Jigsaw or saber saw, an extreme cutting powered saw is used for versatile work step by step. All you need is a perfect blade for exact work. Jigsaw for beginners is quite tough to select right.
It is a saw which uses a reciprocating blade to cut irregular curves, such as stenciled designs, in wood, metal, or other materials.
This versatile power tool runs through boards and other materials. With both compound and bevel cuts for shaping. Not experienced yet. Let’s start with the meaning of what a jigsaw used for.
Today they are electrically powered and known as scroll saws, and have been largely displaced by portable power jigsaws.
- If using a corded jigsaw, keep an eye on the power cord and extension cords to avoid tripping.
- Wear the recommended PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). This includes safety goggles, gloves, and earplugs.
- If the work piece is not fixed in place, always use a clamp to hold it down so that you can make accurate cuts. Additionally, use guide rails where necessary so that the cuts are accurately straight.
- Don’t force the blade through hard material. You might cause damage to the saw, break the blade or harm your body.
- Always use a sharp specialized blade for the specific type of material that you are cutting.
Type of Jigsaws
The name of the type gives it all. Corded models are the ones that will need plugging-in to an electric outlet for working.
These are more powerful with motors between 5.0 – 7.0-amp. Plus, as there are no batteries in the jigsaw, you can expect the weight to be on the lower side.
It becomes convenient to use it in constraint spaces. On the downside, the wire is constantly disturbing the work.
Plus, if there is no electric outlet to power the jigsaw, you won’t be able to use it.
Just like any other tool without a cord, this one also comes with heavy-duty batteries that can ensure high-performance of the tool.
Since there is no cord, you will not require a power outlet for the jigsaw to work. Also, these are portable and suitable to work in confined spaces.
These models are equipped with lithium rechargeable batteries between 1.5 – 5.0 Ah. The downside is that these might be more convenient to use but they are not as powerful as corded versions.
The professionals prefer pneumatic jigsaws as they work in conjunction with an air compressor.
This type is extremely powerful and expensive and is preferred by the professionals with heavy-duty cutting chores.
As far as weight is concerned, these are quite lightweight and have a self-cooling mechanism which makes them unlikely to overheat.
The pneumatic jigsaws are brought in use when you have to cut metal or fiberglass.
What Is Jigsaws Used For?
Most people use jigsaws in wood cutting but there are some limits because the blade can bend if you use it on very thick wood.
Ideally, when cutting softwood, the maximum thickness should be 1.5” while on hardwood, this reduces by half to 0.75”.
Countertops are usually made of rock (marble or granite), which is quite tough. However, on a new installation, you still need to cut holes through for fitting sinks, faucets and the like.
If you use metal sheets in your project, a jigsaw blade with a tungsten carbide blade can help you slice through up to a 10-gauge thickness.
Just like metal, concrete is very tough and therefore, a tungsten-carbide blade should be used. However, you can only cut through fiber or porous concrete.
Cutting Ceramic Tiles
Ceramic tiles can break very easily. You have to be very patient and gentle when cutting them.
First things first, you need a toothless carbide-grit ceramic blade, which has an abrasive edge and can cut through a thickness not exceeding 0.25”.
Away from the serious stuff and did you know you can use a jigsaw to make jack-o’-lantern faces in pumpkins for Halloween?
Instead of using a knife, a jigsaw will enable you to carve the intricate designs easily and get the job done in no time. A general-purpose carbon steel blade will do because pumpkins are very soft.
Instead of using a knife or a pair of scissors, a jigsaw can give you a very clean and straight cut if you want to split your carpet.
Since most carpets are soft and relatively thin, you can cut any type provided that you use a special soft material blade.
Jigsaws are much more delicate than other powered saws and their thin blades can be fitted into tight spaces and follow a curved line with ease.
With a slightly wider blade installed, a jigsaw can also be guided along a straightedge to make straight cuts.
Types Of Cuts Made By Jigsaw
A normal jigsaw blade cannot make a flush cut because the saw’s large and wide shoe will get on the way. However, using a flush cutting blade, this is possible.
The blade has a wide design with the cutting teeth extending far outside the reach of the shoe.
Just like table and miter saws, jigsaws can be used to make rip cuts, crosscuts and miter cuts. The only thing you need is a guide rail to help you cut accurately on a straight line.
Some jigsaws are fitted with pivoting shoes that allow you to position the blade at any angle other than 90˚ to the surface being cut.
Once in this position, you can be able to make bevel cuts, though it may not be as easy as when using a miter saw.
Plunge cuts are cuts done in the middle as opposed to the edge of the workpiece. They are mostly used when cutting slots for electrical fittings, letterboxes etc.
However, you need to make sure that the blade has a sharp, pointy edge to easily pierce through the material.
Since jigsaws use thin blades, these blades can be fitted in very tight spaces, which makes it easy to cut through a curved outline.
Additionally, jigsaws are compact and lightweight, which simplifies their use and maneuverability along curved lines.
There is actually a cordless jigsaw type that is more portable and easier to maneuver around different cutting outlines.