Jigsaw Types by Power Source and Grip Design
The tool's versatility and the wide variety of materials it can cut are major reasons many DIYers pick it as their first power saw. Knowing the different types available is a necessary initial step when considering adding a jigsaw to your tool set.
Corded vs. Cordless
Like all power tools, corded jigsaws are more powerful than cordless models. They’re suitable for heavy-duty jobs and best for those who do most of their cutting in one place.
DIYers and homeowners planning renovations may prefer cordless models because of their flexibility. These draw power from rechargeable batteries and are portable. Without power cables tethering them to outlets, you can use them anywhere. There’s also no risk of power cables and extension cords getting in the way when using these battery-powered tools.
Unlike corded units, owners should expect downtimes when using cordless models as they need to recharge their batteries. To minimize such breaks, it helps to have fully charged extra batteries at the ready. Note that some manufacturers don’t include batteries with their cordless jigsaws. Some also supply these tools without a charger. A cordless unit without an included battery or charger may be a cost-saving option if you already have cordless power tool sets from the same manufacturer.
Barrel Grip vs. D-Handle
While often overlooked, handle designs determine how you'll use the tool.
A barrel grip model has its handle at the back of the tool. This design necessitates two-handed operation with one hand placed on the bulging ledge at the top and the second hand gripping the saw by the shank handle. This two-handed position makes it possible to push the blade through the material with a greater force. However, cutting with this tool requires fastening the material to a workbench as both hands are gripping the tool. Therefore, a barrel grip jigsaw is best suited for an equipped workshop.
A top or D-handle model permits a one-handed operation. It has a bulbous head at the top that serves as the handle and offers a solid grip. This design has a low centre of gravity that improves the balance of the power saw and makes it easier to manoeuver the tool. The ergonomic D-handle design is found on most jigsaws.