best jigsaw uk

5 Best Jigsaws For Woodworking (and more) – 2020 UK Edition

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Most of us will have picked up a saw or hacksaw at some point in our lives, making neat right-angled cuts in timber, plastic, or even metal. However, cutting along a curved line tends to require the use of a jigsaw. These affordable yet invaluable power tools provide edging to a standard that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. But how do they work? And if you need to carve a shape or punch a hole, which products can claim to be the best jigsaw in the UK?

In a Hurry? Here’s our Top Pick:

Sale
Meterk 400W 0-3000SPM
423 Reviews
Meterk 400W 0-3000SPM

  • 3.5A motor with 400W max output power, variable-speed motor up to 3000RPM for tough cutting jobs
  • Quick change of blades for high efficient work with toolless sawblade change
  • Lock-on switch for continuous working and soft grip for added comfort and controlling
  • Adjustable base plate for stability, base tilts & locks 15°,30°& 45° for bevel cutting
  • Widely used for cutting wood, metal, steel, ceramics and panels of plastic or mineral fibre, aluminum and non-ferrous metal

Last update on 2020-08-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Saw Points

A jigsaw is effectively an electrically-powered reciprocating saw, whose power is recorded in two largely comparable measurements – rotations per minute (rpm) or strokes per minute (spm). The blade moves up and down, helping it to slice through materials ranging from wood and plastic to tiles and sheet metal. 

As well as making conventional right-angled cuts similar to saws and hacksaws, jigsaws can be used to sculpt a shape. Imagine trying to cut tiles to fit around the ceramic base of a toilet, for instance. No other tool could follow a pre-marked line on each tile so precisely, with a hole in the frame around the blade allowing you to see exactly where you’re going to be cutting next. This YouTube video teaches complete beginners how to use a jigsaw effectively.

If you’re buying online, it’s harder to make a judgement about a jigsaw’s practicality and ease of use than it would be standing in a DIY store. Even so, there are still things you can do while browsing websites. Pay close attention to product images, which will help you to determine whether the handle is comfortable enough for you to use and whether the trigger is well-positioned. Use of vibrating power tools can cause issues if you’re prone to tendonitis or RSI, but products with variable speeds may lessen the impact of constant vibrations on your hands and arms.

Finally, there are one or two paradoxes to be aware of with jigsaws. Heavier saws can actually be easier to use if you’re not strong because their weight pushes down on the object they’re cutting and makes it easier to slice through. And while cordless power tools are generally preferred for their greater flexibility, a corded jigsaw can be better for precise cutting. Having to stop mid-carve to replace or recharge a battery could ruin the neat line you were following, ultimately proving more disruptive to a high-quality finish than other power tools like drills running out of juice mid-job.


Cutting the Cord

One of the biggest decisions you have to make when choosing a jigsaw involves whether or not to go cordless. There are advantages to each option:

Corded

  • Can be used indefinitely without running out of power in the middle of a project
  • Generally cheaper to buy
  • Fewer parts to carry around – no detachable batteries or separate charging leads
  • Lack of batteries often means they’re lighter to pick up and transport.

Cordless

  • No risk of becoming entwined in the cable as you carve your way around a large object
  • No risk of having to restart precision cutting because the cable won’t stretch far enough
  • Can be used in the garden since there’s no need for a plug socket, reducing dust exposure
  • Can be used in a property without power, providing the batteries were charged in advance

Corded jigsaws are generally much cheaper since they don’t need expensive batteries or recharging facilities. You can pay as little as £40 for a good corded jigsaw, with cordless ones roughly twice the price, though a corded product with high-end specifications could still set you back over £100. Also, check whether your chosen cordless jigsaw includes a battery – these are often sold separately, further increasing the overall cost*.

*Pro Tip: If you own other power tools from the same manufacturer and product range, you may already have compatible batteries.


Putting the Pieces Together

Although jigsaws are one of the easier power tools for a beginner to pick up and use, they’re best used in conjunction with a number of accessories:

  • Thick gloves
  • Goggles to protect shards of cut material flying into your face
  • A dust mask, if you’re cutting timber or tile
  • A workbench capable of holding objects in place horizontally or vertically, to cut either their faces, edges or ends. 

You’ll also need a fine pen or thick pencil, to draw a line the blade can trace as you cut through the material. Without a line, you’ll be cutting based on guesswork, which hardly ever results in precision. And since it’s impossible to repair a material that’s been overcut (whereas undercuts can be tidied up later), accuracy is vital to ensure your jigsaw delivers effective results.


Top 5 Jigsaws in 2020

The products below made our shortlist for the best jigsaw in the UK. We’ve included a variety of corded and cordless devices across different price points, but all five products are suitable for sculpting, trimming, and shaping a variety of different materials.

1. Bosch PST 18 LI

Sale
Bosch PST 18 LI Cordless Jigsaw (Without Battery and Charger)
530 Reviews
Bosch PST 18 LI Cordless Jigsaw (Without Battery and Charger)
  • Part of the 18 V 'Power4All' collection of tools - battery and charger sold separately
  • Lithium-ion technology - small, light, powerful and always ready to use
  • CutControl for precise following of a marked cutting line, 4 step orbital action for quick cuts with high sawing progress
  • Speed trigger for variable speed for different material, low vibration through counterbalance for effortless working
  • Blast function for clear sight of the cutting area, PowerLight so the workpiece is always visible, lock-off switch to prevent accidental activation

Last update on 2020-08-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sold without a battery or charger, Bosch’s cordless PST 18 LI can use these accessories from other items in the company’s Power4All range. A sensitive trigger offers variable speeds for cutting different materials, making mincemeat of quick cuts while offering precision for more intricate shaping. 

This Bosch model offers dust extraction via a vacuum cleaner connection, and the chassis can hold six saw blades, even though it’s only supplied with one.

Weighing just 1.6kg, the PST 18 LI has a textured handle designed to make ongoing use more comfortable, though left-handed users might find the position of the lock-off switch inconvenient. With a stroke speed of 2,400rpm, the PST 18 LI isn’t the fastest on our list, either. More positively, there’s a light and dust-blowing function to keep the cutting line clear, while Bosch’s proprietary Slotted Drive Shaft technology makes swapping blades relatively easy.

ProsCons
Compatible with other Bosch 18V productsNot great for left-handed users
Variable speedsExpensive
LightweightNot the most powerful motor

2. Meterk 400W 0-3000SPM

Sale
Meterk 400W 0-3000SPM
423 Reviews
Meterk 400W 0-3000SPM

  • 3.5A motor with 400W max output power, variable-speed motor up to 3000RPM for tough cutting jobs
  • Quick change of blades for high efficient work with toolless sawblade change
  • Lock-on switch for continuous working and soft grip for added comfort and controlling
  • Adjustable base plate for stability, base tilts & locks 15°,30°& 45° for bevel cutting
  • Widely used for cutting wood, metal, steel, ceramics and panels of plastic or mineral fibre, aluminum and non-ferrous metal

Last update on 2020-08-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Meterk’s entry on our list might lack the aesthetics of other jigsaws, but it combines a low price with high specifications. 

This model’s variable-speed motor can reach 3000rpm, making it capable of slicing through 6mm steel sheeting and 55mm wood. Six-speed settings are optimised for cutting plastic, metal and timber, and there’s a dust removal duct for attaching a vacuum cleaner.

As with any corded model, you’ll have to position your workbench carefully to avoid mid-cut repositioning. However, the lock switch is suitable for use with either hand, and the blade mounting chuck is easy to use, with eight blades included. 

Best of all, the Meterk supports bevel cutting, with clockwise and anti-clockwise settings at 15, 30 and 45 degrees, though this does involve a slightly fiddly process involving an Allen wrench.

ProsCons
Cheap yet powerfulFiddly base plate adjustment
Adjustable base plateNot always obvious which power setting to employ
Generous blade provisionNot cordless

3. TACKLIFE PJS02A

Sale
TACKLIFE 800W Jigsaw with Laser & LED
367 Reviews
TACKLIFE 800W Jigsaw with Laser & LED

  • Built-in laser guides your cutting line and LED light illuminates the front area, ensuring increased visibility and precise cutting even in dim light; Clear sawdust by using the dust blower or connecting the dust port to a vacuum cleaner for a clear sight of cutting line and neat working environment
  • 6.7 Amp pure copper motor generates up to 3000 SPM cutting power, delivering more powerful and efficient cutting performance; 6-position variable speed allows you to control the speed and accuracy of cuts and to tackle a variety of applications and materials with greater finesse
  • 0 to 3 customized orbital settings allows you to adapt the cutting motion to fit a different type of cuts and materials; higher orbital setting for softer materials and faster cutting; lower orbital setting for harder materials and more precise cuts
  • Adjustable footplate enables the jigsaw to make bevels up to 45° both to right and left for more versatile uses like tangent beveling or curved cuts; Quick release chuck allows for quick and tool-free blade removal
  • Press the lock button on the handle when the trigger is on can keep the saw working without keeping pressing the trigger, reduce hand fatigue after long time work; Come with 1 x sturdy carry case, 1 x rip fence, 1 x Allen wrench, 1 dust exhaust pipe, 6 x replaceable blades

Last update on 2020-08-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

With its black chassis and bright orange buttons, this TACKLIFE jigsaw is as uncompromisingly effective as its minimalist looks would suggest. 

An 800-watt motor delivers six adjustable speeds up to 3,000rpm, while six supplied blades are designed for materials as diverse as plastic and aluminium. These blades aren’t the strongest, though, so it may be worth investing in third-party products if you’re planning to use them regularly.

As well as having a metal guide ruler in its aluminium footplate, the PJS02A comes with an LED light and even a laser, making precision cuts child’s play. You can also adjust the base plate by +/- 45 degrees using a quick release chuck, while a dust port at the back is compatible with most 2” or 2.5” vacuum cleaner pipes. 

ProsCons
Plenty of cutting guidanceHeavy
Powerful motorSome users reported issues with the blade not tracking its line
Adjustable speedsNot cordless

4. Ryobi R18JS-0 ONE+

Ryobi R18JS-0 ONE+ Jigsaw with LED, 18 V (Body Only) - Green/Grey
542 Reviews
Ryobi R18JS-0 ONE+ Jigsaw with LED, 18 V (Body Only) - Green/Grey
  • The 25mm stroke length enable fast and efficient cutting of up to 101mm in wood, and 6mm in steel.
  • An adjustable aluminium base of up to 45 for angled cuts.
  • Lock-on switch to reduce fatigue
  • The R18JS-0 is sold as a 'body only' tool (without a battery or charger) but is compatible with all batteries across the 18V ONE+ system.

Last update on 2020-08-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ryobi is another manufacturer marketing a range of cordless products with interchangeable batteries, so the R18JS-O ONE + is sold as a body-only jigsaw. 

Key features include the ability to cut up to 101mm of wood, and it’s the only product on our shortlist to be supplied with a circular saw blade – measuring 150mm. It’s worth noting this is the only blade provided, so you’ll need to raid the accessories list to obtain conventional jigsaw blades.

Following a line is easy thanks to a built-in LED worklight, and it’s possible to adjust the base to +/- 45 degrees. The keyless blade clamp saves scrabbling around for accessories, and there are cutting speeds between 1,100 and 3,000spm. However, its garish body colour and pale grey buttons/levers mean it’s not always immediately obvious how and where to make certain adjustments.

ProsCons
CordlessNo vacuum attachment
Comes with a circular saw bladeNo standard blades provided
Capable of cutting over 10cm of timberGarish colour scheme

5. Makita 4350FCT

Makita 4350FCT 240V 720W Orbital Action Jigsaw
290 Reviews
Makita 4350FCT 240V 720W Orbital Action Jigsaw
  • 800-2800 strokes per minute
  • Maximum cut in wood 135 mm; steel 10 mm
  • Stroke length 26 mm
  • Built in job light
  • Variable electronic speed control

Last update on 2020-08-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Weighing nearly four kilograms, Makita’s British-made 4350FCT is undoubtedly the heavyweight contender in our quest to find the best jigsaw in the UK. 

The 4350FCT’s adjustable speed ranges from a maximum of 2,800spm to a minimum of 800spm. This extra power allows it to cut through 135mm of timber and 10mm of steel, which none of the other products in this review can match. Then again, it also has a price none of the others come close to, and it’s not even cordless.

Makita supplies a number of accessories with the 4350FCT, from a dust nozzle and carry case to an anti-splintering device and a set of assorted blades. These blades can be changed without chucks or Allen wrenches, while the aluminium die-cast base is reassuringly chunky and solid. 

There’s a light for following lines, and Makita has done its best to cut down on vibration and noise with double insulation.

ProsCons
Peerless cutting depthExpensive
Solid constructionToo heavy for some
Includes lots of accessoriesNo vacuum system

Final Thoughts

Based on our analysis above, you should be well-placed to choose the best jigsaw in the UK for your specific requirements. 

Every product has its own advantages – the Bosch has a variable trigger, the Makita has the greatest cutting depth and the TACKLIFE makes it easy to follow cutting lines. 

However, unless you need to cut through really thick materials, it’s hard to argue against the affordable, yet powerful Meterk, which includes everything you need to get started.

Jigsaw Comparison Table

Model RatingPrice Cordless Light Vacuum Weight Cut Length 
Bosch PST 18 LI7££YesYesYes1.6kg80mm
Meterk 400W     8£NoNoYes1.8kg55mm
TACKLIFE 800W 8£NoYesYes3.54kg100mm
Ryobi R18JS-0 ONE+   7££YesYesNo2.1kg101mm
Makita 4350FCT6£££NoYesNo3.84kg135mm

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