The jigsaw : what is it used for ? How to choose and use it safely ?

The jigsaw is a very practical and essential tool for small and large cutting jobs to be done at home. Wireless or wired for the simplest models, it exists in a pneumatic version for experienced DIYers and pros. What is it for ? How to use your jigsaw? How to choose it well? Our answers in this file.

The jigsaw: how to use it?

The jigsaw is a portable mechanical tool included in the basic models essential in a home, since it allows you to carry out many small cutting jobs with ease.

It consists of a vertical blade which oscillates from bottom to top to perform the sawing of the pieces. Straight cuts are obviously possible, but also rounded and oblique cuts thanks to a tilting sole. A trigger switch makes it easier to engage the machine and guarantees safer use. A variable speed drive is used to adapt the speed of the cut according to the material.

With a jigsaw you can make straight cuts, diagonal cuts and round cuts effortlessly. Its strong point is that it is suitable for a wide range of materials such as wood, plywood, metal, but also aluminum, tiles or ceramics. It is therefore an essential tool to have at home in order to easily carry out small decoration, layout, creation or modification of furniture, as well as the laying of parquet floors, paneling, tiling, cladding, etc.

How to choose a jigsaw?

The different models of jigsaws

There are three models of jigsaws: the cordless jigsaw, the corded jigsaw and the pneumatic jigsaw.

  • The cordless jigsaw is lighter and easier to handle. Very practical for DIY work, its use is not disturbed by the wire, which allows it to be used anywhere, especially for complex rotary cuts. On the other hand, its autonomy is more limited since it works on battery. To avoid any breakdown during construction, provide two batteries to continue your activity.
  • The corded jigsaw has the advantage of being permanently connected to the electrical network, which allows unlimited use. On the other hand, the cord also makes it less manageable than a cordless model.
  • The pneumatic jigsaw is a more efficient model that meets the needs of professionals. It is a heavier and bulkier tool whose price is much higher. It is more rarely used by individuals.

The essential criteria for choosing the right jigsaw

To be sure of making the right choice of jigsaw, certain criteria must be taken into account.

  • His power : depending on the use of your jigsaw, you will need a device with adequate power, because this determines the depth or height of the cut. Most models display a power between 350 and 750 Watts. For difficult cuts, prefer a tool with a power of at least 600 W. On the other hand, for small, simple and occasional cutting jobs, 400 W is sufficient.
  • His speed : this is the number of strokes made by the blade per minute. A variable speed tool (500 to 3,000 strokes per minute on average) is recommended for ease of use.
  • His blades : a good cut requires a good blade adapted to the material being worked. Cutting wood requires a steel or HCS carbon blade. Metals require an HSS high speed steel blade. For glass and tile, use a blade without teeth.
  • Its handle : the jigsaw can have a bow handle or a mushroom handle. Note that the latter is recommended for more precise and neat cuts.
  • The pendulum movement option : this interesting option reduces the cutting forces, increases the cutting speed and limits the heating of the blade.

You can find simple models for your occasional small jobs for a minimum budget of 20 to 30 euros. On the other hand, for regular and quality use, it is recommended to invest in a higher-end model, the cost of which varies between 100 and 200 euros.

How to use your jigsaw safely?

The jigsaw is a practical and easy-to-handle tool, including for beginner do-it-yourselfers. It is important to prepare the part to be cut beforehand. Draw your cutting line with a pencil and secure your piece with a vice or a clamp so that it remains immobile.

For straight line cutting, clamp the material securely and rest the front of the saw shoe on the edge of the mark, the blade in the center of the cut line, and run the tool at minimum speed. Progress slowly, gradually increasing the speed for better cutting and make sure that the sole of the tool is flat against the part throughout the operation. Be sure to follow the cut line with the help of the jigsaw sight and/or a guide.

Remember to protect your work piece and its furniture, because the dust generated is significant, especially with wood. Equip yourself with protective glasses and a mask.

Always work in a bright and airy space, away from the presence of children and animals. Finally, do not touch the blade after use, as it may be hot.

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