Buyer's Guide and Unbiased Review of the Best Jigsaws On The Market
For many woodworkers, a jigsaw is one of your first tools. It will also very likely be one of your most used saws.
Jigsaws are used for cutting sharp angles, rounded pieces and other designs into wood. While it can’t cut through nearly as thick of stock as a band saw, it is a much more mobile saw and more budget friendly. In addition, the cordless jigsaw is a common tool on job sites, where bandsaws are only used in wood shops.
Why purchase a jigsaw?
Jigsaws have a number of practical uses. In fact, you’ll get more uses per dollar out of your jigsaw than you will any other tool in your shop, outside of maybe a good circular saw.
Jigsaws are great for the entry level woodworker and the veteran wood shop master. You’ll have to learn how to have a steady hand and follow the line you draw. The rest is self explanatory.
Modern jigsaws allow you to:
- Cut curves and circles. Circular saws are great for cutting boards to length. However, if you ever want to cut something other than a straight line, you’ll need to have a good jigsaw handy.
- Work in small spaces. One of the uses that expert woodworkers have for their jigsaw is to use it on a piece that has already been constructed or cannot be maneuvered into a bandsaw.
- Get a great value saw. If you’re a newcomer or amateur woodworker, you’ll use your jigsaw as much as any other tool you own outside of some clamps and a circular saw.
What you should look for to find the best jigsaw
Jigsaws seem like fairly straightforward machines. However, just like any other piece of equipment where you need power and precision, not all products are equal. with several moving parts, the spectrum of jigsaws ranges widely in quality. In general, you should make sure your saw checks the following boxes.
- Corded or Cordless. If you are working on a customers job site or need mobility, make sure you get a cordless saw with decent battery life
- Compatibility. If you are looking to use the same battery with your jigsaw as you do with your other power equipment, make sure they are the same brand or have compatible battery units.
- Brand name. Just like any other large purchase you make, your jigsaw is only as good as the company that sells it. There is a spectrum in how well they are manufactured. As long as you buy one of the brand names that I have worked with and recommend, you should be in good hands.
Jigsaw Buyer's Guide
For the sake of simplicity, I’ll break this buyer’s guide up into two separate parts. One will break down my favorite cordless jigsaws and why. The other will break down more budget friendly, at home jigsaws which are corded.
Best Cordless Jigsaw
Makita 18V LXT Brushless Barrel Grip Jig Saw
Winner for: Best Cordless Jigsaw
Makita took a risk in building this saw as it’s revolutionary design could either set it apart from all of the competitors, or it could lose them some of their loyal brand supporters.
Fortunately for them, they hit this saw out of the park. While it isn’t the most budget friendly option it is the easiest to use, most accurate and has a great 6-speed control built in.
If you rely on your tools to make your living, having the best matters. This Makita is simply the best.
- Very low vibration
- Easy 6 speed adjustment
- 3 orbital settings
- Very sturdy construction
- Not the most budget friendly
- No built-in LED light
DEWALT 20V Max Jig Saw
Runner-up for: Best Cordless Jigsaw
DeWalt is a great brand name and I find myself recommending them for small pieces of equipment more frequently than any other company aside from Milwaukee.
DeWalt has a great lineup of other tools that you can swap this battery with. Most of their equipment that I use has a very sturdy build and ergonomic design. This saw is no exception.
- Sturdy construction
- Great brand name
- Would be nice to have less vibration
- No built-in LED light
Best Corded Jigsaw
Milwaukee 6.5 Amp Top Handle Jig Saw
Winner for: Best Corded Jigsaw
Milwaukee is my favorite brand for small pieces of equipment. This corded jigsaw does not disappoint.
While there are a number of corded jigsaw options available and most of them are comparable, the Milwaukee seems to be sturdier, more powerful and will last much longer.
The primary problem with cheap tools is that the motors will blow up, or the motor will be under a lot of stress and it will end up vibrating. To avoid this, I recommend buying a brand name option like this saw.
- Motor that will last several hundred hours
- Great brand name and warranty
- Not budget friendly (compared to other corded jigsaws)
Can I make due with just a circular saw
If you are brand new to woodworking, or you are an amateur looking to upgrade to your first power tool, maybe a jigsaw isn’t quite a must own just yet. Start off with a circular saw to get comfortable with the trade and see if it is something you want to pursue.
When you start off with just hand tools and a circular saw, you’ll soon realize how it is necessary to have a jigsaw to complete several projects in your wood shop. You simply won’t be able to cut angles without it.
If you are a contractor or home improvement professional, you’ll no doubt need a jigsaw in your toolbox to do any meaningful sized job.
Top uses for your Jigsaw
Here is a brief video that shows some of the many uses for jigaws. While it is not the most complex tool in your woodshop, it can still help to see a professional use it before putting one into action yourself.
If you are looking to upgrade to professional caliber woodworking equipment, have a look at the articles we compiled for you on selecting the best hybrid table saw for your shop. In addition, if you are looking to upgrade from the Jigsaw eventually, you’ll likely want to read our article on selecting the best bandsaw.