Having a reliable jigsaw in your workshop is essential when you need precise curves or a clean, manual cutting option. Jigsaws come in various sizes, with different power capabilities, and with a wealth of varying features. As such, it’s critical you choose the right one for your needs.
You may find all of the specifications and options available overwhelming if you’ve already started looking for the best jigsaw to add to your tool collection. Don’t worry! We’ve done the research and some extensive side-by-side testing for you.
These reviews and our comprehensive buyer’s guide should help you decide on the best saw for your shop and purchase the jigsaw that will serve you best.
Best Jigsaws – Our Top Picks
BuildEazy.com may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Our top pick for a convenient cordless jigsaw is the Dewalt 20V Max Jig Saw. It delivers immense power and offers multiple settings to get you through just about any project, time after time. It’s durable, precise, and reliable.
Bosch’s JS470E Jig Saw is our top pick if you’re looking for a corded saw. It offers features and adjustments to suit multiple project types, and it’s the most comfortable saw we tested.
If you’re in search of a saw with a brushless motor – for increased efficiency and reduced noise – we recommend the Ridgid Octane 18V Jig Saw. It has a “line start” technology that increases precision and ease of use.
If the price isn’t an issue and you want the highest quality product possible, the Festool 561443 PS 300 EQ Jig Saw won’t disappoint. It has a hefty weight, convenient features, and a dust collection port for efficient cleanup.
You’ll likely find the best bang for your buck with the Makita XVJ03Z 18V LXT Jig Saw. It offers excellent stability and impressive adjustment options at a fantastic price.
Lastly, if you’re just getting into woodworking or want the most affordable saw that will still deliver quality performance, we recommend the Black+Decker BDEJS600C Jig Saw.
Reviews of Our Favorite Jigsaws
Dewalt 20V Max Jig Saw (DCS331B)
The cordless DCS331B jigsaw from Dewalt is our favorite for ease of use and durability. In our experience, Dewalt builds its tools to last and provides some of the most durable products for frequent use. This jigsaw is certainly deserving of the Dewalt name. It’s heavy at 4.4 lbs, predominantly made of metal, and feels like it will last through years of heavy use.
Our favorite thing about this jigsaw is that it’s cordless, making it much easier to maneuver safely while you’re cutting than corded options. You’ll be able to make curved and rounded cuts without having to relocate a power cord around your work.
It’s powered by a long-lasting, 20V battery, so a single charge will likely power the tool through multiple woodworking projects. The saw doesn’t come with a battery but requires one for use, so make sure you purchase one separately. It’s compatible with all Dewalt 20V batteries, so you can use a battery from another cordless Dewalt tool if you have one.
It includes a powerful motor that will likely stand up to countless projects. It also has an adjustable speed, making it easy to optimize for the wood you’re cutting. You can rip through plywood quickly and then create clean cuts through hardwoods with one simple adjustment.
The motor is brushed — more about this in our Buyer’s Guide below. It’s noisier and a bit less efficient than some other models, but we didn’t find the noise level to be excessive. Of all of the saws we tested that had brushed motors, the Dewalt was among the quietest.
It includes an LED light to illuminate the workspace for safety. The light makes following your guide line easier and doesn’t require external lighting. The lighting also lends itself to better precision in your work.
The base can tilt and lock into place for beveled cutting settings. Dewalt did an excellent job with fitted angle locks to keep it secure and correctly angled during operation.
You can adjust the orbital action of the blade for some versatility for a variety of job applications. This option makes it convenient to cut everything from MDF to hardwoods.
Lastly, the blades get held in place by a T-shank and don’t require a key to release, so the blades are easy to swap out. The T-shank holds them securely so that they aren’t at risk of being released unintentionally while you’re working.
- Very durable
- Cordless for maneuverability
- Long-lasting battery
- Adjustable speed for efficiency on different materials
- It includes a brushed motor
- It includes an LED work light
- Adjustable base for a variety of cuts
- Adjustable orbital action
- It uses T-shank blades for safety
- Quick-release for swapping out blades
- It doesn’t come with a battery
- It’s a bit noisy
Bosch Power Tools Jig Saw (JS470E)
This Bosch jigsaw is another tool built for endurance and durability. Bosch is another company that always impresses us with the durability and quality of their products. They’re made to last and never compromise on power, and this jigsaw is no exception.
It’s a hefty saw at 5.6 lbs, so it’s a bit heavier than our top pick. While it’s made of strong materials, it’s still lightweight enough to maneuver and use comfortably. We’re confident that this jigsaw will last through countless woodworking projects and some workshop abuse.
This saw offers multiple orbital action settings and blade speeds to make cutting a variety of wood types straightforward. You can set how aggressive you want your cut to be to optimize for harder or softer woods and better efficiency. You can also limit burning, splintering, and blowouts by tuning your saw to fit your project.
It features a T-shank blade clamp with an auto-release lever for changing blades. You’ll be able to swap in a new saw blade without having to touch a potentially hot blade, and it won’t come dislodged during use. The blade gets held firmly in place with minimal lateral movement for precision and safety.
The handle on this jigsaw is exceptionally comfortable to hold. It has an ergonomic design and padding to reduce vibration felt in your hand. It’s a great thickness that offers good grip and maneuverability.
This Bosch saw uses a power cord, however, so it’s far less convenient to use than cordless models. You’ll have to make sure you’re clear of the cord while you’re cutting, and this can take away from your focus on your workpiece.
It also is a bit noisy, given that it has a brushed motor, and it will be less efficient than a brushless option. You can read more about the differences between brushless and brushed motors in our Buyer’s Guide. Still, this is a powerful motor that we’re confident will stand up to the test of time even though.
Lastly, there isn’t an LED work light included, so you’ll have to rely on external lighting at all times. This can be a bit of a pain, especially since you’ll likely need multiple lights to illuminate the blade area as you move through curves.
- It’s very durable
- Adjustable blade speed and orbital action
- Auto-release for blades
- Accepts T-shank blades
- Very comfortable to hold and reduces vibration in your hand
- It’s not cordless, so the wire is less convenient
- It uses a brushed motor
- It’s a bit noisy
- No LED light included
If you want to know more about the Bosch JS470E read our full review here.No posts for this criteria.
Ridgid Octane 18V Jig Saw
We recommend the Ridgid Octane Jig Saw if you’re looking for increased efficiency and reduced noise. You can read more about brushless motors in our Buyer’s Guide, but know that this saw is very quiet during operation and suitable for extended use, given the lower motor friction. The lower strain on the motor will also help extend the tool’s life.
This jigsaw has multiple options for orbital action and cutting speed, making it tunable to your specific project. The settings are easily changed as well, so you can make quick adjustments as needed between cuts.
Our favorite feature about this saw is the “line start” technology. This feature starts your cutting at a slower speed to reduce lateral blade movement and skipping along the edge of a workpiece. The speed then increases for efficient cutting. You can mimic this feature manually with variable-speed triggers, but it’s conveniently built into this saw.
This is a cordless jigsaw, so while it requires batteries and regular charging, it’s much more convenient to use than corded options. You won’t need to be tethered down, so bringing it to different areas of your workshop or moving from piece to piece will be effortless. It’s also lighter than most options at 4.15 lbs, and while it may not stand up to as much physical abuse in the workshop, it’s effortless to use and maneuver.
It doesn’t include a work light, so you may need to situate external lighting for precise cuts and a clear view of your guide line.
Additionally, the dust blower that removes sawdust from the cutting line isn’t very effective. You’ll need to attach the saw to a vacuum or stop the cut frequently to remove dust that may cover your guide line. This is a bit of a pain if you don’t have a dust collection system to link with this saw.
The blade release mechanism makes it simple to change blades, and it keeps them securely locked in during use for safety.
- Very quiet during operation
- Includes a brushless motor for tool longevity and efficiency
- Adjustable orbital action and blade speed
- Starts cutting slowly to reduce errors
- Cordless for convenience
- Very lightweight
- Simple blade-release mechanism
- Not as heavy-duty as some other saws
- Doesn’t include a work light
- The dust blower isn’t very effective
Festool 561443 PS 300 EQ Jigsaw
This jigsaw from Festool is our favorite high-end saw. Festool makes very high-quality tools with ease of use and durability in mind, so they’re suitable for everyone from weekend warriors to construction professionals. This jigsaw matches the expectations we have for Festool products. It’s durable and hefty at 9.55 lbs, and it’s powered by a strong motor capable of 2,900 SPM.
We have always preferred top handle saws, but this barrel-grip jigsaw convinced us that a two-handed grip allows for greater control and comfort. It provides for comfortable 2-handed operation for the smoothest and most precise cuts we got during our tests.
This is a corded saw that works best when connected to a vacuum for dust extraction. The lack of a dust blower makes it less convenient to maneuver, given that you’ll be tethered by a vacuum hose. However, the dust extraction is the most efficient we experienced, so stopping in the middle of a cut to clear your cut line won’t be an issue with this saw.
It features multiple cutting speeds and adjustable orbital action, so you can dial in your settings to match your project and wood type. This saw also has a slow-start technology, which reduces lateral movement during the start of a cut for the best precision.
Speaking of precision, this jigsaw comes equipped with clear, anti-splintering guides that keep your cut line clean without obstructing your view of the workpiece. You’ll find that cutting finishing pieces of wood is possible with this saw. You can comfortably cut more expensive pieces that will be visible on the final product without worrying about damaging them.
Festool designs its products to be expandable and to integrate seamlessly with their other tools and products. They have an impressive number of jigs and add-ons that can make your woodworking more enjoyable and effortless.
Lastly, the Festool 300 EQ has a simple blade locking mechanism that keeps T-shank blades fully secure during operation. The quick-release allows for easy swapping when needed.
- Very high-quality materials
- Includes a powerful motor
- Uses a barrel grip for precise cutting
- Allows for multiple cutting speeds and orbital action settings
- Gives you visibility of your cutting line
- There are many jigs available for this saw
- Quick-release for T-shank blades
- Very heavy
- Works best when you use it with a dust collector
- It’s very expensive
Makita XVJ03Z 18V Cordless Jig Saw
This Makita jigsaw is another cordless option that we enjoyed using during testing. Makita specializes in higher-end tools designed for professional use, and you’ll happily find that they didn’t miss the mark with this jigsaw.
It weighs 5.73 lbs, so it’s convenient to use and maneuver for safe, precise cuts. It will require the purchase of additional batteries and regular charging like all cordless saws.
It has a very comfortable top handle with padding that reduces vibration. You’ll be able to use this tool for extended periods without pain or tingling in your hands.
It features three different options for orbital action, which lets you choose the cutting efficiency based on the workpiece. You’ll be able to rip through plywood in no time with its 2,600 SPM speed or get a finer, more precise cut on finishing wood at the lowest setting.
It also features variable speed operation, which is excellent for working on different types of wood. However, the cutting speed is only adjustable by pulling the trigger to different levels and can’t be set with a speed dial.
You won’t be able to lock the speed based on your wood type, so you’ll have to adjust manually in real-time. Getting the right trigger speed for your project can be difficult to dial in and hold throughout the cut.
The base of this saw is heavy, which adds to the weight and detracts from the convenience of use, but it provides a sturdy guide for accurate cutting. It feels very secure while moving through wood, and you can feel it when your saw is flat on your workpiece.
The included LED work light also allows for precise and confident cutting, and it rids of the need for bright external lighting.
The blade changing mechanism requires no tools and is straightforward to use. It accepts T-shank blades for a secure hold during operation.
The blade guides allow for precision cutting, but we did experience some minor blade movement while starting cuts. If you’re able to start your cuts slowly and ramp-up speed, we recommend doing so with this jigsaw.
- Lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Very comfortable to hold
- Adjustable orbital action and blade speed
- It includes an LED light
- Quick-release for T-shank blades
- Doesn’t include a battery
- Blade speed must be manually adjusted with trigger depth
- Allows for some blade movement when beginning a cut
Black+Decker Jig Saw (BDEJS600C)
Black+Decker provides cheaper tools meant for less frequent use by homeowners or casual woodworkers, so this jigsaw is, unsurprisingly, our top pick for those on a budget. It’s another corded option that we tested, and it’s a bit more challenging to maneuver during use while avoiding the cable. However, it’s lightweight at just 4.6 lbs, and you’ll never need to worry about charging batteries.
The saw features orbit action control and variable cutting speeds up to 3,000 SPM, so you can reduce saw drift and adjust based on the wood you’re cutting. We were able to cut with relatively good control, but even the most rigid option did allow for some lateral movement, which can create jagged or uneven cuts.
Skilled woodworkers will find the side-to-side movement of the blade a bit irritating. However, beginners likely won’t notice and may not care, given the very affordable price.
The saw includes a dust blower to clear the cutting line of sawdust as you work, but we found that we still needed to stop regularly to remove it manually. There is also no port to connect it to a dust collection system. Your only option for maintaining a clear view of your guide line other than stopping will be to remove debris manually.
The saw also doesn’t include an LED light to illuminate the workspace, making it a bit more challenging to make precise cuts.
It accepts both T-shank and U-shank blades for convenience, which is an option even most higher-end saws don’t have. The T-shank blades offer better security and safety during cutting anyway, so we strongly recommend you stick with those.
The blade lock mechanism is straightforward to use. However, it does require you to place your finger just in front of the blade to change it out. This can be dangerous, so we strongly recommend unplugging the saw before swapping.
Having to unplug to change the blade is somewhat inconvenient if you’re working with multiple wood types or thicknesses that require different blades. Still, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem for most common projects.
While this saw is the most affordable on our list and may therefore be best for beginner woodworkers on a budget, it is also the noisiest and provides the most uncomfortable vibration while cutting.
- Very affordable
- Includes variable cutting speed and orbital action
- Accepts both T-shank and U-shank blades
- Great if you’re a beginner
- Corded saw
- Not very precise
- The dust blower isn’t very effective
- No port for dust collection
- Doesn’t include an LED work light
- Requires unplugging to swap blades
If you want to know more about the Black and Decker BDEJS600C read our full review here:No posts for this criteria.
As we’re sure you can see by now, choosing a jigsaw to fit your needs and your budget probably isn’t as simple as you might have thought initially. Although a jigsaw is a relatively simple tool, every model is different and suitable for various applications.
Make sure you keep the below features in mind while you’re choosing a jigsaw to add to your collection. These can make the difference between a saw that’s perfect for your needs and one that falls short of your expectations.
Best Jigsaw Brands
Many woodworkers find themselves shopping for new tools based on brand alone for convenience. Once you find a name you trust, it can be effortless to commit to their quality and durability in the future.
In general, the top brands for high-quality products are Dewalt, Bosch, Milwaukee, Festool, and Makita. These companies all make suitable tools for commercial use, so you can be sure they’ll stand the test of time in any woodshop. However, they do come with a higher price tag.
Mid-range brands include Ryobi, Rockwell, and Ridgid. These companies make tools that are better suited for infrequent use. They will likely last years when used a few times each month, which makes them great for woodworkers just getting into the hobby who still want quality.
The two most popular budget brands are Black+Decker and WEN. These companies cater to woodworkers on a budget, and their products are often the cheapest and have the lowest durability and quality. These are perfect for those looking to get into woodworking without spending hundreds of dollars on tools, or anyone who will use their shop infrequently.
Corded Vs. Cordless
We think the most essential choice you’ll need to make is whether you’d prefer a corded or a cordless jigsaw. This is an important first decision because you can find most other features on both battery-operated and corded jigsaws.
Corded jigsaws aren’t as convenient to use because you’ll need to maneuver the saw while paying careful attention to the position of your power cord. A jigsaw is most suitable for curved cuts, and these can become frustrating to make if you also need to worry about cord placement.
However, corded saws never need recharging, so you won’t find yourself with dead batteries when you start a project. They also don’t require any additional purchases and will work right out of the box.
Of course, the inverse is true for cordless jigsaws. Cordless saws are very convenient and easy to maneuver. They are our preferred option for intricate work or projects that require cuts to circle back on themselves. You will need to purchase batteries separately and charge them regularly. The added convenience might make them worth the additional cost for you.
Barrel Grip Vs. Top Handle
One of the more discerning features you’ll have to choose when selecting your jigsaw is the handle type. Top handle saws are more popular, but both have their advantages.
Barrel-grip jigsaws usually provide more precise cuts because they allow for two-handed control. You’ll likely feel more confident guiding the cut with a barrel grip. You’ll need to clamp your workpiece to a workstation with this grip because you won’t have a free hand to secure it while you cut.
Having to clamp a workpiece isn’t the end of the world for most people. However, it can be inconvenient if you need to reposition your piece frequently due to intricate cuts.
Top-handle saws allow you to operate them with one hand. You can secure the workpiece with your other hand when using a top handle, allowing for less secure but more convenient maneuvering.
Variable Cutting Speed
Many jigsaws allow you to choose from various cutting speeds, which change the rate at which the saw cuts through your workpieces. Cutting speed may seem somewhat inconsequential, but there are many advantages to being able to dial in this setting.
First, some speed settings are ideal for different wood types. A slower cutting speed combined with slower movements can cut through hardwoods like oak or maple without burning the sides of more expensive wood species.
Conversely, a fast cutting speed is suitable for softwoods like pine and softer hardwoods like poplar. Using the fastest speed will make quick work of a line through softer woods. Ultimately, being able to tune your saw to your project will provide the best results.
Variable speed is usually controlled by one of two options: a dial that limits motor speed or a variable trigger. Dial control lets you program your saw before you begin cutting to a setting that suits your project. This is convenient because you don’t have to focus on how hard you’re pulling the trigger and instead can focus on the cut you’re making.
Variable-speed triggers are slightly less convenient. You’ll have to make live-time adjustments to the speed by pulling or releasing the trigger more.
Trigger-controlled speed lets you adjust on the fly, so you won’t need to stop your cut to readjust. You will need to hold the trigger at the appropriate depth for the entirety of the cut. This takes focus away from your work and can be tricky to get right.
Lastly, some jigsaws have slow-start technology built-in, which starts cutting slowly and ramps up the speed as you progress into the cut. Starting slowly reduces lateral blade movement and can be a great option to increase precision. It also means you won’t have to restart a cut at the appropriate place on your workpiece if you miss the mark the first time.
Jigsaws that use trigger depth to control variable speed can inherently use slow-start practices. With these saws, you’ll need to control the speed yourself and increase it to the appropriate setting as you work.
Motor power is an often overlooked feature of power tools, but it’s one of the most important for the durability and longevity of your equipment.
The power behind your jigsaw’s motor will determine how much force gets put behind your blade. Although a jigsaw blade is sharp enough to cut wood, it will naturally catch your workpiece repeatedly as it makes the cut. This catching can challenge your tool and put wear on the motor.
Continued use of your jigsaw will put more and more stress on its motor. Higher-powered motors are built to resist those stressors and will have longer lifespans and last through more projects.
Of course, higher-end jigsaws with more powerful motors are more expensive. They’re better suited for those who work with their tools often because they’ll stand up to regular motor stress and will outlast cheaper options.
If you’re an avid woodworker, a jigsaw with a less powerful motor will cost less upfront but more in the long run when you inevitably have to replace it. If you’re a “weekend warrior” or just do projects from time to time, a lower-power motor may save you money and last long enough for your purposes.
Brushed Vs. Brushless
Another option you’ll need to decide on when it comes to the motor is whether you’d prefer a brushed or brushless jigsaw. Without getting into the mechanics of how a motor works, a brushed motor uses carbon brushes to transfer charge from a power source to the spinning mechanism of the motor. This charge gets passed through direct contact.
In contrast, brushless motors send electrical charges to the spinning mechanism over a gap. Brushless motors have a few advantages over brushed motors because of the reduced friction on internal components.
First, they put less strain on your equipment by removing the contact with brushes, which means your tool will run cooler and quieter. Less friction means less resistance on your motor, and less resistance generally means a longer tool lifespan and a lower chance of doing damage to your motor with continued use.
Most importantly, brushless motors respond to the resistance that is placed on them and adjust automatically. A brushed motor operates at its maximum capacity at all times. Conversely, brushless motors will reduce the amount of power going to your motor when there’s little or no resistance against the blade.
This means a more efficient operation, which again leads to better longevity of your tool and a cooler running temperature.
However, brushless motor tools are unilaterally more expensive than their brushed counterparts if all other specifications remain the same. The parts are more costly to manufacture, so the end product is pricier.
If you plan to use your jigsaw often or for continued use, a brushless motor will cost more upfront but will last longer and cost less in the long run. If you only do woodworking projects on occasion, then a cheaper brushed motor may suit you better.
Sawdust and bits of wood naturally collect immediately in front of the blade as you use a jigsaw to cut through a workpiece. This position is precisely where you’ll typically keep your focus as you cut along a guide line. Many jigsaws come equipped with dust blowers to blow the debris away from your blade and maintain a clear sight line for the user.
Without a dust blower, you’ll find yourself stopping the cut relatively often to remove sawdust manually. Neglecting to do so may lead to imprecision in your work. However, stopping and starting continuously also allows for imperfections to make their way into your project because the blade has a chance to move laterally each time you start cutting again.
However, jigsaws with dust blowers aren’t always convenient to use because some blowers aren’t strong enough or properly angled toward the blade to remove debris.
An alternative to dust blowers that can be finicky and unhelpful is using a vacuum attachment. Some jigsaws don’t have vacuum ports at all. For those without a hose hookup, you should make sure it has a decent dust blower to offer some dust removal from your cutting line.
If you prefer to use your jigsaw with a dust collection system, you won’t have any problem with debris obstructing your view of the cut, but you will need to maneuver both the saw and the vacuum hose. This will be less convenient, especially during complex, circular, or very curvy cuts.
You may want to consider a corded jigsaw if you prefer to rely on a vacuum to clean up your workspace as you cut, as it won’t be much less convenient to maneuver an added cable and won’t require you to recharge batteries routinely.
Orbital Vs. Straight Jigsaw
There are two types of saw blade movements you can choose from when purchasing a jigsaw: orbital and straight blade motion. Older model jigsaws and newer, cheaper models use a straight cutting pattern, which means the blade travels straight up and down perpendicular to your workpiece.
Straight jigsaws provide less chance of lateral blade movement, so they generally offer good cutting precision. However, they do place more wear on the saw’s motor, so a straight jigsaw with an equally powerful motor won’t last as long as an orbital option.
Orbital jigsaws move the blade up and down but also angle it forward and backward in a circular motion. They cut much faster and produce less resistance for your motor to handle.
Many orbital jigsaws come with the ability to change orbital action, which means you can adjust how much your blade gets angled during operation. Generally speaking, orbital saws that offer this adjustment can be set to be just as precise as straight jigsaws. However, they are more expensive, given the added functionality.
Jigsaw blades come in two variations: T-shank and U-shank. A T-shank blade gets securely clamped into place and won’t get dislodged during use, while a U-shank blade relies on screw tension to hold the blade in place.
U-shank blades can come loose from saw vibration or from pressure on the blade during operation, which can potentially be dangerous. Therefore, T-shank blades are superior for safety reasons.
Some cheaper jigsaws still use U-shank blades and won’t accept T-shanks, but there are plenty of budget options, such as the Black+Decker BDEJS600C model reviewed above, that accept both. As such, we strongly recommend you purchase a saw that takes T-shank blades even if your budget restricts other features.
Blade Changing Mechanism
In addition to the blade type, you’ll want to make sure you pay attention to how the blades get changed on a jigsaw you’re considering. Some budget options use screws you’ll need to loosen and tighten to swap blades, but most modern models use quick-release mechanisms that don’t require any tools.
Some release mechanisms are more convenient to use than others. Some require holding the saw in awkward or potentially dangerous positions that require you to unplug the saw first for safety. Others use a simple spring-loaded lever that makes blade changing a breeze.
Some of the more expensive jigsaws include an ejecting mechanism that automatically pops out the blade when you release it. This option is convenient for changing blades in the middle of a project because it doesn’t require you to touch the hot blade you’re removing.
We’ve swapped out hot blades during woodworking sessions using gloves or pliers, but there’s nothing more convenient than having the blade removed for you without tools or the threat of burning your fingers.
Accessories and Features
While most of the cheaper jigsaw options have many of the same features, some of the more expensive ones include accessories and added features that make using the tool smoother and more efficient.
For example, some saws come with an LED work light that automatically turns on during use to illuminate your workspace and help keep your cuts precise.
Others include laser pointers that can pinpoint where your blade will cut or lay down a laser line on your workpiece to show you your blade’s trajectory. A laser line can be very helpful for making precision cuts and can make up for a faulty dust blower.
Some saws, like the Bosch Power Tools JS470E jigsaw reviewed above, include padding on the handle to reduce the vibration you feel during operation. This feature makes use more comfortable but can also help with accuracy, as you won’t be fighting against the vibrating while making your cuts.
As mentioned previously, many jigsaws come with a dust blower to remove debris from your cut line. Others have vacuum hookups to connect your saw to your dust collection system, and some saws offer both options.
You may find that plywoods or MDF boards are better suited for use with a dust collection system, given how much debris they tend to kick up, while hardwoods or softwoods are suitable for use with your saw’s dust blower.
Having both options on a saw can be a nice feature and will allow you ample debris removal for some projects while maximizing maneuverability for others.
Lastly, many jigsaws come with lock-on buttons that allow you to lock the trigger in the on position. This option is convenient for extended cutting sessions where holding the trigger constantly can become tiring.
Lock-on buttons for some higher-end models with variable trigger speed allow you to lock the trigger in multiple locations, effectively giving you the option of dialing in your blade speed for use on different wood types.
Lastly, you’ll want to consider how much your jigsaw weighs. Some saws are very lightweight, easy to maneuver above a workpiece, and comfortable to handle for long periods of time. However, a lightweight jigsaw isn’t necessarily better than a heavier saw and may not be ideal for your purposes.
For example, lighter jigsaws usually weigh less because of cheaper, less durable materials used in construction. Plastic is significantly lighter than steel or aluminum, but it won’t last as long and won’t stand up to the abuse your tool may take in your workshop. Heavier jigsaws tend to be more durable because their components and casings are made of heavy-duty materials.
Lightweight saws are easier to handle and move around your workpiece, but sometimes a heavier saw is more convenient to use for precision. Heavier jigsaws will give you more feedback during operation, and you may find that lightweight saws move too easily and cause imperfections in your work.
Since the motor in a lightweight jigsaw is still made mostly of metal, lighter materials in your saw base usually lead to a lower overall weight. A heavy-duty jigsaw usually includes a hefty base, and while these can be more challenging to maneuver, they also provide balance to your tool.
Lightweight jigsaws are often top-heavy because the metal motor is suspended over plastic components, so a heavier saw might suit you better by giving you more balance and a better sense of how your saw is moving along your workpiece while you cut.
Wrapping Up: Which Jigsaw is the Best?
We’re sure it’s evident by now that there is no such thing as the perfect jigsaw for all applications. There are saws that suit different skill levels, various personal preferences, and different projects. Hopefully, the reviews we put together here have given you enough information to narrow in on the saw that will be best suited for you.
Whether you’re looking for the most reliable jigsaw, a lightweight option, a saw with a brushless motor, or one with a high degree of adjustability, there is an excellent choice of jigsaw out there for you. We’re hopeful that the detailed information in our buyer’s guide has offered some insight into what’s most important and which saw will match your needs best.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Is Better, Jigsaw Or Reciprocating Saw?
This depends greatly on what you’re going to be using it for. If you want a saw that can be used anywhere and pretty much cut any material, the reciprocating saw is hard to beat.
However, jigsaws give the user much more control and are especially good for delicate work involving curves and unusual lines. This is presumably why they are called jigsaws because you could cut unusual bumps and shapes like if you were to make a jigsaw puzzle with one.
Generally, the two saws are quite similar in terms of the thickness and materials they can handle, but the key difference is in their flexibility and usage.
If you are doing a construction project and want something you can use above head level, on the ground or anywhere else to cut materials like wood easily then the reciprocating saw is ideal. If you want something for precision woodwork on a table or bench, then the jigsaw is for you.
Neither one is better than the other, but choosing one over the other will definitely depend on what you’re going to be using it for.
Are Jigsaws Easy To Use?
Most people find jigsaws easy enough to use, but if it’s your first time using one there are a couple of things you’ll need to know. Firstly jigsaws can be hard on the wrists compared to other types of saws.
They have a tendency to catch and can wrench the arm a bit if you aren’t expecting it. In terms of where to use it, you won’t be able to use it like you might a reciprocating or circular saw. You’ll need to use it on a stable surface such as a workbench.
Jigsaws can be used to cut straight lines, but they are also great for more intricate work and can accommodate smooth curves, bends, and angular work without much trouble.
Our advice to you is to practice on scrap wood first and keep a firm hand on whatever it is you’re cutting so it’s sandwiched between a sturdy surface and your palm.
Can I Use A Jigsaw Instead Of A Circular Saw?
A jigsaw can accomplish most of the tasks that a circular saw can, however, there are some key things to consider when you’re trying to decide which is best for a particular job. Circular saws have a much more powerful, large blade.
Like the name would suggest, a circular saw has a disc-shaped blade that revolves. This makes it great for quickly cutting straight lines, but it is next to useless for dealing with complicated niche cuts because the blade is straight and wide. That’s where the jigsaw excels.
A jigsaw had a thin blade that cuts in an up-and-down motion which means it can easily handle curves and complicated shapes that you might find are needed in joinery, carpentry, or kitchen fitting.
You can also use a jigsaw for straight cuts like a circular saw, but the results tend to be a little less smooth and usually it takes longer to cut the same line with a jigsaw as it would with a circular saw. The answer to the question is, yes.
You can use a jigsaw instead of a circular saw, but it may not always be the better choice, depending on what the project is.
How Do You Cut Straight With A Jigsaw?
If you are just cutting a plank of wood in two with a straight line, draw the line with a ruler first on the rough side of the wood, place one end on the workbench with the cutting line a couple of inches off the edge of the bench.
If there is too much overhang off the bench then the wood will move too much when the saw starts and you will struggle to get a clean line, especially if it’s a pliable wood, so keep it as close to the table as you can without cutting into the workbench with the saw.
Stand so you are looking directly down the line with your dominant hand ready to operate the saw. Your other hand should be flush to the wood that is on the table, holding it steady
This is really important because the saw is powerful and can easily catch on an imperfection in the wood and will both saw and wood may jerk if that happens. If the wood is not securely held flat then it may jerk up with the blade and possibly break.
Once you are confident that your left hand (or whichever is not your dominant hand) is leaning heavily on the part of the wood resting on the table, you should line up your jigsaw with the end of the line.
Double-check you are looking straight down on the line or it’s easy to go awry. Start the saw without pressing the blade to the wood and once it is on, start to cut.
Be confident when holding a jigsaw and engage your core, like you’re working out. It will help stabilize you and the saw because they do tend to judder quite a lot compared to circular saws.
Apply consistent and steady pressure to keep the jigsaw moving and check as you go that the blade is correctly lined up with the pencil line. The faster you can do it, the smoother it will be but do not apply too much force to the saw or the blade could break.
What Is The Thickest Piece Of Wood A Jigsaw Can Cut?
Jigsaws are generally better at handling softwood over hardwood, so you’ll need to make allowances for what a jigsaw can accomplish if you’re cutting oak, pine, or something similar. If you are cutting hardwood, then it should be no more than three-quarters of an inch thick or the jigsaw may struggle.
If you are sawing softwoods though, you should be fine to saw anything up to about an inch and a half thick.
Whatever type of wood you are cutting, resist the urge to force the saw through the wood as this is a sure way to end up snapping the blade or damaging the mechanism.
A jigsaw is not a circular saw so be patient with it. Also, make sure you have a good sharp blade before you start cutting anything towards the upper thickness we’ve suggested. That will make it a lot easier and give you better results.
Will A Jigsaw Cut Through Oak?
A Jigsaw can handle hardwoods such as oak, maple, cherry, hickory, or pine but these are harder for the jigsaw to get through. Certain allowances and considerations should be made when using a jigsaw to cut through hardwood.
You’ll need a good sharp blade for the job to start with and you’ll need to make sure the piece of oak is less than an inch thick. As a guide, we recommend that ¾ of an inch is the maximum thickness of hardwood you should try to saw with a jigsaw.
You should always cut with the rough side facing up towards you when using a jigsaw because they can splinter the wood as the blade moves upwards. The splinters won’t be big unless your blade is getting blunt in which case it’s a good indication that it is time to change it.
If the splinters are showing on the display side of whatever you’re sawing then it can look a little hastily done and that’s not what you want. For best results when cutting oak or any hardwood, try to keep the wood as still as you can to limit the movement of the actual wood.
The only thing you want to move is the saw itself while you’re cutting. This will help limit splintering too.
How Do You Use A Jigsaw Without A Table?
Most people find that using a solid workbench or a split bench gives the best results when cutting with a jigsaw. However, if you are using the tool at a site and not in your workshop then there are some tricks of the trade to help you cut with a jigsaw without a table or bench.
If you don’t have a table to hold the wood flat to, then you will need something else to steady it. When you’re cutting with a handsaw or jigsaw the only effective way to make a clean cut is to brace the wood or whatever you’re cutting to something secure that’s not going to budge.
If you tried to put a piece of wood on the ground and didn’t touch it with anything except the saw, the wood would likely move rather than be cut by the saw. It would just push away from you as you try to push the saw into it. If the wood moves, it’s not going to cut well.
If you have a long beam of inflexible wood, such as lumber or oak that you might find lying about if you’re working on a construction site, then propping one end of the beam onto something slightly off the floor, like a log or thick post, can give you purchase on the wood you wish to saw.
With one knee on the floor and your thigh braced against the beam, you can hold one end of the wood you’re going to cut on a flat side of the beam. Make sure where you’re going to be cutting is far enough from the beam underneath so you’re not going to damage it with the saw.
You operate the saw with your dominant hand but the other hand needs to press the cutting wood firmly to the beam. Imagine you are a bench clamp and think inflexible thoughts. The more the cutting wood moves, the harder it will be to get a neat cut, so hold the wood as steady as you can.
You can use any sturdy surface to cut wood on that is at least two inches off the ground. As long as something strong and unyielding is underneath the wood you are cutting and your hand is over the top of it, to restrict movement, you should have enough control over the cut.