What is a jigsaw?
A jigsaw is the easiest tool for doing DIY works. Even kids can work with a jigsaw with proper supervisions. It is the most resourceful power tool you find for working with woodworks. It is the easiest, safest, cheapest multifunctional power tool. So, it can be said that it’s the best tool for all-around performance. And this is where you can learn how to use a jigsaw.
Even it is the safest tool among all of the rest but still, it’s a power tool after all. So, we have got to take some safety measures. Keep your safety glasses on when working with the saw. You have to put a dust mask in some cases because some woodworks may produce a huge amount of dust when cutting. So using a dust mask will be ideal for the user.
Materials for jigsaw
A jigsaw is ideal for cutting various types of materials. You can cut wood, metal, laminate, plastic, PVC, steel, fiberglass, drywall, tile and many more. We can make cuts on all of them in different shapes, size, and thickness with the correct type of jigsaw. You can even make mitered, curved and beveled cuts with the jigsaw.
The main crucial thing of using a jigsaw is choosing the right blade for the right work and right type of cut you want to make. There are several varieties of different types of blade available for a jigsaw. They vary in their length, teeth, shank, size, and materials they are used for cutting.
Shank: There are two varieties of shanks available for the jigsaw. They are U-shaped shank and T-shaped shank. Choosing the shank type will affect your working pace. So, before buying your jigsaw read the user manual with it to know if it is suitable for your work or not. It is also necessary to inform you that some of the models of jigsaws allow both types of shank blade in them.
T-shank: A T-shanked blade has two notches around its neck to hold down with the saw. You have to put it inside the saw through the bottom side of the saw shoe/base. When you have put it in the right place you will hear a click. This will ensure that the blade is on the track. To remove the blade, simply pull the quick-release lever and then pull the blade out. Make sure the saw cord is disconnected or the battery is removed before you change the blade.
U-shank: U-shanked blade has a single notch at its center. You have to install it into the saw with some wrench or screwdriver. You will have to do the same as you have done with T-shanked blade before removing the blade.
In my opinion, I prefer a T-shanked blade before a U-shanked blade. Because not only it is easy to install but it does not disturb in the middle of the work. Because sometimes U-shanked blade wiggles or even fall out of the saw when you are in the middle of the work with it. This could be a disaster for the user as it might destroy the entire project.
TPI: Full form of TPI is teeth per inch. It is a very important term for every saw user. It means the number of teeth the blade has in every inch. Blades with fewer teeth will give you a rough cut. On the other hand, a blade with more teeth will give you a finer and smoother cut. To cut hard substance, you need to use the more teethed blades like 24 TPI. Blades which have fewer teeth will make faster but rough cuts. And the blade which has more teeth will cut slowly but smoothly. Besides, more teethed blades are ideal for cutting curves. You can use blades of 20 TPI on average for even cutting tight curves.
There are also blades which have their teeth upward and downward. Upward blades will make the cut in an upward stroke. In the same way, downward blades will make the cut in downward strokes. There is a third type of blade called dual cut blades. These blades have their teeth in both directions which give faster and cleaner cuts.
Now, between a wide and a thin blade, a wide blade makes longer and straighter cuts. And a thin blade is most suitable for making tight and curved cuts.
To cut tile or ceramic, use a carbide-grit ceramic blade. This blade is toothless. Apply water on the cutting area frequently to lubricate the saw. If you cut much thicker material then you might have to apply oil as a lubricant. There is a limit on the thickness of a jigsaw’s cutting capability. You can cut a ¼ inch thick materials with a jigsaw.
To cut plastics and PVC or laminate or wooden materials you need a carbon steel blade.
Be sure about your cutting material and your blade before you mess anything up.
To cut metallic materials you cannot use these ordinary blades. Because metal is harder to cut. So you have to use bi-metal blades for this task.
They are made of stronger steel and more flexible body which makes them strong and tougher to break.
There are many types of jigsaws for cutting into various types of materials. Visit here and find out the best jigsaws for different types of work.
How to work with a jigsaw
Start by clamping your workpiece. This is to ensure you better work. Just imagine your entire work become defective just because you were too lazy to clamp your workpiece. So don’t make this mistake. Just clamp your working materials. It won’t cause you any harm.
To start working with a jigsaw you have to pick the best one for your work. Visit this article of ours to pick the best jigsaw for your work.
Then comes the fact of knowing about its body and types. They vary in many ways. Some brands have cordless saws which work on battery. Some saws still have cords to power them. Cordless saws are easier to work with as there is less problem to focus on. You do not have to worry about keeping the cord at a safe distance and in a comfortable place.
To start your saw press the trigger just beneath the handle of the saw. In some saws, you have to press and hold the trigger. And some other types of saws have a lock on switch. If you have this switch then you do not have to hold the button for a long time at the time of making cuts. Just switch it on to begin cutting and switch it off when finished.
Every jigsaw has a speed adjustment screw. This helps you to control the saw stroke. As it is mentioned earlier, faster strokes will give you a rough cut and slower stroke will give you a finer cut.
Another important thing to remember for all woodworkers is that never to rush while cutting with a jigsaw. This will definitely give you bad finishing and create extra trouble of faulty work or broken or bent blade etc.
To cut tight curves keep in mind that you have to move the back of the saw, not the front blade. Use thin blades for making curved lines, designs or anything as your will.
Take special care of your saw blade while cutting thick materials. Because jigsaw blades tend to bend when they cut substances with much density. For this, you have to choose the right type of blade for your work wisely. Usually, you can to cut things with thickness like 2X4s.
You should be aware of the fact that when cutting with a jigsaw you have to apply slight pressure to the saw to go forward with your cut. But you should also know that never force the blade to make the cut. A jigsaw cuts in up and down motion. So applying excess pressure to the blade might cause incidents like bending of the blade and making irregular cut. Sometimes forcing the blade also could result in breaking it in the middle of cutting. So please be careful before applying pressure to the blade.
Some of the jigsaws and also reciprocating saws come with the feature of orbital action cutting. In orbital cutting mode, your blade will also move forward and backward with its normal up-down strokes. Using this feature will make your cut a lot faster. But this will also give you a rough ragged and jagged cut. You should think before using this feature.
Get the best jigsaw with the best variable speed feature and the best orbital action feature from here.
If you are willing to give your work any design, a jigsaw is the most ideal tool for you. But there is a little problem in doing that. How to start curving any design if I need to start it from a point far away from the edge? For this complicated problem, there is a very easy solution. Simply drill a hole inside your project and then put your saw blade through it and start curving. Make the hole slightly larger than the width of your blade.
How to make your cuts straight
Now we will discuss how to make your cuts straight. First of all, you can draw a line with a straight edge and pencil. Straight edge has its edges accurately straight. Another way to make straight cuts is to use the rip-guide that usually comes with the saw. This tool is made for helping you to cut accurate straight cuts. There is another tool you should have in your toolbox is an empire square. Not only it will help you to cut straight but it will also help you make perfectly accurate angles.
Finally, a jigsaw is a very important and easy to use tool for anybody whether he is experienced or not. If you know how to use a jigsaw properly then you can literally cut anything easily. Also, you can know about jigsaw tips. It is comparatively less risky and more versatile to use than the other tools. In my opinion, this is a tool that everybody should have in their woodworking workshop.