For many homeowners and DIYer enthusiasts, a jigsaw is considered a handheld version of a band saw or more precisely a scroll saw carefully designed to cut tight corners or up to 5 inches thick stocks of wood.
A highly efficient tool that comes in several designs, constructed to create straight or curved pieces on thick wooden logs. It has evolved over the year by adding a bunch of handful features to swiftly get the job done.
Available in both corded as well as cordless versions, Jigsaws come in the bow handle and the barrel handle design providing better handling options. A jigsaw will alleviate all of your nervousness about getting your tasks done quickly by creating a flawless masterpiece.
7 Best Jigsaw for Cutting Thick Wood Reviews 2021
While a number of options are available in the market, choosing the best one can sometimes prove to be quite daunting.
So we have after spending hours researching have listed the 7 best options available out there, showcasing the brands offering the top-class functions that can help you make the perfect simple or intricate designs.
- Makita Djv181Z Cordless Barrel Grip Jigsaw – Premium Quality Jigsaw
- BOSCHJS572EBK Barrel-Grip Jig Saw – Best for Woodcutting
- M18 Fuel D-Handle Jig Saw – Overall Best Quality Saw
- DEWALT (DCS331B) 20V MAX Jig Saw – Overall Perfect Value Saw
- Makita XVJ02Z Brushless Jig Saw – Perfect Combination of Power and Precision
- Makita 4350FCT Top Handle Saw – With a Dynamically Balanced Motor
- Metabo Barrel Grip Jig Saw – Best For Thick Woodworking Tasks
1. Makita Djv181Z Cordless Barrel Grip Jigsaw – Premium Quality Jigsaw
Makita Djv181Z is a cordless barrel handle jigsaw that comes with a brushless motor and other brilliant features ensuring a cutting edge performance and an exceptionally smooth finish. The high performing, high torque brushless motor efficiently delivers a 3500RPM no-load speed, resulting in less friction and low heat.
The quality 390 Watts motor quality is equipped with the variable speed control dial allowing the device to adjust the speed for various cutting applications ranging from 800 – 3500 strokes per minute (spm) with the maximum wood cutting capacity of 135mm.
The strong aluminum base bevels 45 degrees to the left and right. For quicker, aggressive cuts, this jigsaw is equipped with straight cutting plus 3 orbital settings cutting that can be adjusted using the lever and helps add elliptical motion to it, making it suitable for wood cutting.
Also comes with a dust blower and dust extraction hose to keep the workspace clear of dust. Comes with a soft start feature that allows the device to slowly build up the speed rather than starting at full speed when switched on improving the unit’s performance durability.
On the other hand, the soft no-load feature helps keeps the working environment safe by automatically reducing the motor speed during idling minimizing the vibrations. The twin led job light to illuminate dark surroundings and make the cutline more visible.
2. BOSCHJS572EBK Barrel-Grip Jig Saw – Best for Woodcutting
Bosch JS572EBK is one of the best choices in the jigsaw category crafted by Bosch (a great power tool manufacturer) to fulfill various carpentry needs. Featuring an improved soft barrel grip designed to provide maximum user comfort. Moreover, the compact barrel-grip diameter allows maximum control and easy maneuver.
Bosch’s innovative precise double-roller control mechanism minimizes the blade deflection ensuring accuracy during cutting. This advanced technology helps keep the blade stable whereas the double roller system enables the saw to perfectly cut tight curves.
Enjoy convenience with its one-touch blade change system, swiftly insert and eject the blade using the lever, so you wouldn’t have to touch the hot blade. This jigsaw comes with an LED lighting system with an on/off trigger enhancing cut line visibility and the dust blower attached blows the saw debris away further improving the view.
For quick and efficient angle adjustment, JS572EBK is equipped with a huge die-cast aluminum footplate that allows quick and easy bevel adjustments, along with the multidirectional blade clamp to securely hold the T-shank blades.
The barrel grip 7.2 amps jigsaw motor with its variable speed dial mechanism runs at a no-load SPM of 800-3,000 accepting various cutting applications by adapting the speed required for cutting different material. It has the capacity to smoothly cut 2x and 3/4 inches plywood barrel ceiling arches.
3. M18 Fuel D-Handle Jig Saw – Overall Best Quality Saw
A carefully designed combination of power, speed, and precision, Milwaukee with its POWERSTATE Brushless motor and Redlink Plus Intelligence, has designed a D-handle style jigsaw that excels in speed cutting section.
The M18 FUEL D-Handle design of the Jig Saw offers a higher 3500 strokes per minute blade cutting speed more than any corded jigsaws reducing chipping or bucking creating controlled, precise cuts.
The powerful M18 REDLITHIUM XC5.0 battery is capable of delivering up to 105 linear feet cuts of ¾ inches laminated floor/ board, ensuring all-day productivity saving time by minimizing your visits to the charger. The technology used in the battery offers great performance on a single charge and lasts a long time.
The advanced Redlink Plus Intelligence along with the two-finger variable speed trigger provides optimized, precise performance for cleaner cuts reducing chipping and providing protection against overload utilizing the total system communication between battery, charge, and tool.
Featuring a two-finger variable speed trigger, a tool-less blade ejection, and a tool-less shoe bevel adjustment for quick angle settings. Also comes with an integrated LED light and on/off trigger blower to maximize cutline visibility so you can turn off the blower when employing dust extraction.
4. DEWALT (DCS331B) 20V MAX Jig Saw – Overall Perfect Value Saw
Whether you go with a battery-operated tool or a corded one, that totally your preference. Dewalt DCS331B is a 20-Volt, MAX Lithium-Ion high-powered Jigsaw crafted by a reputable manufacturer that offers the convenience of easy operation and a dependable battery set.
The heavy-duty 20 volts battery runs at 3000 strokes per minute (SPM) smoothly power through thick wooden stocks, without the hassle of the cord getting in the way of cutting. You can also control the speed using the provided trigger. The 3Ah efficient battery runs a really long time.
To make a jigsaw cut perfect angles depend a lot on the quality of the blade. DCS331B comes with an impressive and high-quality blade that is able to go through a lot of materials including wood, metal, aluminum, etc., the T-shank blade mechanism makes it easy to adjust the angles during cutting.
Featuring a keyless blade changing system for quick and efficient blade changes. Ensuring seamless work on a variety of applications, the user can go through the 4 points orbital action settings feature giving them the flexibility to easily get the desired curve.
Also comes with the adjustable bevel shoe that can be angled up to 45 degrees creating precise, clean cuts. Comes with a dust blower to clear the debris out from the cutline. The cordless design makes it easier to maneuver. A solid performer will quickly get your job done.
5. Makita XVJ02Z Brushless Jig Saw – Perfect Combination of Power and Precision
Makita… A leader in brushless motor technology. Makita XVJ02Z is equipped with an 18V LXT Lithium-Ion battery that flawlessly combines precise power performance with the efficiency of being brushless. The saw is engineered to deliver the power of a corded saw with the benefits of having a cordless one.
Equipped with the 3 orbital and straight cutting function delivering more accurate precise cuts making it perfect for professional woodworkers, craftsperson, cabinet makers, pro-contractor, and other specialized residential construction workers looking for a best-in-class cordless jigsaw.
The variable speed dial ranges from 800-3,500 SPM giving users the flexibility to perfectly match the speed of the cutting application. Featuring a Star Protection controls mechanism to protect the unit against overheating, overloading, and over-discharge.
The convenience of a built-in blower keeps the cutline visible; the tool-less blade replace mechanism for quick installation and ejection of the blade plus the two-finger variable speed options come with a lock-on trigger keeping the user protected.
The 5.8 Lbs tool comes with a heavy-duty aluminum base that provides stability is engineered for delivering a smooth, accurate cutting experience. The dual L.E.D. lights illuminate the dark work area. The soft-start feature gradually picks speed offering better control.
6. Makita 4350FCT Top Handle Saw – With a Dynamically Balanced Motor
The saw features an electronic variable speed control with a range of 800 strokes per minute (SPM) to 2,800 SPM. This unique electronic control gives it the ability to smoothly cut a variety of materials at a consistent speed.
Makita 4350FCT is supplied with two T-shank blades with tool-less blade change capability. This allows quick and easy blade change for your cutting project. Weighing just below eight and a half pounds, this saw is designed with an ergonomic rubber handle for less fatigue and extra comfort.
In addition to the regular straight cutting, this saw is also designed to have three additional levels of orbital action giving it the extreme degree of freedom for a range of cuts and materials. The cast aluminum base is designed with a maximum bevel of 45 degrees and positive stops at common angles.
This sturdy base in conjunction with a dynamically balanced motor allows for up to 40 % less vibration along with minimum noise. It is supplied with an LED light which illuminates the work surface and provides added visibility.
7. Metabo Barrel Grip Jig Saw – Best For Thick Woodworking Tasks
The saw packs a powerful punch with the high performance battery pack enabling it to cut over 40 meters of chipboard on a single charge. The battery pack also has a capacity display to show your level of remaining charge.
Metabo STA 18 LTX 140 is designed with Vario Tacho Constamatic (VTC) technology whose full-wave electronics allow automatically varying and customizing the stroke rate according to the toughness of the materials which can vary between 1000 to 3000 SPM.
The VTC electronics also allows the saw a convenient startup and an automatic acceleration of the stroke rate giving it a material matched speed. It also features the orbital action or pendulum stroke for quicker cutting.
The low-lying blade has a large cutting depth capacity of 140 mm along with the beveling option in a range of ±45 degrees. Integrated with an LED light for the illuminating of the work surface and a dust blower, the cutting project is precise, accurate, and smooth.
The patented Metabo “Quick” design for tool-less blade change is very effective for quick and easy change. The restart protection system ensures personal safety while the soft barrel grip handle adds to the comfort and convenience of the user.
The Buying Guide Of Jigsaws For Thick Woods
Looking to purchase a jigsaw? We can help you guide through some of the technical features which are most important to consider when searching for a jigsaw. Here are some key points in the followings:
- Power Source
When it comes to the power source, similar to any other power tool, jigsaws are also available in corded as well as battery-operated versions.
And similar to any other tool, corded jigsaws are relatively more powerful than their counterparts and are an ideal choice for tougher materials. Hence these are more reliable and robust in terms of cutting experience.
Cordless jigsaws on the other hand represent the ideal and optimized combination of convenience and versatility and are especially suitable for working in hard-to-reach areas.
With a typical interchangeable lithium-ion battery as a power source, the power of a jigsaw may vary depending on the battery voltage which may be accounted as a direct measure of the power relatable with the number of cuts in a single charge.
- Jigsaw Power
You may already be familiar with the concept that the power of the jigsaw motor usually depends on both the cutting requirements as well as usage. Generally, jigsaws are available with power ratings in a range of 350 watts to 1000 watts.
If you are a novice or a casual user, a jigsaw with power ratings of around 500 watts should be able to sort everything for your hardwood cutting requirements. For any medium to heavy-duty cuttings, anything in excess of 700 watts can be opted after carefully considering other technical features.
- Variable Speed / Stroke Rate
Variable speed setting is an important feature that allows the user to adjust the stroke rate of the jigsaw when cutting workpieces of different toughness and brittleness.
The speed or more accurately stroke rate of a jigsaw is measured in terms of strokes per minute (SPM) which is the number of cutting strokes in unit time and is directly related to the cutting capacity of the jigsaw.
Different materials offer different resistance and bear different toughness and therefore require distinct settings. As a rule of thumb, the brittle your workpiece is, the slower stroke rate it requires for a cleaner cut.
For example, ceramics, tiles, and concrete can be cut with a speed in the range of 500 to 1000 SPM. The plastic and thinner non-ferrous metals may require something between 1000 to 2000 SPM while the wood can be easily cut at a typical range of 2800 to 3200 SPM.
If you are new to the jigsaw world, it is better to start off with the slowest speed to understand the abilities of your tool and its response to hardwood. You can later increase the stroke rate as you gain experience.
- Type, Material & Design of Blade
The blade is the most important part of a cutting tool and hence most emphasis should be given to choosing the appropriate blade as per your requirements. Choice of the blade is also important in terms of the type of material and speed of the jigsaw.
- U-shank blades VS T-shank blades
Jigsaw blades can broadly be categorized in terms of the type of shanks, number, and design of teeth along with the material it is made of. Generally, jigsaw blades are divided into two types namely the Universal blades or U-shank blades and T-shank blades.
Universal jigsaw blades have a distinct U shape at the edge of the blade sometimes with a small hole just below the U-shaped cut. These blades are of the older design and generally are not used in modern designs.
The T-shank blades are most common in newer models as it gives the facility of tool-less blade changing. Other than toolless changing and determining the design of your jigsaws as relatively modern or not, there is little difference in the working of U- and T-shank blades.
- Types of Blades
In addition to the type, the blades are also available in a variety of materials with varying performance and durability for specific applications.
Starting from most commonly high carbon steel blades for general wood cutting, high-speed steel blades for cutting hardwood and metals, to heavy-duty & costly Bi-metallic jigsaw blades which combine the flexibility and durability of both for smooth cutting of hardwood, you can choose from a large variety.
Additionally, tungsten carbide blades are also preferred for cutting ceramics and steel.
- Design of the Blade
Another important thing is the design of the blade which includes the number of teeth per inch and the upward and/or downward direction of teeth. The larger the number of teeth, the smoother the cut will be and vice versa.
Similarly, a blade with an upward cutting direction of teeth offers a strong grip against the work surface when the saw pulls the blade in for cutting. This however generates splintering at the edge. Downward blades (also referred to as reverse blades) are mostly used for cutting plywood etc.
- Orbital Action
Orbital action may be described as a pendulum-like oscillation of a jigsaw blade from one end to another recreating the natural movement of a manual / hand saw.
Generally, the blade in a jigsaw only moves up and down but in a jigsaw with orbital action, the blade also swings back and forth during each stroke in addition to regular ups and downs.
This feature increases the cutting capacity as well as the speed of a jigsaw and also extracts the sawdust away. However, it tends to make splintering at the cutting edge and is not recommended with a down cutting blade or fragile materials.
- Jigsaw Stroke Length
The cutting capacity of a jigsaw is a combination of stork rate (SPM) along with the stork length which is the vertical distance the blade travels from the minimum to maximum position during cutting. This number generally ranges between ¾ inches to one inch.
As a general rule, the further the blade can move, the more teeth come in contact with the workpiece and consequently, the quicker, as well as thicker the blade, can cut. This longer stroke length generates less stress on the blade surface enhancing its service life.
On the other hand, a smaller stroke length produces less vibration and offers more control. Therefore it is more suitable for delicate/intricate cutting designs and their efficiency towards cutting sheet metals is increased.
What Additional Features Should We Look at Before Buying a Jigsaw?
In addition to the technical key parameters, there also exist some value-added features that make your cutting experience smooth, comfortable, and quick.
These value-added features may include a Laser cut line guide which comes in very handy for straight-line cuts to improve accuracy. Most of the jigsaw models instead are equipped with metallic guides for the same purpose.
Another such feature is LED light to illuminate the work surface/area. This feature especially comes in handy for cutting sites with poor visibility and enhances the accuracy of cuts.
Additionally, a dust management system either equipped with a blower or a port attached with a vacuum to remove the sawdust is also a welcome addition to the jigsaw.
When discussing additional features, one should also look at the safety features which may include blade brake or trigger lock. The ergonomic design of the handle also reduces fatigue and enhances comfortable smooth cutting operation.
Although many of these value-added features is not a deal-breaker, the presence of these features enhances your ability for accurate and quick cutting.
Whether you are a professional craftsman or a hobbyist, we at SAWBUZZ, hope that after going through our detailed analysis and buying guide, you’d have found the perfect jigsaw getting to the end of this article that will cater to all your carpentry requirements.
Whether you choose Bosch or Dewalt or Milwaukee, each saw has its own special functions and features designed to accommodate different audiences and their preferences. Based on the precise cutting, high-end technology, and innovative features, we are naming Bosch JS572EBK to be the best buy.
Good Luck Buying Jigsaw!!!