Are you in a hurry and just want to know which is the best cordless jigsaw out there? We have selected DEWALT DCS331B as the number one on our list.
The jigsaw is a popular choice by many woodworkers as one of their first power tools. A jigsaw is a great tool when you need to make a quick curved cut on thin materials. Cordless jigsaws provide the added benefit of allowing you to take the tool to the material and not the other way around.
But how do you choose a good cordless jigsaw and not waste your money on junk? This buyer’s guide will teach you what to look for in a cordless jigsaw as well as help you choose the best cordless jigsaw for your needs.
In this article, we will be reviewing these cordless jigsaws:
Cutting Through the Cordless Jigsaw Essentials
My grandfather had told me about the creation of the jigsaw tool, which was based on a European gentleman who placed a reciprocating blade into his wife’s sewing machine. These machines have since taken the name scroll saw.
Since that time, hand-held versions that are powered by electric motors have kept the original name and represent what we now refer to as the jigsaw.
These power tools are used to make curved cuts as well as cuts that start within the board, instead of from an outside edge. Design improvements have included adjustable guide plates as well as battery platforms that make the jigsaw cordless.
The Advantages Of A Battery Powered Jigsaw
Cordless power tools began to gain popularity in the construction and hobbyist fields in the 1990s. The biggest reason they started to overtake corded power tools is due to their portability. Woodworkers can use these tools anywhere, as they do not require a house outlet to plug into.
That portability makes a cordless jigsaw an option if you need to do work outdoors, perhaps in the garden or on the edge of your property. Cordless designs are also convenient for tight spaces where it may prove difficult to run an extension cord that could get in the way. As your woodworking progresses, you will probably begin to take on more home improvement projects where portability becomes a factor, just as I did.
Another advantage I have discovered with cordless tools in general, including my battery powered jigsaw, is that they are often easier to store. You will not need to carry and store an extension cord for them either.
Are There Any Downsides To Battery Operated Jigsaws?
In my experience, I have come across two issues that are common to all cordless power tools.
First, there is a loss of power. Most cordless products will use smaller motors that will not generate the RPMs or torque that many corded products are capable of. They will also lose power as the battery drains during use. To be fair, however, this should not be an issue for beginning or intermediate woodworkers enjoying time in their shop.
Secondly, there is the inconvenience of battery charging. Once the battery is drained, it takes time to recharge it. I have been able to get around this by having extra batteries on hand that are already charged, so I can swap a new one into my power tool as the other one charges.
Also, jigsaw blades are thin and have a tendency to break if too much pressure is applied to them as they are turned. They are also limited in the thickness of wood stock that they can cut.
What Are The Best Applications For A Cordless Jigsaw?
As stated previously, cordless power tools let you work anywhere. You can use them on outdoor projects, or even indoors in places that have limited access to outlets. They are easy to use, so if you have limited time, you won’t have to set up an extension cord before you begin working.
The major benefit of any type of jigsaw is its ability to cut out curves in the materials that you are working on. Once a pilot hole is drilled you can use a jigsaw to make cutouts in your wood projects, something that a band saw or circular saw cannot do.
Safety Considerations When Using Cordless Jigsaws
You will want to use eye protection at all times, to prevent debris from flying off of the workpiece and into your eye. This includes dust that will be generated during cuts.
Make sure the blade is installed properly and that you are familiar with all of the jigsaw controls. Jigsaw blades should be installed with the teeth pointing down.
Make sure that your material is secured against a work surface so that it will not move during the up or down strokes of the reciprocating saw blade.
Keep your hands and fingers away from the saw as it cuts.
Not All Jigsaws Are The Same
Less durable materials used in the jigsaw’s assembly will lower the cost, but strong building materials will provide durability and longevity.
Cordless jigsaws are rated by the amps and volts the battery provides. The higher the number, the more power the jigsaw motor provides to the blade as it cuts.
Bevel adjustments allow you to change the angle of the baseplate, offering more variety of cuts. Orbital action and variable speed adjustments offer more control for cleaner and safer cuts.
Best Cordless Jigsaw Reviews
Without further ado, let’s find out which of the currently available cordless jigsaws are the best out there.
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 versatility for easy bevel cutting
- 4-position orbital action provides control of cut quality and speed for the jigsaw tool
The 20 volt Lithium battery that DeWalt uses in this jigsaw should provide you with an hour of running before it will need recharging. It has a well-built body and plate, offering longevity with this power tool.
PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Jig Saw, Tool Only (PCC650B)
- Dust Blower of the cordless jigsaw clears debris for better visibility
- Tool-free blade release allows for quick and easy blade changes of the jigsaw tool
- 3 orbital settings easily adjusts cut aggressiveness across wide range of applications
A smaller battery profile and handle design make this a less bulky cordless jigsaw when compared to other 20 volt platforms. The price point is low, something that will keep it in range for beginners on a budget.
Makita XVJ03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Jig Saw, Tool Only
- Makita-built variable speed motor delivers 0-2, 600 strokes per minute for fast and efficient cutting
- 3 Orbital settings plus straight cutting for use in a wide range of materials
- "Tool-less" blade change system allows for faster blade installation and removal for increased productivity
The base plate on this model stands out. It is made from solid metals and is covered for extra protection. It also has a wide clearance so that debris moves easily and you can see the point you are working at clearly.
BOSCH 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Jig Saw (JSH180B)
- COMPACT: The Bosch JSH180B 18V jig saw is lightweight and compact. It is up to 30-percent lighter and up to 10 percent smaller than the leading competitor jig saw. Its lightweight design and small...
- CONVENIENT: The jig saw’s t-shank blade change system allows for tool-less blade changes, eliminating the need for users to touch the hot blade. The adjustable footplate allows for bevel cuts up to...
- VISIBILITY: With an always-on dust blower and an LED light, the JSH180B jig saw offers increased visibility along the cut line.
A tampered handle allows users, including those with smaller hands, to grip the cordless jigsaw tightly. The handle is also positioned at a good angle to provide comfort with extended use. Soft pads provide comfort and vibration negation as well.
Ryobi One+ P523 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Jigsaw
- 4 ORBITAL SETTINGS: The higher the setting, the faster you can cut into wood. These higher settings are ideal for making straight cuts into lumber, with lower settings for making curves or cutting...
- BUILT-IN DUST BLOWER: This feature on the tool will help you clear debris away as you work, giving you clear vision
- LED LIGHTING gives you improved line-of-sight in poorly lit conditions
An orbiting motor provides up to 3,000 strokes each minute, a maximum speed that should work for many projects. Depth adjustments stand out, allowing you to take on the wood of a variety of thicknesses.
The Final Cut
While each of the models reviewed above will provide novice and intermediate woodworkers with a good power tool, I feel that the DEWALT DCS331B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Jig Saw represents the best cordless jigsaw out there. While you will pay more at the store, there are plenty of advantages to spending that money upfront.
The DeWalt is built from high-quality materials that will provide durability and stability. This can not be said for some of the models on the list that use thinner and cheaper materials with their jigsaws. DeWalt also provides a decent warranty and solid customer service, something that helps develop customer loyalty and trust.
It uses a 20-volt battery that will supply plenty of power for most woodworkers. A four-position orbital action control knob offers more cutting versatility. Finally, the T-shank saw blades are easy to replace and require no tools.