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Saber Saw Vs Jigsaw – Which One Should I Choose?

Saber Saw Vs Jigsaw

When it comes to woodworks, there are many types of tools available in the market. For a first-time user, all these tools can be a bit confusing especially if they also look the same. Jigsaw and sabre saw are similar in many terms starting from their protruding blade to reciprocating motion but also have some significant differences. These differences classify the purposes for which both jigsaw and saber saw will be ideal.  

Below a detailed guide for both jigsaw and saber saw is provided that states both the similarities and differences. Also, some tips are listed that you can consider during the purchase. 

What is a jigsaw?

Jigsaw consists of a toothed blade that protrudes vertically from the front. It is a thin blade that cuts following a reciprocating motion. This saw is designed to make accurate and intricate cuts. Thus, in places where accuracy matters, a jigsaw is preferred over a saber saw. In terms of power, the jigsaw is more powerful making it perfect to cut through hard materials. In fact, jigsaws also have a range of speeds that can be chosen based on the type of material and the cut type.   

Jigsaws also have a sole plate which makes them much safer than the saber saw. The soleplate ensures that a user does not get hurt. They are also smaller in size which makes them lighter and easy to carry around.

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What is a saber saw?

Sabre/Saber saw is a type of power saw which is also known as a reciprocating saw. It is handheld and works in a reciprocating motion. It also consists of a vertical protruding toothed blade, just like a jigsaw, that is long enough to help with cutting various softer materials apart from cutting wood. The saber saw is not known for the accuracy or intricate cuts. It is mostly used to make fast cuts such as ripping through a stock. 

Compared to a jigsaw, the saber saw is bigger and also does not have the soleplate. Both these factors make it difficult to control and also to carry it around. The saw is best for cutting plastic (such as PVC pipe) or for cutting branches of trees.   

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Differences: Jigsaw vs. Saber saw

When it comes to saws, there is plenty that you can pick from. Some are big and some are small and they all have their separate objectives and usage. Sabre saw and a jigsaw is two types that have different features and characteristics, which should be understood first in detail, before, buying them. 

Here are some straightforward differences between the jigsaws vs. saber saw. 

Saber Saw

  • Use of saber saw: Cutting branches, demolition, cutting stocks
  • Saber saw will cut: PV piping, laminate, plastic, metal, wood
  • Saber saw is best for: Homeowners, DIYers, hobbyists
  • Portability of saber saw: Less portable 
  • Size of a saber saw: Large
  • Blade of a saber saw: Longer and thicker blade


  • Use of jigsaw: Intricate cutting, curve cutting, angle cutting
  • Jigsaw will cut:  Laminate, metal, ceramic tiles, wood
  • Jigsaw is best for Professionals
  • Portability of jigsaw: Easily portable
  • Size of a jigsaw:  Small
  • Blade of a jigsaw: Shorter and thinner blade 

Similarities Between Jigsaw and Saber saw

  1. Control: Both are handheld. This similarity in both saws allows you to have proper control over the movement. When it comes to saws, control over the tool is very important so that proper pressure can be put in cutting. Good control and proper pressure ensure good results. 
  2. Set of blades: Another similarity between jigsaw and saber saw is that they both have a range of blades. Sabre saw has a more versatile range of blades based on uses and, jigsaw blades are a bit brittle. So, to ensure that these ranges of blades can be used properly, the next point is important for both the saws.
  3. Professionalism: Because of the different blades and their uses, both the saws required professional skills to avoid any kind of accident or injury.   

Detailed comparison

Simply going to any hardware retail store, and buying a saw is of no use, until and unless one knows exactly how to use them. Saws are complicated and come in many varieties. From simple ones to complicated ones, there are many types that a user should learn more about before buying. Usually, the saws can be differentiated from one another based on their characteristics like the blade, table guide, weight, portability, and the type of things they can cut. 

Here is a detailed comparison between the two of the saws; saber and jigsaw.


Both the saws cut in reciprocating motion, so one may think that they can be used interchangeably for similar purposes. This is not true; both differ in use based on their blade thickness, length, and design. Sabre saw is best for rough cuts and cutting soft materials. It is also good for overhead cuts. Jigsaw is the perfect choice for making delicate and intricate cuts in wooden pieces. It is even able to make perfectly straight cuts. Other than wood, it can be used to cut laminates and ceramic tiles.


At first look, the blades of both the saw look the same. But they differ in length and thickness. 

Sabre saws are longer and more exposed. The length ranges from 3 inches to 12 inches, but the ideal length is 7-8 inches. The sabre blades are thicker thus can handle more abuse and is also tougher. 

On the other hand, jigsaws have thinner blades because it is mostly used for précised and intricate cutting. The length ranges from 3 inches to 9 inches and, it also has different TPIs. 


Sabre saw is ideal to roughly cut or rip through wood and, any other material, like plastic, that is soft in nature. Plumbers use it to cut PVC pipe and some saber saws can be used to cut metals also.  

Jigsaws are considered best for cutting any kind of wood, soft and hard. Other than wood, it can also be used to cut metals, ceramic tiles, and laminating materials.  


Both jigsaw and sabre saw are available in both cost-efficient models and costly models. It depends on the user, which model they want. Even though it can be seen that jigsaw can appear to be a bit pricey in comparison to saber saw. The high-end sabre saw can still fall into a budget-friendly category but, the top-tier jigsaw falls a bit in the price range. 


Portability becomes an important factor when work needs to be done in different locations. Generally speaking, both the saws are portable and easy to carry around when compared to other woodwork tools. 

When comparing both the saws to each other, a saber saw is a bit bulkier and can be difficult to carry around compared to a jigsaw, which comes in a more compact size making it lighter and easy to take places.

Table guide

Table guide is something that helps with making accurate cuts and even with intricate woodwork. The jigsaw comes with a table guide making it perfect for work that requires precision. On the other hand, the saber saw does not have any table guide, thus best for rough cuts because straight cuts without a table guide can be near too impossible even for professionals. 

Best for

Sabre saw is more useful to a home remodeler, hobbyist, and DIYers as rough cuts are done more frequently. Even it can be a good addition to household tools as it can be used to cut tree branches.  

Jigsaws provide accuracy and versatility, thus, it suits workshops where it will handle by professional woodworkers. 

Choosing the right saw

Irrespective of the professional skill level and the use, you should refer to certain guidelines. These guidelines can act as a base for choosing the right saw type that matches its need and purpose. 

  • Blade thickness

The purpose of the saw determines the thickness of the blade. For higher precision, a thick blade is best as it brings stiffness. For thinner and intricate cuts like furniture making, a thinner blade is preferable.

  • Metal cutting

When the saw is used to cut metal, the blade tension is very important. It should be able to cut straight without breaking. For the best results look for blade tension of min. 8,000 Newton. 

  • Grip

The ideal saw for use is one with a handle that matches one’s hand size. This will ensure a strong grip and bring control and precision to the work. In case one is working outside, buy a saw that has a handle with a rubber covering so that grip stays strong even if the palm sweats. 

  • Blade protection

The saw can be quite difficult to use and, at times dangerous. So it is important to ensure there is good blade protection that will protect one from any injuries. 

  • Tooth geometry matches the needs

The teeth geometry and sharpness are very important for clean and précised cuts. So make sure that both these factors match the purpose with the saw will be used.

Before making any purchasing decision, you should know all the key differences between the two very similar saws. Even if they seem similar, it is clear from the above information that both jigsaw and sabre saw has their own characteristics that define the purposes for which it is perfect. So, you should make sure to match the needs with the right saw choice to get successful results.