Reciprocating Saw vs Jigsaw

Reciprocating saw vs Jigsaw, that is the question. It’s something many consumers ask themselves when torn between the two tools, and not an easy decision to make.They are two completely different beasts with a few exceptions, and if you are forced to choose one, you need to choose right the first time around.

Which is better: Reciprocating saw vs Jigsaw

Reciprocating saw

These are otherwise known as SAWZALLS and are a great option when precision isn’t important. It’s not that you can’t cut on a line with a reciprocating saw – you can. It’s the power and the way the work which is completely different than a jigsaw.


A reciprocating saw can cut through anything from a 4” x 4” to rebar; it just depends on the blade. They work in a “push/pull” fashion is ideal when you need to cut through tougher materials in tight spaces.  

You can find light-duty reciprocating saws, but most of these tools are built for heavy usage which includes construction sites. That said, homeowners will love it as well when it’s time to cut a branch their lopping shears can’t handle.


While you can slow the speed down to make a better cut, you can forget about doing any finesse work with this type of saw. They vibrate and are considerably heavier than a jigsaw as well.


We introduced you to this wonderful tool in our best cordless jigsaw breakdown, and it’s a handy tool for contractors and hobbyists alike.


A jigsaw is lightweight and easy to operate. It allows you to make intricate cuts on a wide variety of materials including sheet and medium-gauge metal.

Another reason folks love this tool is its versatility. You can cut a slot in drywall or handle a doorframe with ease. They are also great for making quick cuts like a reciprocating saw; they just do it with far more precision.


Want to make a flush cut against a piece of steel or wood? That’s going to be difficult due to the design of a jigsaw. That’s about the only drawback, however, and you can find models just as powerful as other types of saws.

When to use a Reciprocating saw and when to use a Jigsaw?

Now that you know what the tools are and what they can do, it’s time to talk about the right time to use each tool. In some cases, you may be able to use either, but we’ll discuss their specialties below…

Use a Reciprocating saw when…

Do you need to do a little demo work or tear out a wall?

If so, you will want a reciprocating saw. They are powerful enough to rip through studs in seconds and can even slice through pipes and nails as well.

Framing windows and cutting things that are out in the “open” are great uses for this saw. We also think it’s handy around the house, especially if you have a large lot with plenty of trees or overgrowth. A cordless model can save you a lot of work when compared to manual snippers.

Use a Jigsaw when…

There are times in the shop when you will need to cut an odd shape. It’s bound to happen if you work with wood or do enough construction. This is where a jigsaw comes in handy as you can rip or perform a delicate bevel cut with a high degree of accuracy.


Reciprocating saw vs jigsaw, have you made your decision yet? If not, keep it simple.

If you work construction or demolition work, leave the jigsaw alone and pick up a reciprocating saw. If you have never used one before, you will be blown away by how powerful they can be. Even the mid-range models can cut through steel provided you’ve picked up the right blade for the job.

If you spend most of your time in a wood shop, it’s highly unlikely you’ll break out the reciprocating saw. You can rip wood (or metal) with other saws, which means you will definitely want the jigsaw. As mentioned, you won’t see too many on construction sites, but you will be hard-pressed to find a wood shop without one.

Just keep your needs in mind if you have to choose and consider your budget as always. If you don’t need a heavy-duty tool, you may be able to pick up both styles for the price of one top-tier saw.


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