Best Jigsaw In 2021: A Complete Buying Guide

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Jigsaws create multiple straight and curved cuts so you can finish a wide variety of DIY tasks. If you’re planning on purchasing one, let this guide point you in the right direction. We’ve found and reviewed the best woodworking jigsaws and broken them down by price points and feature sets. 

All the options on this list are known for their quality, performance, and overall functionality. They have advanced features, powerful cutting speeds, and sturdy exteriors. And, they are built to last. Below, you will find our top five picks.

A Bosch JS470EB jigsaw on a workstation

Our Best​ Jigsaw ​Reviews

​While it’s possible to find a decent jigsaw for a low price, you won’t get the power and accuracy that a top jigsaw will have. When you’re trying to make highly accurate cuts, such as for detailed woodworking projects or precise cuts, framing, and molding, you need a well-built jigsaw. And, to work with the variety of materials that ​these saws can cut, you’ll need a model with power. Here is our jigsaw comparison.

Brand
Best Overall
Bosch JS470E
Best for the Money
DEWALT DCS331B​
Best Cheap Pick
PORTER-CABLE PCE345​
Product
BOSCH Power Tools Jig Saws - JS470E Corded...
DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw, Tool Only (DCS331B) ,...
PORTER-CABLE Orbital Jig Saw, 6.0-Amp, Corded...
Motor
7.0 amp
4.0 amp
6.5 amp
Voltage
120 Volt
20 Volt ​​Max Lithium Ion
120 Volt
Rating
-
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
Bosch JS470E
Product
BOSCH Power Tools Jig Saws - JS470E Corded...
Motor
7.0 amp
Voltage
120 Volt
Rating
-
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
DEWALT DCS331B​
Product
DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw, Tool Only (DCS331B) ,...
Motor
4.0 amp
Voltage
20 Volt ​​Max Lithium Ion
Rating
-
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
PORTER-CABLE PCE345​
Product
PORTER-CABLE Orbital Jig Saw, 6.0-Amp, Corded...
Motor
6.5 amp
Voltage
120 Volt
Rating
-
Price

​1. Best Jigsaw Overall: Bosch JS470E Jigsaw

BOSCH Power Tools Jig Saws - JS470E Corded...

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

With a motor of 7 amps, this top-rated jigsaw comes with enough power to handle the vast majority of cuts you’ll need to make. This Bosch can run as low as 500 SPM (Strokes Per Minute) and as fast as 3,100 SPM, giving you a wide range of control over the jigsaw blade speed. 3,100 SPM are great for making quick, clean cuts.

Built with an insulated cover and an aluminum gearbox, the jigsaw comes with Constant Response circuitry for steady speed under load. Bosch designed this saw to last for years, and it is probably the most durable of all the ​ones we’ve reviewed. The footplate can handle over 500 lbs of load.

​The Bosch JS470E has a variable control speed setting placed on the back of the power tool, which is a feature we love. The variable speed dial allows you to start the saw slowly, which helps to prevent hopping, skipping, and jumping as you begin your cut line. 

​The JS470E also ​has a dust management system that aids in cut line visibility. This keeps the machine operating smoothly and gives you smooth cuts while removing the sawdust that can block your cut line. 

Probably the best features of this jigsaw are its tool-less blade change feature, as well as Bosch’s blade ejection system. It allows you to eject the blade without having to touch it, which could save your fingers from getting burned as the blade heats up quite a lot in use.

The saw has four orbital-action settings that give a different range of cutting speeds. So, you can set the speed of the blade for different types of cuts and surfaces. You’ll want to use the slower cutting speeds for thicker materials and precise cuts, and the faster cutting speeds for quick cuts through thinner material.

Bosch includes an updated low-vibration motor design on this model. This not only helps with performance, but it can save your hand over the course of many precise cuts. The Bosch JS470E fits really comfortably in your hands, thanks to its top handle grip.

​Features
  • 7.0 Amp / 120 Volt Motor
  • 4 Orbital Action Settings
  • ​500 SPM (Strokes Per Minutes) – 3,100 SPM
  • ​Max Cut Depth of 5 7/8″
  • ​Dust Blower
  • ​Slow Start Feature
  • ​Bevel Cuts Adjustment (45 degrees)
  • ​Ambidextrous Lock-on Button
  • ​Tool-free blade changes
  • ​Blade Ejection Lever
  • ​No LED light
  • ​1-year warranty
BOSCH Power Tools Jig Saws - JS470E Corded...
  • Convenient: Featuring a tool less blade change system and fast insertion with a blade ejection lever...
  • 4 in 1: 4 orbital action tool settings provide different blade strokes for smooth to aggressive cuts...
  • Control: Variable speed dial sets maximum speed and accelerator trigger controls operating speed;...
  • Secure: This Bosch tool includes a large, sturdy die cast foot with steel insert and on board bevel...

2. Best Jigsaw for the Money: DEWALT DCS331B​

DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw, Tool Only (DCS331B) ,...

Perhaps the most enticing selling point of a jigsaw – it is such a convenient power saw. You can grab the power tool from your garage and be making cuts at the project’s location in no time. As such, it makes sense to have the best cordless jigsaw option, so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of a power cord. 

That’s where this Dewalt jigsaw comes into play – the best of both worlds, combining raw power with the best cordless jigsaw convenience.

The 4-amp-hour battery provides extended runtime, while the anti-slip ergonomic feature provides extra user comfort. ​Its 20-volt lithium battery system ensures that it will run for at least 8 hours before needing to be recharged. The combination of power and battery life is one of the reasons that this Dewalt saw sits at the top of our list. 

For increased versatility and ease of use, the Dewalt has a variable speed control ranging from 0- 3,100 SPM, which gives you more control over the cut and allows the device to handle a variety of applications and materials. 

This saw​ has four additional cutting actions that include one straight and three orbital cuts so that you can control the aggressiveness of the cut. Again, it isn’t typical to see this wide range of orbital action in the best cordless jigsaw version. Anything over 3,000 SPM is great to make quick, clean cuts through any piece.

For enhanced performance and productivity, the cordless jigsaw has lever-action keyless easy blade changes. Speaking of convenience, ​the Dewalt only weighs 6 lbs and has a very nice anti-slip handle. 

The Dewalt DCS331B is the best in its league at making bevel cuts. ​It can cut in multiple detents (0°, 15°, 35°, 45°) for accurate cutting​. Compared to other top models that only offer 1 bevel setting, this is a huge plus. 

We tip the scales to the Bosch jigsaw as the best one, but only slightly​, as it has a little bit more power. With that being said, it was neck and neck between these two. ​​

​Bonus: If you’re looking for the best professional jigsaw, the​ DEWALT 20V MAX XR Jigsaw​ is your best bet. Very similar to the Dewalt reviewed above, you get a powerful portable jigsaw you can take from job site to job site. 

​Features
  • ​4 amp / 20 Volt ​​Max Lithium-Ion
  • 4 Orbital Action Settings
  • ​0 SPM – 3,000 SPM
  • ​Cordless
  • ​Adjustable Dust Blower
  • ​Cordless
  • ​Bevel Cutting (0°, 15°, 30°, 45°)
  • No Battery/Charger Included
  • ​Tool-free Blade Changes
  • ​Blade Ejection Lever
  • Trigger Lock
  • ​No LED light
DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw, Tool Only (DCS331B) ,...
  • All-metal, lever-action, keyless blade change allows for quick and easy blade changes
  • All-metal, keyless shoe bevel with detents at 0 degree, 15 degree, 30 degree, and 45 degree provides...
  • 4-position orbital action provides control of cut quality and speed for the jigsaw tool
  • Adjustable dust blower keeps line of cut clear of chips

​3. Makita JV0600K​

Makita JV0600K Top Handle Jig Saw, with Tool...

The Makita JV0600K is a wonderful option and stood out as a fantastic alternative to the ever-popular brands like Bosch and Dewalt. While Makita does not have nearly the market share of these two brands, they are known for making a high-quality power tool at a lower price point.

This option has a wide range of stroke speeds and a strong motor. With over 6.5 amps of power, you can cut through woods up to 3.5 inches thick. ​With 6 amps of power, that is only slightly less than our highest rated option, the Bosch JS470E jigsaw. And yet, it is substantially cheaper. Couple that with a variable speed range topping out at 3,000 SPM, and you have a very powerful and versatile jigsaw from Makita. 

One feature that ​we love is the saw’s vibration reduction. The large trigger, internal counterbalances, and ergonomic grip make the device really 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. 

One downside is that ​it only has 3 orbital action settings, whereas the Bosch and Dewalt have 4. You’ll also notice that it does not have the same cut depth, coming in at a modest ​3 ½ inches. Don’t worry – that is still an adequate depth for cutting and will handle the majority of your cuts. But it is less than the other top models on our list.

The ​​Makita JV0600K​ is a fantastic option. At a price point that is typically 25-30% lower than the Bosch and Dewalt but with hardly any noticeable difference in features, this Makita makes a great option if you’re trying to save a few bucks but still get a top-rated jigsaw. 

​ Makita JV0600K​ Features
  • ​6.5 Amp / 120 Volt Motor
  • ​3 Orbital Action Settings
  • ​500 SPM – 3,000 SPM
  • ​Max Cut Depth of 3 ½”
  • ​Adjustable Built-in Dust Collection System
  • ​Cordless
  • ​Bevel Adjustment (45°)
  • No Battery/Charger Included
  • ​Tool-free Blade Changes
  • ​Blade Ejection Lever
  • Trigger Lock
  • ​No LED Light
Makita JV0600K Top Handle Jig Saw, with Tool...
  • 6.5 amp motor and 3 Orbital settings plus straight cutting deliver faster and more accurate cuts in...
  • Variable speed control dial (500-3, 100 SPM) enables user to March the speed to the application
  • Through-the-body dust port for use with a vacuum provides efficient dust management
  • Counterbalance system for reduced vibration

4. Best Cheap Jigsaw: PORTER-CABLE PCE345​

PORTER-CABLE Orbital Jig Saw, 6.0-Amp, Corded...

Porter-Cable leads the way when it comes to affordable power tools, and their PCE345 jigsaw is no exception.

The Porter-Cable is the best jigsaw under $100 because of its comfortable handle, ​4 orbital speeds, and its 7-position cutting speed dial. ​

For starters, Porter-Cable features a powerful 6-amp motor, which is great when you consider that some of the top options on the market (and the most expensive) feature motors that are not much more powerful at 6.5 amps and 7 amps. This jigsaw has the power to cut through a wide range of materials.

The 4 orbital speeds make this jigsaw good for a wide range of materials, from thick dense wood, plastic, and metal to thin plywood. 4 orbital settings are the norm for the high-end models we feature, so Porter-Cable doesn’t skimp on this category.

This affordable jigsaw also comes with 7 speed positions, easily adjusted on the side of the jigsaw by the handle. They give you an SPM (Strokes Per Minute) range of 0 – 3,200, which is flat out amazing for its price point. This is one of the main reasons we find the Porter-Cable PCE345 to be the best jigsaw for the money. 

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 jigsaw’s shoe cover.

The jigsaw has a large overmold placed on the front and rear of the jigsaw to aid the user’s comfort and control. Additionally, Porter-Cable provides a really nice 3-year warranty on the jigsaw.

If you need to change blades, such as a metal blade for one designed for wood, you don’t need any power tools. It also comes with a wrench that allows you to make adjustments to the shoe cover of the jigsaw, so you can customize the device according to your preferences.

You might be asking why this jigsaw is so inexpensive, given all of the features. Or, why buy a more expensive ​one? Keep in mind that the Porter-Cable PCE345 Jigsaw is feature-rich and is not a bad option. However, it just isn’t made with the same precision as more expensive models and won’t give you a highly accurate cut. It also isn’t designed for heavy use.

​The Porter-Cable PCE345​ Jigsaw is the best budget jigsaw for ​beginners. ​Frankly speaking, it is the one we wish we had used when we first got started with woodworking projects. 

​Porter-Cable PCE345​ Jigsaw Features
  • ​Powerful 6 Amp / 120 Volt Motor
  • ​4 Orbital Action Settings
  • ​0 SPM – 3200 SPM
  • ​Max Cut Depth of 4″
  • ​Tool-free Blade Change
  • ​​​Bevel Adjustment (45°)
  • ​3-Year Warranty
  • ​7 Adjustable Speed Settings
Sale
PORTER-CABLE Orbital Jig Saw, 6.0-Amp, Corded...
  • 7 position speed dial (0-3200 spm) integrated into trigger of the jigsaw tool provides multiple...
  • 6 Amp motor of the jig saw delivers power in demanding applications
  • 4 orbital settings provides best cutting performance in a variety of materials
  • Lock-on button provides easier control during prolonged use

​5. Black & Decker BDEJS600C​ Jig Saw

BLACK+DECKER Jig Saw, Smart Select, 5.0-Amp...

The Black & Decker BDEJS600C Jigsaw is a highly versatile and fairly powerful ​option, given its incredible price. The Black & Decker BDEJS600C​ Jigsaw features a 5-amp motor that gives you adequate power for most of your cuts. And a top-level 3,000 SPM means that you’ll have powerful enough blade speed to get through thicker material.

The Curve Control dial on the side of the jigsaw allows you speed control. It helps you rip through a variety of hard materials. It also features the option to create bevel cuts at 45° and 90° angles. 

Black & Decker designed this saw forsafety and user protection. It has a wire guard that helps you make a clear-cut line of sight for improved cutting precision. Besides the wire guard, its adjustable shoe cover helps you adjust the saw to make it a stable cutting platform.

Another thing that sets this device apart from its competitors is its beveling shoe cover. Unlike its competitors, the ​Black & Decker BDEJS600C​ Jigsaw can create cuts in both directions. This gives you more control over complex cutting jobs and is a great product for novice DIYers.

Due to its multiple features, the ​Black & Decker BDEJS600C​ Jigsaw is a really ​popular choice for ​homeowners and those working on DIY projects. It is a no-brainer when it comes to price, which makes it really easy to pick up this Black & Decker jigsaw as your first jigsaw and get going. 

​Black & Decker BDEJS600C​ Jig Saw Features
  • ​5 Amp / 120 Volt Motor
  • ​4 Adjustable Speed
  • ​0 SPM – 3200 SPM
  • ​Max Cut Depth of 3″
  • ​Tool-free Blade Change
  • ​​​Bevel Adjustment (45°)
  • ​2-Year Limited Warranty
  • ​Built-in Dust Blower
BLACK+DECKER Jig Saw, Smart Select, 5.0-Amp...
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE ELECTRIC JIG SAW - 5 amp electric jig saw with a 3⁄4” blade orbital action for...
  • CURVE CONTROL TECHNOLOGY - Four curve settings for maximum control over rounded cuts
  • BEVELED CUTS - Makes beveled cuts up to 45 degrees
  • HIGH POWER - Variable-speed motor generates up to 3,000 SPM of cutting power

The Best Jigsaw Features

A jigsaw is a powerful tool that consists of a reciprocating saw blade and an electric motor. It can be used to make both curved and straight cuts. The best jigsaws on the market are handheld and highly portable and can cut through multiple types of wood material of various densities and thicknesses. 

When fit with the correct blade, a jigsaw can also cut through drywall, metal, steel, and fiberglass. This increases the device’s versatility and gives you the best value in your tool shed.

When compared to other power saws, the best jigsaws are not nearly as accurate in their cuts as the scroll saw or band saw but much more versatile.

​A jigsaw works by making up and down motions with its blade, otherwise known as reciprocating motions. A jigsaw almost always cuts on the upstroke. It is most often thought of for cutting wood but can be used to cut a wide array of materials, provided it is fit with the right blade.

The stroke length is the distance that the blade of the jigsaw travels up and down while it cuts. Typically, stroke lengths range from 1/2″ to 1″. Generally speaking, shorter strong lengths produce a smooth operation but a slower cut.

If you’re focused on cutting wood exclusively, you’ll prefer a longer stroke length closer to 1”. You’ll want shorter stroke lengths for cutting metal.

Stroke Length​Attributes​LONGER​Faster Cut SpeedGood for Thicker Materials​SHORTER​Slower Cut Speed​Good for Metal

There are a variety of specs that you need to be aware of in this saw, ranging from weight to power to construction. ​​We’ll go through some of the specs you should know about.

Stroke Length​Attributes
​LONGER​Faster Cut Speed
Good for Thicker Materials
​SHORTER​Slower Cut Speed
​Good for Metal

Jigsaw Weight

So how does the weight come into play when using a jigsaw? You want a saw that is light enough that your hand and arm won’t tire too quickly from use. And yet, you also want a saw that is heavy enough to be sturdy through the cuts and not bounce all over the place while working.

Best jigsaw dewalt

This is the balance that you need to strike. For first-time users, we suggest that you get a lightweight option. These saws are easier to use and can cut through wood and a variety of materials without getting stuck.

Cordless jigsaws are generally slightly heavier than their corded counterparts, as they have the additional weight of the battery. Many DIYers actually end up preferring a lightweight version and stick with it, even as their skills and projects progress.

Motor 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 option. That depends on what you are planning on cutting.

More power means that your saw will push its way through the material more quickly and easily. Harder materials, such as thicker wood or metal, require more power.

Corded jigsaws and cordless jigsaws have different power settings – a corded jigsaw 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.

Using a jigsaw to cut through plexiglass

Types of Jigsaw (Corded or Cordless)

Jigsaws with a power cord don’t need batteries and are best applied for continuous use or tough cutting jobs. Their motors range from 3 to powerful 6 amps of power. 6 amps of power delivers more and can cut through thin metals, thick woods, and other tough materials. 

Unlike a corded jigsaw, cordless jigsaws are the ultimate in convenience, meaning that you can just grab your jigsaw and quickly go to the job site to make a cut. Keep in mind that the battery should be charged.

Vibration Reduction

Compared to other power saws, a jigsaw can produce quite a bit of vibration and “kick”. Vibrations can lead to mistakes and inaccuracies. The vibrations are also difficult on your hand and arm. This can lead you to tire more easily and can actually cause hand-arm vibration syndrome.

Footplate and blade for jig saw

Every company has its own way of dealing with vibration. Makita uses a patented counter-weighted balancing system. While Bosch doesn’t publish any specifics, their unique design provides really good vibration reduction. You’ll want to do your own research depending on your specific requirements.

Jigsaw Components and Makeup

Footplate Platform

Every jigsaw comes with a footplate. It is the flat platform that you rest on the material as you make your cuts. Each brand makes their footplates a little differently, but you want to pay attention to the material of the footplate. Some brands, like Festool, make theirs out of alloy, while others use rougher metal.

A Makita jigsaw that is cordless

Some brands will even include attachment bases for their footplates, which gives you a lot of versatility. Festool, for example, supplies 4 bases on some of their​ models, ranging from a steel base for metal, a phenolic resin base for smooth wood and plastic, a dimpled base for rough wood, and a Velcro base for material that already has a finish on it.

​Either way, you want to make sure that you can cut delicate materials without scratching them. For delicate cuts, ensure that you have an insert to go over your footplate.

Barrel Handle or Top Handle

As with so many of the features we are discussing, you have your choice of a barrel grip (or barrel handle) or a top handle (also known as a D handle). A top handle is exactly as it sounds – it allows you to hold the jig from the top, naturally applying downward pressure on the material while simultaneously giving you leverage to push the saw forward.

Top handles are by far the most common and popular for the best jigsaws. They are more comfortable than the alternative barrel handle and are usually made of slightly soft material to absorb some of the vibrations. The top handle makes it a lot easier on your hands, allowing you to work longer on your project.

Barrel handles are harder to use, but those who love this style will tell you that they give you great control and accuracy in your cuts. They are especially handy for tight cuts, awkward angles, and reverse cuts. You can get a bit of a better hold of a barrel handle, but it is a lot harder on your hands.

A close up of the speed settings on a jigsaw

Type of Trigger

While it might seem a bit ridiculous to be discussing the trigger of a saw, it is vitally important to the operation of your jigsaw. For starters, different brands make different-sized triggers. Larger triggers are better, at least in our findings. The larger the trigger, the better control you’ll have, and the less it will wear away at your finger.

The size and feel of the trigger plays into how you use the jigsaw’s variable speeds. ​Virtually every option on the market comes with a trigger lock, which is great when you’re making long cuts – you don’t need to have your finger on the saw trigger the entire time.

Jigsaw sawing wood

Speeds and Movement

When talking about speed, we’re talking about the variable speed that the saw blade cuts at. This is measured in Strokes Per Minute (or SPM).

Stroke speeds start from as low as 500 SPM and move up to as high as 4,000 SPM. Strokes per minute isn’t synonymous with power, and higher isn’t necessarily better. So, don’t fall victim to thinking that you want the highest SPM possible – you might not.

Variable Speed

A variable-speed jigsaw allows you to adjust the amount of power, and thus speed, that the blade cuts your material at. There are certainly times when it makes sense to go full power at the cut, which is when you wouldn’t need this feature.

However, so much of the work you do with this saw requires an element of precision. Intricate cuts, curves, and corners benefit from slowing down, both in the speed that you move through the cut and in the saw blade itself.

Faster speeds are great for cutting quick, rough cuts on lightweight material. Slower speeds are better for cutting heavy, dense material or where you need an accurate, fine cut. We consider having variable speed in your jigsaw a must. Most decent models incorporate it into their saws now, so chances are you’ll have it.

Soft Start

Soft start motors slowly start the motor speed when you press the trigger, rather than kicking the blade off at full speed. The soft start feature helps prevent the saw from skipping and bouncing right when you start your cuts. This is especially relevant when your blade is already inserted into the material, usually when you’re partway through a cut.

No doubt, some people find this feature annoying. If you are particularly experienced, you might not like to wait for the motor to come up to full power. For beginners or newbies, though, we highly recommend it. It will save you at least one or two mistakes during your first few projects.

Orbital Action

Higher-end versions will come with orbital blade movement (sometimes referred to as oscillating action). A jigsaw with orbital action will have more sophisticated blade cutting and movement, allowing for greater control of the cuts you make. Without orbital action, the blade simply moves up and down through the material as it cuts – as opposed to the more of a weaving, in-and-out cutting motion of orbital action..

With orbital action engaged, the blade moves forward slightly on its own during the upstroke cut, which creates a stronger cutting action. Also, on the downstroke, the orbital action pulls the blade back slightly. This allows the blade to clear the kerf, which decreases the wear on your blade (making them last longer).

If all of that seemed like technical mumbo-jumbo, here is the down and dirty version: orbital action gives you greater control of your cutting and allows you to adapt your jigsaw to the specific type of material you are cutting.

Jigsaw blades attached

There are a wide array of blades to choose from, each focused on performing a specific type of cut on a particular material. Blades come in all shapes and sizes, and picking the right blade for the job is essential.

We recommend reading our in-depth article on jigsaw blades, but here is a brief overview of the essentials.

​Overview

Jigsaw blades are not large. The typical blade is only about 1/4 “ wide and extremely thin. Their small size allows them to make tight cuts, giving you the flexibility of quickly turning and moving intricately through your material as you cut it. 

However, a small blade has its drawbacks too. It can break when you put too much torque or pressure on it. A small blade can also warp if you try and turn too quickly with the cut.

One of the main differences between a jigsaw vs a scroll saw is where and how the blade is attached. Whereas a scroll saw blade is attached to the saw at both ends, a jigsaw blade is only attached at one end.

Types

Let’s be clear – one size does not fit all when it comes to blades. You will really be missing out if you only have 1 – 2 blades for all of your cuts. Instead, make sure you can match up the correct blade for the material you are cutting, what type of cut you are performing, and how thick the material is.

Changing blades on a Makita jigsaw

T-Shank Blades vs U-Shank

U-shank blades are less common these days. The end of the blade looks like a “u” with the tip having two ends that extend into the saw. They require a tool, like an Allen wrench, to insert into the jigsaw. T-shank blades are the most common nowadays. The end of the blade whittles down to a slightly rounded flat end. (They don’t look like a “T”.)  These types of blades are much easier to switch out quickly.

Teeth

You’ll see a TPI rating when you’re reviewing these saws. TPI stands for teeth per inch, and it is a measurement that relates to the speed and finesse of cut that the blade can produce.

The lower the TPI, the thicker the material the blade can cut, but the rougher the cut will be. You’ll also not be able to turn as well with lower TPI blades. Jigsaw blades with a smaller TPI cut faster, but they produce less smooth cuts. Here is a very general guide for what type of TPI you should make sure you choose in your blade:

  • 6 TPI: best for coarse lumber; will give you a very rough cut
  • 10-15 TPI: best for harder word; you’ll be capable of making slow, gradual curves in your cuts
  • 20 TPI: a good all-around number of teeth; you can make tighter cuts
  • 36 TPI: makes tight cuts and leaves a smooth operation finish, but is very slow and won’t cut hard or thick woods well​
Blade Material
Explanation
Bi-Metal BladesUsed for light metal cutting and wood
Carbide BladesUsed to cut masonry board
High Speed Steel (HSS) BladeQuick and durable blades that are used for wood and metal cutting
Cobalt SteelHarder than bi-metal blades and HSS blades and have a longer cutting lifespan – mainly used for wood and metal cutting
Scrolling bladesNarrower than the average blade – used to create tighter cuts.

Tool-less Blade Clamp

A tool-less blade clamp on your jigsaw allows you to remove and insert a new blade quickly without the need for any tools to do so. Older and cheaper jigsaws require tools to switch the blade, usually an Allen wrench, which makes blade changing time-consuming and annoying.

No doubt, tool-less blade interchangeability is nice to have, but it’s not a necessity. 

However, you’ll quickly see how nice it is to have a blade clamp. A blade clamp will also reinforce how important it is to use the right blade for the material you’re cutting, and blade changing won’t be a hindrance.

Jigsaw thick wood cuts

Raised with a fix-it and improvement mindset, my wife and I completely restored our Craftsman-style home. Learning how to DIY a variety of home improvement projects, I started SawsHub with my father. He's the fine woodworker, I'm the DIYer!