THE MODERN JIGSAW has become such an important tool to DIYers, woodworkers, and craftsmen everywhere that we all owe its inventor an enormous debt of gratitude.
Curiously, we appear to be indebted to his wife, as well.
The jigsaw first saw widespread use in Europe in the 19th century. Back then, people relied on a treadle system to operate the blade on these tools. Operating these early jigsaw systems was obviously rather tedious and tiring.
Popular history has it that in 1946, Albert Kaufmann, an engineer at Scintilla AG company in Solothurn, Switzerland, came up with a better system by replacing the needle on his wife’s sewing machine with a saw blade. (Other accounts say that Kaufmann was merely “inspired” by his wife’s little machine.)
The results of Kaufmann’s experiment were so satisfactory that Scintilla started producing jigsaws under the name, “Lesto jigsaw” just a year later.
Scintilla had been a subsidiary of the Bosch company since 1935. But because the board management was afraid the small company might fall into American hands and spark the expansion of US trade in European markets, Bosch’s acquisition of Scintilla remained a secret until 1954. The rest, as they, is history.
- 1 The 5 Best Jigsaws You Can Buy Right Now
- 1.1 1. Bosch JS470E 7.0 Amp Barrel-Grip Jigsaw
- 1.2 Precision Plunging and Tool-Free Blade Change System
- 1.3 Premium Power and Design
- 1.4 2. DEWALT DCS331B 20V Max Jigsaw:
- 1.5 Variable Speed and Cordless Freedom
- 1.6 Grade A Cutting Power and Versatility
- 1.7 3. Makita 4350FCT Top Handle Jigsaw
- 1.8 Power and Comfort
- 1.9 Soft Start, Built-In LED
- 1.10 4. BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C Jigsaw
- 1.11 Few Frills, Lots of Good Sense
- 1.12 Better Value, Better View
- 1.13 5. WORX WX550L 20V Cordless Reciprocating and Jigsaw
- 1.14 Two Saws in One!
- 1.15 Quick Turns and Ergonomic Comfort
- 1.16 Choosing the Best Jigsaw for Your DIY Projects
The 5 Best Jigsaws You Can Buy Right Now
Today, jigsaws are essential tools for any woodworking enthusiast or DIYer looking to make precise and intricate cuts. But with the vast variety of options available, choosing the right jigsaw for your workshop can be time-consuming and tedious.
To help you make an informed decision, we have carefully tested, evaluated, and compiled a list of the five best jigsaws currently out on the market. The list below should provide you with the basic information you’ll need to select the perfect jigsaw for your projects.
1. Bosch JS470E 7.0 Amp Barrel-Grip Jigsaw
When it comes to jigsaws that pack a punch, the Bosch JS470E is a powerhouse. Its 7.0 Amp motor delivers impressive cutting performance, making it ideal for both professional and DIY applications.
We had such fun testing the JS470E that there was little discussion among us as to the position it would occupy on this list.
This Bosch jigsaw delivered exceptional performance across the board during our tests. The four orbital-action settings provided flexibility, allowing you to adapt the cutting motion to match the material’s characteristics and achieve optimal results. From intricate curves to straight cuts on wood, composite material, and even metal, we got excellent results each time.
The barrel-grip design allowed for excellent control and comfort. Because the engineers at Bosch decided to situate the handle toward the front of the tool, you get a natural grip and the best possible hand positioning, permitting a remarkable measure of control.
Precision Plunging and Tool-Free Blade Change System
The precision-machined plunging system further enhances this control with a meticulously engineered mechanism. We saw almost no blade deflection during our tests of the JS470E. What we got were clean and precise cuts even while testing the jigsaw on tough materials.
The tool-free blade change system impressed me with its convenience, as well. It takes about 5 seconds to change the blade. You simply twist the blade release lever, and the system ejects the blade. This spares your fingers from touching the hot blade.
You then slip another blade into position and you’re back to work. We found the blade-clamp to be snug and secure.
The orbital switch allows you to adjust the blade stroke. More aggressive cuts are quicker. Smooth cuts result in a nice, clean edge.
You get an Allen Key housed in the base of the tool. You can adjust the bevel angle with it between 0° and 45°. The key is stored right by the bevel adjust.
Premium Power and Design
Now, the JS470E commands a relatively higher price than other jigsaws out there. Given the less-than-vigorous economy these days, some may find the premium that Bosch has placed on this superb tool’s power and design problematic.
This jigsaw is also a touch heavier than others on this list. We think the weight difference might be enough to cause some users to feel a little fatigued during extended use.
Nonetheless, we believe the Bosch JS470E is an outstanding tool that rightly belongs at the very top of our list of the best in 2023. We recommend it to anyone who is willing to spend money on a high-quality tool.
2. DEWALT DCS331B 20V Max Jigsaw:
For a cordless tool, the DEWALT DCS331B delivers surprising power. With its 20V Max battery, this jigsaw will offer you deliciously sharp cutting capabilities on a wide range of materials. We tested this bad boy on wood, metal, and plastic, and we were consistently pleased with the results.
Out of the box, this Dewalt jigsaw is rather unusual looking. Now, to be clear, we’re not much into the looks of a tool. We usually fix on its performance. But the Dewalt jigsaw, with its huge metal gear case, looks more like a robot from an old Japanese TV cartoon than a tool that the manufacturers have supposedly just revamped.
Variable Speed and Cordless Freedom
Despite its unique look, we think the variable speed trigger feature sets the DeWalt DCS331B apart from other jigsaws in the same price range. This feature provides accurate control over cutting speeds, allowing you to adapt to different materials and achieve clean and precise cuts each time.
We experienced no problems changing blades on this jigsaw, either. A simple flip of the lever allows for effortless blade removal and insertion.
Because the DCS331B is cordless, you enjoy refreshing freedom of movement. The innovative dust blower feature directs a steady stream of air onto the cutting line. This helps to clear away debris and allows you better visibility as you move around.
Grade A Cutting Power and Versatility
All this combines to give you Grade A cutting performance. We tested this jigsaw against 3-inch plank of oak using a good T-shank jigsaw blade and this machine executed all the cuts we made with an excellent speed due to this jigsaw’s 4-step orbital action.
But while we liked the DEWALT DCS331B Jigsaw for its impressive features and cutting prowess, we should tell you that you will have to purchase the battery and charger for this tool separately. If you decide to invest in the DCS331B, we recommend that you buy two batteries for uninterrupted extended use.
That said, we here at OBN are of the consensus that the DEWALT DCS331B is a reliable and efficient cutting tool that should please both the novice DIY enthusiast and the most demanding professional alike. That’s why it claims the second spot on our list.
3. Makita 4350FCT Top Handle Jigsaw
The Makita 4350FCT is a top-handle jigsaw that will please you with its power, precision, and convenience. The 6.3-amp motor on this Makita tool will allow you to slice through everything from hardwood to metal and plastic with almost uncanny exactitude.
Although not as versatile as the Bosch JS570E and the DeWalt DCS331B, we found the three orbital settings on the Makita 430FCT sufficient for straight cuts and a wide range of aggressive and smooth orbital actions.
Power and Comfort
Makita built this tool for professionals and contractors. You can tell that at once. But then that is not to say that other users will be so overwhelmed with it that they will fail to appreciate its value. They will, and we are sure of it.
This Makita jigsaw is great for wood, metal, and plastic, among others. And it combines two qualities that rarely go together so seamlessly. That is, a balanced combination of incredible power and a relaxed, comfortable wield.
That’s because this jigsaw is designed to work with less vibration than you would expect. In turn, this means you can control the jigsaw without having to struggle against too much kick and recoil. Reduced vibration often leads to a safer, more accurate cuts, of course.
Soft Start, Built-In LED
The design engineers over at Makita opted for a soft start feature on the 430FCT, as well. This feature gradually increases the motor speed upon startup, reducing the initial jolt and providing improved control over the cutting process. We found this rather helpful, along with the built-in LED light that illuminated the work area.
We loved the Makita 430FCT Jigsaw. That said, in our part of the world, at least, it is the most expensive model on our list. We should tell you that some users have complained about the limited availability of accessories for Makita tools in some regions, too.
Of course, you can always consult authorized Makita dealers in your area – or contact Makita directly – should you require assistance. We know from experience that they are always happy to help.
4. BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C Jigsaw
Fourth on our list is the BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C, an affordable jigsaw that doesn’t compromise performance. With its 5 Amp motor, this jigsaw will provide you with enough power for a variety of cutting tasks. We know because it performed splendidly during our tests.
If you’re new to the world of power jigsaws, then we think this Black and Decker model is best for your toolkit. This jigsaw brings a tremendous amount of value for the money you will pay.
Few Frills, Lots of Good Sense
This model does not come with all the bells and whistles you’ll find on other jigsaws. That means this jigsaw is also excellent for those who merely need model that is both useful and practical. If you don’t plan on doing anything fancy with your jigsaw, you might not need too many extra features.
Now, that said, we found the motor used on this product is decidedly more reliable than those which you’ll find on some of its fancier competitors.
Black & Decker employed an impressive curve control technology on the BDEJS600C. The adjustable orbital action provides flexibility that any craftsman will appreciate.
The technology allowed us to use the jigsaw to make aggressive cuts for faster material removal and smooth cuts for finer detail work. The jigsaw performed exceedingly well on both kinds of cuts in our tests.
Better Value, Better View
The wire guard sightline channel improves visibility, and the keyless blade clamp enables quick and tool-free blade changes. Just give it a twist, and the blade securely locks into place.
We say the affordable price point offered by the BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C Jigsaw makes it a perfect option for the budget-conscious buyer.
While this jigsaw is a tad less powerful than others on our list, we liked Black & Decker’s curve control technology enough to recommend the BDEJS600C to anyone in need of a good jigsaw that cuts into everything except your pocket.
5. WORX WX550L 20V Cordless Reciprocating and Jigsaw
The WORX WX550L 20V Cordless Jigsaw combines the functionality of a reciprocating saw and a jigsaw in one compact unit. The WX550L features a pivoting head that can be adjusted to multiple angles, allowing for bevel cuts and enhanced cutting versatility.
We found the feature especially useful on projects that required angled cuts and intricate designs. We put the feature to the test on some fallen branches in our test yard. The WX550L made short work of the bunch.
Out of the box, you will get a 20V (1.5amp) lithium battery and a 0.4A charger. You will be pleased to hear that you will not have to pay extra for other accessories.
The battery also works on the other Worx 40v tools. So, now it is easier to use the same battery on your other Worx Power Share family of tools.
Two Saws in One!
What impressed us most about this tool is that you can switch between the reciprocating saw and jigsaw. This unique feature allows you to shift quickly between two functions in one tool. For that, you l get four blades: aluminum, jigsaw, metal, and a reciprocating blade.
We tested these blades timber, fiberglass, aluminum, a narrow strip of steel, tree branches, PVC tubes, plastic, and tree roots. This jigsaw comported itself well throughout our testing.
We took the jigsaw into a friend’s workshop for more tests. We did a rip cut and a crosscut on plywood that was about a quarter of an inch thick. We managed to make the rip cut with no tear out. As expected, we saw some tear-out with the crosscut.
Quick Turns and Ergonomic Comfort
The WX550L performed equally well when we switched to about a ½” piece of pine and were surprised with its ability to negotiate quick turns. The tool’s built-in dust blower kept the cutting line relatively clear of debris.
The ergonomic handle design ensures a comfortable grip and contributes to the overall efficiency of the tool. A LED light illuminates the cutting area.
The only drawback we found with this model is the limited cutting depth, particularly in the jigsaw mode. The jigsaw does not perform as well on thicker materials. We also noted the higher vibration levels on the WX550L, which could reduce comfort as you work longer periods.
Despite these limitations, we say the WORX WX550L is a versatile and convenient tool that should do well on light to medium cutting tasks.
Choosing the Best Jigsaw for Your DIY Projects
The Bosch JS470E, DEWALT DCS331B, Makita 4350FCT, the Worx WX550L, and the BLACK+DECKER BDEJS600C are five excellent jigsaws. Each model offers unique features and advantages that cater to different user preferences and budgets.
Choosing the right one for your workshop will bring you the greatest satisfaction. So, the first step to making a smart choice is to determine how you intend to use the tool.
Consider the power offered by each jigsaw. You obviously need a tool that delivers sufficient power for your needs. Higher power ratings mean faster and smoother cuts, especially on tougher materials.
Select a jigsaw that provides an adequate variety of speed settings. This feature will allow you to adjust the jigsaw’s cutting speed according to the material and type of cut you will be making. Will you be cutting wood, metal, or plastic? Do you need a jigsaw that will perform on all three?
Read the reviews and check the orbital action on the model you prefer. The orbital action enhances cutting efficiency by oscillating the blade in addition to the up-and-down motion.
Examine the blade change mechanism. You obviously want a jigsaw with a toolless blade change system you feel comfortable utilizing.
You should also assess the stability and control your work requires. Consider the design and ergonomics of the jigsaw. Look for features like a comfortable grip, vibration dampening, and a stable shoe to ensure ease of use and precise control.
Consider the cutting depth and bevel capacity, as well. Make sure that you purchase a jigsaw that can achieve the cutting depth and bevel angles you need for your projects.
That’s it. By following these basic tips, and doing a little more research on your own, you can choose a jigsaw that perfectly suits your workshop needs, enabling you to achieve professional-quality cuts with ease and precision with every project.
Which model of the five we’ve listed do you think is best?