Best Jigsaw Reviews
A Helpful Jigsaw Buyer’s Guide
If you are thinking about buying a jigsaw, then this article should really help you out. We have reviewed the best jigsaws currently available in the UK market in 2017. With the number of different saws available in the market right now, has the good old reliable work horse jigsaw started to lose its value?
The reason that I pose this question is simply because, believe it or not, these saws are still big sellers, and that made me wonder why?
For as many years as I can recall, a jigsaw was part of any joiner or carpenter’s tool kit, and was also owned by many people who liked to do work around the home. With the advance of technology, these started to take a back shelf in many tool stores and DIY outlets like B&Q, up and down the UK.
However, their popularity does continue, so I had to investigate why this would be so.
Best Cordless Jigsaws
On this page I focus on the normal electrical corded jigsaws. However it is worth mentioning that these are now available as cordless. They are now starting to get very popular. So if you don’t like the idea of trailing leads, then these would be worth your consideration.
They are more expensive than a normal corded jigsaw, and they are made by the popular brands such as Dewalt, Bosch and Draper. They vary in price from around £70-150.
The advantage of using one of these is that you are not tied to the end of an electrical cord, or an extension lead. So if you were working outdoors on a roof, or perhaps a deck, then a cordless option might be a better choice.
They use Lithium-Ion batteries which take about an hour to charge. If you would like to find out more about cordless jigsaws, then please click here.
Best Corded Jigsaw in the UK Market
I have completed the full buying guide below but for those who simply want to know the best one. It is in our opinion the Bosch PST 700E model and for around £40, it should be affordable for most people.
It uses a 500 watt motor and can handle up to 70 mm (2.75″) cutting depth into any type of wood. Bosch uses a special system to make blade changes super quick and that is one of the features that I love about this saw.
Another problem encountered when cutting with one of these is that the sawdust starts to cover the line of sight. Bosch have cleverly included an air blast function that clears this and keeps your cutting line visible.
It is also very comfortable to use. According to all the buyer reviews over at Amazon, they have rated this saw very highly with an average 4.7 out of 5 stars. That is both a high and an excellent rating. Anyone who buys this product will not be disappointed. You can read those reviews by clicking here.
Cheaper Alternative Jigsaw
We know that some people will not just have the budget for the Bosch model above so we looked around for a cheaper alternative, We also wanted it to be high quality.
The one that we found there that ticked all the boxes was the Black & Decker KS500 model. This one is also a best seller at Amazon in the UK and for very good reasons.
It gets an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars, which is good, though not as good as the Bosch model above, but still good enough. As the end of the day this one is half the price and therefore not as many features and not as much power.
This one is good for most jobs around the home. It uses a 400 watt motor to do the cutting up to 60 mm in wood. It is however best suited for the lighter jobs around the home but can handle wood, plastics and lighter metals with the right blade attached.
This one sells well because it is one of the lowest priced saws in the UK market, and it can handle most jobs around the home.
If Money was No Object Jigsaw
And if the pounds don’t matter that much, then the Dewalt DW331 is by a very long way the ultimate in jigsaws. It will however set you back between £130-135 but you will have a jigsaw that lasts a lifetime.
If I was looking for the absolutely best jigsaw in the UK market, and did not have to worry about the budget, then this would be my number one choice always.
You will not be surprised to find out that buyers at Amazon in the UK have this one rated at 4.9 out of 5 stars and it deserves those ratings, because it really is that good.
This one has all the bells and whistle and uses a powerful 701 watt motor to get through just about anything that you can throw at it. There is no blade deflection, has a 3-position orbital action and blade changing is as simple as you can get.
What Exactly Is a Jigsaw Used For?
The most common use is in DIY and woodworking, where this saw is used to cut out different shapes. Few people know though, that these also work well on other materials like metal and plastic. It is classed as a power tool and they have been around for a very long time.
When they first came out, they were very popular with people interested in DIY and Home Improvements. Here is a pretty good video that explains what it can be used for and how it works.
Jobs & Projects for a Jigsaw
It is really useful to have one of these if you plan to do a few projects around the home. One popular use is to cut out the shape of a sink in a kitchen worktop. Whatever the reason, then believe me, it will get plenty of use. The amount of use is the one determining factor, that you should consider, when you are going to buy one of these. They range a lot in price, from the very basic at around £25, and go all the way up to around £150.
To be honest if you are only going to be using it for the odd job every now and then, then the Black & Decker model we mentioned above will do the job nicely. There is no need to spend any more than around £25. If it is going to get a fair amount of use, or you are planning to use it on a bigger project, then go for the Bosch model we mentioned above. The professionals or serious DIY people will more than likely go for the Dewalt or a similar brand.
They are handy for making short cross cuts on boards or for finishing off corner cuts. These are not good for making long straight cuts, and you really should be using a circular saw for that type of work. I would only recommend using a jigsaw on softwood that is about an inch and a half in thickness. If cutting through harder woods, then the thickness, should be no more than about 3/4″.
You may well ask why there is such a variation in price, and that is what I will cover below in this buying guide.
Straight Edges With A Jigsaw
A lot of users complain that when they use this type of saw, then the actual cut they achieve is not perfectly straight. In most cases the cut ends up having what is termed a bevel edge to it.
That is usually because people are trying to cut thick pieces of wood. When you try to do this, the thin blade starts to bend, and it is this slight curvature that causes the bevel, or rounded type of cut, along the cutting line.
They are just not made to deal with really heavy work, or really tough woods. The blade tends to bend even more when it encounters hard woods, and that is made worse as the user then applies more force, which causes the blade to bend even further. Stronger and better made jigsaws will not have as much blade deflection as the lighter ones, where there will be more play in the blade.
Best Jigsaw Power Tool – Price Fluctuations
So with such a wide fluctuation in price, you can bet there is quite a difference between a standard jigsaw and one that will set you back £100 or more. Let’s have a look at what you should be on the look out for, and then you can decide which grade of jigsaw you actually need.
Most people want a decent quality jigsaw at an affordable price. The reason for that is that unless you plan to do a lot of different projects, then the reality is that you will use this a few times, but for the most part it will simply sit around your garage.
As long as the saw can do what you need it to do for your main projects, then that is all you really need. If you are a professional, a construction worker, or someone who will use this a lot, then you probably already know that you need one at the higher end of the range.
I think around £25-50 should be enough to spend for most people. A professional will probably spend anything between £100-150 to get all the features that they will need. That of course is just a guide and there are plenty of price options in between to suit most budgets.
So now it is time to talk about features. Something like the Black and Decker KS500 we mentioned earlier works really well for home use.
The Important Features To Get In A Jigsaw
The motor is of course what gives the operating power to your tool. The bigger the motor, the more power you will have at your disposal. The power of a motor is always determined by a measurement known as Watts. If you plan on doing a lot of work with your saw, then get one with a more powerful motor. As an example the Black & Decker model has 400 watts whereas the Dewalt has 700 watts.
More power means more cutting power and it also will mean that the actual jigsaw will not be working as hard all of the time, and therefore will last longer.
The shoe is what will rest on the wood as you make your cut. Some of the cheaper saws has a shoe that is made of a very light metal. To be brutally honest, this is just a waste of your money. If this starts to twist, or bends in any way, then you will never get an accurate cut. You want something like a steel shoe or a cast shoe that will not twist.
Often when jigsaws get dropped this shoe can get out of shape and with lighter metals this will of course be a great deal worse.
Some jigsaws come with one universal blade that can be used to cut a variety of materials. Other jigsaws will recommend using different blades for different materials. There are two different ways of attaching blade. One is what is called a universal fit, and the other is called a bayonet fit.
Some of the basic machines use a screw to attach the blade to the saw, which is not a very good solution. Others use a clamp that is tightened using an Allen key. The better ones connect by simply pushing them into the saw, and are known as tool less connections. These are what I would personally recommend as they are more secure, and so much easier to change.
The blades of a jigsaw are designed to do their cutting on the up stroke. For most projects that is fine, but if for example you were cutting through a veneer, then it would be useless. For those more delicate jobs, change the blade to a down stroke cutting blade.
There are many types of blades available from really coarse and all the way down to fine. The different brands will all have blades that are designed for use with their saws. Most of them will be able to fit across a range of jigsaws, but always check in the user manual which blades your saw will take before buying those.
This is not an essential feature, but I can tell you that it will make a huge difference to your actual cutting experience. If you can control the speed of the blade, and therefore the cutting action, then you will have a lot more control over producing a better finish. This speed variation also helps greatly with cutting different types of materials.
Some jigsaws allow you to cut a bevel shape as the blade can be angled, but the basic ones will not have this feature. You will remember I mentioned the unintended bevel earlier. However there will be times when you want a proper bevel cut, and it is then you will need to get a saw that can do that type of cut. You really only get that option in the more expensive saws.
So those are the main features and more or less all you need to consider before you make any purchase. There are a couple of other features that you should know about.
Orbital Cutting Action
These are basically dialled settings, that slightly alter the pitch of the blade. So rather than just cutting straight up and down in a vertical position, the blade is angled forwards and makes for a more aggressive cut. It certainly speeds things up quite a bit in the cutting process. The Dewalt one we mentioned earlier has that feature and it is for faster cutting which matters when time is of the essence.
Length of Stroke
In simple terms the longer the length of the stroke, then the quicker you can cut through the material. Some jigsaws will have only a 1/2″ stroke, whereas the more expensive ones, are more typically 1″ lengths. Again this feature is all about getting things done quicker.
Any jigsaw should have a guard for obvious health and safety reasons. I have seen far too many people remove this to tray and see the cutting line better. That is a huge mistake. A jigsaw with a blow function on it means there should never be any problems with being able to see the cutting line. In any case please do not remove the guard as it is there to protect your fingers.
Most of the jigsaws are corded. So if you prefer having no leads around, then cordless is a great option for you. It will however usually cost more to have one of these. The best one of those that is currently available in the UK market is from Dewalt.
It is called the Dewalt 18V XR Lithium Ion and it is the tool only so that means you have to buy a suitable battery. This one costs around £100 and the battery costs around £50 so an expensive choice, but by far the best in our opinion.
It has a fan cooled motor and delivers very fast cutting and the buyers at Amazon have given this one all 5-star reviews, so clearly the number one choice for cordless jigsaws and by quite a way.
When we did our many reviews, we noticed that Bosch appeared to be the most popular of choices as a brand. Black and Decker were a very close second to Bosch, but older and more experienced users tended to like the reliability and durability that was offered by Bosch. After all it was this brand who actually invented the jigsaw, so small wonder they rate so highly.
The professionals and builders will almost always opt for the more expensive Dewalt option. These have been proven time after time to be able to stand up to the rigours of a work site, and they are just very durable. The drawback is of course the price tag.