Our goal is to help you find the best jigsaw for you.
If you already know which drum sander you would like, I have found the best prices are consistently at Amazon and in almost all cases, include free shipping.
DEWALT Bare-Tool DC330B
Porter-Cable Bare-Tool PC18JS
Makita Bare-Tool BJV180Z
Bosch JSH180B 18-Volt Li-Ion Jig Saw – Bare Tool
DEWALT DW331K 6.5 Amp Top Handle Jig-Saw
Porter-Cable PC600JS 6 Amp Orbital Jig Saw
Makita 4350FCT Top Handle Jig Saw with L.E.D.Light
Bosch JS470EB 7-Amp Barrel-Grip Jigsaw
By Mark Adams Senior Editor, Wood Tools Magazine
Jigsaws are handy tools to have around. Even though I use my bandsaw quite a bit, I still need and use both my corded and cordless jigsaws. I bought into the you can never have too many tools philosophy long ago…
If you’re looking for a jigsaw, I think the main question today is should you buy a corded or cordless model or maybe even both. It’s actually easy to make a case for each scenario.
But let’s start with the corded model. As Tim Allen used to say “more power”. Corded models continue to still have more consistent and powerful motors that their cordless cousins. However, the gap does seem to close each year.
If I were in the market for a new jigsaw, the first question I would ask myself is what would I cut most often? If you have read my other articles you know that I think you should buy a tool that fits how you will use it 95% of the time, not the 5%. You can always adapt for the seldom used 5%. I accept that no tool can be 100% of what I want, 100% of the time.
If you cut thicker wood like deck boards most often and are only trimming off the ends without very many if any curved cuts, the corded model will certainly provide you a consistent and smooth cut throughout the day. You’ll probably get straighter and easier cuts, also.
The downside is of course the cord. Everything seems to be a tradeoff doesn’t it?
Well OK, how close are the cordless models in their ability to cut like the traditional corded jigsaws?
If you ever did a blind cutting test (probably not a good idea with power tools by the way) you probably wouldn’t be able to tell much difference in how the saw cuts. Today’s cordless jigsaws do have “more power”.
OK, if the saws cut about the same, what about the cutting time? 18 volt batteries were the crossover point. Remember your first 9.6 volt drill? Enough for a drill but not enough for a jigsaw. Well, 18 volts is enough. I presume in the not too distant future 24 or higher volts will come along, but the leap won’t be anywhere as significant as the leap from 9.6 to 18 volts.
The question is do you want Lithium-ion batteries or ni-cad. The ni-cad will work fine by the way and they are cheaper. The big difference is the lithium will hold its power consistently throughout the charge as the ni cad will slowly get less powerful.
The lithium is of course the better choice if you have a few extra bucks in the billfold. But if you don’t, you’ll still be fine with the ni-cad. Whichever you choose, just try and make sure you have two batteries.
What about other features to look for?
Blade changes can be easy or hard. I personally prefer the no tool blade changes. I can’t imagine why any tool manufacturer today would require a separate tool to change the blade. I mean really, who wants to have to tighten the blade with a screwdriver?
Speaking of blades, get a set of nice blades. The blades are half of the equation. I don’t how many times, I’ve seen someone spend a bunch of green on a nice tool and then get the 47 blade pack that cost $2.99 from the bargain bin.
Lasers seem to be popular now on tools. They sound helpful but in reality you probably won’t use them much. Don’t buy a particular tool only for this reason.
“Scroll Saw” turning blades. This is where you can rotate the blade somewhat in the tool by rotating a knob on top of the jigsaw. Again, sounds more clever than it is in actual application. But if that’s your thing, by all means. I just to suggest you probably won’t use it much.
That about wraps it us. The jig saw is a simple tool. There are more similarities between manufactures than differences. My best advice is to decide corded or cordless and start out looking at mid price range or up jigsaws. Jigsaws are not expensive relative to other tools and this is one tool that for $30-50 bucks more you can have premium tool.
Good luck and I hope these jigsaw reviews help you find the jigsaw that’s right for you.
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