As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Reciprocating Saw Vs Jigsaw | In-depth Comparison For Newbies

Reciprocating saw vs Jigsaw, this is a never-ending debate going on. I have seen a lot of people looking for an accurate comparison of these two, probably both are saw that’s the reason people are seeking a comparison. Though both are the same thing, still they operate pretty differently and their work area is separated. They both come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

One saw is suitable for making different kinds of cuts and the other one is specialized in cutting through different materials. The job is to cut but the rest thing is different. One cuts curves, straight lines, angled, other kinds of cuts. And the other saw has to cut through rough and tough materials. I don’t know if you have got my point or not.

But no worries at all! Below I have made an in-depth comparison of both these two saws. I have covered every aspect so that you get a full understanding of these two. So without more delay, let’s get to the comparison!

What is a Reciprocating Saw?

Reciprocating saw is a very powerful tool and it is designed to cut things horizontally by a push and pull motion. This saw is a suitable tool for pruning trees, demolition, renovating works, etc. This tool is very similar to the small chainsaw.

Instead of the chain, this has a reciprocating blade that moves in a reciprocating motion and does the work. Not only the reciprocating saw, but the jigsaw blade also moves in the push and pull motion. If you ever see a power saw that comes with a horizontal blade at the end, there is a high probability that it will be a reciprocating saw.

Reciprocating saw requires both hands to operate, it isn’t safe to use a reciprocating saw with one hand. And now it is easy to operate the reciprocating saw with a single hand. Beginners need to be very careful when using a reciprocating saw because the high power can make it hard for the user to control it.

Where Can You Use a Reciprocating Saw?

So where do you use a reciprocating saw? Whenever you have to cut a material that is really tough, the reciprocating saw comes into play then. Tough material like concrete, brick, hardwood, cast iron, plaster, stucco, drywall, tile, fiberglass, cement, etc.

Reciprocating saws were designed to deal with tough material. That being said, the machine will be the same but when the material changes the blade also have to change. There are different reciprocating blades available, different blades are designed for different kind of materials.

If you will be cutting hardwood, then you have to pick a blade that is suitable for that. Using the wrong blade will not only damage the blade and material, but it will damage the machine as well. So be very careful when choosing the blade.

And another thing to keep in mind doesn’t matter what material you are cutting, you shouldn’t keep the reciprocating saw running for a long time, you have to give it rest for a while in between the cutting process. How long you can keep the saw running should be in the manual that comes with the purchase.Moving on!

There is another name of reciprocating saw, that is demolition saw. Since the tool is very aggressive that’s why it is name Demolition. However, this tool does a great job when it comes down to demolition. It works incredibly in exposed surface tasks such as electrical, construction, plumbing, etc.

And this tool work as a great helping hand also when you need to frame out cutting pipes, or windows, etc.

The Pros of Reciprocating Saw

  • Though this is a very powerful tool, with little experience, it is very easy to control.
  • It is suitable for the construction industry works since it perfectly does overhead cuts.
  • Reciprocating saws can cut through different rough and tough materials, so it is very versatile.
  • Demolition, remolding, or renovating, all works become easy with a good reciprocating saw.
  • Reciprocating saws are highly durable if maintained well.

The Cons of Reciprocating Saw

  • Reciprocating saws give very rough finishes that are not aesthetic at all. It is not suitable for clean cutting.
  • When it comes to making delicate cuts, you should stay 1000 ft away from the reciprocating saw, they are not suitable for delicate cuts.

There are different types of saw tools out there in the tools market. Among these, what is their application for specific work, and which saw tool is best fit for which DIY project?

A complete guideline is discussed in the following video. Let’s have a look:

What is Jigsaw?

Like the reciprocating saw, a jigsaw is also a powerful tool that uses a reciprocating blade and makes different cuts. But the difference between these two is, a jigsaw is vertical and a reciprocating saw is horizontal. In a jigsaw, the blade always faced downward.

It is a very lightweight tool that can be handled pretty easily with a single hand. Single hand operation makes it easy for the users. Jigsaw can easily make delicate and intricate cuts very easily with higher accuracy. This tool gives pretty good fishing that looks aesthetic.

Where Can You Use a Jigsaw?

A jigsaw is an extremely suitable tool for DIYers. It can cut drywall, pipes, ceramic, PVC, laminate, wood, metal, etc. But here also, you can change blades according to the material.

However, the jigsaw is best for making delicate cuts but when it comes down to cutting tough materials, the jigsaw falls behind. Jigsaw is not as powerful as a reciprocating saw, so it is pretty obvious. Jigsaw is widely used by woodworkers but in recent times, artists are also using it.

The Pros of Jigsaw

  • Bevel cuts, angled cuts, miter cuts, etc. you can get them all done with a good jigsaw.
  • Very lightweight and can be handled effortlessly with a single hand.
  • Deliver highly aesthetic, clean, and precise cuts.
  • Extremely durable tool if you can maintain it well.

The Cons of Jigsaw

  • Jigsaw is not as powerful as a reciprocating saw, so it cannot cut through tough materials.
  • It cannot be used to make flush cuts.


So we are at the end of reciprocating saw vs jigsaw comparison. Both tools are good in their own area. Once it for going to rough and tough materials and another is to make aesthetic and clean cuts. I hope this guide gave you a basic understanding of both of these two tools.

You might also be interested in:

Rate this post
James R. Robertson
James R. Robertson

James R. Robertson is an expert advisor in all types of saws. His hobby is using different types of saw tools and has over 8 years of experience. Based on his experience with different types of saws, he is sharing his opinion about various saws. So that a beginner can get started right away. Happy reading!

Find Him On...

Leave a Comment