Last time we looked at how to choose a jigsaw. It might be an even bigger job to choose a blade, at least if you look at the assortment available. Relaxâ€¦ here’s help.
What are you cutting â€“ wood, metal, or other material, such as plastic? Are you making quick rough cuts, or more intricate, tight, detailed finish cuts? How thick is the material?
The package should show you what material it’s intended for, and as long as you know the type of blade that’s compatible with your saw (“t-style” or “universal”), you should be able to narrow your choices considerably.
For rough cuts, a blade with fewer teeth will get the job done more quickly, but the cut will be, well, rough. Be ready to sand. With an orbital action jigsaw and a coarse blade, you can make quick work of bird’s mouths and other tricky cuts in 2x lumber.
If you’re doing more intricate finish work, and you hope to minimize sanding, more teeth are better. As well, since you should have at least three teeth in contact with the material at all times as it’s cutting, thin material demands more teeth per inch.
Specialty blades can help you work with different materials. For veneer woods or laminates, such as a countertop, you’ll need a blade with the teeth designed to cut on the downstroke â€“ versus the upstroke â€“ which minimizes chipping.
You can even cut tile with special carbide-grit blades that don’t even have teeth. To lubricate the cut, you should apply water or oil (for thicker tile) to the cut throughout the process.