Updated for 2020.
Jigsaws are some of the most versatile power tools that you will ever come across. The reason that they are so popular when comparing to other tools 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 small, fine cuts (e.g. curves). Both of these, along with the best reciprocating saws, can be used to make curved cuts with relative ease.
This ability to easily make curved cuts is what makes jigsaws preferable to other kinds of saws, which may seem better-suited for some job applications. Keep in mind that a jigsaw tool is not a miracle tool. Jigsaw has its pros and cons. While they are versatile and proficient in a wide scope of cuts, this tool has some weaknesses.
For example, it can be hard to control the blade of a jigsaw since it’s mostly unsupported, unlike some other tool saws which feature blades that are guided for the majority of their length. This design makes the blade relatively weak in contrast to other tools with identical uses for your woodworking and DIY projects.
If you want to make sure that you get the best jigsaw possible for your DIY woodworking tasks or projects, there are a few top things that you should consider before making your acquisition. We will get to our reviews momentarily, but we will first address why it’s important to get the best tool and look at a few questions you should ask yourself before making your tool purchase.
Why You Should Try and Find the Most Excellent Model
As with other tools, you will want to guarantee that you get a top jigsaw which has excellent build quality. There are many reasons why you want to invest in a jigsaw which is as efficient as can be. The primary rationale is that your jigsaw is just that: an investment. As with anything you invest in, you will want it to pay off.
Jigsaws can span in price from 20 dollars to 200 dollars, based on the quality and the number of blades with which it comes included. You can get standalone jigsaws for a reasonable price, or you can look for jigsaw tool kits that come with specialized blades and another tool that you may need.
If you invest in a jigsaw with the top impressive build quality, it may end up lasting you for a decent extent of time, like years, for a lot of woodworking duties and projects. If you pick and buy a jigsaw which boasts of nothing but a low price, you may end up finding yourself disappointed in relatively short order if it ends up breaking on you.
Powertools can be dangerous if they are used irresponsibly or if they break while you’re trying to handle them. If you want to prevent any potential injuries during woodworking & DIY projects, you should always opt for a jigsaw which is as reliable as possible. You will at least want to get a model that is characterized by sufficient safety features. This might generally include LED light to protect the user for a dark shop to help with accurate and solid performance.
Aside from the aspect of safety of the tool and getting the most for your money, you will also want to ensure that you get the right model for your intended application. Different jigsaws will come provisioned with various great blades, and you don’t want to end up regretting because your tool will not work for your task.
How to Find What You Need
How Much Power Will You Need?
Before making your purchase, you should take a look at the power that you will need for the 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. Remember that jigsaws with more power will be more pricey because they will include more powerful motors with more prominent 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 more depth in the following texts.
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 have their pros and cons, so we’ll look over some of the differences in this section. We will start with the more traditional wired variety.
Wired models are simple to power and need small effort, all you have to do is plug the cord into the nearest wall outlet, and you will have all the power that you can handle at your disposal. The disadvantage with these tools is the distinct lack of portability while they are in use.
You should also consider that the cord can sometimes get in the way of your sawblade while you’re making more complex cuts such as curves, which is something that jigsaws specialize in. If you don’t want to be encumbered by a cable while you’re working, you will likely have to opt for a model that runs on battery power.
Tools which use a battery 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 to handle. If you’re hoping to use your jigsaw for extended periods and don’t want to charge over and over, you will have to opt for a wired one.
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 is that they often cannot output the same level of cutting power that a wired model can.
This disadvantage is due to the level of power that is used by a more powerful motor. If you want to be able to cut through nearly any material (soft or hard) with little difficulty, you will discover that you need a decent amount of energy available. Since wired tools 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 with a battery that will not run out too fast. As the motor gets more and more powerful, the battery needed will also have to increase in capacity. These models could not usually provide larger capacity batteries for solid days and weeks of use.
Larger batteries will make it more cumbersome, and they will also elevate the price mark measurably. The battery is one of the more expensive components on a jigsaw, and there reaches a point where it’s no longer worth the money to equip a battery of sufficient power.
What Kind of Speed Range Will You Need?
The range of speed which can be attained by your jigsaw is another important aspect to look for when making your decision. 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.
Soft materials, such as wood, will demand a fast SPM setting to allow for easier cutting. Harder materials will necessitate a slower cut-speed, as the motor may burn out or the blade teeth may wear faster if the speed is set too high. Most tools will be skillful for a certain range of speeds, which will vary depending on the motor and the jigsaw itself.
Fast speeds of cutting will take more of a toll on the motor and the mechanisms which run your jigsaw, so tools that operate faster will need to be built to better standards. If your jigsaw is not reinforced and it operates at greater speed, there will be a much higher chance of malfunction.
How Many Different Blades Will You Need?
The quantity of blades that come with your jigsaw is another aspect that is important to consider when you pick. You will perceive it exceedingly difficult to cut through a variety of solid materials using a single type of blade. The blades which come with jigsaws differ from each other in various ways.
Some blades you will buy will be thinner, which makes them better suited for cutting more intricate patterns into softer materials, like curves. Other blades will be thicker, which means that they are more durable and steady. Some tools will come with several blades while others may not come with any blades.
Top Jigsaw Models Compared and reviewed
After you understand why you need a jigsaw and what are the recommendations and suggestions when considering to obtain one, here are the reviews of some of the best jigsaw in industry.
1. DEWALT DCS331B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Jig Saw
- The Dewalt DCS331B includes a metal lever-action blade changing mechanism which does not require a key.
- This Dewalt saw comprises a shoe bevel which is handy for an angle of 0 degrees, 15 degrees, 30 degrees, and 45 degrees.
- An orbital-setting which is capable of four positions.
- Dewalt DCS331B comes with an adjustable dust blower.
- The speed of this Dewalt product can be adjusted from 0 to 3000 SPM.
- The battery for this product is sold as a separate product.
- Incorporates an ergonomic, no-slip comfort grip for improved safety.
If you are looking to buy the most advanced jigsaw around, this Dewalt model is one of the top competitors that you will come across. It comes with many trademarks that will help immensely, regardless of whether you’re a beginner carpenter that works with easy projects for woodworking or a seasoned veteran. It’s a little more pricey than some of the competition, but it’s worth the cost.
For example, the Dewalt DCS331B comes with a small 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 incorporated by Dewalt that we appreciated was the quick blade replacement, which does not need to buy any tools. While this may not be as secure as a more traditional linkage that would have to be unscrewed, it allows for much quicker blade changes so you can accommodate 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
- With a 6 amp motor for sufficient power to cut through most materials.
- Comes equipped with a laser guide to ensure straight cuts.
- Has orbital cut control which has four positions.
- A trigger with variable speed settings.
- With tool-less blade changing capability for added speed.
- Compatible with both t-shank blades and u-shank blades.
- Onboard blade storage for easy accessibility.
If you’re looking for a more affordable but high-performance jigsaw and you don’t mind if it’s wired, you can explore a few better choices than this version from SKIL. The 6-amp motor which is featured on this product is more potent than the motors powering most tools that 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’s not too thick. This jigsaw 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’re making circular cuts. The quick-release blades are anchored quite well when compared to other jigsaws that feature the same 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 pick between options that will make for better cutting smoothness or speed.
3. Bosch JS470E 120-Volt 7.0-Amp Top Handle Variable Speed Jigsaw
- Bosch top handle variable speed-jigsaw has a tool-less system for the swapping of blades with an ejector lever.
- Bosch added four settings for the orbital action.
- Bosch includes a dial to select the maximum speed.
- Bosch carries an acceleration trigger that allows you to choose the best speed.
- Bosch has a foot with a steel insert and clamping system.
- A design that is meant to lower vibrations for improved cutting.
- An adjustable dust blower for wood dust.
- Constant Response Circuitry for consistent speed.
If you’re looking for the ideal jigsaw with a wired electric source and you don’t mind paying a small amount of more money, the Bosch JS470E Variable Speed saw is the best product available. The jigsaw alone can be purchased for around 160 dollars, or you can buy this Bosch product with a set of ten blades for only ten dollars more.
With a 7-amp motor, this Bosch variable speed is capable of doing the great performance of cutting through quite thick materials. It can easily get through aluminum that is ⅞ of an inch or wood that is nearly six inches. This tool from Bosch can even cut through close to half an inch of light steel metal if it’s set to a lower speed and has the proper metal 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 problem with cheaper tools. Since this ensures that the blade is stabilized, it will avoid inaccurate cuts which can end up ruining the project that you’re working on.
This Bosch saw also has 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. Because of this the Bosch JS470E variable speed jigsaw’s wired electrical input, it’s a bit more inconvenient to use than a battery tool, but it’s also lighter. Just one issue about this is the lack of LED light. The LED Light can keep the hands of the user safe when it’s generally dark in the shop.
4. PORTER-CABLE PCE345 6-Amp Orbital Jig Saw
- A speed dial with seven settings that is on the trigger.
- A motor with an output of six amps.
- Four settings for the orbital action.
- A button that can lock the trigger on for longer periods of use.
- A blade change which does not require tools.
- Ergonomic design for better control and comfort while in use.
- Has an LED light designed to assist you in a dark shop?
It’s one of the more economic tools that you will find, but this does not mean that it’s lacking in quality performance for your cutting job. It’s probably the best jigsaw which can be found for such a low price. It’s usually available for around 60 dollars, and it features better quality than models that are available for twice the price.
The six-amp motor may not be the most powerful motor on a wired jigsaw, but it’s sufficient for most home jobs. The speed spectrum of 0 to 3200 stroke per minute means that you will be able to optimize how fast you’re cutting for the material that you are currently working with, be it solid wood or light metal, as your projects need.
The four orbital settings are relatively standard, but the speed selector switch is rather unique than competing products. While the small switch itself is nothing special, its positioning right over the trigger allows you to adjust the speed quickly and efficiently while you’re working.
The quick-change blades come out with ease and lock in rather securely, so you will not have to worry about the blade teeth jiggling around, like with some other models which are cheaper. The inclusion of a lock-on button is something that you don’t see often and makes longer jobs much more bearable.
5. Black & Decker BDEJS4C 4-Amp Jig Saw
- Black & Decker BDEJS4C has an electric motor that provides four amps worth of power.
- This Black & Decker saw comes with an integral dust blower to keep your work clean.
- Black & Decker BDEJS4C contains a choice of four orbital settings.
- This Black & Decker jigsaw adds blades that can be removed without the use of tools.
- A maximum speed of 3000 SPM.
- It comes with a wood cutting blade, a vacuum adaptor, and a hex key.
- It comes with a one-year limited warranty.
- A tilting base plate which allows for 45-degree angle cuts.
If you want the most affordable jigsaw on the market, there are few better options than this Black & Decker product. While it may not have all of the extra features that you can expect from a more expensive tool, it’s effective enough for different applications for any job to have earned a spot on our list.
As is standard with most modern jigsaws, the Black & Decker BDEJS4C features a four-position orbital setting which allows you to optimize your cutting style for the material with which you’re working. While the four-amp motor of this Black & Decker saw may seem a little anemic in comparison to another tool, it’s 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 take separately. The cutting direction can also be changed according to your woodworking needs for projects.
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 to buy for use in even the most intense cutting projects.
We hope that we have presented a good variety of the best jigsaws on the market, especially with tool options from different brands like Bosch and Dewalt. We have tried to include tool choices that cater to the needs of every customer’s woodworking projects throughout this review buy guide.
There are other fine performing jigsaws out there, including Makita 4300 BV, Makita 4329K, Makita 4350FCT, Makita 4351FCT, Makita JV0600K, Makita DJV180, Makita DJV181, Makita DJV182, and Makita jv100.