As many of us spent more time at home last year, we realized that there were DIY tasks to tackle. From fixing shelving that needed attention for a while to sanding down doors, a lot of the UK picked up their power tools and made some updates around the house.
In fact, the Office of National Statistics revealed that by May 2020, there was a 147% increase in the time spent gardening and doing DIY, with Brits spending 39 minutes a day on home improvements. This trend has continued as 2020 went on, with 46% of Brits saying they’d planned to attempt some DIY in the run-up to Christmas.
With so many people doing DIY, it’s worth understanding how to use one of the most useful power tools. The jigsaw is easy to handle and you don’t need to be a professional to use one. Here’s a look at how it’s done.
How it works
Jigsaws are versatile tools, and you’ll find that you reach for yours time and again once you know how it works. They are used for cutting irregular curves and straight lines in wood, as well as rounded patterns in metals.
The blade moves in an up and down ‘reciprocating’ motion and this movement begins when the trigger on the side of the jigsaw is pulled. How fast the blade moves will usually depend on how much pressure you place on the trigger.
The main features to look out for are a variable speed dial, which allows you to control the speed the blade moves at. This is useful for switching from thick wood, which tends to need rapid movements, to sheet metal, which needs slower movements. There’s also the orbital action, which adds thrust to the blade, making it move at a faster speed.
Know the models
There are different jigsaw models available. The one you select will depend on what type of tool you need.
The cordless is useful if you want to move around a lot without worrying about running into a cord. This comes with a lithium battery/ batteries and are ideal if you’re looking for something portable.
Corded or wired jigsaws need to be plugged into a socket to work. They’re usually more powerful than battery-operated jigsaws, however you’ll need to consider where the wire sits as you cut.
Pneumatic jigsaws work alongside an air compressor and tend to be used by the professionals. They’re more expensive and used in heavy-duty tasks.
Choose your blade
Choosing the wrong blade is one of the most common mistakes when using a jigsaw. If you choose the wrong blade for the job, you might not get the finish you were hoping for or your blade could end up breaking mid-way through the task.
Therefore, it’s essential when using power tool accessories to get them right and choose the blade that’s adapted to your jigsaw. Check what type of blades are suited to your jigsaw, look at the shank type and how many teeth the blade has, and have a selection of narrow and wide to choose from ready so that you can switch when working on a different material.
As with all power tools, it’s essential that you stay safe. Use protective equipment when operating your jigsaw so that you reduce the risk of injury or accidents from happening.
First, invest in a good-quality mask and pair of goggles. Also, keep your fingers well away from the blade while it’s moving.
Consider the model you’re using too. If it’s corded, move the wire away from your cut line and use an extension lead so you can easily move around.
Also, make sure your blade is up to the job. Older blades can snap, potentially flying close to your face while the machine is still going. Regularly check your blades before you begin.
Jigsaws are a must have if you’re working on any cutting around the home or professionally. Use these tips to help you choose the one that suits you.