A jigsaw is an extremely useful and powerful saw machine. With the correct blade, it is capable of making a number of different precision cuts in a range of materials. Jigsaw consists of a handle, a motor and a straight, narrow blade which moves up and down to enable the tool to make curved and complex cuts. Although it is primarily woodworking power tool, the jigsaw can also be used to cut other materials such as plastic, metal and ceramic tile. The usefulness of a jigsaw is a result of the large selection of blades it can accommodate. Jigsaw blades are designed to make different types of cut and to be used with specific materials. A jigsaw is ideal for power tool beginners as it is less menacing and, as it can be held with one hand, it is easier to handle than other, more heavy-duty, machines. Most jigsaws are powered by electricity, although there are also some cordless jigsaws that run on lithium-ion or nickel-cadmium batteries.
Jigsaws are primarily used to make curved, intricate cuts in wood, but can also cut through a number of other materials such as plastic, sheet metal, and ceramic tile. Although these power tools excel at making curved cuts, they can also be used to make plunge cuts, straight cuts, and bevel cuts.
- Curved cuts- Jigsaws are the most delicate power saw type and their thin blades can fit into tight spaces and can follow a curved line with ease. In addition to the shape of their blade, jigsaws are not very hefty so they can be easily maneuvered and guided along stenciled designs. Circles of almost any size can be perfectly cut with a jigsaw either with freehand or with the aid of a circle cutting guides.
- Straight cuts- with a slightly wider blade installed, a jigsaw can also be guided along a straightedge to make straight cuts. Straight cuts can be either along or across the piece of wood or made in another material such as laminated sheets.
- Plunge cuts- Jigsaws are fairly distinctive because of the way they can make plunge cuts. Making a plunge cut involves starting a cut in the middle, rather than on the edge, of the material or workpiece. It is a useful technique for making holes in wood or laminated boards to allow for electrical outlets etc.
- Level cut- most jigsaws have a rotating shoe which enables them to make level cuts in moldings and boards. The shoe can be positioned at angles up to 45 degrees so that the jigsaw cuts on a level.
Different kinds of Blades used in Jigsaw
- Reverse tooth blades– In contrast to most jigsaw blades, the teeth of reverse tooth blades point downwards rather than upwards so that they cut on the down stroke, not the upstroke. This means that they can effectively cut through materials that are prone to splintering, such as laminate worksheets, without damaging their surface.
- Plunge cut blades- Some jigsaw blades have a sharp tip on their end which allows them to pierce the material at the beginning of plunge cutting. These blades are designed to be used with soft materials such as softwood, plasterboard etc.
- Scrolling blades– These blades are designed for scroll cutting are narrower than standard blades. This allows them to cut tight curves without binding or breaking.
- Flush cutting blades -Because the shoe of a jigsaw usually extends past the blade, it can sometimes prevent from making a cut even to a surface. A flush cutting blade solves this problem as its wider body extends its reach so that the jigsaw is able to cut up to a vertical surface