Updated November 2018

Best Jigsaws

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We analyze consumer reviews to find the best products on the web. We buy products with our own money and test them in our lab. We also interview experts and conduct independent research to pick the winners. We have affiliate partnerships so we may get a share of revenue from purchases. It’s how we fund our Research Lab and bring you better reviews and comparisons. Read more.

Best Jigsaws Updated November 2018

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

Bosch

120-Volt, 7.0-Amp, Top Handle
Check Price at: 1 store
Several customers who bought a Bosch as a replacement to a cheaper, older model reported it as a major upgrade.
This saw follows the 3 “S” rule to a T—it’s smooth, straight, and steady. The ambidextrous button makes it extra handy. See what we did there?
Our own weekend warrior, Casey, said she wished the Bosch had a laser light to make the cut line easier to see.

Black & Decker

5.0-Amp
Check Price at: 1 store
This affordable jigsaw is built by a well-known brand many customers in the market trust. It’s great for beginner craftsmen and should last many years.
Users appreciate the minimal vibration for a cleaner cut and the vacuum attachment port for a cleaner work area.
Some say it’s difficult to maintain speed while attempting a 360-degree cut. It’s also difficult to tell if the blade is properly locked.

Makita

3.9-Amp Variable Speed, Top Handle
Check Price at: 1 store
The Makita is great for accomplishing smaller projects with thinner, softer wood.
A whole 4.2 pounds makes it the most lightweight jigsaw on our list.
Replacement blades are hard to find.

PORTER-CABLE

6-Amp Orbital
Check Price at: 1 store
“Plenty of power” was a common thread in Porter-Cable jigsaw reviews.
Everyone loves the laser line indicator and the easy-to-change, tool-less blade replacements.
The trigger is pretty sensitive.

DEWALT

20V Max Lithium Ion Jigsaw Kit
Check Price at: 1 store
Worth the larger investment if you want to complete longer, more intricate projects. We’d consider that a fair trade-off.
Customers rave about the battery life of this cordless jigsaw.
It’s the most expensive of our top 5.

Our process

1,322
Customer Reviews
7
Products
12
Hours

It’s not every day that you buy a jigsaw. Some customers reported having their old jigsaw for 15 to 40 years before needing (or wanting) a replacement. If you’ve been out of the market that long, you may be overwhelmed by the number of jigsaws for sale with new features. In addition to reading jigsaw reviews and compiling our original research into an updated buyer’s guide, our team spent an afternoon making some pretty cool office decor with the best jigsaw.

Jigsaw reviews guide 

A jigsaw tool has an electric motor and a fine blade that cuts straight and curved lines in wood, metal, and plastic. Many homeowners use jigsaws for small home improvement projects and crafts, like adding a handrail to garage steps or making a decorative sign to anchor a gallery wall.

It’s an incredibly versatile tool. That being said, you can’t use it for everything. Some manufacturers list a cutting depth of five inches, but we’ve found that two to three inches in softwood is more realistic. If you’re working with thicker material than that, you should explore other types of saws.

If you’re a novice do-it-yourselfer, buying and using a jigsaw for the first time can be an intimidating experience. If you’re a craftsman, it may be challenging to get used to the design and cut of a new saw. The House Method team researched the features and factors to consider in an effort to make anybody’s purchase journey a little easier and much more educated.

The jigsaw was modeled after a sewing machine by a Swiss engineer in 1947.”

Jigsaw parts & features

There’s a lot of shoptalk around jigsaw tools. Here’s a quick and dirty guide to the parts and features you’ll find while shopping for a jigsaw.

Shoe, sole, or blade plate—This is the metal base of the jigsaw that rests on top of the material you’re cutting. It stabilizes the saw and therefore must be strong enough to withstand the vibration of the reciprocating blade. Most shoes can be adjusted at an angle up to 45 degrees.

Blade—Choosing the right blade to use will depend on the kind of material you’re working with. The blade will also determine the type of cut you can make.

TPI—TPI stands for teeth per square inch. Fewer teeth will produce a faster, but rougher cut. A TPI of six to 20 inches will be suitable for cutting softwoods while a TPI of 14 or more is required for harder materials.

Blade clamp—There are two types of clamps. One type of blade clamp holds the blade in place with screws. These take both T- and U-shaped blade shanks.

Tool-less blade clamps take T shanks, and they’re becoming more popular. A spring lever makes it quicker and easier to change blades.

Support roller or guide—This small piece fits above the shoe and enhances the accuracy of the jigsaw. The blade is slotted between the roller, which gives it the support it needs to make precise cuts.

Top handle vs. barrel grip—Top handles (also called D handles) have a slimmer design that’s comfortable to grip and maneuver. However, the position of the handle is directly on top of the saw, making the cut difficult to see. Four of the five jigsaws we reviewed have top handles.

The motor is actually housed in the handle for barrel grip jigsaws. This increases accuracy, but barrel grips tend to be bigger and more difficult to hold than top handles. The DeWalt jigsaw we reviewed has a barrel grip.

Sliding switch vs. trigger—Both switches provide power to the tool. The sliding switch is a basic on/off switch. You should be able to control the speed of the blade with a variable speed dial.

Most triggers have a variable speed, which means that the more pressure you apply to the trigger, the faster the blade will oscillate. A lock-on button will allow you to set the saw at a particular speed, so you don’t have to continuously hold the trigger.

Orbital action dial—Blades move up and down, but they also move forward and backward. The latter is called orbital or pendulum action, and it can be adjusted with a four- or five-level dial or switch. A higher orbital action cuts faster but rougher.

Corded vs. cordless—Like any other battery-operated tool or appliance, a corded jigsaw will limit mobility but provide constant power. Cordless jigsaws are more portable but need to be charged more frequently, which can interrupt and prolong your project. The DeWalt saw is the only cordless jigsaw we reviewed.

The DeWalt jigsaw is the only cordless, barrel grip jigsaw that we reviewed. It may be a better design for a more experienced user.”

Best jigsaw for heavy duty projects BOSCH 120-VOLT, 7.0-AMP, TOP HANDLE

The Bosch jigsaw is as convenient as it is accurate. It’s equipped with a variable speed trigger and four levels of orbital action. The toolless blade-changing system simplifies the process of switching blades between cuts and projects. And let’s not overlook the power of this tool. A seven-amp motor and 120 volts make this the most powerful tool on our list.

Best jigsaw for your money BLACK & DECKER 5.0-AMP

You’ll get high performance for a low price from a well-known and trusted manufacturer. This Black and Decker jigsaw has a five-amp motor with variable speed. The shoe is adjustable for curve control and 45-degree bevel cuts. The wire guard has also been updated, so users have better visibility as they cut. Cleanup is less of a hassle too, as this jigsaw has a port to attach your vacuum.

5 Major factors to consider

Blade

There are cheap blades available, but it’s worth investing in high-quality blades when you’re working with thicker materials or more intricate cuts. Blades vary by shank, size, material, and teeth. Blade requirements for plastic, ceramic, and stone vary but most materials can be cut with a high-speed steel or bi-metal blade with side or tapered teeth.

Cut

Although you can get a relatively straight cut, there’s isn’t a jigsaw out there that can cut in a 100% straight line. Here are the types of cuts that you can use a jigsaw for:

  • Rip cut—A straight cut along the wood grain.
  • Cross cut—A straight cut across the wood grain.
  • Bevel cut—An angled cut. A circular saw is usually better at bevel cuts.
  • Plunge cut—A cut in the middle of the board without an initial hole; a specific blade is needed for this type of cut

Project type and experience level

If you’re tackling some smaller home projects, a jigsaw with a laser or LED light might be more important to you. A light will come in handy when you’re cutting intricate or curving designs or patterns.

If you’re renovating, a top handle jigsaw with a die-cast aluminum shoe will help stabilize the vibrations as you cut through harder materials.

If this isn’t your first jigsaw and you spend every weekend out in the shed, you’ll want a cordless jigsaw for mobility, a barrel grip for accuracy, and tool-less blade change to keep your project moving quickly and efficiently.

Cost

You can buy a jigsaw for less than $30 or upward of $300. You’ll likely pay for more power (see amps) or heavier materials (steel versus magnesium shoes). Cordless jigsaws may also be more expensive if the battery is sold separately.

Additional features

The most appealing feature to our team members at House Method was the Black and Decker’s vacuum attachment port, a solution to the crazy (and inevitable) amount of sawdust you’ll create. Additionally, an anti-splintering insert for a jigsaw’s shoe could be helpful if you’re working with plywood. For a more comfortable grip, look for a saw with a trigger lock button so you don’t have to apply constant pressure.

Safety tips

  • As with any power tool, only use jigsaws in dry, covered areas like the garage or a shed. They are not intended to be used in wet conditions.
  • Plug jigsaws into RCB circuit breakers to avoid an electrical fire.
  • Sharpen and replace your blade often. Dull blades are prone to kickbacks.
  • Gear up with shatterproof goggles.
  • It’s questionable whether you should wear protective gloves. Some say they can protect against lacerations while others say they increase the risk of injury. The extra material could be susceptible to catching the saw and therefore pull your hand to the blade.
  • Don’t ever force the blade through anything. You could risk losing control of the saw. Instead, reverse it and try again.
  • Untangle and be aware of cords to prevent trips and falls.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best jigsaw for my money?

We gave the Black and Decker 5.0-Amp jigsaw our vote for best value. It’s just under 30 bucks, it’s got a more powerful motor than some of the more expensive saws, and many customers report having theirs for 15 years. If you have a tougher project in mind though, it may be worth considering a more heavy-duty option, like the Bosch 120-Volt, 7.0-Amp, Top Handle.

How thick of wood can a jigsaw cut?

Some product descriptions boast a five-inch cutting depth, but most jigsaws can realistically cut through two to three inches.

What is an orbital jigsaw used for?

All jigsaws are orbital. Orbital action refers to the back and forwards motion of the blade. You can control the level of orbital action with a four- to five-level dial or lever. Jigsaws are used for trimming and cutting materials including wood, metal, ceramics, and more. A jigsaw can make both straight and curved cuts. You can use them to complete home improvement projects (take trim or kitchen cabinets for example) and DIY decor, like two-tier plant stands or wall art.

The team that worked on this review

Kelsey Roadruck
Writer
Sabrina Karr
Editor
Casey Taylor
Product Tester
Winston Fitzgerald
Muse

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