Dewalt Jigsaw Review DW331K

The Dewalt jigsaw DW331K is definitely a very unusual looking jigsaw. Normally, when we're doing any power tool review, we're not much into the looks of a tool but focus only on its performance. The Dewalt jigsaw, with its huge metal gear case, looks much like an outdated 30 year old model just being revamped. So we took the jigsaw to the shop and did some testing.

Here are the results of our Dewalt jigsaw review:

Dewalt DW331 K Jigsaw Review - Power and Weight

With its 6.5 Amps (120V) motor the Dewalt slightly outperforms the jigsaw market leader, the Bosch 1590 EVK (6.4 Amps). Its variable speed electronics allows the stroke adjustments ranging from 500 to 3100 strokes per minutes, in stroke lengths of 1".

All this is perfect for a great cutting performance. We tested this saw, cutting hardwood (oak) at 3" using a T-shank Bosch T744 jigsaw blade. All cuts were executed at an excellent speed due to its 4-step orbital action.

Blade Wander due to No Blade Guide System

However, the Dewalt DW331K is missing a special blade guide system. The jigsaws simple rear-roller blade guide isn't enough for precision cuts. Blade wander is a problem especially while cutting at larger depths.

Quick Blade Change and Ergonomics

As with most professional jigsaws, the DW331K comes with a fast keyless blade change mechanism. Without any additional hand tools the jigsaw blade is changed quickly. This Dewalt blade change mechanism is also the reason this Dewalt jigsaw accepts only T-shank blades (as opposed to the usual Black&Decker U-shank type blades).

For professionals this is not a disadvantage, since most woodworkers have already moved over to T-shank ("Bosch type") blades.

This dewalt model has been designed with an integrated mini dust blower to keep the cutting line clear. It's cast foot is covered by a plastic sub-base to prevent scratches on your workpiece.

The top handle of the DeWalt DW 331 K is covered with a softgrip-type rubber for better handling. During working we found the electronics settings wheel, which is part of the main switch badly positioned. I am not really sure why this wheel needs to be so tiny and badly located.

Dewalt DW331K Jigsaw Review
Motor Power 6.5 Amp - 120 V
Depth of Cut (in Wood) we tested up to 3-1/2""
Blade Guide Simple Rear Wheel
Jigsaw Blade Change Keyless - Fast Blade Change Lever
Orbital Action 4 - Step Setting
Jigsaw Foot Cast foot with plastic surface protection
Bevel Adjustment Keyless with multiple steps
Anti Splintering n.a.
Dust Extraction Hose Integrated not available
Variable Speed Electronics 500 - 3100 Strokes Per Minute
Constant Speed Electronics n.a.
Softgrip Handle
Extra Light on Cutting Line No
Laser Line on Cutting Line No
Metal Gear Case Yes - Not covered, gets warm during heavy use
Motor Housing Single Part Housing
Accepts T-Shank Jigsaw Blades Yes
Circular Cutting Guide Accessory n.a.
Parallel Cutting Guide (Rip Fence) n.a.
Carrying Case Yes
Review Rating for the DeWalt DW331 K jigsaw:

Review Summary Dewalt DW331 K:

With its basic features the Dewalt DW331K is a solid powerful jigsaw.  It occupies the market for heavy duty jigsaws. Its street-price of around $180 makes it an interesting jigsaw for the carpenter, roofer or framer.

From a professional cabinet maker point of view, its missing a precision blade guide system to prevent blade wander as well as tending toward a rather old-fashioned and bulky design. The Dewalt DW331 is my third choice, and way behind the Bosch 1590 EVSK jigsaw or the Festool PS 300 EQ jigsaw.

Filed under Jigsaws

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