DIY Network

Jigsaw Tips

Jigsaws can cut holes, curves, angles and straight lines; variable speeds allow it to cut through almost any material. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when working with a jigsaw.

More in Home Improvement

The jigsaw is a versatile tool that can make various cuts through almost any material — including wood, metal, plastic, ceramic, leather and vinyl.

The jigsaw's blade length determines how deep the saw can cut into stock. Its blade guide holds the blade in place and can be adjusted to the angle you wish to cut. The jigsaw's orbital-action setting adjusts the bite and speed of cutting. The tool's tilt base can be adjusted up to 45 degrees for cutting bevels.

When cutting curves or lines with a jigsaw, observe the following recommendations:

  • Always start with the shoe of the jigsaw resting firmly on the work piece.
  • Clamp the work piece in place.
  • Make sure there's plenty of clearance for the blade below the work piece.
  • Make cuts in several small passes rather than one long cut. This makes cutting corners easier and allows you to approach the work piece from different directions.
  • Cut a little outside the line. The stock can always be trimmed afterward with a sander.
  • Remember to let the blade do the work; just steer the saw.



  • Tools from Bosch Tools
  • Tools from Black and Decker