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Dewalt DWS779 vs DWS780 – What’s the Difference ?

The DeWalt DWS779 vs DWS780 miter saws which is the best?

If you are looking at getting a new miter saw and have narrowed down your search to the top two offerings from DeWalt then you might be wondering what exactly is the difference between the DWS779 and DWS780.

Well if you are in a hurry then the only difference between these two miter saws is the XPS system in the DWS780 that and the price.

The DWS779 uses a more traditional laser guide system, whereas the DWS780's XPS system shines a bright LED along the length of the blade casting a shadow that is perfectly inline with the blade. ​

Because of this XPS system in the DWS780 it can be upwards of 50% more expensive than the DWS779 depending on where you purchase it from. 

Is it worth it ?

No - Better to choose the cheaper DWS779 and buy your self something else like a good miter saw stand with the difference.​

Top Pick

DeWalt DWS779

Exact same saw as the DWS780 minus the XPS system at a much lower price.

15 Amp 12 inch double bevel sliding miter saw.​

Below we take a more detailed look at both miters saws and the XPS system too.​

As you'll see there really is nothing between the two saws with the exception of the XPS guide system.​

Both come with a 15 Amp motor that spins to 3600 RPM and have exactly the same cutting performance.​


DeWalt DWS779 Review

The DeWalt DWS779 is a 12 inch double bevel sliding compound miter saw. It is powered by a 15 Amp motor that can spin the 12 inch blade to a max no-load speed of 3800 RPM.

​It is capable of cutting up to 2x16 inch lumber at 90 degrees and 2x12 inch at a 45 degree angle.

The DWS779 is capable of miter cuts​ of 60 degrees to the right and 50 degrees to the left.

It has a bevel range of 49 degrees in both the left and right directions. There are positive bevel stops at 0, 22.5 degrees, 33.9 degrees, 45 degrees and 49 degrees. The bevel scale is over-sized which makes adjustments easy and accurate every time.

​Built from precision cut castings at 56 pounds the DWS779 is one sturdy machine especially if bolted correctly to your workbench. The miter detent plate is made from stainless steel so it is well capable of the constant abuse it may get on a busy job site.  

Who is the DWS779 for?
The DWS779 is best for a medium to ​heavy user that is looking for a real workhorse of a miter saw. It makes accurate cuts quick and easy straight out of the box with no real calibration required. 

For the money the DeWalt DWS779 is one of the best miter saws that is available on the market right now. Given the choice between an entry level model for $50 less from other manufacturers I would choose the DWS779 every time.​

Specifications

  • 15 amp motor
  • Max speed 3800 RPM
  • 12 inch double bevel 
  • 3 year limited warranty

DeWalt DWS780 Review

​The DeWalt DWS780 is a double bevel sliding compound miter saw. 

Just like the DWS779 the DWS780 is powered by a 15 Amp motor and has a no-load speed of 3800 RPM.

Just like the DWS779 the DWS780 has positive stops at all of the most popular angles on both the miter and bevel adjustments. And like the DWS779 it does require a little bit of extra space behind it to allow for the full use of the fence.​

​The DWS780 has the same dust extraction system as the which is basically just a dust chute. There is a dust bag provided but you will see much better dust collection if you use a vacuum attached to the vacuum port same as any other power tool really.

In fact it is virtually the exact same machine as the DWS779 with one distinct difference; XPS system.

The XPS cross-cut alignment system from DeWalt works by shining a very bright LED light along the side of the blade. This bright light then casts a very clear cut shadow. The shadow is cast by the blade itself.

This has an added advantage over a laser guide system because the laser may move out of alignment over time. The shadow cast however will always be in line with the blade as it is produced by it.​ Just be aware that if you are using the saw outside on a bright day then the shadow will not be clear to the eye.

Specifications

  • 15 amp motor
  • Maximum speed 3800 RPM
  • XPS cross cut positioning system
  • Comes with carbide blade, wrench, dust bag and material clamp
  • 3 year limited warranty

DeWalt DWS779 vs DWS780​

​Which should you choose in the comparison of the Dewalt DWS779 and the DWS780 ?

Ultimately for most people the decision will come down to price. The DWS779 can be ​over $200 cheaper than the DWS780 depending on where you are purchasing from.

Is the DWS780 worth the extra 200 bucks? Well you are effectively paying that for the added XPS system. If such a thing is useful for you and the extra money is not too great a consideration then it is arguably the flagship model in the DeWalt range. However, the DWS779 is virtually the same machine minus the XPS and at a significant discount too.​

Makita 5007MG vs 5007MGA

​If you are searching online and wondering what is the difference between the Makita 5007MG vs 5007MGA then rest assured you are not the only one!

Circular saws take the pain out of cutting sheets and lengths of wood to size. There are many available on the market today. A lot of brands have multiple different models and it can be a little confusing which one to choose. 

Before we compare the Makita 5007MG vs 5007MGA lets first look at each model and see what kind of specifications they have. ​


Makita 5007MG Review

​The Makita 5007MG is a 7-1/4 inch circular saw which is powered by a 15 Amp using 2300W of power. It's inductive motor enables it to spin the blade to a top speed of 5800 rpm. 

With that much power at the blade the 5007MG can cut through a variety of materials from wood to ceramics. Provided of course you have the correct blade. ​

It has a cutting depth of 2-1/2 inches deep which should be sufficient for most onsite cutting ​tasks and is certainly more than adequate for a home wood shop and the occasional DIY'er.

In terms of cutting angle adjust-ability the Makita 5007MG has positive bevel stops at the most common angles of 22.5 and 45 degrees. It also has a maximum bevel angle of 56 degrees.​

Although the 5007MG does not come with a dust extraction unit built in it does however have a dust blower that blows along your cut line. ​The blower does keep the immediate space in front of and around the blade clear of dust and wood chips so it is still a nice alternative to have.

It comes with a carbide tipped 7-1/4 inch blade that is a fairly heavy duty woodworking blade. The blade is an M-shaped , 2 pointed tips and 10-degree bevel face design. It is certainly nice to have a high quality blade included in the overall package along with the blade wrench. ​

The design features a nice ergonomic handle which has rubber grips in all the right places. There is also a built in base ruler on the front of the saw. This ruler is quite a handy addition especially where it is located.

Specifications

  • 15 Amp motor that spins to 5800 rpm
  • Cutting depth 2-1/2 inches
  • Bevel stops at 22.5 and 45 degrees up to a max of 56
  • LED light and dust blower on front 
  • Base ruler on front
  • Blade, blade wrench, rip fence and case included

Matika 5007MGA Review

So how does the 5007MGA differ from the 5007MG above ?
Ultimately the major difference is that it has a built in electric brake and has a slightly smaller form factor than the 5007MG. Same motor, same cutting performance. Same Makita quality.

​The electric brake allows the blade to stop as quickly as possible once you take your finger off of the trigger. Is this a major requirement?

For the pro onsite waiting for a blade to stop may have a slight impact on productivity(and potentially safety). For the home wood shop this isn't exactly a deal breaker.​

Specifications

  • All the same performance as the 5007MG above
  • Built in electric brake
  • Slightly smaller in size

Makita 5007MG vs 5007MGA

​So which is the winner the Makita 5007MG vs 5007MGA?

Well if you absolutely need an electronic brake on your circular saw then I guess the 5007MGA is worth the extra few bucks. If not then the 5007MG is a perfectly adequate circular saw for any home wood shop or occasional user. ​

<<< View the Matika 5007MG on Amazon >>>
<<< View the Matika 5007MGA on Amazon >>>

See how the it stacks up against the competition in the Makita 5007MGA vs DeWalt DWE575SB circular saw comparison.

1

DeWalt DWE7499GD vs DWE7491RS Comparison

Have you decided on a DeWalt portable table saw and yet are confused when comparing the DeWalt DWE7499GD vs DWE7491RS? 

Modern portable table saws can make moving from job site to job site a breeze most will have a wheeled base and retractable legs to make a solid foundation from which to work from.​

Both DeWalt table saws offer great cutting capacity and the well respected build quality that the brand have worked hard to earn over the last few decades.

​Let's take a brief look at both saws below before deciding on a winner and why.


DeWalt DWE7499GD Review

The DeWalt DWE7499GD is a 10-inch job site table saw with rolling stand. It is powered by a 15 Amp motor that is strong enough to handle a variety of wood species including hardwoods.

Capable of a no-load speed of ​4800 rpm for a portable unit it is certainly not under powered.

It features DeWalt's "Guard Protect" system to help reduce on the job accidents. The Guard Protect disables the saw if the blade guard is not installed. 

The user must then install the blade guard if they wish to operate the saw in the usual fashion; using the normal on/off switch.

However, if you wish to use the table saw without the saw guard installed you must​ activate a bypass switch before the saw will operate. This adds an extra safety layer to how you operate the saw.

If you wish to use the DWE7499GD without the blade guard you have to acknowledge that fact by being forced to flick the bypass switch.​

​The DWE7499GD using a rack and pinion fence system that makes for quick and accurate fence adjustments each and every time, accurate to 1/64 of an inch.

Specifications

  • 15 amp motor
  • Guard detect system
  • Rip capacity maximum 32-1/2 inches
  • Rolling stand for sturdy setup
  • 10 inch carbide blade 24-tooth
  • 3 year warranty

DeWalt DWE7491RS Review

The DWE7491RS is the predecessor to the DWE7499GD. It is one of the best selling portable tables saws available. 

It has the same 15 Amp motor as the DWE7499GD and also spins at 4800 rpm. ​

Although the DWE7499GD is ahead on the safety features with the Guard Detect system the DWE7491RS still has a few features built in to help reduce the risk of accidents.

The switch features a plastic cover that helps to prevent accidentally starting the machine by bumping into it. Also if you happen to lose power to the saw(power outages can happen a lot on work sites) then when power if restored the table saw will not automatically start up again thanks to the magnetic switch.

​The DWE7491RS has the same sturdy build table that the DWE7499RD also features. The legs are easily retractable and the rear wheels make transporting the unit pretty easy.

The dust port on the 7491RS is larger than on the 7499DG. The cutting depth on the 7491RS is slightly smaller at 45 degrees; 2-1/4 inches versus the 2-1/2 inch on the 7499GD .

However when used to the left the max rip on the 7491RS is a full 2 inches better than on the newer​ 7499G.

Ultimately the performance is pretty much on a par for both units with a few subtle differences as we have seen above.​

Specifications

  • Powered by 15 Amp motor
  • Max rip capacity 32-1/2 inch
  • Stable rolling stand 
  • Cutting depth 3-1/8 inch at 90 degrees and 2-1/4 at 45 degrees
  • 10 inch 24T carbide blade
  • 3 year limited warranty

DeWalt DWE7499GD vs DWE7491RS​

​The choice between the DWE7499DG vs DWE7491RS ultimately will come down to whether or not you want the Guard Detect feature. Depending on where you buy from the 7499DG can be as much as $200 dollars more expensive than the 7491RS.

Personally although it is a nice feature it is still not early as advanced as the ​technology that is currently available from Sawstop which stops the blade spinning as soon as it comes in contact with human skin.

However Sawstop technology is not widely available and the bigger saw manufacturers like DeWalt have not signed up to integrate it into their current range.​

For the money the DWE7491RS is a better value proposition assuming you don't want the added piece of mind of the Guard Detect.​

DeWalt DW745 vs DWE7480 – Table Saw Showdown

DeWalt portable table saws can be seen on a lot of job sites and home woodworking shops. When it comes to the DeWalt DW745 vs DWE7480 which is the better choice? 

Modern portable tables saws have come a long way. They are easy to transport and yet are still very capable saws especially if used in conjunction with a ​decent stand.

DeWalt has firmly cemented itself in the table saw market and have produced several different lines of portable table saw, all of which have been really well received.

Both the DW745 and the DWE7480 are both pretty competent tools and are suitable for a variety of work environments and small to medium sized cutting jobs. ​As ever care and attention should be observed when using any powered saw so always follow good safety practices when using them.

For us the one to buy is the DWE7480. More power and a larger rip capacity make it a much more versatile saw than the DW745​.

Top Pick

DeWalt DWE7480

Bigger rip capacity than the DW745, 24-1/2 versus 20 inch respectively.

Higher speed at 4,800 RPM due to redesigned motor​ versus the DW745 at 3,850 RPM.

Lets take a more in-depth look at the DW745 and DWE7480 below.


DeWalt DW745 Review

The DeWalt DW745 is a 10 inch compact portable table saw. It is powered by a 15 Amp 1850 Watt motor than can spin the blade at a non-loaded speed of 3,850 rpm.

At 3850 rpm you are looking at the low to medium side of blade speed for a table saw. However if you are looking for larger jobs or are looking to get a lot more precision out of your cuts then a blade speed of at least 4,500 rpm is desirable.

​With a maximum rip length of just 20 inches it is a little below what you would expect however given the compact nature of the saw and it's portability it sufficient for most small jobs.

​Fence wise the DW745 has a rack and pinion type rip fence so you it should give you a reliable parallel alignment. The fence can be adjusted left or right quite easily via an adjustable knob and is held tightly in place with some heavy clamps.

The blade that is supplied is an industry standard 24T carbide one. The blade can be adjusted to 45 degrees at which you will get a 2-1/4 inch cut depth. At 90 degrees you can get a cutting depth of 3-1/8 inches.

​A a mere 45 pounds in weight it is one of the lightest portable table saws available. Of course this is due to it's slightly smaller dimensions than most portable saws. This light weight makes it pretty easy to transport and if that is a major selling point for you it might be a good choice.

It integrates perfectly with the DW7440RS stand to make a pretty solid work station that is easy to move around on any site. 

Included in the box is: a 24T 10 inch carbide blade, meter gauge, push stick and a blade guard.​

Specifications

  • 15 amp 1850 Watt motor
  • Max no load speed 3850 rpm
  • 20-Inch rip apacity
  • Max cut depth 3-1/8 inch at 90 degrees, 2-1/4 inches at 45 degrees
  • Modular guarding system
  • 3 year limited warranty

DeWalt DWE7480 Review

The DeWalt DWE7480 is also a 10 inch portable table saw. It gets it's power from a 15 Amp motor that is capable of spinning the blade at a no-load speed of 4,800 rpm.  

The Dewalt has a maximum rip cutting capacity of 24-1/2 inches . It too has a rack and pinion adjustable fence system just like the DW745 which adds a lot of stability to the fence.

As stated it has a max rip size of 24-1/2 inches to the right and a 12 inch max size to the left of the blade.​

You get the same ​super smooth table surface that is treated to help reduce friction as on the DW745. 

​It has a tool-less blade guard and also features an anti-kickback system.

The blade is the same 10 inch 24-tooth Carbide ​and has the same adjust-ability as the DW745.

The blade is kept clean via a 2-1/2 inch dust port that cleanly filters away all dust from the cutting area helping to keep your work surface clean and increasing your accuracy.​

Adjustable rear feet mean you can get it as level as possible on an uneven surface.​

You get the same accessories included as the DW745 also.​

Specifications

  • 15 Amp motor
  • Max no-load speed 4,800 rpm
  • 24-1/2 inch rip capacity
  • Max cut depth 3-1/8 inch, at 45 degrees 2-1/4 inch
  • Dust port
  • 3 year limited warranty

DeWalt DW745 vs DWE7480

​Both models have a 15 Amp motor yet the DWE7480 can spin at 4,800 rpm versus the DW745's 3,800. This extra power is due to a redesign of the motor found in the DW745. That extra power is surely appreciated.

Having that extra power and more importantly speed can mean an improvement in the accuracy and precision of how well the blade can cut especially as your blade begins to dull. So here the DWE7480 is the clear winner.

The DWE7480 also wins on max rip capacity of 24-1/2 inches compared to the DW745's much smaller 20 inch max.

​For the most part both saws share a lot of similar features. However, it is the performance that sets the DWE7480 apart from the DW745. 

With a higher rpm, better cutting ability and bigger rip capacity the DWE7480 is the better performer overall of the two.​

This makes the DWE7480 the clear choice over the DW745.​

<<< View the DeWalt DW745 on Amazon >>>
<<< View the DeWalt DWE7480 on Amazon >>>

Bosch JS365 vs JS470E

Bosch JS365 vs JS470E not quite sure on which one is right for you?
Bosch have designed many power tools both corded and cordless. They have earned a solid reputation with their tools over the last few decades.

If you have already decided on buying a Bosch jigsaw then the only decision left to make is which one.....

​Bosch JS365 Review

​The Bosch JS365 is a 120-volt 6.5 Amp top handed corded jigsaw. It is also available in 6.0 Amp model.

It is very ergonomically designed and is comfortable enough to hold and maneuver. The trigger is quite comfortable and can accommodate two fingers. There is also ample non-slip rubber coating on the most common grip points along the top handle.

​It has a quick change blade system that does not require you to touch the blade to remove it. Jigsaw blades get extremely hot especially as they begin to dull. Not having to touch the blade to remove it certainly a convenient feature.

​Like the JS470E the JS365 has an integrated speed control system used to control the strokes per minute of the blades. You can set the max speed setting via a dial. The main trigger can then be use to control the speed up to the max setting.

It also features a ambidextrous lock-on button allowing you to keep the trigger on without having to squeeze it for long periods of time if you are cutting particularly long sections of wood.​

Features​

  • ​6.5 amp motor
  • 4 orbital-action cutting settings
  • Cutting capacity 3-1/2 inch in wood, 7/8 inch aluminum, 3/8 inch mild steel 
  • Tool-less blade swap out
  • One year warranty 
  • Made in China

Bosch JS470E​ Review

The Bosch JS470E is also a 120-volt top handed corded Jigsaw like the JS365 however it has a 7.0 Amp rated motor.​

The design follows the same ergonomic layout of the JS365, however the main body also has non-slip runner. We are not sure if it is definitely required but if you find yourself pushing hard through a particularly stubborn piece of wood it may be a nice addition.​

Like it's less powerful counterpart the JS470E has variable speed control of 500 to 3100 ​SPM(strokes per minute). They also share the same stroke length of 1 inch. 

The JS470E is as per the manufacturers rating capable of cutting wood pieces up to 5-7/8 inches thick which is a considerable gain over the less powerful JS365.​

Features

  • 7.0 Amp motor​
  • 4 orbital-action settings for various cutting actions
  • Cutting capacity 5-7/8 inch in wood, 7/8 aluminum, 3/8 inch steel
  • Tool-less blade change
  • One year warranty
  • Made in Switzerland 

Bosch JS365 vs JS470E​

​For the us the JS470E is the winner. Why? It is slightly more powerful, has less blade drift, can cut thicker pieces and is somewhat smoother during operation.

Both jigsaws follow the same tried and tested design philosophy from Bosch; make well built and durable tools with intuitively laid out controls. 

At first glance both of these jigsaws are nearly identical in the specifications and in their design features.

​Both come with an integrated dust blower with an on/off switch, the same quick change blade system and variable speed control.

Although they share a lot of design elements ultimately the performance is what matters and the JS470E is out in front in that manner. 

On the one hand you have the JS470E which has a slightly more powerful motor than the JS365. Although 0.5 of an Amp may not seem that significant the JS470E as per the manufacturers rating is capable of cutting thicker sections of wood than the JS365.

The JS365 is also noted to suffer from blade drift more so than the JS470E. Blade​ drift is one of the major issues that affect jigsaws and it gets worse the thicker the wood gets.

The JS470E is almost 1/3 of a pound heavier in weight which although is not huge it does help to reduce vibration and the overall feel of quality and sturdiness.

Given the superior cutting ability of the JS470E and it's more powerful motor in the battle of the Bosch JS365 vs JS470E the JS470E is the clear winner.​

<<< View the Bosch JS470E on Amazon >>>
<<< View the Bosch JS365 on Amazon >>>

Best Jigsaw 2019 – Puzzling Out The Jigsaw

A jigsaw is an extremely versatile power tool. It is capable of cross cuts, ripping, straight and curved cuts, plunge cuts, beveling and mitres. The Best Jigsaw will allow you to cut freely and effortlessly through sheets of wood time and time again.

In a pinch it can be used instead of a number of other tools (but won’t give quite the same quality of finish or be as easy); these include a band saw, circular saw, scroll saw and router. They’re also pretty cheap tools so it’s likely you’ll pick one of these up before buying any of the more specialized tools above.

A jigsaw essentially consists of a motor with a reciprocating saw blade attached. The blade is quite possibly the most important part of this tool; different blade types will allow you to cut different materials and achieve differing levels of finish. More information on blades a bit later on.

Jigsaw Reviews

There are plenty of jigsaw tools on the market to choose from. Luckily they are a pretty cheap power tool in comparison to others like a scroll saw or band saw. When choosing the best jigsaw the two main attributes that need to be considered are price and cutting quality.

The quality of the cut is mostly determined by the quality of the blades that you use. Obviously the quality of the jigsaw that you choose will also have a direct effect on how well it cuts but the blades that you use will probably have a bigger influence.

That said I would personally avoid most cheap power tools. They are cheap for a reason after all. Right now the Bosch JS470E has the best blend of quality, durability and cutting accuracy. Not only that it is one of the most powerful corded jigsaws that you can buy for a reasonable price. 

Best Jigsaw

Bosch JS470E 7 Amp

The JS470E is a top handle corded jigsaw from Bosch.

At 7 Amps it packs a powerful punch and should be more than capable of handling the majority of cutting jobs in either a home wood shop or on site at a contracting gig.

Specifications

  • Powerful 7 Amp motor
  • Tool-less blade change
  • Four different orbital-action settings for different type cuts
  • Max speed setting and trigger controlled operating speed
  • Heavy die cast foot
  • One year warranty

It has an adjustable speed range and a max bevel cut angle of 45 degrees so it's a pretty versatile jigsaw tool. There is also four different settings for the orbital action of the blades. Being able to vary the orbital action can help immensely when it comes to cutting smooth or when you need to be a little more aggressive depending on the material.

The JS470E is one of the heaviest jigsaws here. All that weight makes it extra sturdy and smooth with minimal vibrations. The aluminum die-cast foot with steel insert helps keep the center of gravity low helping to keep the track of the saw true across the cutting surface.   

​Capable of cutting wood up to 5-7/8 inches thick, aluminum 7/8 inches and mild steel 3/8 inches thick depending on the quality of blades used. 

Bosch Jig Saw JS470E
95 %
Features
96 %
Value
95 %
Durability

Although the Bosch is a little on the high side for price compared to some of the others in our review it's the kind of power tool that is worth investing in i.e you should need to replace it as often as a cheaper model. It should last many years if looked after correctly.

See how the Bosch JS365 and JS470E compare in our head to head. 

The best Jigsaw for the money you'll be making perfect cuts time and time again.


Porter Cable PC600JS 6 Amp

This budget jigsaw from Porter Cable is perfect for those that don't need to use a jigsaw every day. It is more than capable of handling the occasional job about the house. 

Paired with a quality jigsaw blade it can comfortably cut to the usual thickness of woods that you'll be using for your woodworking ​projects at home. 

The PC600JS has a 6 Amp motor. The speed from the motor is highly adjustable. There are seven different speed settings built into the trigger. No only is the speed adjustable but so too is the cutting action which is has four different orbital settings.

A cheap yet ​highly capable tool that can get the job done in a no fuss manner.

Specifications

  • 6 Amp motor
  • Lock-on button for constant use
  • Tool free blade change
  • 3 year limited warranty

Dewalt DW331K 6.5 Amp

The Dewalt has a 6.5 Amp motor and and has a has the same 4-position orbital cutting action as the Bosch and Porter Cable above.

It is priced at a fairly similar price point to the Bosch but with slightly less power the Bosch has it beat.​

It also lighter than the Bosch which when compared may give it a slightly less quality feel during usage..​

The shoe and blade can be set at a variety of angles to help you gain greater accuracy when looking to make angled cuts. An integrated dust blower also helps keep your line of site clean and clear as you advance the saw forward.

Note: it only accepts T-shank blades so be aware of that before you purchase​

Specifications

  • 6.5 Amp motor
  • 4-position orbital action
  • Variable speed control on the dial and trigger
  • Counter balance mechanism to help reduce vibration

Black & Decker BDEJS600C 5 Amp

Another budget model in our line up of best jigsaws is the Black and Decker 5 Amp.

At 5 Amps the motor is probably the least powerful here. Saying that it is sufficient for light cutting and occasional use.

Definetly suitable for someone on a budget, you can spend your money on other tools if you are just starting out and building up your tool box​

Specifications

  • 5 Amp motor 
  • 4 action orbital setting
  • Adjustable shoe can be used at 45 degrees
  • 2 year limited manufacturers warranty 

Makita 4350FCT 6.3 Amp

The Makita has a 6.3 Amp motor and is priced at roughly the same as the Bosch. For the money however it does lack some of the Bosch's features.

There are only 3 orbital settings the SPM(strokes per minute) is also lower at 2800 versus the Bosch's ​3100. With higher a higher powered motor and better cutting adjust-ability the Bosch for the money is a clear choice over the Makita. 

The only reason you may choose the Matika vs Bosch Jigsaw is that Matika is known for producing some of the best quality tools available. Generally when you choose Matika you are buying a tool that will still be working day after day year after year, a brand you can trust!

Specifications

  • 6.3 Amp motor
  • 3 orbital action cutting settings
  • Built-in LED 
  • Tool-less blade change

Cordless Jigsaws

The best cordless jigsaws are never going to be able to compete with a corded model in terms of raw cutting power. What they lack in power they make up for in convenience as you do not need to rely on having a power outlet available. That being said they still have ample power to get most jobs done.

Best Cordless Jigsaw

Dewalt DCS331Mi Lithium Ion 

The DCS331 cordless jigsaw kit is power by a 20V Lithium Ion battery pack. The motor at full charge is capable of 3000 strokes per minute at full speed.

These stats are comparable to a mid-range corded model so it is still a very usable jigsaw​ with the added convenience of no power cord

Specifications

  • All metal shoe bevel with multi-degree adjustment
  • 4-position orbital action
  • One 4.0 Ahr battery and charger included
  • 3 year limited manufacturers warranty

There are some more powerful cordless jigsaws available however, they require the additional purchase of the battery pack and the charger. These types of jigsaws are sold as "tool only" so be careful if you are searching online or looking at a box in a store.

The best cordless jigsaw for the money that comes with a battery pack and charger​.​

toughbuilt-c550-support-pegs

Matika VJ04R1 12V Lithium Ion

The Makita VJ04R1 12V Lithium-Ion cordless jigsaw kit comes with everything you need to get started right out of the box!

Includes a charger, two batteries and blades all packed in a sturdy carry case. This would make an awesome woodworking gift for a birthday or over the holidays.​

Although it's not quite as powerful as the DeWalt you still get are pretty decent jigsaw for the money and given that it comes with practically everything you need blades and all then it's a perfect starter jigsaw.

Specifications

  • 12V motor
  • 3 orbital action settings
  • Two 12V 2.0Ah batteries included
  • One charger, jigsaw blades and carry case included
  • 3 year warranty

Jigsaw Buyers Guide

Let’s have a quick history lesson here. The origin of the jigsaw goes back to the 1940s to an engineer called Albert Kaufmann. After seeing the action on his wife’s sewing machine he replaced the needle with a saw blade and suddenly he could make detailed and delicate cuts in wood.

Jigsaw power options

The first decision when buying is whether to go for a pneumatic or electric jigsaw. This will most likely come down to personal preference, but if you think about your usual type of project it’ll probably guide your decision.

Pneumatic jigsaws aren’t as common as electric, but they do have a few advantages. They’re a lot safer to work with under wet/damp conditions as you’re not going to get electrocuted; and they’re quite powerful (more so than battery powered ones at least).

Once you’ve charged your air compressor you also don’t need a power outlet. If you’re just working at your home this likely won’t be an issue, but if you’re a professional working on a customer’s drive this could be the single most important point. They’re also quite a bit lighter than either electric variety (excluding the compressor of course).

If you go for an electric jigsaw then you’ve got another decision, corded or battery.

A cordless jigsaw has some benefits over its corded brother; you don’t need to worry about whether you’ll have a power outlet available. If you don’t have a cord you also don’t need to worry about cutting through it while you’re focussing on your cut.

Of course a drawback to not having a cord is that you are reliant on batteries, so you need to keep them charged and maybe have a couple so you can be charging one while using the other. This can be expensive though as batteries aren’t cheap.

Disadvantages include being the heaviest type (blame the battery), and having less power than corded/pneumatic so you’re going to be restricting your maximum cut depth straight away.

Features

Now that you’ve decided on your power choice lets start going through some other features that you might be interested in.

Orbital or pendulum

This just describes the way the blade moves. Regular jigsaws move the blade in an up/down motion. An orbital jigsaw also moves the blade forward/backward at an (adjustable) angle. You can change the angle to match the material that you are cutting. The benefit of this is threefold.

  1. You’ll be able to cut more aggressively through thicker or harder materials.
  2. As the blade moves backwards, away from the material, it will momentarily be able to cool. Combining this with not having to push as hard when you’re cutting, means that the blade will be less likely to overheat and scorch your project. This could mean a longer life for your blades, saving you some money.
  3. If you’re cutting wood this also allows the sawdust to drop away from the cutting line, when the blade moves backwards, which gives you a better line of sight to the cut.

Variable speed control

Most jigsaws will allow you to control the speed of the blade. This can be very important depending on the types of materials that you’ll be cutting. As a general rule, the harder the material (e.g. metal), the slower the blade needs to be moving; and the softer (e.g. wood), the faster the blade should be going.

Dual-bevel

This simply allows angled cuts in both directions. The benefit here is that you won’t have to move either your work piece or yourself to bevel on both sides.

Guide light

This can really make seeing your cutting line a lot easier. Don’t rule it out just because you’ve got lights in your shop!

Laser line

Quite a simple thing but, again, this can help you follow your cutting line by projecting a line showing where your jigsaw is pointing. This can help if you have trouble wandering off your cut line.

Dust collector

The same as any tool used for woodworking, if you’re collecting your dust as you go then it’s not flying around in your face (or lungs) and there’s less to clean up afterwards which is always a bonus!

Jigsaw blades types

Jigsaw blades come in several varieties depending on the type of material they are designed to cut. You’ll probably get an all-rounder blade with your jigsaw, which will give ok performance in a few different materials; but you’ll most likely want to buy a specialised blade almost straight away.

There are a few things to consider when selecting a new blade – check out my article on band saw blades too, as they’re quite similar.

  • Blade material
  • Teeth per inch
  • Tooth set
  • Blade width

Blade material

Most blades are made from one of three types or material.

Tungsten carbide: These work best for cutting masonry or ceramics.

High-speed steel: These are good for lighter metals of soft woods such as pine.

Bi-metal: Use these for heaving jobs, such as harder metals and hardwoods like oak.

Teeth per inch

Shortened to TPI, this measures how many teeth are in each inch of the blade. This will determine the type of material the blade can be used for along with both the speed and quality of the cut. A low TPI (6-20) is suitable for soft materials. This will result in a fast cut that needs some sanding to smooth it off. Harder materials need a higher TPI (14-36) and will be slower to cut.

Tooth set

The tooth set will be either ground or milled. Ground sets have a fine point, will cut slowly but result in a higher quality cut. Milled sets are good for fast, rough cuts and are blunter. Milled sets tend to last longer than ground sets.

Blade width

Blade width is measured from the back of the blade to the tips of the teeth; this has the biggest impact on the radius of a cut that you’ll be able to make. A thinner blade will make a tighter radius cut. If you’re doing a straight cut then use the widest blade your jigsaw can accommodate as this will result in less wandering.

Accessories

So you’ve got your jigsaw and an appropriate blade, before you go and have some fun you’ll need just a few more things to keep you safe and get a decent finish.

  • Eye protection
  • Ear defenders (depending how loud your saw is)
  • A face mask to reduce your dust inhalation
  • Saw horses, a jigsaw table or a workbench to hold your work-piece
  • A few clamps to hold it securely

Summary

So there you have it, all the information you need to help you choose the best jigsaw for your projects. Just make sure you use an appropriate blade or you’ll risk damage to the blade and maybe even your new saw. And, of course, remember to play safe!

Best Scroll Saw Reviews 2018 Buyer’s Guide

Looking for the best scroll saw for you garage or woodworking shop? If you are not sure on which scroll saw to buy or are looking for how to best use a scroll saw then have a look through our scroll saw guide and we should have all the answers you need.

A scroll saw is used for cutting detailed shapes usually into thin wood. It is motorized and is like a power coping saw. It is more accurate than a jigsaw or a reciprocating saw but cannot cut wood as thick as those two.

Best Scroll Saw Reviews​

The right scroll saw for you may not be the best for someone else. Are you a hobbyist that just needs the saw for some light finishing work or do you intend to take your hobby to the next level and start to produce your projects in greater volume for sale?

If you are a beginner then you should opt for one of the cheaper models. There is no point in paying out top dollar for a piece of equipment only for it to lie there gathering dust because you are busy learning how to use hand tools or have started to lose interest in your woodworking​.

Just because a saw doesn't have ​all of the advanced features of a more expensive one does not mean it will produce inferior work. As with any decent tool the results are down to how well you use it and your skill as a craftsman.

However if you do require some better features and a more versatile scroll saw ​there are some great higher end models available.

Best Scroll Saw

Dewalt DW788 1.3 Amp 20 Inch Variable Speed

The Dewault DW788 is a 20-inch 1.3 Amp variable speed scroll saw.

The C550 DW788 is aimed at those looking for a high quality, durable scroll saw that can take some heavy use.

Specifications

  • Tool free blade clamps makes blade changing a breeze
  • All controls located on upper arm for easy usage
  • Double parallel-link arm reduces noise and vibration
  •  Easy lift arm means blade can be threaded through materials for inside cuts
  • Table bevels 45 degrees in both left and right directions 
  • 1.3 amp gives 400 spm to 1750 spm
  • Variable stroke length between 3/4 inch and up to 2 inches deep
  • Weighs 56 lbs

If you are looking for a quality, heavy duty scroll saw that can handle a lot of work yet still deliver on cutting accuracy then the DeWault DW788 is probably the best scroll saw.

At 56 lbs without the stand thanks to a cast iron board it is incredibly stable and low on vibrations.

DeWALT DW788 SCROLL SAW

The cast-iron table and cast-iron frame construction is responsible for the users of the DeWault feeling hardly any vibrations during operation. Any reduction in vibrations on any kind of powered saw will greatly increase both the accuracy of your cuts and make the use of the saw a lot more comfortable.

The DW788 is also extremely easy to setup straight out of the box so you can be up and running in no time at all.

The ease of use and quality of cutting means that both beginners and more experienced woodworkers can get the most out of these scroll saws for their given skill sets. If you are looking to only ever purchase one scroll saw to last you decades of use then the DW788 is it. ​

97 %
Features
93 %
Value
97 %
Durability

The DW788 is also available with a stand and work light should you not already have them. The best scroll for the money you won't be disappointed.​


Wen 3920 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed

​The Wen 3920 is ideal for those that are either starting out or don't do a lot of intricate finishing work. It is a great low cost option if you are stuck for money when you are first starting to fit out your woodworking shop or garage.

The Wen has a throat depth of 16 inches and is capable of cutting wood up to 1.9 inches thick. Capable of taking either pined or pinless blades the blade holder can be rotated through 90 degrees which now means that your cuts are no longer confined to 16 inches.

​The Wen also includes and adjustable air pump and built in LED light so your workspace will be both clean and easily seen. Unlike the DeWault the Wen 3920 has all of it's controls mounted on the front underneath the table which is probably the second best place for accessibility after the upper arm. 

Specifications

  •  Accepts both pinned and pinless blades
  • Table bevels 45 degrees to the left
  • Variable speed 550 spm to 1600 spm
  • Blade can be rotated through 90 degrees 
  • Adjustable air pump
  • Two year warranty

Comes backed by a two year warranty. A perfect starter scroll saw the Wen 3920 offers decent performance at a low price point.


Shop Fox W1713 16-Inch Variable Speed

Another standard 16-inch throat scroll saw the Shop Fox W1713 is a great mid-range choice for those that are torn between the features of the higher end DeWault and the lower cost alternative Wen. 

Powered by a 110-Volt motor the Shop Fox can handle just about anything a home woodworking could throw at it.

The W1713 has the added safety bonus of a see through plastic housing that surrounds the blade so you fingers are that little bit safer. The adjustable hold-down shoe has the air nozzle mounted on it which means you only need to make one adjustment to have both of them set optimally for your desired wood thickness.

The tilting table on the Shop Fox has a ​locking mechanism that also has a scale on it, providing your work surface is truly horizontal you can now make angled cuts with quite a degree of accuracy.

Specifications

  •  110-Volt 60Hz motor
  • Accepts both pinned and pinless blades
  • Table tilts through 45 degrees
  • Variable speed 550 spm to 1700 spm
  • Work light and dust blower

Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Variable Speed

Dremel have made quite a name for themselves in the hobby world by producing high quality tools that can cut, drill and sand with great accuracy. 

The MS20-01 is portable scroll saw so it's weight at 9 lbs should not be seen as a negative when compared to heavyweights such as the DeWault.​

The main feature that differentiates the Dremel from the others in our other scroll saw reviews is that the table is detachable. This means you can now take the saw to the wood and not the other way around. For convenience sake this is a real plus. The MS20-01 is about as close as you can get to a power coping saw or electric coping saw.

Specifications

  • Detachable base means converts to a motorized coping saw
  • Fast clamps attach easily to most work surfaces
  • Comes with 4 types of blades for different materials, 10 in total
  • Great value for small jobs or light work

Delta Power Tools 40-694 20-Inch Variable Speed

When it comes to low vibration ad quietness the Delta Power Tools 20-inch variable speed scroll saw ranks on a par with the DeWault.

It has a ​1.3 Amp motor that has a variable speed controller allowing the scroll saw to operate at 400 spm to 1750 spm.

With a tilting table that can be tilted 45 degrees on either side makes this a very versatile tool. A built in blade compartment means that you can store your blades in the machine reducing the chance of losing them in your workshop.

Specifications

  • Parallel link arm reduces vibration
  • Variable speed from 400 spm to 1750 spm​
  • Table tilts 45 degrees to left and right
  • Light and stand also available
  • 5 year limited warranty

Scroll Saw Buyer's Guide

Often people will purchase their tools based solely on price. This is a mistake however. The best approach is to consider the features from two or three different scroll saws and then make your judgement based on that.

Choosing the right scroll saw means that you get the best value for your dollar. There is little point in purchasing the cheapest one if you intend on doing a lot of cutting and intend on putting a big demand on the saw..... the cheaper ones generally won't last.

So you need a balance of features and price to find the best scroll saw for you. Below are some of the features of a scroll saw you should look out for when making your decision:

  • Build quality - generally the heavier a scroll saw is built the less noise and vibration it will create. You should look for a heavy cast iron saw if possible. If you plan on doing a lot of work with the saw then the sturdier the construction the better.
  • Adjustable Speed Control - There is an optimal speed at which to cut the majority of materials. Not being able to adjust the speed on any kind of saw means that you may end up with a cut that is not perfect and requires extra finishing work such as sanding.
  • Tilt - Having the option to tilt the table on your scroll saw means a bit more versatility. However if you choose a model that does not tilt you can just tilt the wood as you cut. This can be tricky at times depending on what you are cutting so a tilting table can make life easier. In general tables will tilt from 0 to 45 degrees. Some of the better models will allow the table to tilt in both a left and right direction.
  • Throat Length - Throat length is the distance from the back of the scroll saw to the blade. A standard scroll saw throat length is roughly 18-20 inches. Some scroll saws have a feature that pivots the blade through 90 degrees thus allowing you to make much deeper cuts across the scroll saw table.
  • Blade Change - Having the ability to quickly and easily swap out a dull blade or change one for a different material is an essential feature to have. If you wind up wasting time changing blades out you will not only get less work done but your frustration levels will increase also.
  • Dust Removal - Reducing the amount of saw dust in your workshop is definetley a big help to your respiratory system and any decent scroll saw should come with such a feature.

Scroll Saw Blades

​Choosing the best scroll saw blades can be a little confusing. Like any saw not matching the right blade to the material will leave you with less than ideal results. Here are some important factors to help you choose the right scroll saw blades:

  • Pin or Pinless - ​Pinless or plain-end blades are the more modern of the two. A lot of really old scroll saws can only accept pinned ones. However, the majority of modern saws can accept both. Pinned blades are generally much faster to change out when they go dull. 
    Just be aware that when using pinned blades for fretting work you will need to drill a larger hole to account for the diameter. This is a big disadvantage if you plan on doing a lot of very small detailed inner cutting.
  • Blade Specifications - All blades should come with a size rating on the package. The blades are number as per the size of the material they are used to cut and the number of teeth per square inch. A#12 blade is more suited to cutting thicker pieces of wood and will have fewer teeth than a size #0.
    When using bigger blades on thicker wood you can run the scroll saw at a faster speed. When cutting delicate pieces with smaller blades you should run the saw at a slower speed as the finer blades can end up burning and scorching the wood if they are run to fast.
  • Blade Teeth - There are a variety of different tooth configurations on blades and this will influence what kind of cut they are best suited to:
  • scroll saw blades
    1. Regular - Regular blades are uniform and in a straight row. The teeth for wood cutting will be larger than for cutting metal.
    2. Double-tooth - Have a space between a pair of teeth. They tend to leave a very smooth cut but cut slower than other blades.
    3. Skip-tooth - As the name implies every second tooth is missing. They have a lesser tendency to burn during cutting, suitable for beginners.
    4. Reverse skip-tooth - same as a normal skip tooth except the reverse teeth on the end can help to leave a less splintered look on the bottom of the cutting surface.
    5. Crown - These blades cut in both directions and can be used on plastic
    6. Precision Ground - Much sharper and not suitable for a beginner.
    7. Spiral - Spiral blades are like a regular blade that has been twisted so that the teeth are on all sides of the blade. They are not very accurate and best not used on detailed work.

As a general rule the thinner the material you need to cut the finer the blade you should use. 

Looking After Your Chain Saw

So let’s say that you’ve bought a new chainsaw and now you want to keep it in tip top shape. After all it was expensive, so you don’t want to have to replace it if you can avoid it.

How much maintenance you need to do depends on what type of chainsaw you bought and the features it has.

Electric Chain Saw

If you bought an electric saw and it has an auto oiler, then you’re laughing; the only thing you’ll probably need to do is to keep the blade sharp along with topping it up with chain saw oil. Don’t skimp here, you’ve just paid out some serious money for your saw and you want to use premium oil to make sure it keeps running for ever. One way to test that the auto-oiler is working is by pointing the chain bar at something you don’t mind getting oily (like a cardboard sheet) and revving the engine; you should see oil spatters appear.

Petrol Chain Saw

If you’ve got a gas powered chain saw then you’ve got a little more work cut out for you as you’ll need to look after the motor. If you’re paying attention when using your saw then you’ll get some hints when there are issues. If it’s particularly difficult to start then you could have a bad spark plug or stale gas. Alternatively if you lose power at full throttle it could have a dirty filter or a clogged exhaust.

Of course, the best place to find information about keeping your saw in perfect condition is the user manual. This will have information about all the things you should be looking at and, more importantly, all the stuff you shouldn’t touch. Remember, some of this tool should only be messed with by a qualified mechanic.

You’ll need to keep your wits about you and don’t be afraid to stop. If you’re not comfortable doing something, then you probably shouldn’t do it. Find a qualified person and see if they’ll let you watch; then maybe you’ll be confident enough to do it next time.

Air filter

A petrol chain saw is a mini-engine; and it needs to breath. It draws air in, mixes it with fuel, burns it and pushes out an exhaust. If it has difficulty with any part of this cycle it won’t run at its best.

You should check your air filter each eight hours of use (this might be a single day for you, or over several weeks). If your air filter is dirty you can experience all sorts of issues, most obviously a loss of power. However, long term issues can be increased fuel consumption (so it costs more to run) and increased wear to engine parts (so you have to replace chain saw parts more often).

To clean your air filter simply brush it gently with soft brush or, if it’s really bad, wash it in warm, soapy water and then dry it. Be gentle though, if you make holes in it you can let dust/bits get into the engine, which will mean more repairs.

Spark plug

If you notice that your saw is low on power, idles poorly or is difficult to start (more so than usual!) you might have an issue with your spark plug.

Remove the plug and check whether it’s dirty. If it is then check the air filter, or your carburetor might need adjusting, or you might just be running a bad fuel mixture. Clean the plug and check the gap, then check your air filter is clean. If you’re still having issues and you’re sure your fuel is right then get your carburetor checked by someone qualified.

Fuel mixture

Chances are that your gas chain saw has a two-stroke engine; this means that the lubricants it needs are added to the fuel rather than provided through a crankcase like in a four-stroke vehicle engine.

Each saw needs a specific ratio of fuel to oil and you’ll find this information in the manual. This is very important as having an incorrect fuel mix is a quick way to ruin your saw’s engine.

Sharpening

Regardless of the type of saw you’ll need to make sure you keep the blade sharp. If you notice the chain chattering or producing sawdust rather than large chips then you’ll want to sharpen it sooner rather than later. If you ignore a dull blade then it becomes a lot more likely that the blade will stick and you’ll experience kick-back which is really dangerous.

It is in your best interest to keep your blades as sharp as possible as it will be much safer (which is a little counter intuitive until you think it through).

To do this you can simply use a file, or you can buy a commercial chain saw sharpener. There a several chain saw sharpening tools available, including those billed as “automatic”; from the reviews I’ve read I’ve decided to stick to the file.

How to actually sharpen the teeth

A chain has two types of teeth; cutters and rakers. The cutters actually do the cutting and the rakers control the depth of the cut. The cutters need to be sharp and the rakers will be need to be filed down as the cutters wear.

You’ll want two guides for your file (both are pretty cheap tools). The first one sits on top of the cutters and makes sure the file is in the right position. You’ll then need to hold the file at the right angle (check your manual) using the guide. File from inside the cutter to the outside and make sure you are positioned so that this action is away from you (so if you slip you don’t impale yourself with the file!). Do somewhere between 5-10 strokes on each cutter and then check it for sharpness.

The second guide sits on the chain links and will hold itself in the correct place and at the correct angle. You then file over the guide to sharpen the cutter. I’d suggest going along one side of the chain, spinning it as you go, then go back along the other side.

The height of the rakers needs to be just slightly less than that of the cutters. This difference is really important. Too little and you won’t actually cut anything but too much and the saw will become jumpy (read dangerous!). Every two or three times that you sharpen the cutters you should check the rakers using a depth gauge and then file them off as you need.

Now this might all seem too complicated and too much effort. Why not just buy a new saw chain? They’re pretty cheap, right? Well, it depends on your budget. By all means go and check out the prices, but bear in mind that a decent filing job can be done in under 15 minutes (once you’ve had a little practice).

In conclusion, if you ignore the needs of your chainsaw then you’re quite quickly going to find you need to buy new parts or an entire new saw. However, if you spend a bit of care and effort at regular intervals, then your saw will look after you for years to come and be much safer to use too!

1

How To Choose a Pole Saw

What is a pole saw?

Well, the clue is in the name. It’s a saw on a pole. Yep, it’s that simple. A pole saw is typically used for pruning tree branches higher up that you can reach unaided. It’s a better (read safer!) alternative to using a chainsaw whilst stood on a ladder.

Choosing a Pole Saw

Similar to a chain saw, you want to think safety first. These things are dangerous; even though you’ve got more distance between yourself and the saw you can still get hurt if you don’t think it through and pay attention. You could probably (accidentally) engineer a way to cut yourself even with the distance between you and the blade but your main danger may not be from that. You will typically be using a pole saw to cut/prune branches that are high overhead, and guess where they’re going to fall when they get cut off (if you don’t think it through)? That’s right, straight onto your head.

Weight (and weight distribution) is extremely important when it comes to choosing your pole saw. You’re going to be holding this heavy thing on a stick way over your head, probably for several minutes at least. You need to make sure you can cope with the weight.

Power options

The same as a chainsaw you’ve got three options when it comes to powering your new pole saw. Electric and gas powered, with electric coming in corded or cordless options.

An electric polesaw is typically lower powered than a gas powered pole saw, but has the added benefit that the only maintenance you’ll need to perform is sharpening the blades and oiling it. With a gas pole saw you’ll also need to take care of the engine too by checking spark plugs and cleaning air filters (amongst other things). Another benefit of electric over gas powered is that electric pole saws won’t kick out a bunch of fumes whilst in use and are usually a lot less noisy.

If you choose a corded electric polesaw you’ll obviously be limited as to where you can work by the length of your extension cord and location of plug sockets. If you’re just pruning in your back garden this is unlikely to be an issue but if you’re a professional on a worksite you won’t want a cord hampering your movements; not to mention the risk of cutting the cord.

A cordless pole saw doesn’t have the drawback of a cord in that you don’t have a maximum range, but you will have a maximum working time. Most rechargeable batteries will give you about an hour. Again, this may not be an issue for you depending on the amount of pruning you typically need to do. You also have the option of buying additional batteries and then swapping them mid-job but they can be expensive.

A gas powered pole saw has the benefits of unlimited range, unlimited work time (actually limited by the amount of gas you have available, but you can carry jerry cans) and are typically more powerful than their electric cousins. However they have the drawback of additional maintenance as mentioned above.

Pruning saw A manual pole saw, a.k.a pruning saw should mention here that there is actually a fourth power option, which is a manual pole saw, also called a pruning saw. These are literally just a stick with a blade on the end. Some of them have a string pull which activates a clamp between two blades, so you position the saw around the branch and pull the cord to cut it. Others just have a serrated blade and you move the pole up and down to cut through. You’ll only want one of these if your job (or budget) is extremely small.

Don’t forget to be safe with your new pole saw, you’ll need much of the same safety equipment as when using a chainsaw so checkout my chainsaw article which includes a section about safety here.

Summary

In summary, have a think about what you’re going to do with your pole saw. If you’re just pruning in your back garden and it’s reasonably small then go for an electric corded pole saw. If you’ve got a bigger garden and you don’t think your cord will reach then get a cordless version and maybe treat yourself to an additional battery if needed. And, if you regularly work on large projects or for extended periods of time and you’re ok with the additional maintenance then get a gas powered pole saw. Finally, remember that you won’t be cutting through logs with a pole saw, so if you think this will be needed then consider getting a chainsaw instead.Remember to stay safe!!

So You Want To Buy A Chainsaw?

If you’ve landed here then either you’ve got something to do that requires a chainsaw so you’re looking for information on which one to buy, or you want a chainsaw and you’re looking for a task to justify the expense (to your other half).

We’ll tackle the second problem first; here’s a few reasons you might want to own a chain saw.

  • Pruning branches
  • Clearing storm debris
  • Cutting firewood
  • Felling trees
  • Preparing your own lumber
  • Art – ice sculptures and the like

Choosing a chainsaw​

Hopefully you’ve got enough of a reason now, whether you arrived with one or found it here. So what should you be looking for in your new chainsaw?

Power

First up, power; you’ve got three options when it comes to how your chainsaw is powered:

Gasoline chainsaw

These are typically more powerful and can be used in the rain. However, they require more maintenance, are heavier, noisier and give out exhaust fumes.

Electric chainsaw

Typically good for smaller jobs which require less power, electric chainsaws can be cordless or corded.

A corded chainsaw will be lighter and won’t run out of power, but you will be limited by the length of your power cord. You’ll also need to make sure your cord isn’t in your cutting path!

A cordless chainsaw will have its own battery. This means you aren’t restricted to where you can go and you’re not going to cut through your cord. But it will be heavier and you’ll have limited working time between charges. You might want to have multiple pre-charged batteries ready before you start a big job.

Aside from the typical chainsaw design, featuring front and rear handles on an engine housing with the cutting bar extending outwards, there are two further designs which may interest you depending on your reason for owning one.

Pole saw

A pole saw – literally a saw on a poleIf you’re pretty much only going to be pruning branches then you might be interested in a pole saw. This is a small saw mounted on an extension pole. With you pole you’ll have an increased reach to get up high in your trees.

Jaw saw

A “jaw saw”The last design has a set of jaws around the cutting bar which will offer increased protection from the chain. The jaws will often have teeth which will grip onto the object you’re cutting to help hold it still. This style is sometimes called a jaw saw (but not often).

Features

So you’ve chosen a style and how it’s going to be powered. Time for the optional extras:

Spring Assist Start

Some chainsaws, especially larger petrol powered ones, can be very difficult to get started. This can make it much easier.

Chain Brake

This is a lever incorporated into the front hand guard. If the chainsaw catches and kicks back then your hand will touch the lever and activate the brake. Hopefully saving you from serious injury. Highly recommended!

Chainsaw Guide Bar

This is the long bar that the chain runs around. These range in length; the longer the guide bar, the thicker diameter of log that the chainsaw can cut, but the more difficult it is to use. And remember, the longer the bar is, the bigger and heavier the chainsaw will be.

Vibration dampers

Chainsaws now have rubber or springs attached to the handles to help dampen the vibration from the motor. This makes it more comfortable to use and a lot safer; its hard to keep control when your hands have gone numb from vibration.

Safety

Don’t forget safety; a chainsaw will happily cut through you as easily as it does wood (probably easier). So as well as the safety features on the chainsaw itself you’ll also want:

  • Ear defenders
  • Chainsaw chaps
  • Shoes with steel toe caps
  • Eye protection
  • Hard hat
  • Gloves
  • A saw horse with serrated teeth to hold logs (depending on what you’re doing)

Summary

Before you rush out and by one, have a think about what you’re going to do with your chainsaw. The tasks that you can see yourself doing will determine which type is best for you. For smaller jobs you’re probably looking at a cordless electric chainsaw (maybe even a pole saw if you’re just pruning tall trees). Medium jobs will need a corded electric saw and for the biggest ones you’ll want a gasoline chainsaw. See if you can hold the saw before buying too (I doubt any shop will let you fire it up for a proper test run), but make sure the weight and size aren’t too much for you to handle. It’s dangerous remember!

Have fun with your new chainsaw. Don’t chop up anything you’ll regret later. And make sure you stay safe!!