Jigsaws are some of the most versatile power tools that you will ever come across. The reason that they are so popular when they compared to other types of power tools (such as band saws and circular saws) is that they can do the job of several other tools in one package.
Jigsaws are quite similar to scroll saws, and some people use the term interchangeably. Both of these tools make use of a reciprocating blade to cut your chosen material, but a scroll saw features a thinner blade to allow for finer cuts. Both of these tools can be used to make curved cuts with relative ease.
This ability to easily make curved cuts is what makes jigsaws preferable to other types of saws which may seem better-suited for some applications. Keep in mind that jigsaws are not miracle tools. Jigsaws have their pros and cons. While they are versatile and capable of a wide range of cuts, these power tools have some weaknesses.
For example, it can be hard to control the blade of a jigsaw since it is mostly unsupported, unlike some other power saws which feature blades that are guided for the majority of their length. This design makes the blade relatively weak when compared to other power tools with similar intended uses.
If you want to ensure that you get the best jigsaw possible, there are a few things that you should consider before making your purchase. We will get to our reviews momentarily, but we will first address why it is important to get the best jigsaw and look at a few questions you should ask yourself before making your purchase.
Why You Should Try and Find the Best Jigsaw Possible
As with other power tools, you will want to ensure that you get a jigsaw which features excellent build quality. There are many reasons why you want to invest in a jigsaw which is as effective as can be. The primary reason is that your jigsaw is just that: an investment. As with any investment, you will want it to pay off.
Jigsaws can range in price from 20 dollars to 200 dollars, depending on the quality and the number of blades with which it comes included. You can find standalone jigsaws for a reasonable price, or you can find jigsaw kits that come included with specialized blades and other tools that you may find yourself needing.
If you invest in a jigsaw which features excellent build quality, it may end up lasting you for a decent amount of time. If you choose a jigsaw which features nothing but a low price point, you may end up finding yourself disappointed in relatively short order if it ends up breaking on you.
Power tools can be dangerous if they are used irresponsibly or if they break while you are using them. If you want to avoid any potential injuries, you should always opt for a jigsaw which is as reliable as possible. You will at least want to purchase a model which features sufficient safety features.
Aside from the aspect of safety and getting the most for your money, you will also want to ensure that you get the right jigsaw for your intended application. Different jigsaws will come equipped with various great blades, and you don't want to end up regretting your purchase because your jigsaw will not work for your intended task.
How to Find the Best Jigsaw for Your Needs
How Much Power Will You Need?
Before making your purchase, you should take a look at the amount of power that you will need for your intended tasks for your jigsaw. Different jigsaws have varying levels of power, and this will determine the type of material that they can be used to cut without overloading the motor.
Put some thought into the range of intended applications for your new jigsaw and carefully consider the importance of power before you make your purchase. Keep in mind that jigsaws with more power will be more pricey because they will include more powerful motors with greater complexity.
The choice between a wired jigsaw and one which is battery operated will also affect the amount of power that your chose product can output. We will take a look at the differences between these two types of jigsaws in greater depth in the following section.
Wired or Cordless?
You should also consider whether you would prefer a jigsaw which is powered through a wire or one which is powered by a battery. Both of these types have their pros and cons, so we’ll look over some of the differences in this section. We will start off with the more traditional wired variety.
Wired jigsaws are simple to power, all you have to do is plug the cord into the nearest wall outlet, and you will have all the power that you need at your disposal. The disadvantage with these models is the distinct lack of portability while they are in use. If your jigsaw is connected to the wall, you can't move it around too much.
You should also consider that the wire can sometimes get in the way of your sawblade while you are making more intricate cuts, which is something that jigsaws specialize in. If you don’t want to be encumbered by a cable while you are working, you will likely have to opt for a jigsaw which runs on battery power.
Models which use battery power to work have their own set of pros and cons. For example, a battery-powered jigsaw will be highly portable, but it will have to be fully charged before every use, which can take a good deal of time. If you are hoping to use your jigsaw for extended periods, you will have to opt for a wired model.
Some jigsaws can be charged with a wire while they are working, but most of them can’t be used while their batteries are recharging. Another downside to jigsaws which use battery power is that they often cannot output the same level of cutting power that a wired model can.
This disadvantage is due to the amount of power that is used by a more powerful motor. If you want to be able to cut through nearly any material with little difficulty, you will find that you need a decent amount of energy available. Since wired models get their power right from an outlet, power consumption is not such a large concern.
Battery jigsaws, on the other hand, will have to account for the power draw of the motor and come equipped with a battery that will not run out too fast. As the motor gets more and more powerful, you will find that the battery will also have to increase in capacity.
Larger batteries will make the jigsaw more cumbersome, and they will also increase the price point measurably. The battery is one of the more expensive components on a jigsaw, and there reaches a point where it is no longer worth the money to equip a battery of sufficient power.
What Kind of Speed Range Will You Need?
The range of speeds which can be attained by your jigsaw is another important aspect to look for when making your purchase. The speed of a jigsaw is measured in strokes per minute (SPM). The number of strokes per minute at which your machine can operate will determine the materials that you can cut through.
Softer materials, such as wood, will require a faster SPM setting to allow for easier cutting. Harder materials will require a slower cutting speed, as the motor may burn out or the blade may wear faster if the speed is set too high. Most models will be capable of a certain range of speeds, which will vary depending on the motor and the jigsaw itself.
Keep in mind that faster cutting speeds will take more of a toll on the motor and the mechanisms which run your jigsaw, so models which operate faster will need to be built to better standards. If your jigsaw is not reinforced and it operates at higher speeds, there will be a much higher chance of malfunction.
How Many Different Blades Will You Need?
The number of blades which come included with your jigsaw is another aspect which is important to consider. You will find it exceedingly difficult to cut through a variety of materials using a single type of blade. The blades which come included with jigsaws differ from each other in a number of ways.
Some blades will be thinner, which makes them better suited for cutting more intricate patterns into softer materials. Other blades will be thicker, which means that they are more durable and steady. Some models will come equipped with several blades while others may not come with any blades.
Best Jigsaw Models Compared and reviewed
After you understand why you need a jigsaw and what are the recommendations and suggestions when considering to purchase a jigsaw, here are the reviews of some very good jigsaws and the best jigsaw in industry.
1. DEWALT DCS331B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Jig Saw
- Features a lever-action blade change which does not require a key.
- Features a shoe bevel which is capable of angles of 0 degrees, 15 degrees, 30 degrees, and 45 degrees.
- Features an orbital setting which is capable of four positions.
- Comes equipped with an adjustable dust blower.
- Speed can be adjusted from 0 to 3000 SPM.
- The battery for this product is sold separately.
- Features an ergonomic, no-slip comfort grip for improved safety.
If you are looking for the best jigsaw around, this model is one of the top competitors that you will come across. It comes equipped with many features that will help immensely, regardless of whether you are a beginner carpenter or a seasoned veteran. It is a little more pricey than some of the competition, but it is worth the cost.
For example, this model comes equipped with a dust blower that ensures there will be no wood chips ruining the quality of your cuts. The blower is powerful enough to push most wood chips out of the way and keeps the cutting line clear of any bits and pieces which will potentially cause you problems.
Another feature we appreciated was the quick blade replacement, which does not require any tools. While this may not be as secure as a more traditional linkage which would have to be unscrewed, it allows for much quicker blade changes so you can deal with several different materials in short order.
The adjustable speed, which ranges from 0 to 3000 SPM, ensures that you will be able to tackle almost any material, provided you have the right blade ready for use. The inclusion of an ergonomic handle which is made out of no-slip rubber ensures that you will not have any discomfort while using this saw.
2. SKIL 4495-02 6.0 Amp Orbital Action Laser Jigsaw
- Features a 6 amp motor for sufficient power to cut through most materials.
- Comes equipped with a laser guide to ensure straight cuts.
- Features orbital cut control which has four positions.
- Features a trigger with variable speed settings.
- Features tool-less blade change capability for added speed.
- Compatible with both t-shank blades and u-shank blades.
- Features onboard blade storage for easy accessibility.
If you are looking for a more affordable jigsaw and you don't mind if it is wired, you will find few better choices than this model from SKIL. The 6-amp motor which is featured on this product is more potent than the motors that you will find powering most models which run on battery power.
This more powerful motor, when combined with a broad selection of blades, ensures that you will be able to cut through almost any material, provided it is not too thick. This model will accept t-shank blades as well as u-shank blades so that it will be much more versatile than much of the competition.
The inclusion of a laser guide is helpful for when you want to ensure that your cuts are as straight as possible, but this laser will not help you when you are making circular cuts. The quick-release blades are anchored quite well when compared to other jigsaws that feature similar blades.
Speaking of blades, there is onboard blade storage for this tool, so you will not have to keep them stored separately and risk losing them. The choice of four different orbital control settings will allow you to choose between options that will make for better cutting speed or better cutting smoothness.
3. Bosch JS470E 120-Volt 7.0-Amp Top-Handle Jigsaw
- Features a tool-less system for the swapping of blades with an ejector lever.
- Features four settings for the orbital action.
- Features a dial to select the maximum speed.
- Features an accelerator trigger that allows you to choose the best speed.
- Features a foot with a steel insert and clamping system.
- Features a design which is meant to lower vibrations for improved cutting.
- Features an adjustable dust blower for wood dust and chips.
- Features Constant Response Circuitry for consistent speed.
If you are looking for the best jigsaw with a wired power source and you don't mind paying a little bit more money, this is the best product available. The jigsaw alone can be purchased for around 160 dollars, or you can buy this product with a set of ten blades for only ten dollars more.
With a 7-amp motor, you will find that this jigsaw is capable of cutting through materials that are quite thick. It can easily get through aluminum that is ⅞ of an inch thick or wood that is nearly six inches thick. This model can even cut through close to half an inch of steel if it is set to a lower speed and has the proper blades.
The design, which is meant to feature low vibrations, ensures that you will not have to deal with the jigsaw bouncing around while you use it, a prevalent issue with cheaper models. Since this ensures that the blade is stabilized, you will not have to deal with inaccurate cuts which can end up ruining the project that you are working on.
This model also features a limiter dial which allows you to set the max operating speed. When combined with the accelerator trigger, it becomes straightforward to choose the ideal cutting speed for your needs. Due to this model's wired power source, it is a bit more inconvenient to use than battery models, but it is also lighter.
4. PORTER-CABLE PCE345 6-Amp Orbital Jig Saw
- Features a speed dial with seven settings that is on the trigger.
- Features a motor with a power output of six amps.
- Features four settings for the orbital action.
- Features a button which can lock the trigger on for longer periods of use.
- Features a blade change which does not require tools.
- Features an ergonomic design for better control and comfort while in use.
This is one of the more affordable jigsaw models that you will find, but this does not mean that it is lacking in quality. In fact, this is probably the best jigsaw which can be found for such a low price. It is usually available for around 60 dollars, and it features better quality than models which are available for twice the price.
The six-amp motor may not be the most powerful motor that you will find on a wired jigsaw, but it is sufficient for most home applications. The speed range of 0 to 3200 SPM means that you will be able to optimize your cutting speed for the material that you are currently working, be it wood or metal.
The four orbital settings are relatively standard, but the speed selector switch is rather unique when compared to competing products. While the switch itself is nothing special, you will find that its positioning right over the trigger allows you to adjust the speed quickly and efficiently while you are working.
The quick-change blades come out with ease and lock in rather securely, so you will not have to worry about the blade jiggling around, like with some other models which are more affordable. The inclusion of a lock-on button is something which you don't see often and makes longer jobs much more bearable.
5. Black & Decker BDEJS4C 4-Amp Jig Saw
- Features an electric motor which provides four amps worth of power.
- Comes included with an integral dust blower to keep your work clean.
- Features a choice of four orbital settings.
- Features blades which can be removed without the use of tools.
- Capable of a maximum speed of 3000 SPM.
- Comes included with a wood cutting blade, a vacuum adaptor, and a hex key.
- Comes included with a one-year limited warranty.
- Features a tilting base plate which allows for 45-degree cuts.
If you want the most affordable jigsaw on the market, you will find few better options than this product. While it may not have all of the extra features that you can expect from more expensive models, it is effective enough for its intended applications to have earned a spot on our list of the best jigsaws.
As is standard with most modern jigsaws, it features a four-position orbital setting which allows you to optimize your cutting style for the material with which you are working. While the four-amp motor may seem a little anemic when compared to other models, you will find that it is sufficient for many uses.
The blade, which can be swapped out without the use of tools, is optimized for cutting through wood, but it can be replaced with other blades that you may purchase separately. The cutting direction can also be changed according to your needs.
The inclusion of a dust blower is not something that you will regularly see on a model which is this cheap. We were also surprised by the quality of this model's construction, which makes it ideally suited for use in even the most intense applications.
We hope that we have presented a good range of the best jigsaws on the market. We have tried to include models which cater to the needs of every customer over the course of this review guide.