December 27, 2021

Is a coping saw the same as a jigsaw?

Coping saws and jigsaws are similar. The difference is that a jigsaw is for irregular curves, whereas the coping saw works on simple curves. A coping saw is a narrow blade held in a C-shaped frame with a simple handle. It runs circles around any other handheld saw, even a jigsaw. 

It comes with a profile of one molding, that leaves an undulating cope that overlaps the saw profile of the adjacent piece of trim. A jigsaw is a saw which uses a reciprocating blade to cut irregular curves, such as stenciled designs. 

Coping saw vs Jigsaw

Coping saw

A coping saw is a small hand saw used to cut crown molding or other architectural shapes in wood. It cuts a curve in wood by following an existing curve. The blade is a thin, fine-toothed, flexible saw blade, 9–12 inches long. 

The saw’s frame is wood, rosewood, or plastic, and the handle is usually bent so that you operate the saw with one hand. A coping saw is for complex shapes and interior cut-outs in woodworking and carpentry. It is for moldings that create coped joints. It creates fretwork, and the fret saw is for more complicated cuts. 

The coping saw is for intersections and making different shapes on wooden structures. It makes oval, circular, and rectangular shapes.  The tiny blade makes it accurate. A coping saw replaces the hole saw since it cuts a drilling hole on a workpiece. 

Most top coping saws are easy to detach on their ends. Coping saws are for narrower cuts, intricate external shapes, and interior cut-outs in woodworking. It is for coped joints. The coping saw is better for cutting thicker material because the blade is not fragile. The metal frame that makes up the saw blade makes cutting thicker materials easy. 

When installing the blade, be attentive. Install the blade by setting the frame’s front edge on a bench. Hold the handle, making sure that it is pointing at you. Attach one end of the blade far from the handle.

Press down the handle as you compress the frame. That gives allowance to the blade to attach to the other hand of the saw frame. Release tension and adjust the spigot. Hold the material with clamps so that you make sure you are safe. That prevents the wood from slipping when cutting. 

You open the clamp, place the material inside and tighten the clamp. Trace the line you wish to cut onto the wood. The central teeth of the saw blade have to be on the line. Push the saw in a short stroke. Keep sawing and maintain the perpendicular to the wood. 

Whilst cutting, turn the handle and frame following the cut line. Several passes are needed if you are molding. If the blade breaks during operation, loosen it, replace and tighten it.  Keep your hands and accessories off the sharp teeth, to avoid hurting yourself.

Features of a Coping Saw


The blade is of hardened steel that stretches from one end of the square to the other. It is c-shaped, and the handle attaches to the iron frame. The blade is easy to remove. You remove it when you want the saw blade to pass through a drilled hole in the middle of the wood piece. Attach the frame back to the saw blade so that the cuts start from the middle part of the workpiece.

The blade is removed by unscrewing the handle partially. You stop the saw blade from rotating by using a steady bar where the blade is attached.  A perfect alignment of the bars keeps the saw blade straight. The handle is used to control the blade tension and locks it at a certain angle of your choice. 


The frame is shallow. That is the reason why long cuts are limited.


A jigsaw is a saw that comes with a reciprocating blade to cut irregular curves, such as stenciled designs. It cuts through wood and metal. The power tool has an electric motor and a reciprocating saw blade. If you have a jigsaw with sole plates and a beveling function, you can cut angles up to 45 degrees. What separates jigsaws from scroll saws, is that they are electrically powered and portable. A jigsaw is ideal for beginners and versatile. It is quick in cutting curves. 

Jigsaws cut wood of varying thickness and density. Fit with the correct saw blade, to cut steel, fiberglass, and drywall. That is how valuable the saw is in your workshop.

Changing blades is easy. Unplug the saw or remove the battery and turn the dial counter-clockwise to release the saw blade. It has to allow you to insert a new one. When the dial is released, it locks the blade in place. Jigsaws are up to 45 degrees for bevel cuts. 

Use a lever above the saw shoe that slides back and forth. When released, the saw will tilt to one side and pull the lever back to lock it in place. A cordless jigsaw allows you to twist and turn the jigsaw, cut curves without being disturbed by a dangling cord or worrying about accidentally cutting it. That is a newer version, and it has a battery-powered variety, lightweight and slim.

Jigsaws are user-friendly. With the proper instruction and adult supervision, children of any age can use it. The tool rests on the surface of your material.  There is no need for more strength. Fingers and hands are easy to keep clear of the blade. 

Features of a Jigsaw


You can screw multiple blades into the tool. Although there is a tool-free blade change system, multiple offers allow you to set up a quick and tool-free blade change. Shank blades are standard and professional blades. They have a longer life and a tighter fit from the blade to the tool.

The tooth design determines the performance of a blade. The tooth spacing, tooth shape, and cutting angle also determine the speed and cleanliness of cuts. A side set and ground tooth make clean and fast cuts in wood. 

The teeth cut most metals as well as plastics. A side set and milled tooth work with fast and rougher cuts. A taper-ground tooth is for precise and clean cuts. It comes with reduced-kerf carbide and diamond grit edges for fast cutting in hard materials.

Motor power

A jigsaw has more cutting power with a higher amperage rating. Pick jigsaws with motor ratings of six or seven amps.


  • They both cut curves.
  • Blades are easy to change


  • A jigsaw comes with a weaker blade than a coping saw.
  • A jigsaw lasts longer than a coping saw.

Is a coping saw a hack saw?

A hacksaw looks similar to a coping saw, but the Differences separate the two. A handsaw is for cutting metal and plastic pipes and other small household materials whereas a coping saw is for wood. 

Can you use a coping saw blade on a scroll saw?

Yes, you can. However, adjustments should be made. 

Are coping saw blades and scroll saw blades the same?

They work interchangeably, but they have some differences. A coping saw blade has much shallower saw blades than a scroll saw blade. 

Is a junior hacksaw a coping saw?

A junior hacksaw is not a coping saw. They have more similarities than Differences. Junior hacksaws have a straight handle, just like coping saws. The handle can be turned freely, and you have more control over the cuts you make. The junior hacksaw is for straight cuts on small, light work.

David D. Hughes
Latest posts by David D. Hughes (see all)

Leave a Reply