The Jig Saw

The jig saw is an awesome carpentry tool to own. It wasn't too many years ago that the this saw was introduced and made as big a splash with portable power tool users as the portable circular saw did when it first appeared. The continuing enthusiasm is justified because of the tool's special, practical fea­tures. The only tool that might be more popular, at least as a first-choice, is the portable drill. This is one of my favorite basic carpentry tools to use when I need to cut fine paneling and other materials that have to have a fine cut. But that is to say this least about this carpentry tool.


 With a jig saw you can do on-location chores that might be done on a handsaw or jigsaw in the shop. But even with stationary tools on hand, the size of the workpiece often makes it more convenient to do a sawing job with a tool that can be applied to the work.

Of course, the jig saw doesn't make the stationary tools obsolete. In the case of the handsaw, tic hand-held tool can't compete in cutting speed. nor can it rival the big tool on jobs like resawing, pad cutting, or making con/pound cuts.


The concept of the jig saw demands a stiff, relatively wide blade so it's not about to challenge the jigsaw, which can be used with attain-thin blade, in terms of extremely tine, tight- radius fretwork. lt's advantages are in its small, palm-grip size and its portability. However, don't misjudge it because of its size or discount its ability to turn a reasonably tight corner. Scroller designs that allow turning the blade as you move the tool can follow some pretty fancy designs, whereas the tools in general have grown up rough and tough and can easily get through stock or any plywood. With the correct blade, saber saws can he used on plastics, metals, pipe, and even leather or paper.

One of the tool's exclusive features is its ability to make piercing cuts—internal curs without a lead-in cut from an edge—without the need of a starting hole. Since the blade is chucked at only one end, it's possible to hold the tool at an angle, resting it firmly on the front edge of the base plate the blade's teeth begin to cut aspen slowly pivot the tool until the base plate is solidly on the work, thus, you penetrate the work at the normal operating posi­tion to finish the job.


What makes the tool more flexible, and even mom exciting today, is the great variety of blades that are available and the fact that newer models provide different, specific speeds. or allow it infinitely variable choice through the rears speed range.  You can choose an efficient combination of speed and blade to saw anything from paper to steel. With the tight blade you can do heavy-duty work like notch­ing studs or stair stringers and then, merely by changing to another blade design and possibly another speed. go imme­diately to more delicate work on cabinets and paneling.

Types and Sizes

The type of saw to consider depends on the kind of cutting you anticipate and the frequency of use. While the tool design, for sores reason or other. bears many names— saber or sabre saw jig saw. bayonet Salt scroller saw the basic function of the mechanism is to convert a rotating action into the up and down motion required by the new blade. There is a lot of variation in features like horsepower. weight, blade stroke-length, fixed blade or scrollen type and of course price


Generally, you get what you pay for A manufacturer isn't going to or can't, put into a Iight duty-single speed.330 tool what goes into a SIOCI or better hefty, heavy-duly. varia­ble speed version. This doesn't discount the less costlier models for light. occasional use. However, they may not out as fast on all materials and they probably won't stand up as well as the "bigger" saws under continuous. hard =condi­tions. When the tool base more powerful motor it will cut faster and more smoothly, run cooler and have a good. Solid feel to it fis longer life will be due, in part, to huskier construction and better beadings. Sometimes, more expensive INA will have extra refinement like an auxiliary {mob that permits a two-hand grip, and removable base-plate inserts that minimize splintering and feathering when sawing materials like plywood.


Cutting capacity isn't much of a question these days. Getting through 1 1/2" wood is a basic need audit would be difficult to find a unit that won't do it. The capacity factor is often listed as so many other in softwood and so many inches in hardwood. Many times, the tool's capacity in aluminum or steel is also rated. These areas though are affected as much by horsepower as by blade length Some tools can he used with special extra-long blades so you can cut through stock as thick m4", but they have the horsepower to do it.


Blade speeds—strokes per minute—are variable, a single speed has limited function; a couple of specific speeds is better, whereas a variable speed commonly allows near- perfect operating conditions for various cuts, High cut­ting speeds used in combination with a tapered or hollow- ground blade generally result in fine, smooth cuts in wood. Slower speeds are better for getting through metals and some plastics. This tool has truly changed the carpentry industry. The carpenters of today have advanced tools to get basic carpentry jobs done in a fast and productive manor. Stay tuned for more info on the jig saw.