Popular Woodworking 2001-10 № 124, страница 36

Popular Woodworking 2001-10 № 124, страница 36

occasional user

• Freud FJ85, Freud's top-of-the line jigsaw has a price that makes it a great entry-level saw. The FJ85 has lots of features found on expensive saws, such as dust collection, a good-sized stroke and orbital action.

serious home woodworker

• Bosch 1584AVS, 1587AVS, These two tools are virtually identical except the 1584AVS is a barrel-grip and the 1587AVS is a top-handle tool. These are the tools you're going to find in the toolbox of almost every kitchen installer. Bosch is considered the category leader, and its tools are what others are measured against. Buy one and you'll find out why.

• Milwaukee 6266-21,6276-6, Again, these are basically the same two saws with different body styles. Milwaukee's jigsaws have what we consider to be the easiest blade-changing mechanism on the market today.

advanced woodworker or professional user

The two tools above are also excellent choices for the professional and are common sights in cabinet shops.

• Metabo STE105 Plus, STEB105 Plus,

Metabo's newer line of jigsaws are rock-solid performers that give Bosch a real run for its money. This tool is a shop favorite.

These tools have been tested or used by

the editors of Popular Woodworking

and have earned their recommendation.

tangs on the edges that the blade vise grips.

Universal-style blades are held in place with friction or screws. More and more saws accept both types of blades. But most of these saws hold the blade in with just a friction clamp. It won't be as good a grip as you'll get when the jigsaw clamps down on a T-style blade.

Also key is whether or not the tool has a blade guide. The blade guide can be anything from a grooved bearing to a notched bar of metal that is positioned behind the blade. Its job is to prevent the blade from deflecting to one side in a tough cut. Blade guides are common on all but the less expensive jigsaws, and a few expensive ones.

Body Features

Jigsaws come in three body styles: top handle, barrel grip and in-line. Top handle jigsaws are the norm in this country, though the European-style barrel-grip tools are getting more popular every day, especially among professionals. The in-line jigsaw is like a miniature reciprocating saw, which is great for getting into tight spaces. However, we do not cover these tools in this buying guide.

Also check out the base of the saw to see if it bevels. This allows you to make angle cuts. Make sure

the beveling mechanism has detents (or stops) at 0° and 45°. And check out how easy it is to change the angle. Some need a screwdriver, others an allen wrench and the easiest need only the flick of a lever.

Also, some saws come with a piece of plastic you can sleeve over the metal base. These are useful for delicate situations when you don't want to risk scratching the surface you're cutting.

Finally, see if the saw has dust collection, or at least a blower that will clear dust away from your cutting line. Some tools require you to buy an aftermarket accessory to connect the jigsaw to your shop vacuum. Dust collection is a real plus because even though these tools don't throw up a lot of sawdust, there's enough to obscure your cutting line.

Should You Buy Cordless?

In the last few years, manufacturers have started building cordless jigsaws. The models we've tried have more than enough power and features to handle the needs of a kitchen installer or deck builder. But if you use your saw only in your shop, we recommend a corded saw with more features or power. But if you need to work where the power supply is questionable, these are great tools. PW

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