AskDefine | Define jigsaw

Dictionary Definition



1 a portable power saw with a reciprocating blade; can be used with a variety of blades depending on the application and kind of cut; generally have a plate that rides on the surface that is being cut [syn: saber saw, reciprocating saw]
2 fine-toothed power saw with a narrow blade; used to cut curved outlines [syn: scroll saw, fretsaw]

User Contributed Dictionary



jig + saw


  1. A saw with fine teeth and a narrow blade which can cut curves in wood or metal.
  2. A jigsaw puzzle.


A saw with fine teeth and a narrow blade
A jigsaw puzzle


  1. To cut something using a jigsaw.

Extensive Definition

This article is about the power tool, for other uses see Jigsaw (disambiguation).
A jigsaw is a tool used for cutting arbitrary curves, such as stenciled designs or other custom shapes, into a piece of wood or similar material. It is usually used in a more artistic fashion than other saws, which only cut in straight lines and exist mainly to cut pieces of wood to length for building structure. In this way, it is similar to the rasp and the chisel. Traditional jigsaws are hand saws, consisting of a handle attached to a small, thin blade. The first jigsaw puzzles were made using this kind of unpowered saw. More modern jigsaws are power tools, made up of an electric motor and a reciprocating saw blade. Most carpenters would have a jigsaw as part of their tool kit. A jigsaw can be used to cut a variety of materials; Man made boards like MDF and Ply, and also metal and plastic. Each material has a specific blade type. The most useful feature of the modern jigsaw is "stroke" which is used to alternate between fine cutting and rough cutting. Most jigsaws have variable speed control which will aid the cutting of the chosen material. When cutting the plate or sole of the jigsaw must be kept firmly flat on the board being cut for safety and a better finish.It is very easy to cut the electric cord on a jigsaw as by its design there is no guard in front of the blade so care must be taken when using one.A pilot hole is normally drilled for example if one is cutting a circle out of a sheet of material and then the blade is inserted into this pilot hole before cutting. To achieve a straight cut freehand with a jigsaw is difficult even when a guide is used unless a (generally more expensive) pendulum jigsaw is used. Plunge cutting with a jigsaw requires a high degree of skill and should be practised using scrap material first. A jigsaw with a bevel function allows angles typically of up to 45 degrees relative to the normal vertical stroke. Sometimes this functionality is implemented by loosening screws on the adjustable base plate, whereas more expensive models may have a quick release mechanism or even a quickly set angle dial.
In the past, what are now usually called scroll saws were often referred to as jig saws.
There are two main blade types, standard and bosch. A standard blade has a hole in it. Bosch brand blades have bumps along the edges. Starrett brand produces a unified blade the fits into either bosch or standard jigsaws.
Other high end jigsaws are produced by (in alphabetical order):

External links

jigsaw in Danish: Løvsav
jigsaw in German: Stichsäge
jigsaw in Spanish: Sierra de vaivén
jigsaw in French: Scie sauteuse
jigsaw in Dutch: Decoupeerzaag
jigsaw in Yiddish: עלעקטעריק זעיג
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