Tool Tips: How do I Cut Thick Wood with a Jigsaw?

I’ve written this post for those of you that don’t own a circular saw or a table saw but only good old jigsaw. Sometimes you’ve got a project that requires cutting a thick piece of wood or a wooden block and you ask yourself a question how do I cut a thick wood with a jigsaw. As we all know jigsaw blades tend to be bendy and sometimes you can end up with a beveled edge even when cutting a regular wood. what about thick wood? Can you do this using a jigsaw?

 

Thick lumber

 

The answer is yes. The results, however, will depend on four things:  jigsaw itself, the type of wood, the blade you use and your skills and experience with this tool.

Some jigsaws work better than others and have additional features like blade guides. Usually,  jigsaws with less vibrations tend to produce smoother cuts. Can a budget B&D jigsaw do it? Sure. With a proper blade and some experience. But in my honest opinion if you plan to do some regular woodworking or even DIY just invest in a quality tool like Bosch or Makita or even Dewalt. You’ll find many great saws in the mid-range budget.

When it comes to wood the harder the piece is the more difficult to cut by the jigsaw. Mostly because of the friction and heat that is produced. The softer the wood the thicker you can go.

Choosing an appropriate blade for this task is crucial. A thicker blade won’t drift as much as a thinner one and of course, you have to remember to get a blade that is at least 1 inch longer than that stock you’re cutting. TPI for thicker workpieces are usually low but at the same time, that means rougher cuts. Check out these Bosch blades for wood 6in and 7in or these Bosch T234X3 progressor blades for a bit cleaner cuts.

A  good example here is a Festool jigsaw with this Festool blade which doesn’t tend to drift and will give you excellent results. The downside is the price. Festool power tools are expensive and a jigsaw is no exception. The starting price point is around $260 on Amazon. Festool Carvex works amazing but the price is not affordable for most people who are not professionals. If you can’t afford it at least get a good blade. Festool or Bosch would be a good choice.

 

 

What you should consider when cutting thick wood with a jigsaw for best results


  1. Get the best blade you can find
  2. Make sure the base/shoe is super flat on the surface you’re cutting
  3. Make sure that the blade runs square to the shoe/base
  4. Let the machine do the work, don’t rush it, don’t try to tip it forward, go slowly – most people tend to rush through the cut. Take it easy and you’ll achieve better cleaner cuts.

There aren’t really any tricks that you could use to cut thick wood. Just buy a quality blade and take your time. Practice your jigsaw cutting skills on thinner pieces of wood until you master them enough to make a clean, square cut in the thick stock.

And remember safety first!

Kasia

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