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At which speed should you use your jigsaw?

At which speed should you use your jigsaw?

Why you should use a jigsaw to cut wood.

When using your jigsaw, the speed you require will primarily depend upon the material you are cutting. However, you may also need to adjust the speed of your tool depending on the intricacy of the cut you are making.

How to find out the right speed for your specific jigsaw model?

How to turn the wheel on a jigsaw to adjust the cutting speed.

Most jigsaw manufacturers do not specify the exact speeds represented by the graduations on their numbered speed control dials.


In their user manuals, they will refer to the speeds as simply low speed, medium speed or high speed. As a general guide, high cutting speeds are those greater than 2000spm and lower speeds are around 750spm.


Black and decker jigsaw cutting through wood.

Materials such as softwoods benefit from a fast cutting speed. This is because higher speeds produce less vibration, enabling the jigsaw blade to more efficiently work its way through the material.

Cutting through metal sheeting with a jigsaw blade.

On the other hand, for denser materials such as plastic, hardwoods and metal, a lower speed setting should be selected. Using too high a speed to cut these materials is likely to cause both the workpiece and the blade to overheat. This will reduce the life of your blade and could potentially damage your workpiece.


Example of a black and decker jigsaw power tool in use.

The type of cut you will be making will also have an effect on the speed your jigsaw should run at. For straight cutting, a slower speed should be used to prevent the blade from pulling the saw away from the cutting line.

Example of the extra accuracy achieved through cutting with a jigsaw.

  Depending on the material being cut, curve cutting should be carried out at a moderate speed. More detailed scroll cutting, on the other hand, requires a slower cutting speed to give you greater control over the jigsaw.

Wonkee Donkee Tools