Table of Contents
- – Decisive factors for the purchase
- – Cordless or electric saw
- – Electric wood saw: features
- – The saw blades
- – Additional features
- – The guide
- – The best materials
- – Which brand does it play?
- – Does the price affect quality?
- – THE BEST ALTERNATIVE SAW
- – Conclusions
– Decisive factors for the purchase
The jigsaw is an electric tool which allows you to make transversal, parallel, straight or curved cuts and to cut with extreme precision wood, plastic, ceramics and metals of various kinds. Versatile and handy it is indispensable for the professional as for the hobbyist. Its operation is very simple.
The electric motor, protected by a resistant plastic structure, operates the serrated blade that moves in one direction and in the other alternately, so as to guarantee an excellent result in any cutting condition. The jigsaw is useful for many applications.
Given the wide range of items available on the market it is easy to confuse you. Before buying a model rather than another, consider some important features.
– Cordless or electric saw
Most of the alternative saws are powered by an electric network, but for some years even the battery-powered models are spreading like wildfire. Depending on the use, carefully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of both versions. Undoubtedly, the Electric grid models have unlimited autonomy and constant power.
They are ideal for demanding and prolonged jobs, but the length of the electric wire, especially if too short, can easily limit the range of action and therefore the movement. The battery-powered jigsaw, on the other hand, offers ample freedom of use, because it is light and adaptable, but it has quite limited autonomy and power. Moreover, it is particularly suitable for carving almost soft materials.
On the market you will be able to find jigsaw models with an electric network from 300 W up to 800 W. The choice of one type of power rather than another depends exclusively on the use. Indicatively, a fairly powerful engine guarantees you a more professional use of the tool, without incurring immediate overheating. This will allow you a prolonged and precise cut of hard and thick materials.
For sporadic use and for small jobs (such as carving wood or aluminum), a 400 W jigsaw will suffice. The 18 V electric saw is available both in the version with battery lithium ion than nickel-cadmium. Prefer the first type to the second, as it is lighter and more compact.
It does not weigh down the instrument and does not lose charge during the period of inactivity. Charging times vary considerably. For lithium ion batteries it takes just 30 minutes; those with nickel-cadmium, instead, take about 3 hours. In any case, we advise you to always buy a spare if it is not included in the package.
– Electric wood saw: features
On the packaging of any jigsaw you will find the specifications related to the type of cut (thickness of the wood; adjustment and maximum and minimum speed of the blade per minute; inclination and possible pendular movement).
This information will allow you a more informed choice of tool. It is clear that if, for example, your choice falls on a tool that is too weak for a certain type of wood thickness, you will encounter many difficulties during the procedure with the risk of overheating the engine.
There speed of the cut expressed in strokes it is important to obtain a clean cut, extremely precise even on fairly hard and thick materials. Preferably oriented on a model of electric jigsaw from 3000 to 3800 strokes / minute, with the possibility of adjustment depending on the material.
– The saw blades
Carefully evaluate the number and type of blades supplied. Some tools have at least one, useful for carving wood or universal. Others, however, have a complete kit of 3 to 10 blades. In any case, regardless of your choice, know that you can always buy the set later at any hardware store.
You will need to know the type of attack: bayonet or “T” for quick change and “U” type with screw system. The thickness of the blade will allow you precise work. So a very thin one will be ideal for making curved, narrow cuts with frequent changes of direction; instead, a thicker one will allow you to make coarser and straight cuts.
Evaluate the specification related to blade teeth. Indicatively, the pitch (the distance between the tip of one tooth and the other) must go down as the thickness of the blade increases. To be clear, a long wheel blade is ideal for coarse cuts; vice versa, a short step supply will help you for precision work.
– Additional features
The quality jig saw models are equipped with an integrated light or of a laser which allow a more complete and clear view of the work surface, even when the external light conditions are not particularly favorable. Moreover, a good tool allows the inclination of the whole body of the machine up to 45 °, both on the right and on the left (bilateral).
This function will make your job easier if you create a skirting board or a frame. A good jigsaw should be equipped with some necessary equipment to guarantee a safe, easy and, why not, pleasant job. So, whatever tool you choose must be provided with:
– blade protection, in transparent plastic or in metal bars, to prevent unpleasant accidents;
– switch lock, precious in models with continuous adjustment, to set the speed;
– chip suction attachment (in some devices it is integrated), ideal for collecting processing waste and dust.
– The guide
The more advanced models present others interesting accessories, including:
– parallel guide. The track system allows quick, straight and precise cuts;
– blow-chips to clear the work area of waste and keep the traces of the cut always clearly visible;
– orthogonal bar for making corners.
– The best materials
Before buying a jigsaw, check the material from which the individual components are made very carefully. Therefore, in addition to the good resistance of the blades for the different types of cut, pay attention to slipper. As a rule, this part rests on the surface to be finished and is in metal (in die-cast aluminum or in magnesium) light but sturdy.
Consider the size well, because a wider liner will give the cut greater stability. Don’t overlook another small detail, that is the ergonomic handle in non-slip material of the tool. The cheaper models are generally lacking in them, but if you already know a priori of having to carry out long and precise works, preferably opt for a safe and soft handle.
– Which brand does it play?
When buying a good reciprocating saw for purely hobby or professional purposes, the brand is of great importance. Currently brand like Bosch, Festool, Hitachi and Makita represent an excellent quality guarantee.
Minor brands like Black + Decker, DeWalt or Einhell they sell products that are accessible to everyone, at low cost, but which allow less precise processing, especially with regard to inclined cutting. So if your creations are very articulate, opt for an absolutely reliable brand, even if you have to spend a few euros more.
– Does the price affect quality?
The picture of the situation is fairly linear. The price range varies proportionally to the quality of the tool. Therefore, the cheaper models are also those that guarantee poor performance.
The higher price range, on the other hand, includes professional variants with more generous features and equipment (rigid case for carrying the tool complete with compartments where to place additional accessories; set of blades; possible spare battery). Costs generally vary from around 20.00 to 250.00 euros.
As you can easily guess, based on how much you spend, you will have a product with more or less interesting performances. But let’s briefly summarize the various price ranges and general technical features offered by different tools:
– low end: these are very cheap alternative saws that you can usually find on the market for less than 60.00 euros. They guarantee a power of 400 Watts. The cutting capacity of the wood is 55 mm, while the speed of the fixed blades is 3000 strokes / minute. The blades are changed by screwing and require the use of various tools. They generally do not have any accessories supplied.
– mid-range: these tools are generally accessible to all. The cost is on average above 60.00 euros to reach 190.00 euros. They have better performances than the previous ones and a mains power supply (700 Watt) or even a battery. They allow cutting wood from a thickness of 80 mm at a variable speed of 500-3100 strokes / minute. The blades are quick to change, with bayonet or T-mount. You will receive a practical case with several compartments and 3 or 4 accessory blades for different types of cutting.
– high end: these alternative saws cost over 190.00 euros but guarantee excellent performances in all respects. Ideal for the professional or for the demanding hobbyist, they have a mains power supply (800 Watts) or battery power, but clearly this choice limits processing times.
They allow for easy cutting (without any effort or danger of overheating the motor) wood with a thickness of 120 mm. The speed of the blades is progressive and ranges from 500 up to 3800 runs per minute. Also in this case the change is fast, facilitated by the bayonet connection. Included will be the practical travel case and a set of 10 blades for different types of cut.
– THE BEST ALTERNATIVE SAW
The market offers a wide range of electric saws ideal for dealing with different work requirements. Below we present a careful selection of the best alternative professional and hobby saws currently available on the market, including technical specifications.
1. Bosch Professional GST 160 BCE
High-end reciprocating saw is characterized by an electrical mains supply. There power of 800 Watts is a strong point of this interesting professional tool. Performs a quick cut without difficulty even on fairly hard materials. Handy and light, it has an excellent resistance, making it ideal for the most demanding and long-lasting work sessions. Always ready to use, the cable could restrict freedom of movement.
The cutting capacity is excellent. The thickness indicated by the same manufacturer has above average values (wood 160 mm, aluminum 20 mm, non-alloy steel 10 mm).
There cutting speed is surprising: 800-3000 strokes / minute with the possibility, using the progressive trigger, to change the work rate based on the material to be treated.
The pendulum movement to be set through 4 positions, it allows to “attack” the material gradually for a faster and more precise cut.
Another interesting feature with many advantages is 45° bilateral inclination, or the maximum for this type of tool. As we have seen before, this peculiarity allows you to carry out specific jobs, such as a skirting board or a frame, with extreme simplicity.
This jigsaw offers a valid blade kit that you can easily enrich with secondary purchases, should you need to. Included you will find three good or bad blades all suitable for cutting wood and chipboard. They are made of sturdy carbon-hardened steel, better known as HCS, with a bayonet gearbox and ideal for both coarse and very precise and curved cuts. To work on other types of material, the manufacturer provides the codes for the purchase of specific blades.
The Accessory set consists of a convenient and practical L-Box, that is a travel case much more robust than normal, which allows easy transport, without the dispersion of the tools. In addition, they are also included in the price 3 blades, a suction set and one splinter protection
2. Bosch PST 900 PEL reciprocating saw
This jigsaw from Bosch it belongs to an average price range. The technical data is very interesting. The mains power supply is compensated by a good power, equal to 620 Watts. The cable allows continuous work, for long work sessions, without the worry of recharging or replacing the battery. Unfortunately it is also very binding as it reduces action and freedom of movement.
The cutting speed is very good: 500-3100 strokes/minute and allows quick and precise work. The special wheel will allow you to take advantage of 5 speeds based on your needs. The cutting depth for wood is limited to 90 mm, while for steel it is 8 mm. If, on the other hand, you opt for the top models in the range, you can achieve greater performance (160 mm wood cutting).
The inclination of the cut is very satisfactory. The adjustment up to 45 ° on both sides allows a perfect execution of beveled cuts. By operating a simple lever you can also perform curved cuts, choosing from as many as 4 positions.
The tool has a single one blade with bayonet connection, ideal for cutting soft wood and chipboard panels. The large pitch of the teeth allows for quick and coarse work. For more precise cuts you can always buy the kit of 10 blades proposed by the manufacturer.
The jigsaw from Bosch includes a transparent plastic protection for the blade and another anti-splinter. There Integrated mini torch allows better visibility during work. It also has a convenient guide for precision cutting and chip-blowing, which can be deactivated at any time to keep the work surface clean. The highlight is the comfortable plastic travel case for the safe transport of the jigsaw but also of various additional accessories.
3. Makita 4351FCTJ
The Makita jigsaw belongs to an average price range. The performances are very high. The device is ideal for performing fretwork and precision work. Powered by an electrical network, it has an extraordinary power of 720 Watts. Although the cable limits freedom of movement, it guarantees continuous use for long-term work sessions.
The cutting speed is very satisfactory. 800-2800 strokes/minute for a quick and extremely precise cut. The regulation of the turns is very fluid and the balanced mechanism allows a reduction of vibrations and noises. The cutting depth of the wood is 135 mm, while for steel it is 10 mm.
The inclination of the bilateral cut at 45 ° allows a greater comfort during processing. You can adjust it in 3 positions and for the straight cut mode. The Makita jigsaw is equipped with a blade with a bayonet connection.
Between the supplied accessories find the tear protection, the plastic sliding panel, the comfortable travel case, to safely transport the tool. Equipped with various compartments, you can comfortably put the inside set of 6 pieces blades, the hexagonal wrench and additional accessories that you can purchase later.
The jig saw has a practical one LED diode for surface illumination during work execution. It has a specific connection to connect an external device useful for dust extraction.
4. DeWalt DW333K, Electronic, 701 W
The DeWalt jigsaw belongs to a high price range. With extremely high performance, it guarantees precise cuts in any condition. From the excellent workmanship, the ergonomic and rubberized handle makes it particularly easy to handle despite its considerable weight (2.8 kg). Feeding with electrical cable does not require the use of an extension cord. The adequate length does not prevent the range of action or the movement. It is suitable for performing simple and quick maintenance work, both professional and hobby.
The engine is very powerful (701 Watts) and produces very little vibration during work, especially when cutting hard and thick wood. Guarantees maximum comfort of use. There variable loading speed reaches up to 3100 strokes / minute and allows a precise use of the tool, without involving tears or imperfections.
There replacement of the quick-change blade is facilitated by the practical and revolutionary retention system, which does not require the use of additional tools and is compatible with any type of attachment.
The bilateral inclination at 45 ° allows easy processing, especially for curved and perforated cuts.
There LED light allows better visibility of the surface, for precise execution. With integrated chip-blowing, the DeWalt jigsaw keeps the work area clean, free of dust and cutting residues. It is equipped with an attachment for the connection of an external aspirator, in order to operate in total safety without losing sight of the cutting line.
The accessory kit is disappointing. Only the package is included in the package travel case in rigid plastic, for an easier transport of the tool. You can purchase the set of blades, compatible with DeWalt DT2074 flush cut, at a later date.
5. TRION PS 300 EQ-PLUS
The TRION jigsaw is a great product which does not deny Festool professionalism and quality. It belongs to a high price range. It has very interesting technical characteristics, in an excellent and advantageous quality-price ratio.
Manageable, sturdy, practical, ergonomic (adapts perfectly to the hand that can thus guide it optimally), versatile and light, it is ideal for DIY enthusiasts or professionals. Power supply with an electric cable does not in any way limit processing, indeed it guarantees extraordinary advantages.
The tool is always ready for use. It allows continuous processing, without sudden interruptions or power drops, as could happen with battery-powered electric saws. The strong points are many and hardly any weaknesses are found. There triple patented blade guide with hard metal jaws and parallel adjustment allows precise and perfectly angled cuts, reducing rubbing to a minimum.
So it is very useful for making carvings on hobs and sinks; adaptation work on kitchens, furniture and other interior finishes; for beams of beams; cuts from below and made to measure. The 720 Watts of engine power allows precise work, cuts with rapid advancement and without any effort. The blades are made of HCS. The idle stroke speed varies from 1000 to 2900 per minute, adjustable by means of a special trigger.
The tool convinces with its high performance, long life without dangerous overheating and above all with its low noise and vibration reduction while working on chipboard panels. The jig saw has some excellent cutting performance. On wood it acts at a depth of 120 mm, on the metal of 20 mm, while on the mild steel of 10 mm. The bilateral 45 ° angle allows oblique cuts and an excellent work experience.
The integrated suction system allows good visibility of the cut and offers extremely clean working conditions, without dust, residues or chip waste. The bayonet closure that connects the external aspirator to the tool is a non-negligible guarantee of safety. The splinterguards Supplied allows tear-free cuts, precise in every detail. You can also use this jigsaw on veneered panels.
The two blades included in the package they are very versatile, allowing you to work on both hard and soft surfaces, on wood and metals. The fast change FastFix facilitates the replacement of blades without using any tools, saving time and why not, even money. The lock, made with the Metal Injection Molding (or MIM) technique together with the reinforced carbon fiber lever guarantees maximum reliability for several years.
The hacksaw has one comfortable patented precision guide with hard metal jaws and anti-wear system that allows an extremely precise cut. Control Multi Materials or MMC, recognizes the processing material. It keeps the number of revolutions constant but also adjustable according to needs. The system also monitors the overheating temperature.
As regards instead the kit of supplied accessories, in the package you will find: a practical and compact plastic travel case; the two blades to work wood and metals as well a splinter guard patented to obtain precise cuts on both sides. Depending on your needs, you can later buy the set of specific blades to make curved and transverse cuts. The manufacturer will provide you with a list of specific codes to be adapted to your jig saw model.
6. Einhell TC-JS 60
This alternative electric saw very cheap and with an attractive design, has some limitations. Not particularly suitable for deep cuts, it is generally suitable for small hobby jobs. Although the technical features cannot compete with the top range tools, it is an interesting device, among the best in its category.
Power supply through the electricity grid, although it may limit the range of action, has advantages. In fact, it allows a long and continuous autonomy, unlike devices with battery operation.
There engine power of 410 Watts unfortunately it does not guarantee the high performance of alternative saws from 700-800 Watts and even beyond. However, it is perfect, as we said, for less complex processes. It should be used for not very long sessions to avoid overheating, for not too deep cuts and preferably on soft and sweet materials.
summarily, the cutting capabilities reveal rather interesting data. The hacksaw produces between 500 and 3000 strokes per minute without load, a value certainly above the average for tools of its own range, which generally stop at 2600 strokes / minute.
The speed, adjustable in 6 positions, has a positive impact on cutting times but also on precision. The most suitable adjustments to carve steel, plastic and wood are specified in the user manual. The 45 ° bilateral inclination allows a better and easier work experience and is ideal for creating skirting boards or frames.
The jigsaw, despite some interesting aspects, presents, as we have already mentioned, some limitations in the cutting depth, typical of this price range: 60 mm for wood, against the 160 mm of the top of the range; 10 mm for plastic and just 6 mm for steel.
The blade starting kit does not fully satisfy. Inside the package there is only one blade supplied, ideal for rough and fast work. You will be able to enrich your set at a later time, choosing from excellent quality blades easily assembled even from this type of jigsaw. Also included in the price is an Allen key. The U-shaped attachment complicates the simple replacement of the blades, making it more laborious and time-consuming than necessary.
The tool lacks several options, which you can buy later as in the case of blade protection. You can choose between the common transparent plastic model or the metal bars. Get this accessory as soon as possible, because it is useful to protect you during processing without compromising good visibility during cutting.
With swarf suction attachment you can connect it to an external device, like an all-in-one bin, to collect dust and debris produced during cutting. This way you can keep the work area cleaner. The tool is also equipped with a parallel guide attachment, so you can work more accurately.
The accessory kit offers very little: only a blade supplied and moreover with a U-shaped attachment. However we can reassure you as the tool it can also be fitted with bayonet or T-shaped blades which make the exchange operation faster and less laborious. It does not have a briefcase for storing the tool with its accessories. So we recommend buying one later for safe and convenient transportation.
In defense of this jigsaw we report the price, very convenient other tools of the same band being equal. The TC-JS 80 model, also very economical, differs in terms of engine power (600 Watts) and the number of strokes per minute (800-3000) with electronic adjustment. The cutting depth for the wood is 80 mm, for 10 mm steel and for the 20 mm plastic.
7. HITACHI CJ110MV
The valid jigsaw is understandably at a high price point. Fast and powerful, guarantees an excellent work experience. Suitable for hobby interventions, it is perfect for professionals. The structure of the machine body, solid and robust, is covered with rubber inserts. The ergonomic handle, made with soft grip material, makes the grip safe, easy to handle and comfortable, ideal for cutting all types of wood and performing fretwork.
The power supply is an electric cable and is not a major obstacle in the execution of the works; indeed, it ensures continuous autonomy and without sudden interruptions. The 720 Watts of power absorbed by the motor ensure fast and tear-free cuts.
The cutting capabilities are a strong point. The jigsaw, in fact, acts on the wood at a depth of 110 mm, while 10 mm on steel tender, the copper and thealuminum. The no-load speed is 850-3000 strokes / minute electronically adjustable. It has a reinforced base made of die-cast zinc that can be tilted from 0 to 45 °, even bilaterally, which allows a more comfortable and precise cut.
The jigsaw has an innovative one system of orbital cut with the possibility of adjustment in four different positions. Equipped with a LED light source, it simplifies the work when perhaps natural light is not sufficient for the correct execution of a precision cut.
It has interesting special features such as a convenient integrated blowing-chip system that keeps the work area clean at all times, eliminating wood and dust residues. through the speed regulator it is possible to choose the speed most suitable for any type of operation, while the block allows constant operation.
A special fitting connects the tool with an external suction device, so as to remove annoying chips and dust from the work surface. The blade with bayonet or T-shaped attachment it is easily replaced, in a short time, without resorting to various tools.
The supplied accessory kit is quite rich. The pack contains an additional tool blade for metals, ideal for precision work, less coarse. Plus, you can take advantage of a convenient plastic splinterguard transparent to protect you without obscuring visibility. Practice travel case it has several compartments for storing additional accessories, which can also be purchased later. Made of durable plastic, it allows safe transport.
8. Stanley model Fmc650B
The Stanley jigsaw belongs to an average price range. This good tool it is useful more than anything for hobby purposes, for not too demanding realizations. Functional and reliable, the comfortable rubber lining dampens vibrations and fatigue during applications. The handle is firm and soft.
The battery powered from 18 Volts limits the autonomy of work sessions (from two to four hours), so if you plan for more demanding and longer operations, you should get another reserve. The times of a full charge usually fluctuate between 30 minutes and one hour. The tool is compatible with 2.0 Ah and 4.0 Ah Stanley Fatmax batteries.
For the tools of its category the cutting capacities are discrete. Acts on a wood depth of just 55 mm, while 8 mm for steel and soft metals. Moreover the 4 positions of the pendulum function reduce fatigue during processing and allow cutting without burrs even for curved ones.
The speed of the empty blades goes from 0 to 2500 strokes per minute, with electric adjustment to work adequately on all surfaces. Up to 45 ° bilateral inclination gives a better work experience. The blowing-shaving system keeps the cutting area always very clean as well as perfectly visible. The blade change system is very convenient and does not require the use of special tools. You can use both spare parts with a U-shaped connection or a bayonet or T.
The accessory kit leaves a little to be desired. Inside the package you will find only the blade supplied to make coarse hobby cuts. The battery and the charger are missing. These accessories are of primary importance but compatible with other Stanley models and can be purchased later together with a complete set of blades for the various types of cut and a practical plastic case for convenient and safe transportation of the tool. Then also get a transparent plastic protection for your safety and for a cleaner job.
With the same typology, the Stanley reciprocating saw is preferable to the others for its cutting capacity and autonomy. The attack allows you to insert 4-hour batteries, while the other models usually have lower ones. This means that if you have a second battery, you can easily handle 8-hour work sessions. Of course a lot depends on the use you make of the tool.
9. Jigsaw Black & Decker BDCJS18-QW
The Black & Decker jigsaw belongs to an average price range. It is excellent for making very rapid and precise cuts on metal, wood and plastic materials, without the encumbrance of the electric cable.
Battery power does not limit the action but rather guarantees constant performance without sudden power interruptions. The 18 Volt lithium batteries maintain their charge for long periods, ensuring an instrument always ready for use even after various periods of inactivity. A full charge varies from 3 to 5 hours.
The instrument is characterized by high versatility. The pendulum movement allows easier execution of straight, curved and inclined cuts thanks to the inclination variable from 22.5 ° to 45 ° bilaterally. The no-load speed ranges from 0 to 2500 strokes / minute and is adjustable.
The maximum cutting capacity is average for devices of the same category. Indeed, it acts on the wood at a depth of 55 mm, while on the steel of 8 mm and on the soft metals and the aluminum of 20 mm.
The replacement of the blades is very fast and firm thanks to the special attachment compatible with U and T models (the latter do not require the use of keys and various tools). There LED light effectively illuminates the work area, so you always get precise cuts. Blow cleaners clean the area of interest by eliminating dust and processing residues.
The accessory kit included in the package includes an 18 V lithium ion battery and a total autonomy of 2 hours; to a battery charger and a blade. Later, you can enrich the set with specific blades for any type of cut and material (10 for wood and 6 for metals). You can add a transparent plastic splinterguard that is essential for your safety and a sturdy case with compartments for easy transport of the jigsaw and its accessories.
The jigsaw has various uses and is indispensable for the precision cutting of PVC, of the parquet, of the laminate, of the plastic, gods metals which was born in wood in general. As a professional or as a simple hobbyist, it is important that you orient yourself on an electric saw suited to your needs. Therefore, for fast and less demanding jobs, you can opt for mid-range tools of good quality and standard performance.
Compared to the cheaper models they have an edge over and the guarantee of a well-known and reliable brand. Furthermore, the accessory kit is also much more complete, with features that simplify your cutting experience. A high-end quality jigsaw with battery or mains power will allow you to be more precise on thicker and more rigid materials.
The former have variable autonomy (the top of the range will allow you a duration from 2 to 4 hours); while the tools provided with electric wire do not present sudden voltage drops. The package usually includes a set of spare blades, a splinterguard and a convenient carrying case. So don’t let yourself be convinced by the lowest price, because consequently the performance will be such.
The jigsaw does not require any type of maintenance. However, for a long duration, you will have to replace the blades in due time, especially when working on different materials. Don’t forget to buy the right equipment for your safety from the hardware store. Therefore, get adequate gloves and safety glasses, so as to prevent cracks, during processing, from affecting the most sensitive areas of the face and eyes.