Picking the best jigsaw in the market one must consider the specific purpose. If a contracting work is foreseen, the top rated jigsaw for the money with the replaceable blades, enhanced user control, and sturdy build is a must have. Meanwhile, for a specific DIY project, a light portable jigsaw with a single blade position and less biting budget might fit. The laser marking the route of the blade and a dust blower ease up the work immensely and are the factors to consider when purchasing the best saber saw. However, such models would cost more.
Any jigsaw tool review starts with the description of the type of power source for the tool. There are three types of jigsaws to be chosen among corded, cordless, and pneumatic ones. Each type has its advantages and downsides.
- Corded jigsaw. This type of jigsaw is more powerful in comparison to the cordless types since the constant current supplied through the cord doesn’t require a battery and ensures continuous stable work. Its only drawback is limited portability.
- Cordless jigsaw. Its first merit is enhanced portability with regard to the corded jigsaws. Still, lasting work would require battery charging.
- Pneumatic jigsaw. This type is the least popular due to the need for additional equipment. They are just a few in the market, and we would not recommend those as the best cordless jigsaw.
The Best Jigsaw Reviews
There is a slight difference in the power driving the corded and cordless jigsaws. However, the main deal-breaker is portability. If you are going to work in different locations or just need a portable hand jigsaw, choose the best cordless jigsaw for your purpose (browse the relevant saber saw review first). Anticipating the work at the single workplace, ensure more power for your projects with the best corded jigsaw.
Bosch JS470E — from Refined to Heavy-Duty Woodwork
The main reason for this tool, rating among the best jigsaws powered through the cord, is its variability of speed and level of the cut. It can cut through as much as 7/8’’ inch on wood and 3/8’’ inch on steel objects while having several adjustable settings for the stroke power. This ensures smooth work on the most delicate surfaces, as well as the precise cut. Combined with the controlled speed feature (set via the speed dial), it allows operating the hand jigsaw effectively and safely.
The precise automatically set the direction of the blade plunging additionally secures the surface. So does the large foot with a steel gasket guaranteeing the steady work. The tailor-cut handle has just the right size and positioning for the confident grip and long lasting comfortable work. The instrument’s sturdy build submerges the vibration even at the maximum speed of work providing for the sharp and exact cutting without the least wander.
- A secure adjustable clamp holds the blade safely providing for its steady work in different positions.
- 7-Amp power allows sawing through solid surfaces without effort.
- The blade changing is performed easily, no tool is needed.
- The track of the tool is poorly seen due to the large foot and anti-splinter attachment.
- No track light for the cut slows the work, especially at the curved cut jobs.
DEWALT DW331K — Enhanced Safety and Durability
This top-notch electric jigsaw has all the working parts made of solid metal ensuring long-lasting quality work. The handle is made of the quality rubber that is very big and nice-to-touch providing a tight secure grip. This powerful handheld jigsaw can accept as much as 6.5 Amps granting its smooth performance on various surfaces without bending the blade.
The instrument has a stabilizing mechanism built-in for zero deviation from the appointed route. The rubber coating absorbs the rest of the vibration and ensures non-shaking proceeding even at the highest speed.
For the cutting at an angle, the jigsaw is equipped with four sturdy detents letting the blade go under four most popular cutting angles, up to 45 degrees. It doesn’t require any keys or wrenches to exchange the blade or shift its position but has an enhanced lever tool performing the blade release quickly and efficiently.
- The foot is covered with good non-marring protection material leaving no prints on the surface.
- Integrated dust blower effectively removes the sawdust clearing the path of the tool and making it visible.
- Integrally molded plastic case for storing the tool is a bonus.
- The large size of the foot plate disables the usage of the short blades.
- No laser guide / LED track light.
PORTER-CABLE PCE345 — Adjustable Speed for Any Type of Sawing
This powerful corded metal and woodworking jigsaw provides a variety of options both for the blade position, its speed, and orbital operation. Having 6 Amps power, it can be set in 7 speed positions from 0 to 3200 SPM. In this way, it can be adjusted almost to any type of sawing needs, from the flush cutting on metal to the careful slow cutting on thin wood. The orbital action dial is comfortably located on the side of the tool and can be shifted easily. The blade can be changed within seconds without implementing any tool and not affecting the performance.
- Precise splinter-free straight cutting on any material.
- Good cable length allowing moving around with the tool.
- The jigsaw requires some time for the beginner to learn the way to handle it and tweak its options.
- Heavy and thick handle might not fit the slender wrist.
BLACK+DECKER BDEJS300C — Enhanced Operation Comfort
The attractive point of this middle-sized jigsaw is its improved working area visibility ensured by the widened sightline groove. It allows seeing the path of the blade clearly so that monitoring the operation efficiency. This corded jigsaw has a compact yet comfortable handle with the slightly tilted operation trigger shaped for the tight fingers’ grip.
The tool works at the power of 4.5 Amps, which is more than enough for most DIY projects. The speed can be up to 3000 strokes per minute, which is quite fast. It can cut through as much as 3/4 inch into the light wood or plastic, while also can deal efficiently with thicker wood and thin metal plates.
Its base plate can be tilted in order to provide the confident cutting at an angle, accurate and sharp. It ensures tailor-made beveled cuts can reach 45 degrees.
- Quality rubber coat and solid build dampen the vibration and ensure stable operation.
- The lightweight and adjustable foot make the operation quick and easily maneuvered.
- Built-in dust blower helps keep the worksite clean and control the operation in real time.
- Doesn’t fit for thick or too dense materials like double MDF.
- No fixed speed control / dial.
Hitachi CJ90VST — Solid Build and Enhanced Control
This solidly built corded jigsaw is one of the most lightweight in its class. It maintains powerful 5.5 Amps to enable the considerable range of cut depth. This jigsaw for the money can saw without effort and splinter-free through wood, plastic, and thin metal in both straight and angled positions. It can get through steel as far as 5/16 inch. There are 4 orbital speed positions for adjusting the blade’s rotation and creating powerful deep cuts or more refined and accurate ones. The trigger is large and handy to control.
The automatic precision of the large heavy-duty foot ensures the stable proceeding and durable operation. The rubber hand features recesses on its surface bringing comfort while working with the tool.
- The base is made of cast aluminum and covered with nickel gliding smoothly and leaving no marks on the working surface.
- The dust blower has high capacity ensuring the clean working site and perfect cut visibility.
- The blade exchange is toolless, quick and easy even for the beginner.
- Adjusting the base for the angled cuts requires a hexagonal wrench and some effort.
- Inserting the blade and fixing it in the straight position isn’t easy.
DEWALT DCS331B — Great Power for Cutting at the Difficult Materials
The 20-Volt battery fitting this sturdy wireless jigsaw empowers the motor to produce up to 3000 strokes per minute and cut super-precisely and deeply even into the complex materials. Though the battery gets drained quickly when cutting through dense wood or metal, it allows working out the difficult curved cuts within 1.5 hours or even longer. It has the orbital action controller alike one of the corded models, ensuring the smoothness and precision of the cut.
The working part of this powerful jigsaw is all-metal, granting the steadiness of work and durability. The position of the sole foot can be changed with simple movements, without applying any tools. In this way, the beveled cuts are made easily and without effort. There is also a special clamp holding the blade securely and letting exchange it within seconds.
- Four adjustable positions for the blade (from 0 degrees to 45 degrees).
- Large non-slipping rubber grip and comfortable one-finger speed trigger.
- Perfect balance of the foot base and the blade even when cutting at thick materials.
- Adjustable dust removing appliance doesn’t provide enough blowing power to clear the path line.
- The LED for the cut line is a must-have for this class of the tool.
Bosch JSH180B — Solid Protection and Full Path Visibility
The primary advantage of this cordless saber saw is the integrated LED track light allowing seeing clearly the direction of the blade’s proceeding. Besides, it has an integrated sawdust-blowing gear that turns on automatically with the start of cutting operation.
The blade-changing mechanism allows a tool-free exchange, without the user getting into direct contact with the hot blade. Still, adjusting the angled position of the blade requires a specific wrench that is provided with the tool. The bevel cut can go as far as 45 degrees, and the blade goes smoothly through all types of sloped cuts, without getting bent or straying aside even on thick materials.
The 18-Volt battery powers the motor to make complicated flushing strokes quickly and precisely. Both the engine and the battery are protected against excessive load and overheating ensuring the safety of the jigsaw operation.
- Secure blade lock allows carrying the jigsaw to the various locations.
- The straight automatically-set cut and solid foot base ensure stable operation and smooth splinter-free cut.
- Middle-sized and lightweight guarantee comfortable work.
- The lock-on button would enhance the comfort of operation and is something to expect in this price range.
- The storage case is a bit flimsy for this type of the tool.
Ryobi One+ P523 — Versatile Tool for Bottom Price
This wireless jigsaw has the features of twice more expensive models. At the price of the middle-class corded unit, this jigsaw offers the 18-Volt Li-Ion battery ensuring lasting reliable operation and cutting through different surfaces.
The speed of the blade’s rotation is controlled by the dial on the side. The positions are not marked clearly but have physical stoppages to the dial hand. Using different speed, it is possible to make accurate curved cuts in the plywood or strike into metal or hardwood in a flush.
The rubber hand is quite large and has a tapered surface for a comfortable grip. The speed trigger isn’t big, yet the system is enhanced with the locking button on the side. It allows fixing the tool working in the chosen speed and decreasing the worker’s fatigue.
The unit incorporates the foot dropping utility that lets using the upper part of the blade once the bottom part gets worn out.
- Small footprint and casing allow getting into tight and curved places.
- Blades are of top-notch quality and easy to install.
- Integrated LED light brings a clear vision of the cutting track allowing to control.
- The battery drains quickly.
- The dust-blower capacity isn’t enough for complete sawdust removal.
Hitachi CJ18DGLP4 — Long-Lasting Operation and Durability
This relatively lightweight cordless jigsaw has many adjustable options for setting the cutting work at user’s convenience. The 18-Volt battery produces enough power for working seamlessly over the regular DIY project without recharging, and the motor produces up to 2400 strokes per minute.
The orbital action speed is variable within three modes enabling careful curved cutting and deep surge into hard materials like metal or lumber. The angle of the tool’s tilt reaches 45 degrees, and the smart foot design makes the angle cutting easy and comfortable. The sole cover doesn’t mar the surface, and the power cut doesn’t leave any frilled edges on the cut. The all-metal durable front part doesn’t wear out in years and ensures constant efficient operation.
The blades can be exchanged quickly, no specific tool is needed. The unit has integrated LED light for tracking the blade’s path and controlling its correct position.
- Incorporated storage for the replacement blades provides for additional blades being at hand.
- Comfortable ergonomic handle and light operation trigger.
- Lifetime tool warranty.
- The blade-holding mechanism needs manual adjustment once in a while.
- The battery and charger are not offered with the tool.
Milwaukee 2645-20 — Ultra-Flexible and Reliable Operation
The sturdy wireless portable jigsaw offers the most versatility among the listed units. It has blade detents fixing it in four positions up to 45 degrees in both directions. The bevel of the blade doesn’t require any key or another tool to adjust and secure its position. It allows using this cordless jigsaw in the variety of locations, which is, however, is limited by the considerable size of the tool.
The working part of the jigsaw (including the nose) is pure metal which ensures its prolonged operation. The trail-free foot sole glides smoothly along any surface not leaving a single scratch.
The jigsaw also features the highly variable blade-rotation speed control knob that has 5 positions and serves for the various types of cuts — from the least penetrating curved ones to the deep flush holes.
- 18-Volt long-lasting battery provides for the heavy-duty work for more than 2 hours on one battery charge.
- Easy-to-grab and hold soft rubber hand with molds for the tight grip.
- Short rear part doesn’t come in a way when operating the tool.
- The blade length might be insufficient for some surfaces and materials.
- Inserting the blade properly is not quite easy — it requires strong pushing in for the correct setup.
What to Use the Jigsaw For?
A jigsaw represents a tool with the slim blade coming up and down sawing through the wood or other surfaces. The blade has its teeth directed upwards. Its operation is much like the mechanism of the sewing machine needle’s work.
The blade is connected with the motor through the assembly of numerous gears. It quickly goes down and then up cutting the object.
The foot base allows controlling the blade motion and stabilizing the jigsaw. Having variable speed and the narrow blade, jigsaws are often used for curved and round elaborated cuts.
How Deep a Jigsaw Can Go?
Depending on the motor power and blade quality, the jigsaw can cut various materials including wood, MDF, plexiglass, metal, and lighter surfaces. Factors determining the cut depth are blade’s length beneath the foot, number of teeth per inch, and density of the material.
What Materials Jigsaw is Able to Cut?
The most popular surfaces and objects that can be cut with jigsaws:
- wood (lumber, plywood, construction piles);
- plastic (also plexiglass and fiberglass);
- plasterboard (mostly, the cuts for electric outlets);
- ceramic tile (mostly, curved and round cuts);
- metal (steel, aluminum).
Saber Saw: What is It?
Today, these two terms are used interchangeably and define the same tool. The appearance of two terms was caused by the implementation of the blade turning knob into existing tool called jigsaw. Upon that, the tools without such knob have been called saber saws, while the ones having it called jigsaws.
Wireless vs. Corded. Which Jigsaw to Choose?
The main distinction between the two types of jigsaws lies in the dilemma between more power and lighter encasing and unlimited portability.
The corded jigsaws are the most powerful tools of this kind that work without limit, as far as the power supply continues. They fit for the heavy-duty professional work. The high power allows them to cut through thick and tough surfaces such as metal or hardwood. These jigsaws don’t have the batteries and thus, weigh less than the cordless models.
The cordless jigsaws are not limited by the length of the cable and can be easily carried along, which widens the area of their usage. At the same time, they are limited by the capacity of the battery, which also adds to the considerable weight of the tool. The battery doesn’t ensure constant high power, so, these tools fit for lighter materials like plasterboard and wood panels.
Using a Jigsaw
Before using a jigsaw, learn about the tool and the way it works. Then, ensure you have everything ready for your purpose: a jigsaw (a full battery if it is cordless), a blade of the length and number of teeth required for cutting the chosen material, a workplace (any even surface, tough enough), and clamps for securing the material.
Starting to operate the jigsaw, go through the following steps:
- Secure the material with clamps.
- Choose the rotating speed of the blade.
- Install the blade.
- Install the battery (for cordless models).
- Install the foot of the jigsaw on the workpiece with the blade not touching it.
- Activate the blade and let the motor of the tool run before directing the blade onto the workpiece.
- Direct the blade to the workpiece following the desired route.
- Make the cut (for the straight ones, use the straight edge as a landmark).
- When finished, let the blade stop.
- Lift the tool and disconnect it (remove the battery).
Picking a Jigsaw. What to Look For?
Apart from the difference between the corded and cordless jigsaw, there are other factors to consider:
- Brand. If you have batteries of a certain brand, you can save a lot purchasing a bare tool and getting more value for the money.
- Power. The harder the surface you are going to work with, the more power you will need.
- Speed adjustment. Tweaking the speed you can go accurately through curved and straight cuts.
- Additional options. A dust-blower or a laser guide ease up the work immensely.
- Price. More options and power increase the price, so define your purpose precisely to buy exactly the jigsaw you need.
What Blades Pair to the Jigsaw?
The different type of blades are used for different materials and are distinguished by:
- The blade material. It can be the high carbon steel (the most flexible), high-speed steel (more durable), bi-metal (combining the HCS and HSS), and tungsten carbide (the most durable and heat-resisting).
- The type of shank. There are blades with the U-shaped shank at their top that are rarely used today. Most of the jigsaws use the T-shank blades that fit into their keyless clamps.
- The number of teeth. The more teeth there are, the faster the blade operates. However, fewer teeth provide for the smoother and more precise cut.