The Best Cordless Jigsaw Options for 2021

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For whatever reason, the jigsaw always seems to be one of those tools that every woodworker owns but hasn’t upgraded for 15 years. I am certainly guilty of that as I used an old, cheap jigsaw for way too long before realizing there were so much better options available. The best cordless jigsaw options available now blow those old versions out of the water and actually make a pretty nice bandsaw substitute for breaking down thicker material.

If you’re upgrading from an older jigsaw or looking to buy your first jigsaw, then cordless jigsaw models are certainly worth a look. The battery technology has come a long way, and these tools can run for way longer and with more power than you might expect.

Almost every major tool maker on the market makes battery powered versions so it should be a breeze to find a model that fits your needs and within your battery ecosystem.

What to Look for in the Best Cordless Jigsaw

Brushed versus Brushless Motor

In compact power tools you may have noticed the rise in popularity of brushless motor options. Although jigsaws with brushless motors typically cost a bit more you are getting a tool that is more efficient and most likely longer lasting.

This is due to brushless motors generating less friction which reduces heat buildup and wear and tear on the motor. That increased efficiency also tends to add 5% – 10% more power to the jigsaw.

If you find yourself in the frequent user category with your cordless jigsaw then a brushless motor is probably the way to go.

Tiltable Blade

While this option is becoming more and more standard on cordless jigsaws it still isn’t available on every one. Jigsaws that have this feature all operate in a similar manner in that the base will rotate. Usually up to 45 degrees.

Work Light

Many cordless jigsaws now come with built-in LED work lights as well. These lights make following your cut lines a snap as they will stay clearly illuminated no matter which direction you turn the jigsaw. Gone are the days of angling your body or the saw so you don’t cast a shadow over the cut lines.

Weight

Some of the highest end jigsaws can get a bit on the heavy side with the battery attached. Luckily, when cutting with a jigsaw it is typically sitting flush with the work surface so fatigue shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

If you’ll frequently be bringing tools to a job site though then weight may become more of a consideration to keep in mind.

Cut Settings

If you plan on using your jigsaw to cut through materials such as hardwoods or metal, then choosing a jigsaw with variable speed and orbital cutting settings is a must.

Variable speed settings allow you to find the range that best works for the material you are cutting through.

Jigsaws that offer different orbital or straight-line cut settings are perfect for switching between metals, softwoods, plywood, and hardwoods.

Battery Compatibility

Each brand of jigsaw offers batteries that fit within their cordless tool ecosystem. So if you already own a Dewalt cordless drill, then choosing a Dewalt cordless jigsaw may be your best bet. This allows you to interchange the batteries and use the same charger for each tool.

Dust Blower

This addition to many modern jigsaws is a fun little bonus that most people aren’t even aware of! Many cordless jigsaws now include a small dust blower that clears dust in front of the cut line. While not a necessity it is a handy little addition that, along with the led work light, makes following the cut line all that much easier.

The Best Cordless Jigsaws

These are the best and most popular cordless jigsaw options on the market right now!

Best Brushless Cordless Jigsaw: DEWALT 20V MAX XR Jig Saw

Specs:
Motor Size: 20V
Motor Type: Brushless
Weight: 4.2lbs
SPM: 3,200
Tiltable Base: Yes
Work Light: Yes
Dust Blower: Yes
Keyless Blade Changes: Yes
Orbital Cutting Options: 4 Positions

The Dewalt 20V Max XR cordless jigsaw is one of the most popular jigsaws on the market, period.

Dewalt is an extremely popular tool brand, and they were one of the early adopters of battery-based tool technology. Because of this, they have an impressive lineup of cordless tools that can almost run an entire woodshop.

The Dewalt Max XR is their top of the line option that includes all of the features you would be looking for in a cordless jigsaw. This includes a powerful 20V motor, LED work light, tilting base, variable speed trigger, keyless blade change, 4 position orbital cutting options, and an integrated dust blower.

This saw tracks extremely well on straight cuts, and the blade shows almost no deflection when cutting tight curves.

If you’re looking for a cordless jigsaw that can seamlessly transition between fine woodworking, construction sites, and breaking down sheet metal, then this is the one for you.

Best Brushed Motor Cordless Jigsaw: Makita18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Jig Saw

Specs:
Motor Size: 18V
Motor Type: Brushed
Weight: 5.7lbs
SPM: 2,600
Tiltable Base: Yes
Work Light: Yes
Dust Blower: Yes
Keyless Blade Changes: Yes
Orbital Cutting Options: 4 Positions

The Makita LXT cordless jigsaw is a solid and more affordable cordless jigsaw option. I use several Makita tools in the shop, and they have been absolutely rock solid over the years.

Minus the brushless motor there really isn’t much of a difference between this jigsaw and the Dewalt option highlighted above.

Makita has also built up an impressive collection of cordless tools so if you are already in their cordless ecosystem then this jigsaw is a great choice.

Best Budget Cordless Jigsaw: Ryobi One+18V Lithium Ion Cordless Jigsaw

Specs:
Motor Size: 18V
Motor Type: Brushed
Weight: 4.4lbs
SPM: 3,000
Tiltable Base: Yes
Work Light: Yes
Dust Blower: Yes
Keyless Blade Changes: Yes
Orbital Cutting Options: 4 Positions

If you’re new to woodworking or just need a light-duty cordless jigsaw then the Ryobi One+ cordless jigsaw is a great choice.

This jigsaw includes almost all the features found in the more expensive models yet comes in a significantly cheaper price.

This saw is fully capable of cutting through thick woods or metal with its 18V battery. The convenience features like a built in LED light and dust blower and diverse cut orbital cut settings will have you reaching for this saw whenever you’re in the shop.

Other Recommended Cordless Jigsaw Options

Festool Carvex PS 420 EBQ Jigsaw

Festool is well known for their quality tools and the Carvex is no exception. One of the best features of this jigsaw that is not found on any other models is the integrated dust collection. If you’re working on jobsites and don’t want to make a mess then this jigsaw is an excellent option.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL D-Handle Cordless Jig Saw

Milwaukee makes worksite ready, powerful cordless tools and their FUEL cordless jigsaw fits right in. This jigsaw offers everything found in other brushless cordless jigsaws at this price level. While Milwaukee cordless tools may not be quite as widespread as some of the other brands this jigsaw is a no brainer if you are already in their battery ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between 12v, 18v and 20v tools?

The main difference between 12v and 18v or 20v (18v and 20v are essentially the same thing in this setting) tools is going to be the weight and power output. Think of a 12v tool as your starter drill that will just be used to drill small holes in the wall for hanging pictures. It is great for that task but it will quickly bog down if used for any heavy duty work. A 12v jigsaw will quickly be overmatched if cutting any hardwoods or thicker plywood.

How can I make a straight cut with a jigsaw?

While a jigsaw may not be the best tool if you need to make a dead straight cut, there are a few tricks you can use to maximize the effectiveness of the tool you have on hand. The first is to install a new blade and make sure it is the right blade for the material you are cutting. Next is slow down! Forcing the tool through the cut will cause the blade to wander. Let the blade do the work. Lastly is to use a straight edge to guide the cut. This will take any wander out of the tool itself.

Are jigsaw blades universal?

Not 100%, although most modern jigsaws use what is called a T-shank blade. Ensure whether your saw takes T shank or U shank blades before going out and buying any.

How thick can a jigsaw cut?

Most jigsaw blades are 4 inches long, which means they can handle material up around 3 inches thick. Although some jigsaws, like the Festool we recommended above, advertise handling materials over 4 inches thick. The thicker the material, the more the blade will wander, so we wouldn’t recommend maxing out these blades if you are trying to make a precise cut.

Final Thoughts on the Best Cordless Jigsaw

Having a jigsaw on hand in the shop comes in handy in so many circumstances from breaking down wood to cutting curves in pieces too large for the bandsaw. Adding in the cordless capabilities of these modern cordless jigsaws make these tools even more useful as you can take them anywhere and don’t have to worry about dragging a cord behind you during a long or curved cut.

We hope that this guide helped you in your search for a new cordless jigsaw. Happy woodworking!

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