A jigsaw or jig saw (not to be confused with a jigsaw puzzle) is a tool that became associated with puzzles that share its name because it’s capable of cutting intricate patterns and curves that jigsaw puzzle pieces are known for. What’s more, these cuts can be done in various materials that the saw could rip through like a hot knife through butter, or so the famous turn of the phrase goes.
Unlike other saws that can only go one direction despite their blades’ adjustability when it comes to angles and bevels, the jigsaw isn’t limited by stationary limitations and larger blades. It can make precise curved cuts (as opposed to imprecise and random cuts from a non-squared circular saw) because of its smaller construction and portability. The user is allowed to move more accurately in order to guide the saw through whatever jigsaw puzzle design it’s supposed to make on the wood.
It’s commonly believed as a saw used for more artistic applications and creative purposes. It’s an artist’s saw. It’s a fine-toothed brush made to create flourishes and ornamentation rather than a wide brush that merely paints a flat color on any surface. It’s a surgeon’s knife versus a butcher’s knife, in short.
Then again, it’s so versatile and powerful as well that you can use the jigsaw as a viable option for various construction work just short of what a chainsaw can cut through (professional-grade ones are famously known for use by lumberjacks to cut down trees faster than a pick ax ever would). The typical jigsaw power tool consists of a handle that’s attached to a thin metal blade, which allows the operator to more freely and make those cuts that only the jigsaw can do. Larger, cumbersome saws that can cut in straight lines or perhaps in angles don’t have the flexibility that the jigsaw has.
|Picture||Model||Editor Ratings||Our Review|
|Black & Decker Smart Select 5.0A Orbital Jigsaw (BEST SELLER)|| (4.6 / 5) |
|Makita 4350FCT Jig Saw with L.E.D.Light|| (4.7 / 5) |
|Bosch JS470E Top-Handle Jigsaw|| (4.8 / 5) |
|DEWALT DCS331M1 Jigsaw Kit|| (4.9 / 5) |
|PORTER-CABLE PC600JS|| (4.8 / 5) |
Jigsaw Power Tool Product Reviews
Table of Contents
- 1 Jigsaw Power Tool Product Reviews
- 2 Jigsaw Buying Guide
- 3 In a Nutshell
Black & Decker Smart Select 5.0A Orbital Jigsaw
The Black & Decker Smart Select 5.0A is an Amazon Best Seller! What this means is that it’s probably the best of its class as a quality jigsaw since so many people are buying it (or at least this is the case according to Amazon.com verified users). It’s a highly rated jigsaw that lives up to the hype thanks to its specs. For example, it has Smart Select Technology that enables it to automatically optimize your
It’s a highly rated jigsaw that lives up to the hype thanks to its specs. For example, it has Smart Select Technology that enables it to automatically optimize your sawing. If you have a set pattern you wish to follow onto a collection of workpieces, you can ensure the consistency of every sawed piece by putting it on the settings of the Black & Decker Jig Saw’s Smart Select Dial. It’s that simple to make your jigsaw pieces fit. Also, the package includes one blade and a two-year warranty.
What’s more, you have further control of the capabilities of the Black & Decker Jig Saw thanks to its other dial, the Variable Speed Dial. This special dial allows you to switch to seven-speed settings from 800 RPM (rotations per minute) to 3,000 RPM. This way, every material you have to cut will have a corresponding speed you can cut it with so as to avoid wasting power or shortening the lifespan of the saw by always putting it on the highest RPM settings needlessly.
It’s this dial that also allows the Black & Decker machine to cut through plastic, metal, and wood by making curved, straight, beveled, mitered, and plunging cuts with amazing, intuitive ease. Even beginners can get the hang of this jigsaw with tool-free blade changes and a powerful 5-AMP motor. Read the Black & Decker Smart Select detailed review here.
Makita 4350FCT Top Handle Jig Saw with L.E.D. Light
In regards to the Makita 4350FCT Top Handle Jig Saw with L.E.D. Light, you’ll receive quite a lot of features and benefits when buying this specific brand of jigsaw. More to the point, it comes complete with your requisite tool-less blade change system that allows you to swap blades without using any special tools like screwdrivers and the like, a variable speed control dial that can go for as low as 800 SPM (strokes per minute) to as high as 2,800 SPM (by the way, SPM is just another way to write RPM), and a built-in LED (light emitting diode) bulb that illuminates the line you’re supposed to cut. The last one is significant because even the best-selling Black & Decker JS660 Jig Saw with Smart Select Dial lacks an LED guide for cutting.
If you want to cut all sorts of materials with barely any pauses (probably to switch from one speed to another) then the 4350FCT Jigsaw’s powerful 6.3 AMP motor might be able to help you out. With that said, handheld saws are notorious for vibrations. Not only does the shaking make it harder to keep your cuts consistent and accurate; after a long period of operation, the trembling takes a toll on your body and stamina.
If you wish to use a jigsaw that won’t tire you out, then you should definitely give the Makita 4350FCT Top Handle Jig Saw. Light a try. It has 40% less vibration compared to its competing brands. What’s more, it has the lowest noise level for a jigsaw of its class. Finally, the main claim to fame of the Makita 4350FCT is its three orbital settings plus straight cutting capabilities (take note that not all jigsaws are easy to use when doing simple straight cutting). Read the Makita 4350FC Jig Saw review here.
Bosch JS470E 120-Volt 7.0-Amp Top-Handle Jigsaw
As for the Bosch JS470E 120-Volt 7.0-Amp Top-Handle Jigsaw, it compares positively to the Makita 4350FCT Top Handle Jig Saw and the Black & Decker JS660 Jig Saw mainly because it’s an electric saw that doesn’t compromise on specs either. It can stand toe-to-toe with either quality jigsaw and still come out on top with its own standard-bearing features.
In particular, it’s a master at precision-machined plunging. If you wish to cut through material at the center instead of through the edge like a champ, then the Bosch JS470E Jigsaw was specifically developed for that need of yours. What’s more, it shares low-vibration capabilities with the Makita 4350FCT that enhances accuracy and reduces fatigue. It also has a secure clamping system, on-board bevel wrench adjustor, and sturdy die-cast foot with steel insert.
Meanwhile, it also has a dial that sets the maximum speed while you can control the operating speed as you work with an accelerator trigger. Just press it like you would your gas pedal when you want to go faster. It also has a signature ability to make smooth, aggressive cuts thanks to its four orbital-action settings that provide differing blade strokes as you require them. That’s one more orbital action than what you’d see in the Makita 4350FCT.
As a nice cherry on top this excellent jigsaw sundae, the Bosch JS470E Jigsaw also has a blade replacement system composed of a blade ejection level, fast insertion capabilities, and tool-less blade change so that you won’t need to touch any hot blades to swap them with a new one. Bosch has done an excellent job in making its electric jigsaw a must-have by any homeowner. Read the detailed review of the Bosch JS470E Jigsaw here.
DEWALT DCS331M1 20V Max Lithium-Ion Jigsaw Kit
The DEWALT DCS331M1 20V Lithium Jigsaw aims to please and uphold the proud DeWalt brand by providing variable speed from 0 SPM to 3,000 SPM for amazing versatility (plus its maximum SPM/RPM is far more than that of Makita 4350FCT 2,800 SPM and equal to that of the Black & Decker JS660 Jig Saw’s 3,000 RPM).
It also comes complete with adjustable dust blower to keep your line of cut as clear as possible, 4-position orbital action just like the one found in Makita 4350FCT, all-metal level action for keyless and tool-less blade change, and all-metal keyless shoe bevel with detents at 45 degrees, 30 degrees, 15 degrees, and ten degrees. You can always count on DEWALT DCS331M1 Jigsaw Kit when it comes to feature diversity.
In essence, DEWALT DCS331M1 has all the best capabilities of the competing jigsaw brands above, which is par for the course seeing that the company which invented the radial arm saw has always been on the forefront of power tool excellence and innovation. The DeWalt DCS331M1 is particularly proud of its all-metal specs that make it pound-for-pound more rugged, tough, durable, and long-lasting compared to all the other competing jigsaws in this list.
So what you essentially get from the DCS331M1 is everything you’d ever want from an electric jigsaw — loads of variation when it comes to its cutting techniques and unquestionable durability backed by an anti-slip comfort grip, standard jigsaw blade, the ability to accept T-shank jigsaw blades, fast charger, kit box, and DCB204: 20V MAX XR Premium Li-Ion Battery (4.0 Ah). Read the detailed review of the Dewalt DCS331M1 here.
PORTER-CABLE PC600JS 6 Amp Orbital Jig Saw
PORTER-CABLE or Porter-Cable might not be as famous as Black & Decker, DeWalt, Makita, or Bosch. However, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it has the lowest-grade orbital jigsaw on this list or that it can’t make a jigsaw that can compete with those power tool behemoths.
This time around, this is a case of the product’s excellence shining brighter than the brand. You can see it with its specs. The PORTER-CABLE PC600JS 6 Amp Orbital Jig Saw comes complete with a 6-amp heavy duty motor that can cut through the toughest and hardest of materials, a four-position orbital lever that’s the same grade as the ones found in the DEWALT DCS331M1 and the Bosch JS470E Jigsaws, and keyless blade change.
You don’t need a key or special tool to change the blade, which is the safe way to go about it because blade changing can be quite dangerous. Not only is the blade sharp to your skin even at its dullest; it can also get really, really hot after use, so you shouldn’t have to touch it in order to change it. Aside from effortless blade replacements, the PORTER-CABLE PC600JS Jig Saw also surpasses the SPM capabilities of all of the abovementioned jigsaws.
While the maximum SPM/RPM of both the Black & Decker JS660 Jigsaw and the DEWALT DCS331M1 Jigsaw is at 3,000, the PORTER-CABLE PC600JS can go up to 3,200 RPM. You can really get optimal cutting for any material at such speeds. Read the Porter-Cable PC600JS detailed review here.
Jigsaw Buying Guide
Corded, Cordless, and Pneumatic
1) Corded Jigsaw
A corded jigsaw is great because you’re supplied with energy directly from your electricity provider instead of taking it one battery charge at a time. Meanwhile, the greatest weakness of the corded saw is also its greatest strength, which is its cord. The power provided by the cord never runs out, never needs recharging, and will always run as long as the power source in question doesn’t give out (or as long as there’s no blackout happening and whatnot).
The cons in having one is the fact that you might trip on the cord and pull the plug right out of the socket in the middle of your jigsaw work. You might have to look out for better cable management in order to setup your jigsaw workshop. However, that also means your jigsaw will never leave your home or your garage because that’s where the power source is. That’s just the way it is with corded jigsaws. Watch this clip below for the head-to-head testing of various corded jigsaw:
2) Cordless Jigsaw
With a rechargeable battery from a cordless jigsaw, particularly of the lithium-ion variety, you also get more energy-based savings and you can conserve power better. The primary benefit of the cordless jigsaw is found in its flexibility. You don’t have a cord getting in the way of your work at all. You can cut through any pattern and use it even in places that are far away from the nearest electric socket, essentially. No power source access? No problem.
You can take it anywhere, even in places where there’s no ready power source (like a construction site where the electricity hasn’t been put up yet but you’re in need of customized jigsaw-puzzle-like curved tiles on the patio that you can only get through a jigsaw. Battery-powered jigsaws essentially have a time limit before they need battery replacement or recharging. Below is a good clip of comparison of various cordless jigsaw (skip to the 6:15 minute mark to see those in actions):
3) Pneumatic Jigsaw
While a corded jigsaw uses an electric motor powered through an electrical outlet and the cordless jigsaw uses special 18V Li-ion rechargeable batteries to get the job done, the pneumatic jigsaw instead uses compressed air from an air compressor to power up its saw. It’s safe to use in areas that are damp and can cause an electrical accident because it’s more air-pressure-powered than electrical-powered.
The air compressor converts the energy it’s getting into pressured air that in turn powers the saw itself in order to deliver curved and plunging cuts whenever and wherever required. It’s a type of jigsaw that’s known to be immensely powerful yet still maintaining a lightweight body. That’s because the smaller air compressor delivers great strength to the blade without using a heavy battery pack for cordless jigsaws or lugging around a generator for corded jigsaws.
Types of Jigsaw Cuts
Here are the common types of jigsaw cuts.
- Straight Cut: Sure, if you want a straight cut, you can use a wide variety of other saws such as radial saws, table saws, circular saws, and so forth to do it. With that said, a jigsaw is versatile enough to do the straight cuts of other saws and other cuts that only it can do. You need to be skilled with a jigsaw (or have a guiding tool) in order to cut in straight lines with it.
- Curved Cut: A curved cut is a cut that’s semicircular or bends at an angle rather than being a straight kind of cut that you’re used to with table or circular saws. It’s the jigsaw’s signature cut almost since it allows for many intricate and circular designs. It’s perfect for arts and crafts. Learn how to make curved cuts with jigsaw via this clip:
- Center or Plunge Cut: It’s commonly seen in cut holes on the countertop for kitchen sink placement. The jigsaw is able to make this cut at the center of the material being cut instead of at the edge like other saws, thus there’s no need to break then reconnect anything. Watch this short 2 minutes clip for a very direct instructions on how to make a plunge cut with jigsaw:
- Bevel or Miter Cut: Just as other saws have adjustment switches and whatnot to allow for miter and bevel cuts, so too should your jigsaw. To be more specific, your power tool should have a pivot function that tilts its blade enough at the right angle to make your mitered or beveled cut possible. This has a lot of artistic merits since it helps make the illusion of depth possible. See the 2-minute clip below!
Other Things to Look Out for When It Comes to Jigsaws
Besides choosing between corded and cordless jigsaws, there are several other things you need to take note of. A cordless jigsaw frequently needs recharging, which means that the frequency of your recharge rate depends on how power-draining the jobs are. Obviously, cutting down loads of logs to make parts of a chair or table takes more energy than doing miter and bezel cuts for framing and whatnot.
Harder materials also tend to make the motor work harder and make it consume more energy. Now, cordless jigsaws don’t have those problems, but they’re limited to the location of your power source and you still have to conserve energy or else you could make your electricity bill go through the roof when you constantly cut tough materials like tiles and steel with your jigsaw for construction purposes. Therefore, if you have to cut hard materials for a long period of time, then you should buy a corded saw.
If your jigsaw won’t have to be used so often and you do a lot of outdoor cutting of huge blocks of wood or other materials, then the more flexible cordless jigsaw is the power tool for you. There are naked versions of the jigsaw as well. A naked jigsaw is a jigsaw that only has the body available. The rest of it is sold separately, but you could possibly get the whole thing cheaper this way (like someone assembling their own PC).
For example, a naked BJV180Z 18V Li-ion Jigsaw can use the existing batteries of the Makita if you’ve already bought lithium-ion batteries from your other jigsaw power tool. By simply buying a naked jigsaw, you can mix and match parts from your other jigsaws and put together a whole jigsaw from leftover parts. That could mean huge savings for you if you’re a regular jigsaw purchaser. Otherwise, your jigsaw starter pack should include the whole non-naked jigsaw instead.
So here is the list of the best jigsaws
- Black & Decker JS660 Jig Saw (BEST SELLER)
- Makita 4350FCT Jig Saw with L.E.D.Light
- Bosch JS470E Top-Handle Jigsaw
- DEWALT DCS331M1 Jigsaw Kit
- PORTER-CABLE PC600JS
In a Nutshell
When picking the right jigsaw power tool, you should definitely take into consideration the price and value of the selection above in relation to your budget. If money is no object for you, then you still have to find a balance between what you need and what the jigsaw you’re eyeing offers.
Simply buying the most expensive jigsaw under the mistaken impression that the more costly something is, the better its offerings are is a foolish thing to do. If you don’t need certain extra features or if a pricey piece of equipment is practically unusable in your area (maybe you should’ve gone with a pneumatic jigsaw since you live in a swamp, for example), there’s no point in paying extra for them. You’ll have an easier time choosing which jigsaw you should get if you’re aware of what you’re going to use them for.
There are many options available on sites like eBay and Amazon when it comes to jigsaws. You simply have to browse their selections, read the comments and reviews, and pick the ones that sound like the best deal for your requirements, money, and unique circumstances. They’re typically found as home and garden power tools since they assist in both home improvement applications and yard work (e.g., pruning braches or cutting trees after they’ve fallen thanks to a particularly powerful storm). You can conduct general searches on jigsaws or find the specific models suggested to you by the top five listed above if you believe these cream-of-the-crop power tools are the perfect fit for your goals and budget.
Do check out other saw types too!
- Scroll Saw
- Miter Saw
- Band Saw
- Jig Saw
- Circular Saw
- Tile Saw
- Reciprocating Saw
- Table Saw
- Pole Saw
- Coping Saw
- Hack Saw
- Bow Saw