Scroll Saw vs Jigsaw Similarities & Differences – Choosing the Right Tool

Both of these saws come in the category of reci saws. That’s why people are quite confused about the similarities and differences in both of these cutting machines. Some people also prefer one cutting machine while downgrading the other. There are a lot of commonalities and differences in these devices. To thoroughly analyze them, we need to have a deep look at these cutting machines and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of these devices. Let’s have a look at the comparison of scroll saw vs jigsaw.

Scroll saw vs Jigsaw-What are their basics?

Before jumping into similarities and differences of scroll saw and jigsaw, Lets have a look at the core basics of these saws. Like, how they operate or what might be their constructing parts?

What is a jigsaw?

what is a jigsaw

It is a handheld saw that makes cut through reciprocating blades. You can find it in most of the woodworkers’ tool kit. Owing to its versatility, it might be the first power saw that you would buy from the market. In this saw, the blades move up and down to make cuts. The blades are only attached at the top, and the motor moves them up and down. It is relatively easy to use this saw. Even a novice can operate it properly. Furthermore, the saw can cut a lot of materials like wood, metal, plastic, and plexiglass.

What is a scroll saw?

difference between scroll saw and jigsawThe scroll saw also uses reciprocating blades for the cutting, but it is stationary rather than a handheld saw like a jigsaw. It is generally used for making cuts in intricate designs or tight curves. It isn’t easy to run this device. Most of the people don’t even know its features. It is only bought for fulfilling some unique kinds of tasks. Like a jigsaw, scroll saw can also make cuts in various materials with the help of different blades.

Similarities and Differences between scroll saw and jigsaw

Now you have a general overview of both of these cutting machines. It’s time to know about the similarities and differences between these saws. Most people think that these are the same. Although there are few similarities between them, they are used for out rightly different purposes.


  • The most striking similarity is that they are both reciprocating saws. They use blades that move back and forth, up and down to make cuts.
  • The blade is only attached at the one side of the saw. This increases the versatility of the saw, and it is relatively easy to change it. That’s why both of these devices can cut a lot of materials.


There are a lot of differences between them. Let’s have a look at them one by one.


A jigsaw is a handheld tool. It also comes in both cordless and corded forms. In both ways, you can take it anywhere you want. Moreover, it is also quite useful for making cuts in tight spaces.

On the other hand, scroll saws are not handheld tools. They also don’t come in the cordless form. In other words, it is not a portable saw. You can set it in your garage or project area in one place and then bring your material here for cutting. Some lightweight scroll saws are also being designed. But lightweight saw will make less precise or accurate cuts.


The jigsaw is a general device for cutting. As we said before, this device will be the first power saw which anyone will purchase. You can apply it in a whole lot of situations.

On the other hand, a scroll saw is a special tool that you can only apply for a particular purpose. It can only make a handful of cuts. You can only utilize this tool when you are doing some trimming work or fancy finishing projects.

Depth of cuts

Jigsaw can cut thicker materials than a scroll saw. The ultimate limit of the scroll saw is 2,” but the jigsaw can penetrate up to 3″ with the right blade.

Curve cutting

Both saws are equally suitable for making some curved and tight cuts. But it depends upon what kind of curves you have to make on the material. Jigsaws are ideal for tear through plywood or for material used in building projects. These are relatively easy to use, and you can make turn wherever you want.

We would not apply scroll saw for this purpose. Scroll saws are usually used for making tight, and weaving turns in intricate or precise woodworking projects.

In general, we can say that jigsaw is useful for making rough curved cuts, while the scroll is good for precise curved cuts.


Jigsaw is usually cheaper than a scroll saw. However, you can find both under 100 $. But if you need quality, then you must spend more on scroll saw than a jigsaw. Highly efficient and quality scroll saws usually come in the range of 200-300 dollars.


Scroll saw is an incredibly quiet device if you compare it with any other power saw. When you turn it on, you will only feel the motor’s light hum while working with it.

Jigsaws, on the other hand, generate loud noise if we compare scroll saw vs jigsaw. They will let you know their presence whenever you turn it on.

Dust creation

Generally speaking, jigsaw produces a lot more dust than a scroll saw. But when it comes to dust creation, it is a problem of every saw. Thus, it is best to use a dust mask while using any saw to keep you safe from inhaling toxic substances.

When to use a jigsaw?

Jigsaw applies to unlimited places. You can apply it for a job as simple as cutting woods or cutting some critical metals. Generally, you can use it at the following strategic points.

  • Jigsaws are highly suitable for cutting various materials like particleboard, PVC pipes, ceramic tiles, metals, and plywood. The jigsaw has sturdy blades that are fit for any job.
  • Besides woodworking projects, the jigsaw is also equally suitable for remodeling. Thus, the jigsaw is a multi-purpose tool.
  • Jigsaw is useful for making curved, straight, and circular cuts. But it would help if you were extra careful as you don’t have to lose the touch of precision.

When to use a scroll saw?

using a scroll saw

Scroll saw is not all in one device. You must know when you can effectively apply it. Let’s have a look at its most prominent uses.

  • Scroll saws are highly recommended for cutting wood pieces in different sizes and shapes, especially for decoration. As a stationary tool, you can carve out forms in several materials. Scroll saws are ideal for wood pieces from plagues to inlays and like others.
  • The Scrollsaw is highly suitable for making curved around patterns. No other saw is useful enough like it in this regard.
  • The scroll saw comes with a dust removal system. While cutting, it is natural that the dust particles will come out. The scroll saw is highly helpful in keeping them off from the material you are cutting.

When to prefer jigsaw over scroll saw

Jigsaw is usually needed for general projects or when you opt for woodworking projects. In this regard, if you have to make simple cuts rather than some precise or efficient cuts, then you must prefer jigsaw. Here we have some situations where you should choose jigsaw over scroll saw.

  • For general cuts like downsizing or ripped small drywall sheets.
  • Making curves or notch in the wood.
  • For making cuts in fixed things like a hole in a dry wall. You can easily make a cut through the portable saw, and jigsaw in set things is the best portable saw.

When to prefer scroll saw over jigsaw

You might not face this kind of situation often. But you cannot wholly downplay this situation. Here we have some cases where you should prefer a scroll saw over a jigsaw.

  • It is usually preferred for intricate cuts or if you have to make curved cuts in very little space.
  • 90 degree cut on a dime.
  • For making some highly precise or accurate cuts.

Also Read: Jigsaw vs band saw


In a nutshell, we can say that it all depends on the situation you are facing, or the budget you can afford in selecting scroll saw vs jigsaw. Generally, if you dont want to spend more money and don’t have to make precise cuts, you should take jigsaw. Otherwise, if you are going to indulge in creative design or intricate cutting, you need to have a scroll saw in your tools list.

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