Top handle or barrel grip jigsaw?

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Forum topic by car16 posted 10-30-2013 12:21 AM 1641 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 1831 days

10-30-2013 12:21 AM

Its time to replace my p.o.s. black and decker jigsaw. I need something that will handle bevel cuts in thicker stock for adirondack chairs for example and finer detail work at times. Im looking at Bosch 470’s either top handle or barrel grip. I have never used a barrel grip and dont know anyone that has one I can try out. No barrel grips in the box stores around me so im going to have to order if I go that route. Any thoughts? Sorry if this has already been beat to death.

12 replies so far

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2564 posts in 2736 days

#1 posted 10-30-2013 12:47 AM

I have the Bosch barrel grip saw ,Model JS470EB. I have had it a coupula’ years now and like it. I prefer the barrel grip to the handle grip that was on my old saw (Makita). It is a smooth runner. It has a switch not a trigger and the saw is pretty heavy. I especially like the, no tools required ,blade change system.

-- No PHD, but I have a GED and my DD 214

View Picken5's profile


245 posts in 2506 days

#2 posted 10-30-2013 12:54 AM

A few months ago I picked up a Rigid R3101 jigsaw at HD when I could no longer buy blades for my old Craftsman jigsaw. It took a bit for me to get used to the barrel grip on it, but it seems to do the job quite well. And the Rigid lifetime service deal is pretty intriguing also.

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

View BurlyBob's profile


4955 posts in 2079 days

#3 posted 10-30-2013 01:34 AM

I got a barrel grip Bosch a few years back and just love it. It is a handfull, but has lots going for it. Super easy blade change, varible speed, adjustable blade angle almost to many things to adjust before using. It was an awesome step from my old Craftsman.

View cabmaker's profile


1617 posts in 2623 days

#4 posted 10-30-2013 01:46 AM

I have both. Bosch standard grip and the festool barrel grip.

Without regard to brand I really think I prefer the barrel grip.Seems to put you in closer touch with the work.

It really shines when cutting from below the work (common european style)

Do yourself a favor and whichever way you go, get a nice one ! But my vote is for the barrel grip.

View TheDane's profile


5312 posts in 3477 days

#5 posted 10-30-2013 01:51 AM

I bought a Rockwell RK3734K ( ) a little more than two years ago.

It is a low-profile, barrel grip, jig-saw … I like it. After having several saws with the handle on the top, using a barrel-grip, IMHO, is a dream. Easier to control, gets into tighter spaces. etc.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2251 days

#6 posted 10-30-2013 01:57 AM

I’ve got an old Bosch 1580 something that’s been in use for around fifteen years. I love the barrel grip. A lot easier to control IMO.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View Grandpa's profile


3258 posts in 2489 days

#7 posted 10-30-2013 02:01 AM

I have the top handle saw. I have a friend that has the barrel grip and he likes it but I used it when I was with him and I just didn’t like the way it handled. Just me probably but I would try to go to a place that had both where you could try them. I think it depends on the person. I didn’t feel like I was in control like I was with the top handle. I have a Dewalt top handle with the quick change blade. I like the saw and it does a great job. My friends barrel grip is a Bosch.

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2391 days

#8 posted 10-30-2013 02:19 AM

Barrel grip. Easier to control.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2106 days

#9 posted 10-30-2013 03:25 AM

Check out a battery powered unit. I have two older Bosch units, both top handle. One is corded and the other is battery powered. I always reach for the battery saw, and I can’t remember the last time I got the corded saw out. I am going to check out the new battery powered Festool barrel unit when it comes out because it makes a kind of sense to lower the center of gravity and move closer to the work for better control. Best wishes on whichever unit you decide to buy.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View car16's profile


8 posts in 1831 days

#10 posted 10-30-2013 03:43 AM

Thanks for all the quick input. Just ordered the barrel grip. Should be here Friday.

View cabmaker's profile


1617 posts in 2623 days

#11 posted 11-06-2013 02:53 AM

Well, how bout it? did u get it ? How do u like it?

View car16's profile


8 posts in 1831 days

#12 posted 11-06-2013 03:56 AM

I did get it and its great. Have been working some overtime this week so havent used it too much but have been very impressed.

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