While this list is not about puzzles, buying the best jigsaw is somewhat like a puzzle. What we mean is that when purchasing a new machine, a lot of things have to come together to make your work experience complete.
All the nitty-gritty and different aspects have to fall into place like the little pieces of a puzzle so that you can bring home the ideal tool. The best jigsaw will help relieve you of the stress of getting your work done quickly while also adding the perfect finish.
While there are many machines available, there are things for which a jigsaw is best suited. From simple cuts to intricate shapes, it can be a vital addition to your work station.
So, to help you choose, we have here a list of the 10 best options available out there, showcasing top-notch products across different brands.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Jigsaw
Today’s jigsaws tend to be far more feature-rich than the models of the past, offering varying cutting speeds, amperages, and power supply options. Weigh them all when shopping so you’ll get the features that best suit your needs.
Jigsaw puzzled? No surprise! Here’s the need-to-know info about how different models stack up.
- Straight-reciprocating: Older models and newer low-end models are typically straight-reciprocating jigsaws. This means the blade simply travels up and down with no variance in its path. Though these jigsaws cut slowly, they’re able to make very tight turns and create curves, unlike a table or a circular saw.
- Orbital-reciprocating: These jigsaws have a slightly forward motion to their blade stroke. The blade tilts forward on the upstroke, clearing wood more quickly than a straight-reciprocating jigsaw. To activate orbital-reciprocation, the user typically flips a switch on the side of the saw into one of (usually) four positions. These saws cut faster but with less accuracy and maneuverability than straight reciprocating models. There will also be more tear-out (splintered wood that chips up along the cutline) on the top of the wood.
- Top handle: Traditional jigsaws have a tall, large handle shaped like the letter D with a basic finger trigger inside the hand loop to operate the saw. This grip is easy to wrap a hand around, but the height increases lateral leverage, which can tip the saw and lead to less accuracy.
- Barrel grip: A newer form, barrel-grip jigsaws allow users to keep their hand lower to the material they’re working on. This can increase control, minimizing the tendency to tip the saw and skew the blade’s path. These models usually have thumb switches instead of finger triggers.
Amperage and Cutting Speed
Amp ratings on power tools refer to the amount of power they can draw without compromising the motor or internal components. Generally, the higher the amperage, the more heavy-duty the tool. Most modern jigsaws range between 5.0 and 7.0 amps.
All jigsaws have varied cutting speeds, operated by either a pressure-sensitive trigger or an adjustable dial. These power tools also have adjustable speed ranges, starting at around 500 strokes per minute (SPM) and up to 3,000 to 4,000 strokes per minute at the top end.
Cabinetmakers, woodworkers, and metalworkers will most likely enjoy dialed speed control that provides consistent results. For the multipurpose DIY workshop, a do-it-all jigsaw with a pressure-sensitive trigger might be a better choice, as it can easily bounce from job to job without much fuss.
Blade Type & Material
Jigsaw blades come in two types: T-shank and U-shank. Many of the best jigsaws use T-shank blades, which lock in easily (usually without the use of tools) and stay secure during tight curves and decorative cuts. U-shank-style saws sometimes require tools for blade changes, making them far less popular since the invention of T-shank blades.
There are three different materials used to make jigsaw blades:
- High carbon steel blades are inexpensive and they’re fine for most construction work. These blades are flexible but dull easily.
- Manufacturers make bi-metal blades from carbon steel with high-speed tool steel for the teeth. They’re flexible, but the blades stay sharper longer.
- The most durable jigsaw blades utilize tungsten carbide. These blades are expensive but highly heat resistant.
In the grand scheme of power tools, jigsaws are relatively safe, but there are some built-in features that make them safer to handle. For instance, many jigsaws have onboard LED lights that illuminate the cutline and ensure the user can see where they’re cutting—one of the most critical aspects of power tool safety.
There are also safeties that the user has to depress before squeezing the trigger, preventing accidental activation from occurring. These buttons are typically mounted on the handle where the user can reach them with their thumbs, and a quick press allows the user to activate the saw.
The 10 Best Jigsaws:
It may not be surprising that the Bosch JS470E comes in as the best overall jigsaw of this year. When it comes to being smooth and accurate, there is no question that this saw leads the way. In addition to the high performance of the Bosch jigsaw, it also has some fantastic features that woodworkers from novice to professional will notice and appreciate.
One of our favorite things about this powerful saw is the tool-less blade change system. You will not need to get your hands anywhere near the blade, and you don’t even need to take out your toolbox to complete a blade ejection. This is a great feature, especially when the blade of the saw is still hot.
There are four orbital action tool settings that you can use on this jigsaw. The settings allow you to find a spot that works for both the speed and precision you need, depending on the material you are working with.
The Bosch is one of the more accurate jigsaws that you will find. The Bosch JS470E is a 7-amp variable speed unit capable of cutting through wood, steel, and a variety of other materials. The Bosch jigsaw will work on wood almost 6 inches thick and a little less than ½ inch for steel.
With some fantastic features and a price that’s hard to beat, the BLACK+DECKER Smart Select Jigsaw is easily the best jigsaw for the money. Generally, when you look at a value-priced jigsaw, you will have to give up quite a few features. That’s not the case here.
The 5-amp motor isn’t the best in class, but the Smart Select allows you to adjust the orbit to one of four settings It’s powerful enough to cut through a variety of materials at 3,000 strokes per minute (SPM) with a ¾-inch stroke length. You can set this unit to make a 45-degree bevel cut.
The Smart Select jigsaw comes equipped with a dust blower and a keyless blade clamp for a tool-free blade change. The trigger is variable speed, but there is no speed dial or ability to lock the speed. Also, this jigsaw shouldn’t be used with U-shank blades. The blade-lock mechanism can’t hold U-shank blades for any length of time. It still held T-shank blades fine, so just be aware.
It’s a very manageable saw with a weight of only 4.6 pounds. Even though it’s light, the vibration wasn’t excessive since the handle seemed to dampen it during operation. Finally, it comes equipped with a two-year warranty. It will not be as smooth or as powerful as the number one choice, but it’s still a great option.
For all of your cordless fans out there, hopefully, we didn’t keep you waiting too long. The third choice on our list is the DeWalt DCS331B Jigsaw, which is the best cordless jigsaw of this year. DeWalt knows what they are doing when it comes to cordless tools; this jigsaw is no exception.
The DS331B comes with four-position orbital action and no annoying cord to block your work. Cordless jigsaws make the task at hand much more accessible, but they generally lack some power. Capable of 3,000 SPM, the cordless DeWalt offers as much blade speed and cutting power as the corded version. In fact, there was really one complaint we had about this unit.
Most jigsaw are equipped with a blower fan. As you cut and the sawdust piles up, the blower will push the dust away from your line of sight.
Although the Dewalt comes with this blower functionality, it is not sufficient. The line gets continually covered and it can be difficult to see, especially on longer cuts where plenty of dust will pile up. While the DeWalt does have a blower, it’s completely ineffective. This makes it difficult to see your line to make straight cuts. However, we still think that this is one of the best cordless jigsaws on the market.
The XVJ03Z is part of Makita’s ever-expanding range of 18V Li-Ion cordless tools. It’s a very compact and lightweight saw, almost uncanny for the kind of power and precision it brings to the table. Under that deceptive PE casing, lies a brushed motor with a top speed of 2600 spm.
This makes it fast enough to qualify as a primary choice for commercial woodworking tasks. Not a replacement which is generally how people look at cordless saws.
At 12.3” long and 9.1” tall, it’s only marginally bigger than the Dewalt. It weighs 6.1 lbs. with the battery inserted. That’s pretty light weight and can be used for all-day runs with minimal arm/wrist stress.
Controls are effortless. There’s a 2-finger speed control trigger embedded within the handle allowing you to add or reduce power on-the-go. An orbital-setting dial with 3 settings for bevels and locks from 0°- 45°, allows you to make easy angle changes. Also, this greatly expands the capabilities of the saw.
The Ryobi One+ is at the budget-end of the overcrowded jigsaw marketplace. But it’s certainly no muck with the bat. This is a feature-rich cordless orbital jigsaw which boasts of variable speed, an integrated dust blower, an LED light and a trigger lock system.
In a nutshell, it ticks all the important boxes that one looks for, in a commercial tool. Powering the saw is an orbital motor with a top speed of 3000 SPM. That’s a lot of power for a saw at this price point.
Also, there’s a variable speed lever which is perfectly positioned, next to the trigger lock allowing you to control the speed on-the-go, without compromising on your grip. You can adjust the orbital settings without a tool, just like the blade changes. Adjusting the bevel cuts will require a wrench though.
If you are searching for a powerful, well-designed corded jigsaw then Porter Cable PCE345 can be purchased at an affordable price. This potent tool is one of the best options when facing difficulties in cutting thick wood.
This jigsaw is powered by a 6 amp motor capable of producing a no-load speed of up to 3,200 SPM. To get an optimal cutting result in a multiple-speed setting with seven different positions, this jigsaw is a masterpiece.
It is coupled with 4 orbital settings that allow you to cut any material. This powerful jigsaw accommodates large, grips on the front and top handles and an easy lock-on button, which reduces user fatigue.
To speed up work, it has a tool-free blade changing system. Simply raise the old blade out and snap a new one to get back to work.
Another affordable jigsaw we want to mention is the Goplus Jigsaw Tacklife comes with some smart features including Laser & LED, pure copper motor, and carrying case. Anyone can use it comfortably, especially professional users who can take advantage of multiple functions.
The motor can continuously rotate up to 3000 SPM, which offers a 5 variable speed control to make a quick, accurate adjustment for cutting various materials such as plastic, steel plate, stainless steel, aluminum, or wood. But woodworking projects are especially suitable for it.
The motor also produces less heat to ensure the longevity of the product. Again, the four-position orbital action allows you to cut different cutting needs.
Additionally, the blade allows making bevel cuts in both directions up to 45 degrees angle. The front air outlet blows dust to prevent chip splatter and makes cutting safer, and the rear air outlet adsorbs debris to enhance cutting performance.
Even though this Skil jigsaw is priced about as low as they come, it still provides enough features to tackle most typical DIY jobs. Its four orbital settings make it especially useful for heavy-duty cutting, and the bevel adjustment allows you to create angled cuts as well.
We’re a big fan of its brake function, which quickly stops the blade when you’re finished cutting, unlike some options that require you to hold the unit still while it gradually slows down. If you’re looking for a basic option from a trusted manufacturer, this is a great choice.
Corded models need to be heavy duty, with high amperage motors and plenty of run speed. That’s just what the Craftsman jigsaw has to offer, with a heavy-duty 6.0-amp motor, and a top speed of 3,200 strokes per minute. Speed adjustments come via the trigger-mounted speed dial, which offers seven positions.
Along with the multiple speed settings, this jigsaw from Craftsman features four orbital stroke settings. This jigsaw accepts U-shaped blades and allows users to change them with a toolless blade change system. The contoured rubber overmolded grip allows for a sure, comfortable grip as well as a reduction in vibration.
The only potential downside is that this jigsaw uses U-shaped jigsaw blades, which aren’t always as sturdy as T-shanks.
Anyone who prefers their tools to be compact yet powerful should give the Milwaukee 2445-20 M12 jigsaw a look. This small jigsaw measures just 7.5 inches from the bottom of the shoe to the top of the saw, and it weighs just 3.8 pounds, making it small enough for easy handling and lightweight enough to reduce fatigue. This cordless jigsaw uses the brand’s 12-volt battery system and a variable speed control trigger for a top speed of 2,800 SPM.
This Milwaukee jigsaw features toolless blade changes and utilizes T-shank blades, ensuring that there aren’t any slipping issues to deal with. This model also features vibration control to make cutting smoother and to reduce user fatigue—very important for a lightweight saw. Just beware that this is a tool-only purchase and that this saw has no orbital stroke settings.
How to use a Jigsaw?
Jigsaws are best used for cutting shapes and curves in wood with its narrow blade, which is attached to the tool’s body by a spring-loaded clamp at the front.
Can I use my jigsaw to cut metal, stone, or laminate?
That depends on the saw and the blade. For cutting laminate you would simply need a laminate blade. When cutting metal or stone you not only need the proper blade but a saw with enough grunt to handle cutting through those harder materials.
Will I need a specific saw blade for certain cuts?
Yes. When cutting different kinds of materials, you’ll want to be sure to use the proper blade for that material. If you are cutting thick material, you’ll need a blade that extends roughly 1-inch or so through the material. When cutting curves, you’ll want to use the most flexible blade you have.
Can I sharpen my jigsaw blade?
I’ll go ahead and put this in the realm of possibly but it’s more effort than it’s worth. Jigsaw blades are already small and inexpensive making sharpening them pointless (pun intended). If you really were set on it, I’d imagine you could though.
Why Trust Us
To assemble this list of options, we called on our extensive experience using jigsaws in both residential and commercial construction settings. We made sure to populate our collection with trusted brands that we are familiar with, particularly Bosch, who has been making great jigsaws for years. We also did our best to keep a variety of prices in mind, and include options for everyone, regardless of their budget. Included are a couple of kits that come with a collection of extra blades as well, for anyone who may be just starting out in their DIY journey.