Electric jigsaw – how to choose the best tool (80 photos)




In the rating of indispensable power tools, destroying the myth of narrow specialization, the jigsaw takes the leading positions. This sawing tool copes with the most different types of materials, whether it is plastic, MDF, metal, or even ceramic. In addition, the jigsaw can be used to make curved cuts with different radii, to make oblique cuts, and to make straight cuts without deviating from the perpendicular.

All these qualities make the tool an indispensable helper, removing doubts from the decision to purchase one. About how to choose a jigsaw that will meet expectations, and not to miscalculate with the parameter of price/quality, we talk in this article.

Article Summary:

Professional and household jigsaws

Before examining the range, you should decide how often the machine will be used, what materials are expected to be handled, what cuts will be made with it.

Jigsaws are divided into domestic and professional models. “Domestic” variant pleases with the price, but loses in the parameters of power and performance. This choice is suitable for those who plan to use the tool for single projects.

The professional tool is designed for fast, long-lasting and high-quality work on a wide range of materials. In addition to these advantages, the jigsaw has advanced functionality that allows you to organize the work process at a master level.

Separately, we should mention such a type of jigsaws as industrial electric jigsaws. They are small machines whose safety margin is designed for many hours of daily work.

This type should not be confused with benchtop jigsaws. Although the latter look like a smaller copy of the industrial ones, they have a slightly different design and purpose.

The table model is used for making openwork and complex curvilinear cuts. The jigsaw is attached directly to the table, or comes with a special base. When working at the table, it is not the tool that moves, but the machining blade itself, which allows you to make cuts more accurately and neatly.

The best manufacturers of jigsaws, according to many construction portals, are such companies as Bosh, Makita, Hitachi, they are worth paying attention to in the first place.

Electric jigsaw design

The principle of an electric jigsaw is relatively simple. A rod is attached to the motor. The rod, due to the motor, makes vertical reciprocating movements and transmits them to the saw blade located at the front of the tool.

The blade, in contact with the material, makes a deep and thin cut in it. In jigsaws with a pendulum stroke, the design is somewhat more complicated: the saw moves not only up and down, but also forward and backward. This allows to remove chips more effectively and speeds up the work. But the pendulum motion can be used only for straight cuts, otherwise there is a high risk of the machine jamming.

The main design elements to look for when choosing a tool:

  • Length of the electric cord (if available);
  • Type of handle and location of start button;
  • RPM control capability and switch location;
  • Quality of the saw blade support roller;
  • Power of the electric motor;
  • Stem Material;
  • The presence of a safety limiter and the features of the sole;
  • Possibility to connect a vacuum cleaner.

Saw and its mounting options

The need to replace the saw blade arises quite often. The saw blade is changed when you want to change the quality of the kerf or material, or when it is simply worn out. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to such a criterion as the way of attachment of the saw blade to the rod, because the speed and convenience of the working process will depend on it.

The stake clamp. Among the economy class models, the saw blade is fastened with a block with a slit, which is clamped with two frontal screws. The advantage of this design is versatility: the clamp holds saws of any parameters and manufacturers.

But there is a significant disadvantage. Over time, due to insufficient or unequal tightening of the screws, the canvas can tilt and ruin the result of the work.

Screw clamp. It is more reliable than the previous one. The saw blade is secured by a side screw, which presses the end of the saw blade.

Quick-clamp fastener. It is a whole mechanism. The fixation of the saw is automatic and takes only a couple of seconds. Among the disadvantages of this type is the low compatibility with saw blades of other manufacturers.

Two types of jigsaw blades can be distinguished according to the shape of the tail:

  • with a T-tail;
  • with U-shaped shank.

There are other varieties of blade attachment side, but they are not as common, which makes changing saw blades a rather difficult “search” task.

How does a wood jigsaw differ from an electric metal jigsaw? The designation of the saw blade. Depending on the composition of the material to be processed, the type of steel of the saw blade, its thickness, the nature of the serrated edge are selected.

All this information can be obtained by reading the inscriptions on the package, the saw manufacturer never spares on this kind of information and duplicates it on the blade itself.

Platform and Handle

Electric jigsaw footplates come in stamped and molded models. Models with molded platforms are more expensive, because they have better durability and allow a good centerline of the saw.

Inexpensive tools are equipped with a stamped platform, which is subject to deformation. However, if the work is closely monitored and the operating rules are followed, this factor can be minimized.

According to the shape of the handle, there are tools with a mushroom-shaped handle and a staple-shaped handle. The mushroom-shaped handle is more convenient for making curved cuts, and the staple handle speeds up work in a straight line.

There are variants with a hybrid handle shape. The anti-slip coating will not only be a nice bonus, but will also increase the safety of the work being done many times over.

Specifications of the electric jigsaw

In order to choose the right tool, an idea of its structure is not enough, it is necessary to know a number of technical characteristics.

The power consumption of the electric motor determines the performance capabilities of the jigsaw. The index depends on the model and varies from 350 to 1000 watts. The golden mean is represented by models at 500-600 W, which can cope with a wooden part up to 85 mm.

The frequency of the strokes affects the speed of the jigsaw. The more strokes per minute the jigsaw moves, the faster the job will go. As a rule, the maximum frequency of many models is 2500-3200 strokes per minute.

Most jigsaws are equipped with a frequency change function, since you work with different material that requires different machining speeds.

The depth of cut is a parameter that tells you the maximum thickness of material the jigsaw can handle. The instruction manual will necessarily indicate the values for some materials – wood, steel, aluminum. The depth of cut is directly related to the power rating of the tool.

Type of power supply for the jigsaw

Judging by the photos of an electric jigsaw presented on the net, it is easy to guess that there are two options for powering jigsaws – wired and wireless. The wired jigsaw requires a 220V power supply. Wireless models are equipped with a rechargeable battery, the most common is 18-volt or 10.8V.

Cordless jigsaws give you more mobility, but their operating time is extremely limited by the battery charge. In addition, cordless models often do not come with an extra battery and battery charger, which increases the cost of purchasing a complete working set.

However, where network access is limited or not possible at all, and jigsaw work needs to be done, a cordless model will come in handy.

Choosing the right jigsaw is not an easy task, requiring consideration of many nuances. Practical experience of builders allows to give some recommendations. In most construction cases, the household variant of the jigsaw will be quite appropriate. High power values entail a large weight of the product, which can affect the convenience of work.

The scoop handle of the machine will prove handy on the construction site and for home work. If the tool is equipped with a pendulum stroke and a frequency control function, then the choice of this model is preferable. Backlash of the rod and support roller is an important factor that affects the quality of the cut. Additional functions, such as blowing and working area illumination, will make your work much easier.

Many authorized centers provide a pre-test of the tool, so it makes sense to take advantage of it.

Finally, each model has a warranty card that allows you to have the jigsaw repaired at a specialized center in the event of a breakdown. Carefully read the warranty cases indicated in the certificate and, if necessary, use this service.

Photo of the electric jigsaw


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