Corded vs. cordless jigsaws
When buying any power tool, one of the main things to consider is whether a corded or cordless model is best suited to your needs. Buying a jigsaw is no different.
First of all, when choosing between a corded and cordless jigsaw, you will have to decide whether power or portability is more important.
The majority of jigsaws are corded.
These tools are the most powerful type of jigsaw and, as they are connected to a continuous power supply, have an unlimited run time.
The power of corded jigsaws mean that they are able to effectively cut through tough materials such as hardwoods and metal.
In addition, because you can work without having to stop to change the battery of the tool, they can be used continuously, without interruption.
Corded jigsaws are also lighter than cordless saws.
This is useful if you are working for an extended period of time, as it will be less tiring to use one continuously.
However, one of the drawbacks of corded jigsaws is that they are limited by the length of their power cord.
This can impact the portability of the tool as, unless you have an extension lead, you will need to be close to an electricity supply to use your jigsaw.
You may also find that the cord of your jigsaw gets in the way of the blade during use.
This can damage the cord, cutting the power to the jigsaw or causing it to malfunction.
The most significant benefit of using ais its portability.
Because they do not have a trailing power lead, cordless saws are much more flexible as, provided their batteries are charged, they can be used away from a main electricity supply.
This means that they can be used out on site, so are particularly popular with tradesmen.
Cordless jigsaws can also be useful for DIYers who wish to use their tool to carry out applications outside such as making cuts in garden decking.
As they are driven by battery, cordless jigsaws have a limited power supply. The battery of a jigsaw may drain quickly, particularly when cutting thick materials.
If you are planning on using your tool for heavy-duty cutting, a powerful cordless jigsaw with an 18, 24 or 36V battery pack would be most suitable and would enable you to make the most out of your tool.
Unfortunately, because they are usually sold together with batteries and a charger, cordless jigsaws tend to be pricier than corded models.
However, if you already own a power tool, you could buy a bare unit (one without a batteries or a charger) and use the battery and charger from your other tool, provided it was made by the same manufacturer.
As the batteries of cordless jigsaws will eventually run down, they will require regular recharging.
However, as jigsaws are not usually used for very long at once, this shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience. Also, some saws are sold with a spare battery which can be recharged while the tool is used so that there is always a charged battery at hand.
As a result of their battery packs, cordless jigsaws are heavier than corded tools.
If you use your saw extensively, a heavier tool can lead to fatigue.
It used to be the case that cordless jigsaws were not able to cut nearly as quickly or through as thick stock as corded ones.
But innovation in battery technology over the last decade, including the introduction of powerful lithium-ion batteries, has led to some cordless jigsaws being equally as powerful as their corded counterparts.
Which type of jigsaw should you choose?
When deciding whether to buy a corded or cordless jigsaw, you should first think about the task you intend to use if for.
If you have a heavy-duty or particularly extensive application in mind, a corded model with a continuous power supply will be most suitable.
On the other hand, if you will be using your tool somewhere where you will not have access to an electricity supply or if your workpiece is in a particularly hard-to-reach area, a cordless model would be beneficial.
However, unless you invest in a jigsaw that runs on batteries with a voltage of at least 18V, your cordless tool may struggle to effectively cut through hard or thick materials.
You should also consider how frequently you will be using your tool.
If your jigsaw will only be used for a one-off DIY application, it is not worth spending a great deal on the tool. If, however, you will be using it regularly to cut a range of different materials, it will be advantageous to buy a higher-end corded tool with a powerful motor capable of meeting your cutting needs.