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Shopping for a jigsaw


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Hugh Foster writes:

When you're shopping for a jigsaw, be sure to look for one that offers an orbiting cut of one kind or another. This orbital action helps to keep the blades free of sawdust. More important than that, it allows changing blade action from straight line reciprocating, for cutting heavy metal, ceramic tile, marble, glass, or very hard wood, all the way to full orbital for fastest cutting in medium and soft materials. While the orbits are small, ranging from just smaller than 5/64" to just larger than 7/64", most orbital jigsaws offer a four-position orbit that works something like this:

•  0—Straight Reciprocating: In this position the blade travels in a straight-line motion. This action is best for thick metal, ceramic tile, glass, or very hard wood where an extremely fine finish is required.

•  1—Smallest Orbit: Use for faster cutting on wood and hardboard. Self-cleaning action of blade allows very tight scroll cutting. Also for a more aggressive cut on metals.

•  2—Medium Orbit: Excellent for most plastics since chips are quickly expelled without heat buildup-also fiberglass, abrasives, and composition board. Light metals can be cut with no lubrication.

•  3—Largest Orbit: Unbelievable cutting performance. The blade actually travels through an orbit, moving into the work on the upstroke (cutting stroke) and away from the work on the down stroke. This completely eliminates the bounce and chatter encountered with other jigsaws. Try this position for plunge cuts; blind pocket cuts, and curve or scroll cuts in woods of all kinds, thin metal, plasterboard, countertops, synthetics of all types.

Copyright © 1998 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved.


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