The Best Budget Jigsaw Guide

Not everyone is a professional construction worker, so not everyone needs to make the kind of steep investment that a professional should.

Also, plenty of tools will only see occasional use which further limits the kind of investment one should make when purchasing them.

That's where the consumer grade market comes into play. If you are a weekend warrior, or even if you are just starting out as a professional, the consumer grade, or “budget option,” for power tools can serve you well. However, this class of power tool can be difficult to navigate.

That's why we have put together a thorough buyer’s guide, so you can make an informed decision. Then, we provide a list of the 9 best budget jigsaws available.

Best Budget Jigsaw

Considering the wealth of qualities each jigsaw has, it's important to know where manufacturers cut corners to produce a budget tool.

Important Budget JigSaw Fundamentals

Qualities of Jigsaws

Power

Any time you enter the consumer grade market, you need to expect that you are trading off some quality in exchange for a cheaper price. Unfortunately, that exchange usually occurs in the power department.

Quite simply, consumer grade jigsaws aren't going to be nearly as powerful as professional grade. And rarely do manufacturers even come close, unlike with some other categories of power tools.

However, just because consumer grade jigsaws are less powerful doesn't mean they do not have standards. When purchasing a consumer grade jigsaw, you should set the floor of the power at at least 4 amps. Though, your target should be at least 5 amps with anything over 5 amps being exceptional.

Strokes

This quality can be a bit hit or miss in the consumer grade market. It's often somewhat easy for manufacturers to get lower powered jigsaw to still hit the desired threshold of 3000 spm, without a load.

Of course, that 3000 spm may be far slower when you are actually using the jigsaw to cut something. Unfortunately, the spm rating will not disclose that information in and of itself.

Another quality with spm to consider is the minimum. Different materials are best handled at different speeds. Softer materials, like plastics, will not be as well served by a 300 spm speed and instead are better suited for anything under 1000 spm.

If a consumer grade jigsaw will not cut below 1000 spm, its versatility will be severely compromised.

Cutting Action

The cutting action of a jigsaw is already a difficult quality to get right without piling on the additional onus of keeping the product as inexpensive as possible too.

In this regard, if a budget jigsaw features a pendulum stage as well as multiple orbital stages, it's already well ahead of the curve.

Still, do not think poorly of a budget jigsaw if it omits the pendulum stage. Three to four orbital stage cutting actions can still be sufficient for a jigsaw at this price point. You will simply need to be aware of its limitations.

Specifically, a jigsaw with only an orbital stage cutting action will be insufficient for the fine precision required for expert woodworking projects.

However, it's important to keep in mind that even with a pendulum stage cutting action, few budget jigsaws are up to the task of fine woodworking projects simply because their cut isn't precise enough.

Durability

While durability is always a concern when it comes to power tools, it definitively rises to the ranks of a secondary or even primary concern when considering budget power tools.

The reason is simple: budget power tools generally cost less, because they use inferior materials or mechanical architecture.

However, which parts of the power tool use inferior materials and the specific manner of the mechanical architecture will weigh heavily in determining to what extent durability may be an issue.

In fact, it's not altogether uncommon for the occasional budget power tool--regardless the type--to use high quality materials and sound mechanical architecture.

Of course, that is generally the exception and not the rule. Still, any budget jigsaw that uses more metal on non-essential parts of the tool, aluminum or magnesium shoes, or brushless motors will likely last longer than those that do not.

what is the best jigsaw for the money

The Best Jigsaw For The Money Reviews

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

  • Motor Power: 4.5 amps
  • SPM: 3,000
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 3/4"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 Degrees
  • Cutting Action: Orbital
  • Weight: 4.5 pounds
  • Motor Power: 6 amps
  • SPM: 800 - 3,000
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 7/8"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 Degrees
  • Cutting Action: 6 orbital stages
  • Weight: 5.1 pounds
SKIL 4295-01 4.5 Variable Speed Jigsaw
  • Motor Power: 4.5 amps
  • SPM: 800 - 3,250
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 3/4"
  • Bevel Capacity: 22.5 - 45 degrees
  • Cutting Action: Orbital
  • Weight 4.1 pounds
  • Motor Power: 5.5 Amps
  • SPM: 500 - 3,200
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 3/4"
  • Bevel Capacity: 22.5 - 45 Degrees
  • Cutting Action: 4 Orbital stages
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Motor Power: 4.5 amps
  • SPM: 500 - 2,800
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 3/4"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 degrees
  • Cutting Action: 4 orbital stages
  • Weight: 5 pounds
Black & Decker BDEJS600C 5.0-Amp Jig Saw
  • Motor Power: 5 amps
  • SPM: 800 - 3,000
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 3/4"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 degrees
  • Cutting Action: 4 orbital stages
  • Weight: 6 pounds
Ryobi P523 Cordless 18V One Plus Lithium-Ion Orbital Jig Saw
  • Motor Power: 18 volts
  • SPM: 1,100 - 3,000
  • Power Source: Cordless
  • Cutting Depth: 1"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 degrees
  • Cutting Action: 4 stages
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds
Craftsman (Evolv) Corded Jig Saw
  • Motor Power: 4.5 amps
  • SPM: 800 - 3,000
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 1/2"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 degrees
  • Cutting Action: 3 orbital stages and 1 pendulum stage
  • Weight: 6 pounds
Ryobi JS481LG 4.8-Amp Variable Speed Orbital Jig Saw
  • Motor Power: 4.8 amps
  • SPM: 600 - 2,600
  • Power Source: Corded
  • Cutting Depth: 3/4"
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 degrees
  • Cutting Action: 4 orbital stages
  • Weight: 4.8 pounds

Top Budget Jigsaw Reviews

Black & Decker BDEJS300C Jig Saw 4.5-Amp

best budget jigsaw on the market

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Black & Decker is a well-known consumer grade power tool manufacturer which has made its reputation as the producer of some of the cheapest power tools available.

That trend continues as the first Black & Decker budget jigsaw to make our list is also the least expensive. Of course, you have to expect some limitations with an inexpensive power tool, and this jigsaw is limited.

First, the motor is a suboptimal 4.5 amps. Surprisingly, this jigsaw does not give up anything in maximum spm, though its “variable speed” function and orbital stages are minimal at best and definitely leave much to be desired.

While the maximum spm may be adequate, the underpowered motor will struggle with hard or dense materials.

Though, the Black & Decker is one of the easiest jigsaws on our list to control--likely due in part to its relatively lightweight of only 4.5 pounds.

Pros

  • 4.5 pounds if fairly light for a budget jigsaw
  • The least expensive jigsaw on our list
  • Fairly easy to control

Cons

  • 4.5 amps is subpar for a consumer grade jigsaw
  • The orbital stages are minimal
  • Struggles to cut hardwood

evls jigsaw

Quality

Price

Our Rating

While the previous Black & Decker is where you should go if you are looking for the absolute, rock bottom price in a budget jigsaw, the Wen is where you look when you want the best budget jigsaw.

In fairness, there is really no other budget jigsaw that really comes close to matching its value.

First, this jigsaw features the most powerful motor out of any product on our list at 6 amps. However, it also features the deepest cut at ⅞”.

While that might not seem like a big deal, the additional versatility it provides for various materials is invaluable. S

till, the Wen is not finished as it provides 6 orbital stages of cutting action. That is actually more than most professional jigsaws offer.

The only nitpicking to be done with this superior consumer grade jigsaw is to note that it is just barely a hair above average in weight at 5.1 pounds.

Pros

  • 6 amps is spectacular power in the consumer grade market
  • 7/8" is the second deepest cut on our list
  • 6 orbital stages are the most on our list

Cons

  • 5.1 pounds is just a hair heavier than average

SKIL 4295-01 4.5 Variable Speed Jigsaw

reviews of the best jigsaws for the money

Quality

Price

Our Rating

If you are looking to make bevel cuts, then one of the 2 Skils are really the only places to look. While all of the budget jigsaws on our list can make a bevel cut of at least 45 degrees, only the Skils can also make bevel cuts of 22.5 degrees without guides or incredible skill.

This Skil jigsaw also features the fastest stroke speed with 3250 spms. This is also the lightest jigsaw on our list weighing in at a slim 4.1 pounds.

Unfortunately, this Skil has a slightly underpowered motor of 4.5 amps. Moreover, while this jigsaw can cut at both 45 and 22.5 degrees, the baseplate is wobbly when positioned at 90 degrees and will make straight cuts difficult.

Furthermore, the vac attachment does not work well, while the dust blower limits the sight line.

Pros

  • A 22.5 degree bevel setting is great for a budget jigsaw
  • A maximum SPM of 3,250 is the fastest on our list
  • 4.1 pounds is the lightest on our list

Cons

  • 4.5 amps leaves a bit to be desired for power
  • The 90 degree position is wobbly
  • Doesn't work well with a vac attachment

bosch jigsaws

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Like the previous Skil, this one has a serious shot at being the best budget jigsaw on our list. However, much like the other Skil, it comes up a bit short in a few important ways.

First, this Skil is even more expensive than the previous model and is in fact one of the most expensive budget jigsaws on our list.

However, unlike the other Skil, this one at least packs a better than expected punch. At 5.5 amps, the Skil sports the second most powerful motor out of any jigsaw on our list--second only to the Wen.

Like the previous Skil, this jigsaw also features a better than average maximum spm of 3200.

Finally, this Skil can also cut at multiple bevel angles including 22.5 degrees--a rarity in the budget jigsaw category.

However, whereas the previous skill had issues with its base plate staying locked at 90 degrees, this Skil suffers from a weak roller guide.

Pros

  • 5.5 amps is great and the second most powerful motor on our list
  • 3,200 SPMs is one of the fastest cutting actions on our list
  • A 22.5 degree bevel setting is great for a budget jigsaw

Cons

  • One of the more expensive jigsaws on our list
  • The blade will wiggle in the roller guide on longer cuts

best cheap jigsaw

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Like Wen, Genesis is a relatively new face in the consumer grade power tool market. However, unlike Wen, this manufacturer rarely surprises you with a top-notch consumer grade product.

You wouldn't know it by looking at the price, as Genesis regularly prices itself near the top of the consumer grade market without providing a similar degree of product.

For starters, the Genesis’ motor is only 4.5 amps, which is underpowered--especially for a more expensive budget jigsaw. However, even the maximum spm is low at only 2800, though the minimum spm of 500 is the lowest on our list.

Though, the 1 ¼” vacuum port works well--which is not always a given in the consumer grade market. This is an overpriced budget jigsaw best suited for medium hardness woods and softer.

Pros

  • 1 3/4" vacuum port
  • A maximum SPM of 500 is the lowest on our list
  • Comes with a rip fence and multiple blades

Cons

  • Far more expensive that its capacity justify
  • A maximum SPM of 2,800 is low on our list
  • 4.5 amps isn't a great way for a relatively new manufacturer to impress this market

best budget jigsaw reviews

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The second Black & Decker to make it on our list is merely adequate. It's not overly terrible at too many things, but neither does it capture to top or even second best rating in any category.

In fact, the only superior quality of this budget jigsaw is its motor, which provides the desired--though not superior--5 amps.

On the downside, this jigsaw is a veritable behemoth in the consumer grade market. First, it's 6 pounds, which tied for the heaviest budget jigsaw on our list.

However, it also features a much larger profile than most of the other tools on our list. This wouldn't be so bad, but the extra size doesn't even provide a better sightline which is, like most qualities on this tool, merely average.

Pros

  • 5 amps is exactly what you require from a decent budget saw

Cons

  • 6 pounds ties for the heaviest jigsaw on our list
  • Cheap quality blade guide
  • A fairly large profile for a budget jigsaw

what is the best budget jigsaw

Quality

Price

Our Rating

As one of the better manufacturers of consumer grade power tools, our first Ryobi is also the only cordless model on our list. Keep in mind, cordless power tools are generally less powerful than the corded models.

With consumer grade power tools already suffering from a lack of power, this can make consumer grade cordless power tools a non-starter.

However, that is not a problem for the Ryobi. With an 18 volt motor and a maximum spm, this jigsaw can cut most of the materials you will encounter--though it will struggle a bit when it comes to denser materials.

This budget jigsaw is a leader in 2 different categories on our list. First, at 4.4 pounds, it is the second lightest jigsaw reviewed. More impressive is the 1” cutting depth which is the best on our list.

Unfortunately, the minimum spm speed of 1100 makes this tool less suitable for softer materials. As such, this jigsaw is best for medium hardness woods only.

Pros

  • 4.4 pounds is the second lightest jigsaw on our list
  • 18 volts is plenty of power for a cordless jigsaw
  • A 1" cutting depth is the deepest cut on our list

Cons

  • A minimum SPM of 1,100 is a bit high on our list
  • May struggle with denser materials
  • May not fit all blade manufacturers

reviews of cheap jigsaws

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Craftsman is one of many tool companies that used to be considered professional grade, but saw their quality and reputation decline after being purchased by Black & Decker.

Unlike DeWalt and Porter Cable which are currently trying to become professional grade once again, Craftsman continues to explore the consumer grade market.

As our only model on this list, the Craftsman is a bit subpar overall, but it does stand out in one important way. It's the only budget jigsaw to feature a pendulum stage cutting action.

This straight cutting action is absolutely vital if you plan on using a budget jigsaw for amateur woodworking. Still, the Craftsman is underpowered at only 4.5 amps and on the heavy side at 6 pounds.

This jigsaw features the shortest cutting depth on our list. Though, at least the spm range of 800-3000 does not leave you stranded when cutting different materials.

Pros

  • The only jigsaw on our list to feature both an orbital and pendulum stage cutting action
  • An SPM range of 800 - 3,000 is adeguate

Cons

  • 4.5 amps is less than ideal
  • 6 pounds ties for the heaviest jigsaw on our list
  • Has the shortest cutting depth on our list

good cheap jigsaw

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The second Ryobi on our list is not nearly as impressive as the first. In fairness, this is Ryobi’s corded budget jigsaw, so they may have made a more concerted effort to capture the consumer grade cordless jigsaw market.

Regardless, this jigsaw will have difficulty with some materials.

At 4.8 amps, the motor is not the least powerful, but it certainly does not reach the 5 amp mark you would prefer in a budget jigsaw. However, it is the 2600 maximum spm which is the biggest issue.

This will limit the Ryobi when it comes to denser or harder materials. It seems, in an effort to compensate the low maximum spm, Ryobi at least provided a great minimum spm of 600. This will allow it to cut through softer materials with ease.

Pros

  • Anythinh under 5 pounds is a good weight for a budget jigsaw
  • A minimum SPM of 600 is pretty good
  • Cuts through properly gauged materials well

Cons

  • A maximum SPM f 2,600 is the lowest on our list
  • 4.8 amps is just a hair below desired
  • May struggle against harder materials

What is the Best Budget Jigsaw to Buy?

If you have been paying attention, then you are already aware that for most purposes, the Wen is the best budget jigsaw by far. While it's not the least expensive item, it's not the most expensive either.

If you're looking for the cheapest jigsaw on the market, that title goes to the first Black & Decker jigsaw.

Moreover, when you combine the most powerful motor on our reviews of budget jigsaws list at 6 amps with the deepest cutting depth, you already have a top notch budget jigsaw.

The 6 different orbital stages are just icing on the cake. However, if you have a specialized purpose, there may be better options available.

For instance, if you need a budget jigsaw to make more precise cuts, the Craftsman is the only one with a pendulum stage cutting action--though its cutting depth is fairly limited. Similarly, if you require different bevels beyond the standard 45 degrees, you are better served with one of the Skils.


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!

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