In our final part of our jigsaw review series we will ultimately get to the main question on what jigsaw you should buy?
This is the 4th part of our jigsaw review article series. Part 3 can be found here: Jigsaw Review – Finding the best Jigsaw.
Before we come up with the detailed comparison table, lets finish looking at what to look for on a jigsaw before you think about buying a certain model:
Jigsaw Blades – T-Shank or U-Shank ?
How do you decide which jigsaw is best for you? You may find it helpful take a close look at key accessories. In the case of jigsaws, your decision might be decided by which blade your jigsaw will accommodate. There are only two components to the jigsaw blade marketplace:
T – Shank Jigsaw Blades originally designed by Bosch (Scintilla). Bosch jig saw blades with there conical shank top, holds the blade by a vertical screw mechanism. Since it can also be held by horizontal blade fittings, it’s a universally usable shank type. Most jigsaws on the market can hold T Shank blades.
U- Shank Jigsaw Blades where originally mainly found on Black & Decker jigsaws. The U-shank allows the blade to be horizontally screwed to the jigsaw shank. U-shank jigsaw blades are very common in North America, but carry the disadvantage of being difficult to fit into Bosch jigsaws. This limits their usage to certain models.
What Jigsaw Blade Shank Type Should I go for?
As a very easy rule of thumb I would recommend the following:
The craftsman and professional woodworker should purchase a jigsaw that holds at least T-shank jigsaw blades. You’ll discover that most manufacturers offer this.
As your first choice buy T shank replacement blades, especially if you prefer a Bosch or Festool jigsaw. These brands might not be able to accommodate U-shank blades. From the beginning make certain these types of blades will fit the jigsaw models you’ve purchased.
Useful Jigsaw Accessories and Parts
Other available jigsaw accessories worth having a look at, in order to know which are available in case needed:
Circular Cutting Guide. Usually a simple metal bar with a pin on one end fits to the Foot of the jigsaw. The mechanism allows for circular cuts. Perhaps it is also useful for rough quick cuts. Professionals might use alternative tools and machinery for this task (bandsaw or cnc router).
Parallel Cutting Guide is a simple parallel ‘rip fence,’ attached to the Foot of the jigsaw allows material of the same width. This accessory is used in DIY models mostly. It’s not important for the professional models. Most professional woodworkers use:
- a) for portable cutting: circular saw with a guide rail system, to guarantee much precise parallel cutting
- b) stationary cutting: table saw with rip fence
Dust Extraction Kit. Some jigsaw manufacturers sell this kit as an add-on. Some high-end models have this kit already included. The kit usually allows a vacuum cleaner to hook up to the jigsaw. Remember that dust extraction is becoming an increasingly important part for any professional, especially when working on site. Worth having a look at.
Carrying Case. This is very important! Some will tell you that carrying cases aren’t important (for some type of power tools), for your jig saw, these cases are key for safety and preservation of the equipment. Apart from storing your saw properly, it is normally the number one place to keep all your blades. Therefore, be certain to use your professional jigsaw with a solid carrying case with space to store all jigsaw blades and accessories.
What Jigsaw is Right For Me?
From all the above review of key components of a jigsaw, lets have a closer look at what a jigsaw should have for certain kinds of users:
|Homeowner and DIY
|Carpenter & Roofer
Heavy Duty Frame Worker
|Motor Power||up to 550 Watts ( 5 Amp)||550 – 650 Watts ( 5 to 5.9 Amp)||more than 650 Watt ( 6 Amp)|
|Depth of Cut (in Wood min.)||50mm 2″||75 mm (3″)||125 mm (5″)|
|Blade Guide||Back Wheel Roller||Extra Rear Blade Guide||Extra Rear Blade Guide|
|Jigsaw Blade Change||Screwdriver||Keyless||Keyless|
|Orbital Action||Recommended||Must have||Must have|
|Jigsaw Foot||Sheet Metal||Cast or Metal with surface protection||Cast or Metal|
|Anti Splintering||Recommended||Useful||Not needed|
|Dust Extraction Hose Integrated||Recommended||Recommended||Useful|
|Variable Speed Electronics||Recommended||Important||Important|
|Constant Speed Electronics||Not needed||Useful||Important|
|Extra Light on Cutting Line||Useful||Useful||Useful|
|Laser Line on Cutting Line||Not needed||Not needed||Not needed|
|Metal Gear Case||Useful||Important||Important|
|Motor Housing||Two Part Housing||Single Part Housing||Single Part Housing|
|Should accept T-Shank Blades||Recommended||Important||Important|
|Circular Cutting Guide Accessory||Useful||Not needed||Not needed|
|Parallel Cutting Guide (Rip Fence)||Useful||Not needed||Not needed|
What Jigsaw Should I Buy ?
Depending on you intend to use the jigsaw mostly for you will find “your personal best jigsaw” after reviewing it thoroughly. To me as a cabinet maker I use two corded jigsaws, a Bosch 1590 evsk and a Festool Trion PSB300 in my workshop. On both jigsaws I like the quick blade change mechanism and the precision blade guide. For more heavy duty work, I tend to use the Bosch more, but that’s just my personal choice.
Further Jigsaw Reviews by products:
- Bosch 1590 EVSK top handle jigsaw review
- Dewalt jigsaw review DW331K
- Festool PS 300 EQ Trion jigsaw review
Jigs Saw Review Summary:
Whenever you think about the purchase of a jigsaw for your workshop or home, you’ll want to be certain to check all important parts and features on today’s modern units. Remember, that not all new extras or accessories are genuinely needed. Some of these extras are really closer to gimmicks. You should compare key components like blade change mechanisms, blade guiding, the jigsaw foot and the gear case, prior to deciding which jigsaw to buy.
With all the examined components and features a jigsaw could/should have, you should now go on and find out and evaluate for yourself what is it that you want to look for when you buy a jigsaw.