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Jigsaw itch. Which of these have you used?

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bp122

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Hi all

I don't need to buy one yet, but there will come a point in not so distant future where I'll want to ('need to' if the wife asks!)

I know there are tons of cheap ones out there.
But after a preliminary search, I came across these as the choices of many for the £150 mark.

Metabo STE140
Makita 4351
Bosch GST150


Just to simplify the discussion, I was only focusing on the barrel grip versions and corded 240v. Except for a fourth option -the DeWalt 335N battery one for £30 more, only because I already have a DeWalt impact driver and drill . But still don't see this as a real contender because of the extra price.

Have any of you used any or more than one of these?
What has your experience been?
Any niggles and whistles worth pointing, however trivial?

Thanks in advance.
 

Sideways

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I have the older Bosch GST60PBE. It's a good unit from the old days. Always reckoned Bosch were a market leader in jigsaws until Mafell came and topped everyone. I have a lot of older Metabo which is very solid kit so I'd expect the STE140 to be good too. Just check as Metabo started moving some production of some, mostly cheaper, tools from Germany to China in recent years.
I have no time for dewalt.
 

bp122

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I saw in another thread someone mentioned Mafell, checked online and immediately closed the browser, was worried it might cost me to even look at it :oops:

So yeah, that is way out of my reach even in my dreams
 

Phil Pascoe

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I have the cheaper DeWalt (not the barrel grip, I just don't like them). It's a brilliant saw, and it's handled everything I've thrown at it with 2ah batteries. There is only one fault - the base plate has to kept tight with a cable tie - it's on some sort of cam lock which works loose in use. DeWalt apparently have know this for years, but it still persists. I don't know whether the one you're looking at has the same arrangement, but it looks like it may well have.
One of my neighbours is a builder -he's replacing his Makita with Milwaukee, which he rates. He did say my DeWalt was way better than his Makita, though. I spoke to two roofers who told me they'd moved to DeWalt from Makita as it was better by a mile. The problem with asking advice is that you should really ignore any reference to stuff over a few years old - I've brilliant 30 year (and older) Bosch stuff but it's not relevant to what's on the market now.
 
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adidat

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I was going to mention the mafell! I do love mine, is it worth 500 quid not really...

Adidat
 

sunnybob

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What are you going to use it on? If you want lots of curves, then the mafell claims to have that sewn up. If its just to rough cut general timber, then the cheaper the better. I have a makita that works reasonably well (no mechanical issues at all) but curves always bend the blades out and its always my last resort when I just cant get any other tool to the work.
 

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I have the DCS331 Dewalt unit. I love it!!!

It’s easily as powerful as a 240v unit, but not having a cable makes it so much nicer to use. The weight even with battery is fine. if and when it dies, it will be replaced with another Dewalt battery one, no question.

you’ll soon forget about the £30.
65B31962-4F05-4A27-8CA9-873E9868BDE7.jpeg
 

bp122

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Basically I see myself using the jigsaw to cut curved profiles to use as router templates.

Other than that, my wife wants me to build some "cloud shapes" for my son's room as part of the decor. Obviously not talking about coin radius curves, but in the region of 100mm dia in some places, but a lot larger radii for others.

I was after something that can also cut deep into soft wood and about 8 to 10mm aluminium without panting.

That's why I was looking at the three I mentioned.

Mafell may be the ultimate, but although I subscribe to the theory of multiple parallel universes, in none of them can I afford one.
 

Sideways

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Hand rout the router templates. Quality off a jigsaw would be nowhere near good enough for me. You'd have to hand rout to finish them anyway. A 1/4" router will easily cut through 6mm mdf in a couple or three passes.
Spend the £150 earmarked for the jigsaw plus the same again on getting a good quality used router.
Cut the softwood and ally with your circular saw.
 

bp122

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Hand rout the router templates. Quality off a jigsaw would be nowhere near good enough for me. You'd have to hand rout to finish them anyway. A 1/4" router will easily cut through 6mm mdf in a couple or three passes.
Spend the £150 earmarked for the jigsaw plus the same again on getting a good quality used router.
Cut the softwood and ally with your circular saw.
I have tried hand routing on thin MDF and it looked like a gibbon's rear end! And that was obviously without having to worry about grain direction or anything like that. So I thought jigsaw could be a better bet to get the curve as close as possible, then if required finish off with a spokeshave or rasp.
Also, I thought it might be good to have a jigsaw for creating letter / number profiles for vanity projects. I understand a scroll saw or a band saw may be the right took for this, I simply don't have the space. Hence the inclination towards a jigsaw.

I am not disagreeing with you, but merely explaining why I landed on the idea. If there is a better tool for my requirements, I would genuinely like to know. Or perhaps a technique which I can use with my existing tools (table saw, router, plunge saw, drill press and hand tools) would also be deeply appreciated.
 

MikeG.

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Just hand routing for a final finish or for a template won't work. Use a cheap jigsaw and a spokeshave, plus sandpaper, and a bobbin-type sander if you have one. You won't get a better cut by spending more and more on a jigsaw, once you've reached a certain threshold. A jig saw is one of those tools that is simply not worth spending a lot of money on, in my view. It does a roughing-out job.
 

Phil Pascoe

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How clean your cut is depends more on your choice of blade than your choice of saw (once you're clear of the bottom end of the market). I found those "Punk" blades a waste of space. I'd never go back to corded, battery saws are so, so much more versatile.
Try Jigsaw Blades | Bosch, Dewalt & More | Saxton Blades - they're the best value I've yet found - there might be blades that are slightly better, but that don't justify their being twice the cost bearing in mind that blades are usually damaged rather than worn out.
If you do smaller work a set of forstners is useful, you can drill out the small internal radii cleanly, then cut into them.
 
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clogs

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have the Metabo and the Festool.....plus a few others and a DOG industrial black n Decker that wont die...only used on metal....
the Festool is like a watch.....only used for delecate jobs....
The Metabo is almost asgood but just does the grunt work.....
both are mains powered....
If I we're younger I buy a battery model, prob go for Milwaukee as I have some of their kit...
 

bp122

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Just hand routing for a final finish or for a template won't work. Use a cheap jigsaw and a spokeshave, plus sandpaper, and a bobbin-type sander if you have one. You won't get a better cut by spending more and more on a jigsaw, once you've reached a certain threshold. A jig saw is one of those tools that is simply not worth spending a lot of money on, in my view. It does a roughing-out job.
Thanks, Mike. That's a fair point. Although I don't have a bobbin sander, I suppose I can spend a little more time with my hands if it is a template. Get it right once and then it is easier.

How clean your cut is depends more on your choice of blade than your choice of saw (once you're clear of the bottom end of the market). I found those "Punk" blades a waste of space. I'd never go back to corded, battery saws are so, so much more versatile.
Try Jigsaw Blades | Bosch, Dewalt & More | Saxton Blades - they're the best value I've yet found - there might be blades that are slightly better, but that don't justify their being twice the cost bearing in mind that blades are usually damaged rather than worn out.
If you do smaller work a set of forstners is useful, you can drill out the small internal radii cleanly, then cut into them.
Good shout on the blades, Phil. I week check that link out.

have the Metabo and the Festool.....plus a few others and a DOG industrial black n Decker that wont die...only used on metal....
the Festool is like a watch.....only used for delecate jobs....
The Metabo is almost asgood but just does the grunt work.....
both are mains powered....
If I we're younger I buy a battery model, prob go for Milwaukee as I have some of their kit...
Cheers, Frank. I have an old dog cheapy black and decker too. Was handed down from my wife's grandparents after they passed away.

But it is a pain to change the blades on it as it requires fiddling with an allen key and there is no light etc and the dust extraction is non existent.

That's why I was looking at the better idea as an investment.

Perhaps I could give them another try with better blades.
 

bp122

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While I am doing the fun part of buying research (reading reviews, watching videos) I discovered that the Makita 4351 requires an allen key (supplied) to change the angle to make bevel cuts, but the metabo doesn't. Interesting.

Also, I came across the big bosch brother gst160. Although it is £200+, the blade support guide bearing on it looks properly industrial. Miles beefier than on any of the rivals I mentioned. May be that has a real effect, may be not. Has anyone used that? (Not that I can afford it)
 

Phil Pascoe

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I wouldn't put too much importance on the adjustability of the base - I've used jigsaws for forty years and I don't recall once using one on an angle. I wonder sometimes why they aren't made fixed (and accurate).
 

MikeG.

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Funnily enough, I'll be using my jigsaw with an angled base this very day. I will be cutting a hole in a chipboard floor to gain access to some wiring below, and if you put an angle on the cut the piece you've cut out A/ doesn't fall into the void below, and B/ can be glued back into place with a thick construction adhesive. I reckon I've angled the base half a dozen or a dozen times over the decades.
 

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I have the 110V version of the Makita 4351 and like it. As I have a bandsaw and a Milwaukee Sawzall it doesn't get a lot of use and that is why I like corded tools because they always work when you pick it up. I borrowed a top grip 40ish year old Makita for a few weeks because mine was in storage and it ran like a top (says a lot about the quality) but didn't care for the top handle. I wouldn't hesitate to get another.

Pete
 
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