10 Best Jigsaws for Woodworkers and DIYers: The Best Buys in 2019

Best Jigsaw for Woodworkers

Furniture, home decorations, to name a few, are two of the many things you can make through the help of a jigsaw. If you need a power tool that can easily cut curves, then a jigsaw might be the first on your check list. In this article, we will help you delve into choosing the best jigsaw for your woodworking projects.

10 Best Jigsaws to Buy in 2019 Comparison

Jigsaw ImageBrand and ModelSupported BladesOrbital Action

Availability

DEWALT DW331K 6.5 Amp Top Handle Jig-SawDEWALT DW331KT-Shank4-Position Check Price
PORTER-CABLE PCE345 6-Amp Orbital Jig SawPORTER-CABLE PCE345U-Shank and T-Shank4-Position Check Price
Bosch 7.0 Amp Corded Variable Speed Barrel-Grip Jig Saw JS470EB with Carrying CaseBosch JS470EBT-Shank4-Position Check Price
Makita 4329K 3.9 Amp Variable Speed Top Handle Jig SawMakita 4329KT-Shank3-Position Check Price
BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C Smart Select Jig Saw, 5.0-AmpBLACK+DECKER BDEJS600CU-Shank and T-Shank4-Position Check Price
Milwaukee 6268-21 6.5 Amp Top Handle Jig SawMilwaukee 6268-21T-Shank4-Position Check Price
Makita 4350FCT Top Handle Jig Saw with L.E.D.LightMakita 4350FCTT-Shank4-Position Check Price
SKIL 4295-01 4.5 Amp Variable Speed JigsawSKIL 4295-01U-Shank and T-ShankN/A Check Price
Bosch 7.2 Amp Top-Handle Jig Saw Kit JS572EKBosch JS572EKT-Shank4-Position Check Price
TACKLIFE Advanced 6.7 Amp 3000 SPM Jigsaw with Laser & LED, 6 Blades, 10feet (3M) Cord Length, Pure Copper Motor, Max Bevel Cutting Angle (-45°-45°), Variable Speed, Carrying CaseTacklife PJS02AT-Shank4-Position Check Price

What is a jigsaw?

A jigsaw is a handheld power tool that uses a thin reciprocating blade to cut irregular curves in metal, wood, plastic and many other materials. Thanks to its design, a jigsaw can do many things that are impossible with other types of saws.

Read also

Best Japanese Saws for Woodworkers

For woodworkers and DIYers, why it’s time to have a jigsaw?

If you are looking for a tool to cut various shapes with, then a jigsaw may be the right choice for you. And besides, if you are on a budget, then you will probably appreciate the flexibility a single tool like a jigsaw can offer.

Thick or thin, metal or wood – a jigsaw can be used on pretty much any material, even plastic. Even this DIY blog recommends jigsaw for wood projects.

Uses of jigsaw: Wood projects you can make

GIANT SNOWFLAKE LIGHT-UP MARQUEE
You can make house a decoration. Giant Snowflake by Abeautifulmess

First of all, jigsaws can be used to cut irregular shapes in the material. You can guide a jigsaw in any way you want, which allows you to make many kinds of sophisticated shapes.

Jigsaws can also be used for straight cuts, but this isn’t a thing that they stand out in among other saw types. However, the fact that jigsaws can do both straight and curved cuts makes them highly versatile.

Read also

Best Scroll Saw: Comparison, Reviews & Buyer’s Guide 2019

Doing plunge cuts starting in the middle of a workpiece is also possible with a jigsaw. In fact, it is the most convenient tool to do it with. If you were looking to cut holes in your table for cables or piping, then a jigsaw is the right tool for you.

Jigsaw is also widely used for cutting laminate planks. It is one of the best laminate floor cutter alternatives.

Curvy Side Table
You can make furniture. Curvy Side Table by Amy

You can cut metal sheet with a jigsaw too.

Models that have a pivoting shoe (pretty much all models) can also do angled cuts. Thanks to the versatility of a jigsaw, it is rather easy to do such cuts with it.

Lastly, equipped with thin blades mostly made with high-carbon steel, jigsaws can be used for many kinds of materials. This makes them very versatile tools, albeit other types of saws may be better in some specific tasks.

The 10 Best Jigsaws for Woodworkers to Buy in 2019

DEWALT DW331K – Editor’s Pick

DEWALT DW331K 6.5 Amp Top Handle Jig-Saw

DEWALT DW331K is a rather versatile and high-quality jigsaw for a good price. If you don’t want to spend too much money on a jigsaw, then this one may be the right pick for you.

But what exactly makes this jigsaw versatile?

First of all, its shoe can be adjusted to 0, 15, 30, and 45 degrees for angled cuts. Even though you’ll meet 45-degree beveling in almost any jigsaw, this still is a very nice feature to have.

Another interesting feature in this jigsaw is its 4 orbit settings. The highest setting is good for rough and quick cuts, while the lowest setting would be more suitable for slow and delicate cuts.

The 6.5amp motor of DW331K is also a pretty powerful one. It is complemented by 4 speed settings, allowing you to run this machine at 500 – 3100 SPM. And lastly, 1” stroke length makes this jigsaw great for cutting thick workpieces.

To help you combat dust buildup on the workpiece, DW331K is equipped with a dust blower device.

In the end, DEWALT DW331K sure looks versatile and great, but it has one downside: its bevel lock tends to get wobbly, so be prepared to deal with it.

Note that this kit has no blades included so you need to buy them separately. The DEWALT DW331K accepts T-Shank blades like the image below.

DEWALT DW3742C 14-Piece T-Shank Jig Saw Blade Set with Case
DEWALT DW3742C 14-Piece T-Shank Jig Saw Blade Set

Specifications

Motor6.5 AMPS
Strokes per Minute500-3,100 SPM
Dust BlowerYes
Bevel0°, 15°, 30°, and 45°
Orbital Action4-Position
Stroke Length1-inch
Keyless Shoe BevelYes
Weight6.4 lbs.
Warranty3 Years
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • 1” stroke length allows cutting thick workpieces.
  • Can cut very quickly thanks to the 4-position adjustable blade’s orbital movement.
  • Can cut various materials thanks to the variable 500 – 3100 SPM 4 speeds and 6.5amp motor.
  • Integrated dust blower helps remove dust from the workpiece.
  • The blade can be changed tool-free.

Drawbacks

  • Wiggly bevel lock.
  • Blades doesn’t come along with this kit.

Bottom Line

DW331K is a versatile tool that can handle the majority of tasks you throw at it. And, given the price, you could expect long service from this jigsaw.


PORTER-CABLE PCE345 – Best Budget Pick

PORTER-CABLE PCE345 6-Amp Orbital Jig Saw

If you are more inclined towards cheaper models, have a look at Porter-Cable PCE345 jigsaw. It isn’t the cheapest model on the reviews, but it still is rather inexpensive.

When it comes to durability, PCE345 jigsaw will probably be less durable than DW331. However, it has a thing that may interest you.

PCE345 has 7 speed settings going up to 3200 SPM. When it comes to versatility, PCE345 may be better than DW331 thanks to this. However, its weaker 6amp motor might even things out.

Porter-Cable PCE345 also has 4 orbital settings to allow you to cut either fast and rough or slow and smooth. The bevel can also be adjusted up to 45 degrees.

All these things are great, but PCE345 doesn’t have a dust blower that would keep the cutting area clean, unfortunately. Besides, the speed dial is situated right on the trigger, which may cause accidental speed changes when cutting. But you should be able to avoid this if you are careful.

The Porter-Cable PCE345 accepts both U-Shank and T-Shank blades.

Specifications

Motor6.0 AMPS
Strokes per Minute0-3200 SPM
Dust BlowerNo
Bevel0°, 15°, 30° and 45°
Orbital Action4-Position
Stroke Length13/16-inch
Keyless Shoe BevelYes
Weight5.4 lbs.
Warranty3 Years
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Pretty inexpensive.
  • Versatile thanks to its 7 speed modes and up to 3200 SPM speed.
  • 4 orbital settings allow for adjusting the speed of cutting.
  • Allows keyless blade changing.
  • Accepts T-Shank and U-Shank blades

Drawbacks

  • Has no dust blower.
  • The speed dial isn’t positioned very conveniently.

Bottom Line

A pretty inexpensive jigsaw, PCE345 still is a great choice to work with various kinds of projects. It’s an overall good pick for those on a budget.


Bosch JS470EB – For People with Strong Grip

Bosch 7.0 Amp Corded Variable Speed Barrel-Grip Jig Saw JS470EB with Carrying Case

Bosch JS470EB seems to be a very convenient jigsaw. Bosch employed several features to make it such.

The low-vibration mechanism should be noted first. Thanks to it, you should be able to do accurate cuts easier. Besides, low vibration should also reduce fatigue.

Bosch also equipped JS470EB with a dust blower to keep the cutting area clean.

When it comes to power, this jigsaw is rather remarkable. It features a 7.0amp motor delivering 500 – 3100 SPM, so you could expect this jigsaw to be very good for hard materials. 4 orbital settings and 1” stroke length further amplify the cutting capacity of this machine.

All this is great, but the handle design of JS470EB is a bit controversial. Instead of a traditional D-shape handle, Bosch used a soft-grip handle that resembles a handle in a drill.

This may be perfectly fine for some people, but you’d want to be a bit careful with it since such a design is rather unusual.

The Bosch JS470EB accepts T-Shank blades.

Bosch 10-Piece Assorted T-Shank Jig Saw Blade Set T5002
Bosch 10-Piece Assorted T-Shank Jig Saw Blade Set T5002

Specifications

Motor7.0 AMPS, 120 Volts
Strokes per Minute500-3,100 SPM
Dust BlowerYes
Bevel45°
Orbital Action4-Position
Stroke Length1-inch
Weight5.9 lbs.
Warranty1 Year
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Hands-free blade ejector allows safe replacement of hot blades.
  • Reduced vibration increases cutting accuracy.
  • Dust blower keeps the working area clean.
  • Can cut thick workpieces thanks to 1” stroke length.
  • 4 orbital settings for both fast and delicate cutting.
  • Has a powerful 7.0amp motor with 500 – 3100 SPM variable speed.

Drawback

  • The handle’s shape may be inconvenient for you if you have small hands.

Bottom Line

In the end, Bosch JS470EB is a powerful jigsaw that delivers a lot of comfort. All for a great price!


Makita 4329K

Makita 4329K 3.9 Amp Variable Speed Top Handle Jig Saw

All the jigsaws we reviewed previously were more or less suitable for quicker cuts and harder materials. Makita 4329K, unlike them, is a better choice for projects where slow and precise cutting is required.

This is mainly due to the fact that this jigsaw has a 3.9-amp motor, which makes it considerably weaker than the previous 3 models. And its stroke length is 11/16”, which is fine for cutting thinner materials.

Besides, this jigsaw has 3 orbit settings instead of 4, which may slightly limit its capacity of dealing with harder materials.

Instead of a dust blower, the 4329K jigsaw is equipped with a dust port that allows attachment of vacuums for dust disposal. It also has a clear blade cover to keep the dust contained.

Another difference is that the blade removal in this jigsaw requires a hex wrench. Makita kindly included one with their jigsaw though.

As for the rest of the features, Makita 4329K is more or less similar to the other models we already reviewed. In addition, this jigsaw accepts T-Shank blades.

Makita 5 Piece - T Shank Wood Jigsaw Blades For Jig Saws - Fast & Straight Cuts For Soft Wood & PVC - 4
Makita 5 Piece – T Shank Wood Jigsaw Blades For Jig Saws

Specifications

Motor3.9 AMPS
Strokes per Minute500-3,100 SPM
Dust BlowerNo
Bevel45°
Orbital Action3-Position
Stroke Length11/16-inch
Weight4.2 lbs.
Warranty1 Year
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • The dust port allows attachment of a vacuum due to absence of dust blower.
  • Clear dust cover prevents dust from spreading.
  • Adjustable 500 – 3100 SPM 6-speed motor.
  • 3 orbital settings for varying aggressiveness.

Drawbacks

  • Blade replacement requires tools.
  • Weak 3.9-amp motor.
  • Short 11/16” stroke.

Bottom Line

Makita 4329K is a good choice of a jigsaw for lighter projects where speed doesn’t matter that much. For example, in small home or DIY projects.


BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C – The Best for Entry Level

BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C Smart Select Jig Saw, 5.0-Amp

If you are looking for an inexpensive jigsaw that can do a good variety of jobs, then BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C may be a good pick for you. Being rather cheap, this thing still packs quite a punch.

First of all, it comes with a good 5-amp motor with varying speed up to 3000 SPM. Not the weakest on the list, this motor makes this jigsaw suitable for medium-volume tasks.

BLACK+DECKER also equipped this thing with a dust blower and a rear dust port. If you get an adapter for the rear port, you could plug your vacuum into it.

A good amount of versatility is also added to this jigsaw thanks to the 4 orbit settings and the 45-degree shoe adjustment. And the keyless blade clamp allows quick blade replacement.

With all that said, you should keep in mind that this model is a cheap one and is made accordingly, so you shouldn’t expect it to be a powerhouse for any project. Material quality and 3/4” stroke length will be limiting factors in this machine.

The BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C accepts both T-Shank and U-Shank blades so you don’t have to be worry about compatibility.

BLACK+DECKER 75-626 Assorted Jigsaw Blades Set, Wood and Metal, 24-Pack
BLACK+DECKER 75-626 Assorted Jigsaw Blades Set

Specifications

Motor5 AMPS
Strokes per Minute3,000 SPM
Dust BlowerYes
Bevel45°
Orbital Action4-Position
Stroke Length3/4-inch
Weight4.6 lbs.
Warranty2 Years
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Pretty inexpensive.
  • Has a dust blower and a rear dust port for easy dust management.
  • Keyless blade clamp allows quick blade change.
  • Versatile thanks to 4 orbit settings and adjustable motor speed.
  • Supports T-Shank and U-Shank blades.

Drawbacks

  • Won’t handle heavier projects.
  • 3/4” stroke length.
  • Not precise cuts.

Bottom Line

BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C is a great tool for occasional light to medium projects. Buyers on a budget would appreciate its cheapness as well.


Milwaukee 6268-21

 Milwaukee 6268-21 6.5 Amp Top Handle Jig Saw

This Milwaukee 6268-21 jigsaw is very similar to the DEWALT DW331K we reviewed in the very beginning. This is a pricier and more high-quality model though, which should make it somewhat better for larger projects. The counter-balanced mechanism in this jigsaw may make the biggest difference, reducing vibrations and improving the comfort of use.

When it comes to numbers, this jigsaw is pretty much identical to DW331K. It has the same 1” stroke capacity and a very similar 6.5-amp motor, albeit it delivers up 3000 SPM, not 3100 like it was in the DEWALT model.

Besides, this model has 4 orbital cutting settings and 45-degree shoe angling.

Milwaukee also equipped their jigsaw with a LED light to help you see the cutting area clearer. And there also is a dust blower to keep the workpiece tidy.

The thing that we dislike in this jigsaw is the positioning of the speed adjustment dial right on the trigger. This may increase the chance of accidental speed changing.

The Milwaukee 6268-21 only supports T-Shank blades.

Milwaukee 49-22-1178 T-Shank Metal/Wood Cutting Jig Saw Blade Assortment, 5-Pack
Milwaukee 49-22-1178 T-Shank Metal/Wood Cutting Jig Saw Blade Assortment

Specifications

Motor6.5 AMPS
Strokes per Minute0-3,000 SPM
Dust BlowerYes
Bevel45°
Orbital Action4-Position
Stroke Length1-inch
Weight6.4 lbs.
Warranty5 Years
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Counter-balanced mechanism reduces vibration.
  • Has a LED light to illuminate the cutting area.
  • Dust blower keeps the cutting area clean.
  • Cuts thick materials with its 1” stroke length.
  • Powerful speed-adjustable 6.5-amp motor.
  • Keyless blade clamp for quick blade switching.
  • 4-position orbital action for variable cutting aggressiveness.
  • Extensive Warranty.

Drawbacks

  • The speed adjustment dial is placed on the trigger.
  • Expensive.

Bottom Line

Milwaukee 6268-21 seems like an excellent jigsaw that can easily deal with hard and thick materials. You need to be ready to pay its price though. Alternatively, you may opt for DEWALT DW331K with almost similar features and functionality.


Makita 4350FCT

Makita 4350FCT Top Handle Jig Saw with L.E.D.Light

Makita 4350FCT is yet another high-performance jigsaw on our list. It is fairly similar to other powerful tools we reviewed, but it has some unique features.

First of all, Makita made it – as they claim – produce 40% less vibration in its class. While we can’t say whether this number is true, 4350FCT sure should be more precise and easier on your hands.

Another interesting thing in this jigsaw is its reduced noise output, so it may be the best pick for you if you are looking for a quieter jigsaw. 4350FCT also has an onboard LED light to help you see the cutting area clearer.

As for the rest of the features, this jigsaw is identical or very close to the other high-performance tools we reviewed. Namely, it has 1” stroke length, 3 orbital settings, a tool-free blade clamp system, and a speed-variable 6.3-amp motor.

This jigsaw is a pricey one, so you could expect some spectacular performance from it. But you’d need to have the budget for it!

The Makita 4350FCT supports only T-Shank blades.

Specifications

Motor6.3 AMPS
Strokes per Minute800 – 2,800 SPM
Dust BlowerYes
Bevel45°
Orbital Action3-Position
Stroke Length1-inch
Weight5.7 lbs.
Warranty1 Year
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Powerful 6.3amp motor with 3 orbital settings.
  • Inbuilt LED illuminates the cutting area.
  • Cuts thick materials thanks to 1” stroke length.
  • Works quietly and produces low vibration.
  • Dust blower keeps the cutting area clean.
  • Tool-free blade clamp system for quick blade changing.
  • Variable 800 – 2800 SPM speed with electronic speed control.

Drawback

  • A bit pricey.

Bottom Line

With high-quality, Makita 4350FCT is capable of cutting harder materials while ensuring that your hands and ears are comfortable.


SKIL 4295-01 – The Cheapest Jigsaw There Is

SKIL 4295-01 4.5 Amp Variable Speed Jigsaw

If you are looking for a very inexpensive jigsaw for light projects, then SKIL 4295-01 jigsaw may be the best pick for you. Being a cheap model, this thing doesn’t have too many features in it, though this may actually be better for you.

The most remarkable feature of this jigsaw is its variable speed that is adjusted via trigger pressure. On the fastest setting, the speed can be locked by a push of a button. This is a helpful feature, but it would be great if it could be used at lower speeds as well.

The 0.7” stroke and 4.5-amp motor are the main factors limiting this jigsaw to only lighter projects. This thing just won’t be able to deal with thick and hard materials. The cut is not certainly precise. However, consider another model like the SKIL 4495-02 which has a laser guide will do the trick.

Additionally, this jigsaw accepts both T-Shank and U-Shank blades.

SKIL 94906 Wood U-shank Jig Saw Blade Set, 5 Piece
SKIL 94906 Wood U-shank Jig Saw Blade Set

Specifications

Motor4.5 AMPS
Strokes per Minute800 – 3,250 SPM
Dust BlowerYes
Bevel45°
Stroke Length3/4-inch
Weight4.1 lbs.
Warranty1 Year
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Very inexpensive.
  • Allows tool-free blade change.
  • Has a dust blower to guide dust away from the cutting area.
  • The speed is adjusted via trigger pressure.
  • Has a speed lock on the fastest setting.

Drawbacks

  • Not for large projects.
  • 0.7” stroke length.
  • Weak 4.5amp motor.

Bottom Line

If you aren’t looking for anything fancy or heavy-duty, SKIL 4295-01 may be the right pick for you. Very inexpensive, it is perfect for occasional home projects.


Bosch JS572EK – Complete Kit for Demanding Projects

Bosch 7.2 Amp Top-Handle Jig Saw Kit JS572EK

If you are looking for top performance in a jigsaw, then something like Bosch JS572EK may be the best choice for you. This thing has got both power and convenience.

JS572EK has a 7.3-amp motor that delivers enough power to deal with very tough materials. Add to that the 1” stroke length, and you’ll also be able to cut the thickest workpieces as well.

In terms of speed adjustment, JS572EK is rather notable. It has a dial to set the max speed of cutting width. Then, when using the trigger pressure speed adjustment, you can be sure that you won’t go faster than necessary.

The most noteworthy feature in this jigsaw is its Precision Control II double-roller system. It is designed to minimize blade deflection and maximize the precision of the cut. In addition, its counter-balancing mechanism noticeably reduces the vibration.

To ensure a clear view of the cutting area, JS572EK is equipped with a LED light and a dust blower. You could also connect your vacuum to this jigsaw.

Remarkably, in this jigsaw, both blade changing and shoe angling can be done with no tools.

Speaking of the shoe, it is the weakest part of JS572EK. It is made of brittle aluminum, so you’ll need to be extra careful with it.

The Bosch JS572EK supports T-Shank blades.

Bosch 21-Piece T-Shank Contractor Jig Saw Blade Set TC21HC
Bosch 21-Piece T-Shank Contractor Jig Saw Blade Set TC21HC

Specifications

Motor7.2 AMPS, 120 Volts
Strokes per Minute800-3,000 SPM
Dust BlowerYes
Orbital Action4-Position
Bevel45°
Stroke Length1-inch
Weight5.15 lbs.
Warranty1 Year
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Has a LED light and dust blower to ensure visibility.
  • Tool-free blade removal and shoe angle adjustment.
  • Powerful 7.2-amp motor with trigger speed adjustment.
  • Counter-balancing mechanism reduces vibration.
  • Precision Control II minimizes blade deflection.
  • 1” stroke length cuts thick materials.

Drawbacks

  • Hefty.
  • The base plate is made of brittle aluminum.

Bottom Line

Bosch JS572EK delivers excellent performance for cutting the hardest and thickest materials. A great pick if you want to have the best tools.


Tacklife PJS02A Advanced Jigsaw

Tacklife Advanced 6.7 Amp 3000 SPM Jigsaw with Laser & LED, 6 Blades, 10feet (3M) Cord Length, Pure Copper Motor, Max Bevel Cutting

And the last jigsaw on the reviews is Tacklife PJS02A Advanced Jigsaw, which is an inexpensive yet rather remarkable model.

Did any other jigsaw we reviewed have a laser guide? No, but this one does. And it may greatly help with guiding the tool.

The powerful 6.7-amp motor and 4 orbital settings are also notable. They should allow this jigsaw to deal with hard materials, albeit the 7/8” stroke length will somewhat limit its cutting capacity.

Among the other features of this jigsaw is its clear blade guard, dust exhaust port with vacuum connectivity, 45-degree shoe angling, and tool-free blade changing. And yeah, this jigsaw is also shipped with 6 jigsaw blades, albeit their quality isn’t that high.

And overall, this is a cheap saw, so you shouldn’t expect it to work great for large-volume projects. It is more for occasional use.

The Tacklife PJS02A Advanced Jigsaw only supports T-Shank blades.

Specifications

Motor6.7 AMPS, 120 Volts
Strokes per Minute3,000 SPM
Dust BlowerYes
Orbital Action4-Position
Bevel45°
Stroke Length7/8-inch
Weight7.45 lbs.
Warranty2 Years
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Inexpensive.
  • 4 orbital settings allow varying cut intensity.
  • Powerful 6-speed 3000 SPM 6.7amp motor.
  • Has a blade guard to keep the dust contained.
  • Dust exhaust port can be attached to a vacuum.
  • Allows tool-free blade change.
  • Has a laser guide to help you make perfect cuts.
  • Shipped with 6 jigsaw blades.

Drawbacks

  • Stroke length is 7/8”.
  • Won’t be able to take large-volume projects.
  • The included blades are cheap.

Bottom Line

Filled with features, Tacklife PJS02A Advanced Jigsaw offers excellent value for the money. However, it isn’t a heavy-duty model that can cut absolutely anything in any quantity.

What to look for when buying a jigsaw

Bosch 7.0 Amp Corded Variable Speed Barrel-Grip Jig Saw JS470EB with Carrying Case

We have these great models reviewed, but how do pick the best jigsaw from them? Well, you need to know what to look for in a jigsaw!

Corded vs cordless

First of all, jigsaws can be corded or cordless.

Corded jigsaws are more preferred by contractors due to their more powerful motor. Besides, it can be operated hours long without the need for a recharge.

However, cordless jigsaws can also be useful. They tend to be less powerful, but what they can do is work anywhere. It is a highly situational tool which would come in handy when there is no access to power.

Contractors should probably have both types to be more flexible in their jobs. For home use, get whatever is more convenient for you and your tasks. We’d recommend getting a corded jigsaw.

Straight reciprocating

All jigsaws have reciprocating action. However, the blade of regular reciprocating jigsaws moves up and down in a straight line to make the cut.

Reciprocating jigsaws can cut through pretty much any material, including wood, nails, and metal piping. However, they aren’t the best when it comes to speed of cutting.

Orbital jigsaw

The blade of an orbital saw has elliptical movement rather than straight. What this orbital action allows is reduced wear and quicker movement of the blade.

Aside from that, what orbital jigsaws are really good at is quick and aggressive cutting through harder material. They do rough and quick cuts, so they would be more suitable for tasks where smoothness plays little role.

Features and functionalities you should consider

Blade Types

U-shank Blade
U-Shank Blade
T-shank Blade
T-Shank Blade

There are two blade types a jigsaw can support. They can be T-shank,U-shank or both. Most jigsaw accepts both types of blades while latest models only support T-shank. So let’s take a look what’s the difference between these two blade types.

U-shank or universal shank. This blade type is an older standard that requires tools like wrench to replace the blade. If you have jigsaw that supports U-shank, you’ll probably know why there is an included wrench in the box.

Moreover, U-shank blades are not stable when cutting therefore expect a tear-out cuts. A good solution for this problem is choosing a high tooth-per-inch (TPI) blades.

T-shank or tang shank. This type of blade is the modern standard. It requires no tools to change the blade therefore you can cut continuously.

Bosch 10-Piece Assorted T-Shank Jig Saw Blade Set T5002-min
Bosch T-Shank Jig Saw Blade Set T5002

Stroke length

Stroke length is the distance covered by the blade moving up and down in a single stroke. It can range from 3/4” to 1”.

The longer the stroke length, the faster and rougher the jigsaw will cut. In addition, stroke length determines how thick materials the jigsaw will be able to cut.

If you will be mostly cutting thick materials, then 1” stroke length would be the best.

Motor amperage

Jigsaws that have motors with higher amperage work with harder materials more efficiently. Low-amperage motors can also deal with tough workpieces, but they will get slowed down very quickly. In a workshop, this can mean a lot of wasted time.

Motors with amperage of 5-6amp or more are good for tougher projects, while weaker motors will be good for delicate materials or occasional home cutting.

Speed settings

Variable speed is a thing that you should be looking for if you’ll be doing a variety of projects. Variable speed settings would allow you to work with materials of different density, as well as with fragile materials.

Sure, you can do projects with a single-speed jigsaw as well, but a variable-speed jigsaw will be much more effective. And besides, using the right speed may even affect the quality of the cut.

Jigsaws usually come with the following speed settings:

  • Slow – 500-1000 SPM (strokes per minute). Suitable for fragile materials like glass or ceramics.
  • Supported – 1500-2000 SPM. Suitable for plastic and non-ferrous metals.
  • Fast – over 2000 SPM. Suitable for wood.

Dust and chip extraction system

Jigsaws with this feature allow you to plug the jigsaw to a vacuum or a dust bag to keep the jobsite clean. Go for a jigsaw with a dust extraction port, unless you don’t care about tidiness (which you probably should).

Cutting guide/laser guide

A cutting guide would allow you to make easier straight cuts. If preciseness is key in your projects, look for a jigsaw with a cutting or laser guide.

Grip: Top-Hanlde vs. Barrel-Grip

Handling the jigsaw is very crucial when cutting. So, for you to able to completely perfect your cuts, be sure that you choose the best handling possible.

As you have noticed in our jigsaw reviews, there are top-handle and barrel-grip. Most handles are the top-handle or the D-handle which is best for most especially for those who have small hands and the lefties. You can fully maneuver the saw when cutting.

On the other hand, the barrel-grip are for those woodworkers who have stronger grip. It feels more comfortable and natural when cutting. It is mostly recommended by the pros. In addition, if you’re a right-handed, then it’s a good choice for you.

Operation, safety and maintenance tips

Jigsaw Maintenance

Check the power cord before use

If you have a corded jigsaw, check the condition of its power cord before use. If it is nicked or frayed, the jigsaw will be unsafe for use. Make sure to replace the cord before using.

Follow the tool’s instruction manual carefully

Every jigsaw has its own unusual things, and you better be aware of them. You want to both stay safe and get the results you want, so make sure to carefully follow the instruction manual of your jigsaw. If you have read our reviews, we have included the links for parts and manual for each jigsaw for your online reference so do check them out.

Use proper blades for each material

If you want to get the best results, then you should use the appropriate blade for your workpiece. If you don’t know what to do, you could follow these general recommendations:

  • Use a carbon steel blade for wood and PVC.
  • Coarse blade for faster cutting through wood.
  • Bi-metal blade for thin metals.
  • Fine-toothed blade for neat and accurate cuts.

Check this article out for a comprehensive guide to choosing the proper blade for cutting specific materials.

Be sure to know that the shanks are compatible with your jigsaw before buying them.

Wait for a bit after turning the jigsaw off

The blade of a jigsaw won’t stop immediately: it will take some time for the reciprocating action of the blade to stop. So don’t rush to put the jigsaw down on a table after turning it off: make sure that its blade is completely motionless before doing so.

Wear safety glasses and a dust mask

Even if you have your jigsaw plugged to a vacuum, make sure to wear safety glasses and a dust mask. The fine dust particles won’t do you any good if they get into your eyes or if you breathe them in.

Clamp your material to the work surface

Clamp the workpiece to a supporting surface to ensure that it stays in its place when cutting. Otherwise, the material will move around, and making accurate cuts will be close to impossible.

Draw a line with a pencil for easier guiding

To ease your task further, draw a line with a pencil on the workpiece. It will greatly help you with cutting the desired shapes.

To make straight lines, you could use a regular ruler. For curved lines, a compass or a curved ruler would come in handy.

Lubricate the jigsaw

To make the operation of the jigsaw smoother and prevent it from jamming, apply a drop of oil to the blade roller guide every so often.

Clean the jigsaw after operation

After each cutting session, make sure to wipe your jigsaw clean. Its every single surface needs to be kept clean: most importantly, the handle and the blade guide.

For hard to access corners, you could use an old toothbrush. As for other surfaces, a regular cloth would suffice.

Keep an eye on the blade’s condition

Jigsaw Blade Condition
Via axminster.co.uk

No matter how great the blade in your jigsaw is, it’s going to wear off sooner or later. To make sure that you always have a fresh blade installed in your jigsaw, keep an eye on its condition. The blade should be clean, free from rust, and sharp.

While keeping the blade clean is pretty easy, things may get more complex with rust and sharpness.

When it comes to rust, it is easier to prevent it than try to combat it after it appears on the blade. The first thing that you would need to do to keep the blade rust-free is keep it away from moisture. Make sure that you store the jigsaw in a dry location, and also wipe the blade dry if any moisture gets on it during the cutting.

You could also apply rust preventative coating to the blade. But make sure that the blade won’t suffer from that.

If rust nonetheless creeps onto the blade, you could still get rid of it with some mild acid or vinegar. Again, make sure that the blade is going to go through the cleaning fine.

As for sharpness, you should sharpen your jigsaw’s blade every once in a while. It is rather easy to do: you just need to run a sharpening rod between its teeth, just like you’d do with any blade with teeth. Check out the video below on how you can sharpen jigsaw blades.

You could do the sharpening as many times as you want. You just need to make sure that it satisfies your requirements. But if you find that it is beyond repair, then you should just replace it.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve read our reviews and tips about jigsaws, including why you should have one if you are DIYer or a woodworker, its time to get what you want.

The DEWALT DW331K is our best choice because it has enough power to cut any materials plus its price point is not a big deal. It has must-have features and functionalities such as dust blower, orbital action and variable speed. For intricate and angle cuts, this jigsaw tool is out of the box!

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