Best Jigsaws of 2017 – Reviews & Buying Guide

jigsawOne of the most common power tools around, a jigsaw allows you to cut shapes into various materials including wood and metal. The versatility of the jigsaw is emphasized by the many blades that can be used with it. This means that the best jigsaw is capable of cutting through other materials such as plastic laminate and ceramic tile. As such, it’s a must-have in the arsenal of any DIY enthusiast!

The main advantage of buying a jigsaw is the ability to cut curves quickly and easily. The fact that this can be a range of materials makes the jigsaw a particularly attractive option. No matter your age or level of experience, the jigsaw is easy to set up and use. Many people will appreciate the portability of the jigsaw which doesn’t typically take up much space and can be stored in a small hard case. If you’re thinking of buying a jigsaw, there are plenty of reasons to do so!


The Best Jigsaws of 2017

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONS
ITEM WEIGHT
USER RATINGPRICE
Bosch JS470E
Bosch JS470E
15.7 x 14.3 x 4.6 inches
10.2 pounds
4.7/5
$$$
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Makita XVJ03Z
Makita XVJ03Z
13 x 4 x 10 inches
5 pounds
4.7/5
$$$$$
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DeWalt DCS331B
DeWalt DCS331B
11.2 x 11 x 3.9 inches
7 pounds
4.6/5
$$$$
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Porter-Cable PCE345
Porter-Cable PCE345
9.5 x 3.2 x 8.5 inches
5.4 pounds
4.6/5
$$
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Black & Decker BDEJS600C
Black & Decker BDEJS600C
11.8 x 4.4 x 9.2 inches
5.2 pounds
4.6/5
$
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Any tool purchase requires some thought so that you can find something to match your needs. This is particularly the case with power tools which have more features and accessories to consider than the average manual tool. That’s why we’ve created a list of jigsaw reviews to help you out! These should help you narrow down the options and make your decision quicker and easier. What’s more, below the reviews you can find a buying guide with plenty of handy information to help you not only choose a jigsaw but get the best use out of it.

1. DeWalt DCS331B – Our Top Pick

DeWalt DCS331BVersatility and accuracy are two important factors to consider when buying a jigsaw. As our top pick, the DeWalt DCS331B has these in spades. The all-metal lever-action keyless blade is strong and durable which makes cutting through a variety of materials nice and easy. Changing blades is also easy to do and this is important, particularly if you’re regularly switching between materials. Choosing the right blade for the material can make all the difference. The all-metal keyless shoe bevel offers bevel cutting at 4 different angles.

The DeWalt DCS331B is the best jigsaw on the market thanks to features such as the variable speed control. The ability to work between 0 to 3,000 RPM means that you can work as precisely or as quickly as you want. There’s also an adjustable dust blower which is very useful when you don’t want to have to stop cutting every few minutes. The dust blower clears the various chips that accumulate around the line of sight, making your work much easier. This cordless, battery-operated jigsaw is a popular choice thanks to its overall usability and impressive features. One area in which it could be improved is in the securing of the blade which is known to wiggle free on occasion. It’s therefore especially important to make sure the blade is properly secured before use.

Pros

  • Great quality construction

  • Variable speed control

  • Adjustable dust blower

Cons

  • Blades can come free


2. Black & Decker BDEJS600C – Best for the Money

Black & Decker BDEJS600CThe Black & Decker BDEJS600C comes with a 5-amp variable-speed motor which is capable of providing up to 3,000 SPM of cutting power. This is very impressive considering this is essentially the best jigsaw for the money. Able to do 45-degree bevel cuts, it comes with an adjustable shoe for increased stability. There are 4 different settings which allow you to regulate the orbit of the saw thanks to the Curve Control technology. This model features a keyless blade clamp which means that you can make blade changes without the need of a tool. It accepts both U and T shank blades.

In particular, we like the wire guard which helps provide a nice clear line of sight when making those precise cuts. One thing you’ll notice about this jigsaw is the unusual design which consists of a big arching handle. This is said to be particularly comfortable and no problem to hold even when working for hours. Overall this is a great option if you’re on a budget with various features that you wouldn’t expect from a jigsaw of this price. While it’s highly recommended, it’s worth knowing that this is a corded device which can limit where you go with it!

Pros

  • Great value

  • Comfortable handle

  • Multiple settings add versatility

Cons

  • Corded means limited movement


3. Bosch JS470E – Best Corded Jigsaw

Bosch JS470EFeaturing 4 orbital-action settings, the Bosch JS470E top-handle jigsaw provides you with different blade strokes depending on the material you’re working with. For example, you may wish for a smooth cut and then a more aggressive function. If you’re seeking a corded jigsaw that allows the quick and easy changing of blades, this may be the model for you. The blade-change system doesn’t require tools and as such is very quick and easy to do. The blade ejection lever is a nice feature since it means you don’t have to touch a hot blade. Another great feature is the adjustable dust blower.

In terms of performance, the Bosch JS470E is a powerful jigsaw thanks to the 7-amp motor with the ability to reach 3,100 no load SMP. This is a corded jigsaw with a number of great features including the ambidextrous lock-on button making it easy for both left and right-handed users. A lock-on feature makes this tool particularly good for those who plan to use it for extended periods of time since it means you don’t have to continue squeezing the trigger and can adjust your hand position. This is arguably the best corded jigsaw thanks to a whole host of features and because of the fantastic quality provided. However, it is on the more expensive side and some users bemoan the lack of an LED light.

Pros

  • Quality construction

  • 7-amp motor

  • Packed with features

Cons

  • Quite expensive

  • No LED light


4. Makita XVJ03Z – Worth Considering

Makita XVJ03ZOne jigsaw that is well worth considering is the Makita XVJ03Z. It’s an 18-volt cordless jigsaw that aims to combine power and precision. The design is compact and ergonomic however the weight is 6.1lbs which is not the lightest for a jigsaw tool. This weight is partly down to the battery since it is a cordless jigsaw. Cutting is fast and efficient due to the variable speed motor which delivers up to 2,600 SPM. While there are jigsaws with more impressive specifications, this should be enough for most DIY needs.

There are 3 orbital settings for use in a wide range of materials, hard and soft. A tool-less blade change system makes changing blades much more convenient, increasing productivity. We particularly like the 2-finger variable speed trigger, but our favorite feature is the LED light which makes it so much easier to see your cutting. This is great since you have plenty of time to cut thanks to the excellent battery life. Despite the many advantages, it’s debatable as to whether the price is worth it. There are equally good jigsaw tools available on the market for less so it’s important to weigh up those pros and cons.

Pros

  • LED light

  • Strong battery life

Cons

  • Rather expensive

  • Quite heavy


5. Porter-Cable PCE345 – Another Inexpensive Option

Porter-Cable PCE345A 6-Amp orbital jigsaw, the Porter-Cable PCE345 is an inexpensive option that is worthy of your consideration due to the bang for your buck it provides. It features a 7 position speed-dial which is integrated into the trigger. Ample power is provided through the 6-amp motor which should help you cut through most materials with ease. Flexibility to deal with various operations comes from the varying speeds which are from 0-3,200 RPM. The PCE345 can do bevel adjustments and has 4 orbital settings.

Despite the low price, this jigsaw has a few features such as an LED light which helps serve as a cutting guide as well as providing increased visibility. But where this jigsaw shines is in the ease of use with the comfortable ergonomic handle and overall light weight of the product. It’s nice and easy to control and the various controls are well located for easy access. One cause for concern is that some consumers have claimed that the blade is not square to the base. However this is thankfully only mentioned in a very small number of comments. Overall it’s a good value option without many flaws and should prove to be a solid choice.

Pros

  • Inexpensive

  • Plenty of features

Cons

  • Some complaints regarding the positioning of the blade


Factors to Consider When Buying a Jigsaw

When you’re buying a power tool such as a jigsaw, it’s important to consider more than just the brand and the price. There are so many useful features that some jigsaws are simply much better value. So what exactly do you need to be looking out for? Let’s have a look!

Useful features

Power: Much of the power comes down to the size of the motor. While jigsaw motors don’t tend to vary a great deal, there’s enough difference that becomes noticeable during use. Power is measured in amps and could be anything from 3 to 8 amps. Corded jigsaws tend to be more powerful so it really comes down to whether you prefer power or portability. For the record, 5 amps is enough for most users unless they’re putting the jigsaw through more heavy-duty use. In that case it’s better to for 6-8 amps.

Speed: Speed can, of course, be linked to power. The more power you have, the quicker you can get through those tough materials. The speed of most power tools is measured in rotations per minute (RPM) but in the case of the jigsaw, it’s in strokes per minute (SPM). You’ll find that the majority of the models on the market have a max of around 3,000 SPM. This is more than enough for most projects. Variable speed settings are also very useful since you can then adjust the speed depending on the material you’re working with.

Orbital settings: The best jigsaws have orbital settings that allow the user to control the saw’s movements for a more aggressive cut. The circular motion allows greater speed. So the more orbital settings, the better. The lowest orbit settings are good for plastics, metal, and PVC, the medium orbit setting is better for hardwood and plywood and the highest orbit setting is generally best for soft wood.

Bevel settings: Most of the time you’ll want the blade of the jigsaw to be square to its base. But sometimes you might want to do a bevel cut and most jigsaws allow the saw to be tilted for such cases. It’s usually possible to tilt up to 3 or 4 different angles reaching around 45 degrees in either direction.

LED light: It might not seem like the most essential of features but if you ever use a jigsaw with an LED light, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. Seeing the cutting line can be a problem at times when using a jigsaw power tool. But with an LED light, it is much easier and can save you a lot of time in the long run.

Dust blower: If your chosen jigsaw model doesn’t have an LED light then a dust blower may well do the trick. Cutting usually leads to a fair bit of dust that gets in the way of the cutting line and its visibility. A dust blower keeps that nice and clear. Some units have both the LED light and dust blower which is even better for visibility.

Corded or cordless?

There are two primary methods of power with jigsaws. You can have a jigsaw that is corded or one that is cordless. Corded jigsaws run off electricity via a cord and tend to be more powerful as a result. This means that you’re able to cut through thicker materials. However they do limit mobility and a long cord can get in the way.

Cordless jigsaws run off battery power and allow you to move around freely however unlike with those that are corded, you have to think about the battery and recharge once every little while. Also, cordless jigsaws tend to be heavier due to carrying the battery.

Overall, the corded jigsaw is the best for more heavy-duty work that requires more power. Cordless jigsaws are better suited to smaller jobs that require greater mobility.

Choosing the right blades

One of the most important things when using a jigsaw is using the right blades. This can help avoid damaging a blade and the material on which you’re working as well as make your work quicker and easier. Jigsaw blades can cut a range of materials both hard and soft. An important factor to consider is the teeth per inch (TPI). The higher the TPI, the faster and smoother the cut.

  • High-speed steel and bi-metallic: Used for wood and light metals

  • Cobalt steel: Also used for wood and metal but are stronger

  • Carbide grit: Primarily used for cutting masonry board

5 Questions to ask yourself

  1. Do I want power or portability?

If power is important to you, you should really be looking at jigsaws with higher amperage. Corded drills are best in this case as these typically pack more power. If portability and mobility are more important then consider going cordless and be sure to check the type of battery supplied. Lithium-Ion batteries are best as they tend to have a longer life.

  1. What sort of work will I be doing?

If you’re cutting thick, hard materials then you’re going to need a more powerful jigsaw. Power is made up of volts, amps and blade speed (RPM). For more heavy-duty projects then you’ll need to spend more in order to ensure you have the necessary quality. For those doing lighter DIY, you may have a little more flexibility in your purchase. If you’re likely to be doing very precise and intricate work then a variable speed feature is very important.

  1. Is brand important to me?

If you already have a lot of tools from one particular brand and you’re happy with them then it’s certainly worth investigating their jigsaw. But it’s important to explore all of the options as there are a lot of great brands competing for your attention. As such, you can find some really great value deals if you’re willing to shop around. Some of the highly recommended brands include Black & Decker, Bosch, DeWalt, Makita and Porter-Cable. Even if the brand isn’t important to you, we recommend you stick with the best-known brands to ensure you’re getting a high-quality power tool.

  1. Is ease of use particularly important to me?

Ease of use may not be a factor for those who are more experienced with power tools. But if you’re fairly new to the world of DIY then a jigsaw is still a great purchase. That’s because they tend to be fairly easy and safe to use. Certain features make some jigsaws easier to use than others such as an LED light or an ergonomic handle. Some jigsaws don’t require tools to replace the blades which makes the whole process of changing blades quicker and easier.

  1. Am I better off buying a circular saw?

You may have been told that you don’t need a jigsaw to do curved cuts. This is true. However it is quicker and easier with a jigsaw. While another power tool such as a curved saw can also do this, it’s much better for straight lines and is not for delicate work. Also, it’s a more dangerous tool that does require a lot more consideration in terms of safety. Jigsaw tools are much more versatile and are the better choice for more varied cutting.


Conclusion

When you’re buying a jigsaw, it makes sense to explore all of the options available to you. Naturally this can take some time since there are so many great products with so many features available. From corded to cordless jigsaws and those with variable speed dials, LED lights and ergonomic handles, there’s plenty of information to consider!

We don’t want you to experience information overload. That’s why we’ve taken the time to gather the more relevant information to help you reach a decision. There are so many high quality jigsaws available at prices to suit all budgets. By using our reviews of jigsaws and our extensive buying guide, we hope that it makes your life that little bit easier.

Jigsaw technology has advanced considerably over the years and now is a great time to make that power tool purchase! Remember to consider what sort of work you will do with the jigsaw, which features are most important and whether you value power or portability. Whatever you decide, there’s sure to be a cordless or corded jigsaw that’s perfect for you!