Which Jigsaw Blade To Use For The Job
If you are in a trade that requires you to carry out any amount of cutting, you will more than likely have a jigsaw in your tool kit. A jigsaw is a very versatile power tool, which allows you to accurately make straight or shaped cuts in a variety of materials such as wood, plastic and metal. Selecting the correct jigsaw blade for specific jobs is of paramount importance, but with so many to choose from, it can be very easy to pick incorrectly. The aim of this blog is to give a little insight on how to choose the correct blade for your specific application.
So, what do you need to consider when selecting a blade type?
Material – Hardwood, Softwood, Board Material, Laminated Material, Aluminium, Steel, Stainless Steel, Plastic, Fibreglass or Ceramic?
Finish – Will the cut material be visible or hidden? This will dictate whether you need a finer tooth blade for a clean smooth finish or coarser rough cut blade, which enables faster cutting.
The majority of jigsaw blades produced, cut on the up-stroke. The up-cut blade actually aids with the users control and stability of the machine, by pulling the base of the saw into the material being cut. The different options for blades generally comes from the tooth pattern and TPI (teeth per inch). General rule of thumb; the higher the TPI the cleaner the cut… but be careful! If the blade is too fine, this can lead to clogging and subsequently heat build-up, burning and premature end of life for the blade. It’s also important that you let the blade do the cutting, rather than forcing the jigsaw and blade to cut faster than it is capable of; another cause of heat build-up and reduced blade life. Harder and thicker materials require a coarser tooth pitch and need to be cut slower. This ensures a cleaner cut, prolonged machine life and helps to keep blade wear to a minimum.
For laminated materials, such as kitchen worktops, down-cut blades are available, cutting on the down stroke to minimise splintering to the topside of the laminated surface. Completely opposite to up-cut blades, down-cut blades will push the jigsaw base away from the surface, meaning the user will now have to take extra care in holding the machine firmly down on the surface and take greater care in controlling the jigsaw. If you are more comfortable using an up-cut jigsaw blade, another option is to flip the worktop over and cut from the bottom side.
Now we’ve covered the various teeth types; what about the most common cutting applications. There are four main types of jigsaw blades available; for cutting wood, metal, wood & metal or tiles & ceramics.
If you are predominantly cutting woods, including board materials, there is a much wider choice of blades available, capable of cutting anywhere from 2mm up to 100mm thick material with a variety or finishes – from semi clean cut to very smooth finish for the more precise applications.
When cutting metal, including sheet, pipe, angle or box section, there is the option of a metal only cutting blade. I would definitely recommend bi-metal teeth for much longer life and added versatility – capable of cutting most metals including stainless steel. Material thickness between 1mm and 6mm cover most metal cutting applications, giving a precise and clean cut.
‘Multi Blades’ are becoming more popular; ideal if you want a ‘does all’ blade or cutting substrates that contain different materials – for example sandwich board or computer flooring. These blades work by having a different tooth pitch on the same blade, ensuring a precise and clean finish in a multitude of materials. Although incredibly useful, a dedicated blade specifically designed for wood or metal, will always perform better than a multi blade.
Protrade stock the Maxitek brand of jigsaw blades; the range contains the most popular types of blades for most applications. They are manufactured in Germany from European steel, perfectly shaped using patented laser technology, and produced to the highest standards and designed for professional users. We also offer the Lenox brand; another premium brand for the demanding requirements of industrial requirements. The Lenox range includes a carbide blade – GT300S; designed for cutting ceramics, tiles, fiberglass, brick, cast iron and hard plaster.
The table below gives a general overview of the Maxitek range of jigsaw blades, to help with the selection process for the most common cutting applications:
|Code||Bosch Equiv.||Ideal for||Finish||Also cuts|
|46852||T144D||Wood and board materials up to 60mm||Semi-clean||Soft plastics up to 30mm|
|46853||T101D||Wood and board materials up to 60mm||Clean cut||Soft plastics up to 30mm|
|46850||T101B||Wood and board materials up to 40mm||Very clean up cut||Soft plastics up to 30mm|
|46851||T101BR||Wood and board materials up to 40mm||Very clean down cut||Soft plastics up to 30mm|
|46861||T234X||Wood and board materials up to 80mm||Very clean cut||N/A|
|46859||T101AO||Wood and board materials up to 20mm||Very fine clean cut||Fibreboard and soft plastics|
|46858||T111HF||Wood and nail embedded wood up to 30mm||Precise and clean cut||Plastic, non-ferrous metal, steel and stainless up to 12mm|
|46856||N/A||Wood and nail embedded wood up to 100mm||Precise and clean cut||Plastic, non-ferrous metal, steel and stainless up to 15mm|
|46854||T118AF||Metal and stainless steel up to 3mm||Precise and clean cut||Non-ferrous metals and acrylic glass|
|46862||T118BF||Metal and stainless steel 3mm to 6mm||Precise and clean cut||Non-ferrous metal and acrylic|
To view the Maxitek range of Jigsaw Blades – click here.