How to choose the right jigsaw

Every DIYer or woodworking hobbyist who does projects around the house needs a few power saws at their disposal. Whether you have a dedicated workshop space or simply need to make a few cuts, there are both corded and cordless power saws available from a wide range of power tool manufacturers. Table saws and handheld circular saws are great for rip-cuts and crosscuts to stock timber, mitre saws for precision bevel cuts to molding, and workhorse reciprocating saws for demolition projects. But when you want to produce precision curved and clean straight cuts in thinner workpieces of various materials, then a jigsaw is what you need.

How to choose the right jigsaw

Every DIYer or woodworking hobbyist who does projects around the house needs a few power saws at their disposal. Whether you have a dedicated workshop space or simply need to make a few cuts, there are both corded and cordless power saws available from a wide range of power tool manufacturers. Table saws and handheld circular saws are great for rip-cuts and crosscuts to stock timber, mitre saws for precision bevel cuts to molding, and workhorse reciprocating saws for demolition projects. But when you want to produce precision curved and clean straight cuts in thinner workpieces of various materials, then a jigsaw is what you need.

How do they work?

A jigsaw, similar to a reciprocating saw, work by using offset gears to translate the rotational force of the motor into the back-and-forth motion of the blade with a few key differences. One difference is that the cutting blade of a jigsaw is positioned perpendicular to the handle and moves rapidly up and down, as opposed to the push-and-pull movement of a reciprocating saw in line with the handle (like a hand saw). Also, whereas the demolition reciprocating saw is designed to cut through vertical surfaces with the user applying downward pressure, a jigsaw is designed to cut through horizontal workpieces with user pushing the saw along the marked cutlines.

Worx Advantage

Worx innovation: A combination reciprocating saw and jigsaw
Get the best of both worlds with the 20 V PowerShare Axis™ cordless reciprocating saw and jigsaw. Worx is always on the lookout for opportunities to get more functionality out each tool we make. With an innovative pivoting head design, the reciprocating saw converts easily to a jigsaw. In the perpendicular position, the Axis™ is perfect for precision radial cuts with a jigsaw blade. In the in-line position, it’s a compact reciprocating saw for all kinds of cuts in all kinds of material. It’s truly two tools in one!

Blade changes made ridiculously easy

When it’s time to switch jigsaw blades, this doesn’t have to be something that takes up a lot of time. Look for brands and models offering tool-free blade changes to keep your projects moving right along.

Worx Advantage

Worx reciprocating saws feature tool-free blade changes
The Worx 20 V PowerShare Axis cordless reciprocating saw and jigsaw as well as the 20 V PowerShare cordless jigsaw both feature a tool-free blade change system. Simply hold the switch near the cutting head to open the mechanism, take one blade out, insert another, and then release the switch to lock the blade in place. The Worx Nitro 20 V PowerShare cordless jigsaw with brushless motor has a tool-free blade-clamp for rapid changes. All three saws use standard T-shank blades and will accept most T-shank blades from other companies.

Blade changes made ridiculously easy

When it’s time to switch jigsaw blades, this doesn’t have to be something that takes up a lot of time. Look for brands and models offering tool-free blade changes to keep your projects moving right along.

Worx Advantage

Worx reciprocating saws feature tool-free blade changes
The Worx 20 V PowerShare Axis cordless reciprocating saw and jigsaw as well as the 20 V PowerShare cordless jigsaw both feature a tool-free blade change system. Simply hold the switch near the cutting head to open the mechanism, take one blade out, insert another, and then release the switch to lock the blade in place. The Worx Nitro 20 V PowerShare cordless jigsaw with brushless motor has a tool-free blade-clamp for rapid changes. All three saws use standard T-shank blades and will accept most T-shank blades from other companies.

Did you know?

Cordless power tools that feature a brushless motor offer advantages over traditional electric motors. Brushless motors are well-known for offering higher efficiency, including 25% more power, 50% longer run-times, and an overall 10% longer life than regular electric motors.

One battery platform interchangeable across tools

Do you have a whole plastic bin devoted just to different batteries and battery chargers you’ve accumulated by buying different brands and models of cordless power tools over the years? The smarter way power tool companies are handling this is to offer batteries that power multiple tools within a brand family. With this kind of system, you have the capability to power more tools but with fewer batteries and chargers, which saves you money

Worx Advantage

The Worx 20 V PowerShare battery platform
The Worx jigsaws featured in this buying guide are all powered by the exclusive 20 V PowerShare battery pack that can be shared across more than 70 other tools in the Worx PowerShare family. This innovative approach combines the power and portability you need while saving money on battery and charger purchases.

Pro Tip: Slow down in the curves

If your project includes intricate shapes and curved lines, remind yourself to slow down on the curves, just like you would when driving a car. This doesn’t mean slowing down the speed of the blade, which you want to remain high for smoother cuts. Slow down the pushing force you apply to the saw. When you push the saw too forcefully, you may be unable to follow your cutlines with precision. You also risk deflecting the blade which can cause the tool to “chatter” which leads to poor quality cuts and the need to sand the workpiece.

Pro Tip: Slow down in the curves

If your project includes intricate shapes and curved lines, remind yourself to slow down on the curves, just like you would when driving a car. This doesn’t mean slowing down the speed of the blade, which you want to remain high for smoother cuts. Slow down the pushing force you apply to the saw. When you push the saw too forcefully, you may be unable to follow your cutlines with precision. You also risk deflecting the blade which can cause the tool to “chatter” which leads to poor quality cuts and the need to sand the workpiece.

Quicker changes = quicker work.

You can get a stunning array of different types of jigsaw blades that will allow you to cut through a variety of materials, including metal, ceramic, plastic and of course wood. If you buy a jigsaw that accepts standard T-shank blades, you’ll be able to purchase blades manufactured by a wide range of companies. Versatility is the name of the game with jigsaw blades.

Better batteries to get the job done

If your collection of cordless power tools has become a hodge-podge array of different brands, you probably also have a dizzying array of different batteries and chargers for each one. When it’s time to replace old tools, consider streamlining your cordless power tools with a brand that offers an integrated battery and charging platform that can be shared across tools.

Worx Advantage

The Worx 20 V PowerShare battery platform
The Worx jigsaws mentioned in this buying guide are all powered by the exclusive 20 V PowerShare battery pack that can be shared across more than 70 other tools in the PowerShare family. This innovative approach combines great power and easy portability while saving you money with fewer batteries and chargers.

Did You Know?

Traditional jigsaws were handsaws, consisting of a handle attached to a small, thin blade. The first jigsaw puzzles were made using this kind of manual saw. In 1946 Albert Kaufmann, a Swiss engineer, was watching his wife, a very talented dress-maker and seamstress, sew a dress using intricate curves and details. He replaced the needle on his wife’s sewing with a saw blade and the modern electric jigsaw was born. They were first called “bayonet saws”.

Did You Know?

Traditional jigsaws were handsaws, consisting of a handle attached to a small, thin blade. The first jigsaw puzzles were made using this kind of manual saw. In 1946 Albert Kaufmann, a Swiss engineer, was watching his wife, a very talented dress-maker and seamstress, sew a dress using intricate curves and details. He replaced the needle on his wife’s sewing with a saw blade and the modern electric jigsaw was born. They were first called “bayonet saws”.

Convenient features for better results

There are a variety of other features to look for in jigsaws that make using the tool easier and more convenient. Like any power saw, using a jigsaw will produce sawdust as the blade cuts through a piece of wood. One cool feature is the front blower which re-directs air from the motor to the blade area to keep the cutting line clear of dust for better visibility. Also, look for a brand and model that comes with a vac adapter which allows you to connect a shop vacuum for easier cleanup. You may also want to look for brands and models that include LED lighting to illuminate the workspace and cutlines when lighting conditions are poor, or you are working in confined space.

Bundle up to get more tools for less money

Kits and combination bundles that offer multiple tools, accessories, carrying cases, and can give a leg up to anyone, but especially first-time tool buyers. You’ll get more for your money, which is always a good thing. Look for brands with a diverse offering of combination kits, and bare machines supplied with no batteries or chargers so you can get the right mix of tools and accessories that suit your needs with fewer purchases.

God is in the detail

Igor is a wood artisan and he runs a small workshop in the middle of a forest.

“Woods inspire me. The different essences allow me to craft several items such as cutting boards, bowls, spoons, mortars. I let wood and its grain determine the shape of the item, and this is crucial to me because I strive to craft items that are both functional and beautiful. The woods are where I harvest my raw materials, and my workshop is where the magic happens. The right tools allow me to give my imagination a shape, to the tiniest detail.

God is in the detail

Igor is a wood artisan and he runs a small workshop in the middle of a forest.

“Woods inspire me. The different essences allow me to craft several items such as cutting boards, bowls, spoons, mortars. I let wood and its grain determine the shape of the item, and this is crucial to me because I strive to craft items that are both functional and beautiful. The woods are where I harvest my raw materials, and my workshop is where the magic happens. The right tools allow me to give my imagination a shape, to the tiniest detail.

Same battery, expandable power

Worx PowerShare is a unique 20 V modular system that allows you to combine the same battery to multiply voltage to 40 V and even 80 V. PowerShare batteries are available in a choice of capacities so that you can choose what you need.

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If you spend more time in your shed than your living room, you’re probably wondering what can we possibly teach you about tools that you don’t already know, right? Challenge accepted.