M12 jig saw vs M12 circular saw

Excellent people:

Which will cut more 2x lumber with a given battery pack, the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Circular Saw (2530-20) or the Milwaukee M12 Jig Saw (2445-20)? I know the circular saw would be faster, but I don’t care about that. All I care about is the inches of 2x lumber I can cut. I’m thinking the jigsaw would have thinner blades, so it could cut more, but I’m not sure of that. Any guidance for me?

Hello @KokoTheTalkingApe,

On Toolguyd they quote Milwaukee saying this 2530 circular saw can complete 170 cuts in 2x4 boards per battery charge with an XC 4.0Ah pack, or 49.6 feet (170 x 3.5″ x 1’/12″) of cut capacity per battery charge.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find info on the 2445 jigsaw, but at least you already know half the answer. Best of luck!

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The circular saw will cut more. The jig saw is brushed, and despite the smaller blade you’re also moving the entire mechanism to make the blade reciprocate. The blades also typically aren’t as aggressive. With a good quality thin framing blade for the circular, it will definitely cut a lot more 2x4s. Without having numbers, using a 2Ah battery, I would estimate the jig saw will cut about 10-12 feet of 1/2” plywood, that’s using an aggressive blade but cutting a circle. The circular on a 2Ah battery will get through ripping a couple 2x4s before it dies. So probably about double on the circular saw in terms of amount cut.

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Well folks, in case you’re interested, I finally have numbers.

This reviewer says the 2445 jigsaw could get through 16 feet of 3/4" plywood with a 1.5 Ah battery. 2x lumber is twice the thickness (and may be harder to crosscut than the same thickness of plywood, because in plywood, half the wood will be cut along the grain, but anyway). So let’s call it 8 feet of 2x. On a 2.0 Ah battery, that would be about 12 feet.

Toolguyd says the 2530 circular saw can get through about 50 feet of 2x on a 4 Ah battery, so that makes 25 feet on a 2.0 Ah.

So the circular saw would have roughly twice the cutting capacity in board feet as the jigsaw, given the same battery. I didn’t think the difference would be that great, but there it is.

Where did you read that Toolguyd said the 2530 circular saw can get through about 50 feet of 2x on a 4 Ah battery? If you are referring to the original post from Jan 12, 2015 then that was Milwaukee stating those numbers, not confirmed by any testing. Without testing it myself I doubt you could rip six 8 ft. 2 by with that saw.

Yep, that’s the one: “170 cuts in 2×4 boards per battery charge, presumably with an XC 4.0Ah pack,” and 170 x 3.5" is about 50 feet, and yes, it is Milwaukee’s claim. But I haven’t seen any other tests, regardless of the battery. Do you know of any? And if it matters, I’m really looking at crosscuts, not ripping.

I have the M12 Fuel circular saw and it’s okay. I wish the base was larger and the stock blade is garbage. I put a CMT blade on it and it cuts with less effort and leaves a much better finish.

It definitely doesn’t have very much power. If the blade binds much at all, it will really struggle and probably stop on overcurrent.

I originally purchased it to use as a “track saw” breaking down plywood in the driveway but I’ve used it for all sorts of random stuff simply because it’s cordless and sitting on the shelf.

I would bet that the circular saw would destroy the jigsaw for “area” cut per pack. I have the Bosch (JS120bn?) and it annihilates packs. I mean, you might make it through 3 2x4s on a single charge. I haven’t actually tested this but any time I have to use it on wood, I’m always amazed how a (2ah) pack might only last a few minutes.

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That’s what I’ve heard elsewhere. Like you, I would use it for breaking down plywood, but you never know.

If it matters, I ended up buying a corded Bosch jigsaw for 20% off. It’s slow compared to a circular saw, but it is quieter and safer, and more versatile. I’ll use it with a guide for long straight cuts.

Boy, these jigsaws sure are better than they used to be. I grew up using a B&D POS that vibrated like crazy.

The Bosch JS470eb was… what?.. $90? on Amazon recently. I already own one and I almost bought a second at that price.

It’s a nice saw.

The JS120bn is pretty good but not as smooth as the 470 and the little 120 really needs the 4ah packs.

Yep, the JS470E. It is smoother than I thought possible with a jig saw. :slight_smile:

There was also the model with more horsepower but lower weight. I didn’t think it would be as smooth.