Any woodworker worth his salt should have a jigsaw in his arsenal. Whether you’re a weekend woodshop warrior or a professional, this portable power tool is excellent at cutting straight lines, curves, and at different angles in various materials such as wood, steel, fiberglass, tiles, and drywall. It can effectively do the job of other power tools such as a band saw, scroll saw, and circular saw. Of course, jigsaws come in all sorts of sizes and with varying features. Sorting through all the product offerings in the market is going to take up time. If you don’t have the patience to figure out which one fits you best, we’ve got just the list for you. Below are the 10 best jigsaws that made the cut.
Top 10 Jigsaws Of 2018 Reviewed
1. Black & Decker JS660Best Jigsaw For The Money
The Black + Decker Smart Select Jigsaw makes sawing as easy as pie. It features a Smart Select dial that lets you automatically set orbital settings, choosing between 7 different pre-programmed settings. The 5-amp variable speed motor which ranges from 800 to 3000 spm and an Accu-Bevel lever that makes angle adjustments quick and easy.
Switching saw blades is easy as well with its tool-free blade change mechanism as well as the onboard blade storage. And then there’s the dust blower that keeps the cutting line visible. This small jigsaw is easy to use, especially in hard-to-reach places. However, the bevel gauge is not as accurate as we’d like. If you’re going to do a lot of angle cuts, this is not the jigsaw for you. Also, it can be a bit difficult to cut straight.
- 7 different pre-programmed orbital settings
- Variable speed from 800 to 3000 spm
- Tool-free blade change
- Bevel gauge is not accurate
- Can be difficult for some to cut straight
2. BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600CBest Jigsaw For Home Use
The Black & Decker BDEJS600C is slightly similar to our first pick. It also features Smart Select technology, allowing to choose between 4 pre-programmed orbital settings. It features a 5-amp motor that can reach a maximum speed of 3000 spm. And it can also perform bevel cuts of up to 45 degrees. The Wire Guard keeps your line of sight clear to ensure accuracy. However, there’s only one blade included with this model and it produces coarse cuts. The adjustable shoe is not easily adjusted. And it is a bit on the heavy side. But for the price you pay, this is an ideal power tool for the occasional amateur/hobbyist.
- Pre-programmed orbital settings
- Max speed of 3000 spm
- Wire Guard
- Only includes 1 saw
- An adjustable shoe is not easy to use
3. Bosch JS470E JigsawBest Jigsaw For Cutting Metal
The Bosch JS470E is a 7-amp Variable Speed Jigsaw that features a top handle, a tool-free blade change system, and 4 orbital settings. Its SMP ranges from 500 to 3,100 SMP with a cutting capacity of 5-7/8 inches on wood, 7/8-inch on aluminum, and 3/8-inch on mild steel. An ambidextrous lock-on button keeps your fingers comfortable when doing long stead cuts. The adjustable dust blower keeps the dust out of the cutting line and your eyes. And it even comes with a hard plastic case so you can safely store away your precious tool when not in use. However, for the price, it doesn’t include a built-in LED light. It can’t quite achieve a square cut. And it only comes with a fast-cutting blade saw.
- Variable speed – 500 to 3100 SPM
- 4 orbital settings
- Adjustable dust blower
- No built-in light
- Can’t achieve a square cut
- Only comes with one saw – fast-cutting blade
4. DEWALT Bare-Tool DC330B
The DEWALT Bare-Tool DC330B is a cordless unit that features an all-metal shoe bevel with detents at 0 degrees, 15 degrees, 30 degrees, and 45 degrees. It features 4 orbital settings, an adjustable blower, an anti-slip comfort grip, and an all-metal keyless lever-action blade clamp.
While this is a bit heavy, it feels balanced in your hand. It’s very powerful for a cordless unit and quite handy for jobsites with no outlet in sight. However, this unit does not include the battery and saw blades. And there’s no indicator to let you know that the battery is running low which means it may just stop in the middle of cutting something. Plus, it does run through batteries quite fast. But if you already have a lot of other Dewalt cordless tools and 18v batteries, this might be the best one for you.
- Keyless lever-action blade clamp
- All-metal shoe bevel with detents
- No low battery indicator
- Runs through batteries fast
- Battery and saw blades not included
5. Porter-Cable PCE345
The PORTER-CABLE PCE345 is a 6-amp variable speed jigsaw. It features 4 orbital settings and a 7-position speed dial integrated into the trigger with an SPM ranging from 0 to 3200. A lock-on button is located near the trigger for prolonged use. Like most of our other picks, this model also features a tool-free blade change system to make changing blades easy and fast. This is a basic, no-frills jigsaw that is perfect for the hobbyist or weekend woodshop warrior. It doesn’t do any fancy cutting. And it doesn’t let you change the angle for bevel cuts easily. Some reviewers report that their unit’s blade is not placed square to the base.
- Very low vibration
- Easy to use
- Variable speed
- Not for the professional woodworker
- Doesn’t change angles easily for bevel cuts
- The blade may not be placed square to the base
6. PORTER CABLE PCC650BBest Jigsaw For Cutting Curves
Another PORTER-CABLE model, the PCC0B is a 20v cordless jigsaw that features a variable speed trigger with the SPM ranging from 0 to 2500. It comes with a tool-free blade release mechanism for fast and easy blade changes. The beveling shoe allows you to perform 0 to 45-degree bevel cuts and the built-in dust blower keeps the cutting line in your line of sight. The 3 pre-programmed orbital settings make this perfect for cutting circles. However, there’s no built-in lever for quick adjustments to make bevel cuts. This unit doesn’t come with a battery or charger. And it has more vibration than we’d like.
- 3 orbital settings
- Built-in dust blower
- Hassle-free blade changes
- No battery or charger included
- More vibration than we prefer
- No built-in lever for bevel adjustments
7. Makita 4329K
This top handle jigsaw from Makita features a 3.9-amp motor with a variable speed control dial ranging from 500 to 3100 spm. The die-cast aluminum base can be adjusted using the onboard hex wrench for making bevel cuts. It has 3 orbital settings plus straight cutting which allows you to use this for a wide range of projects. And the through-the-body dust port lets you connect a dust vacuum or collector to keep your workspace clear of debris as you work.
A lock-on button prevents user fatigue during long work sessions and the ergonomic handle with a rubberized grip keeps your hand comfortable at all times. This light duty saw produces precise cuts and is quite sturdy. However, this doesn’t have a quick blade change. And changing the angle for bevel cuts is not easy. And the blades for this saw can be hard to find.
- Lock-on button for prolonged use
- Die-cast aluminum base
- Variable speed
- No quick blade change
- Bevel adjustments are difficult to do
- Hard-to-find replacement blades
8. SKIL 4495-02Best Jigsaw For Beginners
The SKIL 4495-02 features a 6-amp motor with 4 orbital settings, a variable speed trigger, and a built-in laser guide. The latter is not something you typically see in a jigsaw at this price point. It comes with two blades and accepts both “T” and “U” blades.
The unit comes with a quick release blade change system though the manual doesn’t teach you how to use it. And the unit feels nice and well-balanced in your hand. However, it doesn’t come with a case. The laser isn’t as accurate as we’d like (though it is a nice addition). And the trigger is quite stiff which makes controlling the speed a bit difficult. But for new woodshop warriors, this is a very good deal.
- Quick-release blade change system
- Accepts both “U” and “T” blades
- Well-balanced tool
- Variable speed trigger is stiff
- Laser guide is not correctly aligned
- No case included
9. Bosch JS572EK JigsawBest Jigsaw Money Can Buy
If you’ve got money to spare, you’re going to want to buy the Bosch JS572EK. This top handle jigsaw features a 7.2-amp motor, the most powerful on our list. It has an aluminum gearbox with an insulated cover for reduced vibrations. It features a large die-cast aluminum footplate that doesn’t require tools for bevel adjustments. It also features a tool-free blade change system. Other highlights include a multi-directional blade clamp, a built-in LED light, and a dust blower.
Plus, you get 3 different blades, an anti-splinter insert, a plastic shoe, and a case. The best part is the Precision Control II double-roller system which reduces the amount of blade flexing and self-adjusts according to blade thickness. There’s also a dial for setting maximum speed and an accelerated trigger to change speed while cutting. However, for all that, you’re going to shell out more than $200. It is quite heavy.
- Loads of features
- Comes with 3 blades and a case
- Tool-free adjustments
- Very expensive
- Very heavy
10. DeWalt DW331K
The DeWalt DW331K is a jigsaw that features a 6.5-amp motor, a keyless blade clamp, a dust blower, and 4 orbital settings. It has a 1-inch stroke length and a variable speed ranging from 500 to 3100 spm. Its keyless shoe bevel features detents at 0°, 15°, 30°, and 45°. And it comes with an all-metal case to keep the tool protected when not in use.
Not only that, the entire kit comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee, a one-year free service contract, and a three-year limited warranty. However, you’ll need to use longer blades with this tool so that the teeth will stick out past the footplate. Also, this does not come with a blade which is surprising at this price point.
- 90-day money back guarantee and 3-year warranty
- Easy to change blades and adjust the footplate
- 4 orbital settings
- No blades included
- A bit pricey
- Requires long blades
Jigsaw Buying Guide
When making a cut, there’s nothing more versatile in a woodworker’s arsenal than a jigsaw. It is able to effectively cut straight lines, curves, and at different angles. And it can cut through different materials of varying thickness. However, there are plenty of models to choose from, features to sift through, and even the prices differ from one product to another. Figuring out which suits your workshop best is going to be tough. If you need help in finding out which jigsaw should make the cut, we’ve got just the guide to help you.
How powerful is the motor?
A jigsaw is powered by an electric motor which is typically rated in amps. For general DIY tasks, a jigsaw with a 3 or 4-amp motor would be sufficient. For professionals, they will need something more powerful such as a 7-amp motor. One good example is the Bosch JS572EK Jigsaw. Obviously, the more powerful a motor is, the easier it would be for a jigsaw to cut through materials.
For most users, a 5-amp motor should be sufficient unless they are going to work on heavy-duty projects. Keep in mind that the power of the motor is also going to affect the maximum depth of cut that the blade can do as well as the sawing speed. Another thing to take note of is weight. The more powerful a motor is, the heavier it will be which will make it harder to handle.
What’s the maximum speed? Does the jigsaw have more than the one-speed setting?
While other tools use RPM to measure speed, the speed of a jigsaw is stated as strokes per minute (SPM). Typically, a maximum speed of 3000 SPM is more than enough for almost all kinds of projects which is what you’d find with the BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C. But that’s not the most important factor when checking speed. If you plan to work on a variety of projects, you need to look for a jigsaw with variable speed settings because it increases the tool’s flexibility and precision. With a variable speed setting, you can cut dense hardwoods using a high saw blade rate and cut steel or ceramics using a very low saw blade rate.
There are two ways to change the stroke rate. It can be changed fixed or smoothly. A fixed adjustment is performed by pressing a special switch or dial. The speed of the saw remains the same for the entire time you’re cutting. A smooth adjustment is done during the sawing process where the more you press/squeeze the trigger, the faster the saw would move. The PORTER CABLE PCC650B has the latter feature.
What kind of grip do you prefer?
Jigsaws will feature one of two types of handles – Barrel grip and Top handle.
Top handles like the one featured in the Bosch JS470E Jigsaw are the most common. These are handles that arch over the motor and allow you to hold the tool with one hand. This type of grip is believed to be more secure and offer you better control, best for working in workshops and in the field.
Barrel grip handles require the use of both hands; this is specifically designed to prevent beginners from sticking their other hand under the saw blade. This design also makes it ideal for use on an inclined surface. However, since both hands are fixed on the jigsaw, using this style of grip requires the material to be securely fastened on a table or workbench.
Let’s talk about the sole plate
The sole plate, also known as the base plate or platform, must be solid and easily able to endure a large load. It shouldn’t get deformed or skewed as you press the jigsaw when cutting thick materials. Cast aluminum like what is used in the base plate of the Makita 4329k are great since they’re more durable and heavier than plastic or pressed steel. However, these plates can get dented or bent if dropped and can be expensive to replace.
Corded or cordless?
When it comes to portability, nothing beats a cordless tool which makes it an ideal choice if you are going to use it on a job site that doesn’t have electricity. However, cordless units are more expensive and the battery does make the tool feel unbalanced. In addition, you’ll need to make sure you have a spare battery on hand unless you plan to wait around while battery charges. If you do opt for a cordless unit, make sure to check how long the charge lasts and how long the recharge time is.
With corded units, you get a more reliable and continuous source of power. However, it may restrict your movement if the cord length is too short. If you’re looking to purchase a corded unit, make sure that its cord is at least 120 to 160 inches long.
How many orbital settings does it have?
Orbital motion is a new cutting machine that can be found in modern jigsaws. Instead of moving the blade up and down, this mechanism allows you to move the blade in a circular motion. This increases the precision and speed of the jigsaw. It also decreases wear on the blade. The more orbital settings a jigsaw has, the more versatile it will be. The Black & Decker JS660, for example, comes with 7 pre-programmed orbital settings. Keep in mind that more orbital action will increase the speed of your straight cuts but you’ll need less for curved cuts or when cutting dense materials such as steel.
How well does it perform when doing bevel cuts?
Jigsaws feature a screw that, when loosened, will enable you to tilt up the base at a maximum angle of 45 degrees for bevel cuts. A lot of models come with a spanner or Allen key just for this purpose. Some models come with a built-in lever that does the loosening and tightening of the base. You can even lock the base at 45 degrees or 90 degrees which makes them ideal for sawing on vertical surfaces like the inside of a cabinet or closet.
What about the saw blade?
The size of the sawtooth will directly affect the cut accuracy of a jigsaw. The bigger the tooth, the faster the cut will be made. However, that also means the cut will be rougher. The number of teeth will also affect the smoothness of a cut. The more teeth per inch (TPI) a saw blade has, the smoother the cut will be. The fewer teeth, the faster the cut will be made but it will be coarser.
The quality of a cut also depends on the material used to make the saw blade. For materials such as softwood, chipboard, and the like, high carbon steel (HCS) is best. For sawing copper, aluminum, steel, and hard plastics, you’ll need a saw blade with a steel grade marking of HSS (high-speed steel).
BIM is a mixture of flexible carbon steel (HCS) and harder steel (HSS) which has a longer service life and increased elasticity. For fiberglass, ceramic tiles, and non-thin aerated concrete, you’ll want saw blades made of solid steel with a grade marking of HM. For porcelain and ceramics, you’ll want a steel saw with diamond spraying (DIA).
How easy is it to change blades?
If you’re going to work with a variety of materials, how fast and how easy you can switch out the saw blade should be factored in your decision. A tool-free quick-release mechanism is recommended such as a lever or flange.
How good is the dust blower?
When you’re cutting materials, there’s bound to be chips and dust generated by your jigsaw. You’ll want a dust blower like the one integrated into the PORTER CABLE PCC650B that will remove the dust and provide you with a clear line of sight. Some models will use a dust collector which sucks the dust in instead of blowing it away. This not only reduces the chance of a chip hitting your eyes but also makes cleanup far easier.
Other features you might want
Built-in lighting: a built-in light will enable you to see the cutting line without straining your eyes, especially in low light conditions.
Laser pointer: increases the accuracy of your cut.
Cutting guides: also helps improve the accuracy of your cut. These can be straight cutting guides or circle-cutting guides. Some models will come with cutting guides while others will require you to purchase them separately.