HOW TO USE A JIG SAW - Having a Jigsaw as part of your DIY Power Tool set is very handy. Jigsaws are capable of cutting through many materials with ease. When it comes to cutting curves and other shapes then a Jigsaw performs these with ease. In this guide we show you how to use a Jigsaw, the blade types and other useful tips.
Blades for a Jigsaw come in two types, the ‘U’ shank and ‘T’ shank.
NEVER attempt to change the blade while the Jigsaw is plugged into the power. To change a blade, unplug the Jigsaw. If you have a ‘U’ shank blade then this attached and secured in place using an Alan Key. Place the blade into the Jigsaw and tighten the Alan Key screw. Give the blade a little tug to ensure it is firmly attached. If you have a ‘T’ shank blade then this is attached using a level. Simply pull the lever upwards, insert the blade, and then release the lever. Again, give the blade a little tug to ensure it is attached firmly before use.
SAFETY - Always wear a dust mask and goggles when cutting. Remember also that a cable is attached to this power tool so make sure it is out of the way from the area you are cutting. A good idea is to wrap the cable around your forearm – this will certainly help keep the cable away from your intended cut path.
Blade Teeth – If the blade you are using has large cutting teeth then it will produce a rough cut. It will also cut faster. The blades will small teeth produce a finer cut and are not as fast for cutting through materials. Small teeth blades are far more accurate and are very useful when cutting curves or other shapes. Most blades cut on the ‘Up Stroke’, however, if you are cutting laminates, for example laminate floor boards, you can buy a blade that cuts on the ‘Down Stroke’, which help prevent splintering and chipping. There are also other blades available for cutting materials such as plastics and metals. You should always use the appropriate blade according to the material you want to cut.
Whenever you are using a Jigsaw it is important to let the blade do the work. Don’t try to force the blade along the cut line. Forcing a blade can damage the blade and put undue strain on the Jigsaw motor.
If you want to cut the ultimate straight edge then fit a straight edge attachment to your Jigsaw. Most manufacturers supply attachments in the packaging.
If you want to cut an angle or bevel, then loosen the blade plane nut, adjust the blade plane to the angle required and tighten the nut. You can now cut along the timber at the desired angle.
If your Jigsaw comes with a exhaust nozzle, then a vacuum cleaner can be attached to the nozzle to extract any sawdust produced when cutting.
Depending on the Jigsaw model you have or buy, some have adjustable speed levels so that you can increase or decrease the cutting speed. This is useful when undertaking shape cuts and other intricate work. The variable speed adjustment dial is generally located on the top of the Jigsaw. Some, but not all models have pictorial dial which allows you to set the dial to the type of material you are cutting. It will then automatically set the blade speed and angle of the cut accordingly.
On the side of the Jigsaw you may find you have a dial that adjusts the pendulum action. This dial increase or decrease the angle at which the blade enters the material you are cutting.