If you ask me what is the most important part of a jigsaw. I would say, without an ounce of doubt, it is the jigsaw blade. The blade of a jigsaw makes all the difference in the world. No matter how expensive a jigsaw you own, it is nothing without its blade.
That is exactly why I am writing this jigsaw blade buying guide for you. So, that you can buy the perfect jigsaw with the perfect blade for you. To learn all about its blade you need to know about different jigsaw blade types and how they work.
In the article down below, I have explained all types of blades based on the shank, number of teeth and blade material, etc. But, if you do not want to go through all the details and just want to learn what kind of blade is best for you. I would recommend that you go straight to the end of the article and choose the blade based on the material. So, let’s start.
What is a jigsaw blade shank and what are its types?
A blade shank is the lower part of the blade that is near to its hub. It is the part that is supposed to go into the main body of the jigsaw. There are basically two main types of blade shank. It is either a T type shank or U type shank.
T type Shank:
If you look at the hub of your jigsaw and you see that it is forming a T with the main blade body then it is a type shank. This type of shank is:
- Present in more recent jigsaws
- Easy to mount
- No additional tool is required
- Have more blade variety
U type shank
Here U means universal. If you look at the hub of the blade and it has a hole at the end, then it is probably a U shank.
- Prevalent in older jigsaws
- Difficult to mount
- Additional tools are required in order to change the blade
- Since it is older and no longer used, hence less blade variety
Now, that you know what types of shanks are there. Before buying a blade make sure that it is compatible with your jigsaw. Most of the brands label the shank type with the name of the jigsaw to avoid any confusion among customers. One of the best examples for a blade with T type shank is Dewalt DW3742C. Its blade has a very high tooth count and fits into all of the Bosch as well as Dewalt jigsaws.
What are different blade materials and what is their role in cutting?
Blades are made up of different types of material. Each material has its own cutting properties. Depending upon the nature and extent of your use, you must choose the right kind of blade. Because the quality of your cutting depends on it.
High Carbon Steel Blade (HCS)
This type of blade is basically used for cutting kind of delicate and easy to cut materials like wood or plastic etc. They are highly flexible and are a perfect choice when you want to make intricate designs in the wood. They are quite cheap as well. So, you can buy lots of these blades in advance without getting a dent in your pocket. If you want to do scroll cutting, then they are a perfect choice. Although they do have a little disadvantage. They get dull quite easily.
If you want to buy the best HCS blade then Tarose T119B0 is the perfect choice for you. It can easily cut through softwood and soft plastic etc.
High-Speed Steel Blade (HSS)
They can cut through all types of non-ferrous metals including copper and aluminum etc. They can also cut acrylics without any trouble. They are more rigid and resistant than HCS blades and thus do not wear off easily. That is why you can use them for a longer period of time. Their cutting speed is also higher than high carbon blades. The only disadvantage is that since they are rigid, hence it is a little difficult to make a curved design with them. Because instead of bending they might break.
If you want to buy the best HSS blade, then we would advise you to go for the Bosch T101A blade. It can easily cut through plexiglass, fiberglass, and sometimes through nonferrous metals as well.
This blade is a combination of HSS and HCS composition as well as properties wise. It combines the durability of HCS with the endurance of HSS. It is flexible enough to carve through hard metals without them getting dull. Naturally, they are more expensive than both of these, but one investment would last for quite a long time.
They are perfect for wood carving as well as metal cutting, making them a perfect all rounding blade.
If you want to buy an amazing, long-lasting bi-metal blade, then we would recommend you to go for Dewalt DW3742C.
Tungsten or carbide blade
These blades are perfect for those occasions where a cleaner cut with precise finishing is required. They can cut through a variety of materials including tiles and stainless steel. You can make a clean cut on the edge of the glass with the help of a carbide grit blade. You can even remove embedded nails with it.
If you want to buy an amazing, long-lasting high grit tungsten blade, then we would recommend you to go for CMT JT141HM-3 Carbide Tipped Jig Saw Blades.
The efficiency of a blade and its correlation with its number of teeth
If you have a jigsaw, then you must have heard about TPI. Don’t worry it is nothing to be scared of. TPI stands for tooth per inch. It represents the number of teeth present in one inch of the blade. Now you need to know the following things regarding TPI:
- A blade with low TPI will cut faster
- A cut with a low TPI blade will be rough and not clean at all
Four to six TPI blade
A blade with six TPI is perfect for cutting wood. Because the number of teeth is less that means there is a wider space between the teeth, this space is known as gullets. Wide gullets will ensure to catch all the sawdust created by wood and hence make it easier to manage. This sawdust is the real culprit in dulling a blade due to excess heat friction, when you remove it you delay the dulling of the blade.
These blades cut faster than the blades with higher TPI but their cut is not as clean.
Eight to Ten TPI blade
These blades are also used for wood, but they produce more clean-cut than the previous ones. That is why they are preferred where an intricate carving of the wood is required.
Sixteen to eighteen TPI Blade
These blades are perfect for cutting plastic. Although plastic can easily be cut through 10 TPI blades. Since plastic requires a smoother cut that is why these are perfect for making that happen. They will swiftly cut through plastic without creating any rough edges.
Twenty and higher TPI
When the material you want to cut is very hard e.g ferrous metals etc. Then you need to buy a blade that has at least 20 TPI. Because such a blade will have more teeth per inch and it will slowly but efficiently cut through the piece of metal without any problem.
Geometry or shape of the blade teeth and its role in cutting:
Next in this jigsaw blade buying guide, i will discuss the geometry of teeth. On the basis of the shape or anatomy of the teeth, they can be divided into two categories. Both of these categories have their own pros and cons and uses depending upon your requirement.
If you look at the teeth of these blades, it will look as if teeth are bending onto the opposite side creating a kerf in the middle. This kerf is very useful in removing the sawdust and hence keeping the blade clean and cool. The teeth of these blades are very pronounced and sharp as compared to ground teeth blades. Such blades last longer and have better cutting efficiency. But these blades produce rough edges.
- Milled side set: swift cuts with rough margins e.g Bosch T111C woodcutting jigsaw blades
- Milled wavy set: wavy teeth produce a rather straight e.g. Bosch 2608636496 woodcutting jigsaw blade.
If your main concern is to create a precise and smooth cut, then these blades are perfect for you. Although they may not be as fast or as durable as milled teeth blades their cuts are clean without any rough margins. Due to no kerf, they get hot with time, and hence their efficiency reduces. Eventually, you will have to change the blade.
- Ground side set teeth: compact blade for accurate cuts, nonflexible e.g. Makita 792726-5 Jigsaw Blades
- Ground reverse set teeth: blade cuts in the opposite direction making the cut as clean and splinter-free as possible. E.g. Bosch T101BR
What Jigsaw blade types you should use on the basis of the material you want to cut?
The density and grit of every material are different from one another. Then, how is it possible that the blade required to cut through it is the same? If you have bought a jigsaw for occasional use then it is possible that you can use a single blade for every type of cutting. But if you are a professional or someone who works on lots of projects on regular basis. Then, it is necessary that you buy the blade according to your requirement.
Jigsaw blade for Wood
- Shank type: T Type shank
- Blade material: High carbon steel blade
- TPI: 4 to six (quick cut) or eight to 10 (intricate carving)
- Anatomy of blade: ground side set teeth for fast cutting
Jigsaw blade for Plastic
- Shank type: T Type shank
- Blade material: bimetal or high-speed steel
- TPI: 14 to 18
- Anatomy of blade: Ground reverse
Jigsaw blade for Hard metals
- Shank type: T Type shank
- Blade material: bimetal blade or tungsten carbide
- TPI: more than 20
- Anatomy of blade: milled wavy set teeth
Jigsaw blade for cutting Aluminum
- Shank type: T Type shank
- Blade material: High carbon steel
- TPI: 8 to 10
- Anatomy of blade: ground side set or wavy set
With this I conclude my Jigsaw blade buying guide, I really hope that you found it useful. If you have any more things to add, do not forget to mention them in the comment section down below. I would love to hear from you. If you want to buy a jigsaw for you, then i would suggest that you to look at our stellar jigsaw buying guide