Jigsaws are generally used to cut curves and patterns into a variety of materials for aesthetic purposes. It is crucial to find a cordless jigsaw that is comfortable, stable and easy to manoeuvre. A top handle design is to be preferred to a barrel grip for greater controllability. Cordless jigsaws will normally have a tool free bevel adjustment function which allows the blade to cut angles up to 45 degrees. A feature of nearly all models is a tool-free blade change. Some systems require the blade to be turned manually to remove it but it is best to have a blade ejection feature to prevent fingers being cut or burned. Look for a blade guide structure with sufficient side support to keep the blade on course and diminish bending. Most jigsaws offer orbital blade action for quicker rough cuts. Many models have a blower which expels a stream of air to clear dust off the path of the cut and thereby improve operator visibility. With a variable speed option, most cordless jigsaws can run between 500 and 3000 spm. Usually, choosing a higher voltage will result in better tool performance and because the saw’s exertion tends to come in short lived phases, batteries last longer. The cheapest cordless jigsaws cost as low as $40 but the best models are more expensive than a corded jigsaw.
The best cordless jigsaw overall is the 18V Makita LXT BJV180 at $198.67 for the bare tool or $388.99 for the kit including two Lithium Ion batteries, charger, blade set, anti-splintering device and tool bag. Weighing only 6.1 lbs and measuring 10” long, this Makita cordless jig saw has been highly commended for its excellent ergonomics. It also has less vibration and lower noise for more control and comfort. A high-torque motor produces 2600 spm and comes with a variable speed trigger. There are three orbital settings plus straight cutting for use in a wide range of materials and a tool-less push-in lock system for quick blade changes. The blade roller guide is positioned close to the work piece for cutting accuracy and an LED light illuminates the work area.
Voted the best value cordless jig saw is the 18V Bosch 52318. This jigsaw uses Ni-Cad rather than Lithium Ion batteries and is heavier (6.4 lbs) and slower (2000 spm) than the Makita cordless jig saw. However, home improvement tools reviews give the Bosch cordless jigsaw high scores for smooth cutting power and easy blade changes with a blade ejection lever. It has a variable speed trigger with ambidextrous lock-off switch. A soft rubber top handle grip that can be used in different positions increases comfort and control, and a three-way grip maintains secure blade position for precision cutting. Magnesium gear housing and a large aluminium foot provide further stability and control. A kit with battery and charger costs $223 while $150 will buy the bare tool.
One of the cheaper, quality brand options is the 18V Dewalt cordless jigsaw DC330K costing $109.95 for the bare tool and $229 for a kit with battery pack, charger, blades and kit box. It can reach a speed of 3000 spm which can be varied for different materials and applications. A four-position orbital action increases speed and control over cut quality and the metal keyless shoe has four bevel positions. Other features include a top handle anti-slip comfort grip and a dust blower. It works with the old Ni-Cad and new Lithium Ion batteries. All these models carry a three year warranty.