What is a Good Quality Jigsaw? Explained

A jigsaw is a power tool that can cut curves, shapes, and bevels in various materials, such as wood, metal, plastic, and ceramic. It has a thin, reciprocating blade that moves up and down along the cutting line. It is easy to use, portable, and affordable. However, not all jigsaws are created equal. Some jigsaws are better than others in terms of performance, durability, features, and comfort. In this article, we will discuss what is a good quality jigsaw and how to choose one for your needs.

A Good Quality Jigsaw Has These Features

A good quality jigsaw has these features:

  • A powerful and variable-speed motor that can handle different materials and cutting tasks.
  • A sturdy and ergonomic design that can withstand wear and tear and provide comfort and control.
  • A quick and easy blade change system that can accept different types of blades and reduce downtime.
  • A dust blower or extraction system that can keep the cutting line clear and reduce mess.
  • A LED light or laser guide that can improve visibility and accuracy.
  • An orbital action or pendulum function that can adjust the blade movement and speed for different types of cuts.
  • A bevel adjustment or base plate that can tilt the blade for angled cuts.

These features can make a big difference in the quality and efficiency of your cutting projects. They can also enhance your safety and satisfaction with the tool.

How to Choose a Good Quality Jigsaw: A Buying Guide

To choose a good quality jigsaw, you need to consider several factors, such as:

The power source: Jigsaws can be either corded or cordless. Corded jigsaws have a constant power supply and are usually more powerful and reliable. However, they also have a limited range and can be cumbersome to use with a cord. Cordless jigsaws have a battery-powered motor and are usually more portable and convenient. However, they also have a limited runtime and can be less powerful and consistent. The choice depends on your preference and the availability of power outlets or batteries.

The motor power: Jigsaws have different motor power ratings, usually measured in amps for corded models and volts for cordless models. The higher the rating, the more powerful the motor. A powerful motor can cut through thicker and harder materials faster and smoother. However, it can also be heavier and more expensive. The choice depends on the type and thickness of the materials you want to cut and the speed and quality of the cut you want to achieve.

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The speed range: Jigsaws have different speed ranges, usually measured in strokes per minute (SPM). The higher the SPM, the faster the blade moves. A fast blade can cut through soft and thin materials quickly and easily. However, it can also cause splintering and overheating. A slow blade can cut through hard and thick materials smoothly and accurately. However, it can also cause binding and stalling. The choice depends on the material and the type of cut you want to make. A good quality jigsaw has a variable-speed dial or trigger that can adjust the speed according to the material and the cut.

The blade type: Jigsaws can use different types of blades, depending on the material and the cut. The main factors to consider when choosing a blade are the material, the length, the width, the thickness, the number of teeth, and the shape of the teeth. The material of the blade affects its durability and performance. The most common materials are high carbon steel (HCS), high speed steel (HSS), bi-metal, and tungsten carbide. HCS blades are flexible and inexpensive, but they wear out quickly and are suitable for cutting softwood and plastic. HSS blades are harder and more resistant to heat, but they are brittle and prone to breaking. They are suitable for cutting hardwood and metal.

Bi-metal blades are a combination of HCS and HSS, offering the best of both worlds. They are durable and versatile, but they are also more expensive. Tungsten carbide blades are the hardest and most expensive, but they can cut through the toughest materials, such as ceramic and concrete. The length of the blade affects its cutting capacity. The longer the blade, the thicker the material it can cut. However, it can also be more prone to bending and breaking. The width of the blade affects its stability and maneuverability. The wider the blade, the more stable and straight it can cut.

However, it can also be more difficult to turn and curve. The thickness of the blade affects its rigidity and flexibility. The thicker the blade, the more rigid and durable it can be. However, it can also be more resistant to bending and curving. The number of teeth per inch (TPI) affects the smoothness and speed of the cut. The more teeth per inch, the smoother and slower the cut. The fewer teeth per inch, the rougher and faster the cut. For general purpose cutting, a blade with 6 to 10 TPI is recommended. For fine cutting, a blade with 14 to 24 TPI is recommended. For coarse cutting, a blade with 3 to 5 TPI is recommended. The shape of the teeth affects the direction and quality of the cut.

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There are two main shapes of teeth: milled and ground. Milled teeth are cut from the blade with a machine, resulting in a wavy or serrated edge. They are suitable for fast and rough cuts, but they may produce splinters and tear-outs. Ground teeth are sharpened from the blade with a grinder, resulting in a straight or pointed edge. They are suitable for slow and smooth cuts, but they may wear out quickly and require more pressure. A good quality jigsaw has a quick and easy blade change system that can accept different types of blades and reduce downtime. Some jigsaws have a tool-free blade change system that can release and insert the blade with a lever or a button. Others have a tool-required blade change system that can secure and loosen the blade with a screw or a hex key.

The dust blower or extraction system: Jigsaws can produce a lot of dust and debris when cutting, which can obscure the cutting line and create a mess. A dust blower or extraction system can help keep the cutting line clear and reduce the mess. A dust blower is a feature that blows air from the front of the jigsaw to the cutting line, pushing away the dust and debris. A dust extraction system is a feature that connects the jigsaw to a vacuum hose, sucking away the dust and debris. A good quality jigsaw has either a dust blower or a dust extraction system, or both, that can be turned on or off as needed.

The LED light or laser guide: Jigsaws can be used in dimly lit or dark areas, which can affect the visibility and accuracy of the cut. A LED light or a laser guide can help improve the visibility and accuracy of the cut. A LED light is a feature that illuminates the cutting area from the front of the jigsaw, making the cutting line more visible. A laser guide is a feature that projects a red or green line from the front of the jigsaw to the cutting line, making the cutting line more precise. A good quality jigsaw has either a LED light or a laser guide, or both, that can be turned on or off as needed.

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The orbital action or pendulum function: Jigsaws can have different blade movements, depending on the type of cut. The most basic blade movement is the up-and-down motion, which is suitable for straight and smooth cuts. However, some jigsaws can also have an orbital action or a pendulum function, which is a feature that adds a forward-and-backward motion to the blade, making it more aggressive and faster. The orbital action or pendulum function can be adjusted to different levels, depending on the material and the cut. The higher the level, the more aggressive and faster the cut. The lower the level, the less aggressive and slower the cut. A good quality jigsaw has an orbital action or a pendulum function that can be adjusted to different levels as needed.

The bevel adjustment or base plate: Jigsaws can also make angled cuts, such as 45-degree or 90-degree cuts, depending on the type of project. To make angled cuts, the jigsaw needs to have a bevel adjustment or a base plate, which is a feature that can tilt the blade or the base of the jigsaw to the desired angle. The bevel adjustment or base plate can be locked or unlocked with a lever or a knob, and can be set to different angles, usually from 0 to 45 degrees. A good quality jigsaw has a bevel adjustment or a base plate that can be easily and accurately set to different angles as needed.

Conclusion

A jigsaw is a useful and versatile tool that can cut curves, shapes, and bevels in various materials, such as wood, metal, plastic, and ceramic. However, to get the best results from your jigsaw, you need to choose a good quality jigsaw that has the features that suit your needs and preferences. A good quality jigsaw has a powerful and variable-speed motor, a sturdy and ergonomic design, a quick and easy blade change system, a dust blower or extraction system, a LED light or laser guide, an orbital action or pendulum function, and a bevel adjustment or base plate. By choosing a good quality jigsaw, you can enjoy a smooth and accurate cutting experience for your projects.