Jigsaws are wonderfully flexible tools for small woodworking projects. They can cut curves, angles, and even help you place holes in the center of a panel of wood. Of course, the best jigsaw for one user may not work for someone else. Below is a list of great jigsaw options:
There are several things to consider when selecting the right jigsaw. Ask yourself the following:
A corded jigsaw has the advantage of never needing to stop for a battery charge. However, corded jigsaws have their own challenges. If you're working a long cut, the weight of the cord can throw you off. If you try to align the cord with your cut, it can slide down into the gap if the material you're cutting has any flex, and this may cause a drag on your cutting speed.
Always be alert when using a corded jigsaw. As possible, keep the cord visible and lying on top of the most stable part of your cutting project behind the saw and away from the blade. If you can, give yourself a coil or two of slack to reduce drag as you advance the saw.
There are plenty of cordless saws for sale, and nearly all of them show a saw with a battery in it. However, take special care to note that you’ll be buying a saw with charger and battery if that's what you need, rather than a bare saw.
This can be confusing, frustrating and may get expensive. If you're planning to use your saw right out of the box but the only thing in the box is the saw, your project is delayed and your timing will be off. Many shoppers have purchased cordless saws expecting a battery and charger and wound up disappointed. Look out for the fine print!
Most of the tools in this article work with T-shank blades; T-shanks can be inserted into the saw without an Allen wrench, while U-shank blades need to be tightened. Do your research on this.
Once you find a blade that fits snugly into your saw, save the packaging and on your next trip to the hardware store, consider purchasing a few packs of these blades. Blade features are constantly improving, and you don't want to find yourself out of sharp blades and having no idea whic
h ones will fit your saw. Even single blades can get expensive, and once you've opened the package, they may be yours forever whether they fit or not.
All of the jigsaws in this review come with variable speed options and curving mechanisms, and some even offer adjustable bases. Variable speed simply means that the saw blade moves faster the tighter you squeeze the trigger. Nearly all jigsaws on the market, either corded or cordless, will offer variable speed.
If you have a compressor, it's sometimes possible to find a jigsaw that will run on air. However, many of these are not variable and can be hard to control thanks to the weight and bulk of the air hose. These are not a good option for beginners.
The curving mechanism, also called the orbital adjustment, allows you to turn the saw handle and alter the direction of the cut. Study this feature; you might even want to take a piece of scrap wood and play with this just to see what you can do with it. The most simple DIY woodworking project won't turn out well for you if you're not willing to experiment a bit, so dedicate some time to this and have fun!
With an adjustment of the base plate, you can cut angles. The saw rides on the cutting surface at angle and results in a beveled cut, especially nice on lumber such as pine or poplar, though it probably won't work on plywood. This is a fun feature for woodcraft and is a great option for decorative pieces.
The plunge cut feature is especially helpful if you're installing new countertop and need a sinkhole. However, if you're plunge cut goes awry, you may wind up with a nasty mar on your new countertop. If your saw doesn't have this feature, you can just use a drill with a spade bit; drill a hole big enough for your saw blade and you're ready to go!
Saw blades will cut whatever gets in front of them. When inserting a new saw blade, leave the saw unplugged or the battery out. Always wear eye protection. Study your manual. Line up your cut first, keeping your finger off the trigger, then start slowly. The following video offers a step by step process to check the condition of your saw before you start. Be safe, and happy cutting!
The JS470E is a great option for someone in need of an electric jigsaw with plenty of cutting power. Bosch tools have a well-deserved and loyal following. This 5.6-pound saw has a 7 Amp motor that will run for hours.
This jigsaw uses T-shank blades and has a blade ejecting function; very handy if you've been cutting for a while and need to change the blade. Remember, they can get very hot! The JS470E is a very slim tool for great positioning and easy visibility, and the gap in the cutting plate makes it easy to line up this saw.
The P523 is a durable, lightweight tool. This is one of the better cordless jigsaw available for DIYers who've done their homework. Take care to note all the features, particularly the adjustable base. This allows you to put fresh teeth in the saw blade to use by lowering or raising the body of the saw as it rides on the cutting surface.
In addition, this saw offers a very effective blower motor to clear away the dust, an easy blade changing mechanism, and a tall-arched handle; hands of any size can use this saw.
Black & Decker offers curve control technology that allows you to adjust the saw's orbit, giving you more flexibility in your cuts. The BDEJS600C offers a 5 amp variable speed motor, sturdy enough for most simple cutting jobs. If you're working with old wood that's hardened with age, this saw may struggle. Be sure to go slow and not force the saw; let the blade do the job.
This cordless jigsaw can be adjusted to 15, 30 and 45 degrees for angled cuts and offers 4-position orbital action for controlled curves. The dust blower is also adjustable, so whether you're cutting particle board, plywood or lumber, you can keep the vision path clear.
The PCC650B is quite light; less than 5 pounds. It requires a 20-volt battery and will work with other 20-volt batteries in the Porter Cable cordless tool line. The tool-free blade release makes it quick and easy to change out the T-shank blades and the trigger mechanism and handle offer plenty of grip space. The all-metal deck will be kept free of dust thanks to the blower motor.
Hands down, one of the most versatile corded jigsaws on the market is the Bosch JS470E. If you're looking to improve your home, invest in your own woodworking hobby shop or just get better with tools, buy the good ones. This versatile tool can help you change out a countertop and is the best woodworking jigsaw for the price.
The Ryobi P523 wins this contest hands down. This is a tool geek's tool; loaded with features that many jigsaw users would never think to put to use. The blade saver deck adjustment, orbital options and simple ease of use make this saw fun to handle and a great addition to your tool bench.