If you are a DIY enthusiast or a professional woodworker, you might have wondered which type of jigsaw is better for your projects: orbital or regular. Jigsaws are versatile tools that can cut curves, angles, and intricate shapes in various materials, such as wood, metal, plastic, and ceramic. But not all jigsaws are created equal. Depending on the design and features of the jigsaw, you can get different results in terms of speed, accuracy, and quality of the cut.
The answer to the question of whether an orbital jigsaw is better than a regular jigsaw depends on your needs and preferences. In general, an orbital jigsaw is faster, more powerful, and more aggressive than a regular jigsaw, but it also produces more vibration, noise, and splintering. A regular jigsaw is slower, less powerful, and less aggressive than an orbital jigsaw, but it also produces less vibration, noise, and splintering.
What is the Difference Between an Orbital Jigsaw and a Regular Jigsaw?
The main difference between an orbital jigsaw and a regular jigsaw is the way the blade moves. A regular jigsaw blade moves up and down in a straight line, following the direction of the cut. An orbital jigsaw blade moves up and down in an elliptical or circular motion, adding a forward and backward movement to the cut. This means that an orbital jigsaw blade cuts more material with each stroke, resulting in a faster and more efficient cutting action.
However, the orbital motion also has some drawbacks. Because the blade moves forward and backward, it creates more friction and heat, which can wear out the blade faster and damage the material. Moreover, the orbital motion causes more vibration and noise, which can affect the stability and comfort of the user. Additionally, the orbital motion can produce more splintering and tear-out on the top surface of the material, especially if the blade is not sharp or the material is thin or delicate.
How to Choose Between an Orbital Jigsaw and a Regular Jigsaw?
The choice between an orbital jigsaw and a regular jigsaw depends on several factors, such as the type, thickness, and quality of the material you are cutting, the complexity and precision of the shape you are making, the speed and power you need, and the level of comfort and control you want. Here are some tips to help you decide:
- If you are cutting thick, hard, or dense materials, such as hardwood, metal, or laminate, you might want to use an orbital jigsaw, as it can cut faster and easier through these materials. However, you should also use a high-quality blade that is designed for the specific material and a low orbital setting to reduce the heat and friction.
- If you are cutting thin, soft, or delicate materials, such as plywood, plastic, or veneer, you might want to use a regular jigsaw, as it can cut more smoothly and cleanly through these materials. However, you should also use a fine-toothed blade that is suitable for the specific material and a high speed setting to prevent the blade from bending or wandering.
- If you are cutting complex or intricate shapes, such as curves, circles, or letters, you might want to use a regular jigsaw, as it can cut more accurately and precisely through these shapes. However, you should also use a narrow blade that can follow the direction of the cut and a low speed setting to maintain the control and visibility of the blade.
- If you are cutting simple or straight shapes, such as lines, squares, or rectangles, you might want to use an orbital jigsaw, as it can cut more quickly and efficiently through these shapes. However, you should also use a wide blade that can resist the orbital motion and a high orbital setting to maximize the cutting performance.
An orbital jigsaw and a regular jigsaw are both useful tools for cutting various materials and shapes, but they have different advantages and disadvantages. An orbital jigsaw is better for cutting thick, hard, or dense materials and simple or straight shapes, but it also produces more vibration, noise, and splintering. A regular jigsaw is better for cutting thin, soft, or delicate materials and complex or intricate shapes, but it also produces less speed, power, and aggressiveness. The best way to choose between them is to consider your needs and preferences and use the appropriate blade, speed, and orbital settings for your project.