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A jigsaw - must-have power tool for cutting

While there are a few power tools that every DIYer should consider adding to their workshop, a jigsaw is probably the most essential. Not only for basic cutting, you can use a jigsaw for fine woodworking and furniture making.

 

Two things that makes a jigsaw so versatile are:

- There is now a cordless jigsaw available that uses Li-Ion battery power

- The variety of blades available for cutting various materials of differing thickness

When working with heavy materials, such as this slab of oak, the portability of a jigsaw means that you can take the tool to the project and still cut complex shapes. A jigsaw is great for cutting up rough timber, cutting corners and such, but being able to do detailed cuts without having to break your back carrying timber and board around is a big plus.

With the right jigsaw blade, cutting this behemoth plank was a simple project. Jigsaws made today have a guide bushing that controls the blade as it oscillates up and down, making it much more accurate than models made in years gone by. Another plus for using a jigsaw is the quick-change blade facility.

 

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On most other tools, changing the blade can take up to 10 minutes. With a jigsaw it's simply a flip of the thumb and twist of a finger.

Cutting circles with a jigsaw is easy - whether you cut freehand or use a jig / template. I made a simple jig for cutting circles with my jigsaw too. Two pieces of wood ‘clamp’ the base of my jigsaw to an armature with a ruler drawn on it. The work piece has to hang off the edge of a table and rotate as you cut, but that isn’t that big of a deal. Easy!

For cutting awkward curves or shapes on long, narrow sections of timber or board, clamp the board to a scrap piece of inexpensive chipboard or plywood and hang it off the end of your workbench. The scrap board provides a stable base when cutting.

Pick up a Bosch PST 700 Jigsaw for around R730.00. This powerful, compact jigsaw offers easy handling and manoeuvrability due to low vibration. This model features Bosch SDS for quick and easy blade change, and air blower for visible cutting area.

Tip for cutting with a jigsaw

Since jigsaw blades cut on the up stroke, this can tear the surface of some boards. Remedy this by placing the underside of the workpiece facing up during the cut. If you don’t have access to cut on the underside - as when cutting a fitted worktop - you can use a down-cut (BR) blade - as shown above.

 

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