As an ardent do it yourself enthusiast, I love power tools because they help get my home projects done fast and well done. Initially, I used to make curved cuts using my band saw, but it was heavy and took a lot of space.
When it broke, I looked set on a journey to search for the best alternative, which I found to be a jigsaw. After a series of trials as well as errors, I finally manage to find what jigsaw to buy.
Well, I do not want you to go through the same problem.
Factors To Consider For Purchasing Jig Saw
The Types of Jigsaw
You can choose from two major types of jigsaws corded and cordless. If you are looking for one for DIY home projects, then you can buy an affordable corded or cordless model.
On the other hand, you can choose a high-powered corded-electric jigsaw if you are looking for a model to use for professional tasks.
The Material You Intend to Cut
Jigsaws can cut into wood, metal and even certain types of plastic. However, not all jigsaws are suitable for all these materials. Cordless and some low-to-medium powered corded jigsaws are ideal for softwood up to 2 1/4 inches, hardwood up to 1 3/8 inches, Aluminum 1/2 inch and Steel up to 3/16 of an inch.
The heavy duty, high-powered models, are ideal for all woods up to 3 3/8 inches, Aluminum up to 3/4 of an inch and Steel up to 3/8 of an inch.
Once you take care of the power factor discussed earlier, it is important to think about the expected performance of the jigsaw you that intend to buy.
The standard measure of performance of corded jigsaws is amperage while that of battery-powered models is voltage.
A 3 or 4 Amp corded jigsaw is ideal for light to medium tasks while professional jobs require 5 Amps and above. When it comes to cordless models, 18 to 20 volts are perfect for at-home projects. Cordless models with 36V max batteries may do some light to medium professional jobs.
Jigsaws generally come in 2 grip types D-style and barrel style. The name suggests the look and the feel of the jigsaw.
The D-style allow you to clutch your hand around the grip. A barrel grip allows you to grab the bottom of the jigsaw for a stronger hold, but it is less comfortable.
Adjustable Angle Setting
You must consider the ability of the capacity of the jigsaw to cut different angles. Jigsaws can cut straight lines, but they are usually used to make curved cuts. A saw which offers pivot and bevel adjustments can cut up to 45 degrees.
If you are looking for fast angle movements, then you must buy an easy-to-adjust model of the jigsaw.
Jigsaw blade TPI and Girth
Jigsaw blades are rated regarding teeth per inch (TPI). The higher the TPI, the faster and smoother it will cut. The girth must also be thick to perform well on different materials.
The number of teeth determines also determines the material it will cut and at what speed.
Blades with 6 to 20 TPI tend to work well for soft materials while 15 to 36 TPI can cut into hard materials. This information is vital because using the wrong blade could damage the material you are working on as well as the blade itself.
You can choose from two types of blades based on their shanks. There are T-shank and U-shank blades. The U-shank blades are the commoner, and they require some tool to install which may not be convenient for many people.
The T-shank blades are better because you need no tool to install them and they are easy and quick to change.
Blade Composition or Material
A high-quality blade should be made of hardened metal to withstand heat and the cutting impact even on hard materials.
High-speed steel and bimetallic blades are perfect for light metals and wood while cobalt steel blades are ideal for wood and metal, but they are much stronger than steel.
The carbide grit blades are suitable for use in cutting masonry boards.
Dust Blower and Extraction
Sawdust that accumulates while you cut may block your vision of the cut line. It is therefore important to buy a jigsaw featuring bust blower and extraction capabilities. High-quality jigsaw models come with a blow to push the resultant dust away.
Very high quality (and expensive brands) attaches a vacuum extractor or cleaner.
Safety should be your primary concern when you are looking for what jigsaw to buy.
Jigsaws can be extremely dangerous if you do not use them carefully. However, a good brand must also have safety features such as safety switch, a lock-off button, as a soft-start feature that all the saw to start at lower speeds and blade guard.
1. Where can I buy a jigsaw?
You can purchase a jigsaw from a well-equipped hardware store near your location. Alternatively, you can buy one from the various online retailers currently available including Amazon and eBay.
2. What is the best jigsaw blade TPI?
I would recommend you buy a T-shank blade made from hardened steel or other durable material. It should also have a suitable number of teeth per inch on the material you intend to cut.
3. What is a scrolling saw?
A scrolling saw is a type of jigsaw that allows you to steer the blade directly along curves instead of turning the entire jigsaw.
4. What is strokes per minute (SPM)?
This is the expression of the speed of jigsaws. It gives the number of strokes (up and down movements) per minute. The maximum speed of most models is 3000 PM.
5. Can jigsaws cut plastic?
Yes, the ability of a jigsaw to cut different materials including plastic depends on its speed and orbital settings.
You should not be anxious about the large number of individual brands, models and types of jigsaws currently in the market.
You can use the information that I have provided you will to boldly start your search for the best jigsaw for your specific needs. Careful contemplate each of these points to help you make the right choice.