavy-duty works such as demolition, renovation, and pruning trees, among others. You only need to find the right blade for the materials you want to cut or bring down. Besides, if you are looking for a saw to clear overhead objects, then a reciprocating saw is the perfect choice for you.
Are all reciprocating saw blades the same?
The universal shank of the reciprocating saws provides compatibility between your saw and all blades. You do not have to worry about your saw model not matching with other saw blades, made and designed by other manufacturers. As such, the answer to this question is yes.
Which is better jigsaw or circular saw?
The answer to this question will be highly subjective from one person to another, as it significantly depends on one’s particular needs. If you are looking for a convenient and versatile saw that can cut various materials, then a jigsaw will be the right pick for you. Jigsaws are one of the essential tools for any workshop and for improving your home. However, circular saws will come in handy for projects involving cutting moldings, roofing, and shelves materials. Besides, circular saws will be better when it comes to creating long and straight cuts on several materials.
To sum up, reciprocating saws and jigsaws are two essential tools for many projects involving cutting. Although there are some similarities between them, both execute a specific task. As such, deciding the best between a reciprocating saw and a jigsaw will considerably depend on your work needs. If you are looking for a saw for demolition, renovation, or other related works, then a reciprocating saw would be the best purchase for you. It is because these types of work involve cutting various hard and thick materials that require a more powerful saw. But, if you are dealing with intricate cuts, then you should opt for a jigsaw. A jigsaw will also deliver accurate cuts on different materials. Besides, a jigsaw will be easier to handle as it has a lightweight. However, jigsaws and reciprocating saws are suitable for executing different applications. As such, if the cost is not your main concern, then you should consider getting both these powered saws.