Scroll Saw vs Jigsaw: Which Shoud You Choose?

Scroll saw vs jigsaw. These saws are one of the most commonly used tools for woodworkers, craftsmen and other tradesmen. They both make creative cuts and help you work on different projects. But these two power saws are different in terms of use and versatility.

If you are a tradesman, you might find picking which saw to use overwhelming.

For starters, depending on your skill and budget, you can only have room for one in your workshop. Your choice will also depend on the type of projects and materials you will work on. When picking the saw to use, know first their capabilities and suitability to the task you want to do.

A scroll saw is a power saw that is versatile for woodcrafts. It is designed to make circular cuts and plunge cuts (cuts that start in the middle of the material). This makes it perfect for intricate works such as decorative scroll motifs, parquetry, and wood crafts made of interlocking pieces of wood. They are well-known for precise and accurate cutting.

On the other hand, a jigsaw is a power saw that is also known as a jack of all trades. This handheld saw is extremely popular for DIYers, homeowners and woodworkers. It’s good for almost every cutting task, but not necessarily for fine cutting.

The sheer choice between scroll saw and jig saw seems too much to handle. But don’t worry! We at Saws Expert present a comprehensive guide on Scroll Saws vs Jigsaws.

Scroll Saw

Using a scroll saw.

A scroll saw is a power saw that works with a thin, narrow reciprocating blade. This is a stationary tool that is named for its original purpose – scroll work. You can also use this to create other creative projects that involve precise and delicate cuts.

This is a specialized saw designed for the craftsman. The scroll saw can cut curves, carvings and patterns into thin materials with its thin blade.

Uses

You can use a scroll saw in many creative projects. These include marquetry, intarsia, 3-D fractals, jigsaw puzzles, designing plaques, letter and number carving, cutting boards and more!

Pros

  • Versatile in detailed cutting – smooth cuts, 90-degree cuts, sharp angle, and even waves inside-out designs and fractional cuts, pierce cuts, internal cuts, plunge cuts
  • Works silently
  • Offers ultra-fine cuts, perfect for designs
  • Very easy to use.
  • Variable speed

Cons

  • Cannot cut through thick materials due to its small and narrow blade
  • cannot do straight cuts
  • takes a lot of space because of their table
  • not portable
  • limited to woodworking or crafting projects

Jigsaw

Bosch jigsaw

Jigsaws are more common in workplaces than scroll saws. You can find these handheld power saws in both corded and cordless versions. This small saw works with a narrow reciprocating blade at the top, that cuts into the material from above.

The jigsaw blade moves up and down at a very fast rate to make a wide variety of cuts. Also known as a saber saw, this is a workhorse because it can take practically anything. But it’s not necessarily great for fine cuts.

It’s easier to use than a scroll saw. First, it’s small and handy so you can just take it anywhere you need to work. It also makes the process of making inside or plunge cuts more convenient. With them, you don’t need to remove or adjust the blade.

Uses

You can use them to cut on both thin and thick materials. Some materials you can cut include wood, metal, drywall, PVC, foam, plexiglass, ceramics and plastic.

Pros

  • More powerful and versatile than a scroll saw: You can use this in both crafting projects and home improvement. This includes light demo and remodeling such as cutting frames with woods, metals, aluminium, and repairing drywall.
  • Very safe to use, even for beginners
  • accept a variety of different blade configurations in width, length, and teeth type.
  • They can cut straight lines, curved lines, and even perfect circles.
  • portable

Cons

  • Cannot give smooth and fine cuts
  • not good for minute, intricate designs
  • can cause fatigue if used for long periods of time
  • Noisy at work
  • Produces a lot more sawdust

Which Should You Choose?

Both a scroll saw and a jigsaw can be a useful partner in your work. Here are some things to consider when choosing a saw to use to work.

1. Material you work on: Choose the saw that can handle the softness or hardness of the material. Get the wrong saw and you get a broken tool, accidental injuries or damaged workpieces. If you work on thin materials such as soft wood, plastic and metals, go for a scroll saw. But if you need to handle thick matter such as drywall, get a jigsaw instead.

2. Type of Cuts you want to do: What type of project do you want to work on? Woodcraft or home remodeling?

When your work project requires small precise cuts (plunge cuts, in particular) and curves with no need for sanding, a scroll saw can help you through all intricate details. This can also only work on thin materials – capped out at about 2” in cut depth.

On the other hand, if you need to work around the house or anywhere, especially on thick materials, you need a jigsaw. This can help work on many different tasks that can’t be done with a scroll saw. When you need rough curved cuts, or other types of cuts that don’t require as much precise detail, get this handheld power saw.

In general, to sum it up, both saws can cut curves really well. The jigsaw is great for curved rough cuts while the scroll saw is great for precise curved cuts.

3. Budget: How much are you willing to invest? If you are just starting out, you get a jigsaw which is more budget-friendly and great value for general home improvement and DIY tasks.

On the other hand, you can also invest in a scroll saw – it is a highly specialized saw that can help you create many detailed and complex crafts.

Conclusion

​A scroll saw and a jigsaw are both extremely useful power tools to include in your toolkit. The choice of which saw to get will depend on several factors, including mastery of skills, budget, and materials you will work on.

Both a scroll saw and jigsaw can make curved cuts. But a scroll saw is designed for a specific reason – precise delicate cuts. A jigsaw, on the hand is a generalist power saw. It does many more things, but not for exact cuts or detailed designed edges.

For the craftsman who wants to focus on beautiful pieces of works, we recommend the scroll saw. You can work and get precise, clean outputs with this power saw.

But if you need an all-around cutter for home improvement and DIY projects, the jigsaw will be your partner. You can use it for just about anything anytime, anywhere. It’s very portable and is versatile in the wide variety of materials it can tackle. This makes it perfect as a beginner’s first power saw.

Hopefully this guide will help you create an informed decision and choose the right power saw to work on.

To learn more about scroll saws, explore the official Saws Expert website. Here we can help you find the best saw for your needs. So you can create fine, attractive work pieces and work successfully on any cutting task.

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