The jigsaw is one of the most versatile tools in any workshop. It’ll make quick work of all your construction and DIY projects, creating accurate cuts. If you’re new to the world of saws, a jigsaw is a hand-held power tool that’s capable of making long straight cuts and beveled cuts. It’s perfect for cutting out shapes, making curves, and creating intricate designs. These jigsaws can even perform plunge cuts.
This is unlike other saws, such as circular saws or miter saws, where the aim of the game is to cut straight lines. Using a jigsaw is also incredibly easy! The jigsaw blades cut into the center of your workpiece and operate from there, enabling you to use it for even more applications.
While you’re most likely to use these specialty saws in woodworking projects, they’re also great for cutting metal and pipe, cutting countertops for sink installation, and slicing through aluminum or plastic. They even make quick work of laminate foam installation. (If you’re looking to cut a straight line instead of making curved cuts, consider a circular saw instead.)
The first thing to keep in mind is the blade – you need the right blade for your project. Blades come in a variety of options, including T-shank blades and more. In addition, you can purchase simple wood cutting blades, metal cutting blades, and even specialized blades for cutting through laminate or tile.
The right jigsaw cutting blade for you will depend on what material you’re cutting. Is the material light or more heavy-duty? High-carbon steel is best for cutting wood, but it’s not hard enough to cut through metal – opt for high-speed steel if you’re looking to cut curved lines in the metal. If you’re cutting tile, go for a diamond blade.
Also, consider blade teeth. Most blades have a tooth range between 6 to 32. Blades for metal usually have more teeth per inch, whereas blades used to cut wood will have fewer teeth.
In addition, It is so easy to change a jigsaw blade, most jigsaws come with a blade clamp and a quick-release trigger, which ensures the blade locks in place. Once you’ve inserted the correct saw blade, you’re ready to get to work.
Using a Jigsaw
Before operating your new power tool, always make sure to wear safety glasses. Gloves are essential, too. Even the safest power tools can cause accidents. So no matter your project, you’ll need adequate safety gear. Once you know where your cutting line is, place the base plate or shoe firmly down on your project surface. Once you’ve laid the shoe flat, grip the handle and place the tool’s blade an inch or so away from the edge of the surface you’ll be cutting. Then set the speed to the optimal cutting velocity.
The blade speed used depends on the cutting surface. Normally, you’ll use a high speed to cut curves in thin materials (such as sheet metal and tile) and a slower speed for thicker materials. With the right speed selected, pull the variable speed trigger. Some models may come with a trigger lock for when you’re cutting for long periods. Move the blade along the outside of your cut line, letting your jigsaw tool do all the hard work.
To make a plunge cut, hold the saw perpendicular to your workpiece. Then simply pull the trigger, achieving full speed. Tilt the blade down into the middle of the object. Once you make this starter hole, you can cut in any direction. This is perfect for making designs, letters, or cutting shapes in your project. Drill a hole instead if you’re looking for an alternative that might offer a more accurate cut. Make a ½” pilot hole where you want to start cutting. Then, slide the blade into the pilot hole and proceed to make your desired cut.
Keep in mind that your jigsaw blade may bind when making tight curves in your workpiece. This is when the blade ends up getting stuck in the material. To prevent this, you can make simple relief cuts. This will free your blade from the material, allowing it to proceed with cutting without binding. To make a relief cut in a curved cut, simply stop the blade and remove your jigsaw.
Then make a fresh cut in the cut line, perpendicular to where you left off. This removes the scraps of material you no longer need, and you can then continue with your project without worrying about the blade binding. You won’t have to worry about edge burrs, either. Jigsaws will help you get the perfect smooth and straight edge you’ve dreamed of. With these simple steps, you can use your jigsaw for a wide variety of projects.
And with the ability to cut sheet metal, wood, and other materials, as well as make curved lines or straight cuts, you’ll find that this versatile tool is capable of tackling numerous applications. If you don’t have one already, you’ll want one of these power tools in your shop. It’ll see you through every single woodworking or DIY project.