If you don’t have experience with power saws and want one to add to your tool kit, then you have probably spent a lot of time choosing between different handheld options, mainly circular saws and jigsaws.
These power saws are the most popular option for beginners because of how safe they are to use in comparison to circular saws. Whether you are a professional or a beginner, we are going to give you guidelines for choosing the best jigsaw for your particular application.
Safety note: You should never underestimate safety tips when you are working with power tools, especially power saws, even if you are working with jigsaws. Always wear proper PPE and pay attention to safety tips.
The story of this power tool is extremely interesting. One day in 1946, a German engineer decided to replace the needle on his wife’s sewing machine with a reciprocating saw blade, and the jigsaw was born!
These tools are one of the most unique types of power saws, and what makes them unique in comparison to all the other types of saws is their ability to cut curved patterns and circles in addition to straight lines. We are going to look at all the essential features and give you insights on how to find the best jigsaw for DIY as well as the best professional jigsaw.
Buying Guide for Best Jigsaw (All the Features to Consider)
These tools don’t look like they would be packed with features, but they actually are, and consequently, there are a ton of qualities that you should look at to decide which one is best for your application.
Corded or Cordless
Probably the most important decision you have to make in order to choose the best jigsaw for you is choosing between a corded or cordless one.
Corded models provide you with the advantage of not having to worry about whether your batteries are charged or not. The problem with corded tools, though, is that they are not as portable as cordless models.
Ergonomics and Weight
One of the most important things to consider when buying any power tool is its weight. The lighter your power tool is, the less strain it will put on you to operate and control it. This is a more important factor in the case of jigsaws, as these tools are frequently used for cutting curved lines and patterns.
Another factor that is extremely important in the case of these power saws is their ergonomic features and how easy it is to handle and use them, especially if you want to do long operations with them.
If you’re looking to assess the ergonomic viability of a jigsaw, you should first look at the handle. Check the ergonomic design of the handle, where it’s placed, and whether it has a rubberized grip.
Barrel Grip or Top Handle
Jigsaws usually come in two forms. Most models have top handles, but most brands make barrel-grip products as well as top handles. These two types of handles make operating the tool different, but it ultimately depends on you and your preferences which type of handle to choose.
Speed Control Options
One of the most important aspects of woodworking and carpentry jobs is that they are used for a variety of applications. Sometimes you require super-fine cuts, and other times you need very fast and rough cuts. Therefore, having multiple speed options on your jigsaw is beyond helpful.
The most important option on a jigsaw regarding the speed of operation is the orbital action setting. Nowadays, most of these power saws come with this option. The orbital action is an option that is also present in reciprocating saws.
Without the orbital action, the blade of these power saws only moves up and down. When the orbital action is selected, the movement of the saw turns into a more aggressive sawing action that adds elliptical movement to the up-and-down movement of the blade. This movement makes the blade move forward and back to its original place inside the workpiece, cutting the material much faster.
Most jigsaws usually have an orbital action selector with four options. The intensity of the orbital action can also be selected on the dial, which goes from no orbital action to the most intense orbital action on the fourth place on the dial. If you are looking for the best professional jigsaw, you certainly need to get a model with orbital action.
Variable speed trigger
A variable-speed trigger is a trigger that changes the speed of a power tool in relation to the pressure that your finger puts on it. A variable speed trigger gives you a lot of versatility and makes your operations easier, especially if you are cutting curved patterns, because you can lower the speed of the operation and guide the tool better when you get to sharper angles on curved cuts.
If you have not ever used a jigsaw, it might not look like these tools are capable of cutting at any other angle than a straight 90-degree angle. On the contrary, these tools can be adjusted to do bevel cuts at different angles by changing the angle of the baseplate (the shoe).
The main difference between different models is the way that the angle of the baseplate is adjusted. Some models require a tool to change the angle of the baseplate. One of the qualities of the best jigsaws is that they do not require any tools for changing the angle of the shoe.
An easy setup is one of the most important qualities to consider when looking for any power tool. If a power tool is not easy and quick to set up, you’ll probably get frustrated with it quickly and stop using it. This is an even more important factor for beginners. Fortunately, most jigsaws nowadays feature a keyless lever-action mechanism for changing the blades.
Jigsaw blades come in two forms: U-shank blades and T-shank blades. Nowadays, T-shank blades have become more popular because of how easy they are to install and replace. Therefore, getting models that can accept T-shank blades is preferable to models that can accept U-shank blades. It’s even better to get a tool that works with both T-shank blades and U-shank blades.
If you have ever done any type of woodworking or carpentry job, you know how much dust can disseminate into the atmosphere of your workshop or basement when working with wood. Therefore, if you are looking for the best jigsaw for any kind of job, you should look for one that can handle dust and has a vacuum to deal with the dust.
Vacuum (Dust Blower)
When you are looking for the best jigsaw or any other kind of power saw, you should definitely look for one that has a vacuum. In the absence of vacuums on these power saws, the dust can distort your line of sight while you are working. Vaccums also make the dust more manageable when you want to do your final clean-up. The vacuums on these power saws are attached close to the back of the blade; they collect the dust that is produced around the blade during the operation and blow the dust in the opposite direction of the work.
The dust that is produced in your workshop during and after cutting wood can damage your jigsaw if it doesn’t feature proper anti-dust material and components. Dust-proof buttons really go a long way.
Best Jigsaw Overall
If you are looking for the best jigsaw overall, look at all the qualities we discussed in the buying guide. If you are looking for the overall best model, look for one that has nearly all of these features:
- Ergonomic handle
- Rubberized grip
- Being lightweight
- Variable speed trigger
- Orbital action settings
- Keyless lever-action blade holder
- Tool-free bevel adjustment
- Vacuum (dust blower)
We have already picked out the best corded and cordless models for you. Choosing the best jigsaw overall ultimately depends on whether you prefer corded or cordless models.
Best Cordless Jigsaw
If you’re constantly moving from one jobsite to another, then cordless models are probably the best jigsaw for you. If your workshop doesn’t have accessible power outlets, you might also opt for a cordless tool. One other reason for choosing cordless tools is whether you own batteries from the same brand and then buy only the tool without the battery.
If you want the best professional jigsaw, you should look for a cordless model, especially if your job demands you to always be moving from one site to another.
The Weight of Cordless Jigsaws
Cordless tools are usually heavier than their corded counterparts because of the weight of the battery. Therefore, one of the most important features to consider when looking for a cordless jigsaw is the weight of the tool.
In this category, the DeWalt 20V Max XR Jigsaw DCS334 easily takes the cake. This power tool reaches a speed of 3200 strokes per minute (SPM). It has a 4-speed orbital action, a keyless lever-action blade holder, and a baseplate that can be easily adjusted for bevel cuts.
If you think a cordless model is the best option for you, you can take a look at products from Makita, Milwaukee, Hilti, Skil, and Black and Decker. These are the best jigsaw brands if you are looking for a cordless model.
Best Corded Jigsaw
If you don’t want to avoid the hassle of worrying about how much charge is left in the battery of your cordless tools, then you can go with the old-school option and get a corded model. If you intend to buy a corded tool, you have to make sure that there is a power outlet available at your workplace. To find the best corded model for you, you need to decide what features are most important to you based on your application.
If you are not sure what kind of jigsaw you need or if you think you want the maximum number of possible options, you can get yourself a versatile tool with all the features that we have mentioned before: orbital settings, tool-less bevel adjustment, keyless lever action blade holder, and a vacuum.
The DeWalt DW317K is one of the best jigsaws with a cord on the market and our pick in this category. It has a 5.5 A motor and can reach a speed of 3100 SPM (Strokes Per Minute). This tool features a 4-speed orbital action and accurate bevel adjustment. The only problem with this tool, again, is that it is too expensive.
If you are looking for other brands that make corded models, Bosch, Makita, Black + Decker, and Milwaukee also make the best professional jigsaws.
The Best Jigsaw for Cutting Curves
Jigsaws are the most popular handheld saws for cutting curves. There are a number of features that make these power saws even more ideal for cutting curves. The most important of these features is having a vacuum (dust blower), vibration control, variable speed, and ergonomic features. These features ultimately make the jigsaw easier to operate and therefore more accurate, and better suited for cutting curves.
The main function of vacuums (dust blowers) on these power tools is to blow the dust away from the workpiece and out of the line of sight of the worker. When a jigsaw features a vacuum, the task of cutting curves becomes a lot easier and more accurate for the user.
Jigsaws cut material by repetitively pushing a saw blade up and down. The way that these tools work creates a lot of vibration by nature. If you have to work with a saw that has a lot of vibration, the accuracy of your work takes a massive hit, and consequently, you will not be able to cut cuved patterns immaculately!
Good vibration control is also a significant factor in preventing your hands from getting tired, especially during long operations. When your hands are not tired, you can work faster, easier, and more accurately.
Having a tool with proper ergonomic features will lead to a more comfortable operation. Being comfortable during operation helps you control the tool easier. Easier control leads to more accurate cuts and therefore, ergonomics is essential if you are looking for the best jigsaw for curved cuts.
Having a variable-speed dial can increase the precision of your work. On curved patterns, you may need to decrease your speed for sharp angle changes. Having variable speed is essential, especially if you are looking fo the best professional jigsaw.
Makita 18V LXT XVJ02 takes the cup in this category. This tool is simply a tamed beast! This model has high performance. It has amazing vibration control and a soft-start trigger. The only downside to this model is its expensive price.
The Best Jigsaw for Beginners
Among all the other types of power saws, these tools are the favorites of beginners and DIYers, and rightfully so because they are a lot safer and easier to use and handle.
If you are a beginner and you intend to buy a jigsaw, you need to pay attention to a number of features in order to choose the best one for your needs. The best jigsaw for beginners should be lightweight and ergonomic, and it should have a keyless lever-action blade holer for easy changing of the blade.
Ergonomics and Weight
Even if you have a super powerful and feature-packed power tool made by space engineers, you won’t be encouraged to use it regularly unless the tool is comfortable to use and handle. This is especially important if you are a beginner. If you have a tool that is more comfortable to use and handle, you will use it more as a beginner, and using your tool more can turn you into a pro.
Keyless Lever Action
You probably have to regularly change the blade on your jigsaw, either because you need different types of blades for cutting different materials or because your blades have been damaged. A keyless lever-action blade holder makes changing blades extremely easy. With this feature present, you only have to push a lever, push out the old blade, and replace the blade with a new one.
The Ronix 4150 corded jigsaw is a powerful power saw that can provide you with 550 Watts of power. This tool has an ergonomic top handle with a rubberized grip and a lock-on button that makes longer operations a lot easier. This tool also features a keyless lever-action blade holder that accepts T-shank blades.
All of the following are the best jigsaw brands that manufacture exceptional models for beginners: Makita, Milwaukee, DeWalt, and Black + Decker
Best Small Jigsaw
Generation after generation, power tools have managed to become smaller and more compact. Small power tools are sought after by professionals and DIYers who want to gather tools in a portable kit or package. In today’s power tool market, you can easily find small power tools with a lot of power and versatility.
If you are looking for the best jigsaw that is both compact and powerful, it is hard to recommend anything but the Milwaukee M12 Cordless model. It also features an ergonomic barrel grip and tool-free bevel adjustment.
If you are looking for a more affordable option in this category, you can take a look at the Ronix 4101, which is a corded model with three orbital action options.
Best Lightweight Jigsaw
If you are looking for the best jigsaw with the least amount of weight, you should look for a corded model, as they usually have less weight than cordless ones because of the absence of the weight of the battery. One other thing that affects the weight of these power saws other than being corded or cordless is the type of handle that the tool has. Models with barrel-grip handles are usually lighter than ones with top handles.
If you want a lightweight tool, you don’t need to sacrifice its other qualities. You can easily find models that are both lightweight and provide all the features that you need.
Ronix 4101v is our pick in this category. It is a powerful machine with a motor that can provide 550 watts of power and a speed of 3000 SPM (strokes per minute). It also features a 3-speed orbital action setting, variable speed control, a rubberized soft grip, and an adjustable base plate. This tool also comes with a very enticing price tag in comparison to all the other brands on the market.
Take a look at other brands that produce the best jigsaws in this category, although at a significantly higher price point: Makita, Milwaukee, DeWalt, Bosch, and Black + Decker
Best Jigsaw for Woodworking
Jigsaws are versatile tools that can be used for cutting a large selection of materials, including wood, metal, and plastic. However, the main application of these tools is in woodworking. The most important qualities to consider when looking for the best professional jigsaw for woodworking are easy bevel adjustment and the orbital action settings.
These tools are not the most popular power saws for doing bevel cuts, but they are usually made to have the ability to be used for bevel cuts. If you are looking for the best jigsaw for woodworking, you should certainly look for one that can provide you with easy and tool-less adjustment of the baseplate to your desired angles. Bevel adjustment is essential if you are looking for the best professional jigsaw for woodworking.
Best Jigsaw for Cutting Metal
Despite the fact that a lot of people think these power saws can only be used specifically for wood, they are not one-purpose tools. These tools can also be used to cut metal, plastic, and even ceramic if used with the proper blades.
The more power a model has, the better it is for cutting metal. Therefore, the best product for cutting metal would be the one that has the most power. The amount of power a power tool has is indicated by how many amps (A) or watts (W) the motor is rated at.
It is important to remember that if you want to cut metal, you need different types of blades than the ones you use for wood. Metal cutting blades usually have a higher TPI (tooth per inch).
Best Jigsaw for Home Use
These power saws are exceptionally useful tools to use at home. The fact that they are a lot safer than circular saws makes them desirable for homeowners. It ultimately depends on the conditions of your home and what you want to do in it when choosing the best jigsaw for you. The first thing you have to consider is whether you want a corded or cordless tool. Make sure to factor in these qualities as well to make the best decision:
- Amount of power as indicated by amps (A) or watts (W)
- Bevel adjustment
- Blade installation
- Orbital action settings
- Variable speed trigger
The following manufacturers are the best jigsaw brands for home use: Ryobi, Rigid, Black + Decker, and Ronix.
Best Jigsaw on the Budget
Nowadays, you can find power tools at every price point. If you are on a budget, you can find the right tool for your application. You just need to look carefully! There are a lot of great brands that make great tools at the right price.
If you want to get the best jigsaw you can with the greatest number of features at a price that cannot be competed with, you should check out Ronix 4111 Top Handle model. This tool has a motor that provides 750 watts of power. This tool has orbital settings, an adjustable base plate, a keyless lever-action blade holder, a lock-on button, and a vacuum (dust blower). With this price, this tool is certainly the best jigsaw tool enthusiasts, DIYers, and professionals can appreciate.
Other brands that make the best professional jigsaws at a more affordable price point include Ryobi, Rigid, Black + Decker, SKIL, and Porter Cable.
Which is the best brand of jigsaw?
There are plenty of brands that make exceptional jigsaws. To find the best brand for your application, you have to assess your own needs and look at your budget. In today’s power tool market, you can easily find your desired power tool.
What is the best jigsaw for cutting curves?
To find the best model for this application, you should look for a tool that gives you the most during the operation. Therefore, you should look for features such as vibration control, ergonomics, and variable speed. A vacuum is also essential.
6 August 2023