A jigsaw is a powerful tool that is specifically manufactured to perform cutting, shaping, and stenciling wood, metal, and other masonry materials used in construction work.
The most commonly used jigsaws work using the principle of the reciprocating blade which is otherwise called push-and-pull motion. If you are a beginner trying to get your hands on the tool then you must consider certain factors before picking the suitable product.
The jigsaw comes in various brands, shapes, and sizes depending on its application. Some of the key features to be considered are as follows.
- Grip handle of the jigsaw- top handle grip or barrel grip.
- The choice of blades used for different applications.
- Adjustable power and speed settings.
The most notable brands when it comes to manufacturing jigsaws are Makita, Bosch, Black & Decker, and DeWalt. The user is free to choose his jigsaw from a range of brands and models available in the market.
However, the most recent models that come from these manufacturers are cordless battery-powered jigsaws that offer eco-friendly solutions to the user and his surroundings.
The corded jigsaws are generally preferred for heavy-duty and industrial applications that are demanding and require a continuous power supply. The corded jigsaws are best suited for experienced professionals who perform such arduous tasks of cutting and shaping various materials on a routine basis.
The cordless ones are more portable and provide greater control, efficiency, and stability to the user. This type of jigsaws is more suitable for home applications and automotive works that do not need much power and torque to get the job done.
Another important advantage of owning a cordless jigsaw is its lightweight body making it easy to hold and perform complex tasks.
For beginner-level users, the cordless jigsaws are highly recommended considering their less complex operational procedures and other easy-to-use features that come along with it.
The beginners must also be aware of certain precautions that must be followed before operating the tool.
Some of the safety measures taken by professional jigsaw users include wearing goggles to prevent spark and other minute particles made of wood and metal from entering the eye and wearing a face mask to protect lungs from harmful dust particles.
Other best practices include tightening the material securely to the work surface and also by ensuring that the cutting edges do not cross the edges of the work surface.
I have compared with different types of jigsaws and I could find that some of the models are best for people like me who mostly use the device on a need basis rather than a daily basis. From my results, I recommend the below-listed tools for beginners.
1. Dewalt DCS331B JigSaw (Best Battery Powered Jigsaw)
The DCS331B is one of the most liked products in the list of Jigsaws and I have been using it for some time now. I must say that DCS331B provides stability, maneuverability when cutting through even the thickest of wood.
I also enjoyed working long hours with the power tool because of its cordless features. This battery-powered jigsaw is highly rated by professionals with decades of experience in the industry and also by less-experienced and amateur users like me.
I liked the battery of Dewalt DCS331B due to its compact size, long-lasting and quick charging features, and this specific model is considered to be one of the best battery-powered Jigsaw in the category.
The 20V-Max battery powers the tool and provides adequate power and torque to perform at its optimal function throughout the day.
I experimented with DCS331B on various surfaces such as wood, steel, and ceramics and found that the tool does its job to perfection without causing much strain to my hands. The handle grip is another talking point when I reviewed the product.
Dewalt has made some changes to the handle grip in comparison to the previous models. I observed that the product is slightly on the heavier side but the ergonomics of the tool makes it easier for me to hold and use the jigsaw comfortably even at maximum speed.
Another aspect of the design that the manufacturer got right is the placement of the trigger switch at the bottom of the handle and this gave me great control over the choice of speed while cutting through the surfaces.
One area that Dewalt needs to improve is its blower. I noticed that DCS331B has an inadequate blower to remove the sawdust.
I was shocked to see the below-average performance of the blower and I could not see the cut line clearly as the sawdust was getting accumulated right on top of the surface.
I also felt that the manufacturer could have added an LED light for a sturdy and rugged product such as the DCS331B jigsaw. The presence of LED work light could have provided better visibility to the user especially if he is using the product routinely.
On checking the reviews for this product on Amazon, I found that over 88% of the users have given a 5-star rating and the main reason is the strength, stability, and control it gives the users, especially amateurs like me. Dewalt cordless DCS331B can through various angles ranging from 0 degrees to 45 degrees in a smooth manner.
- The battery-powered feature gives me plenty of room to move around the workspace without being restricted by the cord length.
- The placement of the battery at the backside of the tool makes it a bit heavier.
- Easy to use especially when it comes to changing the bits as I did not have to search for a tool to remove the bit.
- Rubber molded design neutralizes the vibrations and the noise produced by the jigsaw.
- Another interesting fact is that the user must purchase the battery and the charger separately as they do not come with the product.
- The product is covered under warranty for 3 years.
- The product offers great control and stability while cutting through wood
- Cordless feature enhances versatility for the user
- Offers great maneuverability while making curved cuts and bevel cuts
- Best suited for workers who tend to work longer
- The dust gets accumulated on the cut line and requires a separate vacuum cleaner to suck the dust
- The product is ineffective under dim lighting conditions and cannot provide illumination due to absence of LED worklight
- The product causes strain on the hands due to its bulky nature
2. BLACK+DECKER BDEJS300C Jig Saw (Best Affordable Jigsaw)
The BDEJS300C is an electric corded jigsaw that is powered by a 4.5A motor with a voltage specification of 120V.
For a non-regular woodworker like me, Black & Decker’s entry model and the most affordable jigsaw which is none other than BDEJS300C fits the description. This model is safe to use and best suited for those who have no prior experience of handling a jigsaw.
I am not a fan of electric corded jigsaws, but BDEJS300C impressed me with other features that are more subtle.
One such feature is its affordability at a reasonable price and offers greater quality compared to its peers around the same price bracket. I tested the tool on wood and was greatly amazed at the pace at which the job was done.
From my experience in using this tool, I would give a rating of 8 out of 10 while considering the above-mentioned factors.
Interestingly, I checked the reviews of other users and customers of BDEJS300C across various e-commerce websites including Black & Decker’s own site, and found that the product has been given a decent score of around 4.5 out of 5 stars which is a reflection of its quality at a given price.
Some of the notable features that caught my attention are its compactness and not-so bulky design which makes it easier to use especially for women workers.
The product also has variable speed adjustment which can be used to alter speeds as per the requirement. I had to use greater speed to cut through thicker wood and lesser power to cut lighter materials.
I really enjoyed using BDEJS300C for curved cuts, the speed, and agility with which the tool performs the curved cuts are astonishing.
I could maneuver over the cut line without much difficulty and most importantly the job was done in a less time-consuming manner producing smoother curves.
Another user-friendly feature observed in the product is the changeable blades. I could change the blade in a hassle-free manner and all I had to do was to pull the lever to replace or insert a new blade. If you are a beginner, then this particular feature will be of great help while working with the tool.
No jigsaw is complete without the bevel cut function and BDEJS300C performed well in sawing through wood at different angles(upto 45 degrees). The manufacturer has attached a base late that tilts to effectively perform the bevel cuts
However, the much-acclaimed product is not without its drawbacks. I was really annoyed with the loud noise produced while cutting the wood and I eventually ended up using earplugs to shield from the noise.
Some users have complained of the size of the lock button making it difficult to locate the locking button in the product while others have suggested a need for a bigger locking mechanism.
- The product enjoys the price advantage in comparison to its competitors in the same category and it’s worth a buy.
- The compact design is suitable for women and non-regular workers who work in furniture stores to make small alterations to the wood.
- The tool also has a new improved feature called the wire guard sightline channel to solve the problem of visibility.
- The time taken to make a cut is relatively less
- Best suited for small projects and for seasonal workers
- The product’s performance is consistent and doesn’t stall or hang when cutting through tough materials
- Safer to use
- Produces loud noise and high vibration which can be annoying
- The product is not durable and tends to get defective quickly
3. Bosch Professional GST 18 V-Li Jigsaw (Best Compact Jigsaw)
When it comes to compactness and design Bosch Professional GST 18V cordless jigsaw is second to none. Its short length and low weight easily make it one of the best compact jigsaws and can be used in tight spaces which require great handling and maneuverability.
Apart from its compact design, I noticed several other features that are commendable. One such feature is the battery life. The Bosch professional GST jigsaw is powered by an 18V lithium-ion battery and its long battery run time is evidence of the tool’s quality and efficiency.
The battery is really long-lasting as I could work for 5 hours without any need to recharge it. Bosch has built a really strong and powerful motor that is loaded with great features.
One standout feature of the motor that I really liked is the Electronic Motor Protection(EMP) designed to protect the motor from overload which in turn ensures a longer life of the product.
Apart from the technical specifications mentioned above, I was really amazed at the user-friendly features that come along with the tool for easy use and operation. Bosch patented SDS quick-release is one such feature that caught my attention.
This feature enabled me to eject and insert a saw blade with just a click of a button making it less time-consuming to change blades.
Another surprising feature of the product is its barrel grip handle. I was skeptical of the grip handle at first but then quickly realized the importance of this feature.
The barrel grip handle was intentionally designed by the manufacturer to facilitate working in constrained areas such as under the table, beneath the cabin, etc as the Bosch Professional GST is easy to hold upside down.
From my experience, this jigsaw really cuts through the wood in a smooth fashion. I could also adjust the pendulum action from zero to full which is useful for applications requiring finer cuts and tear-free cuts.
Another in-built function that I admired the most is the presence of LED light that could be turned off. The LED work light is of great use especially if the user is working underneath the surfaces such as furniture and tables providing adequate illumination to get the work completed.
And finally, the blower is top-quality and powerful ensuring that the dust gets out of the way of the cutline. Overall, the Professional GST 18V cordless jigsaw is highly rated with an Amazon user review of 4.8 out of 5 stars mostly for its compact features.
- No-load stroke rate of 2700spm.
- One-hand blade change.
- Ergonomic bow handle.
- In-built LED light and blower for visibility.
- Powerful battery with longer run-time.
- The saw is easier to guide
- The product can be easily held upside down to perform cuts underneath the surfaces
- Suitable for one-handed operation
- If the battery is heavier then it becomes difficult to guide around
- No extra facility as exhaust port to add accessories
- Not suitable for precision cuts
4. BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C Jig Saw (Best Selling Jigsaw)
If you are a seasonal carpenter who would like to spend your weekends carving wood then this jigsaw is for you. This is one of the hottest selling products among the entry-level models and I reasoned why this could be so.
I researched this model on various websites and found that this tool has been a big hit among beginners who wanted to try their hand at the tool.
The lightweight BDEJS600C comes with a powerful 5A electric motor that works under the voltage specification of 120V. This jigsaw produces a variable speed of upto 3000 spm and includes other important features such as curve control, variable trigger switch, etc.
For a do-it-yourselfer like me, I would recommend the BDEJS600C model due to its light build and less complex operational controls. The body of the tool is plastic and I read some user reviews saying that the product is best suited for light-duty work applications such as home decorations, etc.
But the most awesome feature of this jigsaw is the Curve control technology. I found this technology extremely useful, especially when making orbital cuts. The curve settings can be utilized to make curved cuts on the wood.
If I choose the first setting, the tool performs non-orbital cutting and the speed at which it cuts is the slowest; but if I choose the 4th setting, the tool performs the orbital cutting at the fastest speed.
Another feature that I liked the most is the variable trigger switch placed right underneath the handle. The trigger switch is used to produce varying speeds in the jigsaw.
For instance, pressing the trigger switch halfway produces slow to medium speed and if you need higher speed then one must press the trigger switch all the way up.
The BDEJS600C also comes with an exhaust port which could be used effectively to clear the sawdust by plugging a vacuum in the port. I found this quite interesting as Black and Decker had almost eliminated the need to use a separate vacuum cleaner for a clean-up.
And lastly, the base plate comes with notches depicting the angle from 0 degrees to 45 degrees and I could easily adjust the base plate to facilitate bevel cuts.
I tested the tool by cutting across different angles and found that the product works best when it comes to performing pocket cuts.
From my personal experience in using BDEJS600C, I could observe certain drawbacks in the product. One of the major disadvantages of this model is its ineffectiveness in cutting through thicker materials.
I observed that the jigsaw was a bit shaky as it cut through harder and denser wood materials which leave me with a conclusion that this product is not meant for heavy-duty and everyday use.
- The lightweight body makes it easy to operate and use.
- Tool-free blade change.
- Adjustable shoe for stability.
- Wire guard for cutting accuracy.
- Curve control technology for perfect curved and orbital cuts.
- The length of the stroke is ¾ inch.
- Compact handle with rubber mold to counteract vibrations.
- Easy to use for inexperienced operators
- Less vibrations while operating
- Compatible with both T and U-shank blades
- Lacks safety and the user might accidentally turn it on
- Locking issue with the blade
- Observed frequent stalling
5: Makita DJV180Z 18V LXT Cordless Jigsaw (Best Overall Jigsaw)
If I were to choose one jigsaw that consists of several well-designed user-friendly features then it would be none other than the Makita DJV180Z 18V LXT Cordless jigsaw. This product is the best overall jigsaw and ranks high in factors such as power, stability, and control.
The product weighs 2.3kg without the battery and becomes heavier with the addition of the battery. This is an intentionally designed feature in the jigsaw to avoid the tool from bouncing off during the cutting process as the heaviness of the product balances it from the opposite direction.
One feature that I liked the most is its battery. The manufacturer has a specialized star protection battery with an LXT feature. The star protection prevents the battery from overcharging, frequent discharging, and most importantly overheating during long hours of work.
What I like about the LXT feature is the ability to fast charge. Makita makes use of Lithium-ion Xtreme Technology to ensure charging is done without much delay.
I could observe that the charging time taken by the 18V LXT battery is under 30 mins which is sufficient for me to get my job done without any interruptions.
The next important feature that stole my attention is the safety feature of the DJV180Z. The variable speed trigger comes with a safety lock so that the tool remains constant while operating at high speeds and thereby eliminating the possibility of human error.
The other noteworthy features include power at which the tool performs various cuts such as straight cut, elliptical cut, and bevel cuts. I experimented with various types of cuts using DJV180Z and found that the tool performs all types of cuts in a much powerful and efficient manner.
Despite its powerful performance, I could feel much lower vibration while using the tool and this is credited to the presence of rubberized molds throughout the metal body especially in the grip handle of the jigsaw.
Other useful features include 3 elliptical cutting actions which can be selected to execute faster cuts, a quick clamp blade mechanism that enables to remove, insert and change blades comfortably.
The product also consists of a removable cover plate which is used to protect surfaces from scratches. The adjustable sole plate enables cutting in different angles ranging from 0 to 45 degrees.
The cordless tool also comes with replaceable brushes making it easier to troubleshoot problems related to the motor and most importantly the blower directs the airflow towards the cutting line enhancing the visibility which in turn helped me to execute the cut with greater precision.
However, I noticed rougher cuts when I used greater speed and this is the only noticeable drawback in this product.
Other minor drawbacks are related to the choice of materials, for instance, I felt that the lever material was not strong enough as it is made of acrylic material and is more susceptible to breakage.
We have made a detailed Makita DJV180Z review, where we have covered everything about this tool in detail, as it is the best among all, and you can read that to understand more about this saw.
- Rubberized mold.
- Quick Clamp blade mechanism.
- LED work light for better visibility.
- The kit comes with a selection of blades, an anti-splinter device, and a dust nozzle.
- It is best suited for precision cutting
- Produces less noise
- More durable in comparison to other jigsaws
- Lever material is fragile
- Absence of an ON/OFF switch makes it less safe to use
- Some batteries are not compatible and need to be chosen carefully
Important things to keep in mind before buying a Jigsaw
Buying a jigsaw can be compared to buying a car and in my case, I chose the product based on my needs and requirements, my skill level, and most importantly my budget limits.
I am a weekend warrior who tries my hand on carpentry as a favorite pastime, but that may not be the case for others. There are professional jigsaw users who utilize the product on a routine basis while there are others who use it for domestic applications.
Depending upon the skill level, work environment, and financial background, I would recommend the below guidelines before deciding to purchase a jigsaw.
- Types of Jigsaw
The modern jigsaws come in two types of which one is an electric corded jigsaw and the other is a cordless battery-powered jigsaw.
The electric corded jigsaw requires a continuous supply of electricity to perform any task and is best suited for more powerful applications involving construction works and metal works, whereas the cordless is portable, less power consuming, and provides adequate power to perform day-to-day activities.
The first and foremost criterion is the power of the tool. I would generally prefer a jigsaw with power ranging between 300 Watts to 700 Watts for a normal household and daily use.
But if you are professional with more arduous tasks involving cutting sheet metal and viscous wood then I recommend a tool with power greater than 700 Watts.
Usually, a professional jigsaw comes with a power rating of 1000 Watts by default and there are others that come with an even greater power rating of 1500 Watts.
- Motor and Battery
One must definitely look at the motor capability of the product. A motor with higher Strokes per minute is usually preferred among experienced jigsaw users, but I need to caution the buyers to also check if the motor comes with a blade speed stabilizer.
This component keeps the SPM consistent with the motor’s speed and prevents stalling and slowing down of the device when working on dense workpieces.
For cordless jigsaws, battery charging and run-time are extremely important and vary according to the manufacturer that produces the battery. Moreover, most cordless jigsaw models come without a battery in the kit.
Important things to keep in mind before using Jigsaw for Beginners
If you are a beginner then you must first protect yourself by wearing protective masks, goggles, and gloves to prevent injuries, before going on to operate the jigsaw.
The user must practice certain safety procedures before getting attained to the use of any power tool. The following things must be kept in mind before using the jigsaw.
- Use of Personal Protective Equipments
I highly recommend PPEs to all jigsaw users irrespective of their expertise level with the tool. I would prefer to wear protective masks and goggles as there is plenty of sawdust floating in the air as the jigsaw cuts through the wood or other metals.
It would be a best practice to wear hand gloves before getting your hands on the product as it can protect the user against an electric shock that arises due to voltage fluctuations in the work environment.
- Choosing the right blade and inserting it
The most important step before turning on the jigsaw is the selection of the right blades earmarked for certain specific functions.
For example, the blades with larger teeth are used for quicker and tougher cuts whereas blades with smaller teeth are generally preferred for a slower and finer finish.
Once you choose the right blade, proceed to insert it properly in the mounting area. I would suggest the buyer read the instructions given in the manual by the manufacturer to thoroughly understand the functions of different types of blades that come with the product along with the exact procedures to insert it.
- Select the appropriate speed settings
The final step before you start running the jigsaw is to ensure the right speed settings are set in place. For example, non-orbital cuttings such as straight cuts might not need great speed and the user must understand the importance of choosing the right speed to get the desired outcome.
I also suggest that the buyer watch online videos of the product along with its user reviews to gain knowledge on choosing the appropriate speed settings to make different types of cuts according to his choice.
How to use a jigsaw as a beginner?
As a first-time user of the power tool, I was a bit intimidated by the rugged look of the jigsaw only to find the usefulness of the product in our daily lives.
It’s easier to use the jigsaw once you understand its functions, features and most importantly the user must have a decent knowledge of the user controls and settings of the jigsaw to utilize the tool in an effective manner.
I was surprised when I first learned that the working principle of a jigsaw is similar to that of a sewing machine. To begin with the operational procedures, the saw blade of the tool must be underneath the wood while the baseplate must rest on the surface of the material before the jigsaw is turned on.
Before you start the jigsaw ensure that all the protective gear are worn including, goggles, earplugs, masks, and hand gloves, also ensure to unplug the device while changing blades or making any other adjustments as a precautionary measure.
Once the jigsaw is plugged and placed on the surface of the material, the user needs to pull the variable speed trigger switch that sets the jigsaw in motion, the speed can be increased by pulling up the trigger harder.
I usually make use of the locking mechanism in the trigger switch that locks the switch to a constant speed and this function relieves stress from my hands.
To cut at the center of the wood, one needs to drill a hole and then place the saw inside the hole to start making cuts at the center of the wood.
From my overall experience, the jigsaw is one of the easiest tools to use both for domestic and industrial purposes. However, I leave the choice of the jigsaw to the readers’ decision.