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The Safe and Easy way to use a Jigsaw

Updated on March 4, 2018

The Safe and Easy way to use a Jigsaw

The jigsaw is one of the most versatile tools for most building projects. It
can make from the simple to the intricate in any design or remodel job.


The jigsaw can cut curved or straight cuts in almost any material including:


 Ceramic Tiles
 Metal
 Plastic
 Plywood


The jigsaw is the tool for you, whether you are a beginner or experienced
professional. It’s safe and simple to operate and can make your work look
professional with a bit of care and handling.


Safety First
As with any other power tool, safety is a priority. Wear safety goggles or
glasses. A dust mask will keep dust away from your face.
Keep your hands and fingers clear of exposed blades.
Ensure the power cord is long enough to tote around the work surface, to
avoid tripping or entangling.
Keep your blades in ship shape to ensure the best cuts possible for each job.


The Blade
Your first consideration when choosing a jigsaw is the blade. Blades are
available in a number of widths, lengths and tooth alignments.
If you want long straight cuts, a broader blade is your best bet. Curves need
a narrow edge and smaller blades will give you a smoother finish, but will
take longer.
Longer blades work faster, but the end result can be jagged and rough.


Here is how your jigsaw works with various cuts:


Metal Cuts
The right blade will cut through most types of metal. Most blades range
between 21 to 24 teeth per inch. They can tear through sheet metal, nails,
pipes, and hinges. Choose one with at least three teeth on edge.

Straight Cuts
Your jigsaw will tend to veer off course when making straight cuts. You will
need a bit more control to get it right.
A guide will help keep the saw steady as you cut. A piece of plywood, level
or steel square can work.
Place your hand on the base plate of the saw. Press toward the guide as you
glide the blade through the cut.


You may sometimes need to reinforce it with another guide. Ensure it lies
parallel to the first one, but allow at least 1/16 of an inch between each
guide and the saw’s base plate.


Flush Cuts
Since the jigsaw’s base plate extends over the blade, it won’t cut flush to a
vertical surface. This is typical of saws with a standard edge.
You can choose a flush cut blade that can cut through surfaces like
backsplashes or straight up a wall.


Circles
For precise circles, use a circle-cutting jigsaw. To make a circle cut, attach
the jigsaw and measure the radius of the circle from the blade outwards
from the jigsaw’s arm.


Position and fasten the pivot to the wood and guide the saw slowly around to
cut the shape. Keep the arm of the jigsaw flat against the surface.


Splinter-Free Cuts
Splintering occurs because most jigsaw blades cut on the upstroke. The
teeth usually point upwards and can result in fractures of the wood surface.
To combat splints, use a reverse-tooth blade with downward facing teeth
that will give a smoother, cleaner cut.


Conclusion
Your jigsaw is the go-to tool for almost any woodwork or metal carving job.
While it is easy to operate, a little care and attention to detail will guarantee
you the best results.

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