A jigsaw has many applications. It cuts materials like wood, PVC pipes, metal, and laminate etc. The proper blade for cutting a specific material, wearing the required safety gear and knowing how to cut it according to the design you need are some of the major prerequisites behind this work.
In this detailed guide, we will show you how to use a jigsaw to cut a piece of metal, wood, and some other materials. We will take you through the basics of starting off with a jigsaw. This guide shall help both beginners and experts to hone their sawing skills.
Basics of How to use a Jigsaw:
The Grip: The output of the work also depends on the fact of whether how well or poorly you hold a jigsaw. First, you need to make sure that you are gripping the handle right according to how it is made naturally. The natural way is the better way and an unnatural grip could lead to disastrous cutting experience. So when you are holding it, make sure to squeeze it properly.
The Speed: Every jigsaw has a speed dial using which you can change the speed. For starters, always keep the dial on the slowest speed. Now once you have started cutting, change the speed levels one-by-one. This should be exactly like how you change the gears of a car. The speed is always slower for accurate cutting and faster cuttings always give raw edges.
Marking the Spot: For making a straight cut, you should mark your territory first. Take a pencil and a scale to mark a dotted line on the material at the area where you need to make a cut. Make this dotted line reach the end where your cut ends.
Making a Cut:
Here are some of the basics of how to make a proper and smooth cut:
Start Slow: When you start making it a cut, keep the speed dial on the slowest. This ensures that the cut doesn’t go wrong in the beginning.
Guiding the Blade: Once you have started, guide the blade along the dotted line and don’t keep your guiding fingers away from it. The cut must be a straight line otherwise, it is not worth the effort. This requirement may change for various cut types though.
Cutting a Curve: Cutting straight is easier but making curves is definitely a complex matter. For cutting a curved cut, make sure that you keep the speed slow and install a fine-toothed blade as we discussed before. For marking a curved territory, using a compass from your geometry.
Finishing the Cut:
If you have started and traveled accurately, you would want to end it in the same way as well. For that, listed below are some steps you could use:
Make a hole in the end: Making a hole at the endpoint stops the process automatically. In this way, you wouldn’t go any farther than the point required. For this, you will need to use a drill machine. Only use an average drill bit just to make a hole which is neither too big and nor too short. By doing this, the blade will disconnect in the middle of the whole giving a fine end product.
How to Connect a Jigsaw:
You should get most of the information about your jigsaw from the manual which is given inside the box. Setting each jigsaw up depends on it made but basics, however, are the same and you will need to follow the following instructions including some safety measures to get things started:
Install the Blade:
Take your jigsaw out of the box and install the right blade depending on the material type you are about to cut. Getting a jigsaw which has a design compatible with both U-shaped and T-shaped is always a wiser choice.
How to choose the right Jigsaw Blade for you?
Okay, it depends well on what you are about to cut. If you have already bought a jigsaw, the most important accessory would then be its blade. The type of blade and the material it is made of depends on the type of cutting you need. Of course, the blades for cutting wood and metals are different.
There is some information we can give you about the blades. For instance, you are going to need a carbon-steel blade for cutting materials like wood and PVC pipes. We are now going to enlist each material and the blade type required for cutting it.
Wood is the softer material you need to cut with a jigsaw. For wood, carbon-steel blade is the right stuff to install in your jigsaw. This blade type also works when you need to cut a PVC pipe.
For Thin Metals:
Only metals can through metals properly and thus for cutting thin metals, you are going to need jigsaw blades made of bi-metals themselves. Their teeth are made of hardened steel and thus cutting with them through the metal is quite easy.
For Accurate Cuts:
This is something everyone wants and for that, you should make sure that you get a fine-toothed blade installed in your jigsaw. This blade will definitely ensure some clean, accurate, and smooth cuts.
For Faster Cuttings:
People might want to get things quickly and when you need to cut fast, you are going to need a coarse blade which has curved edges to make things go faster. However, even though a coarse blade cuts fast, it leaves the edges raw when you will need to smoothen later.
Adjusting U and T-Shaped Blades:
There are some jigsaws which are compatible with both T and U-shaped jigsaws. However, others which aren’t must be coped accordingly. For instance, if your jigsaw’s default shape is for a T-shaped then you will need to set it for a U-Shaped one and vice versa.
Safety Precautions for Using a Jigsaw:
Following are the important steps and precautions for using a jigsaw safely:
- You will plug a corded jigsaw inside a plug on the wall.
- For a cordless one, just charge the battery, install, and start.
- Make sure that you are wearing the safety glasses and mask.
- For a corded jigsaw, wrap the extra wire around so it might not hang loosely.
- The piece to be worked on must be clamped from both sides.
- Make sure that both clamps are fit tight to avoid the piece from slipping.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the whole process which we have answered:
How thick of wood can you cut with a jigsaw?
¾ inches is usually the normal size which a jigsaw can cut of hardwood and an inch more of softer wood.
What materials can a jigsaw cut?
Following is a list of materials which a jigsaw can cut:
Can a Jigsaw cut Hardwood?
Yes, it can. However, the size above which it can’t normally cut is ¾ inches and in some blades can only cut a ½ inches wood material.