A jigsaw is a very popular and valuable power tool that is used in a wide range of cutting applications. A good machine can win half the battle when it comes to achieving satisfactory cuts with a jigsaw if you have a wrong blade installed in it. A jigsaw is only as good as its blade. There are a variety of options available in the market when it comes to jigsaw and jigsaw blades. So, to choose the right one becomes a difficult task for anyone. So, here are tips that you can follow to choose the right jigsaw blade for your work.
Different Types of Jigsaw Blades
Jigsaw blades are divided on the basis of their shanks. Jigsaw shank is generally divided into two main categories: T-shanks, and U-shanks.
- T-Shanks – These are very popular and are commonly used. Many U-shanks are also compatible with T-shank blades. T-shanks are created to facilitate a quick change of blades. A T-shank blade only requires a simple push of a button to replace the blade.
- U-Shank – These are also known as Universal shanks. These are not as popular as T-shanks due to their slower blade changing speed. Most of the U-shank jigsaws require the user to fasten the blade in place with the help of a retaining screw or an Allen key which slows down the process.
Choose Blade By Cutting Material Types
Blades are also differentiated on the basis of the application they are used for. Some of the most common types of blades required, depending on the basis of application include:
- Metal – If you are cutting strong materials like pipes, angle iron, etc. you would need a jigsaw blade made from hard alloy that features tightly-grouped and precision-ground teeth. You can go for a carbon steel blade for quickly cutting through ferrous as well as non-ferrous materials, like copper, steel, brass, and aluminum.
- Wood – Blades that come with sharp, large teeth are widely used for cutting through construction lumber. Smaller teeth blades are used for cutting finer wood with a smooth finish.
- Plastic – If your application requires you to cut different types of plastics, acrylic, PVC, etc. a multipurpose jigsaw blade can be the best for you. These blades prevent burning, melting, and chipping of the work material.
- Soft Materials – These blades are exclusively designed for cutting soft materials, like rubber, leather, foam, carpet, etc. These blades are perfect for smooth and damage-free cutting.
- Drywall and Plaster – To cut materials like drywall, you would need a special drywall/plaster blade. These blades prevent breaking, crumbling and cracking of work materials.
Different Blade Size
The types of material that needs to be cut and how the material will be cut can help you choose the right size of a blade. It is recommended that the blade size should at least be one inch longer than material thickness. In general longer, blades are thicker to prevent bending of the blade. However, thinner blades are weaker but excellent for clean cuts, and sharp curves.
Jigsaw blades are long, thin strips of metal that are only supported by the tool at the shank end. One of the most effective ways to ensure straight cuts from top to bottom is to choose a blade with increased thickness.
Materials Used for Making Jigsaw Blades
There are different types of metals and compounds that are used for manufacturing blades. The general thumb rule is harder blades can cut harder materials. However, there are also blades that can be used for hard and soft materials.
Let’s discuss some of the common materials used for jigsaw blades.
- High Carbon Steel – High carbon steel blades are made from iron with 0.55% to 0.95% of carbon and 0.30% to 0.90% of manganese. These blades are very cheap and commonly found in workshops.
- High-Speed Steel – These blades do not accelerate the cutting speed. They can cut harder materials but are not as flexible as high carbon steel blades.
- Bi-Metal – These blades are made from high carbon steel and high-speed steel. Their body is made from HSS which offers better flexibility and teeth are made from HSS for cutting harder materials. The combination of both the materials makes them excellent for harder and heavy cutting.
- Tungsten Carbide – This material is made from carbon and tungsten compound. These types of blades enable smooth cuts, these blades are the most expensive and can cut the hardest of the work materials.
Importance of Blade Teeth
Blade teeth are responsible for the cutting action of the blade. Hence, blade teeth are one of the most important parts of a jigsaw blade. It defines how rough or fine a blade makes the cut.
TPI of Blade – Teeth per unit (TPI) is the unit that is used to measure the total number of teeth in a square inch. Harder materials need higher TPI and softer materials need lower TPI. Apart from the cut, TPI also determines cutting speed.
Types of Blade Teeth – Teeth of blades are generally grounded or milled. Ground teeth have sharp edges; however, milled teeth are not as sharp but last for a longer duration.
Teeth Layouts – Apart from the type of blade teeth, the teeth are also designed in different layouts. Some common layouts are:
- Taper – These are a straight alignment of teeth and are ideal for fine and slow cutting.
- Wavy – In this, teeth are aligned in the shape of wave and are ideal for fine straight cuts.
- Reverse – These are like tapered teeth and are ideal for materials that are prone to chipping.
- Side – This is an offset design that makes them ideal for rough and faster cuts.
Now, as you are aware of jigsaw blades, you can easily choose the best one as per your requirement. If you are planning to buy a jigsaw blade online, browse through our website moglix.com and get the best assortment brands at the lowest price.