It’s no lie that a jigsaw is a DIY enthusiasts’ favorite power tool. That’s because they’re an extremely handy piece of equipment. Jigsaws are used to cut shapes out of almost any type of building material. These include woods, metals, plastics, and even porcelain tiles. With the right blade and the best contractor-grade saw, you could easily handle any woodworking project. However, not every jigsaw performs as well as they’re supposed to. Some look big and sturdy but break after a couple of uses. That’s why I’ve collected a list of the best jigsaws of 2018.
With this in-depth study of the sturdiest, fastest, and most powerful jigsaws of this year, you’ll be ready for anything. I encourage you to take a look at what my team and I have found. After looking through our review, I guarantee that you’ll be working on your first DIY home project in no time.
Best jigsaws of 2018
Before we jump into our reviews, why don’t we check out our 10 best-rated jigsaws? When starting any home improvement project, it’s important to know what you need in a power tool. So we broke down our choices based on a variety of factors, including the best cordless jigsaws available vs. corded jigsaws available on the market. We also looked at each product’s additional features, dimensions, weight, and warranty. Now, let’s take a look at the top 10 best value jigsaws of 2018.
|Included||Dimensions||Weight||Voltage/ Battery Type||Power Source||Warranty|
|Makita XVJ03 Jigsaw Kit||• 2x Lithium-Ion batteries|
• Rapid charger
• Jigsaw blade set
• Anti-splintering device
• Cover plate
• Hex wrench
|18 x 6 x 15 inches||14.4 lbs.||1 lithium ion||Battery-powered||3-year|
|Festool 561593 Jigsaw||• 2x T-Shank Jigsaw Blades |
• Chip Catcher
• Splinter guard
• Plug-It Power Cord
• Systainer (SYS 1 TL)
|4.3 x 11.6 x 15.6 inches||8.7 lbs.||120 volts||Corded Electric powered||n/a|
|Festool 561608 Jigsaw||• 2x T-Shank Jigsaw Blades |
• Chip Catcher
• Splinter guard
• Plug-It Power Cord
|4.3 x 11.6 x 15.6 inches||8.8 lbs.||120 volts||Corded Electric powered||n/a|
|Bosch JS572EBK Barrel-Grip Jigsaw||• JS572 Jigsaw|
• 3x Jigsaw Blades
• Anti-Splinter Insert
• Plastic Shoe
• Carrying Case
|9.9 x 4 x 7.2 inches||4.9 lbs.||120 volts||Corded Electric powered||1-year/ 30-day money back|
|DEWALT DCS331 Jigsaw||• 20V MAX XR Premium Li-Ion Battery|
• Fast Charger
• Jigsaw blade
• Kit box
|16 x 14.2 x 5.2 inches||6 lbs.||1 lithium ion 20 volts||Battery Powered||3-year|
|Black & Decker Smart Select 5.0A Orbital Jigsaw||• Jigsaw|
|13.1 x 4.9 x 9.7 inches||5.8 lbs.||120 volts||Corded Electric powered||2-year|
|Festool 561443 Jigsaw||• Jigsaw Blades |
• Chip Catcher
• Splinter guard
• Plug-It Power Cord
|15.5 x 11.6 x 4.3 inches||9.6 lbs.||120 volts||Corded Electric powered||3-year|
|DEWALT DC330K Cordless Top Handle Jigsaw||• 18-volt cordless jigsaw|
• Jigsaw blades
• Kit box
• 8v XRP battery
|16 x 14.2 x 5.2 inches||12 lbs.||18 volts||Battery powered||3-year/ 90 day money back|
|Milwaukee 6268-21 Top Handle Jigsaw||• Orbital Jigsaw|
• 2x Blades
• Carrying Case
• Dust Shield
|16 x 14 x 4.5 inches||9.7 lbs.||120 volts||Corded Electric powered||5-years|
|Makita 4351FCT Barrel Grip Jigsaw||• Barrel Grip Jigsaw|
• 6x Blades
• Anti-splintering device
• Cover plate
• Tool case
|9.3 x 2.9 x 8.2 inches||5.5 lbs.||120 volts||Corded Electric powered||1-year/ 30-day money back|
As you can see, there are an equal amount of jigsaws on our list that is corded and battery-powered. It’s important to determine which you want, as a battery-powered jigsaw may be portable, but they don’t run for long periods of time. It also always helps to get a power tool with a warranty or money back guarantee. These are important additions in case your jigsaw breaks down or you decide that you don’t want it. They will help you save money in the long run.
Why the latest DEWALT DW745 and the Porter-Cable PCCK614L4 are Not on My List
I’m sure quite a few individuals are wondering why the DEWALT DW745 and Porter-Cable PCCK614L4 aren’t on our list. Before you jump to conclusions, let me explain the reasoning behind our choice. Both the DEWALT DW745 and Porter-Cable PCCK614L4 are extremely impressive power tools that are perfect for any heavy-duty commercial setting. The DEWALT DW745, alone, is capable of running up to 3,850 rpm with ease. However, we felt that they were ineligible for our list for 2 very important reasons.
They were too expensive
Unfortunately, we felt that the DEWALT DW745 and the Porter-Cable PCCK614L4 weren’t worth the asking price. This was due to the less than sturdy design and short lifespan of the power tools. While they may have packed a powerful punch, they weren’t so good at receiving them.
They were not user-friendly
This is particularly true for the DEWALT DW745. Both jigsaws were a bit too advanced for our novice-DIY readers. It’s important to note that many jigsaws on our list could easily stand up to heavy commercial usage. However, our goal was to find the best jigsaws for a novice or new woodworker that needed a user-friendly power tool.
So, while I wouldn’t recommend crossing these jigsaws off your shopping list, I’ll still have to cut them out of the review.
We start off our list with the Makita XVJ03. Its variable speed motor performs up to 2,600 strokes per minute. It comes with 3 pre-set orbital settings, as well as, a straight-cut setting for more versatility. With a sturdy gauge design, it promises accurate, precise cuts with every use. Its ergonomic handle allows for longer periods of time without discomfort, while its lightweight frame makes it easier to hold in a permanent position. This jigsaw comes equipped with Star Protection Computer ControlsTM which prevent overheating, overloading, and over-discharging.
The Makita XVJ03 comes with a “tool-less” blade changing system which guarantees speedier blade installation. Along with that, it also comes with a handy rapid optimum charger. The charger is designed with a built-in chip that provides the ability to control the battery’s voltage and temperature. This guarantees a longer battery lifespan, as well as, decreases the chances that the battery will overheat.
The Makita XVJ03 is definitely one of our top favorite jigsaw picks. However, it’s not one that the average carpenter would go out of their way to purchase. This is most likely due to the massive price tag stuck to its surface. It’s safe to say that the Makita XVJ03 is the most expensive jigsaw on our list. However, if you’ve got the money and you’re willing to invest, then I say go ahead. The Makita XVJ03 is a jigsaw that’s certainly worth the price.
Overall, the Makita XVJ03 is a reliable product that’s worth every penny. Perfect for commercial use, this jigsaw is guaranteed to last years. This jigsaw also comes with a 3-year warranty on the battery, charger, and product. This protects against product defects in materials and workmanship.
The Festool 561593 Jigsaw is one of our faster products. Reaching up to 3,800 strokes per second, it’s a jigsaw built more for professional, commercial usage than personal use. Its CT Dust Extractor prevents the build-up of dust and debris in the work area. This is both healthier and safer for workers as it helps to evade dust inhalation and workplace accidents and fires. Its 1-piece splinter guards provide cleaner cuts with no splinters. This jigsaw also comes with carbide guidance system. The system utilizes triple blade enforcements and carbide jaws to prevent mistakes while cutting.
The Festool 561593 Jigsaw comes with 4 in-built LED lights for higher visibility while working. Its quick interchangeable base system allows for speedy swaps with little effort. At 8.7 pounds, it’s lightweight and compact enough for simple handling. Its smaller profile makes it easy to carry to and from work or around the workplace. Despite the smaller size, its hardy build guarantees that it can easily last hours of repetitive usage.
Well, the most noticeable issue with the Festool561593 Jigsaw is the location of the on/off switch. The jigsaw turns on and off via a switch that’s built into its side. This can easily become a huge safety concern because the jigsaw doesn’t turn off unless you flick the switch. So, if you dropped it or it overheated, it would continue to run until you flicked the switch. It seems like it would be safer to have a trigger that needs to be pressed down for it to start. While this does seem like a fairly small problem, it is one that may prove to be a deal breaker for some.
What really makes the Festool 561593 stand out on our list is its CT Dust Extractor. Its dust extractor is HEPA-certified, which means that it’s guaranteed to pick up roughly 99.99 percent dust and allergens in the air. This provides a cleaner, healthier work environment.
The Festool 561608 Jigsaw also comes with a motor capable of performing up to 3,800 strokes per second. Its HEPA-certified CT Dust Extractor collects roughly 99.99 percent of dust and allergens in the air with each use. This provides a cleaner, healthier, and safer work environment, by lessening the chances of fires and dust inhalation. Its 4 built-in LED lights help to improve workplace visibility for better results. The 3-blade guiding system guarantees clean cuts with no, or limited, mistakes. Also, the splinter guards help to prevent splits and splinters for a clean finish.
The Festool 561608 Jigsaw comes with an interchangeable base that allows for quick switches. It can handle all types of base plates, such as woods, plastics, and metals. Its sturdy frame and ergonomic grip provide comfortable handling for hours on end.
Like the Festool 561593, the Festool 561608 comes with a side on/off switch. This really does seem like a serious safety concern. Just like before, I recommend being careful when using this jigsaw. Make sure that you remember to flip the switch when finished using the jigsaw. Thankfully, it’s corded. So if you have to hastily turn it off, you can also just pull the cord.
While the Festool 561608 may not be the cheapest jigsaw on our list, it’s definitely one of the most reliable. This jigsaw is an impressive instrument designed to work as either a commercial power tool or personal, at-home tool. Despite whatever tasks it’s applied, it does a remarkable job at completing effortlessly and effectively.
The Bosch JS572EBK offers a Precision Control II double-roller system for extremely accurate and clean cuts with less blade deflection. Its self-adjusting guidance system automatically adjusts to a blades thickness for convenience and better results. The jigsaw’s aluminum gear box is sturdy and provides tool-free adjustments. Its multi-directional blade clamp holds T-shaped blades with little, to no slip. It comes equipped with a one-touch blade insertion system. This allows for single-handed blade inserting, along with a quick blade injection for safer and faster blade switching.
The Bosch JS572EBK offers a small barrel-grip area, as well as, an ergonomic handle for comfort. At 4.9 pounds, it’s one of the lightest jigsaws on our list. Its compact design makes it easier to handle for long periods of time, as well as, to maneuver and carry to and from different locations. The Bosch JS572EBK’s motor runs at 7.2 amps and features a Constant Response system for quicker rebound times. Not only that, but it also has a variable speed dial for versatility.
The downside to the Bosch JS572EBK is most definitely the vibration. This jigsaw tends to vibrate way too much. So much so that it tends to loosen the base plate lever lock which makes it incredibly frustrating to remove the base plate. If you’re okay with a little discomfort and frustration, then I’d go ahead and get the Bosch JS572EBK. Otherwise, I’d probably just keep looking.
The Bosch JS572EBK is a small, yet durable jigsaw that comes with a wide away of valuable features. What’s most interesting is its Tool Protection plan. This plan includes a 1-year warranty that covers product defects in materials or workmanship. It also includes a 30-day money back guarantee, as well as, a 1-year service protection plan. This guarantees that you get the most out of your money.
The DEWALT DCS331 Jigsaw offers a variable speed option that’s capable of reaching up to 3,000 strokes per minute. Its all-metal lever-action keyless blade provides faster, easier blade changes. Via its 4-position orbital action, you’re guaranteed more control for cleaner cuts. The adjustable dust blower keeps dust and debris away from the work area. This allows for safer, faster results with little extra work on your part. Running on a 20V max battery, this jigsaw features a rechargeable battery that’s capable lasting hours on end.
The DEWALT DCS331 Jigsaw comes with a variety of additional tools and accessories. These include the premium lithium-ion battery, 2 T-shank precision wood blades, and a holding kit. The larger blade helps to keep the smaller of the two in a perpendicular angle on the wood. This guarantees you get a nice, thick and even cut with every use. Both blades are guaranteed to last months, if not years, of regular use.
Unfortunately, the DEWALT DCS331 tends to struggle a bit when cutting through thicker metals, like steel. Undoubtedly, it excels at cutting through wood and thinner, softer metals, but when it hits steel it slows down, considerably. So, if you regularly work with thicker, harder metals in your day-to-day life, then you might want to consider a different jigsaw.
The DEWALT DCS331 Jigsaw is a handy product that holds up well to regular use. What really helps this jigsaw standout is all-metal lever-action keyless blade which allows for faster blade changes. This is a really helpful feature when you’re in a hurry and you don’t have the time to fight with the blades. Also, the DEWALT DCS331 Jigsaw comes with a 3-year warranty which protects against product defects in materials and workmanship. Don’t forget to inquire about this before purchasing this jigsaw.
The Black & Decker Smart Select 5.0A Orbital Jigsaw comes with a powerful 5 amp motor. With this, it’s capable of performing up to 3,000 strokes per minute with a ¾ stroke length. It comes with 7 pre-set SmartSelect settings for a variety of orbital settings. The Accu-Bever lever guarantees cleaner, faster cuts with each stroke. Meanwhile, its tool-free blade change design makes changing the blade a quicker, easier process. Its adjustable shoe provides a sturdy and extremely handy platform for cutting. It also comes with a channel for site lines which provides the ability to see your cuts. This helps for reliable and accurate results.
The Black & Decker Jigsaw easily cuts through almost any type of building material. This includes wood, metal, and plastic. It comes equipped with a built-in dust blower for preventing dust build-up in the work area. This jigsaw also accepts U and T-shank blades, allowing for a wider variety of uses. At 5.8 pounds, it’s one of the smallest and lightest jigsaws on our list. However, don’t let its size fool you. It’s still an extremely powerful and sturdy piece of machinery.
Although the Black & Decker is made to accept T-shank blades, it doesn’t perform as well as with a U-shank. This is because the tip of the T-shank blade is tipped forward. Paired with the Black & Decker jigsaw, this causes uneven and undesired cuts. So, it might take a bit of practice to master this jigsaw.
The Black & Decker Jigsaw is a great product that’s perfect for any DIY or small project. It also comes with a 2-year warranty against product defects in materials and workmanship. Small, compact, and extremely sturdy, this jigsaw is a surprisingly impressive power tool that definitely deserves a closer look.
The Festool 561443 is one of the most powerful jigsaws on our list. With a 6 amp motor, it performs between 1,000 and 9,000 strokes per minute. Thanks to its Carbide guidance system, the blade is always kept perpendicular to the wood. This allows for clean, straight cuts with each swipe. Its zero clearance splinter guard guarantees splinter-free results with a smooth finish. Dust extraction channels are built into the plate to prevent dust build-up. This keeps your workspace dust-free and prevents clogging in the jigsaw. The clear chip deflector also helps to avert dust build-up in the rare of the machine.
The Festool 561443 comes with a soft start feature that allows for faster, jolt-free startups. Its variable speed control provides the ability to match the jigsaws speed to a variety of materials. These include woods, hard and soft metals, plastic, etc. Its ergonomic grip provides a comfortable handle for longer work times. Finally, the FastFix saw blade guarantees faster, tool-free blade changes for quicker results and better convenience.
Almost immediately, you can tell that the major downside to the Festool 561443 is the lack of blade visibility. While it may seem like a simple design flaw, it’s one that becomes fairly annoying fairly quickly. It seems as if the manufacturer’s had just built a light into the bottom, it wouldn’t be such as problem. However, because they didn’t, it’s almost impossible to see the blade as it cuts.
It’s important to remember that the Festool 561443 also comes with a 3-year warranty. This warranty protects against product defects in material or workmanship. If you need to use it, then just simply contact the manufacturer for more information.
The Dewalt DC330K offers an 18-volt battery that runs up to 3,000 strokes per minute. It comes with an all-metal keyless shoe bevel that detents at 0, 15, 30, and 45-degree angles. This allows for versatility and better maneuvering while cutting. It’s capable of cutting through a wide away of building materials. This includes plastics, metals, plywood, solid wood, laminated counter tops, etc. It boasts a full 1-inch stroke length, as well as, an adjustable dust blower that keeps dust and chips out of the way.
The Dewalt DC330K comes with a keyless, lever-action blade clamp for quicker, easier blade changes. Its 4-postion orbital switch provides manual speed adjustments according to the building material type and thickness. It also features an ergonomic handle for lasting comfort and easy maneuvering. Lastly, this jigsaw comes with a set of blades, a handy kit box, and a 1-hour charger.
Honestly, there’s not much to be said in terms of the Dewalt DC330K’s faults. Just be sure to set the saw’s orbital speed before using it. If you set it to cut through steel, but use it on wood, your saw can be ripped out of the lock. So, be sure to double check the setting before using the jigsaw.
As a Dewalt manufactured power tool, the Dewalt DC330K sports a sturdy design that’s guaranteed to last years. But just in case, the Dewalt DC330K comes with a 3-year limited warranty against product defects in materials and workmanship. It also comes with 1-year of free service, as well as, a 90-day money back guarantee.
Equipped with a 6.5 motor, the Milwaukee 6268-21 Top Handle Jigsaw performs up to 3,000 strokes per minute. This, of course, is with a 1-inch stroke length. Its speed dial and variable control trigger allow for strong and clean repetitive cuts. It comes with an impressive 9-position dust blow that clears away shavings and prevents dust build-up. This is particularly important for watching your cuts and avoiding fires. It also comes with a dust collection port that is vacuum-attachable. Its 4-position orbital level guarantees clean, straight cuts with every strike.
The Milwaukee 6268-21 Jigsaw comes with 7 pre-set speed controls for cutting a wider array of building materials. At the lowest, it cuts about 500 strokes per minute, while the highest is 3,000. What’s most impressive is the Quik-Lok blade change system. This provides a faster and much simpler way of changing blades which are perfect for new woodworkers.
The Milwaukee 6268-21 Jigsaw is a top heavy cutting tool that requires physical strength and attention to make straight cuts. You’ll have to really watch it as it goes or it might veer off a little. I think this is due to the amount of power it applies when cutting metal.
The Milwaukee 6268-21 Jigsaw can hold T-shank blades which are good for cutting wood, plastic, and metal. Its ergonomic handle provides constant comfort during long handling times. Finally, the Milwaukee 6268-21 Jigsaw comes with an impressive 5-year warranty. This protects against defects in materials and workmanship. It’s truly an all-in-one product that guarantees you get your money’s worth.
The Makita 4351FCT Jigsaw features a 6.3 amp motor that performs up to 2,800 strokes per minute. The motor, itself, is designed to have 40 percent less vibration than any common jigsaw. Its electronic variable speed control guarantees consistent speeds for as long as you need. This cutting tool comes equipped with a LED light, as well as, a built-in dust blower. These help to increase cut visibility, as well as, prevent dust build-up. Its 3 pre-set orbital settings guarantee strong, clean cuts with every stroke. It also comes with an onboard hex wrench which allows for quick and easy bevel adjustments.
The Makita 4351FCT Jigsaw features an ergonomic, barrel-grip design for close and comfortable cutting. Its tool-less blade changes allow for super-fast blade changes for convenience. It also comes with an anti-splintering device which keeps the wood from splintering, guaranteeing a clean finish.
Unfortunately, after a short amount of use, the Makita 4351FCT Jigsaw’s blade collet will start to wear down. This will cause the blade to wander more often when used on building materials thicker than 1-inch.
The Makita 4351FCT Jigsaw comes with a wide variety of accessories. This includes a carrying case, 6 blades, a wench, and a cover plate. It also comes with a 1-year warranty against product defects in materials and workmanship. Despite its small size, this jigsaw packs a strong punch. But just in case you’re worried, it also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
When choosing a good jigsaw for a home improvement project, you don’t just look at the power and stroke limit. You also have to take into consideration the types of accessories that come included with the product. What types of blades can the jigsaw handle? Are there certain accessories, features, or attachments that can’t pair with the jigsaw? Here’s a quick review of the 5 best accessories you should look for when purchasing a new jigsaw.
Of course, the most important addition to a jigsaw is a blade. Without a blade, a jigsaw is basically useless. However, it’s important to remember the blade basics. Wider, thicker blades are best for long cuts, while thin blades are used for circles and bends. Blades with less but thicker teeth cut quickly and produce rougher, splintered wood. Jigsaws that are meant to cut metal have tinier, sharper teeth. Most metal jigsaw blades have between 21 to 24 teeth per blade.
This may come as somewhat of a surprise, but jigsaws don’t steer themselves. I know! What a shocker! You may be a bit disappointed if you attempt to make a perfectly straight free-hand cut with a jigsaw. Typically, it has the tendency to veer off course. That’s why you’ll want to purchase a straightedge guide or 2 for your home DIY project. By clamping down 2 straightedge guides onto your building material, you can easily guide the jigsaw’s blade between them. This guarantees a straight, clean cut.
Flush cut Blade
Flush cut blades, or offset blades, are used to cut straight up against the side of a piece of building material. When a jigsaw only uses a standard blade, the blade won’t firmly meet against the vertical surface of a piece of building material. This is because the jigsaw’s base plate gets in the way. However, by attaching a flush cut blade, you can complete a flush, firm cut on any plate of wood or metal.
Jigsaws are, of course, perfect for cutting circles. But, instead of free-hand cutting, you can always use a circle-cutting jig to guarantee a clean finish. Circle-cutting jigs come with a beam, which is a flat arm that attaches to the jigsaw, and a pivot point, which acts as the circle’s center.
Reverse-tool blades aren’t typically used that often. The standard jigsaw uses upward pointing teeth that cut on the upper stroke. However, this causes splintered, worn wood. That’s why woodworkers may turn the wood over and cut on the other side so that the splinters aren’t seen.
Reverse-tool blades are typically used for finished projects that can’t be turned over, such as cabinets and shelving. Their teeth point downward, cutting on the down stroke. And while this may be harder to wield, the splintering occurs on the other side of the wood. This allows for a nice smooth finish on the visible side of the wood.
Jigsaw Buyers Guide
What is a Jigsaw?
A jigsaw is a power tool built for cutting circles or straight lines into building materials. With its reciprocating saw blade, a jigsaw can cut into almost any type of material. These include metals, plastics, woods, plywood, ceramic tiles, concrete, and carpet. They’re typically used to make shapes out of building material for both professional and home improvement projects.
What are the different styles of jigsaws?
There are 3 styles of jigsaws: Corded, cordless, and pneumatic.
Corded Jigsaws: Corded Jigsaws are considerably more powerful than a cordless jigsaw. This is because they use an electric cord to utilize more power and electricity. They’re typically heavier, sturdier, cost more than cordless jigsaws. Because of this, they’re the more popular option for professional woodworkers.
Cordless Jigsaws: Cordless Jigsaws are typically lighter and more compact. They run on a rechargeable battery that may last between 30 minutes and a few hours. Cordless jigsaws are cheaper and, because of their compact form, are more portable and easier to carry. They’re the preferable option for many DIYer’s and home improvement DIY projects.
Pneumatic Jigsaws: Pneumatic Jigsaws are significantly less popular than the other 2 options. This is because they’re powered by air compressors and are incredibly powerful. They’re almost too powerful to have any real use and can’t be used on wood as they tend to wear down the grain.
What are the power options of a jigsaw?
In terms of power, most cordless jigsaws have between a 5 and 8 amp motor. Most corded jigsaws can handle either 120 volts or 220 volts. If you plan to work only with wood or plastics, you can stick to lower amp motors. On the other hand, faster speeds are better for cement and metal. Corded Jigsaws are significantly more powerful than cordless and they can run for longer periods of time.
What types of jigsaw blades are there?
There’s a fine science involved when determining the best blade for the job. Let’s first take a look at what materials a jigsaw might cut.
- Metals (steel or aluminum)
- Woods (hard and soft)
- Ceramics or Glass
- Masonry materials (concrete, plaster, and marble)
- Thick fabrics
- Paper products (cardboard, etc.)
That said, there are 2 types of jigsaw blades: U and T-shank
T-shank: T-shank blades typically offer a quick change option and are incredibly popular. They’re often U-shank jigsaw compatible.
U-shank: U-shank blades are less popular and require a locking screw to keep them in place.
When choosing the right blade, you should determine the thickness of blade in comparison to the thickness of the material. A blade should be at least 1-inch thicker than the material.
As stated before: Wider, thicker blades are best for long cuts, while thin blades are used for circles and bends.
Now let’s look at the materials used in the blades.
High Carbon Steel: These blades are cheaper and tend to wear out faster. However, they’re flexible and work well on circles and bends in soft materials.
High-Speed Steel: These blades are not very fast and aren’t very flexible. While they’re susceptible to heat damage, they’re good for cutting harder material.
Bi-Metal: Bi-metal blades are composed of both high carbon steel and high-speed steel. They’re flexible, and survive high-speeds, and are also great on thick, hard metals. This option is guaranteed to last up to 10 x longer than any other.
Tungsten Carbide: Tungsten Carbide is a mix between tungsten and carbon. They’re extremely expensive. However, they use a grit-like edge to cut smoothly into even the hardest metals and materials.
Brands or manufacturer’s measure their blades based on the number of teeth per inch (TPI) on the blade.
As stated before: Blades with less but thicker teeth cut quickly and produce rougher, splintered wood. Jigsaws that are meant to cut metal have tinier, sharper teeth. Most metal jigsaw blades have between 21 to 24 teeth per blade.
That said, most teeth are either milled or grounded.
Milled Teeth: Blunt, milled teeth are best for fast cuts along a rough surface. They typically last longer than grounded teeth.
Grounded Teeth: While these are sharper along their edge and point, they typically don’t last very long. They cut slower and can have multiple different layouts:
- Taper: Straight alignment. Meant for slow, fine cutting.
- Wavy: Wave alignment. Meant for fine cuts.
- Side: Offset alignment. Meant for quicker, rougher cuts.
- Reverse: Reverse Taper alignment. Meant for cutting building materials prone to chipping or splintering.
Jigsaw Reviews: What to look for
When choosing a reliable jigsaw, you have to take into consideration a number of different factors or categories. These factors include the overall performance and power of the tool, as well as, how versatile and convenient it is. A jigsaw’s design should support each category, which, in turn, saves you time and money. Let’s take an in-depth look at each category:
Power and Performance
In terms of power and performance, a typical jigsaws motor may run between 5 and 8 amps. It’s also typically capable of performing between 2,000 and 3,500 strokes per minute. It’s important to remember that the faster the jigsaw, the harder it is to control. So, if you purchase a high-powered jigsaw, you might need to invest in some additional tools such as a straightedge guide or circle-cutting jig. These will help you make clean cuts.
The best jigsaws you can purchase are ones that are versatile. By versatile, I mean that they can hold multiple types of blades, such as the T and U-shank blades. It’s a good idea to purchase a jigsaw with a variable speed control. A variable speed control provides the ability to work on multiple types of building materials. This includes wood, that needs slower speeds, and metal, that needs faster speeds.
In terms of convenience, you should look for a jigsaw that has both a corded and cordless design. This makes provides portability, as well as, extra power in case the battery died. A jigsaw that comes with a number of different features and accessories is also very helpful. This is because additional features and accessories help to make the power tool easier to wield and handle. One last help tip is to find a jigsaw with a warranty. Warranties are incredibly helpful by protecting your power tool against product defects in materials and workmanship.
Many experienced professional carpenters and woodworkers choose their power tools solely off of brand. This is because they have experience with those brands or manufacturers. They know how well their customer service performs if they offer warranties or money back guarantees. Also, they know their products. How well they perform, and how well the previous models work. So, a helpful tip for any new or novice DIYer is to find a reliable brand you’d feel comfortable buying from.
To start you off, I suggest checking out the top leading power tool brands in this day and age. They include Makita, Black & Decker, Bosch, Porter Cable, Milwaukee, and Festool. As you can see from our list, every jigsaw we chose came from one of these brands. I suggest testing one out to see how well you like it.
Jigsaw Woodworking Tips
Here are a few extra tips to help you get started:
- I recommend playing around with the various speeds of your jigsaw. Test and see how fast or slow it can run. How well does it cut through different building materials? This should give you an idea of what accessories or attachments you should invest in.
- Angle cuts are done by adjusting the base bevel plates
- Orbital settings are best for smooth, professional cuts
- Don’t apply force with using your jigsaw. Simply guide it as it runs. Force may cause your blade to snap or burn out your motor
- Always review your jigsaw’s manual to get an idea of the types of building materials it can or can’t cut
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ve acquired a deeper understanding of jigsaws and how they work. When shopping for a jigsaw, it’s important to purchase one that’s capable of performing a wide variety of jobs. This means that they should be able to handle a wider array of projects, instead of just cutting one or two types of building materials.
Also, it helps to find a jigsaw with multiple features and accessories. This will save you time, energy, and, most importantly, money in the feature. Every jigsaw on our top 10 list effectively accomplishes each of these tasks and more. Not only are they affordable, but they’re powerful, sturdy, and guaranteed to last you years of reliable use.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the top 10 jigsaws of 2018. If you either agreed or disagreed with our choices, I encourage you to write a review. Which handheld jigsaw are you most interested in? Have you bought one of them before? If so, was it cordless and portable?