How to Cut Straight with a Jigsaw?

jigsaw cut straight

Yes, a jigsaw is primarily designed to cut curves and other non-straight lines. But you are wondering if you can use it to cut straight lines on that project, or if you would need to buy another machine tool.

The answer is YES! You can use a jigsaw to cut straight lines, and No, you do not need to buy another machine tool! In this article, I am going to be showing you how to do that, with step-by-step instructions.

Depending on the nature of your project, you might need the items listed below. Be sure to have them at hand to prevent any delay or interruption in your project:

Items You Might Need​:

  1. ​A functioning jigsaw
  2. Woodcutting blades
  3. Wood pencil or marker
  4. Measuring tape or ruler
  5. Workbench or safety horses
  6. Clamps
  7. Safety gear (see below)

Recommend Safety Measures and Precautions:

Whether you are working in the privacy of your home or a work environment, it is essential that you undertake specific safety measures for you and those around you.  The following are some guidelines you should adhere to:

  • ​Always wear personal protective gear (PPG) when operating power tools or heavy-duty equipment. Examples of such clothing include gloves, appropriate footwear, goggles, face shield, nose (dust) mask, ear muffs, and others. It is equally advisable that persons in and around your work area also wear such protective gear. Avoid wearing jewelry, loose clothing, and ties that can get caught up in moving parts.
  • Keep your work area clean and free from spills or liquid to avoid slipping while working.
  • Read and following manufacturer’s instructions for unpacking, assembling, operating, and storing the power tool.
  • Some tools and equipment come with safety guards and switches. Where available, use them at all times.
  • Do not carry a tool by its cord, yank it from the socket receptacle using the cable, or allow the wire to get into or around water, liquids, heat, or the cutting path of the tool.
  • Ensure that your work is secured with a clamp or vise to prevent it from slipping while working. This will also ensure that both hands are free to hold and operate the tool.
  • Jigsaws work with a variety of saw blades. Even for each category of material, there are hundreds of blades available. To learn more about the type of blades you can use, visit this site. Choose the appropriate saw blade for the work you wish to carry out.
  • Power tools should be disconnected from the power supply when not in use, before being serviced, cleaned, or when parts are to be changed.
  • Persons not directly involved in your project should keep a safe distance from your work area.
  • If you have to pause or temporally leave your work area, turn of the tool, turn off the power socket and remove the plug from the receptacle.

​How to Cut Straight with a Jigsaw - Step-by-Step Instructions

  • ​Hold the jigsaw firmly and with confidence. See the jigsaw machine as an extension of your hand. Hold and control it naturally without any force or tension. Failure to do this will create jerking and will result in off-mark cuts.

  • If you are new to using a jigsaw or DIY projects, start cutting at a lower speed. You may increase the speed gradually as you become more confident and competent in using the tool. Lower speeds produce smoother and accurate cuts, and higher speeds produce raw cuts.

  • To cut accurate straight lines using a jigsaw, you need to pay attention to two things:

1. Excellent, precise cutting lines on your target material
To ensure this, place your wood material on a flat surface (such as a workbench, sawhorse, etc.). Using a wood pencil, or marker, measure and mark out the lines you wish to cut. Also, ascertain the order in which you want to make your cuts. Having marked out your cut lines, clamp or secure the wood material to your workbench or surface.

how to cut straight with a jigsaw

2. ​An appropriate sharp jigsaw blade.
Your jigsaw comes with at least a jigsaw blade installed. Some come with additional blades of various types and sizes. For wood, carbon-steel blades are more effective. Furthermore, fine-tooth blades make cleaner, smoother, and accurate cuts.

jigsaw blades
  • ​Plug your jigsaw into a power outlet and turn on the power. Using the speed dial, set the appropriate speed for your project. If you are new to, or not too conversant with, using a jigsaw, set the speed at a low or medium level. You may use higher speeds as you become more confident with using the equipment.

  • Carry out some test/sample cuts on some scrap wood before working on your target material. Adjust the speed if necessary.

  • Make the Cut:

1. Place the saw blade close to your first cutting line.
2. Press the trigger lightly to start the blade moving slowly and bring the saw blade up to your cutting line.
3. As you press the blade into the material, press the trigger more to increase speed, and slowly guide the blade along your marked cut lines.
4. Ensure that the base of the saw rests on and that it slides comfortably on top of the material as you cut.
5. Cut through you marked lines in your prescribed cutting order.
6. Repeat for each marked cutting area.

​Conclusion

So, even though a jigsaw is not designed to cut straight lines, by following the above instructions, you can use it in cutting smooth, clean, and accurate straight-line cuts.

Perhaps you have any questions or suggestions on improving this article, kindly leave such comments in the Comments Section. Feel free to share this article to friends and others who may equally benefit from the instructions as you have.

Related Content:

How to Use a Jigsaw to Cut Curves

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