best jigsaw for woodworking

5 Best Woodworking Jigsaws 2019

A jigsaw is a popular saw in many different trades because it is able to perform straight, curved, rip, plunge and bevel cuts fairly easily. These power tools are available in both a corded or cordless form with a wide variety of features available.

The best jigsaw is the Cordless DEWALT DCS331B, which can cut through materials in 4 different orbital actions and has a variable speed of 0 to 3,000 Strokes Per Minute.

For cutting various materials, you will need to pay particular attention to the size, teeth and material of the blade. Jigsaws are versatile tools and with the correct blade setup, you are able to easily cut through a range of materials.

Best Jigsaw For Woodworking

JigsawsTypeMax Strokes
DEWALT DCS331BCordless3,000 SPM
Bosch JS470ECorded3,100 SPM
Makita 4329KCorded3,100 SPM
Festool PSC 420Cordless3,800 SPM
Black & Decker BDEJS600CCorded3,000 SPM

Jigsaws is a tool that almost all DIY’ers will have but after many years, it may be time to upgrade to a more powerful and feature rich jigsaw. They are very versatile and portable tools that can cut almost any material accurately and in various angles.

There are some materials that a jigsaw will not be able to cut but with the correct blade, they are able to cut solid wood, laminate flooring, PVC, plywood, tiles and much more. Variable speed, ease of blade changes, multiple orbital actions and various cutting angles for bevel cuts are factors you should consider whilst researching.

Deciding which is the right jigsaw for you is dependent upon the material you cut and how often its used. Below is a list of the best jigsaws that offer a range of orbital actions, bevel cutting abilities and plenty of power.

DEWALT DCS331B Cordless Jigsaw


The Dewalt DCS331B is a cordless jigsaw for woodworking that provides a 4 position orbital action and keyless shoe bevel at 0, 15, 30 and 45 degrees for easy bevel cutting. It also accepts T-Shank jigsaw blades for excellent holding power and results.

For some woodworking application, you may be required to switch blades frequently, which can be pain. However, the DCS331B uses an all-metal keyless blade change system for a quick switch over of blades.

In terms of the technical specification of the Dewalt DCS331B cordless jigsaw, it has a variable speed of 0-3,000 SPM and weighs 6 LBS for easy movement.

Overall, it is the best cordless jigsaw that offers excellent power and ease of use without the cord in the way. It is fairly expensive but it does come with Dewalt’s 3 year limited warranty for peace of mind.

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Bosch JS470E Jigsaw

Bosch and Dewalt will always be competiting for the top spot in any power tool showdown and the JS470E is their most popular jigsaw. It is a powerful 7 Amp corded jigsaw with a variable speed and lock-on button for steadiness when using the tool.

Like the Dewalt alternative, it has a four orbital action setting for different blade strokes as well as a tool-less blade changing system. In terms of bevel cutting, the maximum angle is 45 degrees, which is ideal for a range of applications.

Thanks to a 7 Amp motor, this corded jigsaw is very powerful and the no load strokes per minute ranges between 500 and 3,100. Bosch claim that the JS470E model will cut through 5 7/8 inches of wood and 3/8 inch of mild steel.

Bosch are known for their high build quality and reliability and this power tool is no different. It is the best corded jigsaw and the powerful motor, straight forward blade change and other features make it a very desirable model to buy.

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Makita 4329K Top Handle Jig Saw

If you are on a budget and need an affordable jigsaw that provides excellent cutting abilities, performance and reliability, then the Makita jigsaw is for you. It offers a variable speed that ranges between 500 and 3,100 SPM thanks to a 3.9 AMP motor.

With the 4329K model, Makita focused on comfort when cutting. Examples of this include an ergonomic rubberized grip, lightweight construction at 4.2 LBS and a counterweight balancing system that reduces the vibration when under load.

In terms of its cutting abilities, there are 3 orbital settings and the aluminium base adjusts up to 45 degree right or left and a positive stop at 90 degrees.

Overall, it is the best jigsaw for the money as it combines usability, performance and excellent value for money all into one package.

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Festool PSC 420 EB Cordless Jigsaw


If you are a professional carpenter or use a jigsaw on a daily basis, its worthwhile investing more money into a top rated jigsaw. The Festool 561668 Carvex PSC 420 is the holy grail of jigsaws and suitable for advanced users.

It has a variable speed range of 0 to 3,800 strokes per minute for easy cutting and a triple blade guidance for perpendicular cuts as well as splinter guards for tear free cuts. To further improve your cutting accuracy, there is a high intensity LED to ensure the blade is visible at all times whilst cutting.

The brushless motor and robust construction of the Festool PSC 420 EB Cordless Jigsaw ensures it can handle the toughest of conditions.

Overall, it is the ultimate jigsaw that can be used for cutting a range of materials with precise accuracy. The only downside is the very expensive cost but if you use a jigsaw regularly, it is a worthwhile investment and comes with 3 years warranty for peace of mind. It is designed for professionals where money is no issue for the right jigsaw.

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BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C Jig Saw


The Black and Decker alternative is a budget jigsaw that would be great for the average DIY’er in need of cutting wood. Although its cheap, it does feature a 5 amp motor with variable speeds that range from 0 to 3,000 SPM, which is fairly impressive for the price.

Other features include “curve control” technology where the saw will orbit in 4 different positions as well as the ability of a bevel cut at a maximum of 45 degrees.

The BDEJS600C model accepts both U and T blades and is strong enough to cut through a range of materials. Many people may worry that it is not heavy duty due to the low cost but this corded jigsaw comes with 2 years warranty in case of any problems arise due to the build quality.

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Woodworking Jigsaw Buying Guide

For any home DIY activity, you will need to have the right tools for the job. One such tool that is extremely powerful and very important is a jigsaw. The tool is very versatile as it can perform different functions such as making straight cuts, curved cuts, cross cuts, ripping, beveling, plunge cuts and any other custom shape that you can think of. However, to get all the right services, you must be willing to spend some cash and take time to choose the right quality jigsaw.

Jigsaw buying is a bit tricky considering that you have to put so many factors into consideration. However, the adventure is not entirely impossible if you know what you are looking for. Here are some factors to consider while at it:

Corded Vs Cordless

Do you go for corded or cordless jigsaws? This is the first question that you should seek an answer to before proceeding with anything. What you must have in mind is that both the corded and the cordless jigsaws have their advantages and disadvantages.

Corded Jigsaws

Experts advise that you should always opt for corded jigsaws wherever possible. The corded jigsaws are more powerful given that they have a constant supply of electricity throughout the project. They are also lighter, a quality that makes them easily portable. Moving them around while cutting your wood or any other item is also easier.

However, the corded jigsaws also have several disadvantages. For instance, due to their corded nature, it might be very difficult to move them around at your site as there is always a risk that the cord will tangle on objects therefore causing accidents.

In addition to that, having a corded jigsaw limits you to working on sites that have electricity only. The jigsaws are therefore not convenient as such because you can never tell when there will be a power shortage or when you will be required to work in areas that have a shortage of electricity.

Cordless Jigsaws

The cordless jigsaws on the other hand, are very convenient because you can carry them anywhere with you. All you need to do is charge them fully and you are good to go.

However, this hugely depends on the quality of the jigsaw (we will discuss this later in this article). In addition to that, cordless jigsaws are less likely to cause accidents because they have no cords that can tangle on other items. For a generally safer working environment, a cordless jigsaw is likely to go a long way towards achieving that.

On the other hand, cordless jigsaws also have their undoing. For instance, since they do not have a constant power supply, there are high chances that the machines will inconvenience you by falling short of power while you are working.

Cordless jigsaws can also not handle hard tasks with the same consistent power, therefore underlining the importance of corded jigsaws once again. Cordless jigsaws are also heavy, making them hard to move around or transport.

As aforementioned, whether you opt for corded or cordless jigsaws will depend on your personal needs. If you are going to handle hard tasks that will run for hours, opting for a corded jigsaw is a wise idea.

However, if you are going to do a simple task in a place where constant electricity is not guaranteed, it follows that you should go for a cordless jigsaw.

Woodworking Jigsaw

Power and Speed

Regardless of whether you go for a corded or cordless jigsaw, you must consider the power and speed of your machine as well. The rule of the thumb here is simple; the more powerful your jigsaw, the faster you can complete your tasks.

Telling the power of a jigsaw is significantly easy. For corded jigsaws, look at its wattage. Higher wattage means improved performance.

On the other hand, if you are going for a cordless jigsaw, look at its voltage. Jigsaws with higher voltages have better chances of finishing the task in no time.

When it comes to speed, most jigsaws from reputable brands have more than one speed setting. Again, the type of jigsaw speed rate that you opt for depends on the tasks at hand.

If you are planning to use your jigsaw for simple tasks, opting for a single speed jigsaw is not at all a bad idea. On the other hand, if you plan to use your jigsaw on a regular basis to undertake hard tasks, opting for a model with variable speeds is not at all a bad idea.

Simply keep in mind that the jigsaw speed you choose will affect the types of materials that you will be able to cut through as well. If you can get a jigsaw model that has a lock-on switch to set a single speed, that would be an awesome idea as well.

Action or Orbital?

In case you did not know, the pendulum action is responsible for moving the blade away from the material on the stroke. It is also responsible for returning the stroke in place. When this happens, the cutting speed of your jigsaw increases.

This is not only important in allowing you to finish the task at hand faster but it is also responsible for stopping the blades to your jigsaw from wearing down quickly. Also, jamming is not possible when the cutting speed is very high.

On the other hand, orbital action blades move from one side to another rhythmically therefore making the cutting process faster. However, the problem with these blades is that they make rougher cuts as compared to the other blades. You can therefore pick them only when you are not keen on having detailed work.

Versatility of the Jigsaw

While speed is one factor that determines how the jigsaw will cut through different materials, some jigsaws are suited to some types of materials more than others. In that case, the type of material that you wish to cut through using your jigsaw is another factor to consider.

For instance, if you are looking for a jigsaw that is going to help you cut through hardwood, opt for a jigsaw with moderate speed. The speed for cutting through plastics and metals is also different so take much keenness as well.

Today, you can get jigsaws that have all these adjustments even though they may be costly. However, if you are a constant user of a jigsaw, this should not be a problem because the machine will serve you in undertaking different tasks.

Curved or Straight Cuts

Once again, you will choose your jigsaw depending on the task at hand, more specifically, whether you want curved or straight cuts. It is very easy to find jig saws that make straight cuts currently on the market.

However, for the curved cuts, you may have to search a bit harder and with much keenness for you to land your hands on a high-quality jigsaw.

The trick about this is very simple; when looking for a jigsaw that will help you makes straight cuts, opt for one that has more orbit settings.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a jigsaw that makes smooth curved cuts, it has to have less orbit settings. If you are unsure of what jigsaw to settles for, purchase one that has multiple orbit settings so you can easily switch depending on the task at hand.

Jigsaw Blades

Different jigsaws have varying blades depending on the type of jobs that they can comfortable undertake. Generally, you will find jigsaw blades categorized according to their number, of teeth per inch also known as TPI.

The rule of the thumb here is, the higher the TPI, the faster and smoother the blades of the jigsaw will cut. Here are some general tips to consider when choosing the blade types of your jigsaw depending on their abilities to cut through different materials:

  • If you are looking for a jigsaw that will help you cut through wood and light metals, high –speed steel and bi-metallic blades are suitable for you.
  • Jigsaws with cobalt steel blades are very strong thereby making them suitable for use on stronger metals.
  • Jigsaws with carbide grit blades are only suitable for cutting through masonry boards.

With the growth of technology, some manufacturers have released jigsaws that allow for quick blade-release systems. Jigsaws with these systems make it easy for faster change of blades to suit different purposes. With these saws, you can work on multiple objects effortlessly.

The Brand of the Jigsaw

While it is true that many brands of jigsaws are available on the market today, not all of them are designed with your best interests at heart. In fact, some do not last for long before they start breaking down.

In that case, opting for a brand that has been in the business for a long time will put you on the safe side. You can also get recommendations from friends and family who know more about jigsaws. DeWalt is one of the most reputable brands when it comes to jigsaws and other similar items.

how to use a jigsaw

Feature of a Woodworking Jigsaw

To distinguish between a good jigsaw and a great jigsaw, look at the item’s additional features. Good jigsaws will only offer you the basics while great jigsaws will give you additional features in bid to make your work effortless. Some of these features include:

Dust blower and Extraction

Using a jigsaw does not necessarily mean that your house has to be covered by dust. Also, your vision does not have to be distracted by dust when cutting your wood. To ensure that none of this happens, opt for jigsaw models that have attached vacuum cleaners or blowers that will help keep your working site clean.

Laser or Red-eye Generator

Some models have laser beams that highlight your cutting path. These help boost your precision while cutting so they are very important, especially when you are looking to have a detailed finish.

Safety Features

Jigsaws, like many other tools can be very dangerous. The safety lock switches must therefore be in place at all times. Having a jigsaw that has a soft-star feature and a blade guard will go a long way into giving you a piece of mind.

Scrolling and Adjustable Base Plate

Some models have scrolling features that allow you to steer the blade directly along curves as opposed to the full turning of your machine. You can also consider jigsaws that are angled to cut materials at different degree angles by simply twisting their bases to either the right or left directions.

How to Use a Jigsaw

Even with the best jigsaw in the world, it would be pointless if you do not have the basics of using one. Here are some tips on how to use a jigsaw successfully:

  • When making a cut, hold down the saw to keep the blade from clattering
  • You can reduce marring by applying a layer or two of masking at the base of your jigsaw
  • After you are through with your cutting, remove the masking to avoid leaving residue on your surface
  • Adhere to all the set safety regulations of using a jigsaw
  • Set the orbit according to the material that you are cutting
  • When you need precision, assemble everything that you will need before starting your project.

Conclusion

A jigsaw is one of the most versatile tools that you can have. A jigsaw can cut through plastic, hardwood and metals precisely to give you a desired outcome. However, your results will hugely depend on the quality of the jigsaw that you purchase and quality jigsaws provide quality results.

The only way that you can get quality jigsaws is by adhering to some key factors. These may include whether you want to go for a corded or cordless jigsaw, the blade of the jigsaw, brand and additional features that the tool may have.

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