Choosing The Best Jigsaw Blades 2018
Jigsaws are great options when you need to get into tight spaces or cut a shape. They are far more versatile than a circular saw, and just as easy to use. Even the top saw on the market is useless if it doesn’t have a good blade, which is where we step in.
Our experts have compiled a list of the best jigsaw blades on the market. That includes blades made to deal with metal or ordinary wood. Before we dig into our top choices, let’s talk about the things you need to look for in a jigsaw blade.
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Guide to the most important jigsaw blade types
The shank of a jigsaw blade is the part that slides into the saw. It’s flat, with no teeth and there are two main styles you’ll need to keep an eye out for.There are a few other variants as well, but T and U-shanks rule the roost these days.
As the name implies, the shanks on these blades look like a “T” or a sword of sorts. These are the most common style and come in a wide range of sizes and strengths.
U-shank blades have a small semi-circle missing at the bottom which is where it gets its name. Blades of this nature may require a key to unlock the clasp. While not as popular as the quicker T-shank, they still get the job done.
Bi-metal jigsaw blades are hard to beat when you need a combination of strength and flexibility. The teeth on these blades are made from high-speed steel while the body is carbon steel. They last longer than traditional blades but can be pricey at times.
High Carbon Steel
If you need a blade with a bit of flex, you will want to consider high carbon steel. These blades are great all-around options and are relatively inexpensive as well.
High Speed Steel
Whereas High Carbon Steel is flexible, High Speed Steel is more rigid and less prone to wear down as quickly. They won’t last as long as bi-metal blades but are a nice step up from high carbon in terms of strength.
Consumers that need a blade for cutting through exotic or harder materials will want to turn to Tungsten. It’s a unique blend of Tungsten and Carbon, and it’s another bonded blade as well. It’s also the most expensive style of blade.
Types of Blade Teeth
When it comes to blade teeth, there are more options to deal with than there is on the material side of things. Most common blades have milled or ground teeth however with the former lasting longer. Ground teeth are sharper but will wear out quicker than other styles.
Tapered teeth have a straight alignment. This blade is ideal for fine cuts where you won’t be using your jigsaw at high speeds.
As the name implies, jigsaw blades types with wavy teeth are a bit wavy. While the blade itself is straight, the teeth are in a “wave” pattern compared to a straight alignment.
Need to make a quick cut where finesse isn’t required? If so, a side tooth blade may be your best friend. They are great for quick cuts when you don’t care about a rougher finish.
This style is similar to a tapered blade, but with one major difference. The teeth are actually aligned backward, which makes this blade ideal for materials that may chip.
This isn’t a jigsaw blade type as TPI stands for teeth per inch. It’s something you will want to keep in mind when shopping for the best jigsaw blades, and easy to wrap your head around if you follow a few quick tips.
Blades with fewer teeth per inch will make rougher cuts. If you need to rip something, you don’t need a blade with 30 teeth. If you want to cut something like tile, you will need a blade with over 30 teeth while metals are somewhere between 15 and 30 TPI depending on the hardness.
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First up is a 21-piece blade set from Bosch. You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck with the Bosch TC21HC set as it comes with a blade for every occasion. That includes wood, metal or even materials like plaster and fiber.
The blades in this set all have T-shanks, which means they will fit most modern jigsaws. They are constructed of high carbon steel, and there are six types of blades featured in the pack.
For wood, there are five T144DP blades which are great for right-angle cuts where precision is key. You will also get five T101B blades which are ideal for fine cuts and two of the company’s “Progressor” blades. These are all-purpose blades which provide last longer and provide you with fast cuts.
You will also receive 2 Progresso metal blades to go along with five regular straight cut metal blades. Last but not least are two specialty blades in the T-141HM’s which are geared towards coarser materials like fiber or plaster.
The length of these blades vary, but again, there is something for everyone. The Progressor all-purpose blades are 5 1/4” while the metal version is 4-inches. TheT144DP, T010B, and T-141HM are all 4-inches as well. As you’d expect, the shortest blades are the metal ones which measure 3 5/8”.
Whether you need to cut metal, plaster or just a regular piece of plywood, you can do it all with the Bosch TC21HC set. It’s affordable, and we think you’ll love the rugged carrying case as well.
You also can check our review of Bosch JS470E jigsaw.
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This kit doesn’t come with as many blades as our top option, but they do share a few things in common. The DeWalt DW3742C is a 14-piece jigsaw blade set which also comes in the T-shank style. While there are no specialty blades in this one, we think you’ll be impressed by what’s in the box.
Wood and metal are the materials this kit is made to deal with, and you’ll get five types of wood blades to go along with a stick of blades for sheet metal and medium-gauge metals.
The blades that feature 6 to 10 TPI are 4-inches long and made from high carbon steel. The shorter 3 1/2” blades are made from the same material but have 12 TPI. As for the metal blades, they are the shortest at 3-inches which prevents flex.
The sheet metal blade has 32 teeth per inch while the jagged metal blade drops that down to just 18 TPI. Needless to say, you’ll have plenty of options with the DeWalt DW3742C, and all your blades will be stored in an orderly fashion thanks to a two-sided case.
Black & Decker 75-626
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The Black & Decker 75-626 jigsaw blade set may not be the most exotic set around, but they are certainly an option for the best jigsaw blades. That’s due to their price, and the fact you’re getting a lot of blades out of the box.
This is what we would refer to as a job pack, as they are great when you need several blades of the same type on the cheap. A homeowner may not burn through a half-dozen wood blades in a day, but a contractor can.
We don’t have the exact specifications for this set, but there are 24 blades per pack and a solid mix of blades for both wood and metal. There are also blades for scroll work, which is a nice bonus you won’t find in our other packs.
These blades to have a U-shank, so keep that in mind if you’re jigsaw is setup for T-shank blades. You won’t get a fancy case with the Black & Decker 75-626 set, but you will get a lot of value from this set overall.
A jigsaw is a great tool, and while there are hundreds of blades to choose from, don’t be bowled over by exotic alloys or marketing terms. Keep things simple and stick to the basics and you’ll find your perfect blades in no time.