The Best Jigsaw In 2018: A Complete Buying Guide

Best Jigsaws In 2017: Buying Guide

For most woodworkers, there comes a time when you need to make a series of curved cuts. For this job, you'll need a jigsaw.

Jigsaws create multiple straight and curved cuts so you can finish a wide variety of DIY tasks. If you’re planning on purchasing a jigsaw, let this guide point you in the right direction. Each of the jigsaws on this list is known for their quality, performance, and overall functionality.

​We've found and reviewed the best jigsaw, and broken it down by price point. No matter which one you buy, you’ll have a useful jigsaw machine that has an extended lifespan decreases the time it takes to complete jobs.

best jigsaw bosch js470e

The Best Jigsaws Over $100

​If you’re looking for ​the best jigsaw that will last you for a long time to come, you should look at the jigsaws priced over $100. They ​have advanced features, powerful cutting speeds, and sturdy exteriors. And, they are built to last.

The Best Jigsaws Under $100

​If you’re just starting out, take a look ​at our votes for best jigsaw​ under $100. ​While these jigsaws don't have the durability and feature set as some of the more expensive ones, they will perform wonderfully for the majority of tasks.

​Read below as we review each of the five ​models that made our list of best jigsaw for 2018:

Reviews of the Best Jigsaw Over $100

Winner: Bosch JS470E

Features:

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    7.0 Amps
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    4 Orbital Action Settings
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    120 Volts
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    Blade Ejection Lever
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    Ambidextrous Lock on Button

The Bosch Jigsaw JS470E provides cut precision that’s unsurpassed by its competitors. Bathroom installers, kitchen carpenters, and professional contractors all  like the device’s variable speed settings and 7.0 amp motor makes it a great choice for curve cutting.​

Built with an insulated cover and an aluminum gearbox, the jigsaw comes with a Constant Response circuitry for steady speed under load. And it has a dust blower that aids in cut line visibility. This keeps the machine operating smoothly while removing debris in its way.

​The Bosch JS470E has an ambidextrous lock position, making the tool easy to use for left and right-handed users. Left-handed carpenters like this feature as it helps them hold onto the saw and easily shut it off the machine if it overheats.

Also, the Bosch JS470E has a variable control speed setting placed on the back of the tool. Bosch designed the jigsaw this way to prevent the user from accidentally hitting the control when operating the machine.

Bosch JS470E jigsaw side view.

source: boschtools.com

Probably the best feature of this jigsaw is it's tool-less blade change system. This allows users to switch to a T-shaped blade without needing a tool or touching an overheated blade.

Combine this with Bosch's blade ejection lever, which allows to you eject the blade without having to touch it, saving your fingers from betting burned after the blade has been in use.

These two features are easy to use and helps users quickly change blades to help them complete their cutting projects.

The tool has four orbital-action settings that give a different range of cutting speeds. This is really helpful because it gives you the capability to determine the speed of the blade for different types of cuts and surfaces.

Bosch includes an updated low-vibration motor design on the JS470E. This not only helps with performance, but it can save your hand over the course of many cuts.

If there were any drawbacks, consumers complained about the saw’s limited blade durability. After cutting for a few months, some found that the blade would bind when used heavily. 

Still, the Bosch JS470E known as the best jig saw in the market. You’ll like this tool if you want a device that’s easily adjusted to your cutting style and is sold at ​a very reasonable price


Runner Up: DEWALT DCS331B

Features:

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    Metal Keyless Shoe Bevel
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    0-300 SPM (strokes per minute)
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    Anti-Slip Comfort Grip
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    Accepts T-shank blades
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    3.0 Ah Battery and Charger

When it comes to bevel cutting, the Dewalt DCS331B is the best in its league. The jigsaw can cut in multiple detents (0°, 15°, 35°, 45°) for accurate cutting through hardwood. It’s currently sold on Amazon at a price around $155.

For increased versatility, the Dewalt Jigsaw has a variable control speed ranging from 0-3000 SPM. This speed control gives you more control over the cut and allows the device to handle a variety of applications and materials.

The jigsaw’s 3.0 amp hour battery provides extended runtime, while the anti-slip ergonomic feature provides extra comfort. For enhanced performance and productivity, the device has a lever-action keyless blade change. Buy this jigsaw if you want to utilize your cutting efficiency on each project.

DEWALT DCS331B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Jig Saw.

source: dewalt.com

As you may know, the efficiency of a jigsaw blade is determined by its blade stroke length. The blade’s stroke length is at “1” which is taller than most models out there. Since it has a long stroke length, more teeth can come in contact with the workpiece, resulting in faster work.

There is a feature that allows you to cut through soft materials like plastic or wood in orbital action. Also, it has four additional cutting actions that include one straight and three orbital cuts so that you can create the aggressiveness of the cut.

On the other hand, the blade tends to fall off when it's not secured correctly. To fix this, ensure that the blade lock is fully connected to the blade. This prevents the blade from accidentally falling out of the machine and causing injuries.

Overall, the Dewalt DSC331B is one of the most durable jigsaw power tools to have in your garage. It’s 20-volt battery ensures that it will run for at least 8 hours before needing to be recharged. Get this saw if you want to have accurate cuts and control over the machine while doing so.


Alternative: Makita JV0600K Jigsaw

Features:

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    Speed: 500-3,100 SPM
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    3 Orbital Settings
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    6.5 Amp Motor
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    Counter Balance System
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    Includes T-shank blade, hex wrench, and tool case
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    Weight: 5.2 pounds

Ranked third is the makita jigsaw. It features keyless blade removal, a 8’ cord and 5 cutting speed settings. This makes it a versatile jigsaw that can cut through wood, metal, and plastic with ease. Buy this on Amazon at a price about $107.

One thing that we’ve noticed is the jigsaw’s reduced vibration. The large trigger, internal counterbalances, and its ergonomic grip makes the device easy to use. And if you have to cut larger pieces of material, the saw has a lock-on button that prevents your hand from getting tired.

While the device’s steel cutting capacity is at ⅜ inches, it has a maximum wood cutting capacity of 3 ½ inches. With its tool-less blade design, you can switch out blades from this device. On average, it takes consumers 30 seconds to change blades, making it a great choice for quick cutting.

Makita JV0600K jigsaw set.

source: makitatools.com

Consumers like this device because of its cutting power. For example, its able to cut through 1.5-inch thick walnut wood using only a few strokes. This makes it a useful cutting tool as it’s multiple cutting speeds help you quickly chop through the material.

The JV0600K has a wide range of stroke speeds and a stronger motor. With over 6.5 amps of power, you can cut through woods up to 3.5 inches thick. With its T-shank blade, its powerful metal will reduce your time on cutting projects.

But there are a few issues associated with the device. Consumers reported that the saw was too heavy to carry. While it only weighs 5.2 pounds, this limits the user’s mobility around their workstation. We suggest using this jigsaw tool in stationary positions for the best results.

You’ll like the Makita JV0600K Jigsaw if you want a reliable, yet functional tool in your workplace. Its maximum cutting speed is 3,150 SPM, giving it a versatile cutting ability. With an average lifespan of 5 years, it’s a great entry-level jigsaw for first-time buyers.


Reviews of the Best Jigsaw Under $100

Winner: PORTER-CABLE PCE345

Features:

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    7 Position Speed Dial
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    Lock on Button
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    4 Orbital Settings
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    Speed: 0-3200 RPM
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    Tool-Less Blade Change

The porter cable is the best jigsaw under $100 because of its comfortable handle, multiple orbital speed settings, and it’s 7 position speed dial. Buy this product on Amazon at a price around $61.

The 7 position speed dial is placed on the two larger finer triggers on the handle. And the 6 amp electric motor keeps up with the cuts that are required for the project. You can also use the lock-on feature to keep the blade depressed when working on longer projects.

Plus, the device has four orbital speed settings and seven speed settings to help users make straight and smooth cuts through wood, plastic, and metals (ferrous & nonferrous metals).

PORTER-CABLE PCE345 jigsaw.

source: portercable.com

Shoppers liked the jigsaw’s top speed at 3200 RPM. The jigsaw has a 13/16 inch stroke length and a max cut depth of 4 inches. Additionally, the saw is capable of cutting at 45° angles by adjusting the saw’s shoe.

If you need to change blades, such as a metal blade to one designed for wood, you don’t need any tools to swap them. It also comes with a wrench that allows you to make adjustments to the shoe of the saw. Thus, allowing you to customize the device according to your preferences.

You should look out for the jigsaw’s blade positioning. Some consumers stated that blade isn’t square to the saw’s base plate. This made it harder for them to cut corners and would lead to them replacing the blade. Fortunately, you’re protected by Porter Cable’s 3 Year Warranty.

Despite its minor issues, the Porter Cable PCE345 is a great orbital jigsaw for DIY aficionados and professional woodsmen. The saw has a large overmold placed on the front and rear of the saw to aid the user’s comfort and control. Get it if you want to make better cuts with increased accuracy.


Runner Up: Black & Decker BDEJS600C Jigsaw

Features:

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    Curve Control Technology
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    3,000 SPM Cutting Power
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    5 Amp variable-speed motor
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    Beveling Shoe
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    Wire Guard

Lastly, the Black & Decker BDEJS600C Jigsaw is the most versatile and powerful device in this price range. It has a 5 amp motor speed runs at a speed of 3,000 SPM. This is currently on Amazon at a price about $31.

The device’s curve control helps users rip through harder materials when needed. It also features the option to create bevel cuts at 45° and 90° angles. You can adjust the speed settings via rotating the Curve Control dial on the side of the jigsaw.

BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C Jigsaw.

source: blackanddecker.com

Black & Decker designed this jigsaw for durability and user protection. For instance, it has a wire guard which helps the user make a clear line of sight for improved cutting precision. Its adjustable shoe helps users adjust the saw to make it a stable cutting platform.

Due to its multiple features, it’s a popular choice for carpenters, mechanics, and professional contractors. Here are a few things that users recommended the jigsaw for:

  • It’s well built and reliable
  • Multiple blade types are available
  • It can cut through most material with some practice
  • It’s affordable and can handle most cutting jobs

Another thing that sets this device apart from its competitors is its beveling shoe. Unlike its competitors, it can create cuts in both directions. This allows for more control on complex cutting jobs and is a great product for novice DIYers.

Shoppers across the board disliked the jigsaw’s lack of cutting stability. The jigsaw is unable to make straight cuts on some occasions; meaning that it requires some practice to cut correctly. After about 2 weeks of continued usage, you’ll find it easier to cut with this device.

The Black & Decker BDEJS600C Jigsaw is valuable due to its exceptional performance and varied cutting settings. It can last for up to 4 years without the need for repairs and gets most cutting jobs done efficiently. Buy this saw if you want a quick jig saw machine for your cutting needs.


What Is a Jig Saw Exactly?

A jig saw is a powerful tool that consists of a reciprocating saw blade and a electric motor. It can be used to make both curved and straight cuts. Because of this, jigsaws are needed by woodworkers who want to complete their jobs faster than using a hand-held coping saw or circular saw.

Jigsaws can cut through multiple types of wood material in various density and thickness. When the correct blade is placed, it can cut through drywall, steel, and fiberglass. This increases the device’s versatility and makes it more valuable in your tool shed.

​With the best jigsaw, changing blades takes only a few seconds. First, remove the battery or unplug the saw and search for the dial that connects the saw. Turn the dial counter-counter clockwise will release the blade. Now you can insert a new blade and lock it back into place.

Difference Between Jig Saw And Miter Saw

It's not uncommon for people to confuse a jigsaw with a miter saw.

​Typically, jigsaws are used for curvature patterns and small cuts. Miter saws are used to create diagonal angled and compound angled cuts. Usually, advanced woodsmen use miter saws when they have to make designs on baseboards.

Jigsaw sawing Wood

Moreover, jigsaws have a thin blade that users make to create intricate cuts. They have an average teeth length of 12 inches. Miter saws have finer teeth that’s about 18 inches long. For coarse cutting use a jigsaw; use miter saws when you need to make fine cuts on your material.

Why Should You Choose Your Jig Saw Carefully

Jigsaws are very handy tools with a multitude of cutting speeds and directions. They combine the advantages of a scroll saw and a band saw, into one small, yet effective package. With all the choices and features, getting the right jigsaw might take some time.

That’s why it's important to choose your jig saw carefully. While you can opt for a cheaper jigsaw, chances are it won’t perform or meet up to your expectations. Take time researching your desired jigsaw before buying it and invest in one that fits you the most.

​What To Pay Attention When Choosing Your Jigsaw

Before buying, you should pay close attention to the specs of your jigsaw. They tell you exactly how the machine operates and how to repair them if a problem occurs. Here are some important specs to remember when shopping for your first jigsaw.

Power

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a jigsaw is the amount of power the motor has. You don't always need the most powerful jigsaw, depending on what you are planning on cutting.

​Corded jigsaws and cordless jigsaws have different power settings, as corded models will show power in amps, and cordless models will show power in volts. This is because one is battery powered and the other isn't. 

Corded Jigsaws: Corded jigsaws don’t need batteries and are best applied for continuous use or tough cutting jobs. Their motors range from 3.5 to 6 Amps of power. Higher amps deliver more power and can cut through thin metals, thick woods, and other tough materials.

The best corded jigsaw gives you the freedom and flexibility of never running out of battery power. If you have larger jobs that might take awhile, a corded jigsaw is probably the best option for you.

Also, corded jigsaws typically will have more power than their cordless counterparts. If you'll be cutting through tough material, a corded jigsaw is definitely your best option.

All things being equal, a corded jigsaw is going to be more powerful than a cordless jigsaw. However, that doesn't meant there are not some really powerful cordless jig saws on the market.

Cordless Jigsaws: Cordless saws are useful in areas where corded extension cords aren’t present or difficult to use. They’re best for cutting through wooden materials and products. While they can cut through tough materials, it takes a toll on the device’s battery power.

Cordless jigsaws have a power rating between 12-18 volts. The higher the voltage, the longer the battery life. For those wanting a mobile jigsaw, cordless jigsaws can be handheld and carried throughout your work area.

If you're buying a jigsaw to have handy for little cuts here and there, a cordless jigsaw will minimize the time it takes and make it ultra-convenient for you.

​Even if you have larger jobs that require longer use, you can buy a cordless jigsaw and multiple batteries. This way, you can be charging one battery while using another.

Not having to deal with a cord makes life a lot simpler, so looking at the best cordless jigsaw is worthwhile!

Speed Control

A fixed speed jigsaw is usually less expensive and is suggested for occasional use. To be honest, most jigsaws on the market are fixed speed. And, they aren't bad, they just don't give you as many options.

If you plan on creating professional-level cuts, then a variable speed jigsaw is a must. And, you'll find that you don't have to pay much more to get variable speed control.

If possible, try getting a jigsaw that has an electronic variable speed. These jigsaws are better because their circuitry keeps the blade running at a steady pace even when it's under a high load.

Variable speed on jigsaw.

You need to know if your jigsaw’s speed control is run by a speed trigger, a dial, or both. Sometimes the jigsaw will have a dial, where it controls the speed when you turn it on or pull the trigger. This gives you more control over the speed, but it runs at one speed at a time.

True variable speed triggers allow you to control the saw’s speed based on how much pressure you apply to the trigger. This helps you quickly change speeds when you need it for your cutting tasks.

The best jigsaws give you the ability to control your speed so that you can cut quickly at high speeds, or slowly at low speeds. Large, easy jobs benefit from quick cutting, and high-precision jobs benefit from slow cutting.

Weight

The weight of your jigsaw determines both itss power and mobility. For first time users, we suggest that you get a jigsaw under 2.5 lbs. These saws are easier to use and can cut through wood and other materials without getting stuck.

If you have more complicated jobs, you’ll want a sturdier jigsaw. A jigsaw that’s within the 4-5lbs range will provide the power you need to cut through tough metals. Since these saws are heavier, it’s best to use them in a stationary position to prevent it from falling from your hands.

When checking the weight of your jigsaw, look to see if it has any ergonomic handles. This improves your grip on the saw, allowing you to operate the machine more efficiently and work for longer periods.

best jigsaw dewalt

Stroke Length

The stroke length is the distance that the blade of the jigsaw travels up and down while it cuts. Typically, jigsaw stroke lengths range from 1/2" to 1".

Generally speaking, shorter strong lengths produce a smoother but slower cut.

How do you know which is the best? Unless you'll be cutting a lot of metal, opt for a longer stroke length closer to 1".

​Stroke Length

​Attributes

​LONGER

​Faster Cut Speed


​Good for Thicker Materials

​SHORTER

​Slower Cut Speed


​Good for Metal

Blade Switch

​Try to get a jigsaw that has blade replacement time under 20 minutes. Different blades are designed for multiple applications. Blades are determined by the number of teeth they have (TPI - teeth per inch). The larger the TPI, the smoother the cut. 

​Jig saw blades with a smaller TPI cut faster, but less smooth. In addition, the material of the blade affects its cutting performance. Here is a table explaining the appropriate jigsaw blades that are available and their uses.

Blade Material

Explanation

Bi-Metal Blades

Used for light metal cutting and wood

Carbide Blades

Used to cut masonry board

High Speed Steel (HSS) Blade

Quick and durable blades that’s used for wood and metal cutting

Cobalt Steel

These blades are harder than bi-metal blades and HSS blades and have a longer cutting lifespan. They are mainly used for metal and wood cutting

Scrolling blades

Narrower than the average jigsaw blades and is used to create tighter cuts.

​Often, narrower blades are used to create tighter cuts.

When changing blades, make sure that it fits within the scope of your project. Doing so allows you to cut through the material more effectively and you don't have to spend time re-cutting the wood. Have a replacement set of blades just in case your main pair ​fails by accident.

The Verdict

​The best overall jigsaw on the market, in our review, is the Bosch JS470E. 

Do you have any experiences using any of the jigsaws above?

Share in the comments below.

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