Reciprocating Saw vs. Jigsaw – Which one to Buy?

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Quick Answer: Reciprocating Saw vs. Jigsaw

A jigsaw is a type of reciprocating saw and they both work using the same mechanism of a reciprocating blade but their usage is different. A reciprocating saw is a coarse tool used for breaking down and demolishing stuff while a jigsaw is a finesse tool that can make any type of cut and is best suited for DIYers and small businessmen.

Why do a reciprocating saw and a Jigsaw look exactly alike and as they were made to do the same type of jobs? Why am I unable to figure out what’s the catch with these two saws, why are they different?

If these questions haunt you on your shopping spree, then you have come to the right place to read finely what are these two types of saws

A reciprocating saw, as is evident from its name, is a saw that delivers its action from the sliding up and down of its blade, in a reciprocating fashion.

A jigsaw is a type of reciprocating saw and thus has the same working mechanism and similar functionalities.

A Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw is a powerful tool that has been nicknamed by many professionals alike as ‘the weapon of mass destruction’.

It is known to cut through anything, any material- be it wood, metal, steel or lumber. It is used by carpenters, masons, plumbers and construction site workers.

It cuts the material by the action of the saw blade moving up and down

A reciprocating saw is a tool in the coarse spectrum of woodworking tools. It is powerful and versatile and can make deep cuts through anything, very fast and easily.

Thus, it is best used by people with jobs where they want to make heavy, deep cuts or those who want to break down something, perhaps in the demolition industry.

Check out the following video to get a feel of what a reciprocating saw might be used for:

A reciprocating saw is limited by its finesse. It runs on high power to cut through anything, but it cannot be counted upon to make fine precise cuts.

It is a coarse tool, more suited for demolition and the breaking down of things than making them. It also runs on high power which is a drawback.

A Jigsaw

BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C Smart Select Jig Saw, 5.0-Amp

A jigsaw is a power tool, a type of reciprocating saw that also delivers the cut with the blade moving up and down the wooden board.

It is a handheld tool that has jigged blades, that is, coarser teeth on a small and narrow anchored blade.

It is less powerful than a reciprocating saw but can make any type of cut- straight, rip, diagonal, angled at any place on the material.

A jigsaw has unparalleled versatility due to the large range of cuts, it is capable of and thus finds a place in almost every workshop.

It can cut through other materials like PVC, steel, metal also and is also used by masons and plumbers. However, it proves most useful to DIYers and small craftsman who are offered unrestrictive independence and creativity by this type of saw

A jigsaw is limited by its power. It can only be used for small workpieces and smaller cuts.

It is a benefit of working with jigsaws, that you can reach in the smallest corner, in the furthest crevice, but it comes at a price.

A jigsaw would fail to cut deep into thicker materials and working on large pieces, with only a jigsaw would be a pain.

A Reciprocating Saw vs a Jigsaw

Here are the key differences between a reciprocating saw and a jigsaw


A reciprocating saw is a heavy duty tool, best used in the industry for deep cutting through thick materials, or by people into demolition.

Its power, strength, and versatility are legends of their own right and to own a reciprocating saw is a sign of distinction, that you have graduated the novice DIYer level.

A jigsaw is a very creative tool that can be used by DIYers, small businessmen, large businesses, masons, carpenters, virtually anyone because it can do most of the jobs you purchase other saws to do.

It can make any cut, cut through any material.


A reciprocating saw is powerful, can cut through anything, is easy to operate and does not fail its duty. It is a handy tool for tearing down houses, walls, windows, really anything.

A jigsaw is less powerful but more precise. It can be used to build anything, any craft, any project. As it operates on less power, it is also safer and you can safely hand it over to kids, while you cannot do the same with a reciprocating saw


A reciprocating saw runs on very high power. To make the deep cuts, it goes back and forth at an astonishing speed, with very energy, which makes the tool a little unsafe for regular usage.

Precautions should be taken when learning to operate it. Also, it lacks the finesse of other saws and it is certainly not known and used for its accuracy and precision.

A jigsaw runs on low power. While it is a blessing of a tool for small crafts, and intelligent wood pieces, it can be torturous to use a jigsaw to break something down or cut large pieces of a board.


There isn’t much difference between the price of a reciprocating saw and a jigsaw though you’ll find some models of a reciprocating saw cheaper than an equivalent model of a jigsaw.

Even though by the initial cost, a reciprocating saw is cheaper, you might want to look into the operating cost, as a reciprocating saw will require significant amounts of electricity.

Also, you’ll need to invest in precautionary materials for safety like elbow shields which will add to its overhead.

Final Words

All in all, a jigsaw is a type of reciprocating saw. Both saws deliver their cuts by the same mechanism and can work with a variety of materials but their functionalities are different.

A reciprocating saw is a coarse power tool best suited for destruction in the demolition industry or the home renovation industry.

A jigsaw is a finer tool than a reciprocating saw and can deliver any cut, for any project and is suited for everyone. It is especially handy for DIYer and small businessmen who can rely on just one tool to complete their whole project

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