How to make a plunge cut with a jigsaw

     
     
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Plunge cutting jigsaw blade, jigsaw blade with plunge cutting tip labelled

 

Plunge cutting involves beginning a cut in the middle of a workpiece without drilling a pilot hole first. Plunge cuts should only be made in soft materials such as wood and plasterboard. When working with a metal, a starter hole is always required. 

 

A special type of blade with a sharp tip should be used to make a plunge cut. 

 
 

 

 Wonkee Donkee says: 'When plunge cutting, the orbital action function on your jigsaw should be switched off.'  
 

 

   
 

Rectangular cut out marked on wood before being cut with jigsaw, marked out rectangle, making a plunge cut with a jigsaw

 

Step 1 - Mark cutting line

Mark on your workpiece the line you want to cut.

 

Plunge cuts are especially useful when making rectangular cut-outs for electrical outlets, for instance. 

 
 

 

   
 

Jigsaw plunge cutting position, jigsaw stood on the front edge of its shoe, making a plunge cut with a jigsaw

 

Step 2 - Position jigsaw

Firmly position the front of the jigsaw shoe on the workpiece so that the blade is nearly horizontal and aligned with your cutting line. 

 
 

 

   
 

Plunge cutting with jigsaw, making plunge cut with jigsaw, lower jigsaw onto cutting line

 

Step 3 - Lower jigsaw

Turn on your jigsaw and wait for it to gather speed.

 

Then, slowly and steadily tilt the tool back so that the blade gradually penetrates the material. Once the blade has passed through the workpiece, the shoe should sit flat on its surface.

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

Wonkee Donkee top tip, top tip

 

Wonkee Donkee top tip:

As you lower the back of the jigsaw, pull the tool very slightly towards you.

 

This will help the blade to pierce the workpiece more cleanly and it will be less likely to snap. 

 
 

 

   
 

Continue with cut, completing plunge cut, cutting through wood with jigsaw, using jigsaw

 

Step 4 - Continue with cut

When the blade has fully penetrated the workpiece and the shoe is horizontal, you can begin to follow your marked cutting line.

 
     
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