The best jigsaw is versatile & easy to use. Straight lines & curves, in a variety of materials, are easy. If you’re working with sheet material, a jigsaw is perfect. Plus, with a quick & easy blade change, they’re the right choice for steel, aluminium, fibreglass, plasterboard & of course, wood. Use a decent jigsaw once & you’ll wonder how you have ever managed without it.
How to choose a jigsaw
The versatility of a jigsaw makes it a must for DIY enthusiasts, professional woodworkers and builders alike. Cutting curves and straight lines through a variety of materials is easy. Or if you need to make bevel or angle cuts, no problem. Choose the right jigsaw and the base can be adjusted to 45° in either direction, allowing quick & easy bevel cuts.
Are jigsaws easy to use?
A jigsaw is a versatile tool, straight out of the box. Regardless of your experience, jigsaws are easy to use. Mark up your cut, pop in the blade and you’re good to go. Plus, they’re much safer than a circular saw. With the right preparation and supervision, it’s even possible to take on a woodworking project with your kids – A jigsaw is a good power tool introduction for children. Fingers and hands can be kept clear and minimal strength is required to hold and guide the saw. Clearly, using the right PPE & supervision is a must.
Corded vs Cordless jigsaws
Cordless jigsaws are certainly convenient, but they’re expensive. And unless you choose to spend big, compared to the corded model, they are underpowered. Most are sold without batteries and a charger. This makes sense if you already have the kit from the same manufacturer and can swap batteries. However, if you want a cordless jigsaw plus batteries and charger expect to spend over £250. This will still be inferior to the mains power alternative. In most cases, corded jigsaws are the best option. They’re more powerful, don’t run low and much cheaper.
How much to spend on the right jigsaw
The good news is that it’s possible to buy a great jigsaw within a budget range of £50 to £150. Spending more gives you increased power for faster cuts and longevity. Plus, in addition to numerous additional features, choose the right model and you will be able to make deeper cuts – this can be important.
Way beyond the job you’re planning, there will plenty of occasions where a decent jigsaw will be super useful. Power is important, especially when cutting through thicker material. You will not regret buying a more powerful jigsaw, but you may regret choosing a model that lacks the oomph to make the cuts you want. In addition to power, the maximum cutting depth is critical. The best jigsaw is truly versatile. It will be powerful enough to handle all materials and dimensions. Plus, have the right features to make the job quick and easy.
Best Budget Jigsaw – Bosch PST 700 E
The Bosch PST 700 E is a great jigsaw – available at a great price. For occasional DIY this model will do everything you need. The Bosch is reasonably powerful, well made and owners of this model have plenty of good things to say.
What’s the best Bosch jigsaw?
The variable stroke rate gives you control for accurate and smooth cuts, through a variety of materials. It’s especially beneficial to start each cut at a slow speed or stroke rate. This enables you to align the blade and markings accurately and avoids any sudden jerks as the blade first meets the material. The maximum cutting depth for wood is 70cm. This works for most jobs, but should you have plans to work with larger boards or timber then consider the more powerful option (with longer cut) below.
All jigsaws are noisy. And while some are marginally quieter than others, wearing ear protectors is highly recommended. Plus, glasses and a dust mask.
Bosch tools have lots of very loyal customers with high expectations. And for the most part, this jigsaw doesn’t disappoint. Features such as the keyless blade change and the footplate adjustment (for angles) work well. Plus, there’s a small blower to remove dust from the cutting edge. This doesn’t clear everything but will improve the visibility of the line you’re following.
There’s a lot to like about the Bosch PST 700 E. It does the basics brilliantly and it’s very affordable.
POWER 500W | STROKE RATE 500-3100spm | MAX WOOD CUT 70mm | MAX STEEL CUT 4mm | TOOLESS BLADE CHANGE Yes | LIGHT No | ANGLE CUT 45° Left & Right | BLOWER Yes | NOISE 99dB | WEIGHT 1.7KG |
Bosch PST 700 E | Verdict price £45 | Check best price on Amazon
Best Jigsaw – Makita 4350FCT
The Makita 4350FCT is an amazing jigsaw. This model is powerful, perfect for a variety of materials and has an excellent cutting depth. It’s a great choice for the professional or anyone with projects planned at home or in the garden. It has advanced adjustments including orbital control.
What’s the difference between a jigsaw and an orbital jigsaw?
The Matika is an orbital jigsaw. Most jigsaw blades simply move up & down. However, an orbital jigsaw angles the blade forward on the upswing and backwards on the reverse. This allows for more aggressive cutting meaning you to get the job done quicker. On the Matika 4350FCT, this is fully controllable. This means you can dial up the orbital motion for fast cuts or switch to a vertical motion for accuracy and detail. This is especially useful on a small radius.
Powerful corded jigsaw
The best-corded jigsaw is powerful – with a 720w motor and 135mm depth of cut, this model will handle most jobs with ease. The speed is controllable via a dial and a soft start makes it easily controllable at all speeds, through any material.
As you expect, the blades can be changed without the need for a key and you can attach a vacuum to reduce dust. The footplate tilts up to 45° in both directions for bevel cuts. Plus, there’s a light to help you keep the blade aligned to the required cut. The Makita 4350FCT is the best jigsaw you can buy for less than £150. Perfect for a variety of jobs and built to last.
POWER 720W | STROKE RATE 800-2800spm | MAX WOOD CUT 135mm | MAX STEEL CUT 10mm | TOOLESS BLADE CHANGE Yes | LIGHT Yes | ANGLE CUT 45° Left & Right | NOISE 95dB | WEIGHT 2.7KG |
Makita 4350FCT | Verdict price £130 | Check best price on Amazon
How to use a jigsaw safely
Here are 7 tips on how to get the best results with a jigsaw:
- Choose the right blade. The versatility of a jigsaw is principally due to the fact you can choose the right blade for the job. Number and tooth shape change the way the tool cuts. Make sure your blade is sharp and designed for the material you’re cutting. In terms of fitting, both the best buy jigsaws detailed above use T-shank blades.
- Jigsaws are best for thinner materials. A jigsaw can cut thicker boards, but the blade can bend which can result in a bevelled edge rather than a straight cut.
- Start at a slow speed and then speed up to the right speed for the material.
- Don’t push too hard. Let the blade teeth do the work, but do keep the footplate flat to the board.
- Use masking tape to stop splinters and for a better edge finish
- Straight lines are better with a rail. Firmly clamp a length of wood onto the board. This must be parallel to the cut line & at a distance equivalent to half the width of the footplate. Then keep the edge of the footplate against the rail to cut the perfect straight line.
- Safety first. Use ear & eye protectors. Plus a dust mask.
Best Buy Jigsaws
Best budget buy
Bosch | Verdict price £45 |
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Powerful and adjustable
Makita | Verdict price £130 |
See price on Amazon
Recommended corded jigsaws
The best jigsaw is an essential piece of kit for numerous DIY tasks and a must-have power tool for most professionals & builders. There are plenty of models to choose from and it’s easy to spend more and get less. Buy either of the recommended models & you won’t be disappointed.
If you are planning a big project and need a saw for crosscuts, mitres and bevels then also take a look at the best compound mitre saws. They won’t cut curves or large boards but are perfect for joinery where accurate angles are required.