A jigsaw is one of the most versatile power tools that you can add to 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. What makes the jigsaw so easy to use is that you can use it on almost any material. All you need to do is choose the right cutting blade.
There are 3 main things you need to consider when deciding which type of jigsaw blade to use. These factors are: the shank of the blade, what the blade is made out of, and the number of teeth the blade has. By considering all of these factors, you’ll be able to use your jigsaw in a wide variety of applications.
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Type of Shank
There are two types of jigsaw blade shanks. These are determined by the cut-out shape at the top of the blade where you’ll insert the blade into the tool
The two types of shanks are a universal shank (U-shank) and a tang shank (T-shank).
T-shanks are the most widely used form of blade shank today. They are made to snap into the blade clamp of jigsaws that offer tool-free blade changing systems. 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 are named this after the “U” cut-out at the top of the blade’s shank. With the advent of the 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 what your blade is made out of. The composition of your blade will determine its ability to cut through certain materials and also how durable it will be. All blades are made from some sort of metal. The most common jigsaw blades are made from high carbon steel, high speed steel, bi-metal, and tungsten carbide.
High carbon steel blades are the most flexible and cheapest of the jigsaw blades. They are mostly used in most general woodcutting 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 are 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 prefect 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. How many teeth the blade has 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 but smoother cuts.
By choosing the right blade for your jigsaw, you open it up to a wide variety of applications. With the appropriate blade, you can produce clean, fast cuts in almost any material making this powerful tool one of the most versatile ones in your arsenal.