Jigsaws: How to use and cut with a jigsaw

A jigsaw tool is used to cut different shapes in materials like wood, plastic, metal, and tiles, etc. It is a versatile power tool. In this guide, you’ll learn how to cut shapes, do compound and bevel cuts, in different materials using jigsaws.

A jigsaw power tool is so versatile and easy to use that even a child with no experience in woodworking can cut good shapes. That is why anyone who uses it once, loves it.

Check out the best budget jigsaw, and best jigsaw for woodworking.

How to cut different materials with a jigsaw tool?

Jigsaw tool blades are key to cut through different materials. Specific blades are made for each material type. E.g. For wood and plastic, you’ll use wood and soft material blade, while for hard materials, different blades are used.

Safety Precautions

Safety first…

  • There might be a loud noise, so put on some hearing protection on your ears.
  • The cutting dust or chipping or any other incident may harm your eyes. So wear safety goggles as well.

How to cut wood with a jigsaw tool?

Cutting wood with a handheld jigsaw power tool.

Draw the desired shape on the workpiece

The first thing that you should do, is that you need to draw the desired shape/diagram/line on the workpiece. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’ll need to cut. This is necessary for beginners, but professionals can avoid it to save time.

Keep the jigsaw shoe on the workpiece

Begin by placing the saw shoe while keeping the blade away from the edge. Start the jigsaw tool and smoothly start cutting the shape. I.e. You’ll only need to move the tool over the shape drawing, and it’ll cut through it smoothly. Always, move from edge to inside corners in a curve to be able to sand the edges later.

Always move the saw forward at a pace that allows the blade to cut without deflecting and doesn’t make the motor labor. Prevent the saw blade from binding on tight curves by using relief cuts to remove the sawdust.

For straight cuts, use fence

Hold the workpiece a little raised to avoid cutting through your table by using rails. Guide the saw tool steadily against a fence to cut a straight line. A jigsaw tool can be used to cut boards in a straight line, compound, and bevel cuts.

Jigsaws are best for cutting complex shapes in wood boards, cutting curved lines, or finishing inside corner curves started with a circular saw. It is also best for making short crosscuts on boards.

For longer straight lines, it is best to use a circular saw instead. Although a jigsaw can be used to cut straight, it is slower, and chances are you may mess it up.

Jigsaws are best for cutting softwood having 1-1/2 inches thick and hardwood with a 3/4 inches thickness.

For wood cuttings, follow these guidelines.

  • Cutting curves in thick boards may bend the blade which results in a bevel cut rather than a square cut. To avoid this, you need to not force the tool to cut through.
  • Coarser blades may cut faster, but more sanding will be required.
  • For finer work which produces less chipping, use a “downstroke-cutting” blade.

How to cut countertops using a Jigsaw tool?

A jigsaw is a perfect tool to cut the curve corners in the countertop for the final long cut parallel to the backsplash. When installing a sink, it is good to make the front and sides cuttings by a circular saw in the countertop, and then for the final edges curve cuts, use your jigsaw tool. This way you’ll get precise square cuts in less time.

To cut countertops, first, measure the area, add masking tape, and draw the shape you want to cut. Then, drill a hole in the laminate for the jigsaw blade to start. It should be about 1/2 inch. Use a special blade that has horizontal teeth (no downstroke or upstroke).

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Follow the cutting line drawn on the masking tape to cut precisely.

The area between the sink and backsplash will need to be cut by jigsaw because your circular saw wide shoe may not fit in there, but the jigsaw narrow shoe will.

Once you cut through the halfway, don’t forget to screw the inner wood to longer lumber to hold it. OR you may damage the final side of your countertop.

Video for cutting a countertops using only jigsaw tool

How To Cut a Hole For A Sink In A Laminate Countertop

How to cut a ceramic tile using Jigsaw tool?

Cutting ceramic tiles with tile nippers and ceramic rod saw is a slow and often tile damaging process. If your wall tile is about 1/4 inches thick, you can use your jigsaw tool to cut curves and shapes in your tiles.

A jigsaw tool can be used to cut through ceramic tiles easily. All you need to do is use a special carbide-grit abrasive blade or a diamond blade to cut ceramic tiles.

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For cutting ceramic tile, first, you need to clamp the tile to reduce breakage. Then, as usual, draw your desired shape/line to cut. Now start cutting slowly to avoid breaking the tile. You can also mist the cutting line with some water.

This is slow work that needs patience. Blade changes and relief cuts to open the tightest turns.

Video tutorial for cutting tiles using a jigsaw tool

How to Cut Ceramic Tile with a Jig Saw

How to cut metal with a jigsaw tool?

With a proper blade, a jigsaw power tool can cut through a metal sheet as well. The metal sheet can be up to 10 gauge thick. Some new jigsaws may cut through even thicker than 10 gauge as well. For the metal cutting, use a special metal cutting blade having 21-24 teeth per inch.

For cutting shape in a metal sheet,

  1. Tightly sandwich the metal sheet between two layers of thin plywood. Use rails to raise the metal workpiece for adequate blade clearance below.
  2. Cut metal plates and pipes on low speed.
  3. Drill blade starter holes in every pattern circle instead of making plunge cuts. Also, It may take a while to cut through the sandwich.
  4. Lbricate the saw cut with cutting oil to make it smooth and avoid blade damage.

Jigsaw features like long blade stroke, orbital cutting, high power, variable saw speed, and vacuum hose connections are all come in handy for cutting metals.

Also, keep some handful of metal blades with you while cutting metals. Because metal cutting wears out blades fast.

Required Tools

The following tools are required to do the tasks mentioned in this guide.

  • Jigsaw Power Tool
  • Clamps
  • Extension cord
  • Hearing protection
  • Safety glasses
  • Sawhorses

My Final Thaughts

There are more ways to do cutting with a jigsaw power tool. But the main thing is the practice. If you do practice, it’ll be easier for you to cut through any material.

If you know anything else, OR I missed something, OR only you want to say “Hi”, please put it in the comments below.

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Last update on 2024-06-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Note: Jigsaw Expert may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

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