Want a quick answer? We believe that BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C jigsaw is the best jigsaw you can buy. Read on to find out why.
When it comes to making curved cuts on my woodworking projects, nothing outperforms my jigsaw. The blade is able to turn in ways that a circular saw blade cannot. Its motor drives that blade in an up and down motion similar to a hand saw which allows me to cut in tight places I could not reach with a circular saw.
Let’s discuss the benefits and features of these power tools, and review some of the best jigsaw models available for your woodworking journey.
Top-Rated Jigsaws compared
Why do you need a good jigsaw?
The biggest advantage that your jigsaw offers is the ability to cut curves. This is something that a circular saw, miter saw, or table saw simply can not do.
A bandsaw can cut curves, but that is a tool that can cost a lot more and takes up more room. Scroll saws can also cut curves, but they are not as quick and also require more room than a jigsaw needs. Another feature is that the jigsaw can be taken to the work, while both of the other saws mentioned above need the work brought to them.
You can also cut circles into the wood with a jigsaw, and most models can be tilted so that you can cut a bevel as well. Another feature of this power tool is its ability to cut into a multitude of materials besides wood, as long as you have the proper blade installed. That makes this one of the more versatile tools a DIY homeowner or woodworker can have in their tool kit.
First, keep in mind that the blades used in a jigsaw are thin. That means that they can bend if they are used on timber that is too thick. Avoid cutting hardwoods thicker than 0.75-inches and softwoods thicker than 1.5-inches (A good rule of thumb I use is that the blade should stick out at least an inch from the bottom of the wood).
These thin blades can also bend if they are forced through a tighter cut. Slow down your speed rate with tight radius cuts. If the blade starts leaving a bevel instead of straight cuts, you know that you are feeding it too quickly.
Most jigsaw blades cut on the upstroke and can leave a rough edge if you are not careful. Keep this in mind as you work.
Finally, these saws are not intended to make long straight cuts. A short crosscut is fine, but longer cuts should be left for your circular saw.
Consider this When Buying A Jigsaw
All jigsaws are not the same, and features on models you should look for include:
Most jigsaw models come as either a barrel grip or top handle design. There is no functional advantage of one over the other, but you want a power tool that is comfortable to grip and easy to control. Select the style that allows you to keep the shoe of the jigsaw on the wood’s surface while you guide it through the cut completely.
The power generated by the electric motor will determine how fast your blade will move and how much power is behind the blade as it cuts. Jigsaw motors often range between 4 and 7 amps. Avoid going too far below the bottom end of that range or you will find the product cuts poorly.
Strokes Per Minute (SPM)
This rating shows how many strokes the blade will make in an up and down movement in a minute’s time. Some jigsaw models will go past 3,000 SPM. If possible, get a model that has a variable speed output so that you can adjust the speed to your workpiece and blade.
This describes the distance that the blade travels as it moves up and down. Longer strokes cut deeper and faster, while shorter strokes are cleaner and more precise. Your selection here may need to be matched to the type of work you plan to do with the jigsaw.
Most models today have adjustments for the orbital cuts that the saw can make. Orbital cuts describe the movement of the blade back and forth. A low setting will make the blade move straight up and down with each stroke, while a high orbital setting will make the blade push forward and backward as well as up and down with each stroke.
Users may want to use a higher orbital setting if they wish to speed through cuts quickly. The downside here is that the extra movement of the blade will leave a rougher edge, making high orbit settings something that woodworkers do during rough cuts.
Jigsaw blades will usually attach with more traditional U-shank blades or with a newer design referred to as T-shank blades. A jigsaw will make use of one or the other in most cases, so keep this in mind at purchase. I prefer the T-shank as they are easy and fast to install and do not have a tendency to come loose once I start cutting.
Are Jigsaws Safe To Use?
Yes, they are.
As a matter of fact, this was the first power tool my late grandfather introduced me to in his shop. They are easy to control, which makes them ideal for beginners as well as younger woodworkers. The blade is also below the wood, so your fingers will not be near the blade as it moves.
5 Best Jigsaws Reviewed
BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C – Best Value Jigsaw
- Curve Control technology which allows you to adjust the saw's orbit in 1 of 4 customized settings
- 5 Amp variable-speed motor; up to 3,000 SPM of cutting power
- Can make 45 degree bevel cuts; with adjustable shoe for stability
This jigsaw makes use of a 5 amp electric motor. It isn’t the largest power system out there, but it should supply you with the power needed for most cuts on your DIY or beginner woodworking project. Its variable-speed motor can provide you with up to 3,000 SPM at the highest setting. Such speeds should get your blades through a variety of woods with minimal bogging while avoiding burns on the edges.
A “Curve Control” knob is used for adjusting the orbital blade movement. It is positioned close to the handle for easy access and provides a smooth transition. This model can accept both U and T-shank jigsaw blades. This allows you to select the blades that fit your budget and your needs for the project.
As for its drawbacks, this product uses plastic for the housing. This material does not feel as strong as it could and the build may transfer a bit more vibration through the jigsaw’s housing. Also, a plastic lever is used to help install the blade. That could be a weak point as this lever will see considerable use as you change blades and might be more prone to break than a metal lever would.
But still, considering everything, I think this is a great jigsaw for beginner-intermediate users.
- Variable-speed motor provides up to 3,000 SPM.
- Conveniently placed “Curve Control” allows for smooth adjustment of the orbital blade movement.
- This model can accept both U and T-shank jigsaw blades.
- Very low price tag.
- This product uses a lot of plastic parts.
- The tool does not feel as strong as other more expensive jigsaws on this list.
- A plastic lever used to install the blade may break with continuous use.
DEWALT DCS331B – Best Professional Jigsaw
- All metal lever action keyless blade
- Battery and charger sold separately. All metal key less shoe level
- 4 position orbital action
This top handle design represents DeWALT’s cordless jigsaw in the 20C Max power tool series. The battery is a high-quality lithium-ion unit that provides you with power and can also be interchanged with over 200 other 20V Max products. If you purchased Flexvolt batteries you could increase the power tool’s run time x 8!
A 20-volt battery will offer more power for a longer period of time than smaller batteries even on the best cordless jigsaws. This equates to more cuts per battery change and faster workflow with less charging time.
This model uses a keyless blade. The lever is metal and helps to make blade changes fast and simple.
DeWALT offers great customer support. That includes a three-year limited warranty on this product and a decent user’s manual and other product documentation.
The downside is that the battery and charger do not come with the jigsaw and must be purchased separately. That makes the tool’s price point less impressive. It also weighs more than other models. Adding a battery and the build materials put this product well over five pounds in weight.
- High battery capacity
- A keyless blade makes blade changes fast and simple;
- Great customer support from DeWALT
- The battery and charger must be purchased separately.
- It weighs more than other models.
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.
This is another cordless product that comes without the battery, but it also includes Electonic Cell Protection (ECP), a feature that will help to protect the battery that you do buy from potential damage. That includes protection from deep discharge, overload, as well as overheating.
The battery for this cordless jigsaw is covered under a separate warranty. The two-year coverage is better than many manufacturers offer for a battery-powered platform.
At 4.8 pounds, this cordless model is up to 30-percent lighter than similar-sized cordless jigsaws. That can make a difference with fatigue if you make a lot of cut. It is also 10-percent smaller than similar jigsaws on the market. This is due to a smaller shoe and sleeker body design that will allow you to get into tighter spaces for cuts
But, this 18-volt platform provides less power than other models reviewed here. Its maximum 2,700 SPM is under no-load, so you might notice the lower speeds as you cut certain materials. Also, A smaller shoe will require more concentration to keep it pressed against the wood as you cut. This is especially true with the battery hanging on the back of the handle.
- The battery is covered under a two-year separate warranty.
- Less user fatigue due to low tool’s weight
- It is 10-percent smaller than similar jigsaws on the market.
- This 18-volt platform provides less power than other jigsaws on this list.
- A smaller shoe will require more concentration to keep it pressed against the wood.
- The most expensive model on this list
PORTER-CABLE Orbital Jig Saw PCE345
- 7 position speed dial integrated in the trigger
- 6 amp motor for more power
- 4 orbital settings for a variety of materials
This jigsaw will provide you with extra power for cuts when compared to other products in this review. That is due to the 6 amp electric motor, a size that places it on the upper end of potential output.
It uses seven positions for various speed settings. That provides you with more options and greater blade or material versatility. There is a lock-on button located in the handle. This will allow you to run the jigsaw without having to keep the power button depressed during longer cuts.
A top speed of 3,200 SPMs is possible with this jigsaw. That can help to prevent you from bogging down and the speed will help cut wood faster.
The downside with this jigsaw is that it uses two separate wire guards to cover the blade. The problem is the wire is thicker and these can make it more difficult to observe the contact point between the blade and the material you are cutting. Also, its extra power and features come at a higher price point. This jigsaw will cost as much as some cordless designs, which is more than other corded models you will look at.
- Seven positions for various speed settings.
- High top speed of 3,200 maximum SPMs.
- Difficult to observe the contact point between the blade and the material you are cutting.
- This jigsaw will cost as much as some cordless designs
WORX WX550L 20V AXIS 2-in-1 Reciprocating Saw
- [2 SAWS IN 1] Pivoting, push-button head turns your jigsaw into a reciprocating saw and back again in just seconds
- [ORBITAL CUTTING] The slight circular motion is more efficient for most materials than the traditional back and forth stroke. Get the job done quicker, with less strain on your hands
- [COMPACT AND LIGHTWEIGHT] At only 4.2 lbs. you can maneuver easily, make intricate cuts, and work longer with less fatigue
This cordless reciprocating saw is included in the list for those needing fast and heavy cutting with their DIY or rough woodworking projects. It is designed to handle cuts at various angles and can be equipped with blades that chew through material quickly.
It includes the battery as well as the charger. Unlike other cordless power tools, this model includes everything you need at one go. Weighing 4.2 pounds, it is very light for this type of design. For the type of work this is designed for, the lighter weight will be appreciated at the end of the day’s remodeling.
A dust blower vent is built into the housing. The location helps to keep debris out of the way of your way.
Note that reciprocating saws are intended for rough cutting only. These tools will usually leave edges that require a lot of cleanups if they are used for cabinet making or to cut furniture pieces. If you want to do some fine cutting, don’t forget to put on a jigsaw blade.
Unfortunately, cordless saws of this type can drain quickly. That is due to the fact you will be making heavy cuts into materials that will draw more battery power.
- You get a reciprocating saw and a jigsaw with a single purchase.
- Battery, as well as a charger, are included in the kit.
- Very light.
- A dust blower vent is built into the housing.
- Some buyers reported that the battery drains rather quickly.
- The battery takes a long time to load.
- 3 orbital settings
- Variable speed trigger (0-2,500 SPM)
- Tool-free blade release
Compared to other 20 volt platforms, the smaller battery profile and design makes this a more compact cordless saw. What I also like about this jigsaw is its low price tag which makes it very affordable for beginners.
Due to its dust collection port which is 2 inches in size, this tool will do a great job at clearing debris and dust to ensure that you see where you are cutting at all times. Since this jigsaw is part of the Porter Cable’s 20-volt MAX platform, you will be able to exchange batteries with other tools from this line.
The profile of this tool is very compact which makes it great to work in confined areas. This will add to the accuracy of your cuts since you can easily see where the blade goes.
Unfortunately, cheaper price means that this jigsaw is made out of cheaper materials which means faster wear, more noise and transfer of more vibration during use. Also, you will have to tighten its adjustable baseplate since it can work loose and cause the blade to wander a bit.
- Good dust collection.
- The battery can be used with the other tools from the MAX platform line.
- Compact design.
- Easy to change blades
- Built with cheaper materials.
- Transmits a lot of vibration
- Many buyers say that the battery drains too quickly
Which Jigsaw Cuts The Curve?
I am sure that any product reviewed above will work for you and one can be matched to your budget and your needs. However, I feel that the BLACK+DECKER Jig Saw BDEJS600C is the best jigsaw and will meet most of your needs as a novice or intermediate woodworker.
A five amp motor provides decent power and helps to generate up to 3,000 SPM. That will get you through most materials you will be using.
It uses a variable speed control as well as a smooth orbital cutting adjustment knob. These will make operating it easy and provide you with quick adjustments as you work.
Another feature I really like with this tool is the ability to use both U as well as T-shank blades. That gives you a chance to mix and match blade designs to keep costs low while giving you a larger selection to choose from.