Jigsaws are excellent woodworking tools that allow you to fine-tune your craft. They are also known as sabre saws and are delicate yet very versatile. With a jigsaw, you can make a wide variety of accurate and precise cuts in different types of materials, including wood, ceramic tile, metal, and plastic. The reason they’re able to be so versatile is due to their ability to accommodate a range of blades.
These saws are ideal for novice woodworkers and DIYers, as it’s a less intimidating tool and is much easier to handle than some other heavy-duty saws. Some units can even be held with just one hand. They consist of a handle, a motor, and a straight, narrow blade, and they are typically powered by electricity, however there are cordless jigsaws available as well. These tools have been in use since the 1940’s, and recently were adapted to include LED lights and dust collection.
You can complete a wide variety of projects with a jigsaw, and there are many models on the market. How do you know which ones are the best jigsaws? In this article you’ll discover all you need to know about this versatile tool and can take a look at jigsaw reviews to find the best one for your needs.
Jigsaw Comparison Chart
|Brand/Model (Click Item Text to Scroll to Review)||Rating|
|1. DeWalt DCS331B 20V Max Li-Ion Jigsaw|
Our Top Pick for 2019
|2. Bosch JS470E Corded Top-Handle Jigsaw||9.7/10||CHECK PRICE|
|3. DeWalt DCS334B 20V Max Brushless Jigsaw||9.7/10||CHECK PRICE|
|4. Makita 4350FCT Top Handle Jigsaw||9.6/10||CHECK PRICE|
|5. Skil JS314901 6 Amp Corded Jigsaw||9.5/10||CHECK PRICE|
|6. Black+Decker BDEJS600C Smart Select Jigsaw||9.4/10||CHECK PRICE|
|7. WORX WX550L.9 20V AXIS 2-in-1 Jigsaw||9.3/10||CHECK PRICE|
Best Jigsaw Reviews
1. DeWalt DCS331B 20V Max Li-Ion JigsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
This cordless jigsaw by DeWalt makes the top of our list due to its power and reliability. At just over five pounds, it’s a light saw compared to the market and is easily maneuverable, making it perfect for new woodworkers or those who complete projects every once in a while. With four-position orbital action capability, you can easily transition from a reciprocating movement to an orbital one and can tackle any project you take on, no matter how dense the material is.
DeWalt’s jigsaw has a keyless shoe bevel and lever action keyless blade that are both made of all-metal material. The bevel has indents at 45, 30, 15, and 0 degrees, providing you with a wide range of bevel cutting that’s easy and accurate. It accepts T-shank jigsaw blades to give you professional results and optimal holding power. You can do a lot with this saw, all in comfort and control thanks to the handle’s anti-slip comfort grip.
Like many cordless tools, this jigsaw operates on a battery, however the battery and battery charger are sold separately. It is unfortunately one of the few saws that doesn’t include LED lights which show you cut lines, and some users felt that the dust blower had little effect. However, this jigsaw is popular due to the fact it’s just as effective and powerful as corded tools, and comes with DeWalt’s well known three year limited warranty.
2. Bosch JS470E Corded Top-Handle JigsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Bosch makes the second spot on our list with its top-handle jigsaw. This tool is corded and powered at 120 volts. It was designed to have low vibration and provide you with very smooth cuts. Powered by 7 Amps, its motor is top rated and guaranteed to last you quite a long time. An internal plunging system that’s precision-machined enhances the accuracy of your cuts and allows smooth operation for any job you take on.
Bosch’s jigsaw is convenient and easy to use, as well. Its system allows you to change out blades quickly without the need for an extra tools, and you don’t need to touch the blade at all thanks to an ejection lever. There’s a speed dial with a variety of settings, so you can customize how fast you make your cuts, providing you with complete control. This aspect features a lock-on button so you can stay with one setting steadily and cut with a peace of mind. The saw has four orbital settings that give you a wide variety of blade strokes, from aggressive to very smooth cuts, so you can tackle any task.
Some users of this jigsaw felt that it did not have long-term durability and could not keep blades in line for accurate cuts. There is no laser to guide your cuts, which was a big problem for some people and rendered the tool tougher to use. At ten pounds, it is twice as heavy as the first DeWalt on our list. However, Bosch is tough to beat when it comes to ease of use, convenience, and versatility.
3. DeWalt DCS334B 20V Max Brushless JigsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
This cordless jigsaw from DeWalt is unique in that its motor does not include a brush, so this provides a consistent performance, longer runtime, and better overall longevity for the saw. At about four pounds, it’s very compact and easy to move around your garage or even from location to location if necessary. Given its compact size, you can grip the tool easily and have maximum control over its operation. Unlike our first two saws, this one does have an LED light that provides cut lines and helps to illuminate your work surface, making it easy to make cuts no matter what environment you’re in.
A lever-action keyless blade change allows you to make easy and quick blade changes. There is a dial that varies the speed, so you get precise control with the cuts you make. An orbital action switch gives you the ability to adjust your types of cuts to the material you’re working with. The shoe bevel is also easy to change and has detents at 30, 15, and 0 degrees with a positive stop at 45. Its integrated dust blower keeps dust and debris away as you cut.
This is an excellent saw if you prefer to have complete control over your work, or if you need something light and compact that is easy to handle. Its runtime is also tough to beat. However, some users had issues with the battery; the battery power may not last long and may cut out in the middle of a project.
4. Makita 4350FCT Top Handle JigsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
This saw by Makita has less orbital settings, at three rather than four, however it includes a powerful 6.4 Amp motor that gives you the power to get through the toughest jobs with a wide variety of materials. A big bonus is that the jigsaw was designed to have 40% less vibration, which means your cuts are more accurate and smooth, and this Makita has one of the lowest noise levels you’ll experience. A built in LED light illuminates your line of cut so you never have to complete guesswork as you tackle projects.
The blade change system was designed for easy and fast installation and it won’t be required for you to have any extra tools. You can control the speed electronically, which provides you with a variety of speeds to cut with as well as easier ability to keep a constant speed no matter how long your project goes on for. With a soft start features, you can smoothly start up the tool and stay quiet during its entire operation.
Some users had problems with this jigsaw’s orbital function, as it stopped working after a short period of time. Many agreed, however, that this jigsaw combines power with low vibration and smooth accuracy. Overall, the Makita Top Handle jigsaw is a great choice for many as a powerful saw that handles very well.
5. Skil JS314901 6 Amp Corded JigsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Skil’s corded jigsaw comes with a wide variety of features that deliver precise and smooth cuts. These include its four-stage orbital function, which provides smooth cutting no matter what type of project you’re taking on or what type of material you’re working with, and its bright Halo Light. This light provides you with ten times more light than your typical LED and completely illuminates your workspace.
With its tool-free blade clamp, Skil’s jigsaw allows you to replace saw blades in just seconds. It also provides you clear view precision with an on/off switch for dust blowing so you can clearly see your workpiece and track the cutting line to ensure safe and accurate cuts. The shoe bevel can be adjusted so you can cut at different angles, and you don’t need a tool for this either, making the adjustments quick and your operation seamless. A two-finger speed trigger helps you have control over the tool’s speed and over your project.
Users have said this jigsaw is best for small jobs, and the dust collection system isn’t as effective as some other brands. However, this tool is still quite well known for its affordability and accuracy. With its Halo Light, versatility, and control, Skil’s jigsaw is a popular tool and among the most efficient on this list.
6. Black+Decker BDEJS600C Smart Select JigsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Another lightweight saw on the list at about 4 ½ pounds, this jigsaw by Black+Decker is an orbital jigsaw that’s powered by a 5-Amp motor. It has Curve Control technology, which provides a curve guard and allows you to customize the saw’s orbit according to your needs. You can pick from four settings and adjust the saw quickly and accurately. The saw also includes Black+Decker’s unique wire guard. This guard provides a completely clear line of sight for you to follow as you cut, and the guard has been new and improved for this model specifically.
At about 4.5 pounds, it’s a lightweight yet reliable tool that has lots of cutting power behind it. You can make 45 degree bevel cuts and there’s an adjustable beveling shoe, which allows you to create angled cuts in both directions. As another tool that has a keyless blade clamp, you can make tool-free blade changes quickly and easily. The dust blower is also highly efficient.
Unlike other saws, this jigsaw does not have a safety trigger button or lock button which can make it very dangerous to have around children, since all you have to do is push a button to turn the saw on. Some users also had difficulty cutting in straight lines and the blade guard may break off.
7. WORX WX550L.9 20V AXIS 2-in-1 JigsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
This 2-in-1 jigsaw by WORX is a very handy cordless tool that combines a jigsaw and a reciprocating saw so you can take on any DIY project you’re thinking of. It weighs close to four pounds and is very compact. WORX designed its saw to be very easy to use yet multi-purpose, and you can use it to cut plastic, ceramic tile, metal, wood, and more. Uniquely, the battery you buy for this saw can be shared among other WORX 20-volt tools you own–meaning that you can save money and time by investing in just one battery for multiple tools.
This jigsaw delivers both power and versatility, and ensures you make clean cuts no matter what type of job you’re taking on. Its motor is located on the side of the saw’s body, which allows the gearing and the motor to rotate simultaneously. This unique and innovative design helps to reduce the risk of misalignment as well as slippage, which leads to a constant and smooth transfer of power for great cuts. The dust blower is another helpful feature that instantly clears debris and dust to improve your visibility.
Unfortunately, some people did have issues using this saw and believed it wasn’t quite as powerful as some other jigsaws on the market. The shareable battery also tends to wear out very quickly, cutting short some projects. It is also a saw that may be better for smaller jobs and could be undersized for certain projects.
Orbital vs Reciprocating Jigsaws
Originally, the blade of a jigsaw mainly moved up and down. Today, however, most jigsaws come equipped with the ability to switch over to orbital action, which is also known as pendulum action. When you switch on this feature, instead of the saw moving up and down, it will move in a swinging motion with the blade slightly tilted forward as it cuts into the workpiece. This gives a more aggressive type of cut to the saw and makes your work more efficient. It can be particularly useful if you’re tackling thick workpieces. For example, if you’re cutting laminate countertops, an orbital jigsaw will allow you to get the job done more quickly. However, this will result in a coarser cut. If you’re interesting in minimizing sawdust as you work, the orbital motion is also best at keeping a clean area. If you need additional saw types for your tool collection or the project you’re currently working on, check out our best table saw or best miter saw articles.
Reciprocating jigsaws typically cut in a push/pull motion (hence the name) and this range of motion is the main distinction from orbital saws. Reciprocating saws are best for cutting things such as pipes and window frames, or any project where it’s ideal to have the blade out in the open and easy to see. This type of tool is also excellent for demolition projects. If your project also requires a smoother cut, you should have the reciprocating setting on your jigsaw turned on so you don’t make cuts that are rough and coarse.
Some saws available to purchase may have both a reciprocating motion and an orbital action, depending on the product. This is quite common in today’s jigsaw market. In most cases, the tool will have a built-in switch and it’s easy to simply flip this switch so you can change from orbital to reciprocating. Both ranges of motion will offer benefits depending on what type of project you’re completing.
Corded vs Cordless Jigsaws
Most jigsaws are corded, and they run on electricity. They will be connected to a power supply that’s constant, so corded jigsaws are reliable and consistent. With this type, you can work without worrying about an interruption. It’s also more powerful than cordless versions, meaning that they make it easier to tackle big and tough jobs.
To ensure that your corded jigsaw runs efficiently, you should match the voltage of your power supply to the voltage of the unit. Typically, a corded jigsaw will run on a voltage of 240V. Some manufacturers, however, produce tools that run on 110V. 110V jigsaws were designed to be used on construction sites or other job sites. At these sites, there is more risk of electric shock due to open working conditions, so they run at a less dangerous voltage. 240V jigsaws are perfect for your weekend project at home.
While they don’t have quite as much power, cordless jigsaws have definitely become popular recently. These aren’t limited due to a power cord, so you get much more freedom of movement. However, they will also be heavier to use and manage due to the battery packs that are built into them. Their power will depend on the voltage rating of the battery included, which can range from 12V to 36V. The greater the voltage it has, the more powerful it will be, which allows you to cut through dense or thick material more effectively.
If you’re completing infrequent or light-duty cuts and use materials such as plastic or soft woods, a smaller voltage of 12V will be enough. However, if you typically use denser materials like metal or hardwood, you’ll need at least 18V. If you’re worried about having a less powerful jigsaw if it isn’t corded, you can rest assured that cordless saws that have a high voltage have the ability to perform just as effectively as corded jigsaws.
Setting Up and Maintaining a Jigsaw
As with many power tools, it’s essential that you consistently and correctly maintain your jigsaw so that it continues to work efficiently. Not only should you practice a consistent cleaning routine so all the parts of your jigsaw operate correctly, there are a few things you can check before you use your tool for the first time. If your jigsaw is corded, it’s important to check the condition of the power cord; if it’s frayed or nicked, it’s unsafe to use the saw.
It’s especially important to check the alignment of the saw if you ordered one online. If the baseplate is bend or damaged, you won’t be able to complete accurate cuts. Typically the saw is thrown out of alignment if the jigsaw is dropped or heavily handled; check for any damage to the box or the saw itself before use. When you move the saw within your garage or shop, take care not to drop it. It is possible to fix minor damage by flattening the baseplate using mole grips. However, if the tool is severely misshapen, you will likely have to get a replacement.
Once you’ve checked your tool and it’s safe to use, there are certain things to keep an eye on as you operate it and use it for the long term. For example, it helps to apply a few drops of oil to the jigsaw’s blade roller guide every once in a while. This will prevent it from jamming. You should also brush away any debris of dust from the ventilation slots of your jigsaw, which will reduce the risk of overheating as you’re using it. Before and after use, make sure the saw’s handle is clear of grease or oil and is dry. Importantly, the blade guide should be free from dust buildup and consistently kept clean.
To clean your saw, use mild soap and a damp cloth to remove dirt and dust. For small bits of grime and tough to reach angles, use an old toothbrush. Any buildup may negatively impact how accurate your saw is and its long term durability. If you’re wondering how to properly store your jigsaw to prevent buildup of dust and debris when it’s not in use, typically a protective storage case will be included with your purchase. This tends to be especially true with high quality models. If you don’t have a storage case, simply keep your saw somewhere safe (out of reach of children) and away from moisture.
A unique component to your jigsaw which you will need to be mindful of replacing is its carbon brushes. Most jigsaws have two carbon brushes. These transmit electricity to the motor, and due to a high level of friction, at some point these brushes will wear away and will need to be replaced. Typically the operating manual will describe how to replace these brushes by hand.
Best Jigsaw Buyer’s Guide
There are a wide variety of jigsaws available on the market, and sometimes the most difficult aspect to completing that woodworking job you’ve settled on is picking the right tool for the job. To ensure you get a saw that’s ideal for your needs, take into consideration certain features that are applicable to your situation.
Many woodworking novices need a saw that’s very easy to use and lightweight. Bigger and bulkier saws will be much harder to handle, and you will not have as much control over your cuts. A compact jigsaw provides you with control, and saws that weigh about four pounds such as the such as the WORX listed are designed to be light and user friendly. Keep an eye out for settings that will allow you control over speed, as well–something such as the Bosch speed dial with varied settings is a key feature for you.
Woodworking beginners also benefit from lights and displays that not only light up your space but also provide cut lines for you to follow. Look for saws, such as the Skil, which not only has a cut line but also something such as its Halo Lamp feature that provides ten times as much lighting. Unfortunately the top two saws on our list, the DeWalt Max and the Bosch, do not have an LED laser, to the disappointment of many users.
Safety is another feature to consider while purchasing a jigsaw, especially if you think of yourself as relatively new to woodworking. The Skil saw provides an on/off switch for the dust blower so you can see what you’re doing, while the Black+Decker does not include a safety trigger button and may not be safe for families. If you have children who might be in your garage, this is especially essential to keep in mind.
Consider the space you’ll be working in as well. If you are completing projects at home on the weekend, chances are you need a quiet saw that keeps your workspace clean. One that has excellent dust collection and lower vibration, such as the Makita, will be a great choice for you. Home-based woodworkers are often concerned about how much noise they make and quiet saws should make your list in this case.
By taking into consideration your unique location and situation, pick a few essential features and keep these in mind as you shop jigsaws. This will help you find the perfect one.
If you found this article helpful, you might also like our electric chainsaw article, which also lists out and reviews seven top units.
Summing It Up
Jigsaws are incredibly useful and versatile tools that are perfect for woodworking novices and DIYers. They’re an excellent addition to any garage or shop and allow you to make a wide range of cuts. The best jigsaws will have features that allow you to achieve smooth and accurate cuts, a powerful motor that gets you through any job, and the ability to move between reciprocating and orbital motions. Take a look at the jigsaw reviews above to pick the best one for your projects.