Jigsaw VS Circular Saw

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

In my workshop, the jigsaw and circular saw are two fundamental power tools, essential for both novices and seasoned experts like myself. Each saw boasts a unique shape, and I deploy them for different projects and cuts. To guide you in avoiding erroneous cuts with inappropriate tools, I will delineate the distinctions between a jigsaw and a circular saw. This comparison will likely assist you in deciding which tool to purchase first, based on my extensive experience and expertise.

Jigsaw vs Circular Saw

Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these indispensable tools to understand the differences between the two.

What is a Jigsaw

A jigsaw typically has a smaller profile in comparison to circular saws. It features a narrow and thin blade that is held in a vertical position. Thanks to their easy maneuverability, jigsaws are commonly used for making curved cuts. Moreover, their smaller and more compact design makes them well-suited for intricate and detailed cuts.

how to use jigsaw

Since they can be smaller when compared to circular saws like the Dewalt DCS391B, they are usually more lightweight as well. Other than more detailed and complex cuts,  jigsaws can also make long straight cuts like a disk-shaped saw can. But to do this, you need to ensure your jigsaw blade has the pendulum option, making it not ideal for to making long cuts. This feature allows the blade to make cuts with both an up and down as well as a back and forth movement. 

What I Like

What I Don't Like

Purpose Of A Jigsaw

The purpose of jigsaws and circular saws comes down to the detail and complexity of the job. The key is to use jigsaws when you need the utmost accuracy. Just to give you an idea, I say jigsaws like the Skil-4495-02 I reviewed are the tools to turn to for bevel cuts, straight, plunge and if you need to make curved cuts. When it comes to creating precise cuts, jigsaws even exceed scroll saws. You can get the best results if you use a stencil that usually accompanies this tool.

Jigsaws are available in both corded and cordless versions, catering to your specific needs. Drawing from my professional experience, I’d suggest opting for the cordless variant if you operate within a compact workshop space or require greater portability. For extended periods of use, where consistent performance is key, a corded jigsaw is my recommendation. This way, you can tailor your tool selection to the demands of your individual projects and working environment.

Read Also: Can I Use a T-Shank Blade in a U-Shank Jigsaw?

What is a Circular Saw

As the name suggests, a disk-shaped saw has a circular blade. You’re looking at anywhere between 85mm to 250mm in width, with a lot more power than a jigsaw would offer. Circular saws are excellent for powering through materials and make straight lines. There are even top circular saws with dust collection making your work clutter-free. The RPM or revolutions per minute [1] of disk-shaped saws can vary, with ones reaching speeds of 6500 RPM. That is a lot of power, which makes them slice through quickly.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

4 ½-inch circular saw

However, it’s important to acknowledge that the raw power of a disk-shaped saw can’t deliver the intricacy and precision that I routinely achieve with a jigsaw. Based on my seasoned advice, I recommend using a blade guide to ensure your disk-shaped saw blade stays true to its course, preventing any deviation during operation. This practice has been fundamental in my own work, guaranteeing cleaner and more accurate cuts every time.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

Purpose of a Circular Saw

As a very powerful saw, the disk-shaped saw, whether it is a 6 ½ or  7 ¼ circular sawable to cut through different materials including masonry metal, glass, plastic wood, and more, but you need a different type of saw blade for each. A circular saws is often the first saw DIYers and woodworkers go for. They are excellent for larger jobs such as large wood pieces and can get you a straight cut in the shortest amount of time. more often it is use for home improvement projects.

If you’re working on cutting bevels, a circular saw is indeed up to the task, although it won’t match the precision a jigsaw offers for crafting curved cuts. Speaking from years of experience, I personally vouch for using a circular saw predominantly on larger-scale projects. For those smaller, precision-demanding tasks, a jigsaw is my go-to, ensuring each cut is executed with the utmost accuracy and finesse.

Main Differences Between a Jigsaw and Circular Saw

Both of these tools are great choices for a wide variety of materials. They are used in private home workshops and at work sites. The main differences come down to the cutting blade, and what type of cuts you would want to make. It’s always useful to have both types of tools on hand because some projects require differing cutting jobs. 

10 ¼ Inches circular saw

A jigsaw is a more optimal choice to make curved cuts because of the smaller blade. For large pieces, a circular saw is ideal. You can use a circular saw when cutting concrete blocks, for instance. The circular saw is also much more durable with a very robust blade to hold up to the powerful motor and RPMs. 

However, don’t believe that a circular saw is only good for cutting and ripping through large piece of timer, but it’s also an excellent tool for angled cuts and the depth can be adjusted as well. A jigsaw can also be used for the same purposes of a circular saw, however it will take at least twice the time and less precision for straight clean cuts.

I suggest having both types of saws in your arsenal. They are suited to different materials and can be used to cut curves or straight lines differently depending on your project. 

Jigsaw blades are more delicate than those on circular saws. That’s not to say they snap easily, but if pitted against one another, circular saw blades are tougher. On the other hand, even though jigsaw blades are weaker, they are also cheaper to replace.

using jigsaw to cut laminate flooring

Circular saws such as a high-powered Rotorazer circular saw also have more blades to choose from to slice through separate types of materials. When you know how to use circular saw in laminating floors, you will be impressed that it can do the job well depending on the blade. 

The teeth count on these blades would not be the same with the other. For example, blades for ripping materials have fewer teeth, and ones for cross cutting will have more teeth but they will also be smaller in size. A great tip for longevity and durability of the blade is to look for carbide-tipped options. 

Cordless or Corded Saws?

As I mentioned, both types of saws have corded and cordless models, so which should you choose? Knowing which type of saw is only half of the equation.

I suggest users to get a cordless option such as the 20-Volt Dewalt DCS331B if you have a smaller workshop and require a lot of movement. Cutting through large pieces of wood but being restricted by a short cable isn’t something you would want.  A tool that doesn’t have a cord also presents more options for off-site jobs. These tools are easily portable, but you do have to be aware of the runtime by keeping a close watch on the battery life. 

For larger jobs and ones that require a lot of cutting power, our team would advise going for a corded tool. A corded tool is excellent for cutting through thicker and tougher materials such as metals as they tend to possess more power. 

BOSCH JSH180B Cordless Jigsaw

You also never have to worry about battery life as long as you are close to a power source. You will be able to cut through more materials and make quick straight cuts easily and one without a cord is usually lighter in weight due to the absence of the battery pack. 

(If you are confused about different power tools, you can start with our comparison between circular saws vs table saw here)


What is better a jigsaw or circular saw?

A jigsaw such as the PCE345 from Porter Cable is better than a circular saw if you require to cut curves and precision. Precision is the same area where saber saws fall short of jigsaws. However, we would recommend a circular saw if long and straight cuts are what you need and for larger projects. A jigsaw has more versatility as it can make a variety of differing cuts but a circular saw is better for more materials with exchangeable blades.


In evaluating the circular saw against the jigsaw, I don’t believe there’s a definitive winner since each tool is designed for distinct project types. For tasks demanding intricate cutting, I consistently rely on my trusty jigsaw. Conversely, when handling large material pieces, the circular saw is indispensable in my workshop. If you’re venturing into woodworking for the first time, I’d strongly advise equipping your space with both a jigsaw and a circular saw. These invaluable power tools have been staples in my workshop, each playing a crucial role in different projects.

For reliable jigsaw products, I recommend the following pages to you: 

robert headshot

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles
Join our community on facebook and get 3 woodworking plans for free!
    Your Cart
    Your cart is empty