Can I Use a T-Shank Blade in a U-Shank Jigsaw?

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Using the wrong type of blade in your jigsaw doesn’t just end with compatibility issues – it can also lead to poor-quality cuts, jagged edges, and uneven cutting. This is especially true with T-shank and U-shank blades.

So, I will discuss whether or not you can use T-shank blades in U-shank jigsaws to avoid these issues and keep your projects on track.

Will T-Shank Blades Fit a U-Shank Jigsaw? Is it Safe?

T-shank blades and U-shank jigsaws are incompatible due to their distinct designs. The T-shank blade features a tang that fits into the clamp of T-shank jigsaws, while the U-shank blades have a U-shaped cutout that secures in a U-shank jigsaw clamp.

Fitting a T-shank blade into a U-shank jigsaw can result in multiple issues, such as an insecure fit, wobbling during operation, decreased cut precision, and potential safety hazards.

In addition to these concerns, forcing a T-shank blade into a U-shank jigsaw may damage the jigsaw’s clamp or other components, leading to expensive repairs or the need to replace the tool altogether.

Putting t shank blade into u shank jigsaw

To ensure safety and optimal performance, it is crucial to use the correct blade type designed for your jigsaw machines.

If you need to switch between T-shank and U-shank blades frequently, consider investing in a jigsaw with a universal blade clamp or having separate jigsaws for each blade type.

T-shank vs U-shank blades: Key Differences

T-shank and U-shank blades are two common types of jigsaw blades used for various cutting applications. While they may appear similar at first glance, these blades have distinct features that make them incompatible with each other’s respective jigsaws.

Understanding the key differences between T-shank and U-shank blades is crucial to ensure safety and optimal performance when using a jigsaw.

Here’s a short comparison table to highlight the key differences between T-shank and U-shank blades to get the right jigsaw blade:

T-shank Blades

U-shank Blades

Automatically aligns the blade in a straight position

The blade does not automatically align in a straight position.

Firm and secure hold

A weaker hold

Can be used safely

More hazardous to operate

Simple to operate

Difficult to use

Mounting the blade does not require extra tools

Need additional tool set to mount blade

Slightly expensive


Compatible with all modern jigsaws

Obsolete and compatible with only a limited number of jigsaws

The process of blade replacement can be expedited using buttons.

Replacing blades can be a time-consuming process

Replacing blades on the machine is a straightforward process.

Hard to change blades

T-Shank Blade

Different types of U shank and T shank blade

The T-Shank Blade is characterized by a T-shaped tang located at the top end of the blade. This unique design allows easy and secure attachment to a compatible jigsaw tool, offering increased stability and accuracy during cutting operations. 

T-shank jigsaw blades find extensive use in various applications, including woodworking, metalworking [1], and plastic cutting. In woodworking, T-shank jigsaw blades are suitable for cutting different types of wood materials, such as hardwood, softwood, plywood, and laminates. 

Users have the option to select the most suitable T-shank blades for their woodworking projects, thanks to the wide range of tooth configurations and materials available.

U-Shank Blade

The U-Shank Blade, also known as the Universal Shank Blade, is distinguished by its U-shaped or curved tang at the top end of the blade. Historically, this design was the industry standard before the T-shank blades emerged.

Although U-shank blades have been somewhat overshadowed by their T-shank blades counterpart, they remain a viable option for those who prefer their compatibility with older jigsaw models.

Different types of U shank blades

The term “universal” in the context of U-shank jigsaw blades refers to their widespread use and compatibility with older jigsaw models before the advent of T-shank blades. However, this does not necessarily mean that U-shank jigsaw blades are universally compatible with all jigsaw models.

In fact, many modern jigsaws have transitioned to using the T-shank blade system for improved stability and precision. While U-shank blades can still be found and used in some jigsaws, their popularity has declined in favor of the T-shank jigsaw blade.

How to Install U-Shank Blade

Step 1: Unplug the Saw

Before changing the U-shank jigsaw blade, unplug the jigsaw or remove the battery pack to prevent accidental movement or blade detachment.

Step 2: Slide the Blade into the Blade Clamp

Insert the blade into the clamp with teeth facing forward and the back seat in the roller guide. Ensure it’s pushed in securely before tightening the set screw.

Step 3: Tighten the Set Screw

Use a screwdriver or an Allen wrench to tighten the set screw. Ensure that the blade is secure and not loose. If necessary, push the blade further in and then retighten the screw.

installing u shank blade
Step 4: When You’re Ready, Plug in the Saw

Before you start cutting again, plug in the saw and remember to take safety precautions such as wearing goggles or safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying wood scraps and wearing hearing protection, as the jigsaw can be noisy.

How to Remove a U-Shank Blade

Step 1: Unplug the Saw

Ensure that the saw is not connected to the power source.

Step 2: Loosen the Set Screw

Loosen the set screw on the blade clamp. If it’s not easily accessible, turn on the saw to make it accessible. Use an Allen wrench if the screw has a hex head or a screwdriver with a Phillips head. The set screw holds the blade in place tightly.

Step 3: Withdraw the Blade in Order to Take it Out

To remove the blade, pull it out while wiggling it if necessary. Be cautious as the blade is sharp and may cause injury. Additionally, the blade may be hot after cutting through wood.

About U-Shank Jigsaws

U-shank jigsaws are power tools for cutting intricate shapes and curves in various materials like wood, metal, and plastic. The “U-shank” term refers to the shape of the blade’s shank or the part that connects the blade to the jigsaw itself.

U-shank blades have a rounded, U-shaped profile at the top, which differentiates them from T-shank blades that have a T-shaped profile.

U shank jigsaw

Are Jigsaw Blades Interchangeable?

Jigsaw blades can either be T-shank or U-shank and usually cannot be used interchangeably. However, some jigsaws support both types of blades, and they are interchangeable. I remember my old jigsaw, which strictly took U-shank blades. It was a beast of a tool but had its limitations.

I did discover that there are jigsaws out there designed to be more accommodating. If you use an interchangeable jigsaw, you can use a T-shank blade in a U-shank jigsaw. These jigsaws are easier to use and require no tools to fasten the blades. They support T-shank blades, U-shank blades, and U-shank blades with a hole.

It’s crucial to understand that jigsaw blades are not interchangeable, and the type and composition of the blade are determined by the specific task and intended use.

For example, blades made of HCS are suitable for woodworking, whereas those made of HSS are designed for cutting through metal.

Do Jigsaw Blades Have Varying Lengths?

Yes, jigsaw blades come in varying lengths to accommodate different cutting applications and material thicknesses. The length of the blade determines its cutting capacity and affects the stability of the cut. 

Typically, the measurement of blades is determined by their number of teeth per inch (TPI). The higher the TPI , the more delicate the blade’s cut.

cutting wood using jigsaw

Types Of Shank Blades Used With a Jigsaw

Jigsaw blades come in three primary shank blades: U-shank, T-shank, and U-shank blades with a hole.

The shank type determines the blade’s compatibility with specific jigsaw models, and each serves a unique purpose. Here’s a table showcasing the shank blades and their corresponding jigsaw compatibility:

Types of Jigsaw 

Jigsaw Blade Types

U-Shank Jigsaw

U-Shank Jigsaws Blade with a hole

Interchangeable jigsaws, U-Shank Jigsaw

U-Shank Blade

Interchangeable jigsaws, all modern jigsaws

T-Shank Blade

How to Know Which Jigsaw Blade You’re Using

To determine which best jigsaw blade to use and if you can use a T-shank blade in a U-shank jigsaw, I’d suggest you carefully read the instructions provided by the manufacturer for the jigsaw.

Here’s a table outlining the types of jigsaw blades available, and select the one that is most suitable for your needs.

Jigsaw Blade 

Types of Jigsaw Blade

Built material

Tungsten blades for ceramics
Bi-metal blades for hardwoods and metals
High-speed steel (HSS) for metals
High-carbon steel [1] (HCS) for woods

Shank type

T-shank blades
U-shank blades

Jigsaw blade TPI

TPI between 14 – 36 for metals
TPI between 6 – 20 for woods

Different Jigsaw Blades

different types of jigsaw blades
Plain Blades

They are suitable for making straight and curved cuts in different materials like plastic or wood. These blades have teeth throughout their length.

Specialty Blades

Certain blades are designed for particular purposes and are known as specialty blades. For instance, some blades create complex patterns, while others are used for cutting tiles.

Coarse-Tooth Blades

The teeth on these blades are broader and more powerful than those on other types of blades, which enables them to cut through the material more effectively. Blades with coarse teeth are specially made for cutting through thicker materials like metals.

Reverse-Tooth Blades

Reverse-tooth blades have teeth that point away from the material being worked on, which makes them ideal for precise and delicate tasks such as plunge cutting.

The Meaning Behind the Numbers on Jigsaw Blades

Most jigsaw blades are labeled with numbers and letters to show what they are used for. The first number tells you how thick the blade is, usually between. 5 and. 9 millimeters. The letter following the first number on the blade denotes the type of cut it’s designed for.

meaning behind the blade numbers

‘U’ is for simple cuts in plastic, wood, and aluminum. ‘H’ denotes high-speed cutting on hard materials. ‘T’ is for cutting tight spaces and curves. ‘B’ is for tougher materials like thick plastic and metal.

The number that comes after the letter on the blade design indicates the number of teeth it has. If the number is higher, the blade is best suited for fast cuts with rough edges. Conversely, if the number is lower, the blade is more appropriate for smoother, slower cuts.

Do Bosch T-Shank Blades Fit All Jigsaws?

Bosch T-Shank blades are designed to accept most jigsaws that fit T-Shank blades. They are compatible with various jigsaw manufacturers, including Makita and Milwaukee, two of the most expensive tool brands

You can also use these for Bosch and Dewalt jigsaw units, if you’re aiming for the best power tools brands.

However, they may not fit all jigsaws, especially those that accept only U-Shank blades or have a proprietary blade mounting system.

Are Ryobi Jigsaws T-Shank or U-Shank?

Ryobi jigsaw

Ryobi jigsaws are typically suitable with T-Shank blades, which is the more common and widely used blade type. However, some older Ryobi models might accept U-Shank blades.

The latest version of the jigsaw, known as the P508 One+, is equipped with a blade that can be configured to either a T-shaped shank or a U-shank.

Can You Use T-Shank Blades in a Ryobi Jigsaw?

Most Ryobi jigsaws are designed to accept T-Shank blades, which means that T-Shank blades should fit your Ryobi jigsaw.

However, to ensure compatibility, I’d still say you should check your specific Ryobi jigsaw model’s user manual to confirm the type of blades your jigsaw accepts before purchasing a new blade.

How About T-Shank Blades in a Black and Decker Jigsaw?

decker jigsaw

Many Black and Decker jigsaws are designed to accept both a T-Shank blade and a U-Shank blade, which means that T-Shank blades should generally fit your Black and Decker jigsaw.


It is generally not recommended to use a T-shank blade in a U-shank jigsaw or vice versa, as the shank design is specific to the jigsaw’s blade clamp. Using the wrong blade may result in an unstable cut or even damage the tool.

It is always best to use the appropriate blade for the job at hand to ensure the best results and maintain the longevity of both the blade and the jigsaw.

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You've probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.
Robert Johnson

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