best jigsaws

Best Jigsaws for Woodworking – Top 5 Review & Buying Guide

​For most woodworkers, finding the best jigsaw comes with its share of challenges. Jigsaws may seem to be small tools, but they play a very important role in the woodworking industry. This is the reason why professional woodworkers take time to find the quality jigsaw brands from reputable manufacturers.

​here is our list of top 5 best jigsaws on the market:

  • Makita XVJ03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Jig Saw, Tool Only
  • Bosch Power Tools Jig Saws - JS470E Corded Top-Handle Jigsaw
  • DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw, Tool Only (DCS331B)
  • SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V 1" Stroke Jigsaw, Includes 2.0Ah Lithium Battery with PWRAssist USB & PWRJump Charger - JS820202
  • DEWALT Jig Saw, Top Handle, 6.5-Amp (DW331K)

Makita XVJ03Z

Our Rating: 4.7/5

  • ​Ergonomic design
  • Powerful performance

Bosch JS470E

Our Rating: 4.9/5

#​Top Pick#

  • ​Powerful motor
  • Comfortable design and operation

Dewalt DCS331B

Our Rating: 4.7/5

  • Durable
  • Flexible

SKIL JS820202

Our Rating: 4.8/5

  • Good battery back up
  • maximum security

Dewalt DW331K

Our Rating: 4.6/5

  • Light and easy to use

​Makita XVJ03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Jig Saw, Tool Only

  • ​Variable speed motor for fast and efficient cutting
  • 3 Orbital settings plus straight cutting for use in a wide range of materials
  • Heavy gauge, precision machined base for accurate, smooth cutting and added durability.
  • 'Tool less' blade change system which allows for faster blade installation and removal
​Makita XVJ03Z 18V

​Cordless Jigsaws are essential when you want to cut wood, metal or even ceramic in places where there is limited or low supply of power. These saws do not have cables which can inconvenience the user when handling their tasks.  Among the best cordless Jigsaws that we currently have is Makita XVJ03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion saw. This is a powerful and unique tool with features that help consumers carry out their cutting tasks more efficiently.  The jigsaw has an exceptional motor that also contributes to its powerful performance.

The Makita XVJ03Z 18-Volt Jigsaw has a cool design and is lightweight in nature, a feature which makes it highly portable and minimizes fatigue while working.  It is easy to handle the device as it perfectly fits in the hands of the user. The machine also uses low sound technology, making it comfortable to operate without producing too much noise.  It has a heavy gauge and precision base which facilitates fast and efficient cutting. The tool is durable and can work on a large variety of materials.

Pros

  • ​Ergonomic design
  • Powerful performance
  • Comfortable and convenient

Cons

  • ​Expensive
  • Lacks battery

​Bosch Power Tools Jig Saws - JS470E Corded Top-Handle Jigsaw

  • ​Tool-less blade change system
  • Four orbital action tool setting that provides different blade strokes for smooth and aggressive cuts
  • Variable speed dial
  • Large sturdy die cast foot with steel insert and on board bevel wrench
  • Internal precision machined plugging system and low vibration design
​Bosch JS470E

​You can handle almost any project with the use of Bosch JS470E jigsaw. Considering that the manufacturer is a top innovative research and development company, you can never go wrong by trusting Bosch power tools.  The machine can easily cut through steel, wood, plastic, ceramics among other materials.  Bosch JS470E has variable speed motor control which helps you to adjust the motor output depending on the task requirements.  It also has an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable to handle.

The tool is designed for precision and control.  It has an internal precision machine plunging system which helps achieve improved accuracy. Additionally, the low vibration construction offers a fast and smooth cutting experience. Bosch JS470E provides orbital action for optimal performance when working on hard and tough materials. The tools can be an excellent option for professionals and heavy DIYers, by achieving tasks faster and more efficiently. No matter how strong the material is the 7amp motor machine is powerful enough to easily cut the workpiece.

Pros

  • ​Powerful motor
  • Orbital action and variable speed control
  • Comfortable design and operation
  • Beveling shoe that provides stability and increases precision
  • Tool less blade clamp that helps insert and remove T-shank blades without touching the surface

Cons

  • ​Poor blade control

​DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw, Tool Only (DCS331B)

  • ​All metal lever action keyless blade
  • 3 years limited warranty
  • 4 position orbital action
  • All metal keyless shoe bevel
​DEWALT DCS331B

​Dewalt 20V MAX Jig Saw comes with unique and adjustable features that make it unique and comfortable to use.  The tool is designed in such a way that you can easily change the blade.  It is light in size which makes it portable and comfortable to use.  The machine also includes an all metal lever action keyless blade for durability. Dewalt 20V MAX Jig Saw also has an adjustable blade blower that helps get rid of debris and bits of metal.

In terms of power, the saw has a 20v battery to ensure that you complete your cutting tasks with minimal interruption. The machine has an LED alight on the battery meter to provide ultimate control over the battery.  The Dewalt 20V MAX Jig Saw has a speed of 0 to 3000 strokes per minute. This speed is high enough to work on a wide range of materials in a short period of time.

Additionally, the jigsaw has an all metal shoe bevel with a variety of detents ranging from 0, 15, 30 and 45 degrees.  This helps you to comfortably cut a wide variety of materials.  The machine has a 3 year warranty which is also preferred compared to other brands that offer lesser periods.

Pros

  • ​Durable
  • Ergonomic design
  • Powerful performance
  • Flexible

Cons

  • ​Limitation in t-shank blades
  • Battery and charger not included in the package
  • Blade locking system for beginners

​SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V 1" Stroke Jigsaw, Includes 2.0Ah Lithium Battery with PWRAssist USB & PWRJump Charger - JS820202

  • ​Digital brushless motor
  • Longer runtime and battery life
  • Power on the GO 5 minutes charging time
  • 4 stage orbital functionality for slow starts to faster cuts
  • Dust blower to achieve a clear view of the cutting line
  • Easy blade changes
​SKIL JS820202

​The jigsaw is designed to make various straight and curved cuts on different types of materials.  It is among the most durable Jigsaws that provide high efficiency cutting.  The saw is quite affordable, and delivers up to 3000 strokes per minute.  Just like any other best Jigsaws from other manufacturers, the tool comes with an LED light that makes it easier to see the marked line for accuracy. It also has a long lasting battery that comes when it is already installed.

SKIL PWRCore can cut through different types of materials which include plastic, metals and PVC pipes. The machine has a powerful motor and both u and t-shank compatible bottom.  It has advanced security features that prevent the motor from overheating, and the lock-off button keeps the blade still.

Pros

  • ​The lock-off button provides maximum security
  • Dust blower that keeps debris away
  • Good battery back up
  • LEDs for visibility and battery indication

Cons

  • ​No trigger lock mechanism
  • Quite heavy

​DEWALT Jig Saw, Top Handle, 6.5-Amp (DW331K)

  • ​Powerful 6.5 amp motor that can handle the most demanding tasks
  • Variable speed delivers 500 to 3100 strokes per minute for optimal cutting speed.
  • Comes in a solidly built case
  • 3 years warranty
​DEWALT DW331K

​The tool comes with a 6.5 amp motor and weighs 6.4 pounds.  It is strongly built using quality materials that makes if efficient and durable.  The machine can handle a wide range of cutting tasks in different materials.  It comes with a 3 year warranty. The fact that you can use the machine on a wide range of materials makes Dewalt DW331K to stand out.  

This is actually one of the top features that professionals look for.  Regardless of the material you cut, the machine can easily handle the task, provided you are using the right blade.  You can use the machine to cut wood, ceramic, metal sheet, granite and even rocks.  It also helps achieve beautiful and clean cuts.

The machine has variable speed control. You can set the speed anywhere from 500 to 3100 strokes per minute.  This allows you to adjust the speed depending on the material you are working on.  The design of the machine may make it difficult to see the cut line. However, the machine is inclusive of a dust blower that gets rid of dust to give a clear view of the cut line. Besides, the tool is light in weight and can easily be carried to the job site.

Pros

  • ​Powerful motor
  • Includes a dust blower
  • Light and easy to use

Cons

  • ​Cutline may be difficult to see
  • Does not have a built in LED light

​The Benefits of Using a Jigsaw

A jigsaw is an important tool for both professionals and DIYers. The tools are versatile, which means that they can handle a wide range of materials, and they can also be used by people of different ages. Jigsaws are the best tools to use when cutting curves in metal and wood.  They can also work on rocks, ceramic among other materials.  Here are some of the reasons why this tool should be a must-have in your workshop

benefit using jigsaw

​They cut curves

​Jigsaws are actually the only portable power tools which are able to cut curves effectively. They can be useful for any woodworker who wants to complete his tasks faster using a hand held saw.

​Can cut different materials

​Jigsaws can work on different types of wood regardless of the density of thickness.  When the correct blade is used, the machine can also cut fiberglass, steel, drywall and other materials.  This wide range of uses makes the machine a valuable tool in any workshop. It is also easy to change the blades.

​They make bevel cuts

​A lot of Jigsaws can be angled up to 45 degrees for bevel cuts.

​They can be cordless

​One benefit of a cordless jigsaw is that you can twist and turn it to make elaborate curves without getting inconvenienced with a dangling cord, or even worry about cutting the cord while working.  Initially, Jigsaws used to be very bulk tools. But advancements in technology have greatly improved the tools, most of which are now slim and lightweight.

​Kid friendly

​You only need to give your child proper instructions sit back and supervise them.  Children of different ages can safely use a jigsaw. Since the tool rests on the surface of the object being cut, adult strength is not really required to hold it into place. Be sure that your child's fingers and hands are safe when using the tool. This makes Jigsaws perfect first power tools when you want to introduce a kid to machines.

​Easy to use

​Anyone can use a jigsaw regardless of their experience level. The instructions are simple-insert the blade, plug in the tool (or insert a battery depending on the type) and start your cutting tasks. Jigsaws can also fit in different workshops since they do not take up much space.

​They make the best pumpkin carvers

​Going to a pumpkin carving party? If so, then make a jigsaw your companion. The machine makes work easier by of tops, skillfully using your hands to guide it.

​Jigsaw Buying Guide

​Finding the right jigsaw to meet your needs doesn’t have to be a complicated task. This section will give you detailed information on the best features to look for in a jigsaw, the different types of Jigsaws available as well as the safety precautions that you should take when using the tool.

jigsaw buying guide

​The Different Types of Jigsaws

​If you want to make curved cuts on your material, it is only a few tools that can handle the work faster and more efficiently. Among these tools is a jigsaw.  Some people may criticize this tool with a claim that the blade easily bends, which affects straight cuts. However, it is easy to manage these risks by both casual crafts and DIYers. Besides, the benefits of using a jigsaw far outweigh the demerits, which make it an excellent tool that any professional woodworker should never miss in his workshop.

Jigsaws are available in different styles. This gives you a wide range of options that you can choose from depending on your job needs.  Basically, there are two main types of jigsaws; the corded models which are powered by electricity, and the cordless models which use battery power to operate.  There are also pneumatic jigsaws that work using compressed air. But these options are quite rare. Here are the different types of jigsaws that you can find in the market, together with a short description of their features:

​Corded Jigsaws

​When looking for the best jigsaw from different manufacturers, you may realize that most of the available options are corded.  The corded types require an uninterrupted power sources to operate. Provided there is constant power supply, these saws can be very reliable.  In terms of performance, corded saws are more powerful than the cordless types.  They come in different wattages that fall between 400w to 900w.

​Cordless Jigsaws

​Cordless jigsaws are also popular these days.  Since you do not have to use a power cord when operating, the saws are very convenient to use. They give you more freedom and you can use them in different locations.  But since cordless saws require a battery to operate, they tend to be a bit bulkier.  The power of these saws depends on the battery voltage. This can range from 12v to 36v.

​Pneumatic Jigsaws

​The jigsaws work with the aid of an air compressor. These machines are very powerful and in most cases, it is only professionals who use them. They can easily and comfortably handle heavy duty tasks.  Pneumatic jigsaws are also light in weight.  They are self-cooling, which reduces the chances of overheating. This feature makes them useful when cutting tough materials like fiberglass.

​Features to Look For in the Best Jigsaw

​As earlier stated, jigsaws can work on a wide range of materials.  The tools come in different features. There are two main features that are always important when it comes to the purchase of jigsaws.  This is the orbital action and variable speeds.  Other features may not be very critical, but they are also worth considering.

​Orbital Action

​For a standard action jigsaw, the blades only move in an up and down motion. But in an orbital action jigsaw, the blades can move slightly forward and slightly backwards when handling tasks.  The blade movement is kind of an ‘oval’ and this helps reduce wearing out of the blade and reduce chattering action which mostly occurs with cheaper jigsaws.  You can adjust the angle of the action depending on the type of material. Orbital jigsaws also achieve smoother cuts compared to the standard action types.

​Variable Speeds

​The best jigsaws also feature variable speeds. This may not be that important in woodworking. But it is an essential feature when you will be dealing with metals where better cuts will be achieved with slow speeds.

​Motor Power

​A powerful jigsaw should have a high amp. The most efficient jigsaws have motor ratings of between 6.5 and 7amp.  If possible, avoid saws which are rated less than 5amp.

​Depth of Cut

​The good number of jigsaws cut up to 2 inches deep for wood and ½ inch for metal. There are also other jigsaws that can handle deeper cuts, but this isn’t really an important feature in a jigsaw.  This is because with deeper actions, there are higher chances of the blade breaking or bending.

​Corded vs. Cordless

​We have already discussed the difference between these two types of jigsaws.  Both of them can make good choices depending on your job requirements. Initially, the corded saws were regarded as more powerful. But with the improvements in battery technology, cordless jig saws are equally efficient.

​Scrolling Saws

​There are other jigsaws that are marketed by manufacturers as scroll saws. These saws have a blade steering knob that is placed on top of the machines body and it is directly in line with the blade. This feature allows the blade to be rotated when cutting. This makes it easier for the user to cut tight curves. The only problem is that the pressure behind the blade has to be consistent to control the cut. This, however, may not be that simple when you turn the knob to a sharp angle.  Besides, a lot of professional woodworkers don’t find this feature necessary.

​Laser Guide Line

​This is also an important factor that you should consider in a jigsaw. The laser guideline casts a red cutting line out, helping you maintain straight cuts.

​Dust Blower

​The best jigsaws also come with a feature that blows air onto the material just ahead of the blade. By doing so, the cut line is free of debris and sawdust and this makes it easier to follow the cutting line.

​Tool Less Blade Change

​For older jigsaw models, a hex wrench or any other tool is required to remove or mount the blade. Newer models, however, do not require an additional tool to handle this task.

​Shoe Bevel

​Most jigsaws also have adjustable shoes thank helps the user to angle the machine in order to make bevel cuts. But still, the best tools need to have present stops at common angles.  Avoid investing in a saw with stamped aluminum shoes. The best saws should have cast steel bases.

​Additional Features

  • Splinter shoe: control this is a small insert on the jigsaw shoe that keep splintering to a minimal.
  • Trigger lock: Enables you to lock the jigsaw to a specific speed
  • Dust collection bag: Some models also have dust collection bags.  This feature is worth considering, especially for those who are allergic to sawdust. There are also models which can be connected to a shop vacuum to offer complete dust management.

​Jigsaw Safety Considerations

​A jigsaw can be a useful tool in many ways. But it can also be dangerous if not handled correctly. The machine can cause serious injuries, or even kill you in worse cases. This is the reason why it is always important to ensure that proper safety measures are considered before performing any project with the machine.

jigsaw safety

​Work on the right environment

​Like other power tools, corded jigsaws are powered by electricity. When using this saw, ensure that your environment is dry. Working on moist environments can lead to unnecessary shocks.

​Use a dedicated circuit

​Some beginners may be tempted to assume that a jig saw that uses the standard 120v circuit can be plugged into the same outlet as other devices or power tools. But this is not the case. A circuit overload can lead to motor damage and in worst cases, it can set the tool on fire. This means that you should always plug the saw into a dedicated outlet. Do not share the circuit with other tools, and using extension cords can also lead to overheating. It is also important to use a groundbreaker on the circuit.

​Wear protective clothing

​Every time you use a jigsaw, ensure that you have protective equipment on. This includes suitable gloves, goggles and a long sleeved shirt. Tie your hair if it is long enough and only wear slim fit clothes. The gloves should also fit properly.

​Know how to operate the tool

​You may have used a jigsaw for years. But what you need to know is that every jigsaw is different. If you purchase a new tool, ensure that you first go through the user manual before putting it in use. Just because the machine looks like your old model doesn’t necessarily mean that they operate the same way.

​Use the right blade and speed

​The blades and speed also vary in different jigsaws. Most blades are usually designed to cut a specific type of material.  For instance, you cannot use a wood blade to cut steel since you can easily lose control over the tool. The same thing can also happen if you cut the steel on a very high speed.  If you want to cut hard material, the speed should be around 1500 strokes per minute, and for softer materials, you can set the speed to 3000 strokes per minute.

​Lubricate the components

​It is also crucial to maintain your tool. Make sure that you constantly lubricate the blade and chuck system. This will help achieve smooth operation.

Here is a video on some basic Jigsaw tool tips to help you use it better.

​Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Jigsaws

​Can I cut stone, laminate or metal with a jigsaw?

​Yes. But this depends on two main factors; the type of saw and blades used. A laminate blade is used for cutting laminate. The saw should have enough grunt to cut metal, stone and other hard materials.

​Do I need a specific saw blade for my cutting tasks?

​Yes. You have to use to use a proper blade for cutting different types of materials. For thick material, a blade that extends about one inch or so into the material should be used. The most flexible blade should be used for cutting curves.

​Can I sharpen a jigsaw blade?

​Possibly. But this requires a lot of effort. Besides, jigsaw blades are small and inexpensive, which means that sharpening them isn’t really necessary considering the effort that you will have to use.

​What size of extension cord should I use?

​Extension cords are different in terms of the amperage they are rated for. It is therefore important to ensure that you only use an extension cord that will meet the saws power needs.  If the saw does not get enough power, it may not be in a position to function efficiently and this can also reduce the lifespan of your tool.

​Which is better - circular saw or jigsaw?

​While a jigsaw can be used to perform some artistry work, the main use of a circular saw is to cut wood quickly.  Circular saws are also heavy compared to jig saws. They can easily cut through thicker materials that can dull a jigsaw blade.

​Can I cut plywood with a jigsaw?

​You can use a jigsaw to make both straight and curved cuts in different materials which include plastic, plywood, metal or even ceramic.  The tool is safe and easy to use on all these materials. This makes it an essential tool for new DIY BUYERS.

​Tips to Getting the Most From Your Jigsaw

​Choose the right blade

​Choosing a metal cutting blade is quite easier since there are only a few options available. These saws are tiny by strong. They also come with sharp teeth to easily cut through wood though sheet metal, copper pipes, bolts, and hinges among other metallic items.

choose right jigsaw blade

​Making flush cuts

​If you use a standard saw blade, the jigsaw cannot cut flash to a vertical surface. This is because the saws base plate extends past the blade.  You can, however, install a flush cut blade for the saw to cut up a wall, cabinet side, backsplash and other vertical surfaces.

​Cutting circles

​You can use a jigsaw to cut circles of different sizes. But to ensure that you cut the circles perfectly, a circle cutting jig may be essential.

​Producing splinter free cuts

​For standard jigsaw blades, the teeth tend to point upwards. This causes splintering to occur along the top surface of your material.  Still, you can avoid splintering by turning over the material, placing it in a side down position.

​The Bottom Line

​The best woodworking tools like jigsaw can be used by woodworkers for various purposes.  With the tool, you can do all your DIY projects, wood alterations and even fix things easily. Of the various features available in the best jigsaws, variable speed should be an important feature to look for, followed by orbital action.

Other features are also important, but you choose from these features depending on your personal preferences. You may also be torn between choosing a corded or cordless jigsaw. The battery powered tools can be handy if you reside in an area where there are fluctuations in power supply. The corded ones are also powerful, but they can only be useful if you are sure of your power supply to avoid interruptions during work.

The trick is to only pay close attention to the features that are important to you; the rest won’t add much difference.

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