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difference between a jig saw and a sabre saw

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Forum topic by rogerw posted 01-21-2011 05:34 PM 11195 views 1 time favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rogerw

262 posts in 1379 days


01-21-2011 05:34 PM

I was reading another blog in this forum where they referenced a jig saw not a sabre saw. Is there a difference?

I always thought they were the same thing just one of those tomAto – tomOto things.

-- >> my shop teacher used to say "do the best at everything you make for your mom because you're going to see it for the rest of your life!" <<


41 replies so far

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childress

841 posts in 2232 days


#1 posted 01-21-2011 06:40 PM

No difference in my books. Sabre….Reciprocating… basically all the same function, blade moves back and forth. “Jigsaw”, I believe, is the term made by a mfg with their tool (bosch, I think). Just like “sawzall” is milwalkee’s name for the recip saw and “tiger saw” from porter-cable, etc…

The same way we call facial tissue “kleenex” and cola or soda pop, “coke”

-- Childress Woodworks

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richgreer

4524 posts in 1764 days


#2 posted 01-22-2011 06:04 AM

This gets a little more complicated when you consider scroll saws and tools like scroll saws. A true scroll saw has arms at each end of the blade that move the blade up and down. Another variation only provides power from the bottom. The top is connected to a spring. Many people consider the variation with the spring to be a jig saw. This typeof jig saw is quite rare now.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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Jim Finn

1700 posts in 1612 days


#3 posted 01-23-2011 06:33 AM

Depends on how old the speaker is. What we now call a scroll saw was called a “jig saw” back in the 50’s We had saber saws then too. An altogether different tool.

-- In God We Trust

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rogerw

262 posts in 1379 days


#4 posted 01-23-2011 07:38 AM

how’d y’all get off onto scroll saw?? i never said scroll saw, i know what that is. i just wanted to know if there was a difference between a jig saw and a sabre saw.

-- >> my shop teacher used to say "do the best at everything you make for your mom because you're going to see it for the rest of your life!" <<

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patron

13103 posts in 2031 days


#5 posted 01-23-2011 07:57 AM

from wikepedia (both )

The sabre saw (also saber saw) is a powered or unpowered hand-held reciprocating saw. The sabre saw consists of a reciprocating cutting implement, usually a toothed blade, to chiefly cut through wood and other various materials. (relative to the jigsaw) its primary use is to slice material handily, rather than using the traditional circular saw in the application of building homes. It’s also an advantageous implement when cutting into tight crevices.

A jigsaw is a tool used for cutting arbitrary curves, such as stenciled designs or other custom shapes, into a piece of wood, metal, or other material. It can be used in a more artistic fashion than other saws, which typically cut in straight lines only. In this way, it is similar to the rasp and the chisel. Although a jigsaw can be used to cut arbitrary patterns, making a straight cut freehand is difficult even with a guide.

Traditional jigsaws are hand saws, consisting of a handle attached to a small, thin blade. The first jigsaw puzzles were made using this kind of un-powered saw. More modern jigsaws are power tools, made up of an electric motor and a reciprocating saw blade.

A jigsaw with a bevel function on the sole plate allows cutting angles of typically up to 45 degrees relative to the normal vertical stroke for cutting miter joints.

In the past, what are now usually called scroll saws were often referred to as jigsaws.

A Jigsaw may also be referred to, by some manufacture

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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Pop

419 posts in 2636 days


#6 posted 01-23-2011 08:07 AM

rogerw, we got into scroll saws because the name waters have been muddied. I’m 70 and I’ve been woodworking since 7th grade. A scroll saw is a machine were the blade is tensioned between 2 arms and can cut on both the up & down stroke. A jig saw is a machine were the blade is tensioned between a driven jaw at the bottom & a spring on the top jaw. It cuts only on the down stroke. People are now calling the jig saw a ridged arm scroll saw. The saber saw is a machine were the blade is attached to a driven jaw on one end and nothing on the other end. My 1st shop class had a Rockwell saber saw setting in a corner and not used for safety reasons. This was a floor machine with a 2 ft. or so cast iron table and a 6 or 8 inch blade sticking up in the middle. Exactly what you would get when you mount a Bosch saber saw (AKA jig saw) under a table.

This has been a source of great distress on my part for years. I hate it when they change the names of things.

PS. That was most likely my blog.

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

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Sawdust2

1467 posts in 2777 days


#7 posted 01-23-2011 02:07 PM

Roger, you ain’t been on LJ long enough to know how it works. LOL.
I see that you are also a grandfather so you’re no spring chicken. But, like Pop, what is now referred to as a scroll saw was once a jig saw and what is now a jig saw was once a saber saw. That’s how we got to scroll saw.
How does LJ work? One question, 43 different answers, not always on point.
Go with the flow.

Lee

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

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William

9149 posts in 1532 days


#8 posted 01-23-2011 03:03 PM

The jump to the term scroll saw made perfect sense to me. Where I live, you can’t hardly find a scroll saw anywhere. When my first scroll saw died a horrible death, I went around town to see if anyone locally could at least order me one. On more than one occasion I was told, “sure, we have scroll saws in stock”. Then the person who said that would promptly lead me down the aisle of their store to show me their wide selection of jig saws (or sabre saws if that’s the term you want to use).
So, to your original post, sabre saw, jig saw, and scroll saw. They are all the same tool or all very different tools, depending on who you talk to.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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rogerw

262 posts in 1379 days


#9 posted 01-23-2011 10:34 PM

Sorry if I sounded a little gruff last night. I was on my way to work and not in a motivated state of mind. My apologies to all. :-)

I’ve gotten several answers here but feel I am no less confused than before, no fault of y’all.

So, on that note they say a picture is worth a thousands words so to save on keystrokes….
This is what I have. The owners manual calls this a jig saw.

My father owned a similar-looking beast, with a cord of course as the only thing back then with batteries were flashlights and cars. It was called a saber saw.

Was, or is, there a difference in the way they operated or were used?

I also own what the manual calls a scroll saw. This is the one with the long arms with the removable blade that attaches at both ends. The blades resemble small coping saw blades. (please don’t start talking about coping saws) lol

Roger

-- >> my shop teacher used to say "do the best at everything you make for your mom because you're going to see it for the rest of your life!" <<

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Pop

419 posts in 2636 days


#10 posted 01-24-2011 02:26 AM

In my book the saw shown in the photo is a saber saw. In Bosch’s book it’s a jig saw. My book says Bosh is wrong. I have a Powermatic jig saw. That’s according to Powermatic’s book. Here’s a photo.

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

View William's profile

William

9149 posts in 1532 days


#11 posted 01-24-2011 02:29 AM

The coping saw was the earliest form of scroll saws, before anyone thought of moving the blade mechanically. The saw was attached to a table or stand, and the wood was moved up and down to “scroll” cutouts.
Sorry, I just could not help throwing that little bit of history in for you after your last comment about NOT talking about it.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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canadianchips

1831 posts in 1687 days


#12 posted 01-24-2011 03:53 AM

My perception is:
Jig saw is a power tool with short blade going back and forth,
SABRE saw is power tool with medium size blade, also going back and forth,
Reciprocating saw is Larger power tool with Long blade still going back and forth.
I think it really is one of those Tomato Tomoto things. Just one blade is larger than other.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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JasonWagner

523 posts in 1870 days


#13 posted 01-24-2011 04:21 AM

Sabre saw is an older term and jig saw is a newer term in my books. 99% of people would call Pop’s saw a scroll saw. As long as you know what’s in your hand is what you need for the job…

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

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Pop

419 posts in 2636 days


#14 posted 01-24-2011 05:40 PM

Powermatic calls this machine a Model 95 Jig Saw Mfg. in 1987.

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

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Pop

419 posts in 2636 days


#15 posted 01-24-2011 06:00 PM

Here are a couple more Jig Saws:


Craftsman Model 40 Jig Saw. My 1st. power tool


Shopsmith “Magna” Jig Saw Purchased in the early 70s

Notice that the one thing these machines is that the up-stroke is “spring” powered. That’s the difference between a scroll saw & a jig saw. The so called new name of “rigid arm scroll saw” is something new. I only saw this term for the 1st around 2 years ago. I guess this was an attempt to call these machines SOMETHING seeing that their real name had been grabbed by the saber manufacturers.

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

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