Scroll Saw vs Jigsaw — What are the Differences?

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

After working on that high-value project, you are sure that the tool to bring out the lovely intricate cuts is a jigsaw, and every person agrees until you hear that there is a scroll saw that can deliver even better results. This can be pretty confusing, right?

It is time to get the confusion off the radar and help you understand the difference between the two saws. Read this scroll saw vs jigsaw comparison to learn more about these power tools and identify the perfect option for you.

On jigsaws, our top pick is the Bosch JS470E Jigsaw. It is well balanced, sturdily built, and rocks features that make it ideal for diverse projects. Simply put; it is the best of the best!

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. Makita XVJ03Z 18V Cordless Jig Saw

  • 5 pounds
  • 3.6 x 12.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Lithium ion batteries
  • Three years limited warranty
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1. Bosch JS470E Jigsaw — Best Overall

Our first pick in the jigsaw category is this JS470E from Bosch because of its sheer power and well-rounded features. Its sturdy construction and ergonomic design will make it a perfect addition to your workshop. Well, it does not matter how tough the cutting task is, this jigsaw will rip it with ease.

The jigsaw is designed with a 7 AMP motor that delivers maximum power to the blade for faster and more accurate cuts. It also has a 4-orbital-action setting that allows you to work through diverse projects. To make it more accurate and final results appealing, it also comes with an internal precision-machined plunging system.

There is nothing as distracting as having to stop for an extended period mid-project to change a blade. But you will not experience this problem when using this saw because changing a blade takes only seconds. Also, it does not require using Allen keys or other tools.

Specs

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

Pros

  • Designed with strong materials for a longer lifespan
  • Comes with an effective dust management system
  • Can be used on a wide range of projects

Cons

  • Expensive
  • You cannot use it without electricity

Rating – 4.75/5.0

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

If you check in many commercial carpentry shops, a big percentage of them are likely to be using this One+ P523 18 volt T Shank Jigsaw from Ryobi. It is powerful, versatile, and very easy to use. With its 3,000 strokes per minute, this jigsaw will rip through the hardest workpiece as if it were paper.

We liked the jigsaw’s locking system that allows you to select the speed and lock it at the preferred level. This means three things; you can maintain the speed no matter the load, your wrist will be free of fatigue, and the cutting project will be done faster. Furthermore, you can make different types of cuts, both angle and straight cuts, with ease.

If you want to make a clean cut, the cutting line must be clearly visible, and Ryobi knew this too well. This is why they incorporated a high-performance dust blower to help keep the debris away. By getting the dust from the tool, it also means that its switches and sensitive parts such as the motor will not get clogged.

Specs

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

Pros

  • The tool is very easy to control
  • Long-lasting
  • Changing blades is easy and fast

Cons

  • Does not use u-shank blades

Rating – 4.7/5.0

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3. Makita XVJ03Z 18V Cordless Jig Saw

This Makita XVJ03Z from Makita is another powerhouse that has become the first choice for many carpenters because of its impressive features and proven performance. With its 3-position orbital action settings, you will find this jigsaw very effective no matter the project at hand, from cutting tough wood to ripping through plastic.

When designing a cordless jigsaw like this Makita XVJ03Z, the primary focus is power. This jigsaw uses an 18 volt Li-Ion battery that delivers a maximum of 2,600 strokes per minute. Furthermore, the jigsaw is designed with a big 2-finger variable trigger speed for easier control and comfort.

You will also like this jigsaw’s innovative Star Protection Computer Controls for enhancing its performance and lifespan. With these controls, you can use the jigsaw without worrying about overloading, over-discharging or overheating.

Specs

  • 5 pounds
  • 3.6 x 12.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Lithium ion batteries
  • Three years limited warranty

Pros

  • Sold with a long warranty of three years
  • Changing the blade is easy and fast
  • Designed to last
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Batteries and charger are bought separately

Rating – 4.7/5.0

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The DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw is our first choice because of its unique design and advanced features that make angle and other unique cuts easy.

Our Top Scroll Saws Are:

ProductDetails
1. DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw

  • 56 pounds
  • 29.5 x 19.5 x 12.1 inches
  • Corded electric
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2. WEN 3920

  • 26 pounds
  • 24 x 11 x 13 inches
  • Corded electric
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3. Delta Power Tools 40-694

  • 60 pounds
  • 30 x 20 x 13 inches
  • Corded electric
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1. DEWALT DW788 Scroll Saw — Top Pick

This scroll saw is our first choice because of its design and advanced features that allow users to make angle cuts easily. Whether you target making bevel cuts or 3D fractals cuts, none of them is too complex for this engineering marvel.

This scroll saw runs on a 1.3 AMP motor that delivers variable stroke lengths of 3/4 to 2 inches deep, which we found ample for most intricate cuts. To make your work easier, the saw’s on-off switch, speed control, and blade tensioning levers are positioned on the front upper arm for easy reach. Therefore, you can promptly change the blade speed, angle of a cut, or change the blade of the saw with ease.

Another standout feature of this scroll saw is its arm design, which is constructed to make every cut accurate. It pivots from the back so that the distance it needs to move is smaller. It also comes with an effective vibration dampening system that makes the saw quieter and smoother to work with.

Specs

  • 56 pounds
  • 29.5 x 19.5 x 12.1 inches
  • Corded electric

Pros

  • Super quiet
  • Can be used to make even the most intricate cuts
  • Designed to last

Cons

  • Not cordless

Rating – 4.6/5.0

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2. WEN 3920

This scroll saw has become the must-go-to option by many professionals, and now we know why-awesome design and affordability. It is one of the affordable pieces out there that comes with top-rated features, which will enable you to make many types of cuts on wood.

This saw has a 16” throat depth that will allow you to make cuts as thick as two inches on wood. Furthermore, the scroll saw has a variable speed system that allows you to select either 550 SPM and 1600 SPM depending on the project at hand.

To enable users to make cuts of up to 2” easily, this scroll saw uses both pinned and pinless blades. Then, it comes with a flexible LED work light that illuminates your workpiece so that you can make clean cuts and enjoy better results.

If you are targeting making fine and precision cuts, debris such as dust and wood shavings can easily get on the way. To address the challenge, this scroll saw comes with an adjustable air pump that blows debris from the workpiece for a clear view of the cut lines.

Specs

  • 26 pounds
  • 24 x 11 x 13 inches
  • Corded electric

Pros

  • Comes with an onboard blade storage
  • Cast-iron base that makes it firm and long-lasting
  • Tilting table allows you to make cuts of up to 45 degrees

Cons

  • Difficult to move around

Rating – 4.3/5.0

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3. Delta Power Tools 40-694

The Delta Power Tools 40-694 is another amazing scroll saw that helps you to make cuts that are impossible with other tools such as jigsaws. Rocking a maximum speed of 1,750 SPM and with its easy to use controls, this scroll saw is a great option for beginners.

The most notable thing about this scroll saw is that you can adjust its speed depending on the project at hand. You can select a slow speed of 400 SMP or 1,750 SPM to make special cuts such as intarsia or waves that require a lot of precision.

When working with scroll saws, you need an assortment of blades to make different types of cuts. To make it simpler for you to access them, the saw comes with on-tool blade storage that allows you to stay organized and work on more projects.

Specs

  • 60 pounds
  • 30 x 20 x 13 inches
  • Corded electric

Pros

  • Uses an adjustable dust hose to blow dust away
  • An effective vibration reducing system
  • Changing the blade is easy and tool-free

Cons

  • Heavy

Rating – 4.4/5.0

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Scroll Saw versus Jigsaw Comparison

A jigsaw is a hand-held power tool that uses a reciprocating saw blade fitted only at the top, and extending downwards. Jigsaws are very popular with both professional carpenters and DIY (do-it-yourself) persons because of their versatility.

Indeed, it is a jack-of-all-trades, capable of making different types of cuts, including plunge cuts, straight cuts, freehand cuts, and even cutting workpieces in confined spaces.

A scroll saw is a hybrid of a sewing machine and jigsaw. Unlike a jigsaw, it is a stationary power tool that is fixed both at the top and bottom. Therefore, instead of moving the machine, you move the wood or workpiece around the blade- see, just like a tailor does in a sewing machine.

Scroll saws are awesome when you have intricate projects to work on. They can make 90 degrees cuts, loop de loo cuts, wave cuts, and angle cuts with ease. Also, scroll saws can make other more delicate cuts, such as 3-D fractals, pierce cuts, intarsia, and marquetry, which a jigsaw cannot.

Buying Guide

After reading our scroll saw vs jigsaw comparison, it is now clear that the two are indeed different power tools. But you might still be wondering how to pick the best piece for your workshop or home projects. Here are things to consider:

Your Cutting Project

This is the greatest determinant of the type of scroll saw or jigsaw to buy. If you have a lot of cutting tasks in construction sites and away from the workshop, you should go for a powerful jigsaw that can complete the task fast and professionally. But if you need to make unique and precision cuts on special projects, go for a powerful scroll saw.  

Your Budget

How much are you willing to use on a scroll saw or jigsaw? When it comes to power tools, you should not simply rush to pick the cheapest because it is likely to be of poor quality.

The focus should be identifying the scroll saw or jigsaw with the best features and demonstrated high-performance but sold affordably. But you are lucky because our reviews have covered jigsaws and scroll saws with a wide price range.

Brand

One proven method of identifying a great jigsaw or scroll saw is looking at the manufacturer. To know the best model out there, we strongly recommend that you stick with brands that have demonstrated commitment to customer value. These are companies like Delta Power Tools, WEN, and Makita.

Blade Changes

In the past, carpenters used to waste a lot of time changing jigsaw and scroll saw blades. But new and innovative designs now make changing the blades easy.

The best saw for your workshop should come with a mechanism that allows you to change the blade easily without using any tool.

User Warranty and Durability

To most carpenters, every tool is selected to help add value to a workshop. Therefore, you should only buy the jigsaw or scroll saw that is designed to last.

To know if a saw is durable, check for sturdy construction, good dust management system, innovative switches, and long warranty.

Final Thoughts

While both jigsaw and scroll saw can be used for plunge cuts and curved line cuts, the core difference is this: a scroll saw is created to do the jobs with top-notch precision, while a jigsaw is also okay, but will be able to do many other things.

So, which is the best for you? We say it depends on your project. If you are a woodworker looking for a convenient all-round tool that can rip through any material thrown at it, the ideal option is a jigsaw. But if you are interested in a machine that delivers high precision and clear results, go for a scroll saw.

While we stand with the pieces we have reviewed in this scroll saw vs jigsaw (they are the best for your workshop), the Bosch JS470E Jigsaw is the best of all. It comes with great features that no carpenter wants to miss in his workshop!

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