The Best Jig Saw
I’ve always thought about jig saws as sort of like portable scroll saws. They’re there when you need them for tight cuts and careful curved cuts in everything from pine to MDF. I’ve even used a jig saw to cut PVC pipe before (works great).
So what do you look for when shopping for a new jig saw? First is the construction. This thing is going to get blasted with saw dust and most likely used and abused. You can buy most jig saws pretty cheap at or around $30 but consider paying a little bit more than that for a quality saw.
Once you’ve got a saw with a solid name brand and it’s made of quality components, you’ve got to get yourself a set of quality jig saw blades to go with it. Don’t settle for the cheap Chinese no-name jig saw blades that dull out after a couple of passes through MDF.
In this article, we’re going to go over our top picks for the best jig saws on the market today. We’ve reviewed each saw and noted it’s benefits and even some drawbacks.
So let’s get started with the best jig saws below:
BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C 5.0-Amp Jig Saw
If you are trying to get a nice little easy-to-use jig saw on a budget for simple projects, then I have something for you. This tiny little wonder from Black & Decker will power you through smaller projects like ripping small pieces of plywood or cutting rough blanks.
It has four orbital settings, like most modern jig saws, and no frills. The 5 amp motor will power the blade up to 3,000 strokes per minute and the wire guard is actually pretty useful at keeping you fingers away from the blade. Shoe tilt is the standard 45 degrees, and it’s surprisingly comfortable to hold, if the buzz doesn’t bother you.
DEWALT DW317K 5.5 Amp Top Handle Jig Saw Kit
This jig saw from DeWALT offers you a 5.5 amp motor to deliver a bit more power, while having speed control right on the dust-proof switch. The blade clamp is tool-free, so you can change blades in a snap. At 6.2 pounds, it comes in slightly heavy for a jigsaw, but with 3,100 strokes per minute and a 1 inch stroke length, it has enough power to make up for that. Tilt it 45 degrees for angled cuts, but don’t expect a positive stop, which would be nice on a saw in this price range.
The kit comes with a blade and a contractor bag, and the saw comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, so if you don’t like it, you can return it. It also has a three year limited warranty if something goes wrong down the road, but with the quality from this company, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Bosch JS572EK 7.2 Amp Top-Handle Jig Saw Kit
Light on weight, heavy on power, and it might hit you in the pocketbook, but if you are a contractor and need to use your jigsaw daily for all kinds of jobs it wasn’t intended for, then this jig saw from Bosch will keep you going. 7.2 amps of power and a double-roller system to minimize blade deflection come standard.
The foot plate is die-cast aluminum and hand-adjustable. You don’t need to worry about it warping as time goes on. The package actually comes with a good bit of stuff, which won’t justify the price, but it’s a nice consolation. Three assorted blades, anti-splinter insert, plastic shoe, and a sturdy carrying case.
The biggest benefit to justify the price is the counter-balance system, which will reduce the vibrations, and fatigue on your hands. Which is important for long hours sawing or in general on a small hand saw in this power range.
PORTER-CABLE PCE345 6-Amp Orbital Jig Saw
This is a wonderful little bargain from Porter-Cable. The saw is sturdy enough to hold up to a little more use than other budget saws, has a speed dial in the trigger, and a six amp motor. Switch selectable for four different orbital settings, and tool-free blade changes. The button has a lock on feature for prolonged use.
The saw weighs in at a comfortable 5.4 pounds, and the speed is variable from 0-3,200 strokes per minute. Great all-around buy for a shop jig saw.
Makita 4329K 3.9 Amp Variable-Speed Top-Handle Jig Saw
It isn’t always about power. Sometimes it’s about getting the power available to the saw teeth so that they can do their job properly. You wouldn’t expect a saw in this price range to have a good counterbalance system, but it does.
Speed control is variable from 500 to 3,100 strokes per minute, and the die-cast aluminum base plate tilts 45 degrees in either direction, with a positive stop at flat to give you precise cuts. They say 3 orbital settings, but Makita doesn’t count “straight” as an orbital setting, so really, you have the same adjustment options as any other orbital jig saw. Probably the best value for the money on the list, if you don’t need more power.