How to choose a jigsaw for home

Top 10 best jigsaws for home and professional work, rating popular for quality, price and reliability

A jigsaw is not a luxury. It is an indispensable tool for every craftsman. It is compact, easy to use, and most importantly. can cope with tasks that are beyond the capabilities of another tool. Especially when it comes to figurative wood carving, sawing round holes, quickly cutting sheet material. We have prepared for you an honest rating of the best inexpensive jigsaws for home on the basis of Yandex analytics.Market and real customer reviews.

As usual, the leaders in quality are such global manufacturers as Makita, Bosch and Metabo. But their price is also high, sometimes differing from cheaper and less well-known counterparts by 2-2.5 times.

The most popular tools for home use are still those of the key players on the market, such as DeWALT, Zubr, Interskol, Kolner, BLACKDECKER, PATRIOT, Bort.

Not bad proved themselves household jigsaws company Fiolent. renowned for their smooth cuts, good performance and affordability. On the downside. the quality of components. A lot of faults.

Design and principle of operation

This is a relatively uncomplicated tool that consists of the following components:

But despite the fundamental simplicity, the product uses many of the latest developments and inventions in the field of mechanics, materials science, electronics and electrical engineering. Exactly. alloys, powder metallurgy, plastics, devices for speed control and motor protection, on some models LED backlight, laser pointers, etc.д.

The transmission gear turns the rotary motion of the electric motor into reciprocating motion. The result is that the saw moves up and down and performs exactly the same sawing motion as a hand saw, hacksaw or jigsaw. The saw blade is short but operates at a very high speed compared to hand tools, between 500 and 3500 strokes/min.

Most models have a more complex transmission unit that is equipped with a pendulum stroke. It not only reciprocates, but also feeds the saw with a forward and backward oscillating motion. This promotes sawdust ejection, increases sawing speed, and reduces the chance of the saw jamming.

Design and operation of the jigsaw and important assemblies

The main working element of the jigsaw is the saw blade that is fitted with a rod at the front of the jigsaw body. Electro-motor-driven rod reciprocates vertically at high speed, moving with it the saw blade to form a narrow kerf in the material to be cut. To speed up the process, most jigsaws have a pendulum function. When it is activated, the saw not only moves up and down, but also back and forth.

The design of the jigsaw is relatively simple (of course, if you do not go into the technical details). However, if you plan to buy this tool, you need to pay close attention to a number of its structural elements.

Electric cord.2. Handle.3. The trigger.4. Speed adjustment.

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Backlighting. 6. Gear case.7. Safety stop.8. The spindle on which the saw blade is mounted.

Saw blade support roller.10. The sole plate.11. Electric motor.12. A spigot for connecting a vacuum cleaner.

Saw and saw mounting mechanism

The jigsaw blade is an expendable material and must be replaced as it wears out. It also has to be done when the material to be processed, its thickness, and cutting quality requirements change. Thus, the more intensive and diverse the work, the more often it is necessary to change the saw blade, so the question about the mechanism of its fixation is not at all idle.

Stem clamp. In inexpensive jigsaws the saw blade is often clamped with a special slotted block. This block is clamped with two frontally arranged screws. The main advantage of the block clamp is its universality. all types and sizes of blades can be inserted into the block band saw holder. However, it should be understood that unequal tightening of the clamping screws will lead to a distortion of the saw blade with all the ensuing consequences.

Screw clamping. A more reliable variant is a screw clamp. The saw blade is secured in this case by one screw on the side that clamps the shank of the saw.

Quick clamping. And finally, the last, the most popular way of fastening the saw is the quick clamping mechanism. There is no consensus about its reliability, but the fact that it is much more convenient than other mechanisms is beyond dispute. To replace the saw on the jigsaw with a quick-clamp mechanism, you do not need tools, and the entire process will take literally a few seconds. The only disadvantage of such a mechanism. compatibility only with “native”, t.е. Saw blades with a certain shank shape and some limitations on the thickness of the clamped blades.

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Two types of saws are the most common today:

with a T-shank (often called Bosch, European or simply Phillips).

U-shank (or American) saws.

If you bought a jigsaw designed for work with these types of saw blades you would not have problems with consumables. such saw blades are easy to find in any tool store.

Jigsaws differ not only in the type of shank, but also in the thickness, the type of steel from which they are made, the size of the teeth and the distance between them. They are further subdivided in their purpose. for wood or metal, for a quick and coarse cut, or for a slow but accurate cut, etc. д. etc. п. Saw blade purpose is indicated both on the package and on the blade itself.

soleplate

The metal support platform for an electric jigsaw, called the soleplate, can be molded or stamped. Cast metal soleplate has better durability and better resistance to deformation, which gives exactness of saw’s positioning and thus high quality of cut. Cast iron is used for high-end tools, designed for professionals.

Molded soleplate.

On inexpensive models for domestic use, you can often see a stamped soleplate. Theoretically, the jigsaw is easier to deform under the influence of static and dynamic loads, but in practice it happens very rarely, of course, if the tool is used as intended and all the rules of its operation are observed.

Stamped sole.

The handle

There are two varieties of jigsaw handles. crampons and mushroom-shaped. The latter is not particularly popular, although, to be fair, it should be noted that when performing curvilinear cuts it is much more convenient. Ideally all handles, whatever shape, should have an anti-slip coating.

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Grip with scrapers.

What criteria should be used when choosing?

In order to choose the most successful model, it is necessary to provide a combination of several conditions:

As a rule, a jigsaw is bought for a variety of jobs, not limited to any particular task. It is more important to have information about the parameters and features of the offered products. Let’s look at them in order:

There are different types of jigsaws, which can be conditionally divided into groups.

Usually the power of such tools does not exceed 350 W, and maximum cutting depth is not more than 70 mm in wood or 2-4 mm in metal. Resource life is also short, up to 20 hours of continuous work.

Designed for cutting wood 80-135 mm thick, can work with steel up to 10 mm or aluminum up to 20 mm. Have more power. in the range of 580-750 watts. No time limits for these tools.

Professional jigsaws are noticeably more expensive than utility models due to higher performance and extra features.

  • Soft start. Allows you to start cutting more accurately, reduces the starting load on the power grid.
  • Pendulum stroke of the spindle. This feature makes it easier to cut hard materials by reducing the load on the saw blade and thereby reducing its heat.
  • Ability to adjust the stroke speed of the piston rod. This feature is present in almost all modern tools, but earlier models did not have this feature.
  • Backlight, laser sight. Handy features that improve control when cutting along a pre-defined line, and make it easy to make a straight cut at the two endpoints.
  • Quick-clamp cutting tool change mechanism. To remove or install the saw blade, it is enough to press the special lever with your finger. Handy feature, but difficult to replace if it fails. It is often necessary to remove it and install the usual screw clamp.
  • Saws have a mechanism for turning around the vertical axis. It is convenient for sawing circles in a rigidly fixed center.
  • Changing sole tilt angle. Almost all modern jigsaws have this feature, but not the older models. Allows you to cut material at an angle to the plane, which is sometimes necessary to make special joints.

How To Choose and Use A Jig Saw. Ace Hardware

There are also special tables on which the tool can be clamped. This option creates some semblance of a stationary machine, which is considered by many users as a more convenient and productive option. However, working with a jigsaw fixed in this way is more dangerous than normal use of the device.

According to the type of power supply there are:

Handy when you need to work in difficult conditions. cut materials on the floor, at height, under the ceiling, etc.п. However, battery life is limited. If you need to work for a long time, you have to keep spare batteries on charge all the time.

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They operate in a stable mode, but require constant power, which is not always convenient. the wires get in the way, create unnecessary pressure on the jigsaw when working, unplug from the socket when straining.

Power and “batteries

The power supply affects how comfortably and for how long you can work with the jigsaw at a time. Power is either mains or cordless.

Corded jigsaws are lighter due to the lack of battery, but you must have constant access to 220 W of power to work.

Lifehack: when working outdoors an extension cord is needed, for ease of use of the tool and so that the cord is not twisted. get an extension cord on the pad.

Cordless jigsaws are powered by a battery with a voltage of 10.8-28 V. They are mobile and allow you to work in environments where access to the network is difficult. Batteries may come with the jigsaw, but often you need to select them yourself. Here’s a quick look at what they are, to make your search easier.

Nickel-cadmium batteries, which are called Ni-Cd and can be used for up to 1000 cycles (1 cycle includes full charge and discharge). These batteries operate smoothly at low temperatures down to.20°C and recharge quickly. But it is worth remembering that cadmium is a heavy metal of high toxicity. Also these “batteries” have “memory effect”. property to remember the level of the last charge. If charged incorrectly for the first time, the “battery” will be spoiled, which will negatively affect the life of the jigsaw.

Nickel metal hydride, or Ni-MH for short, is more environmentally friendly than cadmium. At the same time they also work well at low temperatures. The “memory effect” in this type of batteries is also present, but to a lesser extent. Their capacity is greater, but it diminishes after 200-300 cycles.

Lithium-ion, or Li-Ion for short, though the most expensive, but preferable to the previously described. They have a high capacity and almost no memory effect. These rechargeable batteries charge quickly, do not weigh much, but do not last long in temperatures below 0°C.

Saw blades

There are several types of saws on the market, which are divided, depending on the features of working with them.

Saw name Short description
Standard or Standard tooth Teeth are the same size and equally spaced. Use for most tasks.
Reverse or Reverse Skip-tooth Some of the teeth of this blade are pointing upwards. This allows you to cut wood while reversing. There are almost no chips on the back side, so the wood is easier to work with.
Skipped tooth or Skip tooth blades These saws are needed to reduce the risk of the hand jigsaw jamming and to avoid the high heat of the blade itself. Sawdust is also better at removing filings, which leads to a smoother finish.
Double tooth or Double tooth blades Designed for accurate sawing, clean cut, no splintering or damage.
American tooth or American tooth In this case, you can get an almost perfectly smooth cut. Saw blades have low heat and remove filings well.
Spiral Required for neat carving, also convenient to use because there is no need to turn the product, the teeth are on both sides.

They can also be divided into:

The latter have a blade length of less than 1.35 mm and should therefore be handled with care. If too much tension is applied, they can break. But that’s okay, because they are sold in a number of specialty stores, and their cost is affordable.

It is necessary to use the jigsaw correctly to keep it working for as long as possible. Motor problems can occur if the period of continuous operation is interrupted. It is also necessary to periodically clean the sawdust filters to maintain the power of the machine.

Which electric jigsaw is better to choose?

When working with high quality materials that require accurate cutting, choose models with a powerful motor and a long stroke of the saw. And for demanding tasks in large volumes it is recommended to pay attention to professional models.

In general, the following parameters are analyzed to select the tool:

Motor power

The heart of the jigsaw is the electric motor. Regardless of the type and device of the electric motor its main characteristic is power. The more powerful the motor, the better the performance. The power range varies from 350 watts to 900 watts. According to the power they can be divided:

How to Choose and Use a Jig Saw | Ask This Old House

  • Machines with a small power of 400-550 watts. Designed for amateur use in the home workshop. They can cut wood up to 65 mm thick and metal up to 6 mm thick.
  • The power output of 600 to 900 W is designed for professional use in harsh conditions for long hours, 4 to 5 hours a day.

For home do not buy the weakest models, it’s better to take a semi-professional device with power from 500 watts. If money is tight and you need to saw or reduce one cabinet, then take a look at our rating of inexpensive models.

See also  How to saw a board lengthwise with a jigsaw

Blade stroke

The working body of the jigsaw is the saw blade. Depending on the amplitude of the movement of the rod, on which the saw is mounted, the saw’s stroke over the material body is obtained. Higher plunging depth and height of return, the more efficiently the tool works, the thicker the material can be cut. Most models have a plunge-cutting stroke of between 15 and 26 mm. With a frequency of movements from 0 to 3000 revolutions it means:

  • A short sawing stroke of 15 to 17 mm is typical for models with a small motor. These are the features of models for home use.
  • Models with amplitude from 19 to 26 mm are used for cutting materials of higher thickness. These machines have powerful motors and are designed for professional use.

Sawing thicknesses in different materials

Thickness of kerf is usually given for wood and for metal. Sawing depths for wooden elements are usually specified in the range from 40 to 160 mm. For metal (usually soft or non-ferrous metal is meant) from 4-5 to 30 mm.

  • For amateur models, the cutting thickness in wood is usually specified in the range of 70-80 mm, metal at these figures is specified no more than 6 mm;
  • Professional jigsaws are capable of cutting a board or bar 100-120 mm thick, and metal up to 30 mm thick.

Speed adjustment

This is important because the frequency control reduces the load on the motor and the transmission. The adjustment allows you to expand the list of materials the tool can work with:

choose, jigsaw, home
  • Work with soft wood is performed at high sawing speeds. 3000 and higher;
  • For hardwoods such as oak and cedar, plastic and chipboard the optimal range is lower, from 2500 to 3000;
  • For soft metal, such as aluminum or ceramic tile, 1500-2500 is enough.

Pendulum mechanism available

Working in accelerated mode, when you do not need a high quality cut, but need to cut the material quickly requires the jigsaw to be equipped with a pendulum mechanism. The essence of this device is that when working the saw movement is not only in the vertical plane, but also back and forth. This mechanism, at normal pendulum speed, gives more output, although the quality of the cut is impaired.

The pendulum is installed on many jigsaws, but the ability to switch the oscillation amplitude or completely disable it is characteristic only for a branded product aimed at professional use.

choose, jigsaw, home

Jigsaw weight

To work comfortably, the tool needs to fit snugly to the material being cut. On the other hand it is not always convenient to work with a heavy tool. That’s why weight plays an important role when choosing. Typically, the weight of the tool does not exceed 3 kg, these tools with solid metal sole of cast metal. The lightweight utility models typically use less castings. the body and gears here are made of plastic, and the sole is made of sheet metal.

Tools with low weight up to 1.5 kg are perfect for cutting sheet metal and shape cutting. Massive tools are used to work with hard wood and metal, for such jigsaws a weight of 2.5-3 kg is normal.

Hammer LZK850L

The practical electric jigsaw, which will be an excellent assistant to its owner in processing wood, steel and other workpieces. It attracts customers by its versatility and good work quality. The jigsaw is suitable for longitudinal and crosscutting cuts. Pendulum stroke with 3 different locking positions to increase or decrease cutting speed and to choose between a coarse and a fine cut.

Double insulation system ensures safe use of the blade. Aluminum base plate combined with a molded base plate makes the jigsaw very durable and reliable in daily use. Equipped with a laser marker that ensures precision cutting and a special system of connection to the vacuum cleaner.

  • Large cutting depth.
  • High power (850 W).
  • High quality build.
  • variable speed control.
  • Heavy enough weight (2.2 kg).
  • Blade occasionally tilts to the side.

Classification

In order to choose the optimal tool for yourself, you need to understand how it is classified, what parameters you should pay attention to in the first place, and what functionality is not necessary at all.

Piston stroke frequency

It indicates the frequency with which the jigsaw blade moves. For domestic use it is recommended to choose in the range from 2500 to 3200 revolutions. An even better option is to buy a model with adjustable frequency, but these cost a bit more.

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