Whether you’re working with wood, metal, drywall or fiberglass, the jigsaw is your go-to tool. It can handle a variety of materials -- simply insert the blade, power up and you’re ready to go.
Consider the Blade
Choose the ideal jigsaw blade based on the material and project type. Blades are categorized by teeth per inch (TPI). A low TPI results in a rougher cut, but it will be faster—an ideal option for wood. Higher TPI blades are used for fine, detailed cuts, like those needed for metalworking.
Before you remove or install a blade, always disconnect the power, whether it’s the plug on a corded jigsaw (also known as a sabre saw) or the battery pack on a cordless jigsaw. Loosen the blade clamp, install the blade with the teeth facing out away from the handle, then re-engage the clamp.
Cut the Perfect Lines
Jigsaws can cut a number of different ways. Here are some of the most common:
• Curved lines. It’s best to use a thin blade with a high TPI to cut curved lines. If you don’t have much experience cutting curved lines, it’s a good idea to practice your cut first on a piece of scrap material to get a feel for it.
• Straight cuts. While jigsaws are known for their ability to cut curves, they can also be used to cut straight lines. It’s best to clamp a piece of straight lumber along your cutting line to guide the saw so you don’t have to rely solely on having a steady hand. Press the base of the saw against your guide as you make your straight cuts.
• Plunge cuts. Drill a hole inside the part of the material that is going to be discarded and start your cut with the blade inside the hole.
• Bevel cuts. You don’t need a table saw to make bevel cuts. Release the lever on the shoe and tilt the saw up to a 45-degree angle. Lock it back down and you’re ready for bevel cuts.
When making any cuts: Place the base of the saw on the surface, without the blade touching, start the saw at a slow speed then push the blade into the cut. You’re sure to get the best results every time.