Jigsaw VS Circular Saw: Which One Is Right for You?

circular saws vs jigsaw

Far too many woodworkers and enthusiasts are at crossroads when it comes to knowing which is best between a jigsaw and circular saw. There is a chance that you are one of them. Always wholly failing to understand what to take into account when trying to weigh them in comparison. Well, the fact is that you are not alone, and I was once in your position.

Picking between a jigsaw and circular saw is not that hard. If you think it depends on reviewing several factors and weigh each tool for your use. So, its good to get to understand what the jigsaw and Circular saw involve.

And on top of that, you will be now able to pick which is best if you are to answer, which is the best tool for woodworking projects. With that in mind, you can read on and learn the basics when it comes to picking between the jigsaw and circular saw.

Considering a Jigsaw vs Circular Saw


It’s obvious what a circular saw entails. It is a saw with a rotating blade that makes long straight cuts through wood.

For most models, the blade comes on an axis, with a blade guard and laser guide to guide the cutting process.

The saw would protrude downwards with half an opening available for the cutting.

A look at this list of power circular saws may give you an idea of the design features when searching for one.

On the other hand, the jigsaw resembles the typical sewing machine, but this time with a saw.

By this, I mean the blade is perpendicular and moves in a reciprocating motion to cuts your woodwork material.

The rest of the saw connects to a shoe that lets it bevel and pivot at various angles.

That makes the jigsaw able to make those intricate, straight, and rough cuts.


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While the jigsaw is the most popular of the two saws, I would judge it as the most difficult to use.

That is especially the case if you want a perfect straight cut with a freehand.

Occasionally, you will have the reciprocating saw would wander from its straight course.

But, the trick for straight cuts with a jigsaw is an easy clamp-down of the tool.

Once attachment of the jig is complete, you can use a straight-edge guide made of a steel square or a straight wood board.

In the event it’s cutting time, you can place one hand on the saw’s base plate and feed the blade through the wood.

Press the saw slowly towards the timber with even pressure.

When it’s operating a circular saw, the process is much different. That is due to the exposure of the machine’s blade and how much its powerful.

As such, this also gives the Circular saw a completely different operation.

For instance, most circular saws work by pressing a trigger, which sends the circular blade into motion.

The blade spins in the same direction to cut the wood material through in a straight line. You can expect other saw designs to carry the dust and debris to a fixed guard at the back.

So, be sure to wear safety goggles to ensure eye safety from the debris that will be flying all over.

But before operating a circular saw, you may want to adjust the saw depth in regards to your cutting.

The thickness of your wood material will be the determinant of how deep your saw cut through. But be sure not to cut your workbench in the process.


For beginners, a jigsaw is capable of a wide variety of cuts. You can count on having straight, cross, curved and clean rip cuts thanks to the adjustable blade shoe.

Besides, bevel, combination, and even miter joint cuts are possible with the jigsaw’s cutting blade.

In retrospect, all this is possible, thanks to the adjustable blade mechanism. Users can now cut even angles to enable them to do even the most basics of woodworking jobs.

However, you may need mounting into a saw table to get a stable operation for the variety of cuts.

I also consider the circular blade to offer a variety of cuts, although not as much as the jigsaw.

For the power tool, some of the woodworking cuts available are straight cuts, bevel cuts, and long cuts.

It is also useful when looking to achieve rough beveled rips among its types of cuts.

If its curve cuts you are considering, you may want to overlook the circular saw.

Its circular blade makes it practically not the best choice for the standard cutting to curved woodwork.


If you are looking to weigh your options between a jigsaw and circular saw, then consider the blade.

The machine’s blade is the distinctive feature that enables the long straight cuts on your woodwork material.

As you already know, the jigsaw uses a reciprocating blade made of sharp edges for different cuts.

Also, different jigsaw blades are available in various lengths, widths, and configurations.

There are the T-shank and the U-shank blades, which are both the most compatible with most jigsaws available in the market.

As the name suggests, the circular saw comes with a circular blade disk with several teeth on the edges for cutting.

You will also notice that the teeth-types don’t always match since there exists a variety of them.

That will depend on the type of woodwork and usage frequency.

Above all, the best selling circular blades include the flat-top grind, alternate top bevel, and high-angle alternate top bevel.

And while you are at it also realize they come in a variety of makes that include standard steel, tungsten carbide, and diamond blades.

Power options

Whenever I had to ask myself, do I need a circular saw or jigsaw the issues of power source always comes to mind.

In my case, I needed a cordless machine I would carry around during my woodwork service.

With a cordless jigsaw and circular saw, you are a lot flexible to bring to your job site.

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Part of the maintenance will only have you owning a spare battery and a charger to power it up whenever it’s low.

However, while a cordless jigsaw and Circular saw carry the day in terms of flexibility, there are also downsides.

You will find that the majority of the cordless devices are not cheap as an initial purchase and in the long run.

Remember, in the future, it may turn out you need extra batteries, which makes it have an additional cost.

Some folks also consider a cordless jigsaw and Circular saw to be less potent than the corded counterparts.

It is a common thought, but its slowly dying due to the advancement of batteries technology.

That means some cordless jigsaws and circular saws packs excellent power potential.

But you can also opt for a corded jigsaw and circular saw for your workshop.

If you do so, you stand to benefit to continuous power supply for woodwork activities.

And with such enormous power, you can always work effectively with your woodwork without interruption.

But like any other power tool out there, you will run into issues while using a corded jigsaw or circular saw.

There are negative reviews on how the corded machines come with short cords that are enough for adequate length.

Why Use a Jigsaw


The jigsaw is the most versatile item of any woodwork tool collection for making cuts.

With its, there are loads of cutting possibilities to explore and learn.

For example, you can start with learning long, straight cuts to get a feel of the jigsaw.

Next, you can also advance to curves and angles for the complex woodwork projects.

You do not forget it’s even possible for slanted, incline, cross, and intricate cuts.

I also consider jigsaw to be the best when it comes to making plunge cuts.

For those not aware, plunge cuts are when you start your saw cutting or drilling at the center of the material.

Plus, the router, the jigsaw, remains the most efficient woodwork tool for such use at your disposal.

There’s also the possibility of cutting different materials with the jigsaw. For me, this is a significant win considering few power saws are capable of such functionality.

It can come in handy when going beyond your woodworking projects and also help with other DIY projects.

However, you will consider the right blade to cut a particular material, be it plastic, metal, or ceramic tiles.

Another advantage of a jigsaw you will run into is its compactness and size.

A review of the leading jigsaw models attests to the fact that they are lightweight.

That makes the jigsaw a somewhat flexible tool to carry around and store it even in small woodwork shops.


The jigsaw also has its share of disadvantages to consider. First, matters of accuracy are the most important.

Since the jigsaw is a handheld machine, the skills determine the outcome of the cuts.

If you intend to have, accurate cuts be sure that it will depend on your handling of the saw and wood material.

So be sure to have a tight grip for the best outcome.

You also know that with a jigsaw, you can practically cut your wood material in all shapes and sizes.

That is an advantage, but to the jigsaw, it can cause damage.

Remember, wood comes with plenty of knobs, which often damage the saw blade when it comes into contact.

In other cases, the jigsaw tends to bounce when it comes across such features along its cut line.

Why Use a Circular Saw


Without a doubt, the Circular saw packs several advantages due to its design, features, and applications.

On the face of it, it remains the most efficient power tool to produce long straight cuts for most woodwork tasks.

The potential in this lies the fast-rotating blade that is handy got perfect straight cuts without fuss.

Likewise, circular saws are also capable of cutting through a variety of materials.

While the initial use is for extensive woodworking, the power saw still packs enough to cut metals, plastics, masonry items, and sheet materials.

Additionally, the Circular saw also provides a variety of cuts, like the jigsaw but to a lesser scale.

The typical cuts possible with the circular saw can include angle cuts, bevel cuts, and rough bevel rips.


A Circular saw also has its disadvantages.

For starters, the saw can cause quite a racket during its use. You are likely to have a louder and messy wood-shop due to the saw power.

I also consider the saw’s rough cuts as a disadvantage. At times fine cuts are necessary for the woodwork project, and this is impossible with the circular saw.

Most of its blades cut with splintery edges known as tear-outs leaving the wood edges coarse.

That meant using sandpaper is necessary if you want a fine-finish wood product.

Lastly, the circular saw is not ideal for several intricate cuts. If you want a perfect curve for your woodwork, then this is not the tool, although it does the job.

The design of the saw blade makes it hard for sharp and precise curve cuts.


So, which power tool wins between the jigsaw and circular saw? Well, as you can see, there is no single answer to your purchasing decision.

It all depends on what woodworking project you are planning.

If its just wood piece you need cut in a straight measure, the Circular saw might work to a great potential.

However, if its unique crafts and cuts the jigsaw that provide the necessary bang for the buck.

So that’s my take on the matter of comparing the jigsaw and circular saw.

I recently wrote an article on Router VS Jigsaw to help you realize which one is right for you. Read it here.

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