A jigsaw is one of the most versatile power tools you can have in your workshop. These phenomenal cutting tools are capable of making straight and curved cuts in a wide variety of materials such as wood, plastic, metal, tile, and laminate flooring. You can use the jigsaw on almost anything – that’s what makes it so great. All you need is the right cutting blade.
There are 3 main things you need to consider when deciding which type of jigsaw blade to use: the shank of the blade, what it’s made out of, and the number of teeth it has. When you take all of this into consideration, you’ll be able to use your jigsaw in a wide variety of ways.
Read Also: 10 Best Jigsaw Reviews
Type of Shank
There are two types of jigsaw blade shanks, determined by the cut-out shape at the top of the blade (where you insert the blade into the tool.)
They’re known as the universal shank (U-shank) and the tang shank (T-shank).
T-shanks are the most widely used form of blade shank today. They’re made for jigsaws that offer tool-free blade-changing systems. They just snap right into place. Since most jigsaws now offer this feature, these are the types of shanks you’ll normally need.
U-shanks used to be the most commonly used blade style for jigsaws. They’re named after the “U” cut-out at the top of the blade’s shank. With the new tool-free blade locking system, these shanks have gone out of style, and many jigsaws won’t accept them.
The second thing to consider is the material of the blade. This will determine its durability and its ability to cut through certain materials. All blades are made from metal, but the most common jigsaw blade materials are high carbon steel, high speed steel, bi-metal, or tungsten carbide.
High carbon steel blades are the most flexible and cheapest of the jigsaw blades. They’re mostly used in most general wood cutting applications.
High speed steel blades are more durable and heat-resistant, making them perfect for metal, plastic, and wood materials.
Bi-metal jigsaw blades are made out of two types of steel and are very durable. They’re best suited for heavy-duty cutting applications in wood and metal.
Finally, tungsten carbide blades offer the best heat resistance and durability of any jigsaw blade. These blades are perfect for cutting through tile, ceramics, or steel.
Teeth Per Inch (TPI)
The final thing to consider when choosing a jigsaw blade is the number of teeth per inch or TPI. The number of teeth will affect the quality and speed of the cut. Blades with fewer teeth will make faster, rougher cuts, while blades with more teeth will make slower, smoother cuts.
By choosing the right blade for your jigsaw, you can use it in a wide variety of ways. With the right blade, you can produce clean, fast cuts in almost any material, making this powerful tool one of the most versatile in your arsenal.