What is a Jigsaw?

Whether you are in professional woodworking or like to take on DIY projects as a hobby, the chances are that you may have come across a jigsaw. This power tool can significantly increase your cutting speed and power as it can cut through wood, metal, and several other materials with speed and precision.

Jigsaws are a practical tool for both small and large projects alike. They can even be used as a temporary substitute for bulkier circular saws and band saws when working with wood. They are a must-have power tool for creators of all ages.

Many seasoned woodworkers label the jigsaw as the grandmaster of shape cutting in various materials. With the correct blade, a jigsaw will not take long to display the versatile cutting power it possesses.

What Is A Jigsaw?

The jigsaw is a power tool that features a reciprocating blade and can be used to cut in straight lines, along curves, and even when using stencils. They are used for various cutting purposes, can be used in woodworking, for cutting through metal sheets and pipes, and are also usable on masonry materials.

The jigsaw is powered by a motor that rapidly drives a narrow blade up and down. The reciprocating motion of the blade resembles that of a needle on a traditional sewing machine.

To achieve this up and down motion, the motor is connected to a series of special eccentric gears, which translate the rotary motion of the motor into lateral movement of the blade.

The shoe or footplate of the jigsaw ensures that the blade remains at the same angle during the whole cutting procedure. Most modern jigsaws come with an adjustable footplate to allow cutting at an angle of up to forty-five degrees.

Traditional jigsaw blades have upward pointing teeth, and they cut when they are moving upwards. There are, however, some blades with downward-pointing teeth, and they are called reverse toothed blades.

What is a Jigsaw Used For?

If you are looking to remodel an area around your house or take up a woodworking project, a jigsaw is one of the most essential tools you can use. The tool is used to cut curves in all kinds of materials, including wood, laminate, thin metal, and ceramic tiles.

You can also use a jigsaw to make bevels, stencils, or accurate holes on steel, carpet, tiles, or wood without difficulty. There are numerous uses for a jigsaw. Let us look at some of them.

Straight-Line Cutting

A jigsaw is a perfect tool for making straight cuts and lines. Like a sewing machine, the action allows you to make cuts in tight places that require precision work. However, following a linear path while making long cuts can be tricky, and using a straight edge as a guide, and a wider blade makes the job easier.

Curved Cutting

Since the jigsaw is a light and portable tool, it allows you to maneuver your cuts easily. The light weight of the tool, when coupled with a thin blade, will enable you to move perfectly along bends and curves.

Bevel Cutting

Most modern jigsaws come equipped with a pivoting shoe, which can be angled at up to a maximum of 45 degrees. This allows you to achieve precise bevel cuts. Using a jigsaw with no pivoting shoe can result in the blade bending or even snapping.

Plunge Cutting

Plunge cuts are made when cutting is started in the middle of the workpiece rather than the edges. Jigsaws can make plunge cutting simple and easy. However, to achieve this type of cut, you must make sure that the blade has a sharp, pointed edge that can pierce through the material. Or, to make your and the tool’s job easier, you can drill a hole and place the blade in the hole to conveniently begin cutting.

Types of Jigsaws

There are two main types of jigsaws available. As the name implies, the corded ones need to be connected to a power outlet throughout their operation. On the other hand, Cordless jigsaws are equipped with a battery pack, which can be recharged and mounted onto the jigsaw. If you plan to work in remote locations, a cordless jigsaw is an excellent choice.

Another type of jigsaw, which runs on compressed air, called a pneumatic jigsaw, is also available but a rare find.

Corded Jigsaws

Since corded jigsaws are constantly connected to the main supply, they are more powerful and can be used for long durations without interruptions. Most corded jigsaws come with a power rating of 400W to 900W.

Cordless Jigsaws

With powerful and efficient batteries becoming common, cordless power tools, including jigsaws, have gained popularity over recent years. Since these do not have a wire attached, they are easier to maneuver. However, the battery packs make them heavier and limit the time they can be used before the battery pack needs to be replaced or recharged.

 Pneumatic Jigsaws

As you may have already guessed, pneumatic jigsaws require an air compressor. However, these jigsaws are extremely powerful and used in only specialized and heavy-duty tasks. They are not the best choice for DIY project workers or traditional woodworkers.

Due to the absence of the motor, they are lighter than other models and hardly ever overheat. They are mainly used for cutting through more rigid materials such as fiberglass or metal.

Our Final Thoughts

A jigsaw is a power tool with a reciprocating blade that may be used to cut straight lines, curves, and even stencils. Most modern jigsaws include an adjustable footplate that allows you to cut at an angle of up to 45 degrees.

The portable tool allows you to navigate through your cuts easily. Combined with a thin blade, its light weight will enable you to travel smoothly around bends and curves.

Corded jigsaws must be linked to a power source at all times, but cordless jigsaws require a rechargeable battery pack. Corded tools are often more powerful and well-suited for longer jobs. However, if you need to work in a remote area, the cordless jigsaw is a good alternative.

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