A jigsaw is a vital addition to the toolkits of professionals and hobbyists alike. No other power tool can match its versatility when it comes to intricate cuttings, particularly if you’re cutting curves.
I find choosing the best jigsaw for your needs is about more than just cutting ability. There are also fundamental points such as bevel, speed, and even corded or cordless to consider.
To make things easier for you, here are my top picks for the best jigsaws in 2021. I’ve ranked these on the most important things to consider, and included a buying guide so you know exactly what to look out for.
But if you’re in a hurry, here’s my roundup of the best jigsaws in 2021:
- Top pick – Bosch 7 Amp Corded Variable Speed Jig Saw JS470EB
- Top Budget Pick – Black+Decker Jig Saw, Smart Select, 5 Amp BDEJS600C
- PORTER-CABLE Orbital Jig saw 6 Amp PCE345
- Bosch JS470E Corded Table-Top Jigsaw
- DEWALT Jig Saw, Top Handle, 6.5 Amp DW331K
- Top Pick – DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw DCS331B
- Top Budget Pick – Porter-Cable 20V MAX Jig Saw PCC650B
- Makita XVJ03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Jig Saw
- Makita XVJ01Z 18V LXT Brushless Barrel Grip Jig Saw
- Ryobi One+ P523 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless Jigsaw
- Milwaukee 2445-20 M12 Jig Saw
Contents (Jump to Topic)
- 1 Our Top Picks for Best Jigsaws in 2021
- 2 Best Corded Jigsaws
- 3 Best Cordless Jigsaws
- 4 What to Look for When Choosing the Best Jig Saw
- 5 Final Thoughts on the Best Jigsaw
Our Top Picks for Best Jigsaws in 2021
I’ve divided this list into both corded and cordless. More than anything, this should make it quicker if you have a particular preference.
If you’re unsure which would be better for your needs, consult the buying guide below.
Best Corded Jigsaws
Corded jigsaws generally offer more power, but are restricted by their need for a power outlet.
While you might have a preference for a specific brand, I recommend consulting the list below to ensure it matches your needs.
Top Pick – Bosch 7 Amp Corded Variable Speed Jig Saw JS470EB
Before finding the Bosch JS470EB, I was unsure whether there was a jigsaw that would meet my power and speed needs. Luckily, this delivers both without compromising on consistency.
It runs on a 7-amp motor that can deliver up to 3,100 strokes per minute. It also comes with a variable speed dial, meaning this jigsaw will be more than capable of taking on any task you put in front of it.
Unlike other models, this jigsaw has a barrel grip. It’s coated in soft rubber so it’s ergonomic and comfortable, making it a great choice for prolonged cutting jobs.
This tool offers plenty of stability to counter its power level. You’ll find an aluminum gearbox and footplate, which is stable yet lightweight. It’ll offer you maximum control, even at the highest speed setting.
What’s more, the Bosch includes a dust blower. This helps to keep your workstation clear, a big help when it comes to precision.
My only real downside is that the speed trigger can be difficult to reach, particularly if you have small hands. But I found that once I adjusted how I held it, this quickly became a non-issue.
- High-speed variable motor – up to 3,100SPM.
- Low-vibration mechanism.
- Tool-less blade changes.
- Die-cast aluminum footplate for stability.
- Speed trigger is a bit too far away.
- Novices might have difficulty with barrel grip.
Overall, the Bosch JS470EB offers a great level of power without sacrificing stability or precision.
Its extra features make it a great choice, although novices might need some time getting to grips with the tool.
To find out more or to check current prices, click the link below.
Top Budget Pick – Black+Decker Jig Saw, Smart Select, 5 Amp BDEJS600C
I always thought it would be impossible to find precision and power in a budget jigsaw, at least until I found the Black+Decker BDEJS600C.
Although only a 5-amp motor, this jigsaw still delivers 3,000SPM. It provides variable speed control too, so is more than capable of taking on a wide range of tasks.
Importantly, too, it’s got four orbital settings and a bevel cut feature of up to 45 degrees. This level of versatility is surprising from what is essentially a budget model.
It’s got a more traditionally shaped handle, which is better for novices. The handle is comfortable, making it good for long cutting sessions.
It has an adjustable shoe, adding to the versatility, and features a wire jigsaw blade guard. This is helpful because it means you still have a clear line of sight on the blade and your cutting line.
My only critique is that this model doesn’t have a power button or switch on the body. Once it’s plugged in, it’s on. I just found being careful about putting it down and picking it up is enough.
- Offers nearly as much power and speed as premium models.
- Stable and versatile.
- Good for novices.
- Curve control technology.
- Bevel cutting feature.
- Wire guard.
- No power button.
The Black+Decker BDEJS600C is a good choice if you need an inexpensive yet functional jigsaw. It’s a good choice for novices who want versatility without breaking the bank.
Importantly, it offers enough speed and stability for almost any cutting job.
To check current prices and availability, click the link below.
PORTER-CABLE Orbital Jig saw 6 Amp PCE345
I’ve always found investing in a trusted tool brand carries a certain set of expectations. Luckily, the PORTER-CABLE PCE345 meets almost every standard you might have.
The 6-amp motor provides more than enough power to tackle a range of cutting jobs. It kicks out 3,200SPM and has 7 speed settings. This is more than enough control for both professionals and hobbyists alike.
It has a tool-less blade change system. Not only does this make the process easier, but it also means you can change a hot blade without touching it.
The handles are comfortable and ergonomic, and it even has a lock button for longer cuts. This is useful because it saves you having to grip for long periods.
Combine these features with the four orbital settings and die-cast footplate and you have a tool that’s easy to use, functional, and powerful.
The only negative I could find with this jigsaw is that it has no built-in dust port. Importantly, this can affect precision. While I found there’s nothing specifically you can do for this, always be sure to wear goggles to protect your eyes.
- Easy to use.
- Powerful motor with 7 speed settings.
- Comfortable handles for prolonged use.
- Tool-free blade changing is easy.
- Lock button is hard to reach.
- No dust port.
I found the PORTER-CABLE to be a good all-round tool with plenty of speed settings. This makes it perfect for handling a wide range of jobs, meaning it’s suitable for professionals and hobbyists.
Just be wary of the lack of dust port, though.
You can check the latest prices and availability by clicking the link below.
Bosch JS470E Corded Top-Handle Jigsaw
I’m always on the hunt for the right level of features in a cost-effective model, and the Bosch JS470E definitely fits this brief.
Its 7-amp motor is capable of delivering 3,100SPM and has a variable speed system controlled by an accelerator trigger. Combined with the four orbital settings, this is more than enough versatility for almost any cutting job.
The die-cast aluminum footplate is incredibly sturdy, making this jigsaw good for long working days cutting. What’s more, the design gives it plenty of precision because it minimizes vibration through the tool.
Perhaps my favorite feature on this jigsaw is the handles. While they’re not significantly different from other models, they’re the perfect size and are made with rubber for improved comfort and ergonomics.
The only negative I could find is that the blade has a tendency to move out of alignment if used for too long. This is easily fixed by recalibrating, but it can become annoying during long cutting sessions.
- Comfortable and ergonomic.
- Footplate is sturdy and reduces vibration.
- High precision and accuracy.
- Powerful with variable speed.
- Adjustable dust blower
- Blade can move out of alignment after a while.
In short, the Bosch JS470E is a good all-round jigsaw with plenty of features. It might be better for hobbyists than professionals simply because of the blade alignment issues.
To check current prices and availability, click the link below.
DEWALT Jig Saw, Top Handle, 6.5 Amp DW331K
DEWALT is another trusted brand in the power tool market, and once again they’ve met expectations with this versatile and functional jigsaw.
The DEWALT DW331K has a 6.5-amp motor that can be adjusted between 500 and 3,100SPM. This makes it ideal for tackling a range of materials with ease.
It has a four level adjustable shoe that easily locks into place for precision and speed. When switching between cuts on the job, this quick-lock feature really comes in handy.
Perhaps my favorite feature on this jigsaw is its all-metal gear casing. This makes it feel really sturdy and durable, which helps when using it long-term.
My only critique is that the blade slips out of alignment every now and then. While not a deal-breaker, this does detract from the tool’s productivity, as you need to check the alignment before starting work.
But being aware of this issue at least means you won’t be caught short.
- All-metal gear casing is sturdy.
- 4 bevel adjustment settings.
- Variable speed and powerful motor.
- Comfortable and ergonomic.
- Blade can slip out of alignment.
Overall, the DEWALT DW331K is a functional tool for a variety of uses. It feels sturdy, which makes a big difference when using for long periods.
Just be aware of the alignment issues and ensure you always check the blade before getting started.
You can find out more information about availability by clicking the link below.
Best Cordless Jigsaws
The most obvious benefit of a cordless jigsaw is that it’s more portable than a corded version. Of course, this might mean sacrificing a degree of power, but that’s not always the case.
Take a look how I got on on my hunt for the best cordless jigsaw.
Top Pick – DEWALT 20V MAX Jig Saw DCS331B
Before finding the DEWALT DCS331B, I was unsure whether a cordless jigsaw would be capable of delivering as much power as a corded model. Well this one can at the very least.
It offers much of the same functionality as the corded DEWALT above. Its 20V, 3-amp battery delivers up to 3,000SPM, meaning you’ve still got enough speed to tackle a range of materials.
The metal footplate has four bevel settings up to 45 degrees, and it’s super easy to switch settings. Importantly, this means minimal downtime between cuts.
Its four orbital settings offer plenty of versatility and precision, which is only improved by the dust extraction port. Your work surface will remain clear regardless of what material you’re cutting.
My major critique of this jigsaw is that the minimum power setting feels a bit too powerful. This is surprising on a cordless jigsaw, but you can avoid the issue by making yourself familiar with the power level.
- Powerful for a cordless jigsaw.
- Minimal downtime switching between settings.
- Keyless blade changes.
- Easy orbital and bevel adjustments.
- Possibly a bit too powerful for cordless jigsaw.
Overall, the Bosch DCS331B functions almost identically to a corded version, which is great. It’s powerful and versatile, making it a great tool for long jobs.
But I recommend familiarizing yourself with its power levels before getting stuck in.
You can check current prices and availability by clicking the link below.
Top Budget Pick – PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Jig Saw PCC650B
When I discovered the PORTER-CABLE PCC650B, I was surprised to find such versatility and functionality in a budget jigsaw model.
The 20V battery provides up to 2,500SPM. While this is lower than some other models, it’s still enough to cut through most materials. You should be able to cut a 1.5” copper pipe with little difficulty.
It uses T-shank blades and features a keyless ejection system. You’ll find this useful for blade changing on the fly because it means minimal downtime.
Similarly, the adjustable footplate offers bevel cuts up to 45-degrees, and is changeable with a simple locking mechanism. It also has 3 orbital settings for plenty of versatility when tackling different materials.
One thing I found with this jigsaw is that it’s quite heavy. While this is often the case with cordless power tools, it can get tiring when working on longer jobs.
If you need a cordless model for prolonged use, consider a lighter model. Otherwise, this isn’t a massive issue.
- Powerful enough for most jobs.
- Comfortable and ergonomic handles.
- Keyless blade ejection.
- Easy to adjust footplate.
- Quite heavy – can get tiring during long cutting sessions.
In short, the PORTER-CABLE PCC650B is a good choice if you want a budget jigsaw that doesn’t compromise on function. Providing the weight won’t be an issue, this makes a great starter jigsaw.
Check current prices and availability by clicking the link below.
Makita XVJ03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Jig Saw
As is usually the case with a brand like Makita, the XVJ03Z delivers precision and accuracy with great functionality.
It has an 18V variable-speed motor capable of reaching 2,600SPM. This means it cuts quickly and efficiently, and also has 3 orbital settings for a wide range of materials.
The footplate is adjustable up to 45 degrees, both left and right. It’s a tool-free locking system, meaning there’s minimal downtime when making adjustments.
Its variable speed trigger is large and in just the right place, so you’ll be able to make changes with ease.
What’s more, it has a built-in LED light on the front for improved visibility. Of course, this has a big impact on accuracy, particularly in low-light environments.
My main critique is that it goes through power quite quickly, probably due to the added LED. But this is easy to overcome by having a spare charged battery on hand.
- Keyless bevel locking and blade ejection.
- Plenty of power for a cordless model.
- Sturdy and compact.
- Variable speed and orbital settings make it versatile.
- Quickly drains battery.
The Makita XVJ03Z is a good all-round tool for professionals and hobbyists. It can easily tackle pretty much any job you put in front of it and is comfortable and ergonomic to boot.
To check prices and availability, click the link below.
Makita XVJ01Z 18V LXT Brushless Barrel Grip Jigsaw
Before finding the Makita XVJ01Z, I thought it would be impossible to balance ergonomics against precision. Well, this is exactly what it delivers with its anti-slip comfort grip design.
Other than greater accuracy, the main difference is that this jigsaw has a variable speed dial. Rather than a trigger, you set the dial before working. This is useful because it means you know exactly what speed you’re running at all times.
There are 6 speed settings up to 3,500SPM, which is as fast as corded jigsaws. Along with the four position orbital action, you’ll have no problem tackling everything from plastic and wood to metal.
The keyless T-shank blade system and footplate lock mean you can adjust settings quickly and easily. When working long jobs, this is a big help.
This jigsaw has a built-in dust blower and 2 front-mounted LEDs, both of which improve visibility and accuracy while cutting.
My only real downside is that this jigsaw features an on/off button rather than a trigger. Of course, this isn’t a big issue but can take some adjustment if you’re used to trigger jigsaw models.
- Plenty of settings for a wide range of cuts.
- Powerful for a cordless jigsaw.
- Barrel grip gives greater accuracy.
- Dust extraction and LEDs improve accuracy too.
- Power button can take some adjustment.
Overall, the Makita XVJ01Z is a good choice for a barrel grip jigsaw. While its settings can take some getting used to, it’ll easily deliver more than enough power to make light work of any cutting job.
You can find out more information by clicking the link below.
Ryobi One+ P523 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless Jigsaw
When I found the Ryobi One+ P523, I was impressed by its ease of use and versatility. Although I’m familiar with using jigsaws, I believe this’ll make a great choice for novices.
The 18V battery is capable of delivering up to 3,000SPM, supported by a variable trigger and four position orbital action. In short, you’ll have no difficulty cutting through wood, plastic, or metal.
One impressive feature is the saw’s blade saving technology. Essentially, you can drop the foot so the blade can dig deeper. This allows you to use the teeth closer to the base, meaning you get more use out of each blade. It’s a simple yet useful feature.
The built-in dust blower and front-mounted LED keep visibility high, even in low light conditions. This is great if you’re doing precise work regardless of location.
The only negative I could find is that it uses U-shank blades. But this is only a problem because it’s a less common type. If buying, make sure to buy the right blades.
- Variable speed trigger is easy to control.
- Blade saving feature.
- Easy to use.
- LEDs for greater visibility.
- Uses U-shaped blades – be sure to buy the right ones.
The Ryobi One+ P523 is a useful cordless jigsaw that can tackle a wide range of jobs. Its ease of use definitely makes it a good choice for novices, but there’s no reason a pro can’t enjoy it too.
To check prices and availability, click the link below.
Milwaukee 2445-20 M12 Jig Saw
One major downside of cordless jigsaws is that they’re often much heavier than their corded counterparts. Well, the Milwaukee 2445-20 is ideal if you need something compact and lightweight.
At only 8.75” in length and 3.8lbs in weight, this jigsaw is suitable for anyone who needs portability in their tools.
It also has a hybrid grip: part top handle, part barrel grip. You have the added accuracy of a barrel grip with the variable speed trigger of a top handle. Arguably the best of both worlds.
But this does come with a slight sacrifice to power. The motor reaches a maximum of 2,800SPM, which is slightly slower than other cordless models. That said; it should be enough to tackle all but the hardest materials.
The jigsaw is rounded off with an LED light, 45-degree bevel capacity, and quick-lock T-shank blade change. The footplate is non-marring, meaning no damage to your work piece.
- Hybrid grip gives good comfort and accuracy.
- Compact and lightweight – good portability.
- Bevel adjustments.
- Quick-lock systems mean minimal downtime.
- Less power than other models – no big issue.
- No dust extraction.
Overall, the Milwaukee 2445-20 is a good starter model if you need something small but functional. Of course, if you’re a professional who uses their tools every day, a more powerful model might be of benefit.
To check current prices and availability, click the link below.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Jig Saw
Like any other power tool, jigsaws have plenty of important factors to consider when choosing the right one for your needs.
Of course, it’s vital that the tool can handle any jobs you have lined up. So if you’re going to be working mainly on metal, bear this in mind. Any jigsaw will be capable of handling wood, so this isn’t as important.
Below is my buying guide for choosing the best jigsaw. While you might not need to consider every one of these points, it helps to know what (if any) impact they have on the tool’s functionality.
Orbital vs. Standard Action
When searching for a jigsaw, you might have heard the term orbital thrown around a lot. But what exactly does this mean, and is it an important buying factor?
The difference between a jigsaw and an orbital jigsaw is that the latter moves the blade forward and backward on the up and down strokes. A standard jigsaw, however, simply moves the blade up and down.
An orbital jigsaw moves the blade in an elliptical motion rather than just up and down. Importantly, this causes less wear to the blade and sets it up for the next stroke.
Orbital settings vary depending on the type of material you’re cutting. You’ll want to use the orbital settings when:
- Making plunge cuts in drywall.
- Cutting laminates (such as a countertop).
- Making faster, less accurate cuts.
- Gently curving cuts. These benefit from a middle setting.
- Cutting through thicker pieces of metal.
The main downside of orbital cutting is decreased accuracy. Therefore, when making scroll cuts, keep the orbital setting off.
You can check out this video on orbital settings for more information.
All jigsaws will have at least one orbital setting, but many have 3. You don’t lose anything by choosing a model with more settings, and having more gives you greater flexibility over your cutting.
A standard action jigsaw is when the blade just moves up and down. You have greater accuracy with this standard movement, and it’s easier to pay attention to your speed.
Use standard action when:
- Making clean or scroll cuts through wood.
- Cutting metal (pay attention to speed though).
- Cutting plastic or fiberglass.
Standard action is the most basic setting, so you’ll always have this on whatever jigsaw you choose.
Bevel Adjustment and Capacity
Many jigsaws have adjustable footplates that allow you to make beveled (angled) cuts through material. While this feature is particularly common, it’s always good to look for a tool with preset stops.
These usually lock the bevel at common angles, such as 22.5 and 45 degrees. If you want complete flexibility, look for a jigsaw that adjusts to both the left and right.
Tool-free bevel adjustment has quickly become commonplace on the jigsaw market. Obviously this means minimal downtime switching your bevel between cuts.
Just be sure the locking mechanism is secure, both for accuracy and safety.
Importantly, try to stay away from stamped footplates. These are usually less durable and are prone to warping. Die-cast footplates are much sturdier.
Depth of Cut
Generally, jigsaws have a 2” cutting capacity on wood and a ½” cutting capacity on metal. Considering the type of work a jigsaw is designed for, this is usually enough.
Any deeper and you risk bending or breaking the blade.
A jigsaw is generally used for making scrolled or curved cuts, which usually aren’t done to any great depth. For rip cuts or rough beveled cuts through thick material, you’ll need a different tool such as a circular saw.
That said, you can use jigsaws for cutting straight lines through material. In fact, jigsaws are a good choice for novices when it comes to making straight cuts because they’re much easier to handle than circular saws. Just be conscious of your cutting depth, though.
The clue is in the name: power is clearly an important factor when choosing a power tool. While you might think the maximum power possible is best, this isn’t always the case.
Jigsaw motor power is measured in amps; the higher the amps the more cutting power you have. Top-end jigsaws will usually have a motor between 6 and 7 amps.
Budget models will have a motor rating between 3 and 5 amps, which is still enough for most light cutting tasks.
If you’ll regularly be cutting through thick materials, choose a jigsaw with more power.
Corded vs. Cordless Jigsaws
The most obvious difference between corded and cordless jigsaws is portability. Cordless ones don’t need a power outlet to function, making them good for working on sites.
But cordless jigsaws will usually have less power in their motors. More than anything, this means they can run for longer without draining the battery. Their batteries are usually rated 18 or 20V, both of which are fine for all-round models.
If you’re a DIYer or hobbyist, a corded jigsaw is the better option because it offers greater versatility for a range of cutting jobs. Beginners would probably benefit from a less powerful model because they offer greater control when getting used to the tool.
But if you’re a professional working on sites, or already own a corded jigsaw, a cordless version is a good option.
Most jigsaws offer some kind of variable speed setting. This is useful for making more intricate scroll cuts when lower speeds mean greater precision and control.
Variable speed jigsaws will either use a trigger or a speed dial. A trigger puts the control in your hands, which is fine for most people. Novices might benefit from a dial though, as this at least locks the speed at a definitive setting.
Jigsaws measure blade speed in strokes per minute (SPM), which refers to the up-and-down motion of the blade.
The most powerful jigsaws run up to 3,500SPM, which will make like work of softwoods and soft hardwoods (poplar, mahogany, etc.). Denser materials, such as plastic, hardwoods, and metal, benefit from a lower speed setting.
Cordless jigsaws usually have a lower maximum SPM, but even 3,000SPM is enough to cut through softer materials with ease. You might just notice a bit more vibration when doing so.
Maximum speed is only important to a degree. What’s more important is variable speed settings, whether a trigger or dial. Considering the flexibility this offers, it’s worth getting.
Blade Shank Type
Jigsaw blades come in 2 main types: T-shank and U-shank. Within these are variations, such as standard 6-TPI blades and reverse-tooth blades.
T-shank jigsaw blades have realistically become the standard now, as they enable tool-free blade changing. The blades have 2 small protrusions that lock them into the jigsaw.
Choosing a jigsaw that uses T-shank blades allows you to swap between manufacturers more easily. You’ll have a greater choice of blade types, brands, and materials if you go with T-shank.
U-shank blades, unsurprisingly, have a U-shaped notch at the top. They clamp into the jigsaw using a screw, meaning you need a tool to unlock them.
Importantly, this means it takes longer to switch blades. While not a massive issue, it leads to greater downtime because you can’t just pop the blade out.
Also, U-shank blades are slightly less common. While you’ll find them, you usually need to match the blade style to your jigsaw. This means less flexibility in makes and blade types.
I feel ergonomics is one of the most important considerations when choosing a power tool. Considering you could be using it for hours at a time, you want it to be comfortable.
Jigsaw ergonomics comes down to 1 major point: the handle type. Your choices are top handle and barrel grip.
Of course, you want the handle to be comfortable regardless, so look for molded rubber handles for greater comfort.
Top handle jigsaws are more common and a more traditional design. They’re exactly what you’d expect: a top handle and possibly a front grip for the support hand.
Top handle jigsaws are:
- More comfortable (better for long cutting sessions).
- Better for cutting thicker materials.
- Usually fitted with a speed trigger under the handle.
- Fine for both one-handed and two-handed use.
The only major downside with top handle jigsaws is the lack of visibility. The handle is further away from the work piece so it’s slightly harder to see when cutting.
While pros probably won’t have an issue with this, novices might. It’s particularly noticeable when cutting tight curves or doing intricate scrollwork.
With these types of jigsaws the grip is located on the motor housing. They’re more compact and are better for one-handed work. They’re a less common design than top handle jigsaws.
- Better for accuracy (lower center of gravity).
- Easier to guide.
- Better for changing settings (hand is closer to dials).
- Suitable for one-handed and two-handed use.
- Fitted with a speed dial and on/off switch.