From sharp stones and bone in the primitive Stone Age to modern, state of the art cutting equipment, man has always had to cut materials for various purposes. For millennia, cutting technology advanced at a rather slow pace until, in 1947, Albert Kauffman noted the oscillatory movement of the needle in sewing machines, as ideal for a blade.
The jigsaw was born and brought about one of the most prominent leaps in mechanized cutting. Since then, jigsaws have continuously evolved to fit into standards for safety, efficiency, power, and user convenience.
Whether as a skilled craftsman or a DIY hobbyist, choosing the right jigsaw is important to the quality and speed of your work, and can mean the difference between great and extraordinary work experience.
But here’s the catch; there are just so many brands out there who claim to be the best your money can buy.
So how do you sift through the multitude and pick one that will give you real value for your money? Well, fret not.
Best Jigsaws for 2020 – Quick Look
(Click on the name of any jigsaw to read it’s an in-depth review)
|5.0 AMP||3000 SPM|
|5.0 AMP||3000 SPM|
|Bosch JS470E||7.0 AMP||3100 SPM|
|WORX WX550L||5.0 AMP||3000 SPM|
|TACKLIFE PJS02A||6.7 AMP||3000 SPM|
|SKIL 4495-02||6.0 AMP||3100 SPM|
|PORTER-CABLE PCE345||6.0 AMP||3000 SPM|
|TECCPO TAJS01P||6.5 AMP||3000 SPM|
|Hitachi CJ18DGLP4||1.5 AMP||2400 SPM|
|WEN 33606||6.5 AMP||3300 SPM|
1. Black + Decker BDEJS600C – Best Overall Jigsaw
Top on our list is the Black+Decker BDEJS600C smart select jigsaw. When it comes to power and functionality, this handy tool stands at the top.
State of the art motor technology with unique control features for versatility will give you all the power you need to make quick work of cutting jobs over a wide range of DIY projects.
Stuffed with ergonomic features, this bad boy is made just for your convenience.
All the effort is taken from you, and you don’t have a break a sweat to get the work done. This highly dynamic tool is sure at the forefront of commercial jigsaw technology.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Black+Decker BDEJS600C is a real beast. A powerful 5 Amp electric main motor is the main powerhouse of this device. As just a little under the power of a horse (1hp), this main motor provides all the torque that is transformed into brute cutting force. Delicately balancing torque and impressive speed, this motor can drive the blade at speeds of up to 3000 strokes per minute.
This combination gives you a device that will eat through hard materials like butter and quickly at that. Backing the main motor is a speed control knob that gives you the ability to alter the blade speed to fit the requirement of the work material. The low-speed setting produces higher torque and cutting force for harder materials; while the high-speed setting produces lesser torque and quicker passes for softer materials.
A revolutionary feature on the Black+Decker BDEJS600C is its pendulum cutting action. Apart from the vertical oscillation of the blade, it can also oscillate in fine forward-backward movements.
This allows for the blade to be pressed firmly against the material in the cutting stroke, for deeper and quicker cuts. At an impressive blade top speed of 3000 strokes per minute, this handy tool will make quick work of cutting materials in your DIY projects.
Now all this impressive power will definitely cut the material with unforgiving force, and anything else that finds its way into the blade path. A wire guard fitted just ahead of the blade tip ensures only what you want to get into the blade path. This prevents the risk of injury or accidental damage to the blade.
An easy to squeeze trigger switch bring this beast to life with the littlest effort. Another revolutionary feature on this device is the tool-free blade change. Unlike many other jigsaws, you don’t need extra tools to bring out or replace the blade. An easy to operate lock-mechanism simplifies this process and ensures for minimal work break-time.
Other great features on this jigsaw is a dust blower system that gets dislodged material particles and swarf out of the way, minimizing interference.
- It is powerful and compact.
- Quick cutting action with high material versatility.
- It is easy and convenient to use.
- Plastic casing makes for a portable unit.
- Clean-up is more difficult.
The Black+Decker BDEJS600C is a great cutting tool that combines impressive power and functionality into a compact unit. If you need an addition to your toolbox that will be reliable whenever needed, and won’t cost you a fortune, then this tool is just for you.
2. Dewalt DCS331B – Best Cordless Jigsaw
Dewalt is well known for its amazing tools and the Dewalt DCS331B does not fall short of this expectation. The second-rated jigsaw on our list, this jigsaw is designed to make a way even when the odds seem against you.
From independent power to rugged housing, this Jigsaw emphasizes reliability and durability. A sturdy build and wealth of functionality make this device a real war tank.
Whenever it’s time to show your work material who’s boss, embark on that next fabrication project, and bend solid matter to your will, this tool might be just the one to take along.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Dewalt DCS331B is the first cordless jigsaw on our list and runs on battery power. Rated at 20V, the powerhouse is a light, long-lasting unit that ensures portability and extended use. This makes it a highly portable unit and simplifies transport. Unlike in conventional corded models where extra extension wire is needed to increase reach, working on outdoor projects is as simple as carrying your device and heading out.
You are immune to power outages and can work carefree, completely off-grid. The low voltage reduces the risk of electric shocks even with the metal casing, as against corded models that run on higher voltages. With this tool, you are ready to go at any time, come what may.
Unique to this jigsaw is its rugged, somewhat military-like all-metal casing. The unique body design screams power and reliability to go at any time. The casing that houses all the internal components makes for a light unit that is resistant to impact. Handling this device is as convenient as it gets, as it’s designed for your comfort.
Another great feature on the Dewalt DCS331B is its adjustable orbital cutting action. Instead of a fixed vertical cutting plane, the blade can also move horizontally to deepen the cut on each stroke. This allows for faster, more efficient cuts. This allows for high material adaptability and cutting feed control.
Do you need to join two workpieces together without much of a trace, or just want to make edges safer? No worries. The DCS331B is especially suited for making bevel cuts. With an adjustable-orientation shoe, this device will allow you to make nice angle cuts as you need, quickly.
Ease of blade replacement is another great feature on this device. No need for an extra tool, just your hands and it’s done. Safety while working cannot be overemphasized, and this device represents that ideal, properly. A wire guard protects unwanted objects from the blade and keeps your fingers out of harm’s way.
- Off-the-grid power ensuring superb portability.
- High material versatility.
- The rugged design translates to high-impact resistance and durability.
- It is easy and convenient to use.
- Does not come with accessories.
- Overhead design impairs sight of cutting line.
The Dewalt DCS331B is a powerful reliable jigsaw that combines impressive functionality and durability. If you are in need of a jigsaw that will be ready to go at any time and are willing to spend extra, then this jigsaw is a good buy.
3. Bosch JS470E – With Speed Control
Bosch; reputable for over 100 years of service and continual delivery of high-end products, the Bosch JS470E is yet another marvel.
In terms of raw power and ergonomic design, this device stands top of our list.
It does pack a serious punch for its size and is a great tool for a host of DIY fabrication projects where quick cutting is required. It is built to ergonomic standards and emphasizes user safety and convenience.
Novel design features that make it stand out from the competition to secure its place as a top choice. Let’s have a look at this device in detail and why it may just be the next tool for you.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Bosch JS470E boasts of raw power, thanks to a powerful 7.0 Amp main motor. Rated at over one horsepower, this motor provides all the torque needed to drive the cutting blade at a blazing speed of over 3100 strokes per minute and with the bite force needed to rip through the material effortlessly. The high speed of the blade means more teeth come into contact with the material in the same time interval, making for quick, efficient work.
While power is great, control is even better. Putting reins on this beast requires top of the line technology, and it has just that. Backing the main motor is a speed control knob that allows you to balance the torque and speed, as required by the material you are cutting. This allows for high work adaptability and gives you just the power you need.
Firing this device into action, requires little effort, thanks to an easy to squeeze trigger switch. Positioned just ahead of the handle, it is well within reach and enables for quick power control. A lock that allows you to keep the device on for as long as you want, by holding the trigger switch down in the ‘ON’ position.
A great feature on the Bosch JS470E is the easy to use blade mounting system that is an improvement on previous types. By just adjusting the knob, the blade comes off, without the need to touch it. This is great for quick blade change as it may be very hot from continuous use.
The unique orbiting action of the blade cutting ensures for great cutting speed control as required by the work material. Adjust the lateral depth of cut and ultimately the cutting feed. Deep cuts allow for quick work, while smooth shallow cuts allow for detailed section carving like curves and arcs.
Safety emphasized the Bosch JS470E comes with a wire guard that keeps prevents infiltration into the blade path. The high-speed oscillation of the cutting tip can be hazardous if accidental personal contact occurs. The novel wire guard design helps prevent this by blocking out the sides and front, and only allows bottom-feeding as in a normal work scenario.
A wide shoe allows keeps this device well-grounded by providing sufficient base area to prevent toppling or tipping over. The overall dynamic balance of this tool is revolutionary, thanks to a unique blade plunging system, vibrations are minimal, making for a more efficient, cleaner cuts.
- It is a very powerful unit.
- It is highly ergonomic.
- High material adaptability.
- High work stability.
- It is expensive.
- Not as portable as cordless models.
The Bosch JS470E is a handy powerful jigsaw, designed to make light work of cutting even the toughest DIY project materials. While it does stand a significant price tag, it is a good buy if you want a jigsaw that really does the work effortlessly.
4. Worx WX550L – With Dual Cutting Action
Standing out from the competition has not been represented better by any other product here than Worx WX550L 2-in-1 jigsaw.
This buddy packs functionality, super adaptability, and versatility into a compact, portable unit. Its features are designed to give you an edge by integrating cutting functions other jigsaws may find difficult to handle.
From independent power to a multi-degree of freedom cutting tip, this tool is maneuverability and reliability at its best. Additionally, its out of the box use, allows you to get to work as soon as possible without extra costs.
Enough said, let’s zoom in.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Worx WX550L stands out instantly with its dual cutting action, thanks to a variable-orientation work head. In its jigsaw orientation, this gadget will perform its work seamlessly. Sometimes, however, you may want to make cuts horizontally, without losing the proper grip orientation.
Enter the reciprocating saw function. With just the push of a button, this head can be rotated by 90 degrees to yield a reciprocating that will cut with the same power as the jigsaw.
Another great feature is the orbital cutting action support. This allows you to vary the smoothness or roughness of the cut. With the blade moving in variable orbit lengths, you can make work move much faster with deeper cuts or smoother for detailed cuts.
There are two purchasing packages for this device; one for the saw only and the other with the battery included. With just a few extra bucks, you get the complete package and can fire this device into action, right out of the box.
The ergonomic features on the Worx WX550L are designed to make work as easy and convenient as it can be from you. All the internal components of this device are housed in a lightweight, tough plastic casing that provides support, protection against impact, and improves portability. The rubber-coated handle makes for a comfortable grip. Seeing your cuts lines is necessary for accuracy. A dust blower on this jigsaw gets dust out of the way of your blade, giving your clear of your work. Changing the blade is as easy as it gets, and does not require any extra tool.
Bringing the Worx WX550L to life takes a little squeeze in the trigger switch. A switch lock feature allows you to keep the switch in the ‘ON’ position and work for extended periods on end.
Extreme work adaptability is another great feature of this gadget. With the variable speed control of the blade, you can adjust the cutting speed to suit the particular material type you are cutting.
Other great features are its variable blade support. This allows you to mount various blades to cut different materials like plastic, wood, and metal.
- Off-the-grid power.
- High blade and consequently material adaptability.
- High work maneuverability with dual cutting action.
- It is lightweight and portable.
- It is less powerful than corded models.
- It requires extra batteries.
The Worx WX550L is designed to be highly adaptable to a wide range of DIY projects. If you are in need of a reliable cordless jigsaw and are willing to spend a little extra, then this is a good buy.
5. Tacklife PJS02A – Ergonomic Jigsaw
While this is fifth on our list, it is still one of our favorites. Tacklife is seriously making a name for itself and this device does a good job at that. The Tacklife PJS02A is a beast in itself and boasts of raw power and functionality features tailored just for you.
What’s amazing is how affordable it is with all the goodies it brings. This jigsaw is perfect for you whether as a DIY hobbyist or experienced craftsman and will ensure you make quick and accurate cuts with little effort.
Tacklife has indeed shown that it cares about its customers.
Our In-Depth Review:
At the heart of the Tacklife PJS02A is a powerful 6.7 Amp main motor that provides all the torque needed, to translate into shear ripping force of the blade. Generously powered, it can drive the blade to top speeds of 3000 strokes per minute. The pure copper core of the motor ensures maximum efficiency; giving out as much power while remaining as lightweight as possible. Backing the main motor is a 5-step speed control system that gives you six-speed settings. This allows you to adjust the operation speed and ultimately, the torque of the motor, as required by the work material.
Whether you need to cut soft or hard materials, the flick of a knob will do the trick.
Cutting the base material is as easy as it gets, thanks to a laser and LED guide. A major problem faced in other jigsaws is the obstruction of the operator’s view of the cut line by debris or the machine itself. The Jigsaw is uniquely designed and retracted, to give you a clear view.
Dislodged dust and swarf are kept out of the way of your cut line with a dust blower. The dust cleaning system also comes with a pipe that allows attachment to a conventional vacuum cleaner to ensure a clean work environment. A revolutionary laser light creates a virtual cut path to ensure accuracy, and the LED gives you visibility even in low-light conditions.
The Tacklife PJS02A emphasizes out of the box use and is the complete package. It comes with 6 free saw blades and a wrench for assembling them. It also comes with a very generous 10-feet power cord that will go a long way in reach. The toolbox it comes with allows for easy storage and transport.
Making bevel cuts comes easy, thanks to the adjustable orientation of the shoe. This allows you to mate workpieces without so much of a trace, and improve the aesthetic appeal of your craft.
The Tacklife PJS02A is the ideal power jigsaw for both DIY hobbyists and experienced craftsmen. Replacing the saw blade requires an Allen wrench as opposed to the much simpler mechanisms in other brands. This, however, allows for a more solid fix. The combination of LED and laser lighting partially is not in perfect synergy, as the LED will likely over-saturate the laser light.
- It is very powerful and makes quick cuts.
- Guided cutting allows for accuracy and precision.
- High work adaptability and bevel cut support.
- It can be used out of the box and is convenient to operate.
- Laser and LED may not be great together.
- Blade replacement is more time-consuming.
The Tacklife PJS02A is a great electric jigsaw ideal for light and heavy-duty cutting operations. If you need a powerful, versatile tool and don’t want to break the bank, this tool is ideal for you.
6. SKIL 4495-02 – With Innovative Show Design
The SKIL 4495-02 is the sixth jigsaw on our list but still top of the line.
Uniquely designed for ease of use and convenience, it is the perfect tool for both the novice and veteran craftsmen. It boasts of amazing power, precise controls, and unique cutting action to give you the best results in terms of high work adaptability and versatility.
Take charge and don’t leave anything to chance as you speed your fabrication project with efficient cutting. Guidance systems make for accuracy and precision and will bring out complex geometries in top form.
Our In-Depth Review:
All the functions of the SKIL 4495-02 are powered by a high-capacity 6.0Amp main motor. Built on modern motor technology, this compact, high power density device provides all the torque and speed needed to rip through the work material with ease. It is electrically powered via a cord from the mains supply and dynamically balanced to minimize vibration during operation.
The main motor is backed by a variable switch that allows you to vary the speed of the cutting blade as required by the work material. The high-speed settings for quick cuts and the low-speed settings for slower cuts.
Accuracy and precision when cutting are important to ensure the best results in terms of aesthetic appeal and proper component mating during assembly. It takes years of experience and skill to attain sufficient levels of accuracy. But who has the time? Whether you are a novice or veteran DIY hobbyist, the laser guidance system on the SKIL 4495-02 will come in handy.
It lights up a track for you to follow, ensuring you stay within the cutting range. Supporting this system is the innovative shoe design for superb stability. This helps minimize lateral vibrations and improve cut accuracy.
A lightweight, sturdy plastic casing houses all the internal components of this jigsaw, and a metalhead gives the rigid support required for the high-force processes. This makes for a lightweight unit with superb portability. The rubber-coated handle helps improves grip and comfort for the user.
- Impressive power output for quick cuts.
- Accurate and precise cut guidance systems.
- High material adaptability and project versatility.
- It is affordable and portable.
- Does not come with accessories.
- Outdoor use will require an extra wire for reach.
The SKIL 4495-02 might just be the next addition to your toolbox you need for various fabrication processes. It is a good buy if you want a jigsaw that balances affordability, with impressive power, and accuracy.
7. Porter – Cable PCE345 – With Soft Handle
Porter-Cable is reputable for its great engineering tools, and this product sustains the trend. The Porter-Cable PCE345 stands out as one of its best products yet. When it comes to raw power, reliability, and project versatility, this titan ranks excellently on the scoreboard.
All its features are designed to take most of the effort from you and ensure safety during operation.
With this product, you will be ready to go against DIY materials at any time with sheer force, thanks to an innovative man-machine interface.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Porter-Cable PCE345 compresses impressive power into a compact unit, thanks to a powerful 6.0 Amp main motor. Built for speed and torque, this motor is powerful enough to drive the blade at up to 3200 strokes per minute. At several hundred Watts of power, this jigsaw will cut through anything your blade is harder than, and with ease. Backing the main motor is a 6-step speed control module that gives you 7 different speed options as required by the work material. This allows you to work properly with soft and hard materials, and everything in between.
This ensures a solid hold and reduces the risk of slipping under vibration. A tool-free blade replacement feature minimizes down-time and allows you to change the blades as needed quickly. Work moves along quickly and you have more time to do other things.
The cutting tips of the blade are where all the action happens. Driven at an incredible speed of 3200 strokes per minute, this device will eat through the work material at an impressive rate. This high speed also makes it ideal for detail cuts of complex geometries.
An extra degree of freedom is granted to the cutting blade, thanks to the orbital action. A 3-step control offers four orbiting modes of different amplitudes, allowing you to vary the roughness of cut as needed.
Housing all the components of the Porter-Cable PCE345 is a compact metal casing. This makes for outstanding portability and impact-resistance. Carrying this device around is as easy as it gets and it will remain in optimum working condition even after impact or shock. This jigsaw also emphasizes user safety; a well-designed wire guard protects you and other objects from the cutting tip. Other great features are an Allen wrench holder and a low vibration plunger.
- Quick cutting action and impressive power.
- It is easy and convenient to use.
- High material adaptability.
- It is affordable.
- It does not come with a dust cleaning system.
- It cannot be used out of the box.
The PORTER-CABLE PCE345 is a handy jigsaw for a range of DIY projects. Impressively powered and highly functional, it is a great buy if you want an affordable, reliable jigsaw to add to your toolbox.
8. Teccpo TAJS01P – With Dust Cleaning System
The Teccpo TAJS01P professional jigsaw stands as one of the best tools on our list.
It combines impressive power with high functionality into a compact, portable unit. In terms of real value for money, this titan is well placed and boasts of amazing features that make it the ideal starter kit for the DIY hobbyist.
Accessories that come with this device emphasize its out of the box use.
It is designed with your convenience and ergonomic is one word for this device.
Our In-Depth Review:
At the center of the Teccpo TAJS01P is a powerful 6.5 Amp main motor. It is built with enough power to drive the cutting tip at up to 3000 strokes per minute. It provides all the torque to break down the resistance of the material and make quick work of all cutting operations.
All this power is yours to wield, thanks to advanced control circuitry that allows you to vary the speed of the cutting blade to suit the properties of the material. This ensures for high project adaptability and allows you to cut a wide range of materials from soft plastic to metal.
This jigsaw is designed with your convenience in mind. Ergonomic to say the least, all its features are targeted to take the effort from you and give you absolute control over the machine. The ideal man-machine interface has not been better represented than this. An easy to squeeze trigger switch creates the current path necessary for the cutting action. It is strategically located just within the finger reach for quick access.
Achieving impressive cutting accuracy and precision is as easy as it gets, with a laser guidance system. The bright red lights up a path for accurate cuts. A major challenge faced when using many jigsaws is the interference of the operator’s view by dislodged debris.
The Teccpo TAJS01P tackles this problem beautifully. It comes with a vacuum tube attached to the rear. Upon coupling with a vacuum cleaner, this enables the jigsaw to sweep the dust before it has a chance to accumulate. A variable orientation shoe allows you to cut bevels at up to 45 degrees for mating parts and ornamentation.
A great feature of this device is its out of the box use emphasized by the attached accessories. These include 6 blades and a measuring ruler. An attached tool case allows for easy storage and portability whenever needed outdoors. It also features orbital cutting action.
- Efficient and quick variable cutting action.
- It can be used out of the box.
- High material adaptability and precision cut feature.
- It is easy and convenient to use.
- Requires vacuum attachment for effective dust cleaning.
- Variable motor speed control knob design makes maintenance difficult.
The Teccpo TAJS01P is a terrific that boasts of awesome functionality for its price tag. Grab this jigsaw today if you need an affordable unit that will be reliable to deliver power, cut bevels, and enable precise cuts, quickly.
9. Hitachi CJ18DGLP4 – With LED Guided Cut
The Hitachi CJ18DGLP4 is a uniquely designed jigsaw that boasts of a wealth of features that emphasize state-of-the-art technology and user convenience.
Impressive power, high work adaptability, and functionality are some of the goodies you get with this device. Featuring a combination of different materials that enable impact resistance and portability, this gadget is really top of the line.
It embodies the ideal integration of a man-machine interface to do work quickly and efficiently. Let’s see why it may just the next power tool to add to your collection of DIY equipment.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Hitachi CJ18DGLP4 stands out with its battery power support. Its off-the-grid power source enables a reliable device that will be ready to go at any time. It also means you can store work ahead of when you need it. It uses a lightweight, high power density Li-ion battery that ensures for a portable device and makes transport as easy as possible, as you don’t have to worry about securing extra wires for outdoor use.
This powerful battery is rated at 18V and can drive the blade at up to 2400 strokes per minute. A featured orbital cutting action allows you to adjust the roughness of the cut depending on the material being handled. It provides four orbital settings between smooth on the zero orbit and rough on the other end.
The handle is rubber-coated to improve grip, boost comfort during operation, and damp out most of the vibration from the jigsaw. Replacing the cutting blade on the Hitachi CJ18DGLP4 does not require any extra tool; just your hands and it is done. This makes for a quick change and minimizes work down-time.
When cutting, you want as much visibility as possible on the tool front to ensure accurate and precise cuts. This device comes a LED light to provide you with as much light as possible to make clean cuts, quickly. User safety is emphasized with this tool, thanks to a unique blade guard. It consists of a wire guard and a surrounding hedge to prevent infiltration by foreign objects and accidental contact with the body.
A unique shoe design allows for an extra degree of freedom and ultimately the ability to make bevel cuts quickly. Maneuvering this jigsaw is very easy thanks to its lightweight plastic casing. At the head of the operation, the plastic is interfaced with a metalhead to provide impact resistance and rigidity.
- Reliable off the grid power.
- Unlimited portability.
- It is highly ergonomic and easy to use.
- Does not come with accessories.
- It is relatively expensive.
- Lesser power than conventional models.
The Hitachi CJ18DGLP4 is a handy tool that is built for reliability and functionality. If you need a portable jigsaw for light to medium-duty cutting projects and are willing to spend extra, then this device is ideal for you.
10. WEN 33606 – With Bulk Step Control
The WEN 33606 Orbital Jig Saw is the last jigsaw on our list and closes this article with a bang. Built with impressive power and outstanding controls, it will make quick work of cutting operations over a wide range of materials.
The unique ergonomic design means it’s equipped with all it needs to keep comfortable and less prone to fatigue when working.
Accurate and precise cuts are walkovers, thanks to advanced guidance systems. It tackles the problems faced by most conventional jigsaws, and all at a very affordable price.
Our In-Depth Review:
The WEN 33606 Orbital Jig Saw gets all its power from a 6.6 Amp main motor that is optimized for minimum vibration. It provides all the torque needed to rip through the material with ease. Its generous power allows it to drive the blade at speeds of up to 3300 strokes per minute; the fastest on our list.
This allows for rapid cutting, saving you time to do other things. Backing the main motor is a revolutionary bulk-step speed control that allows you access to a wide range of speeds, at fine increments. From zero up to the top speed, in so many steps. This allows you to tackle different materials as they come, setting the speed to suit their properties.
An ergonomic design represents the convenience factor. Bringing this device to life is as easy as squeezing the trigger switch, literarily. Easy to squeeze, the soft trigger switch is backed up with a lock. This allows you to work for extended periods with the switch in the ‘ON’ position, without effort from your hands.
In terms of accuracy and precision, this bad boy does an awesome job. It comes with a laser that traces out a path on the work material for you to carve out perfect straight lines. It also comes with a bright LED to increase visibility, so you see the cut line, even in poor lighting.
An extra degree of freedom is granted the cutting blade, thanks to an orbital action. This allows the blade to move in elliptical paths. Backed with a 3-step control, you have 4 orbit settings at your disposal to control the smoothness and roughness of the cut, as required. Bevel cuts are now easier than ever. This jigsaw comes with a variable- orientation footplate that allows you to cut bevels at up to 45 degrees while ensuring stability.
The WEN 33606 Orbital Jig Saw emphasizes out of the box use, thanks to a wealth of included accessories. These include; a wood and metal blade each, a bevelling footplate, and a vacuum attachment.
- Powerful, quick cutting action.
- It is easy and convenient to use.
- It can be used out of the box.
- It enables high material adaptability.
- It comes with few accessories.
- Clean-up is difficult without a vacuum cleaner.
The WEN 33606 Orbital Jig Saw is a great tool for cutting operations over a wide range of DIY projects. It is a good buy if you want a highly functional jigsaw without having to break the bank.
Jigsaw – Buyer’s Guide
What is a jigsaw?
A jigsaw is a versatile equipment used in a diverse range of cutting operations, from woodworking to metal-cutting and masonry.
Jigsaws are particularly useful in cutting curved lines in wood or other materials, and they are the only saw type that can make this kind of unique cuts.
How does Jigsaw work?
To understand the workings of a jigsaw, you first need to familiarize yourself with the parts. A typical jigsaw consists of the following components:
- Speed dial – for controlling the rate at which the jigsaw cuts
- Blade clamp – holds the blade in position.
- Fan – regulates the heat produced while the Jigsaw is in use.
- Shoe – provides a flat support base for the Jigsaw.
- Orbit adjustment – controls the movement of the blade during each cutting stroke
- Blade – carries out the cutting action.
- Handle – provides a grip for you when operating the Jigsaw and allows you to guide the Jigsaw to make perfect cuts.
- Trigger – for regulating the cutting speed of the Jigsaw.
Generally, jigsaws consist of a motor that drives the blade up and down when cutting. The motor can do this as it is connected to the blade via a series of eccentric gears. These gears pick up the rotary motion of the motor and translate such into the jigsaw blade, which results in an up-down cutting motion.
Because their teeth point upwards, jigsaws cut in a vertical direction. Therefore, if you seek a clean horizontal cut, turn your workpiece over and work from the back of the material. While the Jigsaw is in use, the shoe presses down firmly against the workpiece to prevent it from moving out of place.
Who needs a jigsaw?
A jigsaw is known to be one of the most versatile pieces of cutting equipment out there. Apart from its use in woodcutting, a jigsaw comes in quite handy when:
- There is a need to create unusual shapes and curves.
- Installing countertops, and you need to create holes to fit in faucets and hoses.
- You want to cut pieces of metal into shape.
- Making plunge cuts that involve starting a cut in the middle of a workpiece, rather than at the edge.
- You need to make bevel cuts in moldings and wooden boards.
Types of jigsaws
Now that you’ve made up your mind to get a jigsaw, the next thing to do is decide the kind of Jigsaw you want to acquire. Jigsaws in the market fall into two broad categories based on the power source: corded and cordless jigsaws.
These are jigsaws that get their power via electricity. They usually have a power cord that you connect to a power source – most times, a standard wall outlet or the receptacle of a generator.
Corded jigsaws are used within a specific range due to the limiting effect of the power cord. However, they are quite powerful, and you can use them for heavy-duty jobs as long as you like.
If your power supply is erratic, a cordless jigsaw is the better choice for you. These kinds of jigsaws work with a battery, which is, most times, an interchangeable lithium-ion model.
The cells can either be 18 or 20-volt rated, and they provide sufficient energy to drive the Jigsaw through materials to be cut.
Unlike their corded counterparts, cordless jigsaws can be used anywhere. However, they are not as powerful as corded jigsaws, and you will need to take intermittent charging breaks while using.
Top Handle or D-Handle Vs. Barrel Grip
The type of handle design on a jigsaw should play a significant role in determining which one you select. Jigsaw models on the market generally have two types of handle designs: D-handles or barrel grips.
These types of handles are also known as top handles. They are located directly on top of the Jigsaw – just like a pressing iron. Most jigsaws on the market today have top handles.
With D-handles, you can hold the Jigsaw with one hand, while you fix in the work material with the hand.
Top handles are very convenient to use and make it a whole lot easier for you to manipulate the Jigsaw. Also, most top handles come with a rubber cover to improve your grip while working.
Jigsaws whose handles can be found at the sides or back are known as barrel grips. Barrel grips are operated using both hands, a position that allows you to push through the workpiece with greater force. However, using a barrel grip jigsaw for extended periods can cause inflammation of your hands or pains in your wrist.
Barrel grips are especially useful if you want to cut materials on an angled surface. Before using barrel grips, you need to ensure your work material is securely fastened. This is because your two hands will be engaged once you start sawing.
Best jigsaw brands to consider
When it is time to buy a jigsaw, some brands should rank higher on your shopping list. This is because of the exceptional quality of materials used in producing their equipment, plus the durability of their saws.
That being said, some of the best jigsaw brands you can find around include:
Makita is famous for its durable, and precise-cutting jigsaws. Their jigsaws boast an extensive range of innovative features, which makes the sawing process relatively easy for users.
DeWalt is undoubtedly one of the most popular jigsaw brands there is. DeWalt tools are a perfect blend of quality and quantity, and they do not cost a fortune.
For one reason or the other, Bosch products are yet to make an impact in the American market. Still, they are quite popular in Europe, and the reason for this is not far-fetched. Bosch produces equipment that lasts for several years. Their products are also affordable, and they cater to a wide range of users – from the amateur to the professional cutter.
Black and decker build jigsaws that are more suited to light-duty, domestic usage. Still, you can be sure you’ll get premium quality for your money.
Another leading producer of jigsaws is Hitachi. This company produces different models of Jigsaw designed to last users for a couple of years. Although Hitachi products are generally expensive, the price is like a drop in the ocean compared to the quality you get in return.
Jigsaw features to look out for
Before choosing a jigsaw to buy, there are several qualities you need to consider.
This is to ensure you select a machine that will suit the exact purpose for which you are making a purchase.
Apart from that, you should also choose a jigsaw that will be convenient and easy for you to use and maintain. Some of these helpful features include:
If you’re new to the sawing world, you might want to work with laser guides. The laser guide is more or less a modern version of the carpenter’s pencil.
The purpose of a laser guide is to help mark out areas to be cut and assist with cutting straight lines; thereby, improving cutting accuracy.
Quick blade change
The quality of the blades used in cutting is as essential as the speed at which you can switch blades while working comfortably. A lot of jigsaws come equipped with a tool-less chuck, which makes the process of blade changing relatively more straightforward and quicker.
As jigsaw blades work at very high speeds, there tends to be a lot of heat production while sawing. Hence, you must choose a jigsaw with a blade control lever that doesn’t require you to touch a blade before replacing it.
While sawing, it might get inconvenient having to adjust the trigger speed of your Jigsaw manually. This is where a trigger lock proves handy. Once you put on your Jigsaw, tinker around with it a bit to find the cutting speed of your choice. Upon discovering a convenient cutting speed, you just activate the trigger lock and continue sawing.
Some jigsaws come with inbuilt LED light, which comes in quite handy if you are working in dimly lit areas.
Jigsaws tend to produce a lot of vibration while in use, and if you are not a professional cutter, this will lead to mistakes in your work. To curb this trend, invest in a jigsaw that has provisions for vibration reduction.
Saws with comfortable grips, as well as top handles, are well optimized for vibration reduction.
Dust fan or Exhaust Port
If you saw regularly, then you should be familiar with the accompanying wood dust that covers up your workpiece. This makes it difficult for you to know what you’re sawing, and it can get highly frustrating having to blow them off regularly.
Hence, for your comfort, you must choose a jigsaw with a dust blowing mechanism. This dust fan blows on the material as you work, clearing away wood particles; thereby, making your work a whole lot easier.
Alternatively, you can purchase a jigsaw with an exhaust port. This port sucks up dirt particles as you work, keeping them off your workpiece, and the floor in extension.
Not all jigsaws come with these features, and I would strongly recommend you go for one that does have them.
Another important quality you should consider when going for a jigsaw is the length of its cutting stroke. A cutting stroke refers to how deep/far the jigsaw blade moves when you cut.
Generally, the longer the blade is, the deeper the stroke length, and the larger the cut you can make.
Hence, if you are going to be cutting relatively thick objects, you should go for a jigsaw with a massive cutting stroke. On average, however, a stroke length of 5/8 inches is just okay.
This is one feature that artists and sculptors are going to appreciate a lot. With bevel adjustments, you can change the direction of a cut quickly and easily, allowing you to make curves and unique shapes.
If you are going for any jigsaw, you need to have a look at its power rating to ensure you choose one which will be able to handle whatever you throw at it. An average jigsaw requires just five volts or eighteen amperes to work, which will comfortably tackle any cutting operation.
Safety considerations while using a jigsaw
As with every piece of machinery with a blade, there are risks associated with owning and operating a jigsaw. A little lapse in concentration and you might injure yourself.
Therefore, to be on the side while operating a jigsaw, there are some basic rules and precautions you should follow. Some of these safety considerations are highlighted below:
- Ensure the workpiece is correctly fixed before you start sawing
- Before you start cutting at all, check the firmness of your workpiece, and ensure it is in place. Loose materials can fall off while sawing, and this can disorient the operator.
- Put on protective equipment while operating a jigsaw
- This particular safety tip cannot be over-emphasized. Never attempt to use a jigsaw without putting on essential safety gear.
- Jigsaw cutting produces a lot of flying particles; hence, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes. Also, put on thick gloves to guard your hands against the jigsaw blade. Safety boots are a must as well.
- As much as possible, avoid putting on loose clothing while operating a jigsaw, and pack your hair neatly if it’s long.
- Read and comprehend the instruction manual before using a jigsaw
The majority of the accidents that occur while operating equipment would have been avoided, provided users took the time to go through the contents of instruction manuals properly. That said, once you purchase a jigsaw, the first thing you should do is read the user’s guide, line by line. Not only will this reduce the possibility of you getting in future accidents, but you also gain in-depth knowledge of the workings of your Jigsaw.
Use the right blades for the proper cutting operations
To optimize your Jigsaw, ensure you use the appropriate blade for a sawing action. You do not cut metal with a wooden blade and expect to get decent results.
Jigsaw manufacturers produce various blade types for a reason, and that is to make sure you don’t lose control over your equipment while working. Also, working with the right tools can save you a great deal of money as you do not have to replace broken blades always.
Connect your Jigsaw to a dedicated power source
Another equally important safety tip is that you should not just connect your Jigsaw to any power outlet. Jigsaws are more powerful than regular domestic appliances; hence they require a bit more power. Connecting your Jigsaw to just any socket can damage your home’s wiring system and your Jigsaw in extension.
At all times, plug your Jigsaw into a dedicated power outlet. Avoid the use of extension boxes, and do not share the Jigsaw’s circuit with other power tools.
Changing jigsaw blades
Because Jigsaws work under high speed, and pressure, they tend to generate quite a lot of heat, which has damaging effects on jigsaw blades. Hence, while sawing with a jigsaw, you’ll need to change the blades at intervals if you are to continue getting a good cut. The good news is, it is not difficult to switch jigsaw blades, and most models feature a simple push-to-release button, which simplifies the whole process.
However, if you use an older model which requires you to take out the blades manually, here’s how to go about it:
- Switch off your Jigsaw’s power source.
- Find the screw holding the shank of the blade in place and loosen it with a screwdriver.
- Gently pull out the blade – You might want to wear gloves for this if you’d been operating your Jigsaw as the blade will be too hot to handle.
- Put in the new blade, and ensure the teeth are facing away from the Jigsaw. This step is especially important as the blade has to be correctly aligned so that problems don’t arise while cutting.
- Using your screwdriver, fasten the shank screw in place. And that’s all. Your Jigsaw is ready for use again.
Jigsaw for making bevel cuts
Bevel cutting is the act of making cuts inclined at an angle (mostly 45 degrees) to the regular cutting face of a workpiece. Bevel cuts are made for decorative finishes, welding support, and to increase the surface area of an edge.
Although jigsaws are not the perfect tool for making Bevel cuts, certain modifications are in place to ensure you get a decent sawing experience.
Screws located at the base of jigsaws enable users to adjust the tilt of the cutting blade to whatever angle is set as the maximum.
Also, most manufacturers design their jigsaws for bending at angles ranging from 22 to 55 degrees. A bevel cut is made at 45 degrees; hence, jigsaws are capable of making one.
Straight reciprocating Jigsaw
If you seek a jigsaw with which you can carry out basic cutting operations with high effectiveness, a reciprocating jigsaw is what you should buy. These saws cut through materials via a series of up and down movements.
Reciprocating saws are unsuitable for making sophisticated cuts. Still, they are quite precise and are suitable for highly detailed work.
Just like reciprocating saws, orbital jigsaws cut in a vertical direction. Still, they are also capable of making cuts in a forward and backward direction. This type of saw is much more powerful and is suitable for cutting sturdy materials. Its ability to cut in any direction makes it ideal for creating intricate designs with wood, metal, and plastic.
How to cut with a jigsaw?
When the time to cut with your Jigsaw comes, there are several guidelines you should follow to ensure you make perfect cuts. You should follow these guidelines to reduce the risk of an accident while working with a jigsaw. To make great cuts with your Jigsaw, you need to:
Select the right blade for a cutting operation
As stated earlier, the type of blade to be used in a sawing process depends majorly on the nature of the material you want to cut. Once you’ve decided on a blade that would be the perfect fit for your operation, mount it on your Jigsaw.
Get your workpiece ready
After picking a blade for your cutting operation, the next thing to do is prepare the material you want to cut. Mark lines on your workpiece to assist with the cutting process. These cut lines significantly improve the accuracy of your cut.
Securely fasten the workpiece to a workbench with clamps to reduce vibrations during cutting.
Adjust saw settings
The next thing to do once your workpiece is firmly in place is to tinker with your saw’s orbital, and speed settings. Higher speed and orbital action translate to a smoother cutting experience. Still, if you’re cutting metals and ceramics, you should work with lower rates.
Once you are all set to saw, turn on the power source to your Jigsaw. Then, slowly push in your Jigsaw into the workpiece, and cut using the guidelines you’ve marked out earlier. A common trick is to place a thick block of the wood along the workpiece if you’re cutting in a straight line. This block serves as a guide and assists with cutting straight lines. Take care not to move the saw too fast as you risk damaging the blade.
Once you finish sawing, smoothen the edges of your workpiece with sandpaper.
How to make the most of your Jigsaw?
The Jigsaw is one equipment you can pick up and start using without any special procedures. Still, there are tips you can follow to optimize your cutting experience. Some of the things you can do to ensure you maximize the potentials of your Jigsaw include:
Make use of starter holes
If you need to make a cut that doesn’t start from the edge of the workpiece, employ starter holes. This process involves drilling a hole that is roughly greater in width than the jigsaw blade at the starting point. Once you have made the hole, you can insert the jigsaw blade and start sawing.
Adjust your cutting speed from time to time
Cutting at high speeds ensure you complete your work quicker, but it also has a detrimental effect on the blade. When cutting metals, use low cutting speeds. With this, your blade will not only last longer, but you also have greater control over the process.
Use appropriate blades for cutting
I must have said this about ten times already, but this particular point cannot be overemphasized. You will save yourself a lot of time and effort by cutting materials with blades that are specially designed for them.
Everything about jigsaw blades
Blades are an essential part of jigsaws as they carry out the main sawing action. Jigsaw blades are made of a wide range of metal materials, each specially designed to cut a specific type of material.
Typically, Jigsaw blades are made of the following materials:
Blades designed using this material are intended for use in special cutting operations, such as sawing through fiberglass, ceramics, or steel. TC blades typically have a high resistance to heat and are one of the most expensive types out there.
A coating of tungsten carbide grit on the cutting edge of a TC blade protects it from quick damage, making it one of the most durable blades.
High-speed steel blades are quite tough and rigid, plus they tend to last longer than most other times of blades. Because of this, HSS blades are used for sawing through tough materials such as reinforced plastic, hardwood, and metals. However, as strong as HSS blades are, they tend to collapse under too much heat, hence take regular cooling breaks while using one.
High carbon steel
Blades made with high carbon steel, but the cutting edges lose their sharpness in a considerably lesser period, compared to other blade types. However, they are also inexpensive, and you can buy them in bulk to counter the quick dulling. Because they wear off quite quickly, HCS blades are best used for general woodcutting processes.
These are Jigsaw blades made up of two different types of steel, mainly carbon steel and high-speed steel. Bi-metal blades have a higher degree of wear resistance, cutting strength, and durability because they are made of two different materials. If you are purchasing your Jigsaw for some heavy-duty cutting, then I’ll advise you to buy a bi-metal blade along with it.
Once you have decided on the blade material you want, there are many other features you need to examine. These include:
Shank refers to the part of the blade which fits into the blade clamp of a jigsaw. Jigsaws can have either a T-shank or a U-shank. T-shanks are the most popular types of shanks found in jigsaws these days, and this is because of their ease of use.
Before ordering a new shank, check its compatibility with your Jigsaw, so you won’t have a case of having to fill a round hole with a square peg.
Teeth Per Inch
Simply put, this is the amount of cutting teeth that can be found on a jigsaw blade. Blades with more teeth produce smooth cuts at a slow rate. On the other hand, blades with less TPI cut faster, but you’ll have to contend with rough edges.
If you plan on cutting soft materials like plastic, a blade of 6-20 TPI will do the job correctly. For more hardened materials, get a cutting blade with about 14-36 TPI.