Best Jigsaws on the Market
You have probably heard about jigsaws, but what makes the best one, and what do you actually need them for anyway. With the number of saws available in the market right now, has the good old reliable jigsaw started to lose its value?
The reason that I pose this question is simply because, believe it or not, these saws are still big sellers, and that made me wonder why? You may also hear a jigsaw called a saber saw.
For as many years as I can recall, a jigsaw was part of any carpenter’s tool kit, and was also owned by many people who liked to do work around the home.
With the advance of technology, these started to take a back shelf in many tool stores and DIY outlets like the Home Depot, up and down the country. However, their popularity does continue, so I did have to investigate why this would be so.
For quick convenience I have included a Top 10 list of the jigsaws available on the market today. I hope that you find that helpful and useful.
By a very long way the number one choice on our list is the Black and Decker model which is amazing value for money. I have reviewed that one in more depth under the table, along with the others listed here.
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No 1 – Black and Decker JS660 Review
I have done a full review here on the Black & Decker JS660 which is a popular choice for many users. It is a good jigsaw at an affordable price.
This one is an ideal selection for many users and does not cost the earth. The price does vary but you can usually pick this one up for under $40. That would explain its immense popularity.
It sells in its thousands and constantly gets positive reviews. Currently this one gets a high rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, which is very good.
If you don’t want to spend a fortune and want a practical and useful saw, then look no further than here. I was very surprised at just how good the value was for money on this particular product.
No 2 – Skil 4395-01 Review
This one from the SKil company came in at number 2 on our list. This is a very good saw for someone who needs to do home projects. It does of course do normal straight cuts, but can also handle up to 45 degree bevel cuts.
This one prices in around the $50 price point so please be sure that you never pay any more than that. We think that is a very fair price for this quality of saw. This one gets an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars which again is very good.
It has a tool less blade change, a variable speed trigger and is also an orbital jigsaw which means faster cutting.
No 3 – Porter Cable PC600JS
This one is rated at 4.7 out of 5 stars and buyers really like this very good saw. It is powered by a 6 amp motor and has a 7 variable speed settings, ranging from 0-3,200 strokes per minute.
Depending on where you make your purchase this one costs on average around $70 but had a RRP of $125, so the price has dropped quite a bit, from when it was first released.
This is a step up from the cheaper jigsaws and you can instantly feel and sense the difference in quality. I had the pleasure of using this one myself, and I was well impressed with the quality of the tool and more importantly, the quality of the cut.
This one is well worth a look, and I think offers very good value for money. Buyers like it, I liked it, and I am pretty certain you will also like it.
What Exactly Is a Jigsaw Used For?
The most common use is in woodworking, where this saw is used to cut out different shapes. Few people know though, that these also work well on other materials like metal and plastic. It is classed as a power tool and they have been around for a very long time.
When they first came out, they were very popular with people interested in DIY and Home Improvements. Here is a pretty good video that explains what it is used for and how it works.
It is really useful to have one of these if you plan to do a few projects around the home. One popular use is to cut out the shape of a sink in a kitchen worktop. Whatever the reason, then believe me, it will get plenty of use.
The amount of use is the one determining factor, that you should consider, when you are going to buy one of these. They range a lot in price, from the very basic at around $15-20, and go all the way up to around $100.
They are handy for making short cross cuts on boards or for finishing off corner cuts. These are not good for making long straight cuts, and you really should be using a circular saw for that type of work.
I would only recommend using a jigsaw on softwood that is about an inch and a half in thickness. If cutting through harder woods, then the thickness, should be no more than about 3/4″.
You may well ask why there is such a variation in price, and that is what I will cover below in this buying guide.
Straight Edges With A Jigsaw
A lot of users complain that when they use this type of saw, then the actual cut they achieve is not straight. In most cases the cut ends up having what is termed a bevel edge to it. That is usually because people are trying to cut thick pieces of wood. When you try to do this, the thin blade starts to bend, and it is this slight curvature that causes the bevel, or rounded type of cut.
They are just not made to deal with really heavy work, or really tough woods. The blade tends to bend even more when it encounters hard woods, and that is made worse as the user then applies more force, which causes the blade to bend even further.
Best Jigsaw Power Tool – Price Fluctuations
So with such a wide fluctuation in price, you can bet there is quite a difference between a standard jigsaw and one that will set you back 100 bucks or more. Let’s have a look at what you should be on the look out for, and then you can decide which grade of jigsaw you actually need.
Most people want a decent quality jigsaw at an affordable price. The reason for that is that unless you plan to do a lot of different projects, then the reality is that you will use this a few times, but for the most part it will simply sit around your garage.
As long as the saw can do what you need it to do for your main projects, then that is all you really need. If you are a professional, a construction worker, or someone who will use this a lot, then you probably already know that you need one at the higher end of the range.
I think around $30 should be enough to spend for most people. A professional will probably spend anything between $100-150 to get all the features that they will need. That of course is just a guide and there are plenty of price options in between to suit most budgets.
So now it is time to talk about features. Something like the Black and Decker JS660 works really well for home use and you can read more about that one by clicking here.
The Important Features To Get In A Jigsaw
The motor is of course what gives the operating power to your tool. The bigger the motor, the more power you will have at your disposal. The power of a motor is always determined by a measurement known as Amperes which is usually shortened to Amps. if you plan on doing a lot of work with your saw, then get one with a more powerful motor.
The shoe is what will rest on the wood as you make your cut. Some of the cheaper saws has a shoe that is made of a very light metal. To be brutally honest, this is just a waste of your money. If this starts to twist, or bends in any way, then you will never get an accurate cut. You want something like a steel shoe or a cast shoe that will not twist.
Some jigsaws come with one universal blade that can be used to cut a variety of materials. Other jigsaws will recommend using different blades for different materials. There are two different ways of attaching blade. One is what is called a universal fit, and the other is called a bayonet fit.
Some of the basic machines use a screw to attach the blade to the saw, which is not a very good solution. Others use a clamp that is tightened using an Allen key. The better ones connect by simply pushing them into the saw, and are known as tool less connections. These are what I would personally recommend as they are more secure, and so much easier to change.
The blades of a jigsaw are designed to do their cutting on the up stroke. For most projects that is fine, but if for example you were cutting through a veneer, then it would be useless. For those more delicate jobs, change the blade to a down stroke cutting blade.
There are many types of blades available from really coarse and all the way down to fine.
This is not an essential feature, but I can tell you that it will make a huge difference to your actual cutting experience. If you can control the speed of the blade, and therefore the cutting action, then you will have a lot more control over producing a better finish. This speed variation also helps greatly with cutting different types of materials.
Some jigsaws allow you to cut a bevel shape as the blade can be angled, but the basic ones will not have this feature. You will remember I mentioned the unintended bevel earlier. However there will be times when you want a proper bevel cut, and it is then you will need to get a saw that can do that type of cut.
So those are the main features and more or less all you need to consider before you make any purchase. There are a couple of other features that you should know about.
Orbital Cutting Action
These are basically dialled settings, that slightly alter the pitch of the blade. So rather than just cutting straight up and down in a vertical position, the blade is angled forwards and makes for a more aggressive cut. It certainly speeds things up quite a bit in the cutting process.
Length of Stroke
In simple terms the longer the length of the stroke, then the quicker you can cut through the material. Some jigsaws will have only a 1/2″ stroke, whereas the more expensive ones, are more typically 1″ lengths.
Any jigsaw should have a guard for obvious health and safety reasons.
Most of the jigsaws are corded. So if you prefer having no leads around, then cordless is a great option for you. It will however cost more to have one of these.
When we did our many reviews, we noticed that Bosch appeared to be the most popular of choices as a brand. Black and Decker were a very close second to Bosch, but older and more experienced users tended to like the reliability and durability that was offered by Bosch.
After all it was this brand who actually invented the jigsaw, so small wonder they rate so highly.