Reciprocating saw vs. jigsaw: Which is more suitable for professionals

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Jigsaws and reciprocating saws work in the same way by using the reciprocal movement of the blade. That aside, these workshops or home improvement tools serve a variety of purposes.

Reciprocating saw vs. a jigsaw differs according to the intention. Jigsaws cut delicate shapes on sheets, wood, ceramic tiles, tabletops, etc. Conversely, a reciprocating saw is used to demolish, reshape and prune trees and is much more powerful.

Woodworkers face a common dilemma in deciding whether to buy a jigsaw or a reciprocating saw because they are quite similar in appearance, and novices won’t even tell them apart. Professionals need to know the nature of the project and go for a powerful tool to do the task.

Reciprocating saw vs jigsaw

What is a reciprocating saw?

A reciprocating saw is a power saw that usually cuts in a push and pulls motion i.e., reciprocating motion. Its design makes it an excellent tool for doing heavy-duty tasks like demolition, renovation, pruning trees, etc.

It is typically used for demolition and rough cuts, as is the case with most power saws. The engine on these saws can deliver a lot of power to the short blade to be easily cut through different materials. The saw can be used for cutting wood, metal, ceramic, concrete, and plasterboard.

It is one of the most powerful and aggressive power saws with the horizontal blade action on the reciprocal saw. And this saw is even useful for mounting windows and cutting pipes.

When should you use a reciprocating saw?

If you’re dealing with rigid materials like stucco, plaster, masonry, hardwood, cement, fiberglass, and more, this tool will come in handy. Just make sure you find the perfect blade for the material and let the tool do the rest for you.

The saw will work correctly on exposed surfaces when it comes to demolitions. Such surfaces include plumbing, constructions, and electrical tasks. Similarly, it is the best choice for framing windows and cutting pipes, as mentioned earlier.

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  • Perfect for cutting overhead. That is something that building industry professionals value
  • Cuts a variety of materials, including fiberglass, concrete, metal, wood, and others,
  • Great for reconstruction, refurbishing, and renovation programs. It is easy to cut bricks, nails, doors, and windows, even walls by the blade’s force
  • Relatively easy to use even though it is a powerful tool
  • Long-lasting. If you take care of the instrument, you can be sure it will continue to support you for seasons to come.


  • It makes very rough finishes hence not suitable for intricate cuts
  • A poor choice for delicate cuts

What are Jigsaws?

Jigsaws are power tools that make delicate cuts or curved lines. One can make some intricate and precise cuts with a long slim blade jigsaw. A jigsaw belongs to the same family as a reciprocating saw but is suitable for other uses.

For most mood workers, this is the most useful tool because it’s a versatile machine, just like a drill or a table saw.

When should you use a jigsaw?

Jigsaws are useful power saws for thrust cuts that start at the center of the piece, and you can also use them for precise and freehand curves.

Like the reciprocating saw, if you have the right blade you can use a jig to cut various materials. Nevertheless, most woodworkers tend to use it to cut wood, pottery, countertops, and metal sheets.

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  • It can be used to make angled shapes.
  • Make precise cuts: The astounding precision of a jigsaw is suitable for professional tasks.
  • Makes complicated cuts. Do you want cuts for the plunge, bevel cuts, or miter cuts? Then be sure that the puzzle will turn its shoe so that these complicated cuts are made at the sharpest angles. The dips, usually generated in the middle of working material, are areas in which a jigsaw stands out.
  • This tool can be powered by only one hand since it is lightweight. This also helps you to cover more ground easily


  • Not approved for cutting flush. Because of its blade orientation, this tool is not ideal for flush cutting.
  • Not suitable for cutting the most rigid materials. It may cut some hard materials depending on the blade, but the tool itself is not usually designed for heavy-duty work

Which one suits professionals?

The reciprocating saw will still play a significant part in a hobbyist workshop, due to its tremendous power but is inherently not a necessary purchase. If you do not see many deconstruction projects, you do not need a reciprocating saw.

Jigsaws, on the other hand, are valuable tools for professionals as well as hobbyists. The flexibility it provides is valuable, and a tool that exemplifies the high-precision cuts will still be necessary.  Jigsaws can also be used for cutting objects, as long as they are not too dense.

If you want to get down to the basics or on a budget, you should make a jigsaw your priority. Both tools make subtle additions to any workshop, but you’ll get the most out of a jigsaw. Reciprocating a saw is a pretty good luxury item, but a jigsaw is an essential purchase.


What can I use instead of a jigsaw?

Jigsaws are not only the power tools that can cut curves. There are other alternatives, such as Hack saws, coping saws, and reciprocating saws.

Can a reciprocating saw cut curves?

Yes. Reciprocating saws with narrow blades can effectively cut curves, although you have little control of the process than with a jigsaw.

Can I cut tree branches with a reciprocating saw?

Yes.  Even though the pruning blade is best suited for trimming branches, the reciprocating blade will also do the job for you.

Bottom Line

It is a great idea to have both tools if the cost is not an important consideration. When it comes to usage, reciprocating saw vs. jigsaw has many different applications. Moreover, both are lightweight and won’t take up space in the workshop. A jigsaw is a better choice when dealing with projects which require you to create beautiful cuts and precise curved lines. It is nice to have both tools if the cost isn’t high.

The reciprocating saw could be the perfect buy for you if you are into home maintenance, construction, and renovation. And that’s because you’re going to have to do a lot of excavation and cut off different materials.

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Last update on 2023-09-01 at 04:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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