Reciprocating Saw Vs Jigsaw – Which One To Go For?

Reciprocating Saw Vs Jigsaw – What is the difference? We all have that concern once in a lifetime. And if you have to choose one, you’d better pick it right from the first place. Despite their similarities in the movement manner, they are two completely different beasts that are designed for different purposes.

Reciprocating Saw Vs Jigsaw – Detailed Comparison

Reciprocating Saw Vs Jigsaw: Differences In Blades

When it comes to precision in cutting, jigsaws have the edge over reciprocating saws. The reason lies in jigsaw’s blade – narrower yet more fragile. Jigsaws are more suitable for cutting patterns, circles, and tiny shapes with details. They are known for versatility and precision, making them an ideal saw an option for such cuts as beveling, ripping, crosscuts, and plunge cuts.

Reciprocating saws, on the other hand, are thicker and stronger. And as they are packed with powerful motors, the cutting speed is much higher. That’s why reciprocating saws are cut out for demolition works such as construction, electrical projects, and plumbing.

In short, the most significant difference between reciprocating saw and jigsaw is its purpose. While jigsaws are designed for refining and detailed projects, reciprocating saws work best as rough cutters.

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What Is A Sawzall And Is It Different From A Reciprocating Saw?

Many people get confused by the name Sawzall and mistook it for a type of saw. In fact, Sawzall is a popular brand name producing reciprocating saws.

The Milwaukee company founded the brand in 1951, which has been one of the most popular names in the construction tool manufacturing industry. Because of its popularity, Sawzall has become a colloquial term for a reciprocating saw.

Reciprocating Saw Vs Jigsaw: Pros And Cons

Reciprocating Saw 


  • Portability – Whether it is a corded or cordless reciprocating saw, this option is always easy to carry around with.
  • Power – With its power, the reciprocating saw can cut through rough materials.
  • Adjustability – You can easily adjust the cutting speed or replace the blade depending on the project material.
  • Overhead cuts – Both DIY homeowners and professionals can perform these cuts as reciprocating saws normally have ergonomic handles.


  • Rough finish – As reciprocating saws are rough cutters, they are not expected to give an aesthetic and clean finish to the project.
  • Heavy – As compared to jigsaws, reciprocating saws are normally not as lightweight as they are made for heavy-duty cutting tasks.



  • Complex and precise cuts – Curved lines and intricate cuts won’t be much of a challenge with a jigsaw.
  • Lightweight – Jigsaws enable you to cover more cutting area. Many people can even use it with one hand.
  • Easy to operate – Even novices and juniors won’t have any problem handling this type of saw.
  • Versatility – Despite having thinner blades, jigsaws still performs great cuts through most materials.


  • Not suitable for hard materials – The saw itself is not made for heavy-duty cutting jobs.
  • Won’t do well for flush cuts – It may snap if the surface is too rough or uneven.

Best Reciprocating Saws And Jigsaws For 2020

Top 2 Best Reciprocating Saws

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Reciprocating Saw

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The BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B 20V MAX has no longer been a strange name in the reciprocating saw industry. This battery saw is an essential and reliable tool for your cutting projects now and then.

One of the most worth-mentioning features on this saw is its Tool-Free Blade Change. It also comes with a pivoting shoe, making the blade adjustment both easy and secure.

The BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B 20V MAX offers many different cutting styles, which depends on how you set its variable speed trigger. The stroke length is ⅞ inches, which is versatile enough for almost all medium to heavy-duty cutting lines. On top of that, this saw is one of the “best price” deals on the markets. If you are on the budget, this reciprocating saw is an appealing buying option.

Using BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B 20V MAX does not involve any learning curve. You won’t need much time to get used to the machine; both setup and operation are straightforward.

One note before you settling down with your buying decision, this saw does not come with the charger. And beware about its vibration, a durable pair of gloves will be a great help to give you a steady cutting manner.

It’s then fair to say that the BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B 20V MAX is an affordable option for anyone looking for a good pack of saw tools for their occasional cutting projects.


  • Highly adjustable blades
  • Smooth cutting performance
  • More affordable
  • Minimal saw operating skills in need


  • Does not include charger
  • Gloves are required to reduce vibration

DEWALT DCS380B 20V MAX Reciprocating Saw

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DEWALT DCS380B 20V MAX deserves to be one of the best reciprocating saws that can fulfill high-demanding users’ expectations. With the 4-position blade clamp and one ⅛ – inch stroke length, this saw ensures the versatility and high cutting speed.

Even though there is an improvement in the battery version DCS380B, the battery life is claimed to be not quite long enough for a demanding project. You will need at least two batteries to ensure continuous operation. The trigger also gets stuck sometimes after a long time using, decelerating its starting time.

As compared to other ordinary reciprocating saws, the DEWALT DCS380B 20V MAX’s motor is more powerful and consistent. It is less vulnerable to downtime as there is seemingly no self-discharge during operation. If you are looking for a saw with high productivity, this saw should be your top priority.

Despite its minor inconvenience in battery life and trigger, the DEWALT DCS380B 20V MAX is still a high-performance reciprocating saw that will stand the test of time.


  • 4-position blade clamp for more versatility
  • No self-discharge for higher productivity
  • Durable materials
  • Consistently powerful cutting performance


  • Short battery life
  • Trigger mechanism gets stuck sometimes

Top 2 Best Jigsaws

Bosch JS470E Corded Jigsaw

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Bosch JS470E Corded Jigsaw is a convenient tool when it comes to light-medium cutting works. Its sleek design offers quick blade adjustment, saving your time to get it ready for the job.

This saw comes with an ambidextrous lock to ensure ergonomic handle and safety during operation. Bosch has been on the market since forever; the design has thus been improved so much, making it a tried and trusted brand name for any saw tool enthusiast.

The Bosch JS470E Corded Jigsaw is packed with four orbital action tools, featuring different blade strokes to fulfill both smooth and rough cuts. This saw can provide 5-⅞-inch cuts on woods and ⅜-inch on steel materials. Its multidirectional blades and T-shank are ideal for complicated angled cuts on a wide variety of cutting projects.

Two downsides of the Bosch JS470E Corded Jigsaw is an inaccurate curvy cutting line and the lack of laser guide. If you are not too demanding in the precision, these little cons won’t be much of a problem.

The Bosch JS470E Corded Jigsaw, in short, is a flexible saw tool for almost all lightweight to medium cutting jobs, and also a safe starting place for anyone having their first cuts.


  • Fast blade insertion and ejection
  • Ambidextrous lock for more comfort and safety
  • 4-in-1 orbital action tool
  • Smooth operation on a variety of projects


  • Sometimes the cuts are not accurate
  • No laser guide

DEWALT DCS331B20V Max Jigsaw

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A good jigsaw is like a good car; you will need a powerful machine to keep it running fast and long. DEWALT DCS331B20V Max Jigsaw is such a tool, this saw has tons of power, which is comparable to any high-end corded jigsaw on the market.

The DEWALT DCS331B20V Max Jigsaw has variable speed control, aligning it for different cutting needs. Even if you need to cut just a few dowels or finish woods, this saw will provide an accurate cut.

Depending on your personal needs, DEWALT has a tool option for your choice. You can choose either tool only, a tool with ToughSystem Tote, Blade Sets, Battery, or Starter Kit.

Another worth-buying feature of the DEWALT DCS331B20V Max Jigsaw is its vibration-reducing function. The trigger has a firm pull, and the tool is well constructed, jigsaw-ing with it is just a breeze.

The most worth complaining feature on DEWALT DCS331B20V Max Jigsaw is its sawdust blower. As it is quite off your eyesight, adjusting it is quite tricky. The plate is also tough sometimes, making it quite a workout to insert and release.

Overall, DEWALT DCS331B20V Max Jigsaw is a comprehensive saw tool package for users in need of speed, power, and balance.


  • Variable speed control
  • Plenty of power just as a corded version
  • Diverse tool options to personal preferences
  • Good balance with less vibration


  • Sawdust blower is not in sight
  • Releasing the plate is a bit tricky


There are good reasons why both types of saw co-present in this world. Understanding the difference between reciprocating saw vs jigsaw will help you make a better buying decision. This detailed comparison review and recommendation hopefully helps you make up your mind in choosing the best tool that fits your needs.