With hundreds of different types of jigsaw blades to choose from (click here to see the range of blades we stock) we’re going to share some basic tips with you, with help from the experts Bosch, on how to choose the best jigsaw blade for making clean, straight cuts.
We worked with Bosch to produce a short video guide, which you can watch on Toolstop TV.
What to Consider Before You Choose a Jigsaw Blade
Different cuts, different materials, require different jigsaw blades.
So, before you choose a jigsaw blade, we recommend you answer the following questions:
- What type of material are you cutting?
- What type of cut do you need to make (i.e. clean or rough)?
- Do you need to make a straight cut or a curved cut?
Once you’ve answered these questions, look at the packaging of the blade you want to buy.
For example, with Bosch jigsaw blades you’ll notice little icons. These clearly show the type of cut the blade has been manufactured to make. The icon on the right tells us that the blade is for clean, straight cuts.
How to Understand the Cut the Jigsaw Blade Will Give You
When you’re buying a new blade for your jigsaw it’s important to check the code. This is the first step in making sure it’s the right blade for the cut you want to make. As we’re focusing on the blades that’ll give you nice clean, straight cuts, we’ll use the Bosch T101BR jigsaw blade as an example.
This is a ground blade, described by Bosch as “Clean for Wood“. This means there’s no off-set on the teeth. They don’t overlap, producing a very clean cut with very little splintering on the top-side of the material.
It’s important to remember that your jigsaw blade only cuts in one direction, up through the material onto the side where your jigsaw is running.
Therefore, when cutting laminates – or any material where you want minimal damage – then a “Clean for Wood” blade like the T101B should be your choice. It’ll give you that clean, straight cut.
A Jigsaw Blade for Straight Cuts Won’t Cut Curves!
It’s easy to reason that any blade you’ve fitted in your jigsaw will cut straight lines as well as curved lines. But this is faulty reasoning!
While any jigsaw blade will cut a curve, a blade specifically manufactured for clean, straight cuts will be a poor choice. If you’re trying to cut tight curves there is a blade tailor made for this task. We’ll have more on the correct jigsaw blades for cutting curves in Part 2 of this series.
What’s the Best Jigsaw Blade for Very Clean Cuts in Laminates?
While virtually all jigsaw blades are designed to cut on the upstroke, there are exceptions, and these exceptions are the blades to choose when you want the cleanest possible cut into laminates.
As you can see in our image above, the cut in the laminate on the right-hand side is straight, but it isn’t particularly clean. However, the cut on the left is much cleaner. That’s because the Bosch T101BR jigsaw blade was chosen for this cut.
This blade cuts on the downstroke, not on the upstroke, the “R” in the product code referring to its “reversed” teeth.
It’s a popular blade often referred to as a worktop blade. It’s ideal for cutting out sink openings, for example, in worktops. It gives a very clean edged cut on the decorative side of the laminated material.
There are downsides, however. The main one is that you can’t use pendulum action.
All good quality jigsaws have this feature, sometimes called “orbital action”. This is designed to help clear the debris from the cut, allowing you to cut faster through thicker materials, for example.
But when using a reversed tooth – or down-cutting – blade, turn off pendulum action otherwise the cut will be painfully slow, your jigsaw almost being at a standstill as you try to cut through the material.