Jig saw Reviews:
Jigsaws come in 2 basic styles - D handled and Barrel Grip. A jig saw is both versatile and very safe to use. A jigsaw combines the functions of bandsaw, a router, circular saw, and a scroll saw into one portable tool. There are both corded jig saws and cordless jig saws
- each offering it's advantages and disadvantages. The corded jig saws are extremely convenient in remote areas and are best suited to cut wood and wood products. They are available from 12 to 18 volts and higher voltage equates to a battery that lasts longer. A corded jig saw (with power coming from an electric outlet) are more powerful than cordless jig saws and can handle continuous cutting jobs. The motors in corded jig saws are anywhere from 3.5 to 6 amps. The higher the amp rating means more power and the ability to saw thick boards and light metals. Take into consideration all the features you will find on jig saws like variable speed blades (cleaner, faster cuts), orbital action (side to side as well as up and down), vacuum or blower to keep sawdust or debris from getting in the way, tool free blade changing (some models are easier than others), blade supports to reduce blade flexing, and adjustable foot for better angled cuts.
- Jigsaw blades vary by application and are crucial to successful cutting. The TPI (teeth per inch) rating is important but so is the material the blade is made out of. A cobalt steel blade is harder than a High Speed Steel blade and should last longer. Bi-metal and High Speed Steel blades are great for cutting light metal and wood while carbide grit blades cut masonry boards. Scrolling blades make tight turning cuts since they are so narrow. A jigsaw is often referred to as a sabre saw, saber saw or bayonet saw. Blade control rollers now make it much easier to make precise cuts with a jig saw and blade changing is faster as well. The safety of jigsaws is unheard of with workshop machinery - there have been no safety recalls over the last ten years. The top maker of jig saws is Bosch but the Festool model is approaching the same quality and Ryobi has always made finely crafted jigsaws. We will review the best jigsaws below with prices and where to buy them. You can browse the best selling jigsaws here
Best Jig Saws:
The best cordless jigsaw is the 18-volt Bosch 52318 ($215) - comes with battery and charger. The Bosch's variable speed trigger and soft start response allow for the smoothest cutting power in the field. Blade changes are easy and the top mounted handle is comfortable. While corded versions of this saw are less expensive, the portability and its warranty make it the best jigsaw out there. For the corded version, see the Bosch 1590EVSK ($165) with precise cutting, "precision control" blade guides, tool-less bevel changes, and easy blade changes. It includes a lock-on button so you don't have to have a finger keep pushing the trigger while running it. For more of a budget corded jigsaw, the Ryobi JS550K ($70) does the job. It's not as smooth as the higher end saws and doesn't cut as accurately, but the orbital action, dust port and tool-less blade changes make up for the deficiencies. Ryobi also makes an excellent cordless jigsaw that won't break the bank at $50. The Ryobi P520 is top handled and although it takes longer to make cuts (compared to more expensive models), the Ryobi is great for occasional use. Other top jig saw models (per Amazon.com) are the DEWALT DC330K Heavy Duty XRP 18V Cordless Jig Saw Kit with All-Metal Keyless Blade Change ($239), Bosch 1591EVSK 120-Volt Barrel Grip Handle Jig Saw Kit ($179), Makita 4340FCT Top Handle Orbital Jig Saw with L.E.D. Light ($154), Metabo STEB 135 11000 Top Handle Variable Speed Jigsaw ($173), Black & Decker JS600B 4.5 Amp EVS Orbital Jig Saw with Storage Bag ($50), Porter-Cable 0548 Bayonet Saw ($473), Milwaukee 6266-22 Top Handle Orbital Jig Saw ($189), Skil 4680-04 Orbital/Scrolling Jigsaw with Sitelight ($56). Craftsman makes some lower end jig saws that Sears carries. The best one we found was the Craftsman Laser Trac 5.0 amp Orbital Jigsaw with Scrolling Action and Carrying Case ($69.99). Beyond what the experts say, the actual owner/consumers have rated the Makita XVJ03Z 18-Volt LXT Lithium-Ion Jig Saw
as the top performer.
Best Corded Jigsaw:
Bosch is the top maker of jig saws, but the Festool Trion PSB300 EQ Trion
($275) takes some thunder away from Bosch with it's precision. The barrel grip and top-handles Festool Trion gets high ratings for low vibrations, superb dust control, and blade guides make perpendicular cuts a sinch in thick wood. There is an optional guide rail system that is perfect for long straight cuts. We feel that Festool, with its German manufacturing, will become more popular and we highly recommend you visiting their website at Festoolusa.com
to see what their latest offerings are for power tools. They make sanders, routers, drills, and saws.
Jig Saw Blades - Where to Buy:
It's not necessarily the site you would associate with jig saw blades, but Amazon.com carries over 500 jig saw blades (blade sets, metal cutting, multipurpose cutting, and wood-cutting). Choose from top brands like Bosch, Lenox, Porter-Cable, DeWalt, Milwaukee, Starrett, and Makita. The top selling jigsaw blades are the Lenox 20761 Wood/Metal Jig Saw Blades 30-Pack ($29), DEWALT DW3791 8-Piece T-Shank Jig Saw Blade Set ($18), Bosch T5002 10-Piece T-Shank Jig Saw Blade Assortment ($14), Porter-Cable 12320-5 3" 20 TPI Wood Cutting Hook-Shank Bayonet Saw Blade (5-Pack) ($10), DEWALT DW3753H 4" 6TPI Fast Clean Cut Wood High Carbon Steel T-Shank Jig Saw Blade (5-Pack) ($10), Vermont American 30085 7-Piece Bi-metal U-shank Jig Saw Blade Set ($16), MAKITA Jig Saw Blade No.31, 4307D,4300D Model 792221-5 ($9), Milwaukee 48-42-0500 4" High Speed Carbon Steel Jig Saw Blade 6 Teeth/Inch - 5 Pack $8.