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How to Choose Between Reciprocating Saw and. Jigsaw?

Last Updated: 02 April 2021

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Are you a professional handyman or an average homeowner shouldering every odd job at home? We know how tough a choice it is to make between a reciprocating saw and a jigsaw. Both jigsaws and reciprocating saws are versatile in their ways, as well as similar. Read the comparative guide of reciprocating saw vs. jigsaw right here to make the right decision.

What is a Reciprocating Saw?

What is a Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw or the best pole saw is a powerful tool for cutting that induces the cutting action through the reciprocating movements of the saw blade. Also known as a saber saw, a reciprocating saw cuts a wide range of materials that include nailed wood, metal, drywall, and more for heavy-duty jobs.

What is a Reciprocating Saw Used for?

The brutal blade of the reciprocating saw works best for demolition and landscaping work, according to the findings of the scroll saw vs jigsaw. The blades are easily replaceable and powerful enough to cut through and demolish the toughest of materials like wood, masonry, metal, and more. For landscaping, a reciprocating saw comes in handy to saw through branches and firewood.

Pros and Cons of Reciprocating Saw

Cons Pros
The saw is unsuited for making delicate and precise cuts. The saw is powerful, durable, and durable.
The saw blade tends to make uncontrollable movements while cutting. The saw blades are easily and quickly replaceable.
The cuts are rough and crooked. The reciprocating saw is excellent for demolition.

What is a Jigsaw?


A jigsaw is a powerful handheld cutting tool that has a reciprocating blade at a right angle to its blade. It cuts wood, metal, plastic, and plywood with precision to obtain the right shape and size. Professionals often describe jigsaw as a smaller version of the saber saw that can inflict intricate cuts and curves for delicate woodwork.

What is a Jigsaw Used for?

A jigsaw can make patterns, curves, circles, tiny cuts, and intricate detail work. The delicate jigsaw blade can cut specific patterns across surfaces of almost any material. Some jigsaw blades also come with laser guides to help the user with the maintenance of track while making the cuts. A reciprocating saw can make the same cuts but not as smoothly as a jigsaw.

Pros and cons of the jigsaw

Pros Cons
The jigsaw is highly suitable for making delicate patterned cuts and curves. The jigsaw is not suitable for rough work and demolition projects.
The jigsaw is portable and lightweight. The blades of the jigsaw are a little too delicate and often snap in two through excessive use.
It is convenient to use and is smaller in scale too.

Reciprocating Saw vs. Jigsaw Comparison

Tool Design

Reciprocating Saw vs. Jigsaw Comparison

While both the jigsaw and the reciprocating saw have the same push and pull blade movement, there lies a difference between the jigsaw and reciprocating saw in the tool design. The jigsaw vs. reciprocating saw study reveals that the jigsaw is a smaller tool and comes with only one handle. On the other hand, the reciprocating saw is big, powerful, and therefore provided with two handles. The blade positioning is different, as well. The jigsaw blade is positioned at the saw’s large and stable base. The reciprocating saw blade comes out in a parallel way, thereby making the outcome heavy-duty.

Blade Type

The two types of blades of jigsaws are T-shank and U-shank blades. The blades are composed of high-carbon steel for cutting wood, high-speed steel for metal, bi-metal for slicing any material. Tungsten carbide is used for slicing abrasive material like stainless steel and cement.

The blade type of the reciprocating saw varies based on material, blade shape, and tooth count. The blade type is categorized into a woodcutting blade, combination blade, demolition blade, and carbide grit blade.


The jigsaw vs. sawzall guide reveals that the Jigsaw is ideal for bevel and miter cuts, crosscutting, straight or curved cuts, precise plunge cuts, and rip cuts.

The reciprocating saw does not have a large sole plate. Hence, the saw is ideal for rough and heavy-duty cuts.

Power and Speed

Jigsaws of 5-7 amp motor power output possess a blade speed of 3000 strokes per minute. With a power output between 10-12 amp, the blade speed of the saber saw is 3000 SPM.


The jigsaw is safe and beginner-friendly. The blade is secured by a large base and the power output is limited.

The saber saw is extremely powerful, and the extra power output induces almost uncontrollable vibrations that make it unsafe for handling.

Tool Sizes and Overall Comfort

The difference between jigsaw and reciprocating saw is that the former is more lightweight and compact than the latter. The average weight of the former is 5 lbs, whereas the latter weighs 10 lbs. Overall it’s more convenient to operate a jigsaw.


Parameters Jigsaw Reciprocating saw
Power Fair Very high
Blade U-shank and T-shank Large blades
Accuracy Fairly accurate Rough tool
Design The blade is at right angles to the base. The blade juts out straight.
Pros Enables the user to make complex cuts and curves. The reciprocating saw is useful for demolition work.
Cons The base has to be even for making the cuts, and heavy-duty cutting work is not possible. The saber saw is neither able to cut complex patterns, nor can it cut precise curves.
Safety It is considered safe for use. The saber saw has to be handled with the utmost caution.

Which One Should I Get?

Choose the saw based on the work you do and according to the reciprocating saw vs. jigsaw guide. If you are into intricate woodwork and safety is your prime concern, then go for the jigsaw. Go for a saber saw for heavy-duty work if rough cuts suit your profession.

Final Advice

Between the jigsaw or reciprocating saw, the jigsaw is safe for use and would make a great addition to your arts and crafts workshop. However, if heavy-duty cutting and trimming work is what you seek, then it is recommended to go for the saber saw. If you want to perform heavy-duty activities that do not mandate precision, such as pruning and demolition, then go for the reciprocating saw. Choose a jigsaw if you seek delicate woodwork and such other activities that require precision.

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