Comparison Review: Circular Saw vs Jigsaw vs Reciprocating Saw

Introduction

Three of the best and the most important power saws that you must have for your home woodworking shop are the circular saw, jigsaw, and the reciprocating saw. These saws are perfect for cutting different materials and for a variety of applications.

With a circular saw, you will be able to cut a variety of materials with varying thicknesses. You can cut in the least amount of time, therefore, finish projects at the least amount of time as well.

A reciprocating saw is a type of power saw that can cut through different materials with the use of a unique blade. This is not a circular blade but instead a flat blade that moves in a push and pulls manner or in a reciprocating way. Because of this action, this saw can be used in a variety of projects, from construction to demolition. A reciprocating saw may even be used vertically if the project calls for it.

Meanwhile, a jigsaw is versatile power saw that can cut through a variety of materials. This saw can cut different shapes and compound bevel cuts in boards as well as a variety of materials. The key to making efficient cuts in a jigsaw is to use the right kind of blade.

Circular Saw vs Jigsaw vs Reciprocating Saw

Product Details

Circular Saw

Jigsaw

Reciprocating Saw

Weight

7 or more pounds

5 or more pounds

5 or more pounds

Motor Power

Depending on the model

Depending on the model

Depending on the model

Accessories

Wrenches, blades, and cover

Wrenches, blades, and batteries (if  cordless)

Wrenches, blades, and batteries (if cordless)

Price

Buyer's Guide

How to pick the right product

A power saw will let you work with different materials. When it comes to shopping for power cutting tools like a circular saw, jigsaw, and reciprocating saw, you must have the following parameters in mind.

  • Power saw power input

The power input of any kind of power saw will give you an idea of the size and the thickness of the material it can cut. Power input equals the amount of power the motor needs to work. The greater the watts the more powerful the motor of the saw will be. A more powerful motor can easily tackle larger and thicker materials as well as more complicated cutting tasks.

  • Choose a tool with a variable speed motor

A power saw with a variable speed motor will let you fine tune the speed of the blade according to the material you wish to cut. Variable speed allows the power saw to be more versatile. A variable speed motor is seen in updated power saws like reciprocating, jigsaw and circular saws.

  • Your saw’s maximum cutting power

The maximum cutting power of the saw is the thickest material that the saw can cut. The maximum cutting power is a value set by the manufacturer. This value will tell you if the saw can take the type of material that you are working on. If you are looking for a saw for thick wooden panels then you must check out the maximum cutting capabilities of the saw before you make a purchase.

  • Tool-less blade changes

This is a special feature found in updated saw models. This allows you to change blades without using a tool or a wrench. You will be able to safely and efficiently change blades without disrupting your workflow.

  • Dust extraction and other ergonomic features

A tool with a dust extraction will remove dust and dirt from your workplace. This is important for people using power saws like scroll saws, table saws, and miter saws. This will make your workplace cleaner and safer as well. Tools with comfortable handles, easy gripping features and reversible handles all make the saw easier to handle and to use for a prolonged period of time.

Product Comparison Parameters

How do we compare the 3 tools?

  • Quality

Quality can be measured by the key features of each product. The make and model of the power tool, the winning features, ergonomic features, noise quality and more should be considered.

For starters, circular saws are not all the same. The material that makes the tool varies from strong plastic to durable die-cast aluminum. The features also matter like a strong motor, improved cutting power, safety features and precision features.

Circular saws could be very loud so a quitter model could be a good feature that users may be after for.

Jigsaws and reciprocating saws are not too far behind. There are saws with a plastic body while some are all metal. Some have improved cutting power, ergonomic design, and safety features.

  • Price

Price ranges of a circular saw could be as low as $80 to $90 to as expensive as $500. Jigsaw and reciprocating saws cost around $50 to $100. Technically, a complete set with the bare tool and accessories is more expensive compared to just the bare tool in the package.

  • Blade Size

Circular saws could have 12” + circular blades. Reciprocating saws and jigsaws have a straight blade and there are blades for wood, metal and more. All these blades are replaceable and available from online or local dealers.

1) Circular Saw

Why Use the Circular Saw and Who’s it For

A circular saw is used for cutting a variety of materials such as wood, metal, aluminum, acrylic and masonry materials. Circular saws may be manually held, portable or may be mounted on a table or working surface. Some users use portable circular saws to the worksite while some keep their heavy circular saw in a workshop.

Review

A circular saw is a kind of power saw that has a fixed circular rotating blade. A circular saw could be handheld, portable or could be fixed on a workstation. This saw looks very intimidating but it simply works without the frills. It can cut through different materials as the blade rotates around an arbor.

A circular saw can cut through almost any kind of material without any pain or strain on your arms or elbow. There are a number of circular blades with different features and benefits. Most circular saws are professional-grade circular saws with a heavy-duty motor and strong cords to reduce snags and loose connections. Most circular saws come with extra features like an ergonomic handle so you can grip it well and easy to spot and use on and off buttons.

Main Features

  • Handheld or stationary
  • Can cut wood, metal, acrylic and more
  • Comes in a variety of blades
  • Can be used on the right or left hand depending on where the motor is located
  • Comes in a variety of motor power
  • Electric powered
  • With ergonomic handles and designs

Q&As

Can a circular saw cut any kind of material?

A circular saw is one of the most versatile saws and will be able to work with a variety of materials like wood, tile, masonry, metal, aluminum, and acrylic. There are special blades to work with each type of material.

How do you care for a circular saw?

After every use, you must remove dust, dirt, and grime that accumulate on the saw blades. Use a clean, dry and soft cloth to do this or a soft brush. Make sure that your saw is clean and well-maintained. Some circular saw models need to be oiled while some need their belts changed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure your saw’s good shape the time you need to use it.

Where can you purchase accessories for a circular saw?

You can buy accessories for a circular saw online or from local hardware stores and shops. Make sure you are buying only genuine accessories and parts for your circular saw because generic parts can only affect the way your saw works.

Pros

  • Are more stable compared to power cutting tools
  • Are electric powered so there are limitations to your use
  • Can cut through almost all kinds of materials
  • Blades may be changed anytime

Cons

  • Are very heavy and could be hard to use for novice users.
  • Are more expensive than handheld power saws.

2) Jigsaw

Why Use the Jigsaw and Who Is It For?

The jigsaw is for people who want a reliable and handy daw to cut different shapes and forms. It is lightweight so it’s good for DIY and for general contractor use.

Review

A jigsaw is popular and versatile that is used to cut through a variety of materials. This is for people who want a handy, efficient and lightweight saw to cut different shapes and compound bevel cuts in boards as well as a variety of materials. The key to making efficient cuts in a jigsaw is to use the right kind of blade. This is why a jigsaw comes with a variety of blades each one with specific uses

Main Features

  • Sharp reciprocating blade
  • With safety switches
  • With ergonomic handles
  • Maybe corded or cordless
  • Will work with a variety of materials

Q&As

How do you maintain a jigsaw saw?

You can clean and maintain a jigsaw by keeping the blade clean by wiping the blade with a soft, clean and dry cloth. You must wipe the saw body clean as well. Check for the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean and maintain your saw as well.

Where do you purchase jigsaw blades and accessories?

You will be able to purchase blades and accessories for your jigsaw online or from shops that sell genuine jigsaw blades and accessories.

What do you do with a broken jigsaw?

Take a broken jigsaw to an authorized service center for the brand or manufacturer.

Pros

  • Makes accurate and quick cuts.
  • Can make intricate cuts with its efficient saw.
  • Is handy for DIY.
  • You can use this for any kind of project.

Cons

  • Not very efficient in cutting large stock materials
  • A cordless jigsaw may lose battery power fast.

3) Reciprocating Saw

Why Use the Reciprocating Saw and Who Is It For?

A reciprocating saw is for people who want to make accurate cuts for larger and thicker materials. It is for people who want to work on different types of projects and applications. It is the saw for home DIY use and also for worksite use.

Review

A reciprocating saw is a type of power saw that will be able to cut through different materials using a unique blade. This a sharp, toothed, flat blade that moves in a push and pulls motion or in a reciprocating manner. Because of this, it can be used in a variety of projects, from construction to demolition. A reciprocating saw may even be used vertically in case you need to cut through ceilings.

Main Features

  • Sharp reciprocating saw
  • Powerful motor
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Complete blade accessories.

Q&As

Where do you purchase a reciprocating saw? 

You can purchase a reciprocating saw from an authorized dealer online or from a local dealer near you.

Can you take a reciprocating saw to any repair center?

Take your broken reciprocating saw to a repair center that’s accredited by the brand of power saw you have.

How do you maintain a reciprocating saw?

Wipe the saw blade clean with a dry, clean and soft cloth. Wipe the saw body with a clean cloth as well. Follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to take care of your reciprocating saw.

Pros

  • A reciprocating saw has a variety of uses.
  • Updated reciprocating saws have ergonomic handles.
  • Are perfect for both DIY and worksite applications.

Cons

  • Some reciprocating saws may be too light.
  • Some do not have ergonomic handles and features.

The Final Cut

When choosing the ideal power saw for your needs you must first determine whether you need a general saw for large materials or a handheld, portable saw for light materials.

For general cutting applications and for making straight cuts you need a circular saw. 

For making intricate yet precise cuts you may either use a jigsaw or a reciprocating saw.

Choose well and shop smart to get the best type of saw for your needs.

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