Best Jigsaws for Woodworking 2018 – Top Picks & Reviews

a jigsaw powertool in action

Okay, you know I’m not talking about jigsaw puzzles here. But even that isn’t as difficult as finding the best jigsaw in the market, at least in 2018.

I mean, there are several brands out there, all claiming to have the number one jigsaw on the market. Some of these companies have products in other industries that dominate their market, but their jigsaws, not so much, and you’ll know why in a bit. It’s not about reading tons of jigsaw reviews either; you need to go for one that’s honest. You don’t want reviews that tell you a product is great when it’s nothing but crap. I know what it feels like having to cut through the crap to get the best. That’s why I provide answers to your questions at the end.

So let’s get to these in-depth jigsaw reviews that really help you make that buying decision.

5 Best Jigsaws 2018

ModelPriceStrokesWarrantyEditor Rating
Bosch JS470E
Bosch JS470E Top-Handle Jigsaw
(Top Pick)

Check Price
0 – 3,100 SPM1 year4.9/5
DEWALT DCS331B
DEWALT DCS331B_small
(Best Cordless Pick)

Check Price
0 - 3,000 SPM3 years4.7/5
PORTER-CABLE PCE345
PORTER-CABLE PCE345
(Best for the Money)

Check Price
0 - 3,200 SPM3 years4.6/5
Black & Decker BDEJS300C
Black & Decker BDEJS300C

Check Price
0 - 3,000 SPM2 years4.2/5
SKIL 4230-01
SKIL 4230-01

Check Price
0 - 3,000 SPM1 year4.0/5

#1 Bosch JS470E – Our Top Pick

Bosch JS470E

This jigsaw from Bosch is my top pick, and it’s so easy to see why. It’s the best corded jigsaw on the market. Bosch, a German engineering company with its headquarters in Stuttgart has been in business since 1886. They’ve received various customer satisfaction awards across Europe and North America so it’s no surprise they came up with such a great product.

The corded-electric Bosch JS470E ships at 10.1 pounds and comes measuring 15.8 x 14.4 x 4.6 inches. About why this is one jigsaw I highly recommend, firstly, it has a tool-less blade change system. When you start using your saw, you’ll discover different blades serve different functions. And with some saws, changing blades can be a real pain. To change blades on this model, you only need to hit the ejection button, and your blade is off. And the universal blades you’ll be using all fit this Bosch piece, so that’s another plus.

You’ll also discover four orbital-action settings to enable you to attain different blade strokes. This setting would come in handy when you’re working with thicker materials because you’ll need more aggressive cuts.

You’ll love the speed control system also. It’s a two-way system, but it still gets the job done. Here’s how it works- the dial pad sets the maximum speed, and there’s an accelerator trigger that regulates speed when you’re using the saw. If you’re cutting through wood, you’ll need to increase the speed of it. If it’s a metal piece, you want to stay very far from maximum speed.

And this is the most accurate jigsaw you’ll read about; its low vibration design makes that happen.

The only negative I can think of is it’s not having an LED light, but I feel its high precision feature compensates for that.

Pros

  • Tool-less blade-change system
  • Blade auto-ejection system
  • Fast insertion
  • Variable speed setting
  • Fast insertion
  • Low-vibration design

Cons

  • No LED Light

That’s it if you’re looking for the best corded jigsaw, the Bosch JS470E is what you need.


#2 DEWALT DCS331B – Great Cordless Pick

DEWALT DCS331B

This is a cordless model from DEWALT. For an American company that has been in business since 1924, you can be sure there’s good value in this product. It’s different from the corded Bosch JS470E, so you shouldn’t expect as much power in this one. You’ll also need to shop for a good battery for the saw, but if portability is your thing, you can go for it.

The DEWALT DCS331B ships at 13 pounds and measures 11.2 x 11 x 3.9 inches. One feature you definitely want to check out is its all metal lever action keyless blade. It’s useful when you want to change a damaged blade, or you just want to replace a blade. You don’t need any tools with this feature, but you should make sure you get the right blade so you don’t ruin your project.

Its variable speed control system makes it a bit similar to the Bosch jigsaw. You can’t use the same speed for all projects, remember? And if you need a range, how does 0-3000 strokes per minute (SPM) sound? Great I guess.

When you’re working with this model, there’s going to be a lot of particles dispersed in the air. That’s not good for your eyes and lungs, so you need a dust blower. You don’t need to buy a separate piece though as this jigsaw comes with an inbuilt dust blower.

Its steel makeup makes this jigsaw a durable one, so you won’t need to get a replacement after a week’s use. But there’s a reason why this jigsaw doesn’t beat the Bosch piece for my top spot. And the DEWALT jigsaw only works with T-shank blades as compared to the wider range of choices on the Bosch.

Pros

  • 4-position orbital action
  • 3 years limited warranty
  • Comfortable grip
  • High precision
  • Durable steel build

Cons

  • No battery and charger in package
  • Absence of a light laser
  • Compatible with only T-shank blades

This jigsaw is not as high-grade as our top pick, but it still has features that get the job done.


#3 PORTER-CABLE PCE345 – Best Jigsaw for the Money

PORTER-CABLE PCE345

You won’t like to buy a jigsaw or any other product and discover you overpaid after using it. You want to buy a product and feel great about it because it’s rare to find that kind of value at the price on offer. That’s what the PORTER CABLE PCE345 brings to the table.

Let’s see why a corded jigsaw that ships at 6.25 pounds and measures 9.5 x 3.2 x 8.5 inches is that good.

One great thing you’ll notice is its 6 amp motor that can produce up to 3,200 SPM (strokes per minute). This is one benefit of having a corded jigsaw as it can deliver more power even with less sophisticated resources.

Its 7-position dial system is just perfect for your wide range of projects. So it doesn’t matter if you’re working on ceramic, wood or even metal, you can adjust the speed to fit your project. The 4 orbital setting also allows you check for the best cutting performance so you can handle a wide range of tasks.

If you have a project you’re going to be working on for hours, a bad jigsaw makes you develop sweaty palms and makes fatigue set in sooner than you’d expected. But not the PCE345. You’ll find protracted grips on the handles so you will remain comfortable even after putting in a lot of time. It has an LED light also to guide you through operations. It’s not without negatives though, the speed control knob and the trigger are too close to each other, so you’ll have some problems controlling the speed limits. And there’s no onboard blade storage, not good for your safety.

Pros

  • High power delivery
  • Fast blade replacements
  • Wrench for easy adjustments
  • LED Light

Cons

  • Close proximity of speed control knob and trigger
  • No onboard blade storage

You’re not getting a jigsaw for your massive projects but its 4-position orbital action alone makes the PCE345 one of the top picks for the money.


#4 Black & Decker BDEJS300C – On a tight budget

Black & Decker BDEJS300C

Maybe you’re not sure if a jigsaw can handle the kind of project you’re undertaking, so you’ve been searching for alternatives. You don’t want to spend anything outrageous but you also want to get something that gives you access to the basics of a jigsaw. Well, you can trust the BDEJS300C to make that happen.

The parent company, Black & Decker have been around since 1910, dominating many parts of their industry, so you can trust them to produce a good enough jigsaw.

The corded jigsaw ships at 4.32 pounds and measures 11.5 x 3.4 x 9.2 inches, see why it’s the best jigsaw if you’re on a tight budget. This jigsaw comes with a 4.5 amp motor so you know it won’t be able to deliver as much power as the 6 amp motors reviewed above. But at 4.5 amp, it produces 3,000 SPM (strokes per minute) which is great for that power rating.

It has a stroke length of ¾ inches which contributes to its very sharp cut line visibility. The wire guard sightline system greatly improves this, so you’re sure of getting those high precision cuts you need.

You’ll also find its adjustable blades very easy to use, and if you need to change them, you don’t need any tools, it’s automatic. Surprisingly, there’s magnetic blade storage which is needed for easy access to the blades and to protect you from injuries.

The jigsaw is quite durable so you shouldn’t be afraid to use it on wood or metal. You’ll need to invest in a lot of accessories though. There’s no secure clamping system, it only accepts U and T-shank blades so your choices are limited, and it’s just one blade so you may want to get a backup.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • High precision cut
  • Variable speed setting
  • 2 year limited warranty

Cons

  • No casing
  • Compatible with a few blades

You’ll be disappointed if you use this on any heavy duty project, but for little fixes around the house, this jigsaw’s a keeper.


#5 SKIL 4230-01

SKIL 4230-01

This model is at the bottom of this list, and that’s because it fails badly when compared to the others in this review. The company SKIL Power Tools has been known to produce several industry-leading tools since the early 1920s. But they didn’t do justice to the 4230-01, and you’ll notice the same thing if you buy it (which you shouldn’t).

This corded SKIL model ships at 3.9 pounds and measures 3.4 x 9.7 x 11.7 inches. The only good feature you may notice in this jigsaw is its on-tool blade storage, but even the Black & Decker piece did better.

About why you shouldn’t even consider buying this SKIL jigsaw, let’s start with the blade. It’s not firmly attached and can fall out while you’re using it. I mean, I’ve read about instances where the blade got detached at high speed. I’m sure that’s not an experience you want to have. Also, it comes with a 3.2 amp motor which is poor if you’re working with time. You thought 4.5 amp made a jigsaw slow? I’m sure you haven’t tried a 3.2 tool. It does okay for cutting curved lines, but for the straight lines, not so much.

Finally, its low power delivery means it can do just fine for wood but you’ll keep having problems while working with metals.

Pros

  • On-tool blade storage

Cons

  • Low power delivery
  • Performs poorly with metals
  • Weakly attached blades
  • Poor with straight lines
  • Slow delivery

You don’t want to do anything with this jigsaw so it’s one you should avoid.


Buyer’s Guide

I know you’re confused. You’ve seen a lot of features and you don’t know the ones that are necessary and those that are not.

Here’s a buyer’s guide for you. Call it a FAQs section if you like. So look at the answers to the questions you may be asking:

What’s The Makeup Of A Jigsaw Blade?

There are different blades you can get for your jigsaw, so there isn’t really a generally accepted model of a jigsaw blade. This affects their makeup too ’cause that depends on the material they were built to cut. While there are all-rounder blades that do just okay with most materials, a blade that’s designed especially for metal projects will do better than an all-rounder on the same project.

Three components you’ll get familiar with once you start shopping for blades are the tungsten carbide, high-speed steel, and the bimetal materials. Blades for cutting ceramics will have a tungsten carbide makeup. Steel is employed in blades used for cutting light metals. A bimetallic makeup (don’t mistake this for an alloy) is used for blades that have to cut through harder metals and hardwood.

Another feature you’ll notice on a blade is its TPI, short for teeth per inch. A blade with a low TPI has been specially designed for soft materials, and that with a high TPI is just perfect for harder materials.

Can I Get Injured By Using one?

It’s not common but a jigsaw, just like any power tool, can be defective. The blade can get loosened from its point of attachment and fall off while you’re using it. You’ll experience this defect with the SKIL 4230-01 so you shouldn’t buy this jigsaw. You should also get Jigsaws that come with blade guards, so you don’t step or land on an exposed blade. The Black & Decker BDEJS300C is a good option for that, so being on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t be safe.

How Fast Are These Blades?

The speed of a blade doesn’t depend on the blade itself. The shape of the teeth and those curves on the blade have nothing to do with how fast your blade will be. The speed of your blade has a lot to do with the motor powering the jigsaw and the variable speed setting. That’s why the Bosch JS470E can handle both DIY and heavy-duty projects. It comes with a 120V, 7 Amp motor that’s responsible for the amazing speed you’ll see on the jigsaw. Except you know a thing or two about engineering, the technical details can get confusing. But look at it this way – your blade needs the jigsaw to deliver large amounts of power to it to be able to run at high speeds. Power, in physics, is a mathematical product of current and voltage. Amp is short for Amperes (A) which is the unit of current and “V” is short for volt which is the unit of voltage. So that’s why a 7 Amp motor will deliver more power than a 3.2 Amp motor, making the 7 Amp jigsaw faster than the 3.2 Amp tool.

The variable speed setting is another feature that determines the speed of the blade. You won’t need maximum speed on all your operations. You’ll need to reduce the speed on a project that involves a metal material. That’s where the variable speed setting comes in, just push the button and you’ll dictate how fast or how slow your blade should move.

What’s Orbital or Pendulum Action?

If you’ve seen a pendulum before, you’ll understand how this applies to a jigsaw. A pendulum is a weight that hangs from a central pivot and when given a little push keeps moving to and fro the central point. That’s how most of the jigsaws reviewed in this post work. Their blades move forward/backward at an angle (mostly 45°). But there are settings for you to adjust the angle to fit the material you’re cutting. You’ll need this setting to cut through thicker materials. And you’ll do that faster too. The pendulum action of a blade generates heat, and if you constantly overheat your blade, it’ll get damaged. So you need to adjust your angles to avoid that.

Is Price Something To Look At?

Definitely. Price affects almost all of your purchases in life so why would this be different for jigsaws? If you’re sure about getting a jigsaw and you’re looking for a tool that’d deliver the best value for your money, go for the Bosch JS470E, it’s my top pick. If you’re not sure whether a jigsaw is what you need for your project, the Black & Decker BDEJS300C is just perfect for you, since you’re on a tight budget.

Will These Jigsaws Sit Comfortably On My Hands?

The jigsaws from DEWALT and BOSCH have very comfortable grips, so this shouldn’t be a problem. The Bosch tool is a top-handle jigsaw, and it’s not broad too, so it should fit the average hand. Its design is very simple, too many fancy additions tend to ruin a lot of products. And the JS470E also has a secure clamping system place, so you shouldn’t be afraid of the jigsaw falling off while you’re using it.

What Does The Warranty Cover?

The warranties on these jigsaws cover manufacturer defects and any other internal errors. The shortest on this page is a 2-year limited warranty. If you’ve spent money on a jigsaw, you should get that guarantee that if anything goes wrong, the manufacturers have your back and that’s a good deal if you ask me.

What’s The Difference Between A Corded/Cordless Jigsaw?

cordless jigsaw

a cordless jigsaw

Just to be clear, the only cordless jigsaw in this review is the DEWALT DCS331B, and it’s still not my top pick, not because it’s cordless though. Corded jigsaws are connected to a power supply, so they generally deliver more power than their cordless counterparts.

a corded jigsaw

a corded jigsaw

Corded jigsaws have an unlimited runtime as long as they’re connected to the power supply source while cordless jigsaws have a battery from which they draw power from. So metrics like battery life are things you’ll be looking at if you’re getting a cordless jigsaw. Corded jigsaws are also generally lighter than cordless ones.

Where do cordless saws win? Their portability. The extent to which you can move a corded jigsaw from its power supply depends on how long its power cord is. But all you need do is charge a cordless saw, and you can move it to anywhere. If you want to get a cordless saw, you should budget for accessories like batteries and chargers also. So cordless saws are generally more expensive.

Can A Jigsaw For DIY Work Handle Heavy Duty Projects?

No. That’s it. If you need a great DIY saw without making much of an investment, get the Black & Decker saw. But don’t expect it to deliver like the Bosch jigsaw when you’re handling a heavy-duty project.

What Is SPM?

SPM is short for strokes per minute, and it’s a unit for measuring the speed of the jigsaw. The average for the saws in this review is 3,000 SPM.

Conclusion

So you’ve read reviews of jigsaws from five different brands.

The Bosch JS470E is the overall winner after comparing the features on it to those on the other saws. It delivers a great deal of power for your DIY and even heavy duty projects. When next you’re having a tough time cutting through those hard metals, you know this is the jigsaw to get.

If you’re looking for the best jigsaw for the money, the PORTER-CABLE PCE345 clearly beats others to it. I mean, you’re getting good value without spending too much, what could be better?

The brands that were reviewed in this post are businesses you can always trust to deliver, even though SKIL didn’t do so well on their part. So write down what you want in a jigsaw. And if you need reviews of jigsaws to help you make that buying decision, this is one for you.

Here are some other articles you will also find interesting:

Best Jigsaws for Woodworking 2018 – Top Picks & Reviews
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