The Best Barrel Grip Jigsaw Guide

Though you may not use it as often as some of your other power tools, the jigsaw is an invaluable resource for any person who regularly works with wood. While it can perform straight and plunge cuts effectively, it is the jigsaw’s ability to cut along a curve that truly sets it apart from other types of saws.

Of course, just as no 2 consumers are the same, neither are any 2 jigsaws. That is why, considering the often precise nature of their work, it is imperative that you select the best barrel grip jigsaw that can accomplish the specific tasks you demand of it. Still, there is no point in overspending on a tool that will only see use every now and then--often not even for every job.

That is why we have put together a comprehensive buyer’s guide. In it, you will find an exhaustive deconstruction of the jigsaw and its various features. Furthermore, we will also provide a list of our top 10 picks with a thorough description of each, their particular strengths, and their weaknesses.

Best Barrel Grip Jigsaw

Though it may seem a relatively simple and straight-forward tool, the jigsaw actually has a variety of features which distinguish the quality of one from the other. Some of these features are fairly obvious, like motor’s power or the blades stroke count.

However, many of the features might be less obvious like whether or not the gears are housed in a metal container or the directional motions of the blade during the cutting stroke.

Furthermore, each of these features will carry more or less weight in determining which jigsaw is right for you. For instance, a roller guide may seem like a top priority to ensure a straight cut, but an adequate skill level can account for a subpar roller guide.

No amount of skill can make the jigsaw’s cutting action improve. As such we have put together a comprehensive list of the various features and qualities to look for when selecting a jigsaw.

These qualities are also arranged in order of importance, descending--other than price, durability, and warranty which are separate from the tool itself, and are in another class of consideration altogether.

Important Barrel Grip JigSaw Fundamentals

Qualities of Barrel Grip Jigsaws

Power

The power of the jigsaw will be rated differently depending on its energy source. The three energy sources are corded, cordless, and pneumatic. While each have their advantages and disadvantages, the power they generate differs greatly and is measured differently.

For corded jigsaws, the power of the motor will be rated in amps. For this, you will want a jigsaw that is between 4 to 7 amps. However, it is preferable for a corded jigsaw to have at least over 5 amps if you plan on using it for professional jobs. A jigsaw under 4 amps is strictly a consumer grade product and has no place on a professional toolbelt.

Cordless jigsaws, on the other hand, measure their power in volts. The most common voltage for cordless jigsaws is either 12 or 18. Some brands may advertise a 20 volt jigsaw, but that is simply a difference of what state the manufacturer measures.

During operation, 18 volt and 20 volt jigsaws both operate at the same voltage. Keep in mind, 12 volt jigsaws were once labeled as 10 volt, so it is entirely possible to see that option as well.

Pneumatic jigsaws do not generate their power from electricity at all. Instead, these jigsaws utilize an air compressor to generate their power. The power of these jigsaws is measured by a combination of pressure per square inch, PSI, and cubic foot per minute, CFM. The general PSI range is between 70 to 100, while the CFM can run anywhere from 5 to 30.

Strokes

Aside from the motor’s power, the number of stroke per minute, spm, the jigsaw makes is the other primary factor that will determine the quality of its cutting action. Keep in mind, the blade and setting can also affect the cutting action, but that will depend heavily on what material you are cutting.

However, the power of the motor and the spm will always impact the quality of the cutting action, regardless the material.

Generally, the higher the maximum spm the better, though a jigsaw with an exceptionally high spm without a correspondingly low spm setting will be somewhat limited in its application.

The average maximum spm for jigsaw hovers around 3000 while the average low end is 800. However, the maximum spm can get up to almost 4,000 while the low end can hit 500.

Energy Source

As mentioned earlier, the three primary energy sources for jigsaws are corded, cordless, and pneumatic. Each energy source comes with its own set of qualities that must be carefully weighed to ensure you get the jigsaw that is right for you.

Corded jigsaws will generally be the most powerful, though pneumatic jigsaws can often keep up perfectly well for both of them to be used in a professional setting. Cordless jigsaws will give up some power in comparison to the other two types.

However, cordless jigsaws hang their hat on portability. If you are at a sight without an electrical outlet, you will need a portable generator to power a corded jigsaw. Likewise, you will always need an air compressor to power a pneumatic jigsaw.

Assuming you have enough batteries, you can power a cordless jigsaw all day without other equipment necessary.

Pneumatic jigsaws are more expensive, less common for consumer and non-workshop settings, and require additional equipment as a necessity. However, these jigsaws are also the most durable--often outlasting either electric jigsaw by years.

They're also lighter than their corded and cordless cousins which makes using them all day much easier.

what is the best barrel grip jigsaw

The Best Barrel Grip Jigsaw Reviews

Here's a brief summary of the best barrel grip jigsaws on the market today. We'll follow up with detailed barrel grip jigsaw reviews to make your decision easier.

  • Motor Power: 7 amps
  • SPM: 500 - 3,100
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 1"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 Degrees
  • Foot: Die-cast aluminum with plastic overshoe
  • Settings: Variable speed knob
  • Cutting Action: 4 Orbital stages
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Motor Power: 12 volts
  • SPM: 1,500 - 2,100
  • Power Source: Cordless
  • Cutting Depth: 3/8"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 Degrees
  • Foot: Die-cast aluminum with plastic overshoe
  • Settings: Variable speed knob
  • Cutting Action: 3 orbital stages
  • Weight: 4 pounds
Hitachi CJ160VA Barrel Grip Variable Speed Jig Saw
  • Motor Power: 7 amps
  • SPM: 800 - 2,800
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 1"
  • Bevel Capacity: None
  • Foot: Fluorine
  • Settings: 5 speed settings
  • Cutting Action: 4 obrital stages
  • Weight 5.5 pounds
  • Motor Power: 6.2 Amps
  • SPM: 500 - 3,000
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 1"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 Degrees
  • Foot: Cast aluminum
  • Settings: 8 speed settings
  • Cutting Action: 4 orbital stages
  • Weight: 9.4 pounds
  • Motor Power: 18 volts
  • SPM: 800 - 3,500
  • Power Source: Cordless
  • Cutting Depth: 1"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 degrees
  • Foot: Aluminum with plastic overshoe
  • Settings: Variable speed control dial
  • Cutting Action: 3 orbital stages and 1 straight stage
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
Makita 4351FCT Barrel Grip Jigsaw with L.E.D. Light
  • Motor Power: 6.3 amps
  • SPM: 800 - 2,800
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 1"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 degrees
  • Foot: Aluminum with plastic overshoe
  • Settings: Variable speed control dial
  • Cutting Action: 3 orbital stages and 1 straight stage
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds
Festool 561593 Carvex PS 420 EBQ Jigsaw
  • Motor Power: 4.5 amps or 10.8 - 18volt LI or 12-15.6 volt NiCD/NiMH
  • SPM: 500 - 3,800
  • Power Source: Corded and Cordless
  • Cutting Depth: 1"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 degrees
  • Foot: Metal with a plastic overshoe
  • Settings: Variable speed
  • Cutting Action: 4 stages
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds
Festool 561443 PS 300 EQ Jigsaw
  • Motor Power: 6 amps
  • SPM: 1,000 - 9,000
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 1"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 degrees
  • Foot: Metal with a plastic overshoe
  • Settings: Variable speed
  • Cutting Action: 4 cutting stages
  • Weight: 9.6 pounds
Ridgid Tool Company R31011 3 Amp Fuego Compact Orbital Jigsaw
  • Motor Power: 3 amps
  • SPM: 3,000
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 1/2"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 degrees
  • Foot: Metal with a plastic overshoe
  • Settings: 1 speed setting
  • Cutting Action: 1 orbital stage
  • Weight: 5.9 pounds
Metabo STA18 LTX 140 Bare Cdls 18V Barrel Grip Orbital Jig Saw
  • Motor Power: 18 volts
  • SPM: 1,000 - 3,000
  • Power Source: Cordless
  • Cutting Depth: 1"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 degrees
  • Foot: Die-cast aluminum with a plastic overshoe
  • Settings: Variable speed knob
  • Cutting Action: 3 orbital stages and 1 pendulum stage
  • Weight: 6.4 pounds

Top Barrel Grip Jigsaw Reviews

Bosch JS470EB 7-Amp Barrel-Grip Jigsaw

bosch jigsaw js470e

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The first product on our list is a Bosch corded jigsaw. As one of the top 3 manufacturers of professional grade power tools, Bosch produces one of the best in class jigsaws available. However, this barrel grip jigsaw should most appropriately be understood as a “great for most uses saw.” It's not ideal for some of the extreme sawing circumstances.

Specifically, if you need to cut thicker pieces of hardwood or need to make refined precision cuts for woodworking, this not the best saw. The limitation on hardwood is a direct result of its maximum spm of 3,100. While this is just slightly above average, it'll struggle with thick hardwood.

Moreover, this Bosch does not feature a pendulum stage for the cutting action. This absence makes the cuts a bit imprecise and is not suitable for the finer touches in woodworking. To add to that difficulty in achieving precise cuts, the JS470EB is also 10 pounds.

10 pounds is heavy for any jigsaw, regardless the type. However, this serves to create multiple issues. First, the jigsaw is more difficult to control, because the weight and powerful motor combine to create a somewhat shaky feel. Second, the weight will make using the Bosch cumbersome over time and lead to hand fatigue.

That being said, the 7 amp motor is plenty powerful to generate the cutting power required for the materials this tool is best suited for. Thankfully, various features make that a very long list indeed.

With an spm range of 500-3100, the JS470EB can cut everything from hardwood to softwood and many metals too. The 4 orbital stages and variable speed control combine to offer even more versatility when cutting different materials.

Pros

  • 7 amp motor is tied for the most powerful on our list
  • The SPM range of 500 - 3,100 allows you to cut numerous types of material
  • With 4 orbital stages and a variable speed control, its versatility is impressive

Cons

  • Without a pendulum stage, this isn't the jigsaw for precision cutting
  • 10 pounds is exceedingly heavy for a modern jigsaw, even for a corded jigsaw
  • A 3,100 maximum SPM will limit your ability to cut some of the thicker pieces of hardwood

bosch jigsaws

Quality

Price

Our Rating

While the previous Bosch may have many of the more common situations where you would use a jigsaw covered but falls a bit short with some of the rarer ones, this Bosch is simply an inferior product in too many ways to be a good buy.

The one thing it has going for it, which is truly a number of small things, is that it is manufactured by Bosch, so you can expect a quality construction and excellent materials.

However, the actual cutting power of jigsaw is far too limited. First, it has an spm range of 1500-2100. That is the narrowest spm range of any saw on our list. Moreover, the maximum spm of 2100 is almost 1000 spm lower than average. This low spm severely limits the JS120BN’s ability to cut hardwood.

If that lack of speed were not enough, the JS120BN is also the only cordless jigsaw on our list that uses a 12 volt motor. This will further restrict the JS120BN’s power as it cannot draw from a larger reserve to push the cutting action harder. The one benefit of a 12 volt jigsaw is that the batteries have a tendency to last longer and charge quicker

In fairness, there are a couple of features that do make this an attractive option for the right market. At 4 pounds, this jigsaw feels so light in your hands, you may forget it is there. This will make the tool easier to control and allow you to work all day without worrying about hand fatigue.

Moreover, to compensate a bit for its lack of power, the JS120BN features a variable speed control and 3 orbital stages, which should help with certain materials. Regardless, this cordless barrel grip jigsaw is merely a high-quality consumer grade and is not recommended for professionals.

Pros

  • 12 volts will prolong the tool's battery life, requiring fewer battery changes
  • 4 pounds is the lightest barrel grip jigsaw on our list
  • 3 orbital stages and a variable speed control help compensate for the poor SPM range

Cons

  • At 12 volts, this jigsaw will have trouble generating the necessary power for many materials
  • The versatility of this jigsaw is further limited by the 1,500 - 2,100 SPM range
  • The maximum SPM range of 2,100 is the least on our list

Hitachi CJ160VA Barrel Grip Variable Speed Jig Saw

hitachi barrel grip jigsaw reviews

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Hitachi began as a company that produced professional power tools, then it was repurposed for the consumer spectrum. Recently, it has started to make the slow climb back to the professional grade of power tool manufacturers, but if the CJ160VA is any sign, they still have a ways to go.

The Hitachi is a bit confusing. On one hand it has numerous features designed to provide plenty of versatility and power. On the other hand, many other features limit its versatility and power.

This combines to make a tool that is neither exceptionally versatile nor exceptionally powerful. As such, it skirts the line between professional and consumer grade.

With a 7 amp motor, the Hitachi is every bit as powerful as our first Bosch. However, the limitations to its spm cannot be ignored. The maximum and minimum spm is less than the Bosch, being 2800 and 800 respectively.

This means that certain metals and hardwoods are not ideal materials to use this jigsaw on. In fact, 2800 is so close to average, it's a wonder Hitachi did not make that extra effort just to get it there.

Still, some of this versatility can be regained with its 4 orbital stages and 5 speed settings. While many other jigsaws will simply not that they have variable speed settings, which also coincides with a variable speed depending on the load.

They generally only have 3 or 4 actual speed settings. This gives the Hitachi a slight advantage in this arena, while the 4 orbital settings is about what you would expect from a professional model.

At 5.5 pounds though, this jigsaw is much lighter than the other 7 amp corded jigsaw, the Bosch. It is almost half the weight. Unfortunately, the Hitachi does not cut at a bevel. In fact, it is the only jigsaw on our list that is unable to do so.

Pros

  • 7 amps ties our first Bosch as the most powerful corded motor on our list
  • 5 speed settings offer plenty of custom options depending on the material you're cutting
  • 5.5 pounds isn't surprisingly light, but still far lighter than some of the lead weights on this list

Cons

  • A 2,800 maximum SPM isn't the worst, but it's certainly below the average
  • The lower 2,800 maximum SPM coupled with a minimum 800 SPM leave plenty room for improvement
  • It's almost inconceivable that this jigsaw isn't able to cut at a bevel

reviews of barrel grip jigsaws

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Along with Bosch, Milwaukee is known as one of the top 3 brands for professional grade power tools. With the 6267-21, however, it seems Milwaukee has gone the way of Bosch in this arena. Both are merely adequate jigsaws.

They can competently handle 80 percent of the jobs you will throw at them, but they will also come up short when it comes time to cut thick hardwood or make precision woodworking cuts.

One advantage the Milwaukee has over the Bosch though is in regards to its spm range. While the Bosch has 100 more maximum spm, that will not really show up when cutting hardwoods as much as one might think.

However, the Milwaukee’s 300 lower minimum spm will definitely make its presence known when you are cutting through certain types of metal.

In fact, the ability to cut through different types of materials in general seems to be one of the focuses for this tool. The 8 speed settings on the Milwaukee is by far the most out of any jigsaw on our list.

It's almost twice as many as the next closest competitor. Combined with 4 orbital stages, you should have no trouble cutting any material other than the thickest of hardwoods.

Another advantage the Milwaukee has over the Bosch is in weight. At 9.4 pounds, it is a full half pound lighter than the Bosch. However, much like the 100 maximum spm difference, it is unlikely you will notice this until you have used it for hours on end. In that regard, it is a bit more ergonomic.

Unfortunately, one area where the Milwaukee falls short is in the 6.2 amp motor. While this is not technically bad, with 5 amps being the professional floor, it's still fairly low compared to the other professional quality corded barrel grip jigsaws on our list.

Pros

  • You can cut a wide variety of materials with a solid SPM range of 500 - 3,000
  • You'll not find a jigsaw on our list with more speed settings, further expanding its ability to cut different types of materials
  • 4 orbital stages may be expected from a professional grade barrel grip jigsaw, but it's still nice to see

Cons

  • A 6.2 amp motor isn't terrible. In fact, it's not even bad, but it's low for the professional grade barrel grip jigsaw
  • 9.4 pounds may be lighter than Bosch, but it's still one of the heavier jigsaws we reviewed
  • Its maximum SPM 3,000 is average, nothing more, nothing less

makita barrel grip jigsaw reviews

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Makita makes its appearance and is the third of the top 3 power tool manufacturers--though in which order those 3 are arranged will depend heavily on the tool in question and your own personal preferences. As such, we truly wanted to love this tool.

Unfortunately, the limitations placed on it as a cordless jigsaw merely leave us liking it. Keep in mind, this is not a judgment against the Makita in particular, but more directed towards the limitations of cordless jigsaws in general. If you're in the market for a cordless barrel grip jigsaw, the Makita or the Festool are definitely the best options.

For a cordless jigsaw, the Makita provides far more power than one might expect. With an spm range of 800-3500, this jigsaw has a larger range than most of the corded versions on our list.

The maximum spm of 3500 is also more powerful than most of the corded jigsaws on our list. However, the 18 volt motor, which is about as good as it gets, is still insufficient to make complete use of the DJV181Z’s impressive spm range.

Still, this range will provide plenty of versatility, and the tool will not start to struggle with thicker hardwoods until used for a little while. It has no trouble with other materials though.

In fact, this is the first jigsaw that features a pendulum stage cutting action. Apparently, this is the setting that allows you to make precise cuts for woodworking.

Unfortunately, the Makita’s motor is a bit too powerful, and the precision is somewhat compromised as a result. This may also be in part caused by the Makita’s 5.3 pounds which, while not exactly heavy, could stand to slim down a bit to be in the lower weight ranges of the cordless jigsaw market.

Pros

  • The maximum speed of 3,500 is third best on our list and great for thicker hardwood
  • Though the minimum could be a tad lower, the SPM range of 800 - 3,500 is also the second best on our list
  • With 3 orbital stages and 1 pendulum stage, this is the first jigsaw capable of making precise enough cuts for fine woodworking

Cons

  • Though the pendulum stage allows precise cuts, the extreme power from the 3,500 maximum SPM can make this jigsaw difficult to handle
  • The 3,500 maximum SPM will also not always be enough for thicker hardwoods due to the power source being a battery
  • In the cordless barrel grip jigsaw market, 5.3 pounds is okay, but it's definitely not light

what is the best jigsaw with barrel grip

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Our second Makita on this list is plagued by a couple of the issues that some of the earlier entries are. However, for a number of purposes it will perform better than many of the other entries too. Specifically, woodworking with medium or soft density wood it probably best done with this jigsaw.

This Makita, like the one that preceded it, features 3 orbital stage cutting actions and 1 pendulum stage. This makes the Makita great for precision cuts with fine woodworking projects. However, the wood you use will matter, because the Makita does come with some power issues.

First, the motor is only 6.3 amps. While this is barely good enough for second best on our list, it would have been better were it 7 amps. To make the power issue more troubling, that single .1 extra amp the Makita boasts over the Milwaukee is overshadowed by a smaller maximum spm.

At only 2800 maximum spm, this Makita gives up 200 spm to the Milwaukee. However, since both tools are fairly close to one another, the difference will be less noticeable. Still, the Milwaukee is better than average in the amp department, while the Makita is slightly below average.

Moreover, the Makita cannot hope to compete with the Milwaukee in the versatility arena. With far fewer speed settings, metals and softer woods are easily better cut with the Milwaukee. However, the Milwaukee does not feature a pendulum stage cutting action. In this regard, it will depend on what you need the jigsaw to do as to which you think is the better tool.

However, one area where the Makita destroys its competition in the best brand professional jigsaw market is weight. At 5.5 pounds, it is almost half as light as the Bosch, and 4 pounds lighter than the Milwaukee. This allows the Makita to competently make those precision woodworking cuts.

Pros

  • With a pendulum stage and 3 orbital stages, this Makita barrel grip jigsaw can make any cut
  • While 6.3 amps could be improved, it still ranks as second on our list
  • 5.5 pounds may not be the lightest barrel grip corded jigsaw on our list, but it's still surprisingly light.

Cons

  • A 2,800 maximum SPM is disappointing. In fact, it's not even average on our list
  • The 800-2800 SPM range will somewhat limit its versatility, especially with hardwoods and certain metals
  • The precision of the pendulum stage cutting action may wander with thicker material

barrel grip jigsaw vs top handle

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Festool offers a unique quality compared to all the other jigsaws on our list. It's the only jigsaw that can be converted from a corded to a cordless jigsaw. Unfortunately, while this provide a nice range of utility, it does one of these arrangements better than the other. Specifically, this jigsaw is a far superior cordless barrel grip jigsaw compared to the competition than it is a corded jigsaw in its class.

The biggest trouble for the Festool as a corded jigsaw comes from the motor. At only 4.2 amps, it is not truly professional grade--though some may say 4 amps is adequate for a professional jobs. Still, this is one of the weaker corded motors on our list.

Oddly, when you use a battery pack and convert it to a cordless jigsaw, the tool’s effectiveness does not improve, but it does not drop either. As such, this allows the Festool to more or less dominate the competition in the cordless jigsaw arena. This is especially relevant considering it can take a battery of any voltage--assuming it is provided by Festool.

One of the best qualities of the Festool, regardless its arrangement, is its spm. The maximum spm is second best on our list at 3800 while the minimum spm ties for first with 500. Together, this range is the best available, which allows the Festool to cut pretty much any material you throw at it.

Moreover, this jigsaw features 4 different stages and a variable speed setting to further add to its versatility. However, due to its lower powered corded amperage, even the cordless superiority cannot compensate to allow this jigsaw to cut softer materials the way one would like.

Still, at 4.2 pounds, this is the second lightest corded jigsaw on our list, with Festool somehow able to keep its cordless weight even when corded. One issue is the foot. The standard foot is not special. However, Festool sells an impressive assortment of different feet separately, but the cost is as much as many other jigsaws on this list alone.

Pros

  • The best usable SPM range on our list at 500 - 3,800 SPM
  • 4.2 pounds in the corded arrangement is incredibly light
  • Versatility is further reinforced with variable speed settings and 4 cutting stages

Cons

  • Though light, the corded arrangement also only offers a subpar 4.5 amps
  • The foot is inadequate and the replacements, which excellent, are expensive
  • Softer materials will give this jigsaw trouble without a high degree of skill

best barrel grip jigsaw for woodworking

Quality

Price

Our Rating

If you thought the Festool hybrid was impressive, the dedicated corded Festool is equally so. In fact, this jigsaw does things that other brands can only dream of. In fairness, it does still have some limitations, but its advantages are truly unique.

The main thing to love about this Festool is its spm range. While a minimum spm of 1000 is a bit high and will definitely limit your ability to cut metal, its maximum spm of 9000 is bonkers.

There is absolutely no other jigsaw on our list that can come close to that. In fact, a 9000 maximum spm is more than twice the next closest competitor.

Unfortunately, that incredibly spm range is somewhat hampered a more more modest motor. While the motor may stroke the blade with blinding speed, its 6 amps will somewhat temper that effect in the real world.

As such, you should expect this jigsaw to handle even thick hardwoods with no problem, but you may have to take it a bit slow depending on how dense the hardwood.

Another point of concern is the weight. While the other Festool was able to keeps its weight down even when corded, this one cannot make the same boast. At 9.6 pounds, it is just barely the second heaviest jigsaw on our list.

When combined with the almost absurd maximum spm, this can make the Festool a bit difficult to handle--especially over a long period of time.

Still, when you combine the variable speed settings, the 4 cuttings stages, and incredible spm range, this is an amazingly versatile jigsaw. Of course, its high minimum spm will still exclude it from cutting the softest materials, so that versatility is slanted towards the harder material direction.

Pros

  • There is simply no way to compare the maximum SPM of 9,000 to its competitors
  • With a SPM range of 1,000 - 9,000, this is technically the largest, but limitations hamper it in the real world
  • 4 Cutting actions and variable speeds only add to the Festool's versatility

Cons

  • We definitely would've liked to see more than 6 amps for the motor
  • Softer materials will either be uncuttable or better avoided due to a 1,000 minimum SPM
  • While impressively powerful, this Festool is also disparagingly heavy

barrel grip jigsaw reviews

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Ridgid, like Hitachi, is another company that was once known for producing professional grade tools but drifted out of that class. Again like Hitachi, Ridgid seeks to reclaim its place as a well-respected maker of professional tools.

Almost as if they are stealing Hitachi’s playbook and making some minor changes, Ridgid too falls a bit short in some surprising ways that are not common to jigsaws in general.

First, the Ridgid is a corded jigsaw, but its motor only uses 3 amps. Even the Festool, which is more of a cordless jigsaw that can be adapted to be corded, does better than this.

In fact, you would be hard pressed to find anyone reputable who would say that 3 amps is enough for a professional job. As such, the Ridgid is definitely a consumer class product.

That being said, the Ridgid does sport an average spm of 3000. The only problem is that is only sports an spm of 3000. This is the only jigsaw on our list that does not offer variable speeds. This is a bit surprising and will necessitate that you can only cut certain materials with it.

Of course, with the low amp motor, your options for acceptable materials are further shortened. Essentially, the Ridgid is only adequate if you are cutting medium density wood. Anything else, and it will have trouble.

However, at least the Ridgid avoided Hitachi’s mistake and allows you to cut at a bevel. Considering this is the closest thing you will find to a decent budget barrel grip jigsaw, this is a welcome feature. Unfortunately, the Ridgid falls short again with a maximum cutting depth of ½” which is far too short for thicker pieces of lumber--regardless the density.

Pros

  • 3,000 SPMs for a maximum is better than some of the other corded jigsaws from more renowned brands
  • Any bevel capacity at this price ranges is a solid bevel capacity
  • 6 pounds may not make it the lightest corded jigsaw, but it's a far cry from 10 

Cons

  • 3 amps is the lowest amount for any barrel grip jigsaw on our list
  • The inability to change the SPMs and only a single orbital stage limits its use
  • A maximum cutting depth of 1/2" will further limit the usefulness of this tool

best barrel grip jigsaw for DIY

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Our final product comes from the lesser known Metabo manufacturer. Based in Germany, Metabo does have a burgeoning reputation for producing durable tools--much like Bosch in this regard.

The STA18 is an all-around adequate cordless jigsaw, but it does not truly shine in too many areas, and though relatively mild, it does come with a few flaws.

On the bright side, this jigsaw features 3 orbital stages and 1 pendulum stage. This allows you to perform cuts for a variety of projects that require differing degrees of precision. In fact, you can even use the Metabo for some woodworking--though there are limitations in this regard.

Specifically, a maximum spm of 3000 is average but will not be suitable for thicker hardwoods--especially since this is a cordless jigsaw. Furthermore, the minimum spm of 1000 is the second highest on our list. This will limit the Metabo if you ask it to cut metals.

However, with the combination of the speed settings, the spm range, and the different cutting action stages, this might be the most versatile jigsaw on our list--on paper at least. Unfortunately, Metabo has not seemed to master the miniaturization of cordless jigsaw making, as its weight of 6.4 pounds is fairly heavy in this category.

Pros

  • With a pendulum stage to go along with the 3 orbital stages, this is one of the few on our list that can make precision cuts
  • 18 volts is on the high end for power in a cordless model
  • The combination settings makes this jigsaw extremely versatile, perhaps the most versatile

Cons

  • A maximum 3,000 SPM is merely average, and on a cordless jigsaw, makes it unsuitable for thick hardwoods
  • In comparison to the other cordless models, the Metabo is heavy. In fact, it's the heaviest cordless we reviewed.
  • The SPM range of 1,000 - 3,000 does somewhat limit this jigsaw's versatility

What is the Best Barrel Grip Jigsaw to Buy?

Ultimately, the best barrel grip jigsaw will be the one that satisfies the most of your needs. The primary division on our list is between corded and cordless. We did not review any pneumatic jigsaws, though Bosch makes a high quality product in that category.

That being said, there are some distinct models that stand out compared to their competitors. In the corded barrel grip jigsaw bracket, the Bosch JS470EB easily steals the show with a 7 amp beast that can put out one of the widest ranges of SPM with 500-3100. While the Festool offers a wider variety of SPM, its 4.5 amp motor seems paltry by comparison.

However, for the cordless barrel grip jigsaw, the Festool 561593 comes through with flying colors. Sporting an 18 volt motor and an impressive 500-3800 SPM range, none of the other cordless jigsaws come close to the Festool. Of course, the Festool is also the most expensive product on our list as well.

Unfortunately, there is not a best “budget” barrel grip jigsaw available. Unlike other categories of power saw, the jigsaw’s somewhat lower demand prevents manufacturers from producing as wide a variety of cheaper alternative.

The Ridgid is the closest thing to a budget barrel grip jigsaw that was still worth paying money for that we could find. However, its single speed setting limits it to cutting only hard wood.

Regardless, with a robust knowledge of what makes a jigsaw tick and a solid list of some of the best options available, you should feel comfortable you are now able to make an informed decision about which barrel grip jigsaw is right for you.


About the Author

Founder of Woodworking Fuel, proud father of two, happily married to a wonderful wife, and passionate about woodworking for a fulfilling hobby!

Leave a Reply 0 comments