What is the speed of a jigsaw?
The speed of a jigsaw is equal to the stroke rate of the blade. It is measured in strokes per minute (or spm).
The stroke rate is the number of times the blade of the tool moves up and down each minute.
Together with the stroke length, the speed of the tool determines its cutting efficiency.
Jigsaws usually operate at between 500 and 3500spm.
The speed of a jigsaw is either fixed or variable. Some jigsaws operate at a single, fixed speed.
A fixed speed jigsaw is sufficient if you are planning on using your tool for a single cutting task. However, in order to maximise the potential of your tool, choose a jigsaw capable of running at at least two different stroke rates.
Different materials and blades require different cutting speeds, with slower speeds more effective when cutting denser materials and faster speeds better for cutting soft woods. As a result, the majority of modern jigsaws have three or more speed settings.
For more information, see
What is no-load speed?
Some manufacturers will specify the 'no-load speed' of their jigsaws.
This is the maximum speed the tool is able to reach before it makes contact with a workpiece.
However, a jigsaw is likely to operate at a speed much lower than the no-load speed.
When the blade of the tool makes contact with any workpiece, the speed of the machine can be reduced by as much as 30%. The degree to which the speed is lessened will depend upon the material being cut, with harder and tougher materials causing the jigsaw to slow down more.