Labor studies were one of my favorite lessons at school. We were making many interesting things and even working with wood and metal manufacturing machine tools during these lessons. But more than other classes I liked cutting toys with plywood by jig saw. I had a plywood Wolf, which turned on the crossbar, Bears, which knocked hammers and other home-made toys. We sawed all this things with simple hand jig saw, but no one was scared. Now these hand jig saws have a very few uses, the more popular are electric jig saws, which working much more efficiently. Let’s talk about what electric jig saw is better to choose for your workshop.
The first electric jig saw machine was created in 40th years of the twentieth century by Albert Kaufmann, engineer of one Swiss company which later became the part of the famous concern Bosch.
The structure of the electric jig saw is following: the main its part is the case with a handle in which there are an electric motor, cooling fan and transformer of rotational motions to the translational (gearbox).
Base platform (plate) which allows you to adjust the jig saw movement relative to the surface is placed at the base of its case. Control elements are placed on the case as well.
Let’s look at the main “purchase” electric jig saw features:
1. Jig saw electric power.
Jig saw power, i.e. its ability to saw a variety of materials depending on its electric power.
Electric jig saws often have power from 380 to 1000 watts. The most popular models have 400-700 watts power. It is a power you can focus manually when buying electric jig saw for domestic purposes.
750-1000 watts power jig saws can already be attributed to professional jig saws, such instruments have greater weight and size, but they can to saw more solid materials than household jig saws.
For example, if the best household electric jig saw can to saw metal thickness of 2-4 mm, the professional electric jig saw can handle metal thickness of 10-12 mm.
By the way, the maximum thickness of material that can be cut by jig saw, called “maximum depth of cut”.
2. Jig saw frequency.
Frequency is the number of translational motions which saw can do per unit of time, mostly for one minute. Sawing speed depends on this parameter. Different materials may require different frequencies of motions.
Electric jig saws mainly have frequency from 500 to 3200 motions per minute.
Frequency can be adjusted depending on the user needs in the most jig saw models.
You should pay a special attention to the presence of such regulation when choosing electric jig saw.
3. Pendulum movements.
In most modern electric jig saws blade can perform not only moves up and down, but also so-called “pendulum” movement back and forth. Pendulum movements help to expedite cuts, but they can be used only when the cut is straight.
4. Method of saw fastening.
By analogy with patrons in electric drills electric jig saws also have two basic ways to fastening blades: fastening with screws and quick-mounting (quick change).
Each type of fastening has its advantages and disadvantages.
Screw fastening is more secure, but the blade replacement with it is quite uncomfortable.
Quick-mount allows you to change blade very convenient, but it is usually designed for only one type of them and it is not such versatile as the screw fastening.
5. Additional settings.
Besides the above, you should pay attention to the presence or absence of this additional jig saw features:
- Plate tilt. Plate tilt allows to saw material at some angle. In most models this angle is up to 45 degrees.
- Automatic sawdust blew away. The name speaks for itself: an electric jig saw provides the air supply to the line of cut, which removes sawdust and dust. Some jig saws can connect a vacuum cleaner that will collect all dust in itself.
- Ability to rotate the saw. If this option is present, the electric jig saw cutter can rotate on 360 degrees, which helps to cut different circumference.
- Laser pointer. The main objective of this pointer is to increase the precision cut across indication of his line. In this case, the work of electric jig saw will be more effective.
Besides the main parameters of the device itself, I want to say a few words about how to choose saw blades for electric jig saw.
Actually saw (jig saw blade) is the main element of jig saw, which depends on its operational efficiency.
Saw blades are made of:
- carbon steel HCS (used only for not very hard materials such as wood),
- high speed steel HSS (used for cutting a hard material such as metal in metal jig saw),
- bimetallic material BIM (have high resistance to wear and are considered universal),
- solid alloys HM (used for cutting hard materials).
Accordingly on what you are going to cut, you need to select the type of blade for the jig saw.
Blade size can range from 50 is 155 mm, it determines the maximum depth of cut.
Some saw sets are supplied in almost every jig saw. Clearly, the more saws included it is better.
Finally, I advise you to read carefully jig saw manual before using and follow safety regulations.