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Scroll Saw Vs Jigsaw – Find the Difference?

When deciding between a scroll saw and a jigsaw, consider the intricacy and precision required for your projects. Scroll saws are perfect for detailed and delicate cuts, offering exceptional accuracy which is ideal for intricate designs and curves in thin wood, making them a favorite for crafters and those creating detailed fretwork. Jigsaws, however, offer greater versatility and portability for cutting various materials, including thicker pieces and different types such as metal or ceramic, making them suitable for more general cutting tasks where complex precision is less critical but flexibility is essential.

Choosing the right saw depends on whether your projects require the meticulous detail achievable with a scroll saw or the broader utility and rapid cutting capability of a jigsaw.

What Is A Scroll Saw?

A scroll saw needs a stand of its own or a space on the worktable. In a scroll saw, you will find the work surface as well as the blade in the center. It can do plunges and cuts. You can use it for cutting curved lines and intricate shapes into materials. It is known for its accuracy and finesse and not power. The versatility of a scroll saw lets you use it in a variety of projects.

The device features a narrow and small reciprocating blade that is mounted vertically. It is like a combination of a jigsaw as well as a sewing machine. In a scroll saw, the wood is driven into and around the blade. It is just like a seamstress feeding fabric into and under the needle.


Pros and Cons of Scroll Saw –

Here are the strengths and drawbacks of a scroll saw that you should be aware of.


  • Quiet and easy to use.
  • Makes clean, smooth, and intricate cuts.
  • Ideal for detailed designs and patterns.
  • Foot pedal for controlling the saw.
  • Can cut wood, metal, and plastic.
  • Makes low dust.
  • Suitable for internal cuts.


  • Tabletop models lack portability.
  • Unsuitable for construction.
  • It is not very versatile.

When Should You Use A Scroll Saw?

With a scroll saw, you will be able to make precise and intricate cuts. While using it, you don’t have to sand the edges, particularly while cutting thin materials. This makes it ideal for decorative and craft projects. You can have better control that lets you come up with detailed designs.

It lets you carve lines of a pattern conveniently. Another advantage of a scroll saw is that it is easy to use and does not make any noise. This makes it a perfect beginner tool for any learner. You will be able to use a scroll saw for making the following items.

  • Wooden portraits
  • Cutting boards
  • Designing plaques
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Number and letter carving
  • Models

How Does A Scroll Saw Operate?

A scroll saw has a similar operation to that of a band saw. All you have to do is to push your wood up in front of the blade for the desired but. However, what separates a scroll saw from a band saw is the type of blade. In a band saw, the blade makes a perpetual loop. Whereas a scroll saw comes with a reciprocating blade. It is this reciprocating blade that helps to make precise cuts.

Often the design of a scroll saw is different from other saws as it is used for making difficult shapes and designs. The blade of the scroll saw is connected on the arm’s top to the bottom of the table. The motor gives the power to the scroll saw. It can have power ranging from 0.6 to 1.5 amps. You may even find scroll saws with over 1.5 amps in rare conditions.

What Is A Jigsaw?


In a jigsaw, you will find a small reciprocating blade. The blade is anchored at the top and extends downward to the target material. It can make both curved and straight lines. What makes jigsaws very popular is that they are relatively safe and offer better versatility.

It is available in a handheld design and you can find the one that can be either corded or cordless. Whether you are a seasoned contractor or a hobbyist, a jigsaw is a popular power tool while performing different activities.

Pros and Cons of Jigsaw –

Here are the strengths and drawbacks of a jigsaw that you should be aware of.


  • Comes at an affordable price.
  • Ability to make different types of cuts.
  • Easy to use.
  • Lightweight design.


  • Unable to make clean cuts.
  • It can be messy.

When Should You Use A Jigsaw?

The versatile design of a jigsaw lets you use it for a variety of purposes. When you use the right blade, it lets you cut any type of material. The blade can be of different sizes with varying teeth. Another great advantage of a jigsaw is that it comes in a portable and handheld design.

The handy tool can be perfect for DIY purposes as it can deal with wood, plastic, particleboard, PVC pipe, metal, and ceramic tile. You can use it for making curved lines, straight lines, or even circles. As it oscillates while cutting, it can be perfect for primary cutting. You will be able to use a jigsaw for

  • All types of woodworking projects.
  • Demolition and remodeling projects.
  • Cutting through pipes.
  • Ideal for quick cutting.

How Does A Jigsaw Operate?

What makes a jigsaw versatile is that it comes with functional components. It has a spring-loaded clamp located at the front. By pulling the trigger on the handle, it can make up and down motion. You can stop the blade by releasing the trigger. A jigsaw oscillates while working in a circular motion. The blade protrudes from the machine’s top while connecting to the material.

In orbital action, the blade moves forward and then makes up and down movements. It can also make straight cuts. Some models come with variable speeds. Despite this, it has to be noted that jigsaws can be a better offer in comparison to a scroll saw. However, it does cut with better accuracy and is more powerful than a scroll saw.

What Are the Differences – Scroll Saw vs. Jigsaw

  • Blades:A jigsaw has a narrow and straight blade. Whereas a scroll saw comes with a thin and small blade. It has to be noted that both jigsaws and scroll saws let you use them with different types and sizes of blades. Jigsaw blades can be a maximum of 3/5-inch and it is in T or U shank. A scroll saw has a maximum size of 1/8-inch and it is fairly standardized. In a jigsaw, the blade has to be secured at the top and in a scroll saw, it is from the top and below.
  • Cutting Depth: The cutting depth depends upon the type of blade as well as the material type. As the jigsaw has a blade only on one end, it exposes most of the cutting area. It lets you cut thick materials and make deep cuts. With a jigsaw, you will be able to make 4 inches deep cuts which is double then a scroll saw. In a scroll saw, the throat limits its ability for making deep cuts.
  • Ease of Operation:The scroll saw has a similar operation like a table saw. It is also prone to accidents if you are not conscious. In a jigsaw, you don’t have to face the blade directly. This makes it easier and safe to use. You will only have to move the blade without needing to bring the material. There are jigsaw models that come with a sole that guides the blade and offers additional safety.
  • Types of Cuts:One of the biggest advantages of a scroll saw is that you can make cuts on different types of materials. Also, it lets you make delicate and intricate cuts. This makes it ideal for different projects. Jigsaws are suitable for making perfect lines, straight lines, or curved lines on wood as well as other materials. It takes a lot of practice to be an expert while using a jigsaw.
  • Portability:Scroll saws are not very portable and you will rarely find cordless models. It is only suitable for your workshop. There are some lightweight models. However, their accuracy can be limited as they cannot maintain the right balance. On the contrary, a jigsaw comes in a handheld design and is very portable. It also requires less space and you can take it anywhere. The cordless design lets you start working from anywhere you want.

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Both jigsaws and scroll saws are useful tools for woodcutting. You now know the difference between the two tools. They are both suited for different projects. A jigsaw can be perfect for a beginner as it is safe and easy to use. It is also portable and comes at an affordable price. If you happen to be an experienced woodworker, then a scroll saw will be the right choice. It lets you make intricate and delicate cuts for perfect finishing.

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