When deciding which jigsaw is the right fit for you there are a number of factors to consider, but the most important one is how often you will be using it. I have narrowed the brands down to the top 5 and we will take a look at those because, in my opinion, if you are buy any cheaper brands it should be because you don’t require accuracy, don’t use it often, or you got it at a yard sale for $3.
If you are looking for a jigsaw and aren’t sure which one is right for you, this article should help you decide. The brands I will review here are Bosch, Makita, DeWALT, Porter Cable, and Ryobi.
The first thing I will talk about is the blade, the blade is a very important part of your jigsaw. The blade is responsible for making all of your precision cuts. When you are purchasing your jigsaw, be sure to find out which blades it will accept. Most will accept universal, while others will only accept special blades from the same manufacturer. Also, be sure to choose the correct blade for the material(s) you plan to cut.
Most basic jigsaw models come with a blade that can handle several types of materials at certain speeds. The blade types are as follows:
- Metal – for cutting metal
- Tile – for cutting tile
- Bayonet Style – for cutting laminate
- Universal style – for cutting wood
If you are only planning to use your jigsaw once or twice, you may want to get a basic model. If you plan to use it often, you should invest in a more advanced model. It is also wise to purchase extra blades if you plan to use it often.
For your convenience, basic, mid-range, and advanced models are listed later in this article. Some brands only had some general models and were listed as such. If your budget is low, or you don’t plan on using it often you should search through the basic models. If your budget is still low but you but you think you may use it fairly often, you should search through the mid-range models. If your budget allows for spending a higher amount and you plan to use the jigsaw often for many projects, you should search through the advanced models listed. Also note that generally, the cordless models come without the battery and charger. Those must be purchased separately.
One of the most useful ways to determine the correct product for you is to check with the customer reviews on websites such as Amazon.com. This helps to ensure that other existing customers are happy with their purchase of a specific brand and model.
Here is a list of the better Amazon.com customer reviews for each model:
- Bosch rated 4.8 out of 5 stars from 78 reviews for their Mid-Range Model 1591EVSK.
- Makita rated 4.7 out of 5 stars from 47 reviews for their Basic Model 4329K.
- DeWALT was rated 4.7 out of 5 stars from 184 reviews for their Advanced Model DC330B.
- Porter Cable was rated 4.6 out of 5 stars from 69 reviews for their General Model PC600JS.
Ryobi did not have sufficient ratings on Amazon.com. On homedepot.com, their jigsaw was rated at 4.4 out of 5 stars from 43 reviews for their Basic Model JS481L.
Typical Price Range of Each Brand:
- Bosch 7561-118 Orbital Action Pneumatic Jigsaw — air powered – aluminum, steel, plastic, and wood cutting capacity — $340-$360
- XVJ03Z Cordless 18-Volt LXT Lithium-Ion Jig Saw (Does not include battery or charger, sold separately)
- DCS331B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Cordless Jig Saw (does not include battery or charger, sold separate) — $150
Porter Cable (Models limited with similar prices)
- PCC650B 20-volt Cordless MAX Lithium Bare Jigsaw (does not include battery or charger, sold separately) – $50-$60
- P523 18-Volt One Plus Orbital Jig Saw (does not include battery or charger, sold separate) — $60-$80
Below are some of the features to look for when choosing your jigsaw:
- Orbital cutting action. If you’ve ever rocked a handsaw up and down while cutting a board or firewood, you’ve noticed how this speeds the cutting action. Jigsaws with this feature have dialed settings that change the pitch of the blade from straight up and down for metal cutting to angled forward for aggressively cutting wood.
- Longer blade stroke. Using a jigsaw that delivers a 1-in. long blade stroke will get you through a job faster than using a saw with a 1/2-in. long stroke.
- Blade guides. Saws so equipped have a pair of rollers or other guides below the blade clamping assembly (Photo 4) to steady the blade for less bending and greater accuracy.
- Variable speeds. A jigsaw with preset speed settings or a variable speed trigger allows you to customize each cut and to slow down when you’re at a tricky point in a pattern. This helps you work with a wide variety of materials and densities, too.