How to work with a handheld wood jigsaw

Choice of tool

Nowadays there is a huge variety of models on the market. The of some may be pleasantly surprising, but the quality of the product does not always match expectations. Below we will discuss a few highlights that will help you choose the best jigsaw for value for money. There are several factors that will determine the longevity of the jigsaw and the convenience of using it. The main thing is the material of the frame. The metal should be strong, difficult to bend even a little. Aluminum frames are lightweight, but their strength is minimal. The best material for the frame is titanium or steel. Before you give away your money for the tool, try squeezing the frame at the saw’s attachment point. If the sides fit together nearly effortlessly, it is a piece of junk and you will work with it intolerably hard. Also, the frame can be tubular or flat. Try to give preference to the second variant, but only after the elasticity test described above.

An ordinary jigsaw can have a wooden or plastic handle. A tool with a wooden handle is more reliable, because plastic ones sometimes fly out of the groove and can cause serious injury while working. Is it worth saying that it should be convenient to hold a tool, so you should choose the one suitable for your hand?

Saw blade fasteners should be tightened comfortably. Ball screws with small ears are difficult to grasp and lock with sufficient force, so you have to resort to the use of pliers or improvised objects, which is very inconvenient and increases the risk of tearing the thread. The fasteners should be tightened comfortably, with bare hands, without the use of improvised means.

By following the tips above, you can easily buy the best jigsaw for your home or school. For a clearer understanding of the essence of the choice of tool, we recommend to watch the following video clip.

A tool for making decorative and openwork crafts

Jigsawing is a type of creative activity with which most people are familiar since childhood, since their school days. At least it wasn’t that long ago. When school began labor classes and girls learned sewing and needlework, boys were introduced to such a tool as the jigsaw.

How to use a Jigsaw. Basics

It is not difficult to use, and plywood jigsaw crafts have not only artistic value, but also practical application. Manufactured products can serve as a souvenir: various boxes and toys, as well as have a practical application in everyday life. Decorated elements of the porch of the house, windows, stylish benches with carved legs, beautiful kitchen furniture and many other useful products from wood can be made with the help of this miracle-tool.

The ideal hobby tool

The hand jigsaw is a tool for shaped sawing out of plywood or any other material, such as plastic. The manual jigsaw is the budget variant. and the range of applications is very wide. Circular sawing with the hand jigsaw is a very interesting task. It is not only a pleasant pastime, but also a practical benefit, not only financially but also morally.

The design of this tool is very simple:

  • U-shaped frame. It comes in both tubular and platen designs.
  • Jigsaw handle.
  • Two saw mounts. These mounts can rotate, thereby creating different planes, allowing you to perform sawing of varying complexity.
  • Jigsaw blade. Sets of these saws are available in packs of 50. Blades differ in thickness and size of teeth. Thick blades are used for sawing out contours, and thin ones are used for openwork with small elements of the workpiece.
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Electro-mechanical jigsaws

Electric hand jigsaws have become indispensable tools in the home. It can be used to cut various materials: plywood, wood, plastic, metal, ceramics, etc. д.

The tool works on 220 W electric mains and has a plastic body with working elements and a control knob. Its main component is the saw blade, which is attached to a rod located at the front of the machine.

The plunger is driven by an electric motor. The movement of the cutting blade is reciprocating. Some models of this tool have the pendulum motion principle to speed up the sawing process, i.e. the saw blade not only goes up and down but also forward and backward.

Cutting blades are consumables and need to be replaced from time to time. They differ from each other functionally. there are nozzles for wood, metal, ceramics. There are thicker blades, with more or less rigidity, with larger or smaller teeth. An important characteristic of jigsaws is their shank. The most widespread nowadays are saws with U-shaped and T-shaped shanks. It is with such jigsaws that you should buy a jigsaw. then there will be no shortage of consumables.

The electric tool differs in many indicators, but in this article we will pay attention only to one important factor. it is the backlash of the saw’s stroke. This characteristic has an influence on the sliding tendency of the blade during the shape sawing. Jigsaws of many brands can not cope with the task of perpendicular cutting, it is especially sensitive when cutting wood of great thickness. the error can be up to 5 mm.

The experiments we did on wood shape sawing showed that the Festool jigsaws turned out to be the best. The popular company Makita in this contest has not shown itself from the best side. the error of perpendicular-shaped cut was quite large (up to 5 mm), also entering into the wood with an electric jigsaw of this brand occurs with large chips.

An electric stationary jigsaw is already professional equipment for sawing. Its design is more complex than the above-mentioned equipment. Its working principle can be compared to a sewing machine, which has a jigsaw blade instead of a needle. The quality of products obtained with this machine is not comparable. The error of a perpendicular cut with a large thickness of the workpiece is zero.

The only disadvantage of this electromechanical apparatus is its high price. But this is compensated by the comfort of work on it and the high productivity with the highest quality of the product obtained.

Jigsawing with a hand saw (step by step instructions)

Any creative work, in any industry, requires certain knowledge and skills. If the author wants to create something really valuable, his technique should be honed to an appropriate level. Hand jigsaw work can be safely attributed to this kind of activity. In capable hands, this unpretentious device can create real works of art. Fortunately, it takes quite a little time to master figure sawing. All you need is the will, and we are happy to provide a detailed guide to the action.

Artistic sawing with a jigsaw: drawing, stencil and work

Let’s get acquainted with the devices

The jigsaw is a toolkit that is designed to work on different contours. The device includes a blade equipped with teeth, small enough to make a cut of the working material, practically without forming burrs and chips.


The “founder” of the genus, of course, is the hand jigsaw. The ingenious thing is simple: a metal U-bar, and between the ends of the stretched working blade, which is secured by clamps. They hold the sawblade in place and tensioning is regulated by the saw blade. Handle for convenient operation is located on one side of the frame. Tool jigsaws can rotate, thereby creating a different plane for the work, providing opportunities for carving plywood with a jigsaw of greater complexity.

  • When creating with a manual device it is necessary to be extremely careful: the construction is quite fragile, and with intense pressure the blade sometimes tears, and it must be replaced. Every beginner should have extra jigsaws.
  • It is convenient to use an auxiliary board when working with a jigsaw: it protects the table and solves the problem of comfortable positioning of the plywood workpiece.
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Electric jigsaws

This machine works with electricity. It is a case where the mechanism is located, there is also a control knob. The sawing element is in the lower part at the front of the jigsaw. The blade is protected, and this allows you to cut along the contour very evenly, without deviations. Professional models of equipment have a lot of nozzles that greatly facilitate the process of work, for example, aligning the edge of the material. The jigsaw blades can also have differently shaped and sized teeth. They should be selected in accordance with the material for the saw, so that the plywood sheets are not damaged in operation.

  • Jigsaws are domestic electric jigsaws for non-industrial purposes, typically of low power (350 to 500 watts). For beginners. this is the most common of the options when you are just learning to cut out crafts and figures from plywood (usually of small thickness). It is quite safe to work with such a device, especially when it is equipped with protection.
  • A professional jigsaw is for industrial use, has a power more than 700 watts, high speed and precision cutting. It can cut sheets over 10 cm thick, aluminum, thin steel.

Milling machine

Sometimes this device is used for carving. It is a kind of special hand tools, with the help of which you can perform various types of work on wood and plywood in everyday life. However, it requires a certain skill to work with it, but craftsmen who are deft with this equipment can create the most real artistic masterpieces of folk art.

Making a stencil

Blueprints for creative works come in different sizes, depending on the scale of the products being made. For example, for schemes of a shelf or a fragment of furniture, for volumetric toys one should take a sheet of Watman A1 format, a roll of wallpaper left after repairs can also do, and for small figures (like souvenirs) one should take office paper (À4 or A3 format).

On the surface of the paper marker or pencil to draw the contours of the future object, sticking to these dimensions. Templates are in the public domain in a wide range, choose the appropriate (for beginners, as a rule, not too difficult). And you can think of your own options for sawing with a jigsaw and then transferred to the paper base.

Then we transfer the images to the surface of the working material (plywood, blackboard). To do this, we cut out a shape from paper, place it on plywood, and trace it accurately with a pencil. Lines should be accurate and straight. If necessary, touch up by erasing with an eraser.

The outlines are drawn “from behind” the material, so that the remnants of the drawing would not be visible on the ready form. You can also shade the inside areas so as not to cut unnecessary part, thereby marking the untouchable fragment.

Examples of drawings


The Snowflake

The reindeer


It is good, when there is a number of older colleagues, already having experience with this tool. they and the model, suitable for the price, will prompt, and advise a set of replacement tools, and even directly will help with the choice of model. The temptation to settle on powered versions, such as cordless jigsaws, is great, but you should know that beginners should not use electric jigsaws. There are a number of reasons for that:

  • Lack of practice often leads to rapid breakage of saw blades, because they do not take any bending loads.
  • Driving jigsaws are more often purchased by craftsmen engaged in the mass production of figured wood and plywood crafts.
  • With an electric jigsaw it is impossible to saw a complex profile.
  • The primary skills of sawing with a hand jigsaw on wood are already fixed at the level of manual labor lessons at school, so the development of the tool will go much faster.
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So, a manual jigsaw. a tool for unhurried, thoughtful and quiet work somewhere in the countryside, or on the balcony. a good alternative to mechanized options.

work, handheld, wood, jigsaw

The first thing to do is to choose the hand jigsaw itself correctly. The selection criteria are usually:

  • The shape of the frame: depending on its configuration, it will become clear what the maximum cutting length. Jigsaws with frame lengths up to 300mm are available and this greatly extends the capabilities of the tool but at the same time increases its weight and dimensions. For home craftsmen who do not have experience working on shaped sawing, it is worth buying a hand jigsaws with a frame length not exceeding 150 mm.
  • Frame material: when pressing on the bow, the frame should spring, which is a good sign of quality. such a frame will not break when applied to the handheld wood jigsaw noticeable lateral loads.
  • Frame height: for strength reasons, this parameter should not be more than three times the length, or the stiffness of the jigsaw will decrease, and the quality of the cutting line will be unsatisfactory.
  • The way of tensioning the saw blade: hinge-nuts with different lengths are usually used for this, which, in turn, depends on the diameter of the thread. As the diameter increases, the length of the nut’s tendrils increases, which increases the convenience of tightening. The presence of holes on the arms increases the accuracy of fixing. Nuts should not be cast, but stamped.

What is a wood jigsaw?

The jigsaw appeared during the development of applied carving of thin plates of precious wood, which was later called intarsia. Jigsaws were already known to mankind, and they were analogous to a jigsaw. a saw that is stretched in a wooden frame. Jigsaws for jigsaws are wood saws, but their dimensions were reduced rather quickly, and the number of teeth was increased.

The hand jigsaw is a highly sought-after device. Despite the existing shortcomings, which are associated with a low level of productivity, as well as the inability to solve a large number of tasks entrusted to it, for example, sawing thick wood, precise cutting and trimming edges, straight cut, this tool is very popular today. Probably the main reason for its popularity is its low cost. Today, for about 2-3 dollars you can buy a good hand jigsaw, and for 6-7 dollars. a professional tool.

The design of all hand jigsaws is similar. The main components are:

Here are some photos of the wood jigsaw.

work, handheld, wood, jigsaw

There are two main types of blade, which differ in their shape and arrangement of teeth:

  • blade with a straight double tooth. With such a blade it is possible to make a straight cut in a short time. With a length of up to 130 mm and a working length of approx. 85 mm. Perfectly copes with sawing, both wood and plastic
  • spiral. Characterized by a twisted shape and ideal for creating a variety of circles and curved lines.

Preparing the tool for work

Before starting work, the tool must be prepared. The quality of the work will depend on its preparation. Preparation of the jigsaw is carried out in the following sequence:

  • Unscrew the clamps at the top and bottom of the tool.
  • The saw blade is inserted into the clamping devices with the teeth facing downwards.
  • the clamps are tightened until the saw has been optimally tensioned.

Professionals use the jigsaw to make curve cuts, create straight lines, and cut notches.

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