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Bandsaw vs Jigsaw: What Are the Differences Between Them?

If you are an amateur woodworker, the differences between a bandsaw and a jigsaw might not seem so obvious. Nowadays, there’s no lack of choices when it comes to picking woodworking tools. They each have different functionalities that make them ideal for certain purposes.

In case you’re confused about the uses of a bandsaw and a jigsaw, we have set up this guide that explains it all.

We have provided detailed information about their pros and cons and also their uses. Hopefully, this will help make up your mind, so you can pick the perfect saw for the task at hand.

What Is a Jigsaw?

Jigsaws are mostly recommended for amateur woodworkers as they are both easy and safe to use. It’s basically a lightweight handheld saw with a small blade. The blade can be used to make accurate cuts at different angles. It enables you to create curves on almost any wooden surface.

The blade is situated in the upper body of the jigsaw, which makes it easy to use. Jigsaw blades use an up and down motion to make perpendicular cuts on a piece of wood.

It runs on a powerful motor and is highly suitable for DIY tasks. The jigsaw is available in two different types on the market – corded and cordless.

Functionality

Knowing how a jigsaw works will inform you about its wide applications and which tasks it's most suitable for. It comes with a 5-inch blade, which is pretty narrow in shape. You can find it at the upper portion of the saw on the C shaped handle, just like on a regular handsaw.

The uniquely small size of the blade enables you to make detailed curves on the wooden surface. Even the more complicated tasks seem easy with a jigsaw at your disposal.

It uses a constant up and down motion to make accurate cuts on the worktable. You can even cut within the holes because of the narrow blade.

Moreover, the blades are easily detachable. This will allow you to use various types of blades with your jigsaw for different purposes. And it brings us to the next factor – versatility.

Versatility

Unlike popular belief, a jigsaw isn't only used for making curved cuts. The blades are easily replaceable, which offers you a wide range of blades to choose from. This enables you to make different types of cuts, such as angled lines and straight lines with sheer accuracy.

Not only that, but it can also cut through drywall, plastic, wood, and metal efficiently. A jigsaw will give you the benefits of several saws at the price of one.

Just imagine all the different projects you can work on by just replacing the blades on a saw. The possibilities are immense.

Blade Selection

Another integral factor to consider when working with a jigsaw is the type of blade you’re using. Each blade is suitable for a particular situation.

The type of cuts you wish to achieve is heavily dependent on the size, width, and material of the blade. The tooth configuration of the blades also determines the type of cuts you make.

To make a long and straight cut at one go, you might consider using a wide blade. On the other hand, a narrow blade will be more helpful for making curves in the woodwork. It also makes it easier to add more detail. Pay attention to the tooth configuration as well.

Blades with larger teeth can cut through more swiftly. But if you want smoother cuts, use a blade with smaller teeth. They are much slower.

What Is a Bandsaw?

Unlike the jigsaw, a bandsaw is much heavier as it's equipped with a larger and thicker blade. Due to this, it's much more convenient to make straight cuts with a bandsaw.

It can also be used as a handheld saw. The band in a bandsaw is connected from one end to the other in a circular shape – hence the name.

The saw has fixed wheels at the top and bottom of the cutting table. When it's turned on, the teeth of the blades can be set in motion by using the wheels. As the blade touches the wood, the up and down motion helps to cut through.

There different types of bandsaws you can choose from, such as mounted band saws, cabinet models, benchtop models, and shorter band saws. There are even more powerful bandsaws that come with a large motor.

Functionality

A bandsaw is equipped with a thinner blade than jigsaws with a width between 11 and 8 inches. The ends of the bandsaw are connected to the wheels located at each end. Blades on a bandsaw can consistently cut through wood without any hindrance.

You can make cuts of any size with a bandsaw. Varying blade widths will give you different cuts. So, you can choose different widths for different tasks.

It is mostly used for cutting boards of wood into thinner pieces. A bandsaw can be used to make numerous joints without any noticeable waste.

Versatility

Due to the various types of bandsaws available on the market, it has become one of the most versatile power tools. However, it needs certain adjustments for each type of task. This includes adjusting the wheels of the bandsaw and finishing of the newly attached blade.

The finishing of the band and positioning of the desk also varies for different tasks. Bandsaws are incredibly powerful tools with limitless capabilities.

It’s mostly ideal for cutting large pieces of wood with intense precision. It can be useful to cut logs of timber that measure between 2 and 4 inches.

Making accurate curves on a piece of woodwork is also one of its numerous capabilities.

Blade Selection

There’s a wide range of blades to choose from when working with a bandsaw. Moreover, it has guiding guards that act as an additional safety measure by limiting blade exposure. Whether you're using a narrow or wide blade, this significantly reduces the possibility of any unwanted accidents.

This feature isn’t present in a jigsaw, and it makes the saw easier and safer to use. Keep in mind that the bandsaw must be fixed with the right blade for any given task. Otherwise, it can disperse pieces of rough wood that can hit your head and cause fatal injuries.

Drilling a vice can also prevent the unnecessary momentum of the rough wood. This will also lower the risks of using a bandsaw.

Make sure you sharpen the blade from time to time, or else it will wear out. If you're inclined to take the risk, you can use a horizontal bandsaw, which is much safer than a vertical one.

Should I Use a Jigsaw or a Bandsaw?

To answer that question, you need to determine what types of projects you wish to work on.

Jigsaw

The jigsaws are particularly useful for adding detailed curves to object interiors. Its narrow blades enhance the precision of the cuts without damaging the exterior.

They are easy to use and allow you to apply different types of cuts without disturbing the inner and outer edges.

No matter how complex the curves are, a jigsaw makes it easy to cut with its unique blade motion. Apart from that, you barely need any prior experience to work with a jigsaw. Therefore, it’s perfect for beginners.

Bandsaw

Now, the bandsaws are widely used for resawing large pieces of wood. For those who don’t know what resawing is, it’s basically cutting a piece of wood in half, across the thickest part.

This is mostly required if your task involves making a veneer, which needs thin layers of wood.

The swift motion of the blade makes resawing more convenient. You can also make longer cuts with a wider blade that has large teeth. Other blade types are also available for numerous applications.

Wrapping It Up

It's impossible to pick a winner when it comes to bandsaw vs jigsaw. They are both equally efficient and versatile. Each has its own set of tricks that can make a woodworker's dream come true. It's just a matter of which power tool serves your purpose the best.

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