How to choose a jigsaw blade. What to pay attention to before buying jigsaws
What is the best saw to choose for an electric jigsaw: rating of the most reliable sets
If you do not have enough experience with the jigsaw, it is not always possible to find the best type of saw. That’s why for beginners it’s better to look more carefully at commercially available sets of saws. This will allow you to get spare consumables, and will also save you from making a wrong purchase, since most kits contain all the main types of saws.
Most of the consumables that are on the market today imply the possibility of working with several types of fastening in the power tool. Accordingly, the blades will have several types of shank.
T-shank. Sometimes called Boshev’s by the authorship of the development. Has the greatest distribution, so in fact it can be considered standard.
The last two types are almost never seen on the market, as they were used on already discontinued jigsaws. There is also a classification according to blade size:
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- by length. from 40 to 250 mm;
- in width, which depends entirely on the type of blade and its purpose. Wide blades are better suited for straight cuts, shaped cuts are made with narrow saw blades;
- thickness. Thicker blades vibrate less, but please note that thicker blades may not fit in some devices with quick clamping mechanisms. That’s why you should check before buying that they are compatible with each other.
According to the type of materials to be cut the blades are divided into the following categories: for wood, for metal, for plastic, universal.
- For wood and similarly dense materials. Available in three versions: for high-performance cutting, for clean sawing, or for shaped sawing. Speed-cutting saw blades have large, widely set teeth. For a clean cut, the blades are available with a small pitch and medium-sized teeth. Circle-cutting means cutting along curved lines. Therefore, blades for this type of carpentry work have a short length, small teeth. Width of the shape saws does not exceed 4 mm.
- For metal. Cutting metal requires considerable mechanical stress. That’s why such blades are made of especially durable steel. Tooth height is less than 1mm.
- For plastic. Have a medium-sized tooth and are interchangeable with saws designed to work with wood for wood.
- For Specific Tasks. This type of blades can be used for cutting ceramic tiles or glass. The cutting edges of these blades have a carbide or diamond coating.
There are also universal saw blades. Capable of cutting all kinds of materials, but it would be hard to achieve a straight cut.
Designation and compatibility of the saws are identified by color, as well as by numerical and alphabetical markings. Often the marking is on the shank of the saw. There it does not rub off during work, and it will always be possible to determine what material it is designed for. But sometimes there are marks all over the blade. Then the marking is erased during work, and the craftsman will have to remember what kind of saw it is. The colors mean the following:
- Gray. only for wood.
- Blue is for metal.
- White. for metal and wood.
- Red. for various plastics.
- Black. universal for many materials, specified by additional markings.
With a file for hard material, you can saw softer materials, and never vice versa. That is, a metal file can be used to cut wood, but not vice versa. But for an efficient cut, you should choose a saw that is appropriate for the material or a universal one.
Compatibility with jigsaws by shank is important. The most common. T-shank. As a rule, all such saws have a standard sized shank that fits all jigsaws. But sometimes there are models, especially older models, which use saws with other shanks and their markings:
- U. stands for U-shank.
- M. straight shank with two holes, used on old Makita models.
- F. two bars and straight end.
For a customer this letter marking has little meaning, because shape of the shank is visible at the first sight on saw blade even on the picture on the net.
Marking starts with these letters T, U etc. For example T101B.
The first digit after the letter stands for the saw length group.
- 1. the shortest saws, up to 75 mm long.
- 2. saws of medium length, from 75 to 90 mm.
- 3. saws of increased length, from 90 to 150 mm.
- 4. The longest, over 150mm.
Special saws longer than 200 are marked with two digits (number) 10. In this case a four-digit marking after the letter.
Saw blades with different tooth shapes and sizes are used for cutting different materials. tooth. The last two digits indicate the shape and size of the tooth and the intended use for a particular material.
- 01. unset teeth, ground for a clean cut.
- 02. for cutting various plastics.
- 08. special tooth shape for maximum clean cut.
- 13. wave saw for soft materials.
- 11 and 19. wood saws.
- 23 and 24. saws with different tooth shapes and pitches.
- 27. wire saws for copper, brass, aluminium.
- 41. Saws for construction materials, gas silicate (foam concrete), gypsum board, fiberboard.
- 44. coarse toothed, extra-fine for quick, coarse cuts in wood.
These digits are followed by an alphabetical marking. one of the first four letters of the Latin alphabet: A, B, C, D. It denotes the tooth size in four major groups. A. smallest tooth, go on increasing.
As an example, the saw marking T101B deciphered as follows:
- T. shank in T-shape.
- 1. short saw blade, up to 75 mm long.
- 01.- Flush teeth, ground for a clean cut.
- B. second smallest tooth size.
This is the simplest marking. It was said at the beginning that the meaning of the markings may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. For example, if after digits there are other designations than A,B,C,D, then the marking means not the tooth size, but the pitch, i.e. the distance between the centers of teeth. It is deciphered according to the following table:
- G. smallest pitch, up to 1 mm.
- E. pitch 1.4 mm to 1.5 mm.
- A. pitch 1.5mm to 2mm.
- B. 2 mm to 3 mm.
- BC. marking of different (variable) pitch, alternating a larger and smaller pitch.
- C. the smallest pitch up to 1 mm.
- D. from 4 to 5 mm.
- X. saw blades with different tooth pitch that increases towards the end of the blade
- RIFF. a blade with a special fine-grained coating for cutting ceramic tiles.
Besides, the intended use of the saw blade can be indicated simply by the English word. Specifics:
- Wood. used for normal wood.
- Hardwood. for hardwood.
- Alu. first letters of the metal name are aluminum.
- Metal. for ferrous and other metals.
- Inox. specifically for stainless steel.
- Acrylic. for cutting polycarbonate, acrylic materials.
- FiberPlaster. for cutting plastics and fiberglass.
- SoftMaterial. for soft sheet materials (linoleum, leatherette and leather, polystyrene foam, polystyrene foam, etc.).д.)
Sometimes the inscription is in Russian instead of English. For example, just “wood/plastic”.
The grade of steel used for the saw blade is important. While the length, shank form, dimensions and tooth pitch can be seen and estimated without marking just by looking at the file, the steel grade can be determined by marking only.
- HCS. steel with high carbon content, good for cutting soft materials.
- BiM. bimetal (two metals). Using two different metals makes the blade stronger. Bimetal blade can be used for a variety of materials.
- CV. chromium-vanadium alloy.
- HSS. (High Speed Cutter) is the most common tool cutting steel. Used for cutting metal.
- Carbide Technology (CT) or HM. saws with a superhard coating of tungsten carbide, cobalt or synthetic diamond powder. Can cut ceramic tiles, facing brick, various plastics, asbestos cement sheets, slate and many other materials.
The method of sharpening and setting of the wood jigsaw teeth determines the width and fineness of the cut, as well as the suitability of the saw for cutting specific materials. There are four categories.
The first category includes milled files with normal serration. The classic riving action is a circular inflection of the teeth in different directions. This is the approach of an ordinary saw or hacksaw. Gives a wide kerf and high cutting speed, but does not provide a clean cut. Best results are obtained with fast cuts in all types of wood, plastics and even metals.
The second category is the milled wave type. Teeth are not set one after the other, but in groups of several. The amount of set is different for each tooth in the group, so the cutting edge looks like a wave. Such saw provides good quality of cut, used for different materials when it is necessary to get smooth and even cut without splinters.
Next are files with ground toothing and classical alternate ripping. They have a high cutting speed and a wide kerf, which is cleaner than the milled variant. They are designed for fast but quality cutting of wood and wood-based materials (chipboard, hardboard).
Finally comes the unset wood jigsaw file category with tapered ground teeth. No set produces a clean, fine cut, but is not good for quick, coarse cutting. Used for finish work in wood and plastics.
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Saw blades for jigsaws types and features
The compact power tool can be used to cut various types of workpieces. To solve a particular task here, it is important to use the right tooling. Therefore, it is necessary to get acquainted with the principles of how to choose a jigsaw for a jigsaw.
Seat and clamping mechanism of jigsaws are different, so there are two types of saws in relation to the tail end. Separate consideration should be given to a couple more shanks that are relevant to specific power tools.
Detailed information about the first criterion for selecting tooling is presented in the table below.
|T-shaped||Developers are representatives of Bosch, because of this there is a popular name “boshev” saws. This is the most common type, applicable to most jigsaws with well-known brands. For example, Interskol, Hammer, Makita, Skil.|
|Bowl shape||The American version can be used with appliances with clamping screws and pads.|
|Makita||This design is actual for old Makita power tools.|
|Bosch||Here clamping part has two cross elements. Relevant to old Bosch equipment.|
Two modern types can be found in any settlement, rare ones are practically absent in free sale in Russia. The way out is through direct representatives of specific companies or the foreign market. Many masters, due to the affordability of the tool, prefer to replace old sawing models with new ones.
Work blade geometry for electric jigsaws
When looking closely at samples, it is easy to distinguish jigsaw blades with different tooth set. The smaller level allows a more precise cut. The greater the angle between the teeth on the plane of the blade, the faster the cutting will be done, but the result will be worse.
Regarding the nature of the workpiece, the dependence looks like this:
|Classic||The teeth protrude on the sides in a staggered pattern.||No heat.||Quick roughing out different types of wood, plastics, non-ferrous metal.|
|Wavy||Tooth crowning is done in waves.||Careful sawing.||Finishing cut of different workpieces. Jigsaw blades cut wood chipboard in a qualitative manner.|
|Classic||Staggered bevel. Finished by sanding.||Wide stroke.||Good wood division|
|Tapered||No cutting.||Fine, high-quality trimmer line.||Sawing laminate, wood and plastics.|
To summarize, here are the main features that determine the choice of tooling. Maximum quality is achieved with a tapered edge. For faster sawing, the classic is optimal. And the milled teeth can handle non-ferrous materials.
Length, width and thickness of the blade
Performance is more often considered relative to jigsaws for wood, plastic, low-density samples. This is justified by the possibility of varying base thicknesses. So, you can find samples of length from 40 to 250 mm on the marketplaces.
Considering the parameter, it is important to consider that the depth of cut also depends on the device of the tool itself. The cutting edge is not always used to its full extent. Another point is that too long files can deform when working with thin or thick workpieces., which negatively affects the cutting edge.
The necessary tooling width is determined by the intended action. So, a thin saw blade for wood jigsaw is more relevant for shape sawing. The wide ones are easier to hold in a straight line. The result here goes straight.
The thickness depends on the preservation of the specified position of the saw relative to the plane to be cut (perpendicularly or at an angle). The higher the value, the less likely the deflection. But it is necessary to take into account the character of the jigsaw quick-clamping mechanism. Some machines have limitations.
How to choose a jigsaw for wood
In the past, only jigsaw blades for wood were sold. This is due to the technique’s focus on sawing wood. This explains the greater diversity of equipment compared to other blades. There is an internal classification within the group. You can find information about them in the table below.
|Planning for productivity||Length from 60 mm, teeth up to 6 mm with a 1 mm pitch.|
|Clean cut (quality is the goal)||Tooth size up to 3 mm, narrow set.|
|Shaped cutting||Size up to 440 mm, teeth up to 2 mm. The back is beveled.|
Masters make several recommendations here. Straight teeth are better for cutting across the grain and oblique teeth for cutting along the grain. For quality results look at the direction of the edges: if towards the jigsaw, turn the workpiece face down. For laminated products, it is worth taking a double-row saw. No pressure should be applied to the tool during the shape sawing.
Electric jigsaw for metal
Since the jigsaw is designed for non-metal applications, craftsmen often encounter overheating of the equipment, long cutting times, fast tool wear and tear. However, there are budget options on the sales floor, which more often than not stops builders from choosing a different approach.
Metal jigsaw for jigsaws in steel with high durability. Teeth up to 1 mm are deflected by a wave along the edge. The classification suggests the applicability of products for soft, hard and high-strength workpieces. For occasional use, the latter option can be sufficient. Professionals work with all three.
What to cut plastics with
There are no specialized saws here. Larger teeth are best viewed. On the maximum mode from long sawing, the saws heat up/melting the edges. Therefore, in the absence of other options, it is necessary to turn on the low-speed mode of the jigsaw. The opposite is true for organic glass and thin plastics. Bigger teeth will chop, and smaller ones will neatly cut at high speed.
Jigsaw file parameters
To begin with, you need to determine the list of saw blade parameters that you need to consider. So these are:
- The standard of attachment of the saw blade (the shape of the shank);
- Dimensions (length, width, thickness);
- Geometric parameters of the teeth;
- Purpose (by type of material).
Saw blade mounting standard (shank shape)
To determine the standard of attachment of the saw blade to the jigsaw, you need to look into the passport of your power tool. it must be indicated there. Although quite often there are several saws together with the jigsaw, and looking at them, you can understand the type of shank that suits you.
Listed below are the main types of shanks encountered today.
T-shaped shank type, is the most common type at the moment. This solution has turned out to be the most successful and has been “adopted” by a large number of power tool manufacturers. This type, often called Bosch, because it was the company Bosch first offered to the market this type of attachment of the jigsaw blade. Later on, other manufacturers began to support this type of shank. Such companies include:
This shank has proven itself in the field, with its reliability and practicality.
U-shank is considered an American standard, however, it can be considered obsolete, as it is hardly ever used now, although this type of shank used to be on jigsaws with screw and shank clamps of famous manufacturers:
This is a proprietary type of Makita shank. Such saws are characterized by their reliability and strong base. This band saw blade is also now obsolete and is only suitable for certain Makita jigsaws. In this connection at change of a blade it can be difficult to buy it, as demand for them now is very low, it will be difficult to find such saws in a store.
This type of shank is very similar to T-type shank, but in difference from it is proprietary Bosch company, so it fits to electric jigsaws models of this manufacturer only. This type of mounting can also be considered obsolete, respectively it is quite difficult to find it for sale.
So, if you summarize, it becomes clear that the T-shaped type of shank is now some general standard and it has displaced all other modifications that used to take place. Thus it simplifies a problem for us (consumers) very much. there is big choice and it is not necessary to think about shanks, though it is necessary to know that in theory there could be non-standard variants too.
Sizes of circular saw blade
Like any object in Euclidean space, a saw has three geometrical dimensions: length, width and thickness. Each of these parameters is important and affects the result of work in its own way. Now about this in more detail.
The parameter is clear and clear. the longer the saw blade, the more thickness of the sawn workpiece can be. The range of lengths for jigsaws is quite wide, from 40 mm to 250 mm. it would seem. it is necessary to take the longest saw blade and we will not loose. Yes, the long saw is good, as it is an opportunity to saw thick workpieces, but there are a number of points.
- you have to pay for the extra length; the longer the saw blade the more expensive it is; it is obvious;
- when sawing workpieces of different thicknesses the saw blade will be unevenly worn and therefore the wear of teeth at the base will be higher than at the end of saw blade.
- saws bend, and it is much easier to bend a long saw blade than a short one;
- there are cases when the excessive length of the saw blade simply prevents the sawing, for example, it rests on something, while a shorter saw blade would pass without problems.
It is important to pay attention to an important moment. for sawing thick workpieces not only long saw blade is needed, but also enough power of jigsaw blade to cope with the load. If you do not take this factor into account, you can simply ruin the tool. the jigsaw can simply “burn out”.
For a straight saw (in a straight line) wide saws are better suited, as they do not let the cut go sideways due to their width. Accordingly the wider a saw is the more even cutting it can give. It is vice versa with narrow files. they are applied there where it is necessary to make curve or radius shape cut, accordingly the narrower a file is, the more crooked a cut can be.
And the last, but not the most important parameter. the thickness of the saw blade. The thicker the blade, the stronger the saw blade, the more resistant it is to the applied forces and the more likely it is not to be pulled aside. It would seem. the conclusion is obvious. take the thickest saws, but, as in the case with the length, you need to specify a number of circumstances. The thicker the saw, the wider the kerf, which means
In addition, it should be mentioned that not all thick saws are suitable for the quick-clamping mechanism.
As always, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every time you have to have the right saw blade for the task at hand and of course for your tool. It is probably not worth running to the store every time and picking up saw blades, but just have a set of the most frequently used variants of saw blades.
How to avoid breakages
An electric jigsaw is not the most complicated tool. With careful use and care, it works for a long time without breakage. The most vulnerable unit is the movable pendulum rod with a holder for saw blades, which can break and fall into disrepair just from frequent use of the device. Well, saws themselves also often break or become blunt, but it is a natural phenomenon for any consumables.
- Dulled teeth of the cutting blade have difficulty gnawing into material and cause rod breakage or motor overheating.
- A bent saw leads to the same consequences, and taking the cut to the side.
- Motor overloading and rod jamming can also be caused by lack of lubrication in the saw blade guide roller.
To prevent breakage, you need to know how to use the jigsaw correctly and pay attention to such problems as charring of wood when sawing, sideways cutting and change of smooth stroke of the rod, run-out of the blade. In such cases, you need to make sure that the blade is not bent or blunt. Do not try to straighten a deformed saw blade or set aside a blunt one to work with softer materials. It should be discarded right away.
Also, when working with a tool to follow simple rules:
- Monitor the integrity of the cord, do not allow its kinks and knots;
- before changing the saw blade on the jigsaw, disconnect it from the mains;
- Do not overload the tool, put it to rest or let it cool down by letting it run idle;
- do not use excessive force when sawing, which can lead to jamming of the saw blade;
- periodically clean motor cooling air inlets and dismantle the tool itself to remove any debris that may have entered inside.
Saw blade shanks
|fit for tools: AEG, Bosch, Metabo|
|Suitable for: AEG, Atlas Copco, Bosch, BlackDecker, DeWALT, Elu, Festool, Flex, Hitachi, Holz-Her, Kress, Mafell, Makita, Metabo, Protool|
|Suitable for: BlackDecker, Skil, Ryobi|
|Suitable for: Fein ASt(e) 636,638; MOt 6-17-1|
|Suitable for: Fein ASt(e) 649; MOt 6-18-1, Spitznas|
|Suitable for: Makita|
Leading tool manufacturers produce accessories for their power tools. One of the pleasant extras is a device for preventing chips in the top layer of the material, which is mounted on the base plate. And the base plate itself can be made of different materials to prevent slipping when sawing.
A parallel stop will also be useful in the workshop to ensure the cutting of similar strips; the distance between parallel lines can vary up to 140 mm. A circular cutter provides the ability to accurately process radiused surfaces. Optional accessories greatly expand the possibilities for the tool and give new impetus to creativity.
What types of jigsaws are better for jigsaws?
In principle, laminate flooring can be sawn with any functioning jigsaw. It is important to use a quality matching saw. However, it is more convenient and productive to work with quality professional tools, especially for large workloads.
Household models overheat faster during prolonged work, requiring a break to cool down. Ergonomics are also important. The jigsaw should not only be professionally reliable, but also powerful enough. At the same time, not too heavy, with a comfortable center of gravity, handles and visibility of the sawing field. The most advanced in terms of comfortable ergonomics and weight are jigsaws from Japanese brands (Makita, Hitachi).
The presence of pendulum stroke (the function of the saw swing) for laminate cutting does not matter, because in this mode, more tears the finish coating, and it is not used when cutting laminate.
The speed of the blade travel matters: the higher it is, the cleaner the kerf is. Some models have up to a maximum of 3200 up/down strokes per minute. Others are 3500 strokes per minute. But, some materials are better sawn not at maximum, but at optimal speed, which are selected by adjusting the speed and test sawing.
How to choose the best and most reliable jigsaws?
Overview of popular brand-name models lets you find the best option for your budget and the amount of work you need to do.
Simple guidelines and easy-to-follow markings help to make the right choice. Decide where to buy cutting consumables will help retail stores and many specialized construction internet sites. Study real customer reviews, compare products by price and order jigsaw accessories online at the online store.
Very often, the rejection of cheap counterfeit products in favor of branded products is justified. The extra cost of buying consumables will pay off with a high quality cut, no extra work, the speed of the process, and no injuries at work.