Select the most appropriate jig saw for different types of applications

Power saws have become one of the essential parts of power tools that helps you to operate and complete your both home as well as office improvement projects efficiently. These saws are differentiated based on the type of blades, chains, wires, and set of teeth suitable for various applications.

Jigsaws are one of those types of power saws that are multi-purpose saws and are also known as scroll saws. Other names are also referred to, by its manufacturers as bayonet saw, or sabre saw. A jigsaw has a blade similar to a reciprocating saw which goes forwards and backward like a handsaw. Jigsaws can cut at angles up to 45 degrees. They are used for cutting wood, metal, drywall, fiberglass and other sheet materials. They are also well known for cutting in different ways such as curved lines, straight cuts, plunge cuts, and bevel cuts.

  • Curved lines – It is recommended to use the thin blade with a high TPI to cut the curved edges.
  • Straight cuts – It is helpful if you clamp a piece of straight lumber along the cutting line to guide the saw and make a straight cut.
  • Plunge cuts – Drill a hole inside a material that can be discarded and start the cut with the blade inside the hole.
  • Bevel cuts – To perform the bevel cut user needs to release the shoe and tilt the saw up to 45-degree angle and lock it back down.

Different accessories attached to the tool that defines the jigsaw:

Blades – Blade is a critical accessory attached to the device. There are various types of blades available for jigsaws to implement depending upon the type of application required. There are two types of blades available in the market. Those are T –shank blades and U-shank blades. Usually, T-shank blades are preferred by industrial professionals as they provide longer life and tighter fit between blade and tool.

Jigsaw Blades

Set of teeth – Again, tooth design is an important parameter to be considered while considering the high performance of the blade fitted in the tool. Tooth spacing, tooth shape, and cutting angle decide the speed, precision of cutting, and level of performance. The types of tooth designs available are:

•    Side set and ground type tooth – It is preferred for clean and fast cuts in woods and plastics.

•    Wavy set and milled type tooth – This type is suitable for cutting most metals as well as aluminium and plastics.

•    Side set and milled type tooth – This type works for fast and rougher cutting in woods and plastics.

•    Ground and taper ground type tooth – This type is well known for exact, and clean cutting in woods.

Blade material – It is necessary to select the appropriate blade material for a type of application. It will help you to extend the blade life and also enhance the performance of the chosen tool.

1.    High carbon steel – Due to its flexible nature, it is used for softer materials such as woods, plastics, etc.

2.    High-speed steel – As it is a stronger metal, thus, it can be preferred to cut all types of metals and aluminium.

3.    Bi-metal – It is a combination of high carbon steel and high-speed steel. This combination proves to be both strong and flexible. They are well known for their long life span and high performance.

4.    Tungsten carbide – This type of material is suitable for cutting the abrasive materials like reinforced plastics, fiberglass, cement board, cast iron, and brick.

Stationary table – With the help of this accessory, you can now convert your jigsaw into a type of band saw by making it into a stable tool. Inverted jigsaw, when attached to the stationary table, becomes a useful tool to saw small or delicate work pieces. 

Dust control – Almost all types of jigsaws and electric devices consists of inbuilt dust collection inside the tool. An excellent dust trapping vacuum has a built-in electrical outlet for the power tool that turns the vacuum on and off automatically within the device.

Let’s have a look at the types of jigsaws available in the market:

Corded jigsaw – This type of jigsaw operates on main electricity. As they are connected to a constant power supply, they are very reliable and runs without interruption.

Cordless jigsaw – They have more freedom of movement than the corded jigsaw. It tends to be heavier than any other type of jigsaw due to its battery packs.

Pneumatic jigsaw – This type of jigsaw works with an air compressor. As those are powerful in nature, thus are preferred for the heavy-duty cutting tasks. They are most common in cutting metals and fiberglass.

Parameters to be considered while selecting the jigsaws:

Quick-release blade changeBest jigsaws usually possess a quick-release blade changing device the helps the user with quick blade swapping. To change the blade in specific models user needs to press or pull a flange located at the end of blade carrier.

Blade action – As different kind of cuts in various types of materials requires varying degrees of orbit, and certain jigsaws have a selection lever that helps the user to choose the amount of orbit. E.g., more for straight, less for curved cuts, and slower cuts in dense materials like metals.

Speed control – Variable speed is one of the significant factors to look for while selecting the right type of blade. Deep cuts in dense hardwoods require high speed whereas hard steel demands slower blade reciprocation speed.

Bases – Jigsaw’s blades are rested over the base for the maximum time. Thus, most saws allow it to be tilted for bevel cuts. Usually, the premium jigsaws possess smooth plastic cover on the metal baseplate that won’t scratch the delicate surfaces.

Blade guides – There is a grooved disk in the form of a blade guide that supports the back edge of the blade. It helps the user to keep the blade work in a straight manner and resist deflection that improves the accuracy of the cut and prevents the blade from bending.

Common recommendations on how to use the jigsaw:

  1. It is advisable to turn over the work piece before the cutting process as the teeth of blade points upwards and cut will be the underside of the object.
  2. Hold the jigsaws firmly in both hands to balance the tool to ensure that an accurate cut is made of the work piece.
  3. While you initiate with the cutting, make sure that your saw is solidly set above the work piece, slowly let the saw move along the cutting line. Never force the tool to move and let it work at its own pace.
  4. Firmly hold and steady the tool until you reach the endpoint of the cutting line to avoid damage to the work piece.

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