A jigsaw – which is also sometimes called a saber saw – is a versatile tool that allows you to cut curves and complex shapes out of a variety of materials including wood, ceramic tile, plastic laminate or metal. For keen DIYers, it goes hand in hand with a circular saw when it comes to getting the job done right.
Electric Jigsaw Safety
As with any DIY tool that uses a blade, you have to be extra vigilant about safety when using an electric jigsaw – here are a few simple-to-follow tips.
- Buy your electric jigsaw from a reputable dealer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
- It’s important to register a new electric jigsaw with the manufacturer so that you can be contacted if a safety notice or recall is required. It also makes it easier for you to return a faulty product or order a repair. To register any of your appliances, regardless of age, visit Register My Appliance.
- Use our free online checker to see if you have any recalled electrical items.
- Check that your appliance has a UK plug; if it doesn’t, don’t try to use a UK travel adaptor. Get in touch with the retailer and ask for their advice.
- Do regular checks of the plug and socket for burn marks, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling) or if it feels too hot to touch. If you have fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping then contact a registered electrician to investigate.
- Any socket you plan to use to plug in a electric jigsaw should have RCD (residual current device) Protection. An RCD is a life-saving device that protects against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires. If you don’t have RCD protection in your fuse box for your sockets, consider using an RCD plug to protect you and your property from serious appliance faults.
- Before you start work, ensure that the cord is long enough to easily reach the area you’re working in – if it isn’t, plug the electric jigsaw into a fully-unwound extension lead to extend your reach.
Using your electric jigsaw safely
- Different materials will require different types of blade – make sure you select the right blade for the job in order to get the best results; the teeth per inch (TPI) should be matched to the thickness of the material that you’re cutting.
- You should wear goggles and a dust mask when operating an electric jigsaw, and keep lose clothing and hair well out of the way. You should also consider hearing protection.
- Ensure that the material or surface you’re going to cut into is secure and properly supported – ideally by clamps or on a sawhorse – before you start.
- If you’re cutting countertops, you’ll need to drill a starter hole.
- The ideal cutting technique will vary depending on the material – consult the manufacturer’s instructions for more information – but always take your time.
- If sawdust or debris starts to obscure your view of the cut line, stop the jigsaw and clear the debris away before continuing.
- Make sure you keep the jigsaw cord is kept well away from the cutting patch at all times.