This is part 2 of our jigsaw review covering amongst others Bosch jigsaws and key parts you should look at before you decide what jigsaw to buy. Part one on how to find the best jigsaw can be found here: Jigsaw Reviews.
Jig Saw Blade Change
As you decide on the type of jig saw to buy, you might want to review the jigsaws blade change mechanism. It’s very important when using the jigsaw efficiently, to make sure it comes with a quick saw blade change mechanism. Bosch jigsaws where one of the first to offer there than called SDS click jigsaw blade change mechanism. Nowadays Bosch has improved there blade change and other jigsaw manufacturers like Makita, Dewalt or Festool, have come up with similar solutions on their power tools. Depending on the type of jig saw blade fixtures, whether “keyed’ or ‘keyless’ these are the ones available in the market place ( Note. in the following we show the Festool and Bosch jigsaw – the Bosch 1590evs and Bosch GST80PE products mainly to demonstrate key features a jigsaw should have):
- Keyed – Vertical Screw
- Keyed – Horizontal Screw
- Keyless – Quick Change Mechanisms
|Jig Saw Blade Vertical Screw – Bosch
|Keyed Jigsaw Blade Change – Horizontal
|Keyless Jig Saw Blade Change – Festool
|One of the most sold jigsaws ever, the Bosch GST80PE models come with a extended screwdriver. A specially countersunk screw holds the jigsaw blade in the shank.
|Most commonly used for Black and Decker Type U-Shank jigsaw blades. An hex screw holds the blade from one side in the shank.
|Various manufacturers such as Makita, Bosch, DeWalt or Festool offer quick saw blade change mechanisms. Without any need for a key or screwdriver, the jigsaw blade is changed in seconds. These systems make blade changes very easy.
Jigsaw Orbital Action
Any good professional jig saw (like in the picture next the Bosch 1590 evsk 6.4 amp ) comes with either an orbital or a pendulum action. The orbital action upward blade has a forward stroke, allowing operation at a higher cutting speed as well as fast, rough cuts. However, the orbital action increases the chance of splintering. The jig saw cuts other materials besides wood. The power tool will cut Metal or Aluminum for example, but you have to stop or shut down the average four position orbital action completely. Most professional jigsaws come with a for position orbital switch (0-3 position.) with position three offering the most aggressive movement for an effortless cutting in wood.
The Jigsaw Foot – A Key Component
When it comes to pick the best jigsaw, one of the most important fixtures on a professional jigsaw is the foot. The type of foot distinguishes an excellent jig saw as opposed to a mediocre jig saw. If you are purchasing a new or replacement jig saw, think about the areas around the jig saw foot before you buy:
- Foot material – is it steel or cast iron
- Foot surface protection – protecting delicate surfaces from scratches
- Bevel adjustment on the jigsaw foot – ‘keyed’ or ‘keyless’
- Adjustment of foot movements for cuts near the edge
- Allowing anti splintering inserts
- Incorporating a dust extraction channel
Jigsaws Foot Material
The base material of a jig saw is very important. Traditionally, jigsaw foots where made out of steel. Eventually manufacturers use cast foots so that the jigsaw base would be able to accept more devices. Some power tool companies (like Makita on its cordless jigsaw ) have developed a combined cast foot with metal insert. This provides the best of the rigidness of steel, and the adaptability of the cast.
|Steel Jigsaw Foot
|Cast Jigsaw Foot
|Cast and Steel Jig saw Base
|Jigsaw foot in steel
|Cast iron jigsaw foot on a Bosch jigsaw
|Some Makita jigsaws use a combined cast foot with a steel plate insert, to enforce the base.
Jigsaw Surface Protection
Usually composed of a durable nylon composite material, this attachment for the base of your jig saw is designed to protect scratchable or delicate services. Today this attachment commonly eliminates sticky tape or other home remedies.
|Cast Jigsaw Foot
|Foot Scratch Protection
|Cat jigsaw foot with separate protection shoe
|Detachable subset shoe (nylon) protects delicate surfaces from scratches
Bevel Adjustment of the Jigsaws Foot
Making bevel cuts is an important function of any jig saw. Normally a pivotal screw is aided by an Allen key, which adjusts the base or footplate on the jigsaw. If you’re planning to use your jig saw for bevel cuts, have a look at a ‘keyless’ foot adjustment system.
|Bevel Adjustment Keyed
|Bevel Adjustment Keyless
|Jigsaw with foot bevel adjustment using an allen key
|Bosch is using a simple lever to adjust the bevel of the jigsaws foot.
|Additionally a little wheel allows to adjust the tightness of which the foot is fastened.
Anti Splintering Insert
Any good jig saw Foot should be able to accept anti-splintering attachments.
|Anti Splintering Insert
|Shown on a Makita Cordless Jigsaw Foot
|Occasionally of importance when cutting delicate surfaces is an anti-splintering inset.
|A good jigsaw (as shown here from a Makita jigsaw), allows a little plastic insert snatched into the foot. The insert provides no gap to the saw blade which prevents splintering. Regardless of what jigsaw blade out of your blade set you use, the inset gets cut and wears out after a while.
Incorporated Dust Extraction Channel
Occupational health is becoming increasingly important. Dust extraction is becoming increasingly important. Some jig saw manufacturers have come up with innovative ways of incorporating the dust extraction hose into the Foot to improve dust extraction directly at the cutting point.
|Dust Extraction Channels integrated in Cast Jigsaw Foot
|Additional Dust Extraction Channels
|Mini Dust Blower on Bosch Jigsaw
|Festool jigsaw with dust extraction hose directly integrated into the cast jigsaw foot.
|Some manufacturers like Festool come with extra cutouts in the jigsaw foot, to allow additional dust extraction channels directly off the workpiece surface.
|Most professional Bosch jigsaws come with a mini dust blower right above the foot. It blows the cutting line free of chips and dust. Can be switched off if metal is cut (using cooling liquid).