How to Use a Jigsaw to Cut Curves

How to Use a Jigsaw to Cut Curves

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Many amateur woodworkers want to learn how to use a jigsaw to cut curves. Why wouldn’t they?

After all, the jigsaw is the best tool you can have for the job, even when compared to a band saw.


But is the jigsaw that easy to use when cutting inside shapes, curved edges, or handles? As a matter of fact, it’s quite simple if you have the right attachments and follow some basic guidelines.

This article will steer you in the right direction for buying the right blade, choosing the right material, and guiding your jigsaw on the cut line so that you can get precise and smooth edges on your first try.

Thickness of the Material


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Thickness of the Material

Jigsaws can cut through 2×4’s but you won’t get square cuts and it won’t be a quick process. The first thing you should keep in mind before you learn how to use a jigsaw to cut curves is that this works best on softwood, plywood, tiles, and thin metal sheets.

Blade Types

Because curved cuts are rather hard to correct, it’s a good idea to only use T-shank blades with your jigsaw. They are less likely to fall off when you’re cutting at a high speed and they’re also very easy to switch.

There are also two types of teeth designs on jigsaw blades that have to do with the teeth orientation. When working on curves, you’re probably going to want a blade with the teeth pointing down, or a downstroke blade.

The reason for this is that a downstroke blade will leave smooth edges on the upper side of the working material. Since that is where you will be making your lines or design, it will look better if there are no rough edges to be seen from that side.

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The teeth per inch or TPI rating is very important for cutting curves. The more teeth the blade has, the smoother the finished cut will look. Many people opt for a low TPI blade just because the cutting process goes faster. That being said, a 20 TPI blade will have a superior finish compared to a common 10 TPI blade.

Pro Tips

Pro Tips

You should apply water often when cutting curves through tiles. Also, make sure that you are applying enough pressure to avoid getting aggressive blade vibrations.

Familiarizing yourself with the orbital settings on your jigsaw is also important. While they are designed to increase the efficiency and cutting speed of the blade on certain materials, these settings don’t always guarantee a smooth finish.

Cutting curves is not supposed to be a fast process. First off, you shouldn’t push the jigsaw through the material too fast because the high TPI blades don’t handle aggressive cutting well. Secondly, when you’re working with a slightly thicker piece of wood or tile, high speed cutting will cause the blade to wobble. This will only mess up the edges if you’re lucky, as it’s often the cause of cutting off the line.

About blade sizes, the simplest rule to remember is that your blade’s length should be at least one inch longer than the depth of your cutting material.

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 There’s nothing better at cutting shapes, especially circular or curved holes in wood, than a jigsaw. You simply have to draw an accurate cut line and then drill a hole next to the inside of the shape. Put your saw in and start pushing it slowly along the cut line.

Whether you’re working with wood or tile, it’s a good idea to bring your blade up against the material before you turn on the jigsaw. This will make it easier to start the cut in the desired spot, rather than risk shifting to the sides because of the jigsaw’s vibrations.

When it’s time to make a turn, it’s recommended that you slow down the cutting speed in order to avoid mistakes. Cutting curves has little room for error, so take your time.

Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to cut on the edge of a workbench instead of having the cutting material supported on its edges. If you do it this way you can move both the jigsaw and the piece of wood or tile and have a more accurate cutout. Never underestimate rotating the material more than the jigsaw itself.


It doesn’t take a lot to master the basics of cutting curves with a jigsaw. If you just apply enough pressure and take it slow, you should have no trouble getting curved shapes out of your wood. Because buying a specially designed blade with a high TPI rating is not mandatory unless you demand smooth edges, you can use any regular jigsaw with a long enough blade to cut curves out of the box.

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