Reciprocating Saw vs Jigsaw: What’s the Difference?

In the construction industry, a reciprocating saw has different aliases such as a sabre or recipro saw. This machine is mostly used to cut metal, wood, fiber glass, and masonry. Interestingly, a jig saw is a type of reciprocating saw.

is a jigsaw the same as a reciprocating saw

Is a Jigsaw the Same As a Reciprocating Saw?


Although both machines are used for cutting, they are not the same. If you have an art or construction project, a jigsaw can cater for all your cutting and shaping needs.

This machine is designed for precision.

The jigsaw has a motor controlled by batteries or electricity. When switched on, the motor controls the cutting blade in an up and down motion.

Apart from creating ‘perfect’ curves and parallel cuts, the jigsaw can do crosscuts, beveling, ripping and plunge cutting on dry walls, ceramic tiles, and plastic.

Related: Top 5 Best Mini Saws


Jigsaw Functionality

If you want perfectly cut curves, look for a jigsaw with a knob-style extra handle for an enhanced grip, for example, the PJS03A Tacklife.

If you want a jigsaw that cuts perfect straight lines, find one that has an in-built laser for enhanced precision, for example, TAJS01P TECCPO.

You can seek out jigsaws with anti-vibration features to help you maintain control of the cutting process, a dust collection compartment to keep the work area clean, built-in lights for better visibility.


reciprocating saw vs jigsaw

Reciprocating Saw

This machine is mostly used in plumbing, construction, and electrical work due to its versatility. The saw runs on a powerful motor capable of producing speeds of between 2400 to 3200 strokes in one minute.

The reciprocating saw has a variable speed control to keep track of the blade’s velocity. When cutting hard objects, the blade needs to slow down to ensure precision modeling. Alternatively, if you are dealing with soft objects, the blade has to be fast.

Reciprocating Saw Functionality

A reciprocating saw is the ‘perfect’ cutting tool for demolition work. However, before you make the purchase, you need to consider certain factors. First, choose a corded saw because it will keep the power flow constant.

Second, go for a powerful machine with 10 amps or more. Some examples include Dewalt DWE304 and Dewalt DWE357.

Related: Jigsaw vs Circular Saw

Reciprocating Saw VS Jigsaw

The Jigsaw As A Precision Tool

A Jigsaw is not something that you’ll use very often, but it’s a machine that you’ll love having in your workshop. It will come in handy when you want to remodel your kitchen and do some modifications on the counter top.

The efficiency of its functionality depends on the material it cuts – it works best when the surface is made up of hard wood that’s not more 3/4″ thick or softwood with a thickness of 1.5″.

Anytime that you are using the jigsaw, place the base plate at a 90 degree angle to the surface.

Alternatively, if you intend to cut a circle without starting at the edge of the surface you are modifying, first drill a hole big enough to fit the jigsaw’s blade, then insert the machine and start curving.

Related: Top 7 Best Cordless Jigsaw Reviews 

Jigsaw vs Reciprocating Saw


The Reciprocating Saw As A Power Tool

On the other hand, reciprocating saws are convenient for shaping things that are out in the open. Since the machine’s blade is exposed, it can easily be used to frame out windows and doors and to cut plumbing pipes.

A reciprocating saw is great for cutting things vertically because of how it’s made. The machine normally cuts in a push and pull motion, but there are variations.

Others cut in a pendulum-like motion. The advantage of the latter motion is that it minimizes the spread of dust when cutting.

To demonstrate the versatility of a reciprocating saw, imagine a scenario where the door jams due to a lock malfunction.

You can use the machine to cut through the lock and reveal its ‘skeleton’ so that you can try to fix the lock. If that option fails, you can utilize the same machine to cut through the door jamb and open the door.

Related: Best Cordless Recipro Saw


Notable Differences

  • A reciprocating saw can be used when you are standing on a ladder, while a jigsaw needs to be placed horizontally on the surface which it’s cutting.
  • A reciprocating saw is preferable for designing frames, while a jigsaw is good for cutting ceramic tiles and round edges.



If you read this article until the very end, you now have the answer to this question: is a jigsaw the same as a reciprocating saw?

The highlighted differences will enable you to make a wise decision as to whether the reciprocating saw vs jigsaw is best for your project needs.