All Replies on what is your opnion about your jig saw?

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what is your opnion about your jig saw?

by Paul
posted 01-02-2012 07:15 PM

50 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4947 posts in 3982 days

#1 posted 01-02-2012 07:23 PM

I guess that I lucked out. I bought an AMT (now defunct) scroller a long time ago. It is no production saw by any means, but sure has done a good job. Cleaned and lubed the pivot bearings a couple times, use good blades, and keep the table polished.
I steer clear of the Ryobi stuff except for a 3” x 21” belt sander I bought 15 years ago. It has been a keeper for some reason. It won’t quit.


View rmoore's profile


325 posts in 2657 days

#2 posted 01-02-2012 07:25 PM

Sounds like my Craftsman. Base wont stay where you put it, slotted screw to hold blade in ( bad idea ) is wore out, black paint on base comes off on wood. Maybe we can both get some good info here on a good one to buy. BTW, I assumed you are referring to a hand held unit.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View HamS's profile


1829 posts in 2411 days

#3 posted 01-02-2012 07:45 PM

Mine sucks. It is a Black and Decker that is probably 20 years old, but I hardly ever use it for anything but cutting up sheets ready for more precise cutting with other tools. The blade won’t stay in, it bends a lot and the base flops around. I think it is the nature of the tool. They are okay I guess for construction work but I don’t think they are capable of precise cuts.

-- Haming it up in the 'bash.

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2377 days

#4 posted 01-02-2012 07:45 PM

Well if the blade won’t stay where it’s supposed to, then it probably is missing it’s blade guide….
I know of a company that couldn’t figure that out….

I have 2 dewalt jigsaws. a newer one, that the blade will track off a shave every once an a while, and an old one that is just about perfect when it comes to cutting, but the chord is old and dry wrotted, though no exposed wire…

Bosch makes some good jigsaws, craftsman does, though the one described above is either a really old model or he bought it from someone who didn’t take care of it. Porter Cable makes a nice one. There are several good ones. But they need to be taken care of.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2948 days

#5 posted 01-02-2012 07:55 PM

I have a Bosch barrel type, it works well, but I also find it is a bit difficult to control, especially when using it on double thickness material, it runs off 90 degrees no matter what the feed rate or what blade I use.

I almost always go to my bandsaw instead unless it’s too large a project.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3671 days

#6 posted 01-02-2012 07:55 PM

My opinion is that it is very a very educated little tool, although it can be rude at times.

I have the bosch barrel grip JS and it is by far the best one I’ve used. it has some great features to make it a very precise tool for intricate cuts, but it is still requires getting to know how to use properly for certain cuts, and there is some learning curve there to go through.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ShaneA's profile


6952 posts in 2620 days

#7 posted 01-02-2012 08:00 PM

I have a DeWalt, basically use it to break down wide, long rough lumber. Works well for that, used to have a Hitachi…burnt it up cutting white oak : (

View Mike's profile


66 posts in 2404 days

#8 posted 01-02-2012 08:11 PM

I had a Dewalt for a few years now it’s done everthing I asked of it

-- But hon I need this tool.......

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3006 days

#9 posted 01-02-2012 08:44 PM

The need to use a jig saw in my woodworking has never been a priority, but yet enough of a priority to have one in the shop for those moments when its the only tool to use.

I had 2 old Black and Deckers with the olive green body and orange short cords for rough cuts as they didn’t cut very precise. I used them till they burnt out. Then the kids bought a very cheap off brand that lasted all of 5 mins. I then inherited a Craftsman that worked fairly well, till it fell apart and wasn’t worth repairing.

The one I have now is an off brand called Apprentice Tool. I bought it at a close out sale/tool lottery for $15. It has the adjustable orbit cut feature, Laser/Light I find the light useful, and it has the T shank style blades. Surprisingly it has turned out to be one of those times where I won the tool lottery for a change. So far it has been a pleasure to use and cuts quite precise and smooth. Who knows this might be the jig saw that finds its way into my woodworking more. At least it gets used more than the biscuit jointer ever will.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10521 posts in 3451 days

#10 posted 01-02-2012 09:00 PM

Had a Craftsman. It was a fair tool till it quit. Bought a B&D….Nuff said. Then I “MOVED UP” a DeWalt…..biggest POS I ever owned. Worse than the B&D, for gosh sake. Couldn’t cut a straight line with out beveling out in any but the thinnest of material. Cutting curves in a piece of 3/4 MDF for patterns was never gonna happen. I gave it to a friend….I hope he’s still a friend.
Bought the Bosch and it’s the finest jig saw I’ve ever used. Cutting even 2X material is like slicing bread. Sooo smooth.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2509 days

#11 posted 01-02-2012 09:29 PM

I’ve had a bunch of them, and most were pretty inaccurate.
The present model, a Makita 4324 seems to be a bit different than the other ones I’ve had. I bought it to cut sheet metal in tight places while repairing RV’s and so far it’s been accurate, easy to control and doesn’t overheat.
Some of the aluminum I’ve cut has been up to 3/8” thick and it never slowed down.
I’ve cut wood with it up to 2” thick and like someone else said, there is a learning curve. Once you figure it out it seems to do a good job.
However, I still like my band saw better when I can use it!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Blakep's profile


232 posts in 2824 days

#12 posted 01-02-2012 09:35 PM

I also have a Bosch that I bought a few months ago and I really like it but I dont’ use it much. I use the bandsaw whenever I can. The only time I use it is if its a piece to large for the bandsaw or its a inside cut and I don’t want to mess with the scroll saw.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2991 days

#13 posted 01-02-2012 09:42 PM

I have borrowed a Festool PSB 300 and didn’t find it to be any better than my own Makita 4340. Both are good, but not exceptional. The blade will go slightly off perpendicular on both in thick stock – but that’s to be expected anyway. (Not just stating that to cause a Festool v’s rest arguement, that’s just my evaluation).
I was talking to a builder about his Dewalt tools, he loved every one of them except the jigsaw, “couldn’t ever get it to work properly” – just goes to show, you can equip yourself with everything from your favourite brand and still bag a lemon.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3032 days

#14 posted 01-02-2012 09:46 PM

I have a Bosch 1590 and it is superb. I was quite curious about the Festool Carvex but who knows what happened there.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View syenefarmer's profile


492 posts in 3103 days

#15 posted 01-02-2012 09:47 PM

For those who aren’t too happy with their jigsaw, try some Bosch T234 Progressor Blades if you jigsaw will accept t shank blades. The won’t turn your jigsaw into a professional grade jigsaw but they will upgrade the performance of you jigsaw considerably.

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3158 days

#16 posted 01-03-2012 12:11 AM

I have the Makita 4351FCT Barrel Grip Jig Saw with L.E.D. LigHt…

It takes the Bosch T blades…

-- Rick

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

346 posts in 2484 days

#17 posted 01-03-2012 12:14 AM


Why application do you use it for??? I use mine very seldom, most recently I used it to cut out a silhouette of a witch in our front yard for Halloween…. It did the job, but precision and cut quality was not a goal…

Now, I made a reindeer for my mother in law this Xmas, and I didn’t even pull the jig saw out… I used a fine/ screw blade on the bandsaw…. Better cleaner more consistent cuts…

Honestly, I think the Bandsaw is the best tool I own….. I use that thing constantly, my only gripe is not having 3 of them for different applications… Changing the blades a pian in the behind (cause of laziness, of course!!!!!)

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3070 days

#18 posted 01-03-2012 12:17 AM

for jigsaws there is only one name: Bosh
They are pricey but they will give you a life time satisfaction

-- Bert

View Nighthawk's profile


556 posts in 2379 days

#19 posted 01-03-2012 12:24 AM

I have a Worx Jigsaw... and it is a very nice saw variable speed saw with dust port and all that… It is classed as a semi professional brand here… (you most likely you have never heard of the brand… like I have never heard of powermatic, craftsman and grissely before coming on here…)

All jigsaws will wonder off course, it can be for a variety of reasons… from the blade type to you being drunk lol or not drunk enough take your pick (joking… never use power tools when you have had to many accidents happen then) ... to the type of stock you are cutting, what shape you are cutting, if a straight line a fence or straight edge can help etc.

The angle of the base should not change or move once locked and should be able to be locked in to place… but you shouldn’t need to push too hard down on the saw when cutting anyway and just let the saw do the work. But maybe just needs to change the bolt on the locking mechanisum.

You do know most of the big brands including Ryobi come from the same factory, just rebranded. Ryobi also make pro trade gear… and industrial gear that come from a different factory… as well as have another brand that the trade guys use with out even knowing in reality it it is a Ryobi. (enter trade brand name here) Ryobi has been around for a long time and are tageted for the D.I.Y.

It is like Makiti have OEM trade and Makita for the DIY. Both are branded as Makiti… the trade tools are usally blue and the price is higher. DIY the tools are usually green and a bit cheaper but comes from a different factory and people think they are getting a Makiti… well in away you are but in a way they are not… BOSCH are the same Blue (professional) Green (DIY)

Now on saying that just because you have a DIY does not mean you can’t get the same quality of cut… it should… the different usually is that the professional gear can usually handle heavier load, get banged about more on the job site ie being dropped more etc. Being used every day instead of once a month type of thing…

The point of this is to buy the correct tool to met your needs… and not to just blame the tool if it doesn’t or you break it after a month of continuious use when it was a DIY tool desined to only be used once a month… Age old saying ”a good craftsman never blames his tools…”

-- Rome wasn't built in a day... but I wasn't on that job? ...

View felkadelic's profile


218 posts in 2562 days

#20 posted 01-03-2012 12:27 AM

I have a Bosch JS460E (I believe that’s the model number), and it’s fine for most things. However, I did recently have to cut an inside circle in some 1” thick softwood, and the blade wouldn’t stay perpendicular in the cut. Nearly ruined my workpiece.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4947 posts in 3982 days

#21 posted 01-03-2012 12:27 AM

OOPS! I thought scroller rather than jigger.


View kizerpea's profile


774 posts in 2390 days

#22 posted 01-03-2012 12:35 AM

bosch for sure… there you go! thats what i have….


View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3578 days

#23 posted 01-03-2012 12:36 AM

I have a Porter Cable and have beat on it quite a bit and it is still as good as new. Last week I found myself in the attick with a plywood panel (for a floor) that was too wide. Rather than haul the wood down/up the ladder again, I brought up the jigsaw and ripped it (3/4 ply) no problem. I rarely use it for anything precise, maybe just a quick notch in something or cutting a rounded corner.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2945 days

#24 posted 01-03-2012 12:47 AM

I have a DeWalt. While it is a necessary evil, I try to avoid a jigsaw.

-- Life is good.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2528 days

#25 posted 01-03-2012 12:50 AM

I have 2, both a bit older….a Bosch 1587 and a Dewalt 321 (I believe). Both are pretty good. I give the edge to the Bosch for the main reason that is is balanced better in my hand, and for some reason the way the Dewalt is balanced I seem to hit the power trigger when I don’t want to. And to me that’s a big negative for the Dewalt.

If I was buying new, I’d get the new Bosch.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7598 posts in 2823 days

#26 posted 01-03-2012 01:00 AM

I’ve always looked at my jig saw like I look at my circular saw. great for rough cuts, breaking down materials, etc. But don’t try to get accuracy from it. Cut close to the line and then clean up with something else.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3158 days

#27 posted 01-03-2012 01:19 AM

I wanted a Bosch Barrel grip til I saw the Makita 4351FCT Barrel Grip Jig Saw with L.E.D. Light…

I think the D handle is pure junk period no matter who makes it…

The design is top heavy and you have to push it around your work…

Its like grabbing the top of your router and pushing it around instead of by the handles…

A barrel grip your closer to your work and its alot easier to maneuver…

Technical Details

Anti-vibration technology along with dynamically balanced motor for over 40% reduced vibration and noise than competitive models
Illuminate your work with on board L.E.D light for increased visibility
3 orbital setting plus straight cutting with powerful 6.3 AMP motor for cutting in all varieties of materials
Electronic variable speed control dial (800-2,800 SPM) maintains consistent speed throughout the cut for superior results
Patented tool-less blade change system for fast and easy blade installation and removal

  • Beat that BOSCH…*

-- Rick

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4028 days

#28 posted 01-03-2012 01:31 AM

I have a D handle Bosch i bought in 1991. Works just as good as the day i bought it. Not sure bout the quality of them since that time period. Seems like i recall using someones newer model Bosch and it didn’t feel like the same quality.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4028 days

#29 posted 01-03-2012 01:48 AM

””Illuminate your work with on board L.E.D light for increased visibility””

NO..NO..NO…. A light attached to any tool is a dead givaway it was designed by someone who doesn’t use tools. Next thing you know there’ll be block planes and spokeshaves with little silly headlights… :)

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3158 days

#30 posted 01-03-2012 02:09 AM

I have The BOSCH PS 20 – PS 21 – PS 4! Drills and they all have LED’s…

I think there the best 12v Drills on the market…

-- Rick

View rmoore's profile


325 posts in 2657 days

#31 posted 01-03-2012 02:25 AM

_miles125_ I sort of agree with you about the LED lights. Some of them actually cast a shadow on your work. However, there are times it would be nice to have some extra light.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View PeteMoss's profile


207 posts in 3492 days

#32 posted 01-03-2012 02:41 AM

I have one of the Festool Trion jigsaws. It is certainly excellent as far as jigsaws go. I haven’t used a Bosch, but they seem to be really well made and quite popular. From what I have read, they seem to be pretty much equals. In the end OCD won out with me. Blue and silver just wouldn’t fit in with the green and black.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

View Alan Robertson's profile

Alan Robertson

66 posts in 3940 days

#33 posted 01-03-2012 02:45 AM

Had ‘em all. Saw the Bosch at a show when they 1st became available in the states. totally impressed. Bought it and the 4×24 belt sander. Got a newer Bosch Jig, actually several, gave the older ones to friends. still have the belt sander, still use it (27-28 or better years old). Still use a Bosch Barrel Grip (my main go-to heavy duty jig saw). Have a Fein Barrel-Grip for a more precision Jig saw (letters scroll cuts,etc.)
To say my favorite by performance, durability, versatility and all around performance, the Bosch var speed, recip, barrel grip is by far my favorite, most dependable jig saw.

-- MrAl

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2858 days

#34 posted 01-03-2012 02:47 AM

I had a black and decker that I absolutely hated, the thing couldn’t cut a straight, flat cut in sheetrock. Someone I loaned it to did me the favor of not returning it, happy to have it go. I’ll look into the bosch when I need one next.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3158 days

#35 posted 01-03-2012 03:03 AM

NO..NO..NO…. A light attached to any tool is a dead givaway it was designed by someone who doesn’t use tools. Next thing you know there’ll be block planes and spokeshaves with little silly headlights… :)

-- Rick

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2991 days

#36 posted 01-03-2012 03:13 AM

If you have to put a screw in a drawer runner and you just can’t see where the hole is, you’d be glad of the light.
The Makita jigsaw has a dust blower and light, I’ve never had an issue with visibility. It’s a good thing.

View pmayer's profile


1028 posts in 3087 days

#37 posted 01-03-2012 03:22 AM

I have a Bosch and I like it a lot. I thought it was the best one out there until I used a cordless Ridgid last weekend and I found it to be a superb tool. I think I like it better than my Bosch, and being cordless is a nice plus as well.

-- PaulMayer,

View SPFineWoodworking's profile


2 posts in 2360 days

#38 posted 01-03-2012 03:24 AM

I have the Bosch 1590 EVSL. I use it mostly for carpentry work. Bosch blades are excellent, so I think it could be fine tuned for shop use.

-- It has to be true. I read it on the internet!!!!

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3331 days

#39 posted 01-03-2012 03:25 AM

I have 2 jigsaws…one is an old Bosch I bought around the late 1970’s and it survived a being flood since it was stored in an ammo box.
My second one is a newer Makita that works with my lithium batteries for my drill. It is a real quality and precise saw and is very convenient… in that I don’t need plug it in or to get out the extension cords.

I personally find the light extremely useful and have been happy numerous times that it is there. I think it was designed by someone who had common sense

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3131 days

#40 posted 01-03-2012 03:56 AM

I have had a few cheapies, a Black and Decker from the 80s that will probably run until I am long dead, a Skill saw with scrolling action that had an arm break on it and will swivel a full 360 while running. That one went to the trash. The one I use is a newer B and D that was actually listed as a good value tool in Wood. I use it mostly for cutting knots out of rough lumber so I don’t lose too much of the surface. On the occasions where I needed to cut a curve or circle in plywood, it works decent enough. I buy Bosch blades for it and I try not to push the saw harder than to move it forward while the blade works. I think that was the biggest learning curve for me was to only be as firm as the blade can cut. I would go with a Bosch if I used one more regularly.

On the matter of the extras that come with them these days, laser sights, LED, dust blower, etc. I think it just boils down to how much you are spending on the tool. On higher price models, I can see these things being beneficial and niceties, on lower cost models, it would be better for the manufacturer to put the money into the tool and not the extras. So much money goes to the bells and whistles that little is left for the main purpose. When I went with the B and D, I looked for a model that was basic and noted to work well.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3670 days

#41 posted 01-03-2012 04:09 AM

I don’t like to be a snob, and maybe older Bosch’s are better
than the new ones…. but the Festool is nicer and vibrates
less than today’s Bosch and is a superior handling tool.
Using the Festool jigsaw makes many cuts feel so smooth,
it can be hard to believe you are using a jigsaw.

I bought a new Bosch a few months ago for a situation where
my older Festool saw was in another state. I took the Bosch
back the next day because it was not anywhere equal to
the Festool.

Mafell is the only jigsaw saw brand I would expect to equal the

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2993 days

#42 posted 01-03-2012 04:18 AM

A jigsaw was the second power tool I ever bought; back in 1965. The first was a 1/4” drill.
I reasoned that I could make straight cuts and rips with my hand saws and fine detail curves with my coping saw, but a jig saw would do either function fairly well, plus I could get metal cutting blades for it and use it like a power hack saw. For a 16 year old I don’t think my logic was too flawed.

I have had several jig saws over the years since, and although I have all variations of power and hand saws now, I still grab my Dewalt jig saw on occasion.

The trick is to go slow and let the saw do the work and to use a good blade.
I like the Bosch blades myself.
I can make perfectly straight, or curved, 90 degree cuts with the cheapest little Black and Decker saw out there by using a good blade and the proper technique.

Headlights on my planes? Now THAT would be handy ;^)

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3158 days

#43 posted 01-03-2012 04:41 AM

Your saying B&D takes T shank Blades…

-- Rick

View Bagtown's profile


1739 posts in 3752 days

#44 posted 01-03-2012 04:48 AM

Well, I have a Freud jigsaw and it works very well. crank49 offers great advice. use a good quality blade and let the tool do the work (I can still hear Mr. McGinnis, my shop teacher in grade 7 saying that). Only thing that I find annoying is the cord on it is so stiff.
I go for the bosch blades as well.


-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View Paul's profile


224 posts in 3474 days

#45 posted 01-03-2012 05:36 AM

I don’t have a specific repeat use for it and that’s probably because I don’t like the one I have.
I recently had to make inside corner cuts for the kick of a cabinet. I used a hand saw so I wouldn’t have to use the jig saw. So essentially it’s a tool I currently work away from. I feel it’s a needed tool and so I want to ship my junk out and replace it with something that I hear people are happy with. I’m kinda of anti-Festool because although the tools may be good, I feel the brand is successfully building brainwash and so I’m suspect about opinions of their tools. I won’t pay them, I’d rather pay more for another brand if I’m sure they tool has good feedback.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2697 days

#46 posted 01-03-2012 05:43 AM

My friend has a Bosch barrel grip that I have used a few times while working with him. It DOES have a learning curve. It moves too easy for me. I have a Dewalt with a roller guide to keep the blade running straighter (can never say straight about any of them). It has done everything I have asked of it. I get along with it very well. Good saw for the money I paid for it.

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2714 days

#47 posted 01-03-2012 06:17 AM

For my 2¢ I’ll have to say that I’ve been happy with a Porter Cable that’s nearly 20 years old. It uses the T blades or straight ones. The T blades work so well that I’ve never had to use a straight one in it. I hope the Bosch T blades descibed above fit the Porter Cable, the Porter Cable T blades have been getting harder to find.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 4046 days

#48 posted 01-03-2012 06:32 AM

I’ve got a Festool and love it. I know they are expensive, but I have COPD and the dust collection is fantastic and an absolute must. Between that vacuum and my Delta air cleaner I can still get in the shop to do things. I also have an Airway face shield that filters out quite a bit. So all together, new tool technology is allowing me to continue making sawdust without further damaging my health.

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3356 days

#49 posted 01-04-2012 04:38 PM

I have the heavy DeWalt barrel type. It a fantastic saw. Very accurate and strong. I understand that the Bosch high end models are also excellent and maybe even better than DeWalt as far a ergonomics and other small features go. That said, I love my DeWalt.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4002 days

#50 posted 01-04-2012 04:49 PM

I have a number of jig saws. We use some in the cabinet shop…A German made AEG, which is a nice, well made tool . A Metabo, also German made, also good. And a Festool, which is very good. It’s hard to see the line with the vacuum sheild in place, so I don’t use that insert.

On job sites we’ve been using Bosch models. They too work quite well.

Like most tools, I find the right blade, feed rate make a big difference in the results.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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