Band Saw Vs Jigsaw ( What is the difference? )

Do you know the difference between a band saw and a jigsaw? If not, don’t worry! You’re not alone. Many people are unsure of the differences between these two tools. In this blog post, we’ll explain the key differences between band saws and jigsaws so that you can figure out which tool is best for your next project. Stay tuned! We’ll also give you some tips on how to use each tool effectively.

Note: If you’re looking for a detailed comparison between band saws and jigsaws, continue scrolling! Otherwise, skip ahead to our tips on how to use each tool.

Key Differences

  1. A band saw is a type of power saw with a continuous flexible blade looped around two wheels. This wheel arrangement makes the band saw an effective tool for cutting irregular shapes. 
  2. A jigsaw is a type of power saw with a short, stiff blade that gets inserted into a grip handle at a right angle to the plane of the saw body.
  3. The band saw has a slow speed and can cut large materials because it’s encased in a frame. 
  4. The jigsaw has a high speed and can cut small-scale shapes because it’s handheld.
  5. A band saw is ideal for making rip cuts (longitudinal cuts that move against the grain of the wood). 
  6. A jigsaw is best for making crosscuts (horizontal cuts across the grain of the wood).

What is a band saw and jigsaw?

The band saw cuts with a continuous loop of the blade and is powered by an electric motor. This gives it the ability to cut long, large pieces of wood. The blade on a band saw is generally thicker than that on a jigsaw and can be pushed through the material for longer periods of time without overheating. A band saw has a frame around it that encloses most of the blade’s teeth so that you don’t have to deal with all those scary, protruding teeth during use. 

It also protects your hands from touching any cutting objects as you’re working. Additionally, the table where the workpiece rests can tilt 45 degrees forward or backward making it easier to perform angled cuts (e, for ripping). If you’re interested in becoming a better woodworker, we recommend that you consider purchasing a band saw.

  1. A jigsaw is handheld and has a short blade with many teeth on it. It is ideal for making quick cuts in small pieces of wood. Jigsaws tend to be lightweight and easy to handle which is why they’re so popular among DIYers. The blade on a jigsaw is thinner than that on a band saw and vibrates when running (so your hands will move slightly while cutting). This means the user needs to make more strokes at the workpiece in order to cut through it completely. If you’re looking for an inexpensive tool for occasional projects like building bird feeders or cutting out wooden letters, then we would recommend that you consider getting a jigsaw.
  2. A band saw is heavier and more powerful than a jigsaw. It can cut larger pieces of wood but has more difficulties cutting smaller workpieces.
  3. A jigsaw weighs less, is easier to handle, and can cut through smaller pieces faster than a band saw.

How To Use Both Tools Effectively

  1. If you’re going to use a band saw, make sure that the blade radius extends past the size of your material by at least one inch on each side. Failure to do so will result in inaccurate cuts with the edges being too narrow or non-existent altogether. 
  2. Before beginning, any cuts on a band saw, make certain that the blade tension is set appropriately for the type of material being cut. Also, when starting a cut, do not begin at full speed. Start the saw slowly and increase speed as it becomes safer to do so.
  3. When using a jigsaw, begin cutting with slow smooth strokes rather than fast angular ones in order to avoid creating chipped corners on your workpiece.  
  4. Using blades meant for metalwork on wood will result in poor cuts that are more likely to break or shatter when bent.
  5. If you’re using a blade meant for woodwork on metal, then it is more likely that the teeth of the blade will get stuck in the material which could cause damage to both the blade and material itself. 

What are the benefits of using each tool?

  1. Because a band saw has a frame around it, the user is safer from cutting themselves on those protruding teeth. Although they can cut larger pieces of wood by simply pushing the material through and against the blade, there is still risk involved (especially if too much pressure is applied). 
  2. For people who work with metal frequently, we recommend that you use an abrasive cutoff wheel to make your cuts since blades meant for wood will damage them quickly. This way you won’t have to worry about switching out your tools according to materials constantly or wearing out your blade too quickly due to constantly swapping between different types of materials.  
  3. A jigsaw will cut small-scale shapes faster than a band saw would because it’s lightweight and you don’t need to apply much force when pushing the material through it.
  4. A band saw is more expensive than a jigsaw due to its frame and larger blade radius, both of which contribute to the accuracy of cuts. 
  5. Homeowners with small-scale hobby projects like building bird feeders or cutting out wood letters would be better off using a jigsaw rather than a band saw because it’s less likely that they will damage their workpiece with this tool.  

What are the drawbacks?

  1. Because of its lightweight design, it is harder for beginners to handle a jigsaw while making complex cuts. This is especially true if you’re trying to cut very detailed shapes on smaller pieces of wood since too much pressure may result in chipped edges.
  2. The blade on a band saw is exposed, so there is always the risk of injuring yourself if you’re not careful when using this tool. 
  3. Metalwork with blades meant for wood will result in duller blades that break or chip off easily due to incompatible materials.  

What should I use it for?

  1. Band saws are great for producing large quantities of straight cuts (which means accuracy isn’t as strict). If you need to make straight cuts on pieces like sheet metal, composites, laminate, plywood, or any other type of material where accuracy isn’t needed as much, then we would recommend getting a band saw instead. You can attach an oversized piece of material to the table of your band saw to increase its capacity. 
  2. Jigsaws are ideal for cutting out small-scale, intricate cuts in woodworking projects like nesting boxes or making furniture because it is safer to use without fear of damaging your materials.  
  3. A cutoff wheel should be used on metalwork if you need accuracy when creating straight lines. However, make sure that you’ve removed the paint from your piece before attempting this. If any oil-based paints are still present, then they could get stuck between the teeth of the blade and damage it too quickly since blades meant for cutting metal can’t cut through oil-based paints easily (even with light pressure).


So, which is the best saw for you? The band saw or the jigsaw? In general, the band saw is a better choice for larger and more complex cuts. If you’re looking to cut curves and shapes in your woodworking projects, then the jigsaw is a better option. But remember, always read the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure you are using your tools safely and effectively. 

And as with any power tool, always wear safety goggles! Now that you know all about band saws and jigsaws, it’s time to get out there and start crafting some beautiful pieces of furniture!