A jigsaw is one of the essential tools especially for every seasoned DIY handyman, simply because it is the cutting specialist. It can cut a material into several different shapes and sizes, but it can also excel in making clean, straight cuts as well as bevel cuts. Being a versatile tool, it is little wonder why the jigsaw is one of the most sought-after tools by both professionals and DIY-ers.
Although a jigsaw is primarily used in cutting wood, it can also cut other materials such as sheet metal, ceramic tile, and plastic.
Working with this handy power tool requires a lot of attention and precision, since it is quite delicate to use compared to other powered saws.
Its blade is thin, which makes it ideal in cutting tight curves with ease. The jigsaw is also relatively light, making it easy to maneuver even when cutting intricately patterned designs.
Blades – The versatility and the adaptability of the jigsaw lie on the assortment of blades fitted to the machine. Selecting the right blade for your jigsaw will bring the most satisfactory results in your cutting project.
Here are the types of blades classified by the number of teeth per inch:
- A six-to-eight-teeth-per-inch blade may be the most common jigsaw blade. It can cut hard and soft wood and particleboard.
- A 10-to-14-teeth-per-inch blade produces fine cuts, which makes it ideal to cut some varieties of wood and plastics.
- If you tend to cut a lot of plywood, laminated wood or particleboard, then you should choose a blade with 16-to-20 teeth per inch.
- A 24-teeth-per-inch blade makes smooth cuts, ideal for cutting thin material.
- A 36-teeth-per-inch blade produces very fine cuts, ideal for cutting very thin material.
Jigsaw blade shanks chiefly come in two styles:
- T-shank – Most jigsaw models accommodate this type of blade shank. It is also the most common and widely-used. Majority of jigsaws today have a tool-less blade changing system, which makes switching to T-shank blades easy.
- U-shank – Universal blades or “U-shanks” also get their name from the U-shaped tip. But since most current jigsaws accommodate T-shanks, U-shanks are not as often used today as before.
Jigsaw blades can be made from the following materials:
- Bi-metal – A bi-metal jigsaw blades is the longest of all the other blades. It is also durable, lasting 10 times compared to high carbon steel blades.
- High-carbon steel – A high-carbon steel is flexible, that’s why it has the tendency to bend while doing the cutting action. Also, its sharpness doesn’t last very long compared to other types of blade.
- High-speed steel – A high-speed steel blade is more rigid compared to the high-carbon steel counterpart. It is also harder and more durable, but it doesn’t offer strong resistance against heat. It can cut hardwoods, reinforced plastic or metal.
- Tungsten carbide – Compared to other blades, the tungsten carbide blade offers the greatest heat resistance. The blade itself is coated with a tungsten carbide grit for a longer-lasting cutting performance.
For the size of Jigsaw blades, keep the following things in mind:
- The blade’s size has the greatest impact on the type of work you’ll be using it on.
- Blades arrive in a range of thicknesses and lengths, and it’s up to the buyer to select the one that suits their needs.
- If you’re familiar with the dimensions of the material, make sure the blade of the jigsaw is an inch longer. This is important to ensure you have some leeway, but keep it to just an inch longer because anything longer might have negative repercussions on the blade’s cutting accuracy.
- The blade’s thickness will also impact the jigsaw’s flexibility. A jigsaw with a thin blade is ideal for instances where you have to be somewhat mobile with the cuts (think irregular and circular shaped cuts).
- Thicker blades have a unique use of their own. They’re sturdier in nature and offer greater accuracy than thinner ones, but as imaginable, they don’t carry a lot of flexibility. They’re ideal for zig-zags and straight line cuts.
For strokes per minute, know that:
- Any jigsaw with a SPM above 2,000 is capable enough to power through various kinds of projects.
- A few jigsaws offer variable speed that allows users to change the SPM from very low to mid-high speeds.
When it comes to the jigsaw’s orbital action:
- The beveling show of the power tool is going to move in an up-down motion
- Though the majority of jigsaws move 45-degrees, some brands enable buyers to adjust the action between 45, 30, 15 and 0 degrees.
- Some jigsaws feature curved control technology that allow in-depth modifications for precision and accuracy.
Top Jigsaws to Buy
This jigsaw comes with a 4.5 amp motor that offers enough threshold to finish touch projects. The jigsaw can make quick cuts through plastic, metal, and wood in a variety of applications with a 3,000 SPM variable speed and a ¾ -inch stroke length. You also get a sturdy wire guard sightline that enhances cutting line visibility and accuracy. Additionally, a quick-clamp enables buyers to engage in blade changes that are tool-free. Besides all that, the dust blower on this corded jigsaw keeps the dust at bay and helps to clear the visibility of cut lines.
What makes it stand out?
The jigsaw has a lightweight body and a compact handle, which minimizes vibrant and promotes easy handling. It can also accommodate 45-degrees worth of bevel cuts courtesy of its base plate tilts.
This jigsaw has a versatile ability to make several types of cuts. The stylish power tool can make curved or straight line cuts through several types of materials, including metal, plywood, nail-embedded wood, and solid wood. It’s also cordless, which means you don’t have to keep it plugged to a power cord. It’s 18-volt Ni-cad battery and 3,000 SPM variable speed keeps it powered for a long period. Buyers also get to use its keyless shoe bevel (all-metal) that offers an orbital-action that’s changeable in four unique positions, providing a greater depth of speed and cut quality. Another attractive feature, the lever-action keyless blade clamp, allows for quick blade changing. Plus, buyers get the choice to use the jigsaw with double or single hands, depending on the type of project they’re working on.
What makes it stand out?
One of the best things about this jigsaw is that it has a curved handle with a trigger attached to its top, and its back has room to safely secure the battery. It also comes with a dust blower that removes any disruptions from users’ line of sight.
For power that’s fade free, this jigsaw is capable of working with all kinds of Hitachi 18V Lithium ion batteries. It’s also one of the lightest jigsaws available in the market, and offers a 3x battery life compared to those NiCd battery-powered jigsaws (charges and batteries are separate from the main package). It comes with a blade changing system that’s tool-less and allows for minimized downtime and fast replacements. The soft grip handle of the jigsaw also eliminates fatigue and enhances comfort. Users also get LED lighting that helps with precision and visibility, and a cutting angle that can adjust up to 45 degrees for meeting the application. Additionally, the blade storage (on-tool) accommodates almost 6 blades for reduced downtime and increased functionality.
What makes it stand out?
The versatile jigsaw has a 3-mode orbital action that enhances the efficiency and accuracy of cuts regardless of the material it is used on.
The jigsaw comes with a 12-volt 7.0 amp motor that exudes precision, durability and function. Its industrial design and footplate (cast aluminum) enables it to withstand the most challenging of conditions at the jobsites, including those drops that make the jigsaw slide down and land on the arm of the footplate. 3/8-inch mild steel, 7/8-inch aluminum, and 5-7/8-inches of wood can be easily cut because of this jigsaw. Bevel cuts can be adjusted up to 45-degrees. For ensuring the desired speed of the user is maintained, the manufacturer has created a “Constant Response Circuitry” so buyers never need to worry over precision and performance. Lastly, the blade ejection level (tool-less) ensures the user never has to touch those warm blades for ejecting them.
What makes it stand out?
Most jigsaws come with three orbital actions, but Bosch’s Top-Handle JS470E offers four, enabling you to find just the perfect blade strokes for aggressive or smooth cuts.
Jigsaws are incredible power tools that empower you with the ability to make any kind of cut, where they can be curved, straight, or bevel. For the best results, use the correct speeds, configuration, and blades. However, the tool is designed for little detail projects rather than those power drenching construction projects, so don’t use it on anything like 2*5s because it won’t be able to perform at its peak capacity.