What is the cutting depth of a jigsaw?

     
     
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 Jigsaw cutting depth 

The cutting depth, or cutting capacity, is the maximum depth a jigsaw can cut. It is determined by the stroke length of the jigsaw as well as the length of the cutting edge of the blade. For more information, see What is the stroke length of a jigsaw?

 

Most manufacturers will give their jigsaw's maximum cut depth for wood, steel and non-ferrous metal.

 
   Wonkee Donkee says: 'Non-ferrous metals are metals that do not contain iron, such as aluminium and copper.'
     
   

Wood

 
 Cutting depth in wood 

The depth a jigsaw can cut to in wood ranges from 40mm (1½") to as much as 150mm (6").

 

Saws with a greater cutting depth are much more versatile as they are able to cut through a wider variety of workpieces.

 
     
 Deep cutting with a jigsaw 

Whilst a greater cutting depth is certainly advantageous in terms of adaptability, a deeper cutting action does increase the chance of the blade deflecting which will affect the accuracy of your cut.

 
     
   

Non-ferrous metals

 
 Cutting non-ferrous metal with jigsaw 

Jigsaws are capable of cutting to a depth of between 10mm (⅜") and 40mm (approx 1½") in workpieces made of non-ferrous metal.

 
     
   

Mild steel

 
 Metal cutting jigsaw 

As steel is harder than wood and metals like aluminium, the cutting depth of jigsaws for steel is considerably less.

 

The capacity of a jigsaw for steel is usually between 5mm (approx. ¼") and 15mm (approx. ⅝").

 
     
 Power, motor power, watts, voltage 

However, the cutting capacity of a jigsaw does not necessarily determine the materials it can cut. 

 

The thickness and density of the material that can be worked on is dictated by the power of the tool's motor. For more information, see What is the power of a jigsaw?

 
     
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