When it comes to jigsaw blades, there is a huge variety for you to choose from and each have different features that will effect the type of cut, speed of cut and a different fitting type. It’s important to choose the right blade for the saw that you have and for the material you are cutting.
Possibly the most important feature of a blade is the shank type; if you get the wrong shank, it won’t fit into your blade. There are two types of shank fittings. These are the U (Universal) shank and the T (Tang) shank. The difference between these two is the shape of the shank; one is shaped like a T and the other is shaped like a U. This has no effect on the performance of the blade, but certain saws are made for only T shanks and others for only U shanks, so it’s important to get the right blade.
The next thing to consider is the material that the blade is made out of as this will effect the range of materials that you can cut with the blade. There are four types of materials and these are: High Carbon Steel (HCS), High Speed Steel (HSS), Bi-metal and tungsten carbide.
High Carbon Steel
A lot of low end blades are made out of HCS and they are flexible compared to other blades. The benefit of this is that curved cuts can be easier, however they can change course while attempting a straight cut. These blades ware quicker than other blades, but these are perfect for general wood cutting tasks.
High Speed Steel
These blades are much stronger than HCS as they are more durable and less flexible, meaning they can cut a wider variety of materials, such as hardwood, metal and plastics. These blades tend to last longer than HCS.
These blades are made out of two different metals. The body is made out of HCS, and the teeth are made out of HSS. This created a balance, and gives the best out of each material. It allows you to cut harder materials while allowing a more flexible cut. These are very suitable for hard materials such as hardwoods and metals.
These blades are exceptionally resistant to heat and are the most durable type of blade. This is because the cutting edge is coated in tungsten grit rather than teeth, allowing strong cuts in ceramics, steel and fibreglass.
Teeth Per Inch (TPI)
TPI is a common phrase for any power too blade, but especially jigsaw blades. It means teeth per inch, and typically, the higher the number, the cleaner the cut
For a clean cut, you should choose a blade with a high TPI. The only setback of this is that the cut won’t be as fast, but it will be smoother.
For a rough cut, choose a blade with a low TPI. You’ll receive a fast cut, but it won’t be clean.
Plunge Cut Blades
Some blades are manufactured with a sharp tip at the end of the blade, and this is to cut the material before beginning your cut. This is exceptionally useful at the start of a cut so you have the ideal starting point. This is ineffective against hard materials, and is more suited for soft materials.