Jig saw or Rotary cutter?

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Forum topic by Echofive posted 10-21-2009 02:04 PM 10193 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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98 posts in 3427 days

10-21-2009 02:04 PM

I’m trying to decide which I should get. I already have a bandsaw. Mostly I would use whatever I bought for cutting something inside a piece of wood… i.e. an internal cut, like if I were building a clock, I’d need this tool to cut out the hole for the clock face. Having the bandsaw I can make cuts on the exterior edges. I’d LOVE to have a scroll saw, but both money and space are the limiting factors there. So would you recommend a jig saw or a rotary saw? The 2 I’m looking at are within $10 of each other…

-- Chip, Virginia

7 replies so far

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4049 days

#1 posted 10-21-2009 02:26 PM

Chip, the cool thing about a rotary cutter is that you can put all kinds of different attachments in it and use it for sanding and cutting and routing … but if you’re going to cut a hole through wood more than a few 16ths of an inch thick, the rotary cutter is going to be slow going. A jigsaw will be a lot better at cutting holes, but cutting is all it does.

Have you looked on Craigslist for scroll saws? I see quite a few of them there.

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View firecaster's profile


573 posts in 3593 days

#2 posted 10-21-2009 02:28 PM

There are a lot of accessories available for the rotary saw. I’ve not tried mine on solid wood. I have not been happy with it on plywood. That may be from the glue making it hard to cut and dulling the bit. Then when you hit a void; it jumps off line. Jigsaws seem, to me, easier to control and the blades last longer. But you are limited on the radius you can cut.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View Echofive's profile


98 posts in 3427 days

#3 posted 10-21-2009 02:47 PM

well I have a Dremel and it has been inCREDible… knowing what I know now about it I’d have paid 3 times as much as I did. I was under the impression that a rotary cutter is geared with enough power to actually do cutting… I guess perhaps I’m wrong. I was leaning toward the jig saw… but it’s limitations were its drawback. As far as the scroll saw, money isn’t near as limited as space. I rent the bottom floor of a house, so my table saw looks like a grill when I’m not using it. I nice grill cover covers it, and everything else (which is a surprising amount of tools) fits in a cabinet on the porch. So… for now… the scroll saw is out. :(

Thanks for your feedback fellas. All other feedback is welcome…

-- Chip, Virginia

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Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4049 days

#4 posted 10-21-2009 03:05 PM

What rotary cutter are you looking at? I’ve tried a ZipSaw, but they are really intended for sheetrock and panelling. There might be something tougher out there. You might also think about a trim router.

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View TheDane's profile


5534 posts in 3837 days

#5 posted 10-21-2009 03:20 PM

I have a RotoZip with a couple of attachments, but most of the time I reach for my Dremel tool.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Gary's profile


9376 posts in 3607 days

#6 posted 10-21-2009 05:33 PM

Wish you were closer, I’d loan you my RotoZip to use so you could see for yourself what you think of it. I bought the big setup with all the attachments….almost never use it. It somehow just isn’t right for anything I do. That’s just me…..

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View a1Jim's profile


117276 posts in 3752 days

#7 posted 10-21-2009 05:43 PM

Hey Chip
I know others like these tools but I don’t find much use for them. as far as you clock face goes you can buy a set of hole saws from HF for less the $10 that go up to 5”.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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