Why is a Jigsaw Buying Guide Important to Read First?
There is no hard and fast formula to help users buy a reliable, high-performance jigsaw or any other power tool. Many woodworkers fail to get full performance from any product because they don’t know half the things about project requirements, environmental dynamics, and many other aspects.
That is why I decided to write down a detailed jigsaw buying guide for users.
General Idea about Jigsaw Prices
There are several factors to think before buying a Jigsaw. Pricing and a long list of features won’t help you if you don’t have a specific idea about the project requirements. The lowest price goes down to $20, where both new and used jigsaws are available on online websites.
Likewise, if you want to buy a high-performance jigsaw, the price may rise around $450+. There’s no specific limit as it all depends on compatibility with jigsaw blades, exhaust ports, laser LED guide for cutting, etc.
Essential features to Look for Buying a Jigsaw
I reviewed all of the following features independently, that I am going to write the detail. You can find all the Jigsaw related posts by scrolling through the jigsaw category on this website.
I only select, review, and eventually recommend those power tools that I think suitable. There’s no purpose in supporting crap for the sake of making money on the side.
Importance of Jigsaw Motor
A motor is a heart that powers up the entire unit and helps the blade work flawlessly. Higher SPM (*Steps Per Minute) is a result of a powerful jigsaw motor. However, there is one more thing which many jigsaw companies “fail” or simply “forget” to mention.
We call it a blade speed stabilizer, a vital component to keep the SPM consistent with the motor’s speed.
The jigsaws that don’t have an SPM stabilizer, they may slow down at the time of cutting through dense material. The blade SPM stabilizer can work both in favor and against the jigsaw motor, depending on the content you are cutting through.
If you want to use the same Jigsaw with blade SPM regulator on thick workpieces, then you should consider that the blade and the motor will have to make an effort always.
Due to high frequency, the edge may ultimately get excessively hot, and cause the engine degrades in performance rapidly.
Cordless Vs. Corded Jigsaws
If you are going to purchase your very first Jigsaw, you will have to choose between cordless or a corded electric jigsaw. The decision may eventually become effortless if you don’t know what you are going to use the Jigsaw.
If you are an entry-level woodworking guy wishing to work in DIY projects, a cordless jigsaw would be an excellent power tool.
If you are a professional woodworker, you should go for a corded electric jigsaw. A corded jigsaw is better because it tends to have higher SPM and more Ampere rating. Consequently, there is an abundant supply of electricity to the jigsaw motor, which can work effortlessly for hours without causing any worries about battery life.
Different jigsaws have different battery timings. Likewise, one company jigsaw battery doesn’t last the same amount of time on one full charge, as compared to the other company jigsaws.
The manufacturers make their batteries in their way. So, the amount the time varies from one company to the other.
If you want to know the full charging time of a cordless jigsaw battery, you can consult with the instructions manual. Some companies sell their jigsaws without battery.
Their price may be at a low point, but if you wish to buy a separate high-quality jigsaw battery, you will have to pay more.
Does a Jigsaw Blade Speed Matter?
A jigsaw with higher blade speed works more rapidly than a slow SPM counterpart. The steps stated will help determine a few things in the long run. The priority is a speedy cutting of a workpiece, as it entirely depends on the blade SPM. Secondly, SPM is not a direct determinant of overall jigsaw performance.
You have to see if the company has included a blade speed stabilizer with the device. Also, the performance of the Jigsaw varies depending on its being corded or cordless.
Most of the advance level jigsaws come with two additional features impacting the SPM. The first one is the variable speed model, and the second one is the orbital action. I will explain a thing or two about orbital motion, but variable speed is more important in this section.
You can achieve a variable rate when a jigsaw comes with a speed dial. Naturally, high-quality Jigsaws have up to 7 setting speed dial. The first position is the slowest speed, and if you go up, the blade speed will increase.
The best advice for you is to start with the slowest one and determine the amount of resistance a workpiece has. Eventually, the variable rate offers woodworkers the freedom and ability to cuts in whichever pattern they like.
Caution: You might think that metal sheets call for high-speed setting on a jigsaw, but it is quite the opposite. Sometimes the thick piece of wood calls for high SPM combination, Metal, and is the best cut when the jigsaw speed is slow. It cuts Metal and aluminum best.
Jigsaw Orbital Action
It is the most exciting thing regarding jigsaws. The orbital action means the pendulum-like motion, an oscillation of jigsaw blade from one edge to another.
A lot of companies, such as; Dewalt, Bosch JS470E, Porter-Cable PCE345, etc., have introduced jigsaws with four-speed orbital action dial. This dial naturally locates on one side of the Jigsaw.
In Dewalt’s case, the orbital action motion is smacked with a combination of curve cuts. Therefore, whenever you would like to use a select model of Dewalt DCS331M1 Jigsaw on an orbital setting, you can also make beautiful curve cuts varying dimensions smoothly.
Keep in mind that base jigsaw models like the SKIL 4495-02 don’t have an orbital action mechanism. Orbital action allows the jigsaw blade to move forward and backward clockwise.
These movements help the Jigsaw to move in a circular motion. It is an essential factor in maintaining the perfect form of a curved cut.
There is a unique advantage of orbital action, and that is, if you have designed a curved cut on a workpiece, you can select the orbital motion to work that way.
“Since different kinds of blades cut in different styles, the materials require different orbital action settings. It is where the selection dial lets you choose the amount of “orbit” you are going. The extreme situations are for super-fast cuts, while low settings are for making significant curve cuts.”
Is Jigsaws Ideal for Making Bevel Cuts?
I don’t think so that a jigsaw would be an ideal tool for making bevel cuts comparing miter saws. But there might have some benefits to it. Usually, manufacturers introduce a jigsaw model to tilt at different angles ranging from 22.5 Degrees to 55 Degrees. Forty-five degrees is the most common bevel cut angle, which many jigsaws are compatible.
Likewise, there are screws in the base of the jigsaws allowing the woodworkers to increase the reach of the angle. The support will tilt up to 45 degrees or more that you set for maximum leverage. Tightening the screw or locking the positive stop, you can keep the bevel angle in the exact position.
If your Jigsaw comes with a hex key or an Allen wrench, you can use it for bevel angle adjustments. If there is no Allen wrench, then avoid doing it.
Changing Jigsaws Blades
It is not a difficult task to change the blades od a jigsaw. In many cases, we can release the edge pushing on a button. Sometimes, we may need to use a small wrench to remove the blade of a jigsaw, but nowadays, 90% of Jigsaws have eliminated that option.
It is rather challenging to deal with screws as woodworkers don’t want to spend their time on changing the blade. The Makita 4329K jigsaws are not so suitable.
The edge needs keeping level with the jigsaws position. Slight misalignment may cause the blade to get stuck. In that case, removing the blade may cause a flesh wound if you don’t wear any gloves.
Jigsaws with LED Light Are Not That Important
If you are not a skilled woodworker, you probably don’t need LED lights. In the modern age, every Jigsaw has a built-in light or lights.
These lights typically assist the user in making cuts without going off track. Nowadays, this is a congratulated feature, but it is not always needed.
What if an LED light is not there in your Jigsaw?
Don’t get worried. Just buy a carpenter pencil and markdown with it like an old school user. The light is not such an important feature. So, its absence or presence is not harmful.
Dust Blower/ Exhaust Port
It is essential to keep a worksite clean to get a high-end jigsaw. Moreover, sawdust can cause serious injury to the eyes. So, you need to keep your job site neat and clean for safety.
Although the smell of sawdust is the first and last thing to a woodworker, a clogged up power tool, or a job site is the most disgusting thing in the workers’ community.
Many jigsaws have a built-in dust blower. It keeps the sawdust away while small nozzles spray constant air on the workpiece.
If your Jigsaw does not have a dust blow, then it will surely have an exhaust port, at least. This port can attach a shop vac to it. Therefore, your vac can suck all the unwanted debris while you are engaged in cutting.
While you are going to buy a suitable jigsaw from the market, you should have a clear concept about the device. If you want to have a good idea about the device, you should possess a buying guide.
Honestly speaking, there is no substitute for hard work and skill. Any woodworker having ten years of successful project experience can tell you that you can expect almost the same amount of results from a Black and Decker inferior level jigsaw.
We have tried to explain some of the essential criteria for Jigsaw for your bright conception.
It seems to me you will find the information helpful in buying your expected jigsaws. If you ever decide to purchase one of these jigsaws, it will help you to choose which device would be suitable for you.