Do you know that most of the professionals & DIYers use a jigsaw to make straight or intricate curved cuts for any kind of woodworking task or making crafts? Why?
Because a jigsaw is one of the easy to use and versatile power tools to cut a variety of materials like thin metal, laminate, plastic, ceramic tile, and wood. You just need the right blade to do all this work without that you won’t be able to make the perfect compound and bevel cuts in boards or other materials. You need to learn the basics of using a jigsaw.
In this article, we will teach you how to use a jigsaw to cut sheet metal, intricate shapes in wood.
For making curved or intricate shapes in the wood, any handheld jigsaw will work. You can also use them for crosscuts and finished corners cut. They are not best to use if you want fast, and straight long cuts For that you need to use a circular saw.
You need a general purpose cutting blade. You can use the one that comes with the jigsaw.
Even though there are other tools such as tile nippers and ceramic rod saws to cut the ceramic tiles but they cut slow and damage the tiles more often than not.
To cut the ceramic tile with a jigsaw, you need a blade of max 1/4-in. Thick.
You need a carbide-grit ceramic blade for tile cutting. If you are cutting thin tiles use water to lubricate the blade and cool it down. While for the thicker ones, use cutting oil for lubricating the saw cut.
Also, make sure the tile is tightened enough for the blade to work smoothly not vibrate otherwise it will break.
To cut the sheet metal with a jigsaw, you need a proper blade of up to 10 gauge thick.
You should choose blade of up to 21 to 24 teeth per inches to cut sheet metal
For keeping the sheet metal firm and to avoid any rough edges, firmly put the metal sheet between the plywood layer up and down. It may take more time to cut through the sandwich but it will be worth it.
Rather than making plunge cuts, for pattern cutting, you need to drill starter holes for the blade to work smooth. Also, make sure there is enough clearance for the blade when you place the workpiece over the rail to cut over the workbench or sawhorses.
To cut metals, you must have a heavy-duty saw with features such as variable speed, orbital action, and vacuum hose that you will find only in costly jigsaws.
A jigsaw (or a saber saw) cuts when the jigsaw blade is activated by pulling a trigger and blade moves in up and down motion rapidly. You need to have a specific jigsaw blade to cut the type of material like metal, tile, wood, plastics, etc. It all depends on blade material that it can cuts or not.
The blades should be 2 to 3-1/2 in. long for making tight cuts in the small radius and 1/4 in. to 3/8 in. wide for general purpose cutting. They are made of carbon steel.
You may opt for 6 teeth per inch which cut rough or 10 teeth per inch for making smoother cuts. There is a different category of jigsaw blades and type of materials it can cut, it all depends on the kind of material it is made from. We recommend you buy the bimetal blades because they tend to last longer and don’t break more often.
The blades are measured in TPI, teeth per inch. More the number of teeth, smoother the cuts. The blades with fewer teeth tend to move faster hence good for only rough work.
Before buying a saw you must know the type of blade it comes with. This will help you to get the blades you need and stock up, rather than running out blades while working. Most jigsaws come with 1/4-in. Universal blade.
Here are some features you will find in basic and heavy-duty jigsaws.
A jigsaw main attribute is to cut scrolls, circles, and curved shapes but it can also cut on straight lines. To make the straight rip cut you need a good rip fence and blade.
Here are some tips to remember when learning how to use a jigsaw:
Safety is one of the most important things you need to keep in mind while using a jigsaw. While using any power tool you must have all safety gear with you and operate in a safe manner to prevent any serious injury.
David has been a woodworker for most of his life — in his dad’s cabinet shop. After using the tools himself, he decided to share it his woodworking and power tools knowledge with DIYers. Read more about him