How Does a Jigsaw Work? Learning the Basics

Wishing to work on an interesting project that involves woodcraft? The first thing you’ll need is a great jigsaw. In case you are wondering, a jigsaw is one of the essential and safest equipment to handle even for the beginners.

Popular for its ergonomic design and orbital action blades, this machine is designed to make woodworking a lot easier for you. If you are curious about how does a jigsaw work, we have listed all the necessary information here.

What Is a Jigsaw?

First thing first, in case you are new to woodcraft, let us first define what a jigsaw is. Generally speaking, a jigsaw is a powered tool that is ideal for projects that involve wood as the primary material.

To demonstrate, it has an electric motor that works to move the blade in a fast up-and-down motion. The advanced versions of this machine can produce up to 3,000 strokes per minute or more.

In fact, if you have any experience with a sewing machine, you may find it similar in design. It works exactly like a commonly available sewing machine. Depending on the manufacturer, it can work on either electricity or a battery.

How Does a Jigsaw Work?

Whether you need to cut wood in a complex curve or a straight line, a jigsaw is the perfect tool for this task. This is possible because the controlling gears of the jigsaw convert the motion of its motor into a swift, vertical up-and-down blade motion. The movement of the blade then helps in cutting various materials.

In conventional terms, jigsaws are associated with making elaborate cuts in the wood, which is not something you will want to do with other manual saws. This is because it requires more energy and time with other machines.

Latest models now come with orbital action blades to make the jigsaw more efficient than ever. This latest feature helps in moving the blade in a pendulum-like movement alongside a straight up-and-down motion.

Additionally, it helps the machine in cutting even the hardest of material, like laminate countertops. In fact, you can complete a creative kitchen renovation on your own with the help of this simple tool.

How to Use a Jigsaw Safely

When using a jigsaw, you don’t want wobbly surfaces that can lead to accidents. Either assure that the piece of material you will be working on is heavy enough to stay in place or use clamps. Clamps will help you in preventing the material you are working on from slipping. When going for a plunging cut, use sawhorses to avoid damaging the surface on which your material is resting or your work desk.

Then, adjust the jigsaw so that its parallel to the surface you are working on. Turn on the lever on the jigsaw to let the blade sit on the cutting material, and then lock it safely to start cutting. Start from the edge of the piece you are working on, and keep the shoe plate resting securely on the surface to get clean and efficient cutting.

When starting with a jigsaw, don’t immediately assume that you can work at high speed to save time. This can lead to ineffective cutting and damaging the material in use.

How to Choose the Right Jigsaw

Even though anyone can use a jigsaw for various projects, you need to know how to buy the right combination of the jigsaw and its blades for optimal performance. In case you are confused, here are some useful tips:

  • Before starting any project, the best thing to do is to know which blade will work for you. For example, if you need to cut fast, you might need a blade with fewer teeth. A six-tooth blade will cut faster than a 10-tooth blade.
  • The lesser the teeth, the fewer chances are of getting a smooth cutting. With fewer teeth, you will be required to do more sanding.
  • Use fewer teeth on soft or smooth surfaces and more teeth when cutting through thick surfaces.
  • A jigsaw is a versatile machine, and its various available blades can assist you in cutting different materials like metal, tiles, and even plastics. In case you are cutting tiles, you will need special blades. For one thing, you will need toothless abrasive carbide-grit blades. You will also need to ensure that the tiles are not more than ¼ inch in thickness.
  • When you need to cut through metallic objects, go for a blade with 21 to 24 teeth.
  • Most of the times, the blades are formed to cut material in an upstroke. However, in case you are a perfectionist and don’t want to scratch your wood or see horrible lines, use different blades. Use blades that will cut on a downstroke motion. In this way, you will be able to have a flawless surface.

Why Use a Jigsaw?

A jigsaw will save you a lot of time and effort. Being a powerful piece of equipment, it can handle tough jobs without causing any distress. It is lightweight, and with few reasonable instructions, you can work with a jigsaw without any hazard.

The way you can speed through various woodcutting assignments with this machine is par-excellence. Most of the models available today even offer variable speed. This means that depending on the project you’re working on, you can choose the settings that work well for you.

When dealing with thick materials in comparison to the thinner ones, you will need faster speed. This is because moving on faster speed while cutting a thin material can potentially harm them and cause wear and tear.

In case you want to go for decorative cuts, it is very easy to get bevel cuts with a jigsaw. Professionals can also easily obtain a reasonable 45-degree angle with ease. You can even adjust the speed of the jigsaw to attain the right cut at complex points during your project.

Final Words

Now that you know how does a jigsaw work, you can now handle whatever woodworking project you set your mind on. Whether it is something as ordinary as building a shelf or as complex a task as cutting the tiles for your restroom, a jigsaw is the most dependable tool that you should definitely take advantage of. Assure that you have the right blades, and you will achieve great results in no time.

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