Your first power jigsaw is usually the hardest to choose, but now is the best time to get quality tools cheaply, with Black Friday around the corner.
The power jigsaw is the go-to tool for cutting relatively thin pieces of material, whether plastic, wood, melamine, parquet, PVC, or metal. It is a necessary tool for projects that involve cutting sheets of material in straight or curved lines.
You can end up with too much power at an unnecessary cost or too little of it because you bought too cheaply if you don’t know what to look for in a power jigsaw. It’s therefore important to understand the essentials that make power jigsaws good at what they do.
Beginner’s Buying Guide for Power Jigsaws
Here’s what matters when buying a power jigsaw.
The Power Rating
A jigsaw’s power is measured in watts. The most basic power jigsaws have at least 350 watts, and on the higher end, you can expect as much as 850 watts. The more power you’ve got, the thicker the materials you can cut through.
As with most power tools, a jigsaw’s power output is proportional to its weight. They range from 3 – 6lbs in weight, depending on their rating. Corded jigsaws will give you slightly more power than battery-powered ones, but then again, most power jigsaws are corded. In any case, this tool will likely spend most of its life near a power outlet, so you may not need it to be cordless after all.
The Speed Settings
The ability to regulate the cutting speed of the jigsaw is afforded only to those who opt for variable speed control. It is a valuable feature in most tools with a rotating motor (saws, drills, etc.) because it makes the device useful in diverse situations. In the case of the power jigsaw, having more speed settings allows you to cut through more challenging or more fragile materials with the flick of a dial/button. Cutting speed determines the cleanness of the cut, and if you’re working with different materials, you’ll inevitably need different cutting speeds.
The Cut Angles
You’re not always going to need straight cuts, and when you’ve graduated to advanced joint making, 90 and 45 cuts become essential. That’s why you want a power jigsaw with a tilting base plate. 45 cuts are much easier to make accurately with a moveable base plate.
You can make angled cuts whether you’re working with straight or curved lines. Also, you should know that power saws, on average, have a cut depth of between 45mm and 100mm. For deeper cuts, you might want to consider more powerful options like circular saws, which are better suited for heavier lumber.
The Dust Extraction and Blower Attachments
You can get by with just a vacuum or blower attachment, but not without both. A front-mounted dust blower is great for cutting line visibility. A dust extraction system clears chips and sawdust from your working area. Some of them connect to vacuum cleaners for easier cleanup, while others come with a built-in filter.
These attachments are for your comfort, and without them, your work can be more hectic and dangerous, especially if you have to clear the chips and dust to maintain visibility. It’s also not advisable to inhale sawdust, so the dust extractor is a must-have in poorly ventilated spaces.
The Laser and Cutting Guide
A parallel laser guide or cutting guide (either will do) will significantly improve the quality of your work. These tools reduce blade deviation. In other words, they keep the blade inline automatically. Mechanical precision guarantees that your lines are perfectly straight (or curved) when you need them to be.
Other Useful Features
· A chip guard is a valuable safety feature if you plan to cut materials that chip easily, such as laminate sheets.
· Power jigsaws with top handles are more comfortable to use, but seasoned professionals may prefer a barrel grip handle for the extra cutting precision it affords them.
· The blade change system should be toolless. You can mount a blade with one click without the need for special tools like Allen Keys.
Power jigsaw Black Friday deals are numerous this time of the year, and it doesn’t make sense to start browsing before you know what you need.
Now that you know the kind of power jigsaw you need, here are some excellent options to consider.
Best Black Friday Deals 2021 for Power Jigsaws
If it’s value you want, this modest 5.0-amp Black+Decker jigsaw is right up your alley. It features orbital action (forward on the upstroke, backward on the downstroke to replicate natural sawing motion) and 3000spm of cutting power, so it’s pretty capable of making clean cuts.
Curve Control Technology comes in four curve settings that give you complete control over all types of rounded cuts. What’s more, it makes 45 beveled cuts and comes with an adjustable shoe, complete with a wire guard, for that extra stability and visibility.
TECCPO offers you a pretty affordable power jigsaw kit that includes a 6.5-amp jigsaw, six blades, a scale ruler, and a sturdy carry case. This jigsaw has a laser guide, six variable speed settings, a quick-release chuck, and a transparent protective shield upfront. It has a dust extraction system that connects to vacuum cleaners via a pipe adapter, making cleanup easier for you.
You can adjust the cutting motion (orbital action) to be higher or lower depending on whether you’re cutting soft (high action) or hard (low action) material.
Ryobi is a household name in the power tools sector, so it is no surprise that they manufacture some of the best cordless power jigsaws. The P523 is a 3,000spm jigsaw with four orbital settings and a trigger lock that gives you greater control over the cuts you make. It features a built-in dust blower that clears debris while you work for improved visibility. LED lighting ensures that you can work efficiently, even in the dark.
It also has a unique blade-saving feature that allows you to use the blade without the foot, thereby keeping it sharp even when the teeth wear down to the base.
A professional tool like the DeWalt DCS331B makes no compromises when it comes to performance. This high-end jigsaw features all-metal lever-action but remains easy to use courtesy of features like the toolless blade mount and keyless shoe bevel.
It offers variable speed ranging from 0-3000spm, making it versatile enough for a wide range of tasks. You can get more professional results with a T-shank blade, which the DeWalt MAX readily accepts. The tool is fitted with an ultra-comfortable anti-slip grip since it can work continuously for long periods.