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Which Reciprocating Saw Blade or Jigsaw Blade Should you use?

Posted by Katy | Toolstop on 8th Apr 2021

Jigsaw Blades and Reciprocating Saw Blades are must have power tool accessories. This Toolstop Guide explains which Jigsaw Blade to use for which purpose and what jigsaw blade to cut kitchen worktop.

Jigsaw Blades and Reciprocating Saw Blades are must have power tool accessories, but there are so many available these days, so which one is best for you? This Toolstop Guide explains which Jigsaw Blade to use for which purpose and the benefits of each. what jigsaw blade to cut kitchen worktop? We have you covered!

Which Reciprocating Saw Blade or Jigsaw Blade Should you use?

Which Jigsaw Blade to use for Which Application

One size doesn’t fit all. It never does, not really. And especially not for our power tool consumables such as jigsaw (or sabre/reciprocating saw) blades. Here’s a quick buying guide to help you choose the right jigsaw blades or reciprocating saw blades so that you’re getting the most for your cash.

Look out for colour!

Manufacturers, such as Bosch, colour code their blades so that at a glance you’ll have an idea of the application the blade was manufactured to perform. Obviously, it’s helpful to know what the colours mean. So:

  • Grey = Wood
  • Blue = Metal
  • White = Wood and/or metal
  • Black = Specialised
types of jigsaw blade

Jigsaw Blade Types - What to look out for

Look out for the number of teeth per inch!

Another quick visual guide to help you choose the correct jigsaw blade is the number of teeth. Basically, the more teeth per inch on the blade denotes a more accurate, smoother cut. So, if you’re cutting for accuracy, and cleanness of finish, you’ll need a jigsaw blade with more teeth.
Buzzing through a piece of rough hardwood, at speed, requires a very different kind of jigsaw blade from when you wish to cut through a piece of stainless steel.

However, not all teeth are created equal.

Jigsaw Blades and Reciprocating Blades have teeth that are designed in a certain way for a certain purpose. The manufacturer will advise you on the blade, or on the packaging, as to what the teeth are designed to do.

The metal on the teeth will either be:

  • Milled and side set, designed for quick, rough cutting into hard and softwood, aluminium, plastics and non-ferrous metals
  • Milled and wavy set, ideal for fine, straight cutting into plywood, soft steel, aluminium and non-ferrous metals and plastics
  • Ground and side, designed for quick cuts in wood
  • Ground and taper ground blade with a taper ground spine for fine and clean cuts in wood and plastic

What are the blades made from?

The vast majority of jigsaw and recip (sabre) saw blades are fabricated from carbon steel. Generally, the fabrication of the steel will be identified as follows:

  • HCS: Designed for cutting softer materials such as softwood, wood fibreboards and soft plastics
  • HSS: Hardened, high-grade, high-speed steel, perfect for cutting harder materials, like metal, aluminium and non-ferrous metals
  • BIM: Bi-metal bond of HCS and HSS, making the blade able to deal with high-demand cutting. The bond is highly elastic and is suitable for cutting abrasive wooden materials, hard plastics, non-ferrous and ferrous metals, hardwoods, etc.

Bi-metal blades should be used if there is a risk of shank breakage. They last around 10 times longer than HCS blades.


What Jigsaw Blade for Laminate Flooring?

To help you understand how these various factors will affect the choice of jigsaw blade you’ll make, let’s consider a couple of typical applications to which you’d use a jigsaw blade:

Hardwood Flooring - Ideal Blade: Bosch T101 BR

Why is it ideal? This blade is fabricated from bi-metal (BIM). As stated above, this is designed for cutting hardwoods, but its teeth are ground and taper ground, meaning they will provide a fine, clean cut.


What Jigsaw Blade for Worktops?

Cutting Worktops - Ideal Blade: Bosch T101D

Why is it ideal? The blade is fabricated from HCS, carbon steel for use with softer materials. Because the teeth are ground and taper ground, the cut will be clean, which is important when cutting worktop as you don’t want to damage the surface of the material.

Cutting Plastics - Ideal Blade: Bosch T101A

Why is it ideal? This blade is designed for cutting plastics and acrylics. The teeth are short, ground and taper ground, again for a smooth, clean cut. The teeth are very tightly spaced meaning the cut will be straight and fine. The blade is fabricated from high-grade, high-speed steel.


We hope this Toolstop Guide has helped you to work out which Jigsaw Blades or Recip Saw Blades are best for you and the jobs you will be carrying out! So, which reciprocating saw blades do you need?


Bestselling Reciprocating and Jigsaw Blades:

Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry

Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry

Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry

Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry

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