Jigsaws can be a craftsperson’s handiest tool or their biggest nightmare. A good jigsaw will cut lumber like a hot knife through butter, quickly and cleanly. But there are a lot of models that barely make the cut when it comes to good engineering.
We have compiled this set of reviews to help you decide which options work best for you. We tested some of the top options out there and thereafter ranked the winners from #1 to #5.
Our ratings are based on a lot of different factors such as value, utility, construction, performance, build quality and much more.
We hope that this guide will help you one step closer towards finding the jigsaw that suits your needs.
|Makita XVJ03Z||5 lbs||4.6/5|
|Ryobi One+ P523|
(Best for the Money)
|Black & Decker BDCJS20C||5 lbs||4.2/5|
|Milwaukee 2445-20 M12||4 lbs||4.0/5|
This is our number one choice. It is a high-quality model that comes with a dust blower built into it. This is a really good feature if you are going to be working on a lot of projects because it blows the dust away from you.
The company is reputable, and they have put a lot of thought into the construction of this model. It is made out of durable steel and will last a long time.
It has a keyless blade that can be replaced without the use of any tools. You do need to be careful when it comes to choosing the right blade for the job, though, but that is true of all jigsaws.
You have a variable speed range of up to 3000 SPM.
It does not come with a battery or charger, and that is a bit of a nuisance, but it does make it more affordable.
This comes in second on our list and is comparable to the DeWalt in most respects. It just doesn’t offer quite as much speed and only offers 3 orbital settings.
That said, it is still an excellent model. It is solidly built and feels strong and sturdy. This is not a machine that will pack up after three or four months of use.
The blade change system is also tool-less and you the speed is controlled by a two-finger trigger. This gives greater control and is also a valuable safety feature.
The results are really good – it gives clean, precise cuts and does it pretty quickly.
We do recommend getting a spare battery and keeping both charged if you plan on using this for larger projects. The battery life will depend on what you are cutting but plan on around about an hour if you are working at top speed.
This model, like the previous one, does not come with a battery or charger.
This option comes third because it not all standard blades fit and changing the blades is quite a process. That said, it does offer some really nice features for a reasonable price, so it does come out tops as our best option for the money.
It does come with four different orbital settings, allowing you to control the speed at which you can cut wood. If you want a higher accuracy, lower the setting – the jigsaw has graphics on it that show you the best settings to use.
It does have a dust blower build into it, allowing you to work in a less dusty environment and keeping the cutting surface clear.
It has LED lighting so that your projects are always well-lit.
Perhaps the most useful feature is that you can lower the foot as your blade starts to wear. This means that you get a longer useful lifespan from your blades and much less waste.
The system is easily locked into place with the pressing of a button.
This option comes fourth on the list – it is not a bad jigsaw, but it could be better. The maximum cutting speed is lower than we would like at 2500 SPM and very basic features.
It is a more inexpensive option, but we would recommend saving up the extra and choosing the Ryobi instead if you are on a budget. The Ryobi does not come with a battery or charger like this one does, but it offers a much wider range of useful features.
You do have variable speed trigger for more precise cutting and a bevel capacity that makes it possible to angle your cuts in either direction.
It does take T shank and U blades. It has a wire guard and dust blower to help keep your sightline clear.
The battery life is not great – this is better suited to short and simple projects unless you have a lot of time patience.
We hates it; we hates it. We have about as much love for this model as Gollum and Sam had for one another in LOTR.
First off, it doesn’t have any kind of dust blower included. So, unless you have an assistant who can sit there with a hair dryer, or figure out some way to rig one up, you are down to zero visibility pretty early on in your project.
The next thing is that the blade, which you have to get separately, does not lock into place properly and so the whole thing becomes a bit of a hit and miss affair because the blade is never really in the correct position.
It cuts, after a fashion but then so does a standard hacksaw. The hacksaw will also generally do a better job.
Musn’t hurt the precious. If you love woodworking and want to save yourself a lot of grief, avoid this like the plague.
Okay, so what factors should you be considering when buying a jigsaw?
There are two basic shapes when it comes to jigsaw blades – T shank and U shaped. The former is becoming more commonly used because it tends to be easier to change out.
What is more important, though, is the material that they are made out of. If you don’t use the right blade, you won’t get very far on your project, and you risk damage to the machine.
If you are going to cut ceramics, you will need a tungsten carbide blade. If you are cutting a light metal or wood, steel blades are best. For hardwood or metal, you will have to use a bimetallic blade.
Also of importance to note is the TPI number. This means the number of teeth per inch on the blade. With softer materials, the TPI is lower so that the blade doesn’t rip them. For harder materials, more teeth are needed, so the TPI is higher.
This actually refers to the speed of the motor that powers your jigsaw and is measured in how many strokes the machine makes in a minute. I.e., how many times the blade moves up and down in a minute.
Generally speaking, the higher the SPM, the wider, the larger the number of projects that you will be able to take on. But not all projects require top speeds and not all benefit from the use of high speed.
Say, for example, that you want to cut an intricate design or curves, you want the blades to move more slowly so that you are able to work more accurately. When you are using a harder material, it is more taxing on the jigsaw, and so you will again want to reduce the speed.
Variable speed triggers, often built into the handle, help you manage the speed settings quickly, without having to stop the project to change the settings.
To understand the orbital settings, it is useful to understand the action of a pendulum. It sways backward and forward at an angle. So too does the blade of the jigsaw. You will need to change the angle of the blade when dealing with different types of materials.
If you do not, the blade will overheat and will become damaged. Changing the orbital setting helps to reduce the friction and so reduce the chances of the blade overheating.
That is something that you have to decide for yourself. In general, though, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. While you can get good jigsaws at a lower price point, something has to be sacrificed in order to help reduce the costs.
Cheaper models tend to be more basic and might not be as sturdily constructed so do stick to reputable manufacturers in this area. You do not need a model with all the bells and whistles, but you also don’t want to throw money away on features that you never really need.
One feature that is really important here is getting a good grip. This is important for both safety and accuracy. Check whether or not the grip has been ergonomically designed and whether or not it feels comfortable to hold it.
All the models that we reviewed here, including the last one, are comfortable to hold.
Visibility is extremely important here as well. You need to be able to see the cutting edge well so that you can produce accurate results. This becomes extremely difficult if the edge is covered in sawdust. A built-in blower is a useful addition for visibility sake.
An LED light built into the body of the saw can also be very helpful in this regard, but it is not essential if your workshop is not lit well.
This is usually a good indication of how well the product has been made. A good company is going to guarantee the parts and that the item is free of manufacturer’s defects for a minimum of a year. The better companies extend this to two or three years.
Check what the warranty conditions are upfront to make sure that you really are fully covered.
Finally, it is important that you understand that jigsaws do have limitations. The better the quality jigsaw, the more materials it will be able to cut, but even then there is only so much that it can do.
Jigsaws are fast, easy to use and made for quick and simple projects, not for extremely thick or dense materials.
Right, now that we have boiled it down to two main choices. The overall winner in these reviews of Cordless Jigsaws is the DeWalt DCS331B. It is the best-made model and offers a great mix of raw cutting power and speed.
You can power through board easily or slow down for a more accurate cut.
The prize for the best value for money option goes to the Ryobi One+ P523. Though not quite as powerful as our main contender, it is still able to turn heads and produce clean cuts at a decent speed. There are some added benefits like the blade-saver that add a lot of extra value.
We do hope that you have enjoyed reading these reviews and that you will find them useful.
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