How to Choose and Use a Jigsaw?

What is Jigsaw? (Tool)

A jigsaw is a saw which uses a reciprocating blade to cut irregular curves, such as stenciled designs, in wood, metal, or other materials.

Jigsaws first emerged in the 19th century and employed a treadle to operate the blade. The modern portable jigsaw was introduced in 1947 by Scintilla AG (later acquired by Bosch).

A jigsaw power tool is made up of an electric motor and a reciprocating saw blade. Jigsaws with sole plates that have a beveling function can cut angles typically up to 45 degrees relative to the normal vertical stroke to make miter joints. In the past, what is now usually called scroll saws were often referred to as jigsaws. Today they are electrically powered and have been largely displaced by portable power jigsaws.

Factor To Be Considering While Buying Jigsaw

  • Accuracy. The accuracy of the jigsaws was compared including the ability to follow a shape, blade drift, and ease of cutting along irregular paths.
  • Performance [Power/Speed Test]. We looked at cutting speed as an indicator of saw motor performance.
  • Features. An overall comparison of features and specifications.
  • Ergonomics. Ergonomics are really important to users and an important category to consider when purchasing any power tool. In addition to traditional ergonomics, we also included functionality in this category.
  • Vibration. we recorded and analyzed the vibrations of the tools during our speed testing.
  • Price. Price is always an important factor in determining which saw is best for a user. We’ve included the current pricing found online for each of the saws “as-tested,” at the time of publication.
  • Best Value Saw. Often times this category winner tends to resonate with most folks as it tends to perform well in the tests but feels good on the wallet

How to Choose and Use a Jig Saw?

  • Choose which type of grip suits you best. There is the barrel-handle jigsaw or the top-handle jigsaw. This is largely a comfort choice, so try out both.
  • This saw is great for curved cuts, circle cuts and scribed cuts on walls.
  • The orbital setting is important when choosing a jigsaw. Jigsaws cut in an upstroke and the orbital setting controls how much the blade moves back and forth. At zero, the blade moves straight up and down like a sewing needle.
  • For fine cuts, keep the orbital setting low. A higher setting is more powerful, but less precise.
  • Also, check the speed setting. The speed of the blade of the blade can impact the power of the blade. The thicker the wood, the more speed you may want. Use slower speeds to cut metals and plastic.
  • Look at the bevel setting. Lay the bevel flat for a zero-angle cut. Move the bevel for a more angled cut like a 45-degree.
  • Choose a blade depending on what type of cut you want to make. If you want to cut something fine, like a veneer, use a blade with the teeth facing down, so the blade cuts down and not up.
  • For a more aggressive cut, use a blade with the teeth facing upward, so the blade cuts on the upswing.
  • There are blades with teeth both up and down for a moderate cut.
  • Be sure to look at how the blade connects to the saw. Some jigsaws accept “T” type shank while others accept a straight shank, so choose the one that matches your saw.
  • When making a cut, make sure the shoe is level on the cutting surface. If it isn’t, it’s possible the blade could jump.
  • Keep a firm grip on the saw to prevent the blade from jumping.
  • Let the saw do the work. Do not push or pull the saw. This could drastically affect the cut.

Jigsaw Blades

A Jigsaw works by attaching a blade accessory to the tool. There are various types of blades in the market. Older jigsaws require a blade to be screwed into the tool. But since Bosch introduced the first tool-free blade change system, most manufacturers now offer a similar setup allowing a quick & tool-free blade change.

There are T-shank blades and U-shank blades available in the accessory market. T-Shank blades are the industry-standard professional interface that provides longer life and a tighter fit from the blade to the tool.

Tooth design is important for the performance of a blade. The tooth spacing, tooth shape, and cutting angle are important in providing speed, cleanliness of cuts, and optimal performance. A side set and ground tooth are designed for clean and fast cuts in wood and plastics.

Wavy set and milled teeth will cut most metals as well as plastics. A side set and milled tooth work with fast and rougher cuts in wood and plastics. A ground and taper-ground tooth are for precise, fine, and clean cuts in wood. There are also reduced-kerf carbide and diamond grit edges for fast cutting in hard materials.

Jigsaw Blade Material

Different blade materials are used for different applications to improve blade life and cutting performance.

  • High-carbon steel (HCS) is used for softer materials such as wood, laminated particle board, and plastics due to its flexibility.
  • High-speed steel (HSS) is a stronger steel that can cut all types of metals.
  • Bi-Metal (BIM) blades contain a combination of high-carbon steel and high-speed steel. The combination creates a strong and flexible material that can be used for demanding applications where there is a risk of breakage or when extreme flexibility and versatility is required. Bi-Metal blades have longer lifespans and prolonged job performance compared to other types of blades.
  • Tungsten carbide (TC) blades have the strength to cut through abrasive metals such as reinforced plastics, fiberglass, cement board, stainless steel, tile, glass, cast iron, and brick.
  • Diamond-grit blades are extremely versatile, as they can cut rough materials such as hard porcelain tile, granite, slate, marble, and other stones. due to their finely milled particles. This makes their uses similar to carbide blades, although diamond-grit blades typically last longer.

Jigsaw Accuracy

For the accuracy category each of the jigsaws was ranked on accuracy in the following areas:

  • Line of Sight
  • Blade tracking
  • Bevel accuracy when set to 45 degrees.
  • Cross-cut accuracy when set to 90 degrees (how perpendicular the cut is to the surface)

The major factors that affect the accuracy of jigsaw cuts are: How well you can see the line of cut and how well the saw’s blade stays square to the workpiece (or at a fixed angle during bevel cuts). Generally, a jigsaw with less of its body overhanging the blade is easier to use, especially when you’re working in cramped quarters or trying to follow a curved line, for example cutting out a scrollwork pattern.