While most saws are designed to make straight cuts, as in construction work, there are times when a more freeform cut may be required. In such situations, the jigsaw is the most appropriate choice of tool for the job at hand. Jigsaws are often used for finer work such as making artistic designs out of wood.
The first jigsaws were hand powered tools that consisted of a very small, straight, and narrow blade. This design allows a carpenter to cut through the wood, carving along in any direction desired. Newer jigsaws are commonly power tools with a strong motor to make the cutting work go easier and faster.
Jigsaw power tools work in a similar fashion to their hand powered counterparts. To effectively operate a jigsaw, the user presses the base plate of the device firmly on top of the wood. As the jigsaw cuts through the wood, the user keeps the plate pressed firmly over the wood. This keeps the cutting action of the jigsaw smooth and prevents any shearing or splintering of the wood.
Once the jigsaw has begun cutting, the operator can freely guide the blade through the wood, creating almost any design desired. Most jigsaws also have a couple of different variable controls on them. These controls commonly include a stroke setting that allows the operator to choose between a finer cut or a quicker rough cut. Most jigsaws also have a speed control, so that the operator can slow down at important or detailed parts of the work.
Getting a straight cut with a jigsaw can be very difficult. Although practice will improve the cut, there are a couple of techniques that can assist the effort. Using a guide for the jigsaw can make a straight cut easier. The more expensive option is to go with a pendulum jig saw.
The operator of a jigsaw must be careful to ensure that the base plate does not lift off the wood being worked on. Allowing the blade to lift up is a safety hazard and should be avoided. The practice of plunge cutting, or beginning in the middle of a board, is also dangerous and should be done with care.
Jigsaws come in a wide variety of models from many different manufacturers. Consumers can go with the affordable end of the spectrum, with manufacturers such as Black & Decker, or go with the high-end market provided by manufacturers like Global Machinery Company. The GMC LS950SPJ is a good example of a higher end jigsaw. The LS950SPJ is a scrolling pendulum jigsaw with a laser guide and a high strokes per minute capability. Start off with something more affordable and upgrade down the road if necessary.