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. Its reciprocating blade cuts through material quickly and can be used to make curved cuts. But, what features make the best cordless jigsaw? Let’s take a closer look at the tools themselves, as well as five jigsaw power tools that might fit your budget and needs.
In this article, we will be reviewing these cordless jigsaws:
- DEWALT DCS331B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Jig Saw
- PORTER CABLE PCC650B 20-volt MAX Lithium Jigsaw
- Makita XVJ03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Jig Saw
- Bosch JSH180B 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Jig Saw
- Ryobi One+ P523 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless Orbital T Shank 3,000 SPM Jigsaw
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.
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.
- A keyless blade set up allows you to change out the T-shank saw blades without having to touch the blade itself
- The metals and plastics used in the body construction are rigid and durable, allowing you to get years of work out of this power tool
- Power is supplied through the down and upstrokes of the reciprocating blade, and the jigsaw has four settings for more control based on the material you are working with
- DeWalt provides a good warranty and excellent customer service for this cordless jigsaw
- This cordless jigsaw comes at a high price point, which is even more than listed as the battery and charger are sold separately
- It a built-in dust blower that could use a power upgrade, as it does not always pick up the debris and dust created during use
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.
- The dust collection port is two inches in size and does an adequate job of clearing dust and debris so that you can see where you are cutting at all times
- This product is part of Porter Cable’s 20-volt MAX platform, allowing you to exchange batteries with other products in this line
- A compact design allows you to reach into tight places that other cordless jigsaws may not be able to, and the less bulky design allows you to see the blade easily while you are operating it
- The cheaper price comes with cheaper build materials that help to generate more noise and transfer more vibration during use
- Its adjustable baseplate can work loose during operation that will need to be tightened more often and can cause the reciprocating blade to wander a bit
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.
- The covering that slips over the base plate provides added protection, conforming stability, and vibration absorption while you work
- Besides the plat covering, ergonomic handpieces also help to absorb vibrations generated by the motor and blade while cutting wood stock, even at higher speed settings
- It has a large variable speed trigger that can be depressed with two fingers comfortably, or more fingers if needed
- It comes with three orbital settings as well as a straight cut setting, helping to add diversity to your cuts on various projects
- The price point on this model is high considering that it is an 18-volt battery system used here
- Its solid construction and additional covering make this cordless jigsaw heavier than other models in the 18-volt range
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.
- This Bosch design is compact and lightweight, features that make it easy to use at almost any location you are working in
- It’s base plate not only adjust up to 45-degrees, it holds these angles firmly through the cut and the plate also provides a truly flat surface for great contact
- All button and lever controls are located on the same side (left) of the cordless jigsaw body, a set up all right-handed users will appreciate
- For some reason, the 18-volt Lithium-Ion battery used by Bosch doesn’t seem to hold a charge as well and it drains more quickly than others
- It can be difficult to see the point of cut due to the drill’s design and space between the baseplate toes, especially if there is glare from the LED guide light
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.
- It has an adjustable base plate that not only provides angles for beveled cuts, it also offers you a variety of depth that will expose more or less blade while you cut
- A trigger lock holds the power button on, allowing you to adjust your operating hand as well as providing your fingers relief during long cutting sessions in the shop
- The position of the LED is great, allowing you to see between the toes on the base plate and keeps the point of light visible no matter where you are viewing it from
- The reciprocating saw blades on this model are more difficult to replace, due to the depth of the connection point
- An adjustable base plate depth will require more inspection and offers an extra point of wearing out that non-adjustable height plates do not have to struggle with
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.