What's the Difference Between a Scroll Saw and a Jigsaw?
A jigsaw is a hand-held tool whereas a scroll saw sits on a tabletop. In order to operate a jigsaw, you would place the wood on a set of sawhorses and hold the jigsaw above the wood. You would then maneuver the blade by pushing the jigsaw as the blade moves up and down.
As you can see in the photo below, operating a scroll saw requires you to hold and maneuver the wood as the fixed blade moves up and down. Also, I have to give a shoutout to Reida Squires for taking photos of her scroll saw for us to feature on this post. She is a Painter’s Clubhouse member who does a great job cutting door hangers with her scroll saw. Thank you, Reida, for being a great sport and sending us some pictures!
Which Saw is Better for Which Projects?
The jigsaw is great for the beginner since it requires very little skill and precision to cut. It can make quick work of cutting out most shapes, even pieces that need to be cut out of the center of the wood.
The scroll saw is more appropriate for cutting out small or intricate pieces that require more precision. It can be a little more trouble to cut pieces out of the center of the wood since the blade is in a fixed position and would have to be removed and reattached in order to make interior cuts.
If You Can Only Purchase One, Which Should You Get?
Choosing which to buy between the scroll saw or jigsaw really depends on the user and what you’ll be cutting. Personally, I have only ever used a jigsaw. That’s mainly because it’s what I learned how to use first and have always been most comfortable using. The jigsaw most often has to be used while standing and in a stooped over position. If you have any mobility issues or arthritis problems, you might feel more comfortable using a scroll saw. It can be operated from a seated position and with little effort.
If you only ever use a jigsaw, you may eventually feel the desire to be able to cut out more intricate pieces that can’t be done with a jigsaw. If this is the case, you can either purchase a scroll saw or you can do what I did and get a laser cutting machine. A scroll saw is much cheaper of course, but a laser is way more fun!
The Blade Makes All The Difference
They say the type of blade you choose can make all the difference. You don’t want to go to all that work of cutting out a piece just to end up with a lot of splintered wood. The best jigsaw blade to use for cutting door hangers is a scroll blade with 20tpi (tips per inch). I’ve been told by members of my community that the best scroll saw blade is a flying dutchman blade since it is serrated on both sides of the blade and can flawlessly cut in any direction. Using better blades will cut down on the time you’ll spend sanding edges and give you a cleaner looking product.
Saw Options for the Beginner
As I said, both the scroll saw and the jigsaw have their own benefits. I would encourage you to consider how you’ll be using the saw before making a decision. If you’re ready to take the leap and spend a little more money for a laser cutting machine, I highly recommend the Thunder Laser Nova 24. It is what I have and is so much fun! No matter the saw you choose, scroll saw or jigsaw, you can still achieve a professional look with your door hangers!