Router vs Jigsaw: Which One is Better for your Project in 2021?

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Last Updated on April 27, 2021 by John Patterson

So many of us know what a router and a jigsaw are, right?

They’re both powerful tools used for cutting into materials.

For those of us who have actually used them, only they’ll know which one is a better power tool.

To start off, I’m going to give you some information on a router and a jigsaw along with their uses, pros, and cons.

Later on, I’ll make the router vs. jigsaw comparison guide, so you can know the difference.

So, when it comes down to jigsaw vs. router, you’ll know which one to use.

Router vs Jigsaw

Preview
Best Router
DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router, Brushless, Tool Only (DCW600B)
Best Jigsaw
DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw, Tool Only (DCS331B)
Title
DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router, Brushless, Tool Only (DCW600B)
DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw, Tool Only (DCS331B)
Editor's Rating
5/5
5/5
Prime Status
Best Router
Preview
DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router, Brushless, Tool Only (DCW600B)
Title
DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router, Brushless, Tool Only (DCW600B)
Editor's Rating
5/5
Prime Status
Best Jigsaw
Preview
DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw, Tool Only (DCS331B)
Title
DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw, Tool Only (DCS331B)
Editor's Rating
5/5
Prime Status

Router vs Jigsaw: Differences Explained

So here are the key differences we explained for you today. 

Router Saw Uses, Pros, and Cons

router uses

Let’s talk about the router first. A router is a type of power tool which is used to hollow or carve out inside material that is hard as wood or plastic.

These power tools can be used handheld. But sometimes it’s fastened to a router table.

These general router looks like hand planes and has a wide base and thin blade. This is the original design, and it’s the type that can be used handheld. The other design of the router is the one that runs with an electric motor spindle.

Even though the electric one is more common than the handheld one, there are still some advantages the handheld one provides that the electric one can’t.

The tool works with high-speed precision when it’s cutting and trimming or even shaping the different kinds of materials.

The router works best with more brittle material, especially if they’re in small sections. This way, they run rapidly even if you’re dealing with a small router.

Aside from that, it is possible to cut into metal as well, like soft aluminum or rigid metals, or other difficult materials like kevlar, hard plastic, fiberglass, or graphite.

There are various kinds of routers. Some are plunge routers, combo routers, laminate trimmer, CNC wood routers, fixed base wood routers, variable speed routers, etc.

 Uses

  • Woodwork or cabinetry
  • Milling
  • For trimming, shaping, and finishing materials

 Pros

  • It works with rapid speed

Cons

  • It doesn’t perform well on really hard materials as it does on weaker ones
  • It needs to be held in place with both hands, so it stays in position

So here is our recommended list of Best Routers : 

Sale
DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router, Brushless, Tool Only (DCW600B)
3,835 Reviews
DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router, Brushless, Tool Only (DCW600B)
  • Dual LED lights help illuminate the work surface
  • Depth adjustment ring allows for fast and easy...
  • Electronic brake slows the motor down faster after...
  • Variable speed dial allows the user to match speed...
  • Soft start motor with full time electronic...
Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit - 2.25 Horsepower Plunge...
2,776 Reviews
Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit - 2.25 Horsepower Plunge...
  • Versatile: This versatile kit can be used for a...
  • Durability: Aluminum construction makes this one...
  • Ease of use: Rounded hardwood handles maximize...
  • Convenient: With the built in constant response...
  • Kit contents: Includes a plunge base, fixed base,...
Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit
4,545 Reviews
Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit
  • Variable speed control dial (10,000 - 30,000 RPM)...
  • Smooth rack-and-pinion fine depth adjustment...
  • Slim and ergonomically designed body for increased...
  • Quick release cam lock system for easy depth...
  • Electronic speed control maintains constant speed...

Jigsaw: Uses, Pros, and Cons

Jigsaw Uses

A jigsaw is a powerful tool as well, but it has a few differences compared to the router. This tool is made of a saw blade and an electric motor.

It’s used to cut up angles, whether they are vertical or even if they’re up to 45 degrees. They cut angles to make miter joints.

To use a jigsaw, you first need to attach the blade to the tool. These blades are found in the stores as accessories, which means you can choose a blade to your liking and adjust it to the jigsaw tool.

Some jigsaws need you to screw on the blade while others provide a snap-on option.

When choosing the right blade for your material, make sure to consider the tooth style on the blade. Depending on that, you’ll get the right speed, the precision of cuts, and the best performance.

For example, the ground toothed blade is perfect for cutting into wood or plastic, while the wavy toothed blade is perfect for metal.

Being careful while choosing the right blade for the right material not only ensure good performance, it also ensures a longer blade life.

The different types of blades you can use with your jigsaw are high carbon steel blades, high-speed steel blades, bi-metal blades, tungsten carbide blades, diamond grit blades, etc.

 Uses

 Pros

  • You can change blades easily on the jigsaw
  • Can cut on angled material too

Cons

  • It’s hard to control the jigsaw because the blades are thin, small, and weak, especially since the lower end of the jigsaw is open and unsupported
  • You always need to buy new sharp blades to get good quality cuts

So here is our recommended list of Best Jigsaw : 

Sale
DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw, Tool Only (DCS331B)
4,051 Reviews
DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw, Tool Only (DCS331B)
  • All-metal, lever-action, keyless blade change...
  • All-metal, keyless shoe bevel with detents at 0...
  • 4-position orbital action provides control of cut...
  • Adjustable dust blower keeps line of cut clear of...
  • Variable speed 0-3,000 spm for versatility in a...
Sale
BLACK+DECKER Jig Saw, Smart Select, 5.0-Amp (BDEJS600C)
7,895 Reviews
BLACK+DECKER Jig Saw, Smart Select, 5.0-Amp (BDEJS600C)
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE ELECTRIC JIG SAW - 5 amp electric...
  • CURVE CONTROL TECHNOLOGY - Four curve settings for...
  • BEVELED CUTS - Makes beveled cuts up to 45 degrees
  • HIGH POWER - Variable-speed motor generates up to...
  • ADJUSTABLE SHOE - Adjustable shoe with wire guard...
Sale
BOSCH JS260 120-Volt Top-Handle Jigsaw,Blue,6.0 Amp
645 Reviews
BOSCH JS260 120-Volt Top-Handle Jigsaw,Blue,6.0 Amp
  • STURDY 6.0 AMP MOTOR: delivers up to 3,100 strokes...
  • VARIABLE SPEED CONTROL: includes a dial for max...
  • MULTIDIRECTIONAL BLADE CLAMP: for the superior...
  • TOOLLESS BLADE-CHANGE SYSTEM: provides fast...
  • FOUR ORBITAL-ACTION SETTINGS: provides varied...

Router and Jigsaw: Which One Is Better?

jigsaw vs router

In a world where we’re dependent on technology, there are inventions to help society progress because necessity is the mother of invention.

Aside from technology, natural items were also important. Wood, for example, has come a long way from being hand carved to having several available carving tools.

The router and jigsaw are two of them. But in this argument, I would like to give my opinion that between the two, the jigsaw is the better tool for this new decade.

The router has been helpful to use for a long period, but the jigsaw seems more versatile and efficient.

Above I’ve given information on the two tools, what they look like, how they work, and where they’re used. We can easily assume the jigsaw is better. The jigsaw is a creation of art, as professionals would like to say.

And the jigsaw power tool is created for flexibility and easy use. One of the major advantages is the whole blade changing part. You can choose whatever blade you like, and all of these blades are found in stores or available online.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here we have some of the most commonly asked queries regarding router vs. jigsaw:

Question #1. Can I use a router to cut wood?

Answer: Yes, it’s possible to use a router to cut wood. You don’t even need to buy an expensive CNC router, either. Just get the right jigs and sleds, and you can easily cut circular holes or straight edges into the wood.

You might need to make more cuts with more depth than usual, which has a bit of a risk of overloading. So make sure you have a good quality router that has the proper bearings to lower that risk.

Question #2. Can I router plywood?

Answer: There are different types of plywood. But a heavy-duty router should work fine on the plywood edges, although the plywood glue might weaken the router’s work compared to hardwood. It’s wiser to take lots of small passes and take bits of wood out little by little, instead of routing in one go.

You should also consider the direction you’re routing because it could be an important factor. For example, if you’re routing the outer edges with a handheld router, then it’s best if you route counterclockwise.

Question #3. What is the best jigsaw?

Answer: The best jigsaw currently is the DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw, Barrel Grip. This jigsaw is not only battery-powered but also comes with comfortable barrel grips and bright LED lights. It offers professional-quality performance.

Question #4. Can you cut a 2×4 with a jigsaw?

Answer: Yes, you can cut a 2×4 with a jigsaw tool. A jigsaw is a tool for precision, after all. It’s perfect for cutting out thin designs on the material. The right way to cut a 2×4 with a jigsaw is to do it slowly and patiently.

Choose the right blade and make sure you’re in control of the jigsaw. Preferably, a long, thick, and stiff blade with a tooth count of 10 or less would be good to work with.

Question #5. How thick can a jigsaw cut?

Answer: Jigsaws can cut into various materials like plywood, lumber, metal, plastic, etc. It cuts curves, circles, or in a straight line. But how thick it can cut through depends on the blade you’re using. The best jigsaw obviously can’t cut into anything that’s thicker than its blade’s length.

Another factor is the fewer teeth on the blade, the thicker material it can cut. The general blade is about 4 inches, so you can expect a cut as deep as 3 inches.

In Conclusion

Well, so far, you’ve read the details on each power tool and the comparison in which seems to be better.

It’s been proven jigsaws are way more user-friendly. They’re versatile, make cleaner cuts, are easier to set up, have all of their accessories available at all shops, and are safer to handle and more in control compared to the router tool.

Despite the better choice, each tool has its own purpose and is made to work the way it should and on the materials.

Nevertheless, I hope our router vs. jigsaw guide could be of some help and aid you in making a decision.

About the author

John Patterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.