LAST UPDATED: July 15, 2021

The Best Jigsaws: Easily Make Curves, Circles, or Straight Cuts

Best Choice DeWalt Heavy-Duty Jigsaw DeWalt Heavy-Duty Jigsaw
Best Value Drill Master Variable Speed Jig Saw Drill Master Variable Speed Jig Saw
Premium Pick Makita Top Handle Jig Saw.jpeg Makita Top Handle Jig Saw

By Norah Tarichia

If you possess a steady hand and a desire to make creative cuts on ceramic, wood, plastic, sheets of metal, or any other material, then a jigsaw would be a great power tool to have in your arsenal. It can be used by the average homeowner or a professional handyman to make straight edge cuts, cut on curved lines, or make holes for electrical outlets.

A jigsaw is part of the reciprocating saw family, but is reserved for intricate and delicate cuts; this is why a jigsaw blade is smaller and a bit more fragile in comparison. Also, unlike a table saw, a jigsaw is more fun to use because all the control is in your hands. You can twist or turn it to achieve detailed cuts on a wide range of materials when fitted with the right blade. So, if you have an upcoming home improvement project and need a powerful jigsaw that will keep your hands busy, then you have come to the right place. 

The Best Jigsaws

Kicking us off is the DeWalt Heavy-Duty Jigsaw, which is a corded jigsaw with a 6.5-amp motor that delivers between 500 and 3,100 SPM. It comes with a variable speed dial so you can select a comfortable speed within the allowed range, while a soft start function reduces the stress on the machine as it builds to maximum speed. To give you more peace of mind when switching to a different cutting project, the unit is designed with a keyless, lever-action, blade clamp that lets you effortlessly replace or change the blade.

The unit allows bevel action for angled cuts, and has positive stops at 0, 15, 30, and 45 degrees. Rubber grips on the handle provide a comfortable grip and they also help to dampen vibrations. Another premium feature on the unit is a built-in dust blower that clears debris while you cut so you can have a clearer cutting line. What’s more, anti-vibration counterbalance technology helps you achieve a clean finish on each cut.

Key Features
  • 6.5-amp motor
  • Extra-large rubber grip
  • Delivers up to 3,100 SPM
Specification
  • Brand DeWalt
  • Model DW331K
  • Weight 11 Pounds
PROS

Provides soft starts

Keyless blade change system

Sufficiently powerful

CONS

On the heavy side

The Drill Master Variable Speed Jigsaw is not only an affordable option, but also has several features that rival some of the higher-priced jigsaws. Its main selling point is its tough construction featuring a durable, high-impact nylon housing. The variable speed trigger with a lock-on button gives you the chance to cut through different materials at a speed of your choice. It can deliver up to 3,000 strokes per minute.

A clear PVC blade guard offers a perfect view of the cutting line so you don’t make any errors while cutting, while the plastic footplate lets you make bevel cuts at zero to 45 degrees. It only accepts U-shank blades.

Key Features
  • Delivers 3,000 SPM
  • High-impact nylon housing
  • Accepts U-shank blades
Specification
  • Brand Drill Master
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 3.7 pounds
PROS

Compact and lightweight

Lets you make clean cuts

Reliable cutting performance

CONS

Only an entry-level jigsaw

This Makita jigsaw comes with a premium price tag and is one of the most expensive tools on our list, but it comes loaded with a range of high-end premium features for that price.

In particular, the vibration dampening features on this model is outstanding, producing up to 40 percent less vibration than many other models. It is also remarkably quiet too. The built-in LED light is useful for accurate cutting, and the blade change system is fast and very easy to use.

Key Features
  • 6.3-amp motor
  • Three orbital settings
  • 800 to 2,800 SPM range
Specification
  • Brand Makita
  • Model 4350FCT
  • Weight 8.46 Pounds
PROS

Simple and easy to use

Built-in LED light

Excellent vibration control

CONS

Expensive

Surprisingly underpowered

Next up we have a high-quality jigsaw from Bosch. As you would expect from a manufacturer like this, it is fully stocked with great features. A seven-amp motor is the eye-catching one of course. That is a very impressive level of power that will allow you to cut efficiently through a huge range of materials.

A variable speed dial lets you accurately set the blade speed whilst built-in vibration dampening measures allow for a precise cut. The die-cast foot is strong and sturdy, and the blade clamp is very well designed and tool-free. Price-wise, the cost of the machine is surprisingly low, having a mid-range price. For such a high-quality machine by such a reputable manufacturer this is very impressive.

Key Features
  • Seven-amp power
  • Variable speed dial
  • Sturdy die-cast foot
Specification
  • Brand Bosch
  • Model JS470E
  • Weight 10.1 Pounds
PROS

Provides smooth cuts

Low vibration design

Very well constructed

CONS

Branded replacement blades are expensive

Let’s take a good look at this Black+Decker cordless jigsaw next, which comes in with a price tag below what we would expect as mid-range or average. It is, in truth, very much an entry-level model, both in terms of price and features.

That also extends to the power output. Sure, 20 volts is a reasonable power level for a cordless jigsaw, but a max output of 2,500 SPM is not going to knock anyone’s socks off. There is also a lack of built-in LED light, though the fact there is a dust blower is nice to see.

Key Features
  • 2,500 RPM
  • 20-volt motor
  • Built-in dust blower
Specification
  • Brand ‎Black+Decker
  • Model BDCJS20B
  • Weight 4.7 pounds
PROS

Compact and portable

Good value for money

Simple but effective design

CONS

Slightly underpowered

This Makita Jigsaw has a 3.9-amp motor that may be a little underpowered compared to other models, but when that motor is combined with the excellent built-in vibration control measures, you get a tool that is very well-suited for smaller cutting jobs where accuracy is more important than power.

The tool is also around four pounds in weight and has a very well-designed ergonomic handle. That makes it easy to use and will reduce hand fatigue. A three orbital setting plus a straight cutting setting allows for plenty of cutting options, whilst the die-cast aluminum base is strong, sturdy, and effective.

Key Features
  • 4.3-amp motor
  • Three orbital settings
  • Ergonomic handle
Specification
  • Brand Makita
  • Model 4329K
  • Weight 4.19 Pounds
PROS

Small and ergonomic

Excellent vibration control

Perfect for accurate cuts

CONS

Low-powered

This is an excellent jigsaw from Black+Decker, a manufacturer that needs no introduction. It comes with an entry-level price tag, but it is still packed with useful features. The big stand-out has to be the extremely powerful, five-amp motor. That allows the blade to move at speeds up to 3,000 SPM. That is sufficient to tackle just about any material from ceramics and tiles to denser woods. An accurate trigger that is nice and large controls that speed.

The body of the jigsaw can be set to various angles to aid with angled cutting whilst the new and improved wire guards improve sightlines for precise cutting. The blade is quick-release and can be changed without tools.

Key Features
  • 3,000 SPM
  • Built-in dust blower
  • Five-amp motor
  • Tool-free blade change
Specification
  • Brand Black+Decker
  • Model BDEJS600C
  • Weight 5.2 Pounds
PROS

Entry-level price, premium-level performance

Very high power

Base plate tilts for angled cuts

CONS

Missing some premium features — no LED light

Considering that this next tool from Wen is one of the affordable items on our list, it is still packed with features. We have to admit, Wen is not a brand we were very familiar with, but they certainly got our attention with this high-quality corded jigsaw.

A 6.6-amp motor is at its heart, which is used to deploy up to 3,300 SPM. A very useful power level that should work its way through most materials up to and including, Walnut wood. There is a front-mounted light and laser to help with accurate cutting, while the device can bevel up to 45 degrees on its footplate. Control is provided by a six-position speed dial.

Key Features
  • 6.6-amp motor
  • 3,300 SPM
  • Front-mounted light and laser
Specification
  • Brand Wen
  • Model 33606
  • Weight 5.4 Pounds
PROS

Huge array of features

Lots of power

Excellent value for money

CONS

No storage case

Cheaper construction

With a lightweight design and a comfortable, rubberized top handle, this Chicago Electric Jigsaw will help you cut comfortably for an extended period without straining your hands. It’s powered by a five-amp motor that delivers up to 3,000 SPM. A variable speed control featuring four-stage orbital action lets you adjust the cutting speed so you can accurately work on materials of different thicknesses.

The footplate can be adjusted from zero to 45 degrees to help you make precise angled cuts. Besides that, it accepts T-shank blades, and the blades can be easily replaced without using any tools.

Key Features
  • Five-amp motor
  • Four-position orbital setting
  • Accepts T-shank blades
Specification
  • Brand Chicago Electric
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 4.75 pounds
PROS

Great precision for an entry-level tool

Safe and easy blade changes

Lightweight feel and soft grip

Affordably priced

CONS

Not the best tool for professionals

If it’s light green then it has to be a Ryobi. Perhaps as famous as the DeWALT yellow and black color scheme. This is a cordless jigsaw offering that’s packed with useful and innovative features. For example, it has a built-in dust blower to keep debris off your cutting surface. You don’t often see that on items at this price point.

It can also be lowered on its steel footplate so you can use the entire blade for cutting. That’s pretty cool as it allows you to extend the lifespan of your blades. It can generate up to 3,000 SPM for a very useful level of cutting power, and it is relatively light and comfortable to hold.

Key Features
  • Up to 3,000 SPM
  • Four orbital settings
  • Built-in dust blower
  • Built-in LED light
Specification
  • Brand Ryobi
  • Model P523
  • Weight 4.9 Pounds
PROS

Keeps debris out of the cut line

Several speeds to choose from

Works with both lithium-ion and NiCad batteries

CONS

No battery or charger included

The first thing you notice when you receive the Milwaukee M18 Jigsaw is that it has a protruding barrel grip instead of the typical top handle. This is done intentionally so you can wrap your hands around it and get a comfortable grip as you guide the blade through the material. It’s a cordless power tool that utilizes a Powerstate brushless motor that provides enough power for cutting hardwood and metal.

A variable speed dial lets you select from six speed settings ranging from zero to 3,500 SPM. It also features an auto-control start so it starts slow then picks up to full speed when it detects that the blade is in the material. To help you achieve clean cuts, it includes an anti-splinter guard and an LED light to keep the cut line visible. The base plate is adjustable and features positive stops at zero, 15, 30, and 45 degrees.

Key Features
  • Up to 3,500 SPM
  • Four-position orbital cutting
  • Accepts T-shank blades
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model M18
  • Weight 4.59 pounds
PROS

Offers a comfortable grip

Lightweight enough for extended use

Offers multiple orbital settings for more versatility

CONS

Battery and charger sold separately

Doesn’t have a trigger lock

Best Jigsaw Buying Guide & FAQ

In our buying guide, we’ll take you through the features that you should keep an eye out for when picking out the best jigsaw for you. After that, we’ll take a look at how best to use your new tool and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this extremely useful product.

jigsaw in work

What to Consider When Buying a Jigsaw

Motor

One of the biggest factors to consider is the motor size. Most corded models will give out the motor size in Amps, whilst cordless jigsaws will be Volts. Many jigsaw review articles just say to buy the biggest motor you can. Well, you need a high power motor if you are going to cut through tough material like metal and dense woods.

But the stronger motors are going to be heavier and more expensive. If you are only cutting MDF, other compressed sheet wood or plastics you can save money and weight by going for smaller motor.

Grip and Trigger

You are going to holding the tool by the grip, and it is going to weigh anything from five to ten pounds. So ideally you want a grip that is ergonomic and comfortable.

The trigger should be nice and large so you can easily get a finger (or to) on it. If the device has variable speed (which it should!) make sure the trigger is nice and deep so it can offer a wider range of movement and speed control.

LED Light

Not all tools will come with an LED light, but it is a feature we really like to see (like to see? Get it?) An LED will illuminate the blade, allowing you easily see the markings and the cutting area for precise cuts.

Laser Guide

Some people really like a built in laser guide, but we are not huge fans. The whole point of a jigsaw is that it is great at cutting at various angles and curves.  A laser guide only works in a straight line, so whilst it can be useful sometimes it won’t be at others.

Dust Blower/Vacuum Attachment

Cutting any material will generate a lot of dust, though this is especially true with wood. A dust blower can help to blow dust out of the way so you can see the blade more easily. Again this help with getting a more accurate cut.

A vacuum attachment looks like a short pipe at the rear of the tool. It allows you to attach a vacuum hose that will suck the dust instead of blowing it. The advantage here is that it keeps mess to a minimum. Of curse, you do need an industrial vacuum cleaner in your workshop in order to use this function.

Who Needs Jig Saws?

As we noted earlier, both professional handymen and DIY warriors who need to make detailed cuts on a wide range of materials can use a jigsaw. If you work with materials such as wood, laminate, PVCs, or metal, then you need to use a jigsaw to achieve fine details that other power saws aren’t able to provide. 

Also, you can use a jigsaw to make tight curves or cut other intricate shapes on smaller pieces of plywood or plastic that don’t fit on a table saw. Plus, a jigsaw is often compact and doesn’t take up much space, so it can be used by on-the-go handymen.

Related Posts: Best Pole Saws, Tile Saws and Scroll Saws

man working with tools

How to Choose the Right Type of Jigsaw

There is a range of feature that can be found on a jigsaw, which we’ve looked at above.

One other consideration though is the type of jigsaw you want, and in this instance we’re thinking of power supply. This could be corded or cordless.

Corded

The advantage of a cord lies in power delivery. All you have to do is plug into a power outlet and your tool is ready to go. No charging required, no risk that the power level will drop over time. On the other hand, you are tethered to that power outlet, so if you need to cut outside or in a different location you need to unplug every time and find a new power outlet closer to your work area.

Cordless

Of course the big advantage of cordless is the fact that it adds mobility to the jigsaw. Simply place a battery pack into the tool and you’re ready to go. Or least you are if the battery is full charged. That is the drawback of cordless jigsaws, the fact you are always at the mercy of the battery.

Key Shopping Considerations 

While it may be tempting to save time and buy the first jigsaw you find, it would be more prudent to arm yourself with a list of must-have features so you can get more value for your money. We have put together a few of those considerations to make your assignment easier. 

Variable Speed Dial

You can benefit from a jigsaw that has variable speed control, especially if you need to cut through different types of material. The speed of a jigsaw is given in strokes per minute (SPM). Most jigsaws on the market provide about 500 to 3,500 SPM. You can choose a slower speed to cut through plastic so you don’t melt the material, or a higher speed to slice through thick wood. A slower speed can also be useful when making delicate cuts, while a fast speed can help you achieve a smoother cut.  

Bevel Adjustment 

Prioritize jigsaws that have a pivoting base plate, or otherwise known as a metal shoe or sole. The base plate should tilt at an angle of up to 45 degrees, and this should be accompanied by a conveniently positioned bevel adjustment control so you can set the blade at a fixed angle on the material for detailed bevel cuts. 

Trigger Lock 

While most jigsaws come with a trigger function that starts or stops the blade, not all options have a trigger lock or a lock-on trigger. A trigger lock is a separate button that lets you maintain the selected speed so you can work on long cuts without having to hold on to the on-off trigger. 

Blade Shank 

Two types of blade shanks can go on a jigsaw: T-shank and U-shank blades. A T-shank blade is cone-shaped and is the most common type as it doesn’t require any tools to change the blade. If you want to have an easy time swapping out the blade, then choose a jigsaw that accepts this blade type. In contrast, a U-shank blade has a convex-shaped blade, and requires an Allen wrench to change the blade. This can be time-consuming. 

How Much Should I Spend on a Jigsaw

How much you spend on a jigsaw depends on whether you intend to use it in a residential or commercial setting. If you need a simple but powerful jigsaw for DIY projects, then you can budget about $30 to $100 for a decent jigsaw that’s comfortable to use and is still powerful enough to cut through different materials. 

On the other hand, if you need a heavy-duty power tool for a professional workshop or a construction site, then expect to spend up to $200. You will be paying for more power, better build quality, and advanced technology that makes the power tool safer and easier to use.

Best Jigsaw Brands

As you will have no doubt noticed on our list above, there is a wide range of manufacturers of jigsaws out there today. Picking the best one can go a long way toward helping select the right tool for you.

Here is a breakdown of some of the most popular brands out there right now:

DeWalt

They are fast approaching their 100th birthday having been founded in 1924. Their famous Black and Yellow branding has long been a byword for high quality tools and can be seen on worksites across the country.

Makita

This brand is even older than DeWalt, but it is only in recent years they have really started to take a slice of the power tool market. Today they are well recognized for producing professional grade tools.

Bosch

Hailing from Germany, Bosch have a long and very well earned reputation for producing tools of the every highest quality. They are often a little more expensive than their rivals, but they reward that investment with tools that are well designed and built to the highest standards.

Black+Decker

Finally, we have Black+Decker. They are more of a consumer level manufacturer, and you won’t find many professionals using this brand. Still, they produce very good quality tools for a lower price tag than the other big manufacturers out there.

Related Posts: Best Band Saws, Reciprocating Saws and Chainsaws

Jigsaw Usage & Maintenance Tips

Jigsaws are pretty easy to use, being one of the simpler power tools out there. These easy tips will help you get even more out of your tool though:

  • Make sure you use the right blade for the material you are cutting.
  • Also, if you are cutting on angles use a thinner, more flexible blade.
  • Take care when changing the blade, especially if you are swapping out a blade you’ve just cut with. They can get very hot and be a real burn risk.
  • Mark out lines in pencil before you begin.
  • Set the speed to the appropriate level for the material you are cutting. The tougher the material, the more SPM you should be aiming for.
  • With corded jigsaws, always be aware of where the cord is during cutting. The last thing you want to do is cut through it accidentally!
  • Always try to clamp the material down before cutting so you have a stable cutting surface that won’t move suddenly.

Best Jigsaw FAQ:

tools

Q: Do jigsaws work well on different materials?

Yes, jigsaws can make clean cuts on different materials, provided that you use the right blade and select the correct speed so you don’t melt or make a rough cut on the material.

Q: Will I need a specific saw blade for certain cuts?

Yes, you will have to change the blade when making certain cuts or when cutting through different materials. For example, blades with more teeth per inch are better for delivering smooth cuts. Ideally, the blade package will highlight the type of materials the blade works best on. 

Q: Can I sharpen my jigsaw blade?

Well… you could, but the better question is why would you want to? The blades are very small and fiddly, and since they have teeth (instead of a straight cutting edge) it will be difficult and time-consuming to sharpen them all.

Which, again, makes us ask — why would you bother? Replacement blades are pretty cheap really, and also long lasting. Put your time to better use and pick up a brand new set when you need them.

Q: How difficult is it to swap the blade?

If it is a quick release, tool less mechanism it is very easy, and takes a minute or two at the most. A jigsaw with a tooled blade release will take a little longer.

Q: What size extension cord should I use?

Just make sure it can handle the amp rating of your jigsaw and it will be fine. Ideally the cord should be rated to handle much more than the motor in the saw to allow for some spare capacity.

Our Top Pick 

The DeWalt Heavy-Duty Jigsaw sits at the top of our review for a good reason. It provides a high cutting power of up to 3,100 SPM so it can cut through almost any material. The soft-start feature ensures that you are comfortable with the speed of the blade so you can have better control of the machine and make more consistent cuts. Overall, it will help you achieve a cleaner and more detailed finish for all your projects. 

Final Thoughts 

While the DeWalt Heavy-Duty Jigsaw may be an excellent choice for cutting through different materials, it’s not the best option for anyone on a fixed budget. This is why we also recommend the Drill Master Variable Speed Jig Saw, which is affordable and provides sufficient cutting power for smaller jobs. It’s also compact and lightweight, making it a solid choice for on-the-go handymen.

Sources:

  1. Jigsaw (power tool) – Wikipedia
  2. How to Use a Jigsaw – wikiHow