need help, could my jigsaw be faulty

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Forum topic by Mead posted 08-20-2009 04:20 AM 946 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 3444 days

08-20-2009 04:20 AM

hi, first post.
i recently received a black&decker jigsaw with a beveling shoe that allows you to cut at 90 and 45 degree angles. i recently started a project of building a box and when i finished cutting each piece for the sides the “45 degree” cuts didn’t match and i ended up with an almost pentagon like frame(minus one piece). just wondering if anyone else had a problem similar to mine using a jigsaw with the same capabilities.

8 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117423 posts in 3819 days

#1 posted 08-20-2009 04:30 AM

Hey Mead
A jigsaw is not a good tool to make miters because jig saw blades tend to flex when cutting so it’s all but impossible to get an angle that will match. almost any tool will miter better,a miter saw, a table saw with sled even a hand saw with a miter box. another thing to keep in mind is that all four sides must exactly the same size or your miters will not mesh properly.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View patron's profile


13641 posts in 3583 days

#2 posted 08-20-2009 04:39 AM

what they said .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3528 days

#3 posted 08-20-2009 03:43 PM

Yeah, me too.

Also, there is an unbelieveable difference in jig saw quality. My first was a Craftsman, which would be comparable to Black & Decker. I couldn’t cut anything decent untill I upgraded. I use a Bosch now and wouldn’t trade it. That said, budget is always a concern so we all live with what we have and make the best of it. You might have more luck with a simple miter box and a good handsaw.


View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4116 days

#4 posted 08-20-2009 05:41 PM

Jig saws are great for cutting curves… and about the worst tool you could use to try to get a straight, accurate bevel.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4367 days

#5 posted 08-20-2009 09:06 PM

What others have said about the difficulty of accurate cuts with a jig saw, and Black & Decker’s position in the pantheon of tool quality, however…

It’s also worth noting that 45° miters are hard because at the end of the frame your error is multiplied by 4! An error of 1° becomes an error of 4° by the time you get all the way around 4 joints. I’m building cabinet doors that have mitered corners, and it’s the first time I’ve ever wanted a table saw, just so I could build a dialed-in sled. I’ve got a rail on a hinge and a fence that I run my circular saw on, and I double-checked the angle with a speed square before every cut, and even so I ended up having to use the cyanoacrylate-before-sanding trick on some of the joints to fill the little micro-gaps.

There’s a reason that a picture framing shop may pay upwards of $8,000US for their saw…

It should be a little easier on a box because you’re only dealing with a portion of an inch for your miter, but its still non-trivial.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3512 days

#6 posted 08-20-2009 09:26 PM

There is a great article about closing open mitres in the last issue of shop notes or woodsmith…I forget which…but they give great photos and instruction on fixing.

With that said, I agree whole heartedly with what was said above…I would only use a jig saw for curves or for detail work in making small models, if I used the jig saw that is….A jig saw is probably the only item I have that just sits and gets dusty. I just dont think it gives me any more useful alternatives from other tools I already have….to me it only takes up bench space – A sabre saw or a band saw is much more useful and performs the same type of tasks more efficiently…and easier…Now I would never consider a jig saw for making any type of mitre for the same reasons stated previously….too much flex in the blade….you can get a box mitre with a saw – very cheaply…or there are numerous plans for building various mitre jigs…just google or do a search here on mitre jigs.

This isn’t criticism…but as advice…

nuff said.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Mead's profile


2 posts in 3444 days

#7 posted 08-22-2009 09:01 AM

yea i would have used a miter saw but i don’t own one, at least not yet, so i went ahead and attempted using a jig saw. thanks for the advice.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2848 posts in 3679 days

#8 posted 08-22-2009 11:58 AM

For me, my jigsaw is used when I can’t get the wood in a bandsaw. And my skill saw when I can’t get it in the table saw. Mostly rough cut tools. Other’s mileage may vary.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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