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Tips for Buying a New Cordless Jigsaw

Updated on December 6, 2017

Finding the Right Cordless Jigsaw is Easy

Finding the best deal on the right cordless jigsaw can sometimes be a bit on the complicated side. Whether you are a seasoned professional looking to upgrade your toolbox, or someone looking to purchase that perfect gift for one of the do-it-yourself types in your life, deciding on the best jigsaw can get tricky.

With advances in technology and everyone jumping in on the cordless jigsaw bandwagon, there are tons of options when it comes to picking out the right tool to fill your needs and stay within your budget.

This article aims to help clear up some of the confusion and steer you in the right direction when it comes to selecting the correct cordless jigsaw for the job while realizing the best value for your dollar.

Bosch GST18V-LI Cordless Jigsaw
Bosch GST18V-LI Cordless Jigsaw | Source

Early Beginnings of the Jigsaw

Albert Kaufman engineered the jigsaw in 1946 by attaching a saw blade to his wife's sewing machine, basically inventing the first band saw. This led to the first jigsaw being released to the marketplace a year later, and woodworking hasn't been the same since.

Today's cordless jigsaws are capable of being used for many applications that are as varied as the person using them. With the wide variety of blades available, cordless jigsaws have the ability to perform crosscuts, miter cuts, bevel cuts and plunge cuts in addition to possessing excellent curve cutting capabilities on wood, metal, leather and vinyl. This makes a cordless jigsaw just about the most versatile and desirable tool every professional and DIY type should have in his or her toolbox.

When it come time for buying a new cordless jigsaw, there are a few factors to consider, and hopefully, you will find this article helpful in making your decision.

The first thing to keep in mind is what you are going to use your cordless jigsaw for. This will help you when it comes time to buy jigsaw blades, as you will want to select the proper blades for the job at hand. This will ensure you are not buying blades you don't need or won't ever use.

You will need to decide if you can get by with a jigsaw with a fixed speed, or whether your tasks demand the versatility and control of a variable speed model. Also, there are orbital jigsaws that reduce vibration, but take heavier saw blades and aren't quite as accurate when it comes to creating intricate designs in wood.

Some of the disadvantages of cordless jigsaws are the same as with any cordless tool - the need to keep spare batteries and a battery charger at hand, along with a sacrifice of power in exchange for versatility and convenience. Buying a cordless jigsaw without enough power can end up with the saw "bouncing", resulting in less than perfect cuts.

Cordless jigsaws can sometimes be difficult to handle in the hands of an inexperienced operator, therefore selecting a model that isn't too heavy and feels comfortable when using it becomes important. Cordless jigsaw safety is another issue to consider, as you will read later on.

Cordless Jigsaw Safety Advice

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal safety on the job requires that you do not operate cordless jigsaws while fatigued, inebriated or otherwise preoccupied.

Inattention to the job at hand can result in a trip to the emergency room.

Dress correctly for the job. Loose baggy clothing, long hair, and jewelry can all get caught up in moving components. Make sure you have the correct eyewear, and we are not talking about a pair of flashy sunglasses. They may look cool, but you need to find a good pair of safety glasses and wear them.

If you are cutting into materials which kick up a lot of dust, you may want to grab a particle mask. Also, some job sites and employers may require you wear hard hats and steel-toed footwear. Check to make sure if these added levels of protection are required or needed. Hearing protection may also be needed, depending on your work environment.

A Safe Work Area

Once you are properly dressed for the tasks at hand, you will want to turn your attention to your work area. When working with power tools of any type, whether corded or cordless, having a clean, well lit and properly ventilated work area is very important. Make sure there are no distractions such as kids or inquisitive onlookers distracting you as you work.

Also, check the piece you are working on for nails and screws, and make sure of proper blade clearance beneath the work area.

Proper Handling of Your Cordless Jigsaw

Always remember that you have a live tool in your hands when working with cordless jigsaws. It's easy to forget this if you don't have a cord dragging behind you as a constant reminder. Carrying your cordless jigsaw around with your fingers on the trigger is inviting an accident. Regardless of whether you injure yourself or an innocent bystander, this is something you want to avoid.

Make sure you are working on a stable object, which may entail using a clamp or two. Using your lap or body to secure the piece is not only stupid but will result in an accident that may be hard to live with.

Don't use your cordless jigsaw if the switch doesn't work. This could be a problem with the switch, or possibly a short in the tools wiring, both if which are dangerous situations. Also, make sure not to touch the blade or material you are cutting until it has cooled down, as it will be hot.

Cordless Jigsaw Battery Tips

Be sure to store your battery in a cool dry place when not being used. A refrigerator is okay, as long as you put them in an airtight plastic bag with a desiccant pack to absorb moisture.

Avoid storing them in hot humid places like car trunks or locked truck cabs.

It is also advisable to clean the contacts from time to time with alcohol and a cotton swab. This will help maintain a good connection between the battery and charger, as well as the tool.

I hope these basic safety tips help and enjoy using your cordless jigsaw safely!

Don't Forget the Safety Goggles
Don't Forget the Safety Goggles | Source

My Favorite Cordless Jigsaw

DEWALT DC330K Heavy-Duty 18-Volt Ni-Cad Cordless Top Handle Jig Saw Kit
DEWALT DC330K Heavy-Duty 18-Volt Ni-Cad Cordless Top Handle Jig Saw Kit

Two batteries and a charger will keep you running, but I have found keeping 3 batteries charged or on charge is much better.

The keyless blade swapping system is pretty cool and allows you to eject a hot blade by flipping a lever. With the electric brake, you can also stop the jigsaw quickly to avoid damage to the blade or saw.

 

What Brand of Cordless Jigsaw Do You Recommend?

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© 2013 Hal Gall

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    • scrollsawhobby profile image

      Jim 3 years ago from Campbell, CA

      Great info! As far as scroll saws are concerned, I believe dewalt provides one of the best options available (specifically the 788), but as far as jig saws go, I'll have to trust the reviewer's opinion :)

    • profile image

      halloweenprops 4 years ago

      Great info on cordless jigsaws, I've got a project coming up that I need to use one for.