Scroll Saw vs Jigsaw

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  April 11, 2022
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Assuming that scroll saws and jigsaws are the same is a very common mistake that beginner craftsperson and DIY enthusiasts make. These power tools are different, although they have a few similar applications.

Most people believe that only experts are knowledgeable enough to tell the difference and that is why they own both but that is about to change. After reading this article you’ll be able to tell the difference even without becoming a veteran DIYer or craftsperson.


It is impossible to identify their differences without knowing what they actually are. So here’s a brief description of both a scroll saw and a jigsaw.

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What is a Jigsaw?

Jigsaws are handheld power tools that are very portable and could be used to cut wood, plastic, and metals with its straight blade and sharp teeth. Jigsaws are considered as “the jack of all trades’’ because of its versatility which makes it capable of working on any project and cutting through any material.

This saw can cut straight lines, curves and perfect circles if the right blade is used and if it is used properly.

Moving your project to your workspace could be difficult and this is where jigsaws save us from the pain and stress movements may cause, these power tools are handheld which associates it with portability. They are very easy to use and they come in cord and cordless forms, using the cordless jigsaw is safer because you don’t have to bother about cutting your own cord.

Jigsaws are also called saber saws.

What is a Scroll Saw?

A scroll is a power tool used for projects that require great details. They are used for intricate designs, cutting straight lines and curves perfectly too. Scroll saws are not particularly handheld or portable, they are usually described as stationary power tools because of their sizes.

Scroll saws cut wood, plastic, and metal with its blade that is held under a tension clamp neatly. Though the scroll saws are easy to use you should have good knowledge about the using method of a scroll saw because it is a power tool and a simple mistake may cause serious injury.

This power tool keeps your work area clean, it doesn’t produce a lot of dust and it also comes with a dust blower that blows off any dust that’ll reduce visibility

The Differences Between a Scroll Saw and a Jigsaw

If you’ve been paying close attention to this article, you’ll realize that these power tools are quite similar according to the brief descriptions given. So, here are the various ways by which these tools differ:

Scroll saws aren’t portable and they require a large space for storage. They are quite heavy too which makes them more of a stationary tool than a mobile one.

Jigsaws don’t produce accurate designs and precise curves. They are operated using a freehand mode which makes it difficult to achieve intricate designs and patterns.

Scroll saws are not great at cutting thick materials. Using them to cut materials that are quite thick could cost you the whole machine or regular replacement of its blades.

Making plunge cuts with a scroll saw is difficult or almost impossible, it is best used to make intricate designs when you begin to cut from one edge to another.


Which one of these tools do I need the most?

With no doubts, the jigsaw and the scroll saw are both great power tools. Like every other thing on this planet, they come with their limitations and strengths.

If you’re working on a more delicate project, with exceptional and complex designs, the scroll saw is definitely what you need especially if you’re a beginner with nothing but little or no experience and high hopes. Scroll saws are quite pricy because of its size and level of functionality that produces neat and perfect projects.

On the other hand, the jigsaw is cheaper and could be used for various projects, although it doesn’t promise precision or accuracy. It is also considered to be a rugged power tool.

Both tools are great, you just have to be sure of the nature of your project and which one of these tools best suits it. Then, you won’t have to make them compete against each other.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new equipment, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.
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