Router Vs Jigsaw: Which Is More Suitable For Woodworking?

If you are a beginner at woodworking, it is advisable to practice some essential skills, particularly cutting woods. There are numerous types of saws and tools to master this skill. Both router and jigsaw are the most popular items to meet your demands.

However, each kind has different features, which results in a challenging choice for newbies. Therefore, this article will provide you with a detailed comparison between router vs jigsaw. With our thorough information, you can choose the most suitable tool to accomplish your first DIY project. 

Overview Of Router And Jigsaw

What is a router machine?

A wood router is an exceptional power tool or a hand tool characterized by a spinning cutting bit and a flat base. Specifically, the pneumatic engine drives the shaft and the router bit, directing a form into the wood below. 

This machine highlights bits instead of typical blades. As a result, bits pivot and possess significantly little cutting knives on them. On the other hand, the hand tool kind or hand planer is the rudimentary wooden form designed to chisel wood.

Many woodworkers use this tool to route a zone of several hard materials, including plastic and wood. Others apply it to cut slots, grooves, concavity into the wood for decorative projects and smoothen tabletops. Hence, a router machine is an ideal option for cabinetry. 

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What is a jigsaw machine?

A jigsaw is a general-purpose and straightforward power tool, which beginners can use to cut metals, wood, and other materials with different shapes, such as curved lines or straight. It features a reciprocating blade and an electric motor, which moves up and down with ease.  

As a miter saw, many of the up-to-the-minute jigsaws show bevel capacity on their incline, typically 45 degrees, to cut standard angles. Thus, this function is significantly helpful if you may want to make miter joints.

There are various kinds of jigsaw blades, which offer you different and unique highlights. You may want to select proper types based on the material cut or the tool’s speed. Removing expired jigsaw blades is no more a difficult task with different latest models.

Here are some widespread sorts of blades that numerous professionals choose for their DIY projects.

High-speed steel (HSS)

It is a perfect choice to use this item in the power and high-speed machine. Thus, the product is sturdy and durable despite constant use. However, there is no adaptability in this blade, leading to the quickly heat-labile feature. 

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High carbon steel (HCS) 

This kind of blade brings you the most incredible flexibility. Moreover, it is affordable, so newbies can buy it to practice their woodworking skills for the first try. However, there is a slight downside, which is a quick dull blade when used frequently. 

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Bi-metal blades

Bi-metal items contain a combination of two blades. They are versatile and sketched to cut through different materials such as wood, fiberglass, drywall, non-ferrous metals, steel, and plastics. They originate from carbon steel, which offers you exceptional flexibility and high speed. 

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Teeth per inch (TPI)

TPI is a kind of blade possessing teeth. Some teeth range from 4 to 21 TPI. Edge with fewer teeth cut faster than the higher number one, yet leave a rough finish product.

Reverse tooth blades

This blade belongs to the professional kind, and its teeth are present downwards while other typical types point upward. Consequently, this reverse feature extends the efficiency of the item.

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Router Vs Jigsaw: 8 Main Differences

Although a jigsaw and router are applied to cut the wood, each type gives you special functions. Let’s check out some primary differences between router vs jigsaw. 

Blades

The first main contrast is that a router possesses circular pilot bits that pivot around its axes while a jigsaw machine uses blades. The jigsaw is accessible with edges of different sizes for numerous cuts. Every kind offers varying cutting shapes relevant to the wood kind and electric motor. 

However, the blade quickly becomes dull and breaks if you use it constantly. On the other hand, the cutting bits of routers are more durable with round bearings that spin to cut the wood more precisely. 

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Kind of cuts

Another remarkable contrast between the router vs jigsaw comparison is the kind and deep level of cuts made.

For the jigsaw machine, the cutting pattern is accessible in two most standard cuts that are curved and straight. Therefore, depending on your woodwork ideas, you can create these cutting lines with ease.  

On the other hand, a router provides you with more cutting phases. For example, you will produce dovetail cuts, chamfers, and rabbets for a few minutes depending on the types of router bits. 

In addition, this power tool can create round cuts, which helps you remove the sanding process to save more time and energy. However, thanks to its round bit highlight, a router is the best choice for beginners who love softer and smoother cuts. 

This spinning bit allows you to cut in different shapes you desire. For instance, it is simple to cut rigid materials in a fixed direction or change back and move 90 degrees from that way.

Routers can cut slots and steps into the wood and produce blind pockets without much difficulty. However, it cannot cut as deep as jigsaw machines.

Therefore, jigsaws offer you better control relevant to the depth of the cut and various kinds of blemishes such as sweeping curves, profound plunges, and straight lines. 

Safety

Power tools like routers are intrinsically dangerous because router cutting bits rotate at a high speed of about over 17,000 RPM each minute. You also face a higher risk of cutting yourself and slipping when using routers than jigsaws. 

A router may make wood crack and squeeze off in your direction, which is a more dangerous situation than using a jigsaw. Therefore, it pays to wear safety gear such as goggles, protective glasses, and protective headphones before doing your DIY projects with routers.

Convenience

When you want to remove a dull router bit or a jigsaw blade, the blade is easier and more convenient to change out. It is also simple to loosen jigsaw blades because they are protected to the machine applying a clamp managed by a screw. 

All you need to do is loosen the screw with a high-quality Allen wrench, and you will change the old blades successfully. Moreover, purchasing top-notch quality blades from high carbon steel is tactical to receive the best outcome. 

With the router, the process will be more complicated. The first step is to ensure that you turn off and take out the battery on your power tool. Wear gloves to avoid the risk of severe injury because the carbide blades on the bit are edgy. 

Next, enter the spindle to loosen the collet for the bit by expelling the dip base from the motor lodging. When you succeed in this step, you can take out the bit and install the new kind slowly. 

Tighten the collet holding the router bit. Place the spindle lock button and press that lever to slacken the nut that strains the collet around the bit with an Allen wrench or open-end type. 

When you keep the spindle bolted, apply your wrench to detach the nut counterclockwise. Finally, recheck your product to make sure that it possesses a firm grip. 

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Usage

A router is not a saw type, so it is designed to perform various shaping and curving operations with different bits. Specifically, it is an electronically- powered machine to trim down wooden fractions, make moldings, and round off the inside and outside edges.

Moreover, a router is an excellent choice to shape outstanding cuts, including dadoes, rabbets, dovetails, rounded cuts, and chamfer cuts, while a jigsaw can’t provide these special functions. Producing tongue and groove joints and finishing materials are great applications with routers.

Overall, routers’ application has more limitations than jigsaw’s one. Beginners may find it challenging to create different shapes as they want. Some professional woodworkers use routers to deal with edge joints, design routes, mortising, and joinery.

On the other hand, a jigsaw machine is ideal and versatile for DIY woodworking projects on plywood and thick hardened wood. Its primary usage is to saw the wood and other different materials. 

In addition, with a jigsaw, it is simple to create curved, straight cuts, angled cuts, cross-cuts, bevel cuts, and rip cuts thanks to its long saw-toothed blades. 

With the proper down-stroke jigsaw blade, producing substantial cuts, scoring the piece of wood to walls, and making cut-outs are no more a bothersome task. 

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Noise and vibration level

Like other machines, it’s best to select a tool with less noise and vibration to protect your health, particularly your hand and ear, while doing your DIY projects. Here are some points that will influence the level of noise and vibration between a router vs jigsaw

The engine horsepower is the first factor to decide the cutting noise level. It also affects the cutting power and machine speed. In general, routers can make loud noise depending on the bit you use, the rate you choose, and the amount of wood. 

On the other hand, there are many quietest cordless jigsaws on the showcase or jigsaws with a counterbalance device to retain the vibration. Always remember to select the machine with less vibration and noise to manage the cut better.  

Set-up features

Setting up routers and jigsaws is both quick and straightforward, but it is easier to apply the jigsaws. Sketch a clear line on the material with a compass for your jigsaw machine to follow, and you are good to go. This drawing will assist you in cutting precisely and avoiding overcutting of the wood. 

It is advisable to keep your router machine on track with a sturdy router edge guide due to the router’s scheme. This design makes it challenging to cut along lines, so a straight edge guide is an essential tool to set up your router.

Price and maintenance

Generally, a router is more expensive than a jigsaw due to some factors. The primary reason is that the router bits offer more cost than the typical blades. In addition, several latest models with fixed-base or compact routers will give higher price tags.

However, the pricing of some modern jigsaws, like the quietest cordless machines, may be higher than the router. Therefore, maintenance features are a crucial aspect to check out. 

With jigsaws, you will change the dull blades easily with affordable items. Meanwhile, buying a drill bit is a massive investment because of its high-quality materials.

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Which Is Better?

Although there are some differences between router vs jigsaw, each kind provides you with notable features. Before choosing the most suitable tool for your woodworking projects, here are some essential factors to consider: safety, convenience, types of cuts, set-up features, usage, and maintenance issues. 

With those specific standards, jigsaws will be better and more appropriate tools thanks to their versatile characteristics. The primary aim of a jigsaw is to cut through the material. 

Thus, you will make deeper cuts and various cutting patterns such as cross-cuts, rip cuts, straight cuts to make your DIY masterpieces more lively and unique. 

Besides, jigsaws offer you the most excellent safety, especially for beginners. It is easy to set up your machine by drawing a line for it to follow. Furthermore, the maintenance is quite simple, in which you will only change the expired blades with ease.

Learn how to use your router correctly here.

Conclusion

We hope this router vs jigsaw comparison provides you with different advantages and disadvantages, simplifying your woodworking project. However, when it comes to application, each kind offers you a specific feature.

It’s best to use a router when milling, sanding tabletops, trimming down wooden sections, and shaping materials. Thus, it is an excellent tool for cabinetry. Meanwhile, jigsaws are versatile and easy-to-use machines, leading to simple blade replacement and various cut phases.

Before selecting the right product for your DIY projects, it pays to consider usage, safety, set-up features, and types of cuts. Should you find our article interesting, don’t hesitate to share it with your friends.