Jigsaw vs Circular Saw Comparison: What Should You Get?

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

Professional woodworkers and handymen understand one thing: the importance of having the right power saws when working on different projects. But if you are a newbie, one of the dilemmas likely to face you is whether to go for a jigsaw or circular saw. So which is better? Which one do you buy?

To help you answer these questions, here is our jigsaw vs circular saw comparison to determine their design, performance, features, and pros and cons. Check closely to not only know the difference, but further establish the ideal model for your workshop or DIY (do-it-yourself) tasks.

The Makita SP6000J1 is our top pick in the circular saw category because of its powerful motor and large cutting capacity.

Our Top Circular Saws Are:

ProductDetails
1. Makita SP6000J1

  • 28 pounds
  • 75 x 14.8 x 24.2 inches
  • Corded electric
  • 12 AMP
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2. Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 Circular Saw

  • 11.5 pounds
  • 20.5 x 7.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Corded electric
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3. DEWALT 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw

  • 8.8 pounds
  • 16.2 x 10.1 x 10.5 inches
  • Corded electric
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1. Makita SP6000J1 — Best Overall

This Makita SP6000J1 is the undisputed leader in the circular saw niche because of its awesome design and features that make cutting through workpieces easy and fast.

The circular saw comes with a 12 AMP motor carefully tucked in a light-weight body, which makes it the ideal piece for ripping through sheet material, trimming tasks, finish work, and remodeling.

The biggest selling point of this circular saw is its unique portable saw precision table that helps to provide splinter-free cuts when working on tough workpieces. The end result is a smooth cut that will make your project more appealing.

We also found the electronic speed control very useful because it allows you to comfortably work on different projects, from cutting tough blocks of wood to slicing lumber. Furthermore, the saw comes with bevel capability that allows you to make angle cuts.

Specs

  • 28 pounds
  • 75 x 14.8 x 24.2 inches
  • Corded electric
  • 12 AMP

Pros

  • Delivers awesome cuts on your workpieces
  • Uses a very powerful motor
  • Designed to last

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Cutting pieces narrower than the guide is tricky

Rating – 4.6/5.0

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2. Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 Circular Saw

This Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 Circular Saw is as tough as it looks. It is a light-weight circular saw that is designed to help you showcase your A-rated game into every project. Using its powerful 15 AMP motor, this circular saw is strong enough and will cut even the toughest workpiece effortlessly.

To get your project done with a circular saw, Skil engineers knew that you need to have absolute control. The saw allows you to use both hands for better control and professional results. Furthermore, the saw’s handles are rubberized for better grips when working on your cutting projects.

One challenge that carpenters face when using circular saws is poor balance that can easily result in wrist fatigue. But not with this SPT77WML-01 circular saw. The motor, blade, and frame are carefully balanced so that the saw feels like an extension of your arm.

Specs

  • 11.5 pounds
  • 20.5 x 7.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Corded electric

Pros

  • Adjusting to different cuts is easy, fast and convenient
  • Can be used for a wide range of cutting projects
  • On-tool multifunction wrench makes changing the blade easy
  • Unquestionable quality

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Cannot be used where there is no electricity

Rating – 4.7/5.0

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3. DEWALT 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw

Mention this DEWALT 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw, and you will be surprised to see how carpenters adore it. It is a carefully designed model with features that make cutting most workpieces, fast, and smooth. Using a powerful 15 AMP motor, this circular saw generates 5,100 RPM, which we found ample even for the most challenging workpieces.

One of the most noticeable things about this circular saw is its toughness and durability. Using its ToughCord cord system, the saw provides three times more resistance to cord pull-outs compared to most circular saws. Other features that make this saw durable include its balanced construction and ergonomic handle.

Unlike many circular saws that are very heavy, this DEWALT 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw is light and compact. Weighing 8.8 pounds and only 7.2 inches in width, you will find the circular saw very easy to use.

And now to the interesting details, you can use the saw to make bevel cuts of up to 57 degrees, with 22.5-45-degree dents. This is why this saw has become one of the top choices for woodworkers, concrete formers, general contractors, and remodelers.

Specs

  • 8.8 pounds
  • 16.2 x 10.1 x 10.5 inches
  • Corded electric

Pros

  • Designed with a high-grade aluminum plate for accurate cuts
  • Comes with a strong motor
  • Durable

Cons

  • Dust management is a challenge

Rating – 4.8/5.0

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On jigsaws, the Bosch JS470E Jigsaw is the best choice because of its ergonomic design, and suitability for multiple projects.

Our Top Jigsaws Are:

ProductDetails
1. Bosch JS470E Jigsaw

  • 5.9 pounds
  • 15.8 x 14.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Corded electric
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2. Ryobi’s One+ P523 18 volt T Shank Jigsaw

  • 4.9 pounds
  • 11 x 12 x 6.5 inches
  • Battery-powered
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3. PORTER-CABLE PC600JS Jigsaw

  • 5.9 pounds
  • 15.8 x 14.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Corded electric
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1. Bosch JS470E Jigsaw — Top Pick

Coming in the first position on the jigsaw category is the Bosch JS470E Jigsaw because of its well-rounded features. It is powerful and rocks an ergonomic design that makes it easy for you to work for a long time without getting fatigued.

Therefore, whether you are a carpenter looking for a professional jigsaw or a DIY (do-it-yourself) person with occasional weekend projects, this jigsaw will not disappoint.

This jigsaw is designed with features that make it firm, powerful, and easy to use. With its 7.0 AMP motor and four orbital-action tool settings, you can cut through any workpiece using this saw.

Besides, this saw is super accurate with its internal precision-machined plunging system, which guarantees smooth saw operation and professional results.

To address the challenge of extended downtime when changing blades for most saws, this Bosch JS470E Jigsaw allows you to change the blades in seconds. Simply lift the front part to pluck out the used blade and slide the new one into place. No need for special tools!

Specs

  • 5.9 pounds
  • 15.8 x 14.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Corded electric

Pros

  • An effective dust management system
  • Designed with die-cast aluminum and steel for extra durability
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Pricey

Rating – 4.7/5.0

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2. Ryobi’s One+ P523 18 volt T Shank Jigsaw

This One+ P523 18 volt T Shank Jigsaw from Ryobi is another remarkable tool that clocks a maximum of 3,000 strokes per minute, which is ample for most of your cutting needs.

Its locking mechanism was particularly outstanding because it allows you to operate with fingers off the trigger to reduce wrist fatigue.

Another feature that makes this jigsaw stand out is its variable speed setting, which allows you to work on different projects and get A-rated results.

If you want to make straight cuts on planks of wood, tune the jigsaw to the maximum speed. But if you intend to make curved cuts, we found lower blade speed more effective.

Using its built-in dust blower, this jigsaw helps to clear the debris from your workpieces so that you can see the cut line well for smooth cuts. It also helps to prevent the dust from clogging the jigsaw.

Specs

  • 4.9 pounds
  • 11 x 12 x 6.5 inches
  • Battery-powered

Pros

  • Easy to control using the trigger locking system
  • Ideal for both professional and DIY uses
  • Built to last
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Only works with t-shank blades

Rating – 4.7/5.0

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3. PORTER-CABLE PC600JS Jigsaw

This PORTER-CABLE PC600JS Jigsaw is one of the most notable power tools from Porter-cable because it has plenty of features that make it attractive, especially to those interested in quality tools but want to spend less.

This jigsaw uses a 6 AMP motor, which is less powerful than our first pick, but we found it strong enough for most workshop tasks. Because most DIY (do-it-yourself) projects require jigsaws with about 3 AMP, so this model is a perfect option for both professionals and hobbyists.

Using the PORTER-CABLE PC600JS Jigsaw is really fun and enjoyable. It comes with a 4-position orbital lever and further 7-position speed dial for optimal performance. This makes it ideal for a wide range of projects, including cutting plywood, scrollwork, sink cutouts, shelving, and art projects. No workpiece is too hard for this jigsaw!

Specs

  • 5.9 pounds
  • 15.8 x 14.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Corded electric

Pros

  • Sold with a long warranty of three years
  • Free one year service by Porter-Cable experts
  • Designed with an ergonomic and balanced design
  • Ideal for a wide range of cutting projects

Cons

  • The release mechanism is poor

Rating – 4.2/5.0

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Jigsaw versus Circular Saw: What is the Difference?

A jigsaw is a handheld type of reciprocating power saw that uses a small and narrow blade fixed on the top part of the tool, but it is loose on the bottom.

A jigsaw rips materials using reciprocating motion, which makes it the perfect tool for making small cuts, especially in tight places. Also, it is recommended when you need to cut complex or curved shapes. Jigsaws are available in corded and cordless models.

Circular saws are power saws designed with round and vertically-oriented blades. Most circular saws are made with blades of diameters of 85-235 mm. They are best suited for making quick straight cuts.

Notably, the circular saws are the commonest models in many workshops and construction sites. Like jigsaws, the circular saws are available in both corded and cordless models.

Buying Guide

After reading our jigsaw versus circular saw reviews above, you can now appreciate that they are indeed different and designed for different roles.

So let us hop into our final part: how do you identify the ideal jigsaw or circular saw for your work? Here are the main things to consider:

The Nature of Your Work

The type of project you want to handle should be the primary factor in defining what to buy. Because a circular saw is stronger and more powerful, it is ideal when you have tough cuttings in your workshop, factory, or construction sites.

But if you are mainly dealing with cutting curves on workpieces, a jigsaw would be a better option. Remember that if the job involves working in areas with no electricity, a cordless option will be more appropriate.

Power

As you think about the job at hand, power also comes into play. If you have a lot of cutting tasks or must deal with tough workpieces, it is advisable to go for the saws with more powerful motors.

But if you are only interested in occasional carpentry jobs around the home on weekends, a less powerful jigsaw or circular saw will be okay.

Brand

By simply looking at the manufacturer of a circular saw or jigsaw, you can tell whether it is of high or poor quality. The secret is to only buy what is made by companies such as Makita, Ryobi, Bosch, and Skil, which are liked by people because of their commitment to quality.

Parts Availability

When you use power tools such as jigsaws or circular saws, you anticipate that some of their parts, especially blades, would wear down eventually. So, only select the power tools with replacements parts readily available in the market.

You might also want to chat with the manufacturer or authorized supplier for assurance of parts supplies on demand. Some good manufacturers even have service centers to help their clients get professional jigsaw or circular saws repairs.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the battle between jigsaw and circular saw comes down to one thing: why you need the tool. Comparing these two reveals they are completely different tools, with each rocking different features.

While it is true that they are both used for cutting things, they both have a place in every wood workshop, and you should buy both if you can afford them.

In our jigsaw vs circular saw comparison, Makita SP6000J1  and Bosch JS470E Jigsaw were the best in the circular saws and band saws categories, respectively. They are top products and each comes with features that you will find uniquely useful for your workshop.

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