Jigsaw vs Scroll saw | Which Tool is More Efficient?

The jigsaw and the scroll saw are two very different tools. A jigsaw is a power tool, while the scroll saw is a hand-powered device. However, they both have their own strengths and weaknesses for carpentry work.

In this article, we will discuss which tool is more efficient for various types of work in carpentry by looking at three categories: cutting wood, sculpting wood, and cutting metal.

If you are in a hurry so we have a quick jigsaw vs scroll saw.

  • A jigsaw is a great tool for cutting curves and making shapes
  • The scroll saw can cut through thicker pieces of wood with its blade that moves up and down
  • A scroll saw has a foot pedal to control the speed, while the jigsaw does not
  • Jigsaws are more portable than scroll saws because they take up less space
  • Scroll saws are easier to use on smaller projects because it doesn’t require as much precision when using them
  • Scroll saw blades last longer but are more expensive than jigsaws

Now let’s have a deep discussion between jigsaw vs scroll saw.

What Is a Scroll Saw?

scroll saw

A scroll saw is a type of woodworking tool that requires either space on your work table or its own stand. This tool has one blade attached to it both under the surface where you’re working, and in an arm extended above this surface.

Plunge cutting is one of the best things about scroll saws. It’s easy to do because all you have to do is drill a hole into either side, insert your blade through it from underneath, reconnect your blade and adjust its tension for optimal results.

One of the main benefits of a scroll saw is its ability to make plunge cuts. A plunge cut lets you remove material without having to go through it, which helps reduce damage on both sides.

This type of cut is great for intricate designs that are less likely to break when completed with this method instead of other cutting methods like blades or lasers.

When using a scroll saw, it is important to keep in mind that there are limitations regarding the size of material you can cut. You should always consider an object’s throat size when working with this machine since it refers to how far back from its blade the column holding up the rear arm sits.

This distance is actually half of the total width that this saw can handle. To reach the other half, all you have to do is turn your material around and approach from another side!

The cutting surface of the blade faces away from the rear column, so as you cut material will move toward it.

When purchasing a scroll saw, you should also be mindful of the thickness of your material. Blades designed for scrollsaws are usually most effective on materials under 1-inch thick, especially if it is an intricate design.

Our Pick of Scroll Saw:

WEN 3921 Variable Speed Scroll Saw

WEN 3921 Variable Speed Scroll Saw
9.8/10 Our Score


  • Brand: WEN
  • Item Dimensions: 26.38 x 13 x 14.75 inches
  • Voltage:120 Volts
  • Wattage: 144 watts

WEN 3921 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Flex Light, Paddle Switch, and Blade Wrench.

The WEN 3921 16-inch two-direction variable speed scroll saw features a unique design that accepts blades in two directions (standard and 90 degrees) to allow for infinite ripping capacity. The variable speed goes from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute. The spacious 16 by 11 inch table bevels up to 45 degrees to the left for angled cuts. It cuts wood up to 2 inches thick with a 16 inch throat

What Is a Jigsaw?

DEWALT 20V MAX best wood working Jig Saw

A jigsaw can be said to have a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to handheld tools. It is convenient and versatile, good for numerous tasks but not necessarily the best at finer details since its blade moves up and down.

The wide foot of the saw guides the blade. The blade is suspended from above and passes through a center point in the bottom part of this tool called a foot, which separates it from other types of saws because there’s no need to raise or lower it for each cut.

A jigsaw makes it easier to make precision cuts because the blade is only attached at one end. This allows you take advantage of its versatility by sliding it easily into pre-drilled material holes without needing any adjustments.

A jigsaw is a handheld power saw that has no limits to the size of material it can cut because you can reach as far as your arms go.

Our Pick of Jigsaw:


9.8/10 Our Score


  • Brand: DEWALT
  • Power Source: Battery Powered
  • Number of Batteries:1 Product Specific batteries required
  • Number of Teeth: 10

“The DEWALT DWE304 Jig Saw is a best corded jigsaw that delivers professional results. The tool’s lever-action, keyless blade change allows for quick and easy blade changes, while the all-metal keyless shoe bevel with detents at 0 degree, 15 degree, 30 degree, and 45 degrees provides versatility for easy bevel cutting. The 4-position orbital action provides control of cut quality and speed for the jigsaw tool. An adjustable dust blower keeps line of cut clear of chips; variable speed 0-3,000 sp.

Jigsaw vs Scroll Saw: What Are the Differences?

jigsaw vs scroll saw

Now that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s turn our attention to what sets these two saw types apart.

With the basics out of the way, let’s jump into what sets these two saw types apart!

1: Blades

Scroll saws are used to cut through thinner materials, while jigsaws can be adapted for thicker ones. Scroll saw blades will typically come in a smaller size with teeth that are more angled toward the top of the blade.

Jigsaw blades tend to be long and narrow which is perfect for straight cuts but won’t fare well when there’s too much material on either side or if you need an oblique angle at all because they’ll rub against each other resulting in frayed edges or snapping altogether!

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Scroll saw blades will have a maximum size of 1/8-inch and jigsaw blades can be up to 3/5-inch. The scroll saw also uses a fairly standardized blade while the jigsaw either use “T” or “U” shank blades.

There are a couple of differences that set the jigsaw blade apart from its counterpart. The main difference is how each saw secures its blades in place: one holds it at both ends, while the other only on top.

2: Cutting Depth

The maximum depth of cuts either saw can make depends on factors such as the material being cut and which blade is used. For example, a jigsaw’s thinner blades allow you to go deeper into thicker materials than with that of a scroll saw. A jigsaw typically allows up to 4 inches deep while scrolling might only let 2-3 inches depending on your chosen blade type for cutting.

The reason why scroll saws have a limited throat depth is so they don’t cut too deeply.

3: Ease of Operation

When it comes to safety, the jigsaw is much easier to use than a scroll saw. Scroll saws are more like a table saw because their fast-moving blade is out in the open and accidents can happen easily if you’re not careful.

With a jigsaw, you do not have to face the blade directly instead move your material towards or away from its motion but never bring it close enough for contact with blades as they spin at high speeds which could lead cause injury.

4: Types of Cuts

Scroll saws are built for making intricate and delicate cuts. These kinds of cuts can be used on a variety of materials, but you will need to practice before being extremely precise with these types of blades. On the other hand, jigsaws make straight lines on wood or curved lines and perfect circles on different materials.

5: Portability

Jigsaws are handheld power tools that typically come in smaller sizes and will be easier to handle. They also take up less space than scroll saws, which cannot usually be carried around as they’re not very portable.

Some jigsaw models even have cordless battery-operated designs so the user can carry the tool from place to place easily with no limits on where it’s used. Scroll saws don’t offer this luxury of portability because you won’t find any cordless options available for them and they need a fixed location like a workshop or garage due to their size/weight limitations.

If you plan on using a lightweight scroll saw, it is important that you find one with accuracy. However, most of the time these models are not as accurate and maybe less portable than others.

6: Price

Scroll saws are more expensive than jigsaws, but they have a greater range of quality. The cheapest scroll saws go for around $100 while the best ones cost no more than $500. Jigsaws tend to be cheaper with some basic models going as low as 50$. Top-of-the-line jigsaw prices rarely exceed 300$.

Final Notes of Jigsaw vs Scroll Saw:

As a woodworker, you may be looking to expand your workshop with new tools and equipment. It can feel overwhelming to choose which type of saw will best suit your needs for different types of projects.

With that in mind, I’ve created this guide on the difference between both the jigsaw vs scroll saw so that all beginners (and experts) can make an informed decision when making their next purchase.

For more experienced craftsmen who need a powerful tool for intricate cuts, the scroll saw is perfect; but if you are either just starting out or working on simpler DIY projects like furniture restoration, then it might be better to go with a jigsaw instead.

To help determine what kind of saw would work best for your project and for differnces between jigsaw vs reciprocating saw check here.

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