Jigsaw Vs Reciprocating Saw – Differences Explained

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Jigsaw and reciprocating saw comes from the same family and functions almost similarly.  Both of them utilize the reciprocating movement of the blade to cut through materials. The significant difference lies in the purpose of your intended task.

Despite the similar functionality, each of the tools possesses some unique features. If you want to demolish any wooden object without giving that much of an importance to the finishing, then reciprocating saw can be your option for a quicker result.

But if your project needs finessed cutting and smooth finishing, the jigsaw can be your tool of choice.

Brief Discussion on a Jigsaw

Jigsaws are available in a wide range of varieties based on different needs of users. The information that a buyer should be aware of are as follows:

What is a Jigsaw?

A jigsaw is one of the most versatile power tools allowing the user to make different types of cuts such as long, straight, curved, diagonal, etc. It is featured with a long knife-like blade, and it moves an up-down motion to cut through the materials.

Apart from a variety of cuts, it can be used on a wide range of materials as well such as wood, plywood, plastic and even ceramic tile. You just need to choose the right kind of blade to get the desired outcome.

Key Features of a Jigsaw

Cutting Pattern

A jigsaw is featured with a short, thin sharped teethed blade which moves in an up and down motion to cut through materials like wood, plastic, plywood, metal, etc.

You can set the speed of the tool based on the material. For example, to cut wood, you need to set the machine to work at the highest speed. Then for cutting metal, you need to take the speed down to the optimal level to function properly. It is suitable for a curved cut with precise finishing.

Blade Varieties

Jigsaw blades are available in different sizes in the market. However, the standard size of a jigsaw blade can be measured as a ¼ inch long and 1/32 inch thick.

One end of the blade is attached with the tool, and the other end is not attached so that it can circulate at high speed. No matter how expensive your blade is, in general, jigsaw blades are not durable. You should keep extra pieces as back up.

Also, there are two types of blades available: T shank and U shank. T shanks are easy to change using your hands only. But U shank requires a special tool to change.

Price Range

There are plenty of options available in the market if you are planning to buy one. A standard jigsaw usually costs from 100$ to 200$. If you are tight on budget, you can get a few options below 100$ also which is very much workable.

Pros of a Jig Saw

  • Super-efficient for making a curved and bevel cut
  • Can ensure 100% accuracy of the cutting
  • Able to make plunge cuts
  • The blade is smaller; hence, safer to use
  • Produces less debris in the working area

Cons of a Jig Saw

  • It is not suitable for cutting thick wood pieces
  • Not suitable for making long straightcuts
  • The blades are not durable

Brief Discussion on a Reciprocating Saw

Reciprocating models are also popular among professionals as well as DIYersnowadays. The below-mentioned information might be beneficial for you;

What is a Reciprocating Saw?

A reciprocating saw is often called as ‘A weapon of mass deconstruction!’ As the name goes, it has a powerful motor which enables it to cut through deeper and faster on wood, fiberglass, metal, etc. It cannot be considered as a fine crafting tool.

The tool is featured with a long thin blade which moves back and forth to cut through material. It is a powerful tool which is mainly used for demolition, renovation, remodeling or trimming trees. This tool creates a harsh, strong cut; you cannot expect a curved or a smooth cut.

Key Features of a Jigsaw

Cutting Pattern

Reciprocating saw comes with a special kind of blade named ‘Sawzall Blades’. The blade moves in a reciprocal approach which means it has a back and forth motion working at high speed to cut things.

It can work on wood, plywood and even metal. This is the perfect choice for straight cuts in case you need to demolish the material. Reciprocating saw works at an exceptionally high speed with great result.

Blade Varieties

You will get varieties of reciprocating blades in the market ranging from 3 inches to 12 inches. However, 7 inches to 8 inch long blades are considered to be the standard size.

Shorter blades are suitable for a precise cut when you need to balance the tool very well. On the other hand, longer blades might vibrate while working but it ensures smooth and longer cut with flexibility.

Price Range

The price of a reciprocating saw varies from brand to brand. There are hundreds of brand available in the market. But please keep in mind that it is not a cheap tool. If you have decided to buy a reciprocating saw you should keep a budget of 100$ to 200$ to get a decent one.

Pros of a Reciprocating Saw

  • Blades are completely visible
  • Makes demolishing task quicker
  • You can hold and cut material above your head level
  • Can easily cut through many types of materials

Cons of a Reciprocating Saw

  • Produces rough cut;
  • Failure to make an intricate or precise cut
  • Requires both hands to operate

Jigsaw vs. Reciprocal Saw: Comparison at a Glance



Reciprocal Saw

Blade PositionBlade works verticallyBlade works horizontally
Work VolumeNot suitable for heavy-duty jobsSuitable for heavy duty job
Tool PositionTool position has to be at chest levelThe tool can be held above the head
Intricate CutCan assure cutting intricacy and accuracyLacks precision and accuracy
FinishingProduce smooth finishingProduce rough finishing


A jigsaw and a reciprocating saw are unique by their features and attributes.

Both of the tools are efficient in their work area and even though both the tools look similar and work pattern is almost the same, confusion might occur trying to decide upon either of them. But if you can choose the right kind of tool, it is guaranteed that your work pressure and time will be lessened significantly.

If you intend to make rough, deep cuts, then reciprocating saw should be your choice. It will give you a smooth and deeper cut within the shortest possible time.

But if your project needs fine crafting, precise curved cut then without a second thought, you should go for the jigsaw. The jigsaw is a specialized tool for accurate cross-cutting.

So if you are sure about your work need, choosing between a reciprocating saw and a jig saw should not be a critical issue.