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Most woodworkers agree: your jigsaw is only as good as the blade you have on it. Of course, not all blades are created equally, so if you’re looking to get the most out of your jigsaw, you need to use high-quality blades.
However, it’s not always easy to shop for tools online. Tool manufacturers aren’t shy about downplaying the downsides to their product, while sometimes overpromising what their product can do. That can make it feel like you have no idea which blades are worth buying and which are just overpriced junk.
We think that a well-informed buyer can find the blades that are right for them, which is why we’ve created this list of reviews of the best jigsaw blades of 2020. We also included a buyer’s guide so that you can learn everything you need to know about jigsaw blades before you buy.
|BLACK+DECKER 75-626 |
|Bosch TC21HC ||21-piece||4.7/5|
|DEWALT DW3742C ||14-piece||4.4/5|
The BLACK+DECKER 75-626 24-Pack Set is a great choice for anyone who needs a wide variety of jigsaw blades and wants to get an affordable set that provides great value. This set comes with five different blade types, ranging from six to 24 teeth per inch, which means you can cut all kinds of wood, PVC, and even some metals. They last a long time, so you won’t have to replace them as often as you would with other brands, and you’re getting four or five of each blade type with this set, so you’ll have a backup handy for a long time.
These blades also come sharp from the factory, which is a baseline expectation for a blade, but all too often these days, blades come dull or with serious design flaws that make them useless. The fact that these blades have neither of those problems is a huge point in their favor. The one knock against them is that they’re a bit on the short side, which won’t be an issue for most people but might be a problem for some. Overall, these are some of the best blades on the market and will make most people happy.
The Bosch TC21HC 21-Piece Set is a good set for buyers looking for variety and innovative design. This 21-piece set comes with six different blade types, giving you the ability to cut through metal, wood, and plaster with varying degrees of precision. Something unique to this set is its inclusion of a blade for metal and a blade for wood that feature a progressive tooth pitch. This means the teeth nearest the shank are smaller. This reduces the strain on the blade and leads to faster cuts.
This set is made from durable carbon steel, which means they shouldn’t break and should have less ability to twist or bend than similar blades, which is a feature that some people value greatly. It also includes a carrying case, which is a nice touch and makes safely transporting these blades an easy task. The only downside is that these blades tend to dull quickly relative to other brands. You’ll still get plenty of use from them, but you may end up replacing them sooner than you’d like. Overall, this is a good set, but the speed at which these blades dull ultimately drops this set to second on our list.
The DEWALT DW3742C 14-Piece Set is a good choice for someone who knows they’ll soon face a wide variety of projects for which they’ll need many different blades. This set comes with a whopping seven blade types, which gives you a lot of versatility and the ability to use the right blade for almost any job. The blades range from six to 32 teeth per inch, which means you can work with any kind of wood or plastic, and most kinds of metal as well. This set also comes with a case, which provides some nice extra value for the price.
However, these blades do have some bending issues. They’d rank higher on our list if they were consistently good, but nearly every set has at least one blade that randomly bends during normal use. That’s something that no one wants to deal with, and it hurts the set’s overall value. The case also comes with only six slots, which is strange given that you’re getting seven different blade types. Overall, this is a decent set, and a good choice if you need 32 TPI blades, but other sets on this list will provide better value for your money.
The SKIL 94906 5-Piece Set is a decent choice for people looking for multiple wood blades at a good price. The very best thing about this set is that it’s dirt cheap, which means each blade has a very low unit price. You also get only wood blades, which is a bit of a double-edged sword. If you only want to cut wood, that’s not a bad deal, but if you’re looking to get a versatile set that will allow you to do many different kinds of tasks, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
This set also has some quality control issues. The blades are prone to bending and wearing out quickly, which raises the cost of operation in the long run as you’ll burn through each set quickly and will need to replace them quickly. It also doesn’t come with a case. It’s not that you’d expect one at this price point, but it’s always nice to get a case with your blades because they’re somewhat fragile instruments, and it’s good to be able to protect them as best you can. If you’re looking for wood blades, this could be a good deal, but otherwise, you should get a different set.
Hopefully, our buyer’s guides already have you thinking about the features that you should look for, and the features you should avoid when you’re shopping for jigsaw blades. If you’re still not sure which set you want, don’t worry. This buyer’s guide is designed to teach you everything you need to know about jigsaw blades, and to help you think through each feature and how it relates to your needs. That makes it a great place for beginners to start, but also means that experienced users looking for a refresher course can get something out of it, too.
If you understand teeth per inch, you can understand more about each blade in a set than just what the manufacturer is telling you. For instance, any blade with less than 10 teeth per inch is meant for use with wood only. If a blade has four or six teeth per inch, it’s meant for fast, rough cuts, while a blade that falls in the seven to ten range is meant for finer, but slower, work. Ten to 16 teeth per inch features a progressively finer cut in wood, and at about 16 or 18 teeth per inch, you start getting blades that can cut softer metals, and are great for cutting PVC.
If you’re going to be cutting exceptionally hard metals, you’ll want a blade with 20 teeth per inch or more, though getting one with 24 teeth per inch or more will provide the best results in those situations. The good news is that most sets come with a variety of blades, so you can use the ones best suited to the task at hand, as long as you know which tasks they’re best for.
Two common problems in jigsaw blades that hurt durability are bending and dulling. Some brands have blades that will get bent out of shape under normal workloads. This ruins the blade and means you’ll have to switch it out to keep working. That costs you time and will cost you a lot of money in the long run.
There’s typically not anything in a product description that will tell you if a blade is prone to bending but reading reviews online can give you a good feeling for whether the blades hold up well under pressure or not.
Premature dulling can also be an issue. While we’d all love to see tungsten-steel blades, there’s no way to make those and still be price-competitive. While carbon steels are better than raw steel, they don’t necessarily perform all that much better. Again, reading reviews can be a good way to get a feel for a blade.
Not all jigsaw blades are made with the same shanks, and while there is compatibility between brands, each jigsaw only accepts one kind of shank.
U-shanks, which feature a rounded end, are made by companies like BLACK+DECKER and SKIL. Keep in mind that even if you have a jigsaw made by one of those companies, compatibility isn’t guaranteed. You need to double-check which kind of shank your jigsaw accepts before you buy.
T-shanks, made by companies like Bosch and DEWALT, feature two protruding pieces of metal near the end of the shank, which helps hold it in place while in use. Again, you’ll want to make sure that you’re using a jigsaw that takes t-shanks before you buy.
Some modern jigsaws accept both t-shanks and u-shanks, though they tend to be on the more expensive side. If you have one of these, you can freely use blades that use either kind of shank.
The most important thing you should consider before you buy is the kinds of projects that you’re going to be working on. If you’re going to be working primarily with metal, you’re going to want to get a kit that has a lot of blades designed for working with metal.
Likewise, if you’re working with wood, there’s no reason to get a set that predominantly features blades for cutting metal. You’ll also want to take into consideration the fineness of the cut that you’ll need. Do you need blades that work fast and leave a rough cut, or are you going to need nice, clean cuts that look good, even if it takes a bit longer?
All of these factors should feature in your final calculation, but as long as you understand your needs, you should be able to find a set that meets them.
The BLACK+DECKER 75-626 24-Pack Set is our top choice due to its inclusion of durable, sharp blades for metal and wood, and the fact that it gives great value for the price. The Bosch TC21HC 21-Piece Set includes six different blade types, including two that feature a progressive tooth pitch, which lowers the stress on the blade and leads to faster cuts. However, these blades dull quickly, which drops them to second on our list. The DEWALT DW3742C 14-Piece Set comes with seven-blade types and includes a case, but the fact that the case has six slots and the blades are prone to bending keeps this set out of our top two. The SKIL 94906 5-Piece Set is a decent wood-only blade set, but it lacks a case and has quality control issues, which means it comes in last on our list.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you learn about jigsaw blades. Armed with that information, you should be able to find the set that’s right for you.
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