A jig saw is a very specialised type of reciprocating saw and so much so that where usage and purpose are concerned jig saws are almost at the other end of the spectrum from plain jane recip saws. Whereas the latter are used for quick-and-dirty destructive cutting including even teardowns, oddly enough jig saws are used for creative jobs including intricate and finely-wrought craftwork. But that’s not all: a jigsaw is actually a very versatile type of saw and also a portable one so it is frequently used for cutting up floorboards, laminates, MDF, and such, especially when curved cutting is the need of the hour.
Another point in the jigsaw’s favour is that it is an easy power tool to learn to use, and a fun one as well (which should not be construed to mean that one can be casual with it or that it cannot be dangerous). At the same time, because the ultimate jigsaw challenge is freehand sawing, it is a difficult power saw to master.
Mastering a jigsaw will, quite naturally, be an easier proposition if you choose the right jigsaw for your needs and purposes, and also to suit your personal preferences. For example, if you will use your jig saw to saw floorboards and planks, or to make pallets and such, you won’t need a low Strokes-Per-Minute (SPM) rate or fine control over SPMs. On the other hand, if you will be cutting metals or doing craftwork that has sharp curves, low SPMs and fine control over the stroke rate are of paramount importance.
Power in watts or the motor’s amperage is significant if you will be doing heavy-duty work or sawing through hard or thick materials (as opposed to light-duty use and woodcraft). On the other hand, vibrations would be a prime concern if it’s not heavy-duty work but intricate cutting and woodcraft that you will be doing.
The cutting depth of the saw usually goes hand-in-hand with the wattage. All that most DIYers will need is 60 millimetres depth through wood; anything over that is a bonus.
Nearly all modern-day jig saws can make bevel cuts but not all of them have positive stops for the most commonly used angles, which is a very handy feature. Only some jigsaws have lasers and if you find one that has an accurate laser, consider it a prime feature.
Also consider the weight of the kit, the comfort of its handle and grip, and a lock-on button – these are important considerations regardless of whether you’ll use your saw for prolonged heavy-duty work or light-duty work in short bursts.
Last update on 2020-08-13 / Affiliate links / Images / Pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API
Underneath we review five very fine products and go through their features, strengths, and weaknesses.
From Bosch’s ‘DIY’ line, this medium-duty jigsaw is versatile even by jigsaw standards, makes the cleanest cuts, and radiates quality, yet is priced right.
Bosch PST 700 ‘Easy’ sports a mid-power 500-watt motor which drives the blade at 500 to 3,100 SPMs. It has a cutting depth of 70 millimetres in wood, 10 millimetres in soft metal, and 4 millimetres in steel.
This is a Bosch Green power tool which means it is built and designated for DIY use.
This kit does not have a dial with which to pre-select the stroke-rate which is controlled by varying finger pressure on the trigger. This kind of dynamic control has its pros and cons. The advantage you gain in full dynamic control over speed is obvious while the disadvantage is that for repetitive or similar work for which you do not need to keep varying speed, and want to concentrate on your task and not on finger pressure and ‘feel,’ you just want to pre-select a speed. However, once you find an optimal speed for the task at hand you can lock on to it by pushing in the trigger-lock (which is peculiarly-shaped, being long and narrow).
The baseplate (or shoe) can be adjusted using a screw to make bevel cuts up to 45 degrees.
Bosch’s SDS makes for the simplest of quick blade changes – push and snap in place. Removal, however, can be tricky for some. Oddly, at the same time, this jigsaw’s biggest flaw is also the SDS holder. It is not sturdy and durable, and frequent blade changes or rough usage can cause it to break.
It has an ‘air blast function’ – a blower in simple words – and also a dust extraction port. While the blower works very well, dust extraction is simply adequate. It does not have a guide laser.
If you use Bosch or other high-quality blades this jig saw will make especially clean, smooth cuts without any chipping or tear-out. There is no play or wobble at all in the blade nor is there any wandering or straying while sawing.
Even though the PST 700 is ultra-light at only 1.7 kilogrammes, it emits extremely low vibrations; this positive attribute results in extremely good control and enhances accurate tracing. On top of that it is a rigid, robust power tool that is comfortable to handle.
Notwithstanding its ‘Green’ DIY positioning, this Bosch power tool has admirable build quality.
This is a medium-duty jig saw that is ideal for all manner of home usage, both hobbyist craftwork and also functional projects, such as sawing countertops, MDF, skirting, and such. It is an unusually versatile jigsaw. However, it cannot be expected to breeze through very tough materials or saw through timber beams.
The PST 700 is a sturdy, medium-duty, DIY jig saw that is an all-rounder with a few big positives and sharp features yet is priced mouth-wateringly low. It just pips the more specialised, more expensive, heavy-duty Evolution Rage as our Best Pick.
It comes with one blade meant for softwoods and a hard carry case. A chip guard is not included.
Bosch provides a 2-year guarantee extendable to 3 years if the purchase is registered online within 28 days. (The same guarantee period as for Blue Pro power tools.)
- Tight, snug fit of blade in holder with nary a hint of play.
- Consistently makes smooth and clean cuts in many types of materials.
- For such a high-quality power tool, the price is nothing short of amazing.
- The SDS holder is not strong or durable.
- Comes with only one blade . . . which is several less than the competition.
- Lacks both a laser as a feature and a chip guard as an accessory.
Collecting ‘good grades’ throughout, Voche’s entry-level jigsaw is a light-duty kit but has an even ‘lighter’ price which makes it super value for money.
Voche’s nice little jigsaw has a 400-watt motor that drives the blade at up to 3,300 SPMs. In a bargain-basement kit, it comes as a bit of a pleasant surprise that it has variable speeds selectable via a ‘thumbwheel.’ However, this knob is recessed within the trigger. Although this seems like a fine idea it does not work out that way in practice and is not ergonomic. The trigger lock button, on the other hand, is really ergonomic besides being very helpful for extended use.
It is rated to have a cutting depth of 55 millimetres in wood and 6 millimetres in steel. Obviously, this jig saw is not ‘heavy-duty,’ as stated in the optimistic product title. It is a very good light-duty or medium-duty power tool in keeping with its very low price.
Blade changes are accomplished in the traditional (and nuisance) way: you have to unscrew two hex (Allen) screws. A hex key is supplied, and it is very handily hooked to the power cord where it attaches to the jigsaw. Though this mode of blade change is neither quick nor easy, unlike many a quick-and-easy blade-changing system the old-fashioned manual mechanism at least is long-lasting.
It can make bevel cuts (called ‘mitre cuts’ in the product literature) up to 45 degrees by way of removing screws and adjusting the baseplate.
Voche’s jigsaw takes Universal fit and Bosch style blades. It has a functional dust extraction port.
Vibrations are considerable and very palpable, and this saw’s very light weight means that vibrations are not damped down.
For its feather-light weight of 1.4 kilogrammes, it feels remarkably solid and sturdy in hand.
Voche’s jigsaw is good at cutting softwood; good at cutting hardwood; good at cutting soft metal, good at cutting plastic, good for straight-lines, good for tracing – you get the gist. This is one of those power tools that has no standout strengths nor any serious flaws. You’d mark every box with a ‘C+’ to a solid ‘B.’ But that’s saying something for a kit that is one of the cheapest power saws out there.
You should not do heavy-duty work with it or use it for prolonged periods, else you may break something or burn it out.
Voche’s kit comes with 16 assorted blades, spare brushes and a transparent splinter guard. The guard’s peculiar and pointless design with slits and openings partially defeats the purpose. The complement of blades includes 8 high-alloy steel blades for cutting wood, comprising 2 6-tooth, 2 8-tooth, and 4 10-tooth blades, and 8 cobalt-steel blades for cutting metal, comprising of 2 14-tooth, 2 18-tooth, 2 24-tooth, and 2 32-tooth blades.
It is the perfect entry-level jig saw for the DIYer who wants to get his feet wet while plunking down minimal cash. A great value to begin with, the generous assortment of blades puts it over the top as a Value Pick.
- Surprisingly solid and sturdy in hand.
- Rates an ‘Okay’ to a solid ‘Good’ on all criteria.
- A generous set of blades, and a super value for money at the amazing price.
- The vibrations may be uncomfortable for some.
- Blade changes are old-fashioned and a bit of a nuisance.
- Heavy-duty work for an extended length of time can invite damage.
Heavy, with variable SPM, and cutting to serious depths, Evolution’s costly but heavy-duty jigsaw is power-packed, with several standout and useful features.
Evolution’s Rage 7-S is a powerful, near-heavy-duty jig saw with a 710-watt motor. It has a cutting depth of 80 millimetres in wood and 8 millimetres in mild steel and metals.
Controlling the SPM on this jigsaw is somewhat different than other jigsaws, and the design is quite a smart one. First, you select a maximum speed and not a constant speed using a knob integrated into the trigger. Then, the degree of pressure on the trigger will control the SPMs from zero up to the selected maximum. Thus, you are not restricted to a fixed speed and can use finger-pressure but you can set a ceiling for the speed. A trigger lock, which is set a little more aft than comfortable, completes the set-up.
The ‘tool-less chuck,’ as advertised, does make for ‘rapid and easy installation or removal of the blade’ – push and release the spring, and snap in or pull out. The other side of the coin is that it is not all that easy to fully open the blade lock until you get the hang of it as the spring has a lot of tension. The bigger flaw with this otherwise fine kit is that blade locking mechanism or the holder itself sometimes fails – just stops working.
The baseplate can be adjusted for bevel cuts up to 45 degrees each side. Additional positive stops at 15 and 30 degrees on each side are a bonus.
Unlike many another power saw’s laser, Rage’s laser is highly accurate; in turn, its bright red beam enhances the user’s straight-line cutting accuracy.
The front air blower is very effective. An adaptor tube with which to connect the dust port to a vacuum is supplied.
Evolution jig saw is much heavier than the competition but the flip side is that its weight makes straight cutting easier and also damps down vibrations.
The jig saw is optimised to cut plastic through wood to non-ferrous metals with one and the same blade, and so it really does. However, you can do a cleaner and more accurate job with specialised blades, especially when cutting fussy materials such as laminates and particleboard.
Evolution’s Rage is not the most manoeuvrable jigsaw and certainly not the lightest, tracing with it is not very easy, and it can go off line; as such, this heavyweight kit is not a good choice for arts and crafts. It is a heavy-duty, powerful jigsaw that is good even for light trade use. It is suitable for cutting through hard and tough materials, and particularly good for floorboards, laminates, MDF, metals and such, which it treats like the proverbial butter. If heavy-duty functional cutting of hard and tough materials were the overriding criterion, this kit would have been our Best Pick.
It comes with 5 multi-purpose blades, a hex key, dust-extraction adaptor, transparent chip guard, rather a pointless parallel edge guide, and 2 AAA batteries (for the laser). The included blades are all-rounders for rough-and-ready use; for fine and smooth finishes, you’ll need to buy other bayonet-style blades.
Evolution provides a 2-year warranty.
- Heavy-duty jig saw boasting pro-level power effortlessly goes through all materials.
- Excellent design of speed control and selection melding finger-pressure with a settable max.
- Not only does it have a laser, but it is also bright and accurate.
- The blade-locking mechanism may fail or the holder may break.
- The very heavy saw is not very manoeuvrable.
- Quite expensive.
Great value for money and perfect for tough materials and building purposes, TECCPO’s gorilla-power jigsaw is an oddity: a heavy-duty rig for hobbyists.
A relative newcomer to power tools, TECCPO is making a name for itself with some bad boys like this 6.5 amp 800-watt jig saw with a pure copper motor. It has a maximum SPM of 3,000. Speed is selectable via a 6-position dial conveniently located at the top of the handle, with ‘1’ the slowest setting and ‘6’ the highest.
This jigsaw has a cutting depth of 100 millimetres in wood and 10 millimetres in soft metals. Blade changes are quick and easy using the circular clamping lock, with a caveat: on some units blades do not fit snugly in the slot so there is a touch of play.
Besides the speed selection dial it also has a 4-position selector to select any of three types of orbital actions (plus straight vertical strokes). This is a top feature as it is very useful in some circumstances, for example when cutting materials that are prone to tear-out, like laminates, or when sawing (soft) metal with a non-optimal blade.
The trigger lock at the side of the handle locks-on power so you don’t have to keep the trigger depressed during prolonged sawing. A switch on the side above the baseplate selects between a front blower and dust extraction via the port. The blower is adequate while dust extraction with a vacuum works very well. An adaptor to hook up a vacuum to the extraction port is supplied.
The unit and baseplate angle can be adjusted up to 45° on each side to make bevel cuts. A highlight of this TECCPO kit is that you don’t need to fiddle around with screws to do so; a convenient clamping lever accomplishes bevel-angle adjustment.
It has a built-in laser but it is inaccurate and difficult to align. It may as well not be there.
The supplied transparent chip guard is quite well designed and shaped.
This rig is robust and sturdy – and very heavy. But that also means reduced vibrations and steadier straight-line cutting. And boy, does it cut! This powerful brute simply zips through whatever is put before it.
The TAJS01P exudes power and unsurprisingly so in view of its 6.5 amps and 800 watts. Though not meant for day-in-day-out regular use by professionals, this is a heavy-duty rig that is an excellent choice for DIYers and amateurs wanting to cut thicker and tougher materials for building, renovation, and similar purposes. At its price, this jigsaw is undoubtedly a terrific value.
The power cord is 2 metres.
Besides the dust port adaptor and chip guard, it comes with 6 blades, metal ruler, hex wrench, and a solid carry case. The blades include four for cutting wood, one for soft metal and one for harder metal.
TECCPO provides a 2-year warranty.
- Exuding raw cutting power, this heavy-duty rig makes short work of anything you put before it.
- Quick and easy ‘toolless’ bevel adjustment.
- Solid and sturdy, and good for DIY building and construction work, yet priced so low.
- It has a laser but it is virtually useless.
- On some units blades do not fit tightly and there may be a touch of play.
- Not only heavy-duty but also plain heavy, it may weigh too much for some users.
Meterk’s kit is light-duty but robust; it makes nice clean cuts, is very light, very manoeuvrable, and so affordable – perfect for hobbyist arts and crafts.
Meterk’s light-to-medium duty jigsaw has a 3.5-ampere 400-watt motor that drives the blade at up to 3,000 SPM. Speed is controlled via an ergonomic 6-speed knurled dial conveniently located on the top-front of the handle. This jigsaw has a cutting depth of 55 millimetres in wood and 6 millimetres in soft metals.
These specs appear to understate this jigsaw’s muscle because its power seems to exceed what the specs promise; this is likely a result of very good engineering.
The toolless blade change accomplished by swivelling the spring-loaded holder is trouble-free – quite excellent, in fact. It accepts bayonet-style blades. The supplied wood blades are of surprisingly decent quality and make a very nice, clean cut.
The trigger-lock button, to enable continuous sawing for extended periods, is well nigh perfectly placed.
Meterk’s kit can bevel-cut up to 45° each side. Loosening two screws on the baseplate, adjusting the angle of the unit and the baseplate, and tightening the screw is easier to do than it may sound. Besides the maximum angle of 45°, there are positive stops at 15° and 30°.
It has a dust extraction port.
Now and again a unit just dies and all said, durability is not one of this saw’s strengths. It is not going to last like your grandad’s power tools used to.
Even though this is a very light jigsaw, vibrations are moderate, even low, which says something about this rig’s engineering.
The instructions are not well written and may confuse newbies more than help them. Oddly enough, this jig saw is a top choice for newbies, especially those who are attracted to woodcraft. Sporting a comfortable rubbery handle, ultra-light at only 1.55 kilogrammes, and very manoeuvrable to boot, Meterk’s 400-watter is a great choice for cutting out patterns, curves, and complex cuts. You can certainly cut flooring or planks but this is a light-duty DIY kit so overloading it with heavy-duty work may well reduce its lifespan.
The body is made of high-grade plastic. It is a good, solid piece of kit of quite impressive build quality and is well-finished.
If Meterk’s jigsaw had been a little more inexpensive, it may have displaced Voche’s kit as our Value Pick. As things stand, this excellent product has some attributes of a ‘Best Pick’ and also has its attractions as a ‘Value Pick.’ No wonder it is the top-selling jigsaw.
It comes with 4 steel blades for wood, 4 high-speed steel blades for soft metals, and a hex (Allen) wrench. Alas, this lovely jigsaw doesn’t come tucked in a hard carry case!
Meterk provides an 18-month warranty and a 1-year ‘free’ extension without specifying how to activate the extension.
- Very lightweight and very manoeuvrable, yet so sturdy and robust.
- An excellent choice for tracing patterns, and for arts and crafts.
- With so much going for it, at its low price it is an astonishing value for money.
- Sub-par and confusing instructions may hinder more than help.
- Light-duty kit cannot be subjected to extended heavy-duty cutting.
- Not the most durable, now and then a unit may just shut up shop.
What is the use of a jig saw?
A jigsaw is used for various purposes. It is the ‘go-to’ saw with which to fashion decorative arts and crafts from wooden sculpture to fancy boxes, utility pieces such as magazine racks and creative shelving, and is also used to make smaller pieces of furniture such as chairs, stools, shaped holders, crown moulding, etc.
Jigsaws are often used for to make curved, complex and intricate cuts for two main purposes. One is to make smaller, usually decorative, pieces of furniture and the other is for craftwork. Though you can make straight cuts with a power jigsaw using a guide rail, that is neither its purpose nor what it is best at.
A jigsaw is the best saw with which to cut patterns, be it by using stencils or freehand. Simple scrollwork can also be done with a jigsaw.
What can I cut with a jigsaw?
For the most part, you would cut wood with a jigsaw. This would include thinner wood of high-quality and also pine and other ‘ordinary’ types of wood, including even timber.
Jigsaws can also be used to cut plywood, carpeting, plastics, MDF, and laminates. If you’re installing laminate on a countertop that will have an oval-shaped sink you’ll use a jigsaw, as you will for cutting out holes for the faucets.
Finally, you can also cut soft metals and even plexiglas, steel, and ceramic tile with a jigsaw. For example, you may need to set an exhaust fan in metal sheeting or you may need to cut an outlet for a pipe through ceramic tile. A jigsaw is the ideal saw with which to cut circular or oval holes in such materials. However, to saw different materials you need to use different kinds of blades for efficient cutting and clean cuts.
What are the different types of jigsaw blades?
Jigsaw blades are primarily divided between blades to cut wood and blades to cut metal. In addition to these, other, more specialised, blades are also made.
Soft-materials blades are used to cut carpets and such.
Fine-toothed downstroke laminate blades are made for cutting material like countertops.
Tungsten-Carbide Tipped blades are used for cutting hard and tough materials including stainless steel, fibreglass, glass, brick and so on.
Even harder and more durable (and more expensive) blades are available. These are Diamond Grit Blades which can cut through cast iron, marble, granite, and various kinds of stones. These blades would be of use only if your jigsaw is powerful enough in the first place.
For the most part, blades are meant to cut woods or metals. The former generally have fewer teeth than those for cutting metal. Wood blades are made of High-Alloy Steel or High-Carbon Steel and have from 6 to 10 teeth. Apart from wood, they are used for cutting plastics, laminates, MDF, and such. Blades for cutting metals (excluding stainless steel, iron, etc.) are made of High-Speed Steel or Metallic-Cobalt Steel and typically have from 18 to 32 teeth.