Jigsaws: The Basics
Jigsaws make straight or curved cuts on wood and metal. They also cut drywall and fiberglass when fitted with the correct blade. They typically make cuts at a 90-degree angle, but they can also make bevel cuts. Their portability — combined with their ability to do curved cuts — render them particularly useful. Read on to learn more about what to look for when shopping for jigsaw deals.
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6 Jigsaw Features To Consider
- Corded vs. cordless: Corded and cordless jigsaw models are available from all of the major power tool manufacturers. Cordless models range from 12 volts to 24 volts. If you have other power tools with batteries, check to see if they are compatible with tool-only jigsaw offerings. Otherwise, you'll pay more for jigsaws that come with a battery and charger.
- Straight vs. orbital: One factor in jigsaw price is whether or not the tool can do a straight or orbital cutting action. Orbital jigsaws have a more aggressive forward-cutting motion, providing a faster cut in soft materials like wood and plastic , but smoothness is sacrificed. Straight cuts are preferable for more intricate work. Some models come with adjustable orbital motion for a full range of functionality.
- Brushless motor: Brushless motors don't produce friction, so tools that have them heat less and perform better than cheap jigsaw models with brushed motors.
- Adjustable bevel: An adjustable bevel is a common feature on even cheap jigsaw tools. Bevels usually range from 0 degrees to 45 degrees to the right or left.
- LED lighting: This lighting illuminates the work area, and is an available option on several jigsaw models. It's an especially useful feature for improved visibility when cutting intricate shapes and details.
- Adjustable blower: Also contributing to good visibility is an adjustable blower, which is a handy feature found on higher-end jigsaws. It keeps the cut line clear of sawdust.
What to Know About Jigsaw Blades
Jigsaw blades are relatively inexpensive. They range from thick and rough blades for making quick cuts, to thin and fine blades for cutting curves and shapes. Teeth per inch, or TPI, is the measurement that indicates a blade's smoothness. Higher TPI is better for smooth cuts that will require less sanding. Lower TPI is better for fast cuts with a rougher finish.
You can find general-use jigsaw blade sets with around five blades for cutting wood for around $9. Multipurpose sets with more specialized blades for cutting metal and other materials will cost around $15 to $20 for 15 blades or so.
5 Jigsaw Alternatives
- Coping saws: They have a wire-thin blade that is good for cutting intricate lettering . They're a basic hand tool available widely for less than $10.
- Fret saws: These are also nonelectric saws. They have a very fine blade for cutting around curves and corners. They cut more slowly than coping saws, too. Prices for fret saws are similar to those of coping saws, and sometimes stores use the terms interchangeably.
- Hacksaws: A hacksaw is another inexpensive hand saw that's good for making straight cuts. It's not designed for cutting curves and details.
- Reciprocating saws: These power saws are used perpendicular to flat surfaces. New models range from around $70 to several hundred dollars at major stores. They're good for rough cuts but can also cut stencils and curves.
- Scroll saws and band saws: These stationary power tools have fixed, vertical blades. They require wood to be moved around the blade, and are a good option for bigger jobs that need more stability than a jigsaw can provide. Jigsaws are a more portable option that can move around the surface being cut, as needed.
Where to Buy a Jigsaw
What stores should you hit up when you want to purchase a jigsaw? Here's a rundown of some of the safest bets for jigsaw deals:
Amazon : DeWalt, Skil, and Bosch jigsaws are available on Amazon. The retailer also has discount brands like Teccpo, Tacklife, and Hychika, which may be hard to find elsewhere.
eBay : You can find most jigsaw brands on eBay, but new and refurbished DeWalt, Bosch, Black + Decker, and Makita jigsaw deals are particularly abundant.
Frequently Asked Questions
When are jigsaw tool prices at their lowest?
We've typically seen the best jigsaw prices from October, through the Black Friday period, and into January, but we see jigsaw deals year-round.
How much will I pay for a cheap jigsaw?
We've seen cheap jigsaws for as low as $10, and higher-end refurbished jigsaw deals for brands like DeWalt for around $60.
What are the top jigsaw brands?
Andy has been with DealNews for 5 years, in which time he’s enjoyed observing price trends in online retail. He researches and writes about the best deals in clothing, home & garden items, electronics, and really anything sold online. He lives in Henderson, Nevada with his wife and three children.