page contents

Jig Saw techniques & tips

Dewalt DW331K 6.5 Amp Top Handle Jig-SawAlthough the jig saw is one of the most versatile power saws, it is normally neglected! Yes, it is neglected in a home workshop and is usually only used for making round cuts. Why? Because users most often don’t have a knowledge of choosing the right blade to handle their projects. Another thing that prevents the use of a jig saw by a new do-it-yourselfer (DIYer) is knowing the right cutting techniques.

Well, as we will show you what blades to use for which projects, and what cutting techniques & tips will make your home projects fun, efficient, safe, and successful. How does that sound to you? Great! Let’s do this!  


Not all materials can be cut with the same type of blade. Therefore, it is important to know what type of blade you need for any specific project. Below is a short guide as to which jig saw blades can be used for cutting what materials:

  • Cutting Wood… Use a wood blade.
  • For Cutting Metal… Use a metal blade.
  • To Make a Straight Cut… Use the proper blade for wood or metal. Use a clamped-down straight edge guide. Or, use a clamped-down straight edge on each side of your line to cut… Then cut between the two straight edges.
  • A Flush Cut… Use a flush cut blade, also known as an offset blade. 
  • Making a Circle Cut… Don’t freehand – Use a Circle Cutting Jigsaw guide 


➧➧➧ Jig saws are ideal for cutting soft wood, with a maximum of 1-½ inch thickness…. With hardwood, use a maximum thickness of ¾ inch.

➧➧➧ Press firmly with your Jig Saw’s shoe on the piece of wood you are working on… While you are keeping the blade from the edge of the wood.

➧➧➧ Move the saw forward with such a pace that lets the blade cut smoothly and with no deflections… Do not overwork the saw motor… This will prevent damage to the saw’s motor.

➧➧➧ Jig Saw blades have a tendency to bend while cutting around curves in thicker and denser woods… Instead of leaving a square edge, there will be a beveled edge in the wood… The trick is to make sure you do not push the saw to cut the wood and are using a very sharp blade… You should always use relief cuts (making cuts outside of the shape you are cutting to the edge of the tight curve or corner)… This will stop the blade from sticking on tight curves and corners… You can make some of your relief cuts with a Circular Saw.

➧➧➧ When making an entry saw cut into the middle of the wood, place the saw blade parallel to the board you are cutting (by tipping your Jig Saw)… The weight of the saw should be resting on the front lip of the saw shoe… Start the jig saw at the highest speed and tilt the shoe, while carefully lowering the blade into the wood… This technique is recommended for rough work and not for fragile and expensive woods… For fragile woods, you should drill a ½ inch starter hole to put your Jig Saw’s blade for a cut.

➧➧➧ You can use a coarse blade for fast cutting, but you will probably need to do some sanding.

➧➧➧ Jig Saw blades for wood cutting are usually made with the teeth on the upstroke (point upward) that produce some chipping… For less chipping in fine wood projects, such as cutting wood veneers, there are a few options to consider. You could choose a Jig Saw blade with the teeth pointing down (downstroke-cutting blade). Another option would be to place a masking tape on the line path before drawing on the pattern line. You also could simply turn the ‘Good’ side of your workpiece down to make it splinter-free.

➧➧➧ Use a 5/16 inch wide down-cutting blade (with 8 teeth per inch) to cut kitchen countertops… You will reduce laminate chipping… Make sure you have relief cuts inside the curves.

We really hope that these pointers on the use of your new Dewalt Jig Saw will help you to enjoy a fuller use of this marvelous tool.


⏩ Please watch this tool use & safety video before using your new Jig Saw!

➤➤➤ Jigsaw Use & Tips Video

Related posts and pages:

Home Workshop Power Tools

Home Workshop Power Tools and Accessories