The 7 Best Electric Jigsaws

Updated October 02, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

7 Best Electric Jigsaws
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Electric jigsaws are used to create elaborate shapes in wood or metal that would be nearly impossible with other tools. They have thin, tiny blades that can easily produce 90-degree cuts, loops, or waves, and their handheld form factor makes them convenient on nearly any job site. We've picked out the best models for both contractors and home DIYers. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best electric jigsaw on Amazon.

7. Hitachi CJ90VST

The strong dust blower on the Hitachi CJ90VST does a great job of keeping debris out of your cut line. It also features a well-padded grip that significantly reduces vibrations, and a lightweight, yet durable, nickel-plated aluminum base.
  • easy to maneuver
  • won't scratch your work surface
  • cutting path is not illuminated
Brand Hitachi
Model CJ90VST
Weight 8.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Proxxon 38530

When your job calls for precision cuts in tight, hard to reach areas, or you just don't like to carry around heavy tools, there is no better choice than the Proxxon 38530. It weighs just 1.5lbs and is only 9 inches in length.
  • electronic speed control
  • comes with saw blades
  • not intended for heavy-duty projects
Brand Proxxon
Model 38530
Weight 4.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Bosch JS260

If you are looking for something that is a step above the average DIYer tool, yet still want something affordable, the Bosch JS260 is a good option. It offers tool-free blade changes, four blade stroke settings, and an adjustable dust port.
  • durable steel footplate
  • feels surprisingly well-made
  • comes with a bag instead of a case
Brand Bosch
Model JS260
Weight 7.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. DeWalt DW331K

The DeWalt DW331K easily stands up to rough use day after day with its durable all metal gear case. Its speed can be adjusted between 500 and 3,100 SPM. Overall, it's a smart choice for contractors who have heavy demands, but don't want to spend a lot of money.
  • ideal for creating flush cuts
  • easily powers though most materials
  • helpful bevel detents
Model DW331K
Weight 9.7 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Milwaukee 6268-21

You'll get precision cuts every time with the Milwaukee 6268-21. It has a powerful, reliable motor and is counterbalanced to reduce vibration transfer to your hands. Also, it comes with a sturdy case convenient for both storage and transport.
  • led to illuminate the cut line
  • soft cushioned grip
  • shoe adjusts up to 45 degrees
Brand Milwaukee
Model 6268-21
Weight 9.7 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Porter-Cable PCE345

The Porter-Cable PCE345 offers precision quality contractor cuts, without a hefty price tag, so it's perfect for the home DIYer. Its keyless blade change saves you time, and a lock-on button makes it comfortable for extended use.
  • easy to grip overmolded handle
  • feels well-balanced in the hand
  • 4-position orbit adjustment
Model PC600JS
Weight 6.2 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Bosch JS572EK

The Bosch JS572EK weighs just 5lbs, yet comes with a powerful 7.2 amp motor that makes it capable of cutting through even the densest materials. It features a double roller system that reduces blade deflection so you wind up with straight and smooth cuts.
  • variable speed trigger
  • dial for setting the max speed
  • doesn't bog down under load
Brand Bosch
Model JS572EK
Weight 9.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Cutting Curves Without Cutting Corners

Regardless of whether you consider yourself a skilled craftsman or construction worker, the versatility of your power tools is of paramount importance when working with many different types of materials on the job. If you need the ability to cut elaborate shapes into these materials with a professional degree of precision, look no further than the electric jigsaw.

Driven by an electric motor, the electric jigsaw is a power tool equipped with a narrow reciprocating blade that moves up and down to make curved and irregularly-shaped cuts into wood, metal, plastic, steel, fiberglass, drywall, and even ceramic tile. Additional components include: the shoe, blade clamp and roller guide, power trigger, lock-on button, orbital action dial, and variable speed dial.

Sometimes referred to as the baseplate or sole of the device, the shoe represents the metal base of the tool and sits on the surface of the material into which it cuts, ensuring the blade remains at a fixed angle. Pivoting the shoe at a 45-degree angle also allows the device to make beveled cuts.

Depending on the device's design, the blade clamp consists of either a spring-loaded lever or two screws that require tightening with an Allen key to keep the blade in place, while the roller guide provides additional support for the blade during the cutting process. By keeping the blade slotted, the roller guide prevents the blade from bending over time. The power trigger is typically pressure activated and located on the underside of the handle. The more pressure that is applied to the trigger, the greater the tool's cutting speed.

An electric jigsaw's overall speed is measured in strokes per minute, which refers to the number of times the blade moves up and down every 60 seconds. The lock-on button maintains a set speed for the device, which effectively minimizes user fatigue during prolonged cutting sessions. Ideal for making aggressive cuts into particularly thick materials, the orbital action dial controls the degree to which the blade moves back and forth and up and down. Finally, the calibrated variable speed dial allows for manual adjustments of the tool's cutting speed, depending on the thickness of the work material.

Next to the power drill, an electric jigsaw is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment available. It is one of few handheld tools capable of cutting precise curves, making it especially useful for the professional woodworker or carpenter. The jigsaw's blades are easy to change and capable of powering through materials of varying densities, thanks to the use of orbital and variable speed dials. While many electric jigsaws are corded, cordless options are also available for portability without the restrictions of a cable. The addition of a battery pack means the cordless jigsaw can be used at most any job site. With the proper instruction, the tool is also extremely kid friendly, as it sits directly on top of whatever surface it cuts, meaning it doesn't require the strength of an adult to hold it in place. Fingers and hands are also kept away from the blade itself for increased safety.

Versatility And Convenience Keep The Path Clear

Comfort, power, and speed should all be kept in mind when investing in an electric jigsaw. Depending on the materials used, most corded models offer an optimal power output range of between five and eight amps with several speed settings. This comes in handy for heavy-duty and professional use. A fully-padded handle grip with a power trigger for different operating speeds make prolonged cutting jobs a lot easier, while simultaneously mitigating fatigue and maintaining one's level of precision.

If you make a lot of straight cuts into boards and different woods, a built-in laser line or LED is another welcome advantage in terms of illuminating your cutting path. If wood constitutes the majority of work pieces in your trade or profession, then the jigsaw should also be equipped with a reliable dust collection port, keeping sawdust away from the materials and from affecting your own health. While the collection port is not a substitute for a respirator, it will minimize the amount of sawdust getting passed around as you work.

For time-sensitive situations that require the use of materials of different thicknesses, look for a quick-change blade system to ensure a seamless transition between jobs. Many electric jigsaws allow for their blades to be changed without the need for any tools at all.

A Brief History Of The Electric Jigsaw

Noting the rapid up-and-down motion of the needle on his wife's sewing machine, engineer and Scintilla AG employee Albert Kauffman began experimenting with a rudimentary design for the first electric jigsaw back in 1946. By replacing the machine's needle with a saw blade, Kauffman discovered that he could easily make curved cuts into wood using his adapted design.

Primarily in the business of marketing magnetos, the Swiss-based Scintilla AG company marketed Kauffman's invention under the brand name Lesto jigsaw in the United States starting in 1947. The tool was immediately recognized as a safer alternative to making long cuts using a circular saw.

Due to the tool's versatility and ease of use, its popularity continued to grow among both consumers and manufacturers alike. It eventually became one of the best selling power tools of the 1950s. Additional device features, including orbital cutting action and variable speed settings, emerged during this time. More recent developments to the electric jigsaw have included LED illumination and integrated dust collection. Use of cordless jigsaws has also become more practical in recent years with regard to improving the device's range of portability to a variety of job sites. However, the cordless design still has plenty of room for improvement to match the power output of corded jigsaws.

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Last updated on October 02, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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