Tips to Use Jigsaw Like a Pro
A jigsaw is an unbeatable tool for cutting shapes in wood and many other materials, including metal and plastic. However, as handy and versatile as jigsaws might be, they only serve you well when used correctly. Here we provide a few handy tips to ensure you get the best out of this fantastic tool.
Choose the Right Blade for Your Purpose
The first and perhaps most important thing you need to do when using a jigsaw is choosing the right blade. Jigsaws can cut into a wide variety of materials and make various cut types, but all this is only possible if you have the correct blade.
With the correct blade, you can be sure of getting the finish you desire. The best idea is always to have different kinds of blades at hand as you may need to use the jigsaw for cutting a wide variety of materials.
When choosing a blade, you first need to consider the shank type on your jigsaw as they typically have either U or T-shanks. The blade you choose needs to be compatible with the shank on your saw. Also, the number of teeth matters, and here a few but large teeth are ideal for rough cutting, while numerous smaller teeth work best when you want a smooth or fine finish.
Choose Cutting Style
When using a jigsaw to cut anything, you need to choose your preferred style as it accommodates various. What makes selecting a cutting style essential is that it determines both the cut's precision and its quality.
The two main cutting styles you can get from one of these saws are straight and orbital cutting actions. Straight cutting action will force the blade directly down the workpiece and maintain this movement until it cuts through the material. Although this style takes more time, it always leaves a cleaner cut.
With the orbital cutting action or style, the blade takes a more circular path as it goes through the material. This action allows the blade to cut through the materials much faster and hence ensuring you can make more cuts within a short time. However, the disadvantage is that the cuts are not as smooth as what you get with the straight-cutting action.
Set up a Jigsaw
Another crucial thing you need to keep in mind when using a jigsaw is setting it up correctly before you cut. If you have a model with various speed settings and other things like orbital adjustments, you have to choose your preferred setting before cutting.
Another important thing here is to make sure your workpiece is firmly held in place, and some good clamps can be handy here. You do not want the piece to move during the cut, as this affects the accuracy significantly.
Guiding Your Cut
Guiding your cut is perhaps the most hectic part of using a jigsaw, but the good news is that if you know how to do it correctly and practice enough, you can master the skill and technique.
The easiest way to guide your cut is using two hands when cutting. Your dominant hand should grasp the top of the jigsaw to guide its motion, while the other hand should push it forward as it cuts through the material.
- Wear Protective Gear: Like when using any power tool, you have to protect yourself. You should wear safety glasses for protection from the flying wood chips, earplugs for the noise, and Kevlar gloves to protect the hands from accidental cuts.
- Keep It Slow When Starting: It is always a great idea to start slow with the jigsaw as this gives you more control, better cut quality, and minimizes the risk of injury.
- Always Cut from a Stable Surface: When using a jigsaw, make sure you do it on a stable surface to avoid accidents if the material was to tip over and knock the saw from your hand. A workbench is the best option here.
Jigsaws are versatile tools that come in handy for various projects as they can cut everything from wood and plastics to ceramic tiles. It is crucial to make sure you choose an appropriate blade, decide the most appropriate cut style, and ensure you guide it properly when cutting to get the best cuts.