When you’re cutting wood, whether it’s for work or as a hobby, a circular saw is not going to always be the answer.
While they have their own benefits, if you want to cut some curves you’re going to need a jigsaw to get the job done.
It’s not just wood either.
A jigsaw is a vital tool to own as it can be used on a variety of materials. These include tiles, carpets and even concrete, although in some cases the other materials will require a different blade.
Walk into any hardware store though, and you’re going to be amazed by the range of jigsaws available. You want to make sure you get the best jigsaw, but the sheer quantity can become overwhelming.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned woodworker, this guide will give you a complete review on what we found to be the top five jigsaws on the market.
The comparison chart alone may help you to find the best-rated jigsaw for your situation, but check out the reviews for more detail.
Top 5 Jigsaw Comparison Chart
Best Jigsaw Reviews
1. Black + Decker BDEJS300C Jigsaw
The Black + Decker BDEJS300C features the company’s signature orange and black finish. It has a 4.5-amp motor, which is about standard for this price range. It slices through wood and other materials at up to 3000 strokes per minute rate and a stroke length of three quarters of an inch. It’s compact and it’s lightweight, which is going to make it easier to use. For that reason, you can maneuver with ease and it’s not too loud either.
- 4.5 amp motor and Variable speed of up to 3,000 SPM
- New and improved Wire Guard Sightline channel that improves visibility to cut line
- Base plate tilts to allow bevel cuts
- Dust blower helps to keep saw dust out of your work area
- Included Components: (1) BDEJ300C; Stroke Length: 0.75 in; Stokes per Minute: 3000 spm
What's to like about the Black + Decker BDEJS300C Jigsaw
When it comes to considering this for the best jigsaw, the good things that stand out are the 3000 SPM variable speeds that this machine offers. It also operates on a base plate which, when used correctly, can create bevel cuts up to 45 degrees. It features new and improved wire management to get the pesky power cord out of your way.
What's not to like about the Black + Decker BDEJS300C Jigsaw
This jigsaw’s 4.5 amp motor is at the lower end, though normal for this price range. It also does not come with a carrying case. This means that unless you buy one separately, you’re having to leave it out unprotected when it’s not in use. This could lead to more wear and tear on the device than you had originally expected. It may also tempt curious kids when it’s out in plain sight.
2. Makita 4329K Jigsaw
Makita had the ergonomic element at the top of mind when designing the 4329K jigsaw. The rubber grip it uses is designed to not only be more comfortable than most, but it also allows you greater control over the saw. It has a considerable range of speeds. It can perform anywhere from 500 SPM to 3100 SPM.
- 3 orbital settings plus straight cutting with a powerful 3.9 AMP motor for use in a variety of materials
- Ergonomically designed rubberized grip for increased comfort and control
- Variable speed control dial (500-3,100 SPM) enables user to match the speed to the application for optimal cutting performance in a variety of materials
- Counterweight balancing system for reduced vibration
- Die-cast aluminum base adjusts up to 45° right or left and positive stop at 90° for solid cutting performance
What's to like about the Makita 4329K Jigsaw
A key feature of this model is that it houses a through-the-body dust port. This removes the dust from your line of vision, which allows for a smoother cut. Add to that the fact that this is on the smaller side and designed to be comfortable, it makes this a contender for all the marbles. The build quality is typical Makita’s high standard.
What's not to like about the Makita 4329K Jigsaw
It only has a 3.9-amp motor, which is not impressive on paper but powerful enough in practice. It’s like you can’t judge a car from the engine horsepower alone. The bigger issue is that the Makita hasn’t kept up with the time and is not equipped with tool-free blade change.
3. Bosch JS260 Jigsaw
While a lot of companies will fill their advertisements with so many words, Bosch keeps things simple with this jigsaw. That’s because it’s a good quality saw, from a good quality company that’s been around for a while. They’ve incorporated a high-power motor into this model, as well as an adjustable dust blower.
What's to like about the [product name]
The 6-amp motor delivers considerable amount of power and torque. This means you can use it on the more robust materials out there. And to help with that, there are also 4 orbital-action settings. It also has a tool-less blade change system, which means you simply press a button to release the blade and put on a new one.
What's not to like about the [product name]
It comes with a heavy-gauge steel foot plate to operate the jigsaw (though this can also be a positive). While it’s definitely going to be durable, it’s also on the heavier side of things, which makes this machine less portable. The large motor also makes this jigsaw bulky, though the overall 7lb weight is not too bad.
4. DeWalt DW331k Jigsaw
DeWalt has produced a heavy-duty jigsaw in the DW331k. This is a corded model which is designed to be durable and capable of handling extreme materials. The motor itself is one of the most powerful in its price range. With the variable speed range of 500 – 3100 SPM, this provides effortless, precise cuts.
- The product is 6A Top Handle Jig Saw
- Easy to use
- The product is manufactured in China
- Powerful 6.5 Amp motor delivers the cutting power for the most demanding materials
- variable speed delivers 500 - 3,100 strokes per minute for optimal cutting speed for all applications
What's to like about the DeWalt DW331k Jigsaw
It can produce a range of different bevel cuts with the detents set at 0, 15, 30, and 45 degrees. Although it’s on the powerful end of products, it weighs in at just 6.4 pounds. The construction is solid and excellent vibration control is provided by the counterbalance mechanism and comfortable rubber grip. The stylish black plastic shoe cover protects delicate work pieces.
What's not to like about the DeWalt DW331k Jigsaw
It only accepts T-Shank blades. That means that if you are buying this as an upgrade from an older model, you will also be required to buy all new blades as your older ones will not work on this saw.
There have also been some complaints about the blade not staying on during use, which can create a potentially dangerous situation. This is not the easiest jigsaw to handle if you need to make very fine cuts. It also doesn’t come with a carrying case. That means you will need to buy your own, if you want to put it away for protection when it’s not in use.
5. SKIL 4495-02 Jigsaw
SKIL markets the 4495-02 as being easier to use and safer, thanks to some custom features such as the molded blade rest. When you think of easy and safe, you potentially assume that means it has less power within the motor. That’s not true in this case, as it houses a 6-amp motor.
- Powerful 6.0 Amp motor
- Built-in laser guide for accurate straight cuts
- 4-position orbital cut control for fast or smooth cuts
- Variable speed trigger adjusts speed to cut
- Custom molded tool rest design to prevent blade from damaging material
What's to like about the SKIL 4495-02 Jigsaw
As mentioned, it uses a 6-amp motor which gives it a good, gutsy cut when in use. That power also lends itself to its different ranges of SPM, which helps you to get through most materials out there. As a bonus, this jigsaw is very affordably priced. The blade rest on this device is also a prominent feature. The custom molded blade rest makes this jigsaw safer to use and disassemble.
What's not to like about the SKIL 4495-02 Jigsaw
It doesn’t contain a built-in dust blowing system. This means that when you cut through something, the dust that is produced can build up. It can then affect your line of sight and change the quality of your cut. For some reason, this jigsaw is better at cutting curves than straight cuts.
Corded vs. Cordless
When looking for the perfect jigsaw for you, the first thing you will come across is that there are corded and cordless options. Both have their benefits, but the use of either can depend on your circumstances.
The deciding factor could well be whether you need to go cordless. However, with all things being equal, the corded option is usually more durable and provides an extra level of power by having the full power source connected.
You also don’t need to worry about batteries having to be recharged or running out if you go with a corded jigsaw. Of course, you can always buy more than one set batteries, but that will add to the cost.
On the flipside, the cord itself may interfere with your work, especially if the cuts you are trying to make are more unusual. The cord itself could also be less reliable than the power tool. A lot of things can happen to it and it’s a hassle to put in a new one.
The variables speeds on the best jigsaw are important, because the higher the speed, the more cuts per minute it can achieve. This can be helpful in getting through tougher materials. It can also help to reduce the risk of the blade jamming. On the other hand, you’ll need the lower speed settings to handle cuts and materials that might crack at high strokes per minute.
When considering blade options, there are two different ways to look at this category. The blade itself needs to be chosen based on what you want to cut. For instance, if you want to cut concrete you’ll need a more heavy duty one than if you simply wanted to cut wood.
The second to consider is whether it’s a Universal Shank blade or a Tang Shank blade. These two options refer to the way that the blade clips in to the actual grip of the saw. A Universal Shank, or U-Shank, is mostly found on older models whereas the T-Shank is found on newer models. Some saws will accept both, but some also won’t so it’s important to consider this.
Different orbital settings will affect you in different ways. The orbital settings are basically the way that the blade operates – regular up and down or with a slight forward angle, or upswing with a slight backward tilt, or anything else.
This is very useful for cutting different materials and it will also extend the life of your blade. When considering this option, think about whether you need it for one particular job or if you need it for varied jobs in the future.
Stroke length is important to consider and has positive and negative benefits to it. If the stroke length is too long, it takes away from the intricacy of the work, but if the stroke length is too short it can take longer for you to complete the work.
The stroke length can also indicate the overall size of it. The bigger the stroke length, potentially the bulkier the saw itself will be. This can affect its portability. If it’s bigger, it’s also potentially going to be noisier to use.
Best Jigsaw F.A.Q.
What is a Jigsaw?
There are varied blades and uses of the jigsaw but let’s break down what it is into simple terms. A jigsaw is a saw, but it can also be referred to as a sabre saw. It’s a power tool that’s available in both corded and non-corded options.
A jigsaw made up of a motor, a narrow blade, and the handle. The function of it is that it is able to make intricate and precise cuts, in a curved manner as opposed to just the normal straight function of a handsaw.
Primarily it is a woodworking tool, but there actually is a full range of different materials it can be used on.
How Does a Jigsaw Work?
A jigsaw works with the aid of a saw shoe planted on a flat, safe grounded area. By pressing that saw shoe, it operates the motor within the jigsaw. From there, the blade is guided to make smooth cuts into the material you are working with.
It works by you propelling it forward via the handle that is attached to it. For this reason, and also for safety, that handle is usually top facing. When you move it forward, it cuts in-line with the shoe (so-called perhaps because it’s on the bottom). While cutting, it’s possible to guide it to make straight, curved, or even beveled cuts.
In practice, it’s recommended that you cut off excess material first. By doing this, it can allow you to be more intricate with the cuts that you need to make.
What is a Jigsaw Used For?
Typically, a jigsaw is used for woodworking. It can be used on different types of word, and on different thickness levels.
While you may associate it with construction and carpentry, it also has the ability to be used for home décor, a garage woodworking shop, or on a creative level. The curves it provides lends itself to art installations, but it can also produce scrolling and stencils.
It does good work with wood, which is what it’s best known for. By simply changing the blades though, you open up a range of other materials that it can be used on. This could include countertops in kitchens or bathrooms. The jigsaw lets you cut out spaces in those if you needed to install a sink or a faucet.
Although it requires you to be a little more on the careful side of things, you can also cut metal and ceramic tile with a jigsaw. Carpet is something it can cut through more easily though. There are even industrial-style blades that will allow you to cut through certain concretes if that’s what you need to do.
How Do You Change a Jigsaw Blade?
There’s going to come a time when you’ll need to change the blade on your jigsaw. This could be because the material you’re using has worn the blade down, or you might just need a different style blade. It’s important to always check the condition of your blade to see if it needs changing though, as you don’t want it to snap off mid cut.
To change it, unless you have a prehistoric model, your jigsaw will have a blade release that you will be able to press. If it is an older model though, there will be a small screw that holds the blade in place that you will need to loosen with a screwdriver.
When inserting the new blade, you just slide it into place. Be sure to re-apply the blade lock or the lock screw. If you forget that step, you’re putting yourself in danger the next time you go to use the jigsaw.
What is the Difference between T-Shank and U-Shank Jigsaw Blades?
The blades you use in your jigsaw will generally fall under two categories: a T-Shank blade or a U-Shank blade. U-Shank, or universal shank, has a U-shaped cutout in the area of the blade that clips onto the jigsaw itself. This type is considered an older blade, as the newer ones will usually accommodate T-Shank blades.
The T-Shank blade’s full name is tang shank. It differs from a U-Shank blade by its tang-shape cut in the blade, with which the blade fits onto the tool-less clamp of a jigsaw that features tool-less blade change.
When it comes to the best jigsaw, the DeWalt DW331K gets our vote. This is a power saw that not only offers versatility in the cuts and materials, but also in the degrees at which those cuts are to be made. It makes for more intricate and clean-finished work.
At 6.4 pounds, it’s on the lighter side of some models thanks to DeWalt’s clever design. On top of the lightweight design, the DeWalt’s counterbalance mechanism reduces vibrations when cutting, which in turn will reduce the noise it makes. In addition, the thick rubber grip also reduces the vibration felt by your hand.
With a 6.5-amp motor, it has the power to get the job done. It’s not going to die or turn off if you train it on a heavy duty material, and it won’t affect the quality of your cuts.
As a close second, the Skil 4495-02 is a worthy jigsaw to have in the best value category. Don’t think that just because it’s cheaper, it is of a lesser quality. It still packs in a 6-amp motor, 4-position orbital action, and variable strokes per minute, but you will need to deal with not having a built-in dust blower when you are operating this saw.