scroll saw vs jigsaw

The good news is that you can choose between a wide variety of cutting tools regardless of what you need to cut. The bad news is that it can make your selection more difficult when it comes to finding a tool that perfectly suits your preference. In this article, we are focusing on the scroll saw vs jigsaw duel.

We will analyze the specifics of both of these tools, as well as when you should choose a scroll saw and when you should go with a jigsaw. The goal is to help you pick the right tool easily. Let’s start by learning more about both types of saws.

What Is a Scroll Saw?

scroll sawHere is a short overview of a scroll saw:

  • A small and thin blade
  • Requires a working surface, such as a stand or table
  • Suitable for curved and detailed cuts

A scroll saw will either have its own stand or you will need to secure a working surface to be able to perform cuts. The tool has a thin and small blade, which is suitable for making fine and detailed cuts. The blade is suitable for making a plunge or inside cut.

You can perform them by drilling a hole in the center of the area you want to cut out. Next, place your blade through it, set the tension, and activate the saw. Inside cuts are ideal for detailed designs when you need the outer are to remain whole.

Since scroll saws have a thin and relatively small blade, they cannot cut large materials. You should always keep in mind throat capacity and material size and thickness. The experts advise sticking to 1-inch materials or thinner when working with a scroll saw.

When You Should Choose a Scroll Saw

Do you need to make precise and delicate cuts? In that case, you can’t go wrong with choosing a scroll saw. Its primary purpose is to cut thin materials in a clean and precise way. We are talking about a high level of precision – that high you won’t even have to do any sanding after.

One of the most common uses of scroll saws is to make jigsaw puzzles out of wood. That is because scroll saws make such cuts that the pieces fall back in ideally. You can use a scroll saw for all sorts of decorative and craft project. The tool gives you plenty of control and rarely leaves rough edges.

When You Should Avoid a Scroll Saw

Scroll saws should not be a tool of choice for thick materials. Even if you change the blade, it has size and motor restrictions that you must consider. Additionally, if you want precise cuts, you don’t want a bogged down the blade, which happens with thick materials.

Apart from taking into account the length and width of the workpiece, keep in mind that you should avoid scroll saws if you plan to make a straight cut. The tool’s blade is designed for complex shapes and curves as it is flexible and thin. Additionally, you cannot make long rip cuts because of the restricted throat size.

What Is a Jigsaw?

jigsawTake a look at some basic features of a jigsaw:

  • Straight and narrow blade
  • A handheld tool, which is occasionally cordless
  • A versatile saw with high mobility

Although it is sometimes mixed with a scroll saw, a jigsaw is an entirely different tool. Its primary benefit is that it is handheld, which adds to its portability. The fact that you can move the saw around makes it versatile.

If mobility is your primary consideration, you can even pick a cordless unit and make the tool even more portable. That is particularly useful in situations where it is difficult to bring the workpiece to the saw. Instead, you utilize an elegant approach and take the saw to the workpiece.

As for the blade, the one mounted on jigsaws is straight and narrow. It moves up and down, which means it has a similar working process to a scroll saw. There is a blade guide that can improve the cut precision, which makes this tool suitable for inside cuts.

Some would argue that jigsaw makes inside cutting even easier as you do not need to readjust the blade during the process.

Jigsaws are suitable for PVC, drywall, foam, and even metal. The blade length considerably varies depending on the unit. When picking the right blade, you should consider material thickness. It may be hazardous to let too much of the blade to be loose on the bottom side.

When You Should Choose a Jigsaw

The crucial thing about a jigsaw is its blade. As long as you pick a suitable blade, you can enjoy the incredible versatility of these tools. Jigsaws are handheld and can also be cordless, which adds to their mobility and convenience.

Jigsaws can deal with somewhat thicker materials, but we remind you of the necessity to pick the right blade. It is suitable for all types of workpieces, which makes it a great choice for ambitious DIYers handling various projects.

When You Should Avoid a Jigsaw

Jigsaws are portable and versatile, but they won’t provide the same cut precision as scroll saws and some other cutting tools. That is because they are portable, and the fact that you get to tool to the material affects precision and results in rough edges.

If you need extra precision in your cut, it is best to avoid a jigsaw. While it can do the job, some other tools are a better option for fine cuts.

What Are the Differences Between a Scroll Saw and a Jigsaw?

Let’s take a look at some major differences between the two types of saws:

  • A scroll saw requires a stand or a working surface while a jigsaw is a handheld tool.
  • Scroll saws require you to take the material to the tool to cut. A jigsaw is portable, and you take it to the material. Some may consider mobility a vital advantage.
  • Jigsaw is a more versatile tool, but scroll saw has higher precision, which makes it suitable for delicate and fine cuts that might not even need any sending.

While we cannot pronounce a clear winner in the scroll saw vs jigsaw duel, it is obvious that both tools have their advantages. Your choice will ultimately depend on the cuts and projects you are planning. We hope that this article helped you in making the right decision.

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