The Great Debate: Corded vs Cordless Jigsaw – Which One to Buy?

Woodworking can be overwhelming when trying to decide the best way to finish a project, with debates surrounding corded vs cordless jigsaws going on for years. Having a jigsaw is an absolute must-have for woodworkers, so when selecting one, making the right choice is of utmost importance.

So, how to choose between a corded and cordless jigsaw? Primarily, the major dissimilitude between them is the power source. Corded jigsaws are plugged into an electrical outlet, providing a steady energy source – perfect for big-scale jobs. In contrast, cordless saws rely on batteries for power, making them more convenient and ideal for variegated tasks that necessitate mobility. Nonetheless, the power source is only one of many components. In this article, we will examine in greater detail the advantages and drawbacks of each variety, looking at factors such as run time, accuracy, safety, and expenses.

Are you on the fence about selecting a corded or cordless jigsaw for your upcoming task? Fear not; we’ve got you sorted out. We will examine the distinctions between the two variants, aiding you to make an informed judgment. Whether you’re a professional woodworker or a passionate DIY crafter, this jigsaw comparison article will give priceless knowledge to help you find the ideal jigsaw for your requirements. So grab yourself some coffee and let’s get started!

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What is a corded jigsaw

Corded vs Cordless Jigsaw - Festool CARVEX PSB 420 EBQ-Plus (picture by festool.com)
Festool CARVEX PSB 420 EBQ-Plus (picture by festool.com)

Corded jigsaws are electrical power tools that do not require a battery for operation, as it plugs directly into an outlet.

A corded jigsaw is advantageous due to its consistent and dependable power supply. No need to worry about a drained battery or losing electricity in the middle of your project, as it is directly plugged into an electrical outlet. This can be especially beneficial for bigger or complicated projects that involve a lot of cutting.

The power of corded jigsaws is often greater than that of their cordless brethren, which can be advantageous while cutting through tough materials, such as hardwood or thick metal. Furthermore, they tend to provide more consistent performance and may better suit the demands of precision jobs.

Though there are certain perks to using a corded jigsaw, it does come with some limitations. Chiefly, its mobility can be restricted due to the length of its power cord, necessitating the use of an extension cord. Additionally, it may not be as practical in areas lacking easy access to electricity outlets.

A corded jigsaw is typically a better selection for tasks which require significant power and exactness; it is ideal for larger projects or endeavours where precision is indispensable.

It is also beneficial for those who have access to a power outlet and don’t mind the use of cords.

For example, a skilled carpenter tackling a big building job might leverage the reliable and effective power of an electric jigsaw. Likewise, a person dealing with tough substances like metal may favor the extra oomph offered by an electrical jigsaw to accomplish the task more quickly.

Is the corded jigsaw something that fits your needs? Then you should check out my article Find Your Perfect Match: Top 6 Best Jigsaw Saws For Every Budget! In that article, I have found the best jigsaws on the market and made a comparison of them so you can easily find the perfect one for your woodworking workshop.

What is a cordless jigsaw

Corded vs Cordless Jigsaw - Festool CARVEX PSBC 420 HPC 4,0 EBI-Plus (picture by festool.com)
Festool CARVEX PSBC 420 HPC 4,0 EBI-Plus (picture by festool.com)

This portable tool, a cordless jigsaw, operates on battery power and does not need to be plugged in. Therefore, its mobility allows you to use it in hard-to-reach places or wherever an electrical outlet is unavailable.

The convenience of owning a battery jigsaw is second to none. With no cumbersome power cord, it can be taken to areas without an electrical outlet or when the cable could impede progress.

Furthermore, users benefit from enhanced maneuverability and ease of use in cramped spaces or awkward angles.

The benefit of a cordless jigsaw is its greater range of motion. By nothaving to navigate cords, it can be handled in more creative ways and is perfect for on-the-go jobs.

Moreover, this type of saw can be safer to use in certain situations as the cord may present an entanglement danger or cause someone to stumble.

Although cordless jigsaws can be convenient to use, they also have certain drawbacks. For example, the battery power can drain quickly which can be a hindrance during larger or intricate projects that require plenty of cutting. Furthermore, cordless jigsaws tend to lack the same amount of power provided by corded jigsaws, which can impede progress when using hard or dense materials.

Generally, a cordless jigsaw should be selected for tasks demanding portability and flexibility. This could include low-powered, relaxed ventures or activities that necessitate enhanced maneuverability and mobility.

For instance, a DIY enthusiast who is engaged in a minor home renovation will likely appreciate the convenience and portability of a cordless jigsaw. Similarly, someone operating in an area without easy access to electricity, such as a distant building site, would very much benefit from the usefulness of a cordless jigsaw. Now you know the basic differents between battery vs corded jigsaws, let’s dive deeper into this.

If you think the cordless jigsaw is the better option for you, you have to check out my article Cut Like a Pro: Top 6 Best Cordless Jigsaws for Precision Woodworking. In that comparison guide, I present you the 6 best brands and show you all the details to find your perfect match.

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Corded vs Cordless Jigsaw: Which is Right for You?

When selecting between a corded vs cordless jigsaw, there is not an obvious answer. Weighing the pros and cons of each choice can help you make a decision that is tailored to your specific requirements.

To aid you in your choice, let us evaluate the critical aspects that should be borne in mind when opting for either a corded or cordless jigsaw. Lets dive deeper into the comparison between corded and cordless jigsaw

Power

Corded jigsaws, in comparison to their battery-operated brethren, offer more power and are a better choice for strenuous projects. However, cordless jigsaws have greatly advanced over the years, with some top-of-the-line models delivering nearly equivalent performance to that of corded saws.

Portability and Convenience

Portable and convenient, cordless jigsaws don’t need to be plugged into a power outlet and weigh less than corded models, making them well suited for more delicate or intricate tasks. In contrast, corded jigsaws offer unlimited operating time plus constant power, which is an advantage when dealing with extended or larger projects.

Run Time

Battery-operated jigsaws offer a limited runtime that is dependent on the battery’s strength and the job at hand. Intensive use can quickly deplete the battery, whereas lighter jobs can extend its life. On the other hand, corded jigsaws run for as long as they are plugged in and don’t have any set time limit on their use.

Blade Speed and Cutting Capacity

Corded jigsaws, with their higher cutting speed and greater cutting capacity, can tackle thicker materials and provide a neater finish. In comparison, their cordless counterparts are restricted by their battery’s capacity and are often not a viable option for difficult tasks or hardwood.

Precision and Accuracy

Corded jigsaws are usually more reliable in providing precise and accurate cuts, due to their greater control over the variable speed and cutting angle of the blade. Cordless jigsaws, on the other hand, offer more maneuverability, allowing for intricate and delicate work to be easily done. They are also noticeably lighter compared to their corded counterparts.

Noise and Vibration

Corded jigsaws can be noisier and cause more vibration, which can create fatigue and discomfort when used for a prolonged period. Alternatively, cordless models are generally quieter and generate less vibration, offering an overall more comfortable user experience.

Cost

Corded jigsaws tend to be cheaper than their cordless counterparts, due to the extra cost of batteries and charger required for the latter. Nonetheless, pricier cordless jigsaws with advanced features and technology can cost more than their corded equivalents.

Durability and Maintenance

Corded jigsaws benefit from longer-lasting performance owing to their low susceptibility to wear and tear and lesser upkeep requirements. On the other hand, cordless jigsaws require battery replacements and added expenses.

Safety

To ensure safe operation, both corded and cordless jigsaws feature various safety measures. Corded models come with a cord that can potentially cause tripping while their cordless counterparts require regular maintenance of the battery.

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User Experience and Ergonomics

Due to their lightweight and compact construction, cordless jigsaws are often favored for use over extended periods of time, providing a comfortable experience. Additionally, since these saws don’t need to be plugged into an outlet, they have increased mobility which makes them easier to maneuver in tight spots.

Despite their size advantage and lighter weight, cordless jigsaws may be difficult to control during heavy-duty tasks. Furthermore, their grip design and handle shape may not be as comfortable as those found on corded jigsaws, leading to hand fatigue and ache after extended use.

Considering ergonomic user experience, it is highly dependent on the preferences of the individual and the specific objectives of the project. While some users find that cordless jigsaws provide a comfortable and convenient operation, others may value the greater control and steadiness of corded saws.

Applications and Use Cases

Corded and cordless jigsaws vary in terms of their effectiveness for different applications and scenarios. Generally, corded jigsaws are more robust, last longer, and thus perform better for tough tasks and extended use.

Cordless jigsaws are perfect for jobs that require portability and agility. They are also wonderful for tasks in places without accessible electrical outlets, including building sites or outdoor activities.

The selection between a corded and cordless jigsaw depends on the project at hand and its needs. To tackle heavy-duty jobs that require extended use and more power, opting for a corded jigsaw is suitable. For tasks requiring increased mobility as well as finesse, a cordless jigsaw is advised.

Choosing the Right Jigsaw for Your Needs

When selecting a jigsaw that meets your needs, there are several points to take into account. Notably, you must be cognizant of the specific needs of your project including the type of material which will be cut and the expected level of accuracy and precision.

Considering your budget, the longevity of the jigsaw, comfort and usability (like fast blade changing) when in use should all be taken into account before making a purchase. Make sure there is an orbital action on your jigsaw. Extras like a led light, brushless motor, and an integrated dust blower come in handy as well.

To select the perfect jigsaw for your projects and attain optimal results, it’s important to dedicate time to researching and reading jigsaw reviews from other users. Careful consideration of all factors will guarantee that you make the best jigsaw choice.

To gather more information in order to make the best decision, check out my article How To Find The Best Jigsaw – N°1 Jigsaw Buying Guide now!

Pros and cons of corded vs cordless jigsaw

Corded JigsawCordless Jigsaw
PowerMore powerful and consistent, suitable for heavy-duty tasksLess powerful than corded jigsaws, suitable for light to medium tasks
Portability and ConvenienceLimited mobility due to the cord, requires a power sourcePortable and easy to use in hard-to-reach areas, but limited by battery life
Run TimeUnlimited run time, as long as there is a power sourceLimited run time, depending on battery capacity
Blade Speed and Cutting CapacityHigher blade speed and cutting capacity, suitable for larger and thicker materialsLower blade speed and cutting capacity, suitable for smaller and thinner materials
Precision and AccuracyMore precise and accurate due to higher power and blade speedLess precise and accurate due to lower power and blade speed
Noise and VibrationMore noise and vibration due to higher power and blade speedLess noise and vibration, but still present
CostGenerally more affordableGenerally more expensive due to battery technology
Durability and MaintenanceMore durable and requires less maintenanceRequires regular battery maintenance and replacement
SafetyGenerally safe to use, but can cause serious injury if not handled properlyGenerally safe to use, but should still follow safety guidelines
User Experience and ErgonomicsMay be heavier and less ergonomic due to cord and motor sizeLighter and more ergonomic, easier to handle for longer periods

Corded vs cordless jigsaws – Conclusion

In summary, choosing the right jigsaw for you comes down to your prerequisites, as both corded and cordless options have their pros and cons in terms of power output, portability, running time, blade speed and cutting capacity, exactness, din and vibration levels, monetary value, durability and upkeep requirements, safety considerations, user experience and ergonomics, as well as applicability.

So, which is better, a corded or cordless jigsaw? Well, it depends. It’s essential to take into consideration the elements that are most important to you – such as the type of projects you’ll be assigned, your budget, and your desired mobility and comfort. With a suitable jigsaw saw, making precise cuts for professional-quality results can be quickly achieved.

If you’d like to improve your woodworking skills and select the ideal jigsaw blades for your projects, our free guide “Choosing the Perfect Jigsaw Blades in 3 Easy Steps” will give you the knowledge you need. Obtain it now and take your craftsman abilities to an unprecedented level!

Frequently asked questions

What are the main differences between corded vs cordless jigsaws?

The primary distinction between corded and cordless jigsaws is the power source, portability, and ease-of-use. Electrical outlets provide a greater amount of power with a tethered corded jigsaw, whereas a cordless model offers unparalleled freedom of movement with its rechargeable battery.

Are corded or cordless jigsaws more powerful?

Corded jigsaws boast greater power than their cordless counterparts due to the potential of the electrical outlet, whereas battery-operated jigsaws suffer from restricted strength because of the capacity of its battery.

Can cordless jigsaws be used for heavy-duty cutting?

Corded jigsaws are more suitable for tough cutting jobs due to their reliable power source and higher capacity; however, cordless variants might not be as effective since they have limited battery life and reduced potency.

How long does a cordless jigsaw battery last?

The longevity of a cordless jigsaw is determined by various aspects such as the battery’s capacity and how arduous the cutting task is. On average, a cordless jigsaw battery can hold up for around 20 minutes to an hour, however, some advanced versions can even provide up to four hours of battery life.

What safety features should I look for in a jigsaw?

When choosing a jigsaw, make sure to keep safety in mind. Look for blade guards, trigger locks and vibration dampeners that can help protect you from potential accidents and injuries.

How do I know which jigsaw is right for my needs?

To decide which jigsaw is ideal for you, think about the intensity and frequency of your activities, how much you can afford to spend and how experienced you are. Additionally, it would be wise to look at reviews and ask people who have know-how or have done DIY projects in the past for their suggestions.

How powerful of a jigsaw do I need?

The amount of power you need from a jigsaw varies depending on your intended projects. Corded models usually offer greater strength, ranging from 4 to 7 amps, while cordless ones generally produce less power at 18 to 36 volts. For light tasks such as slicing through thin wood or plastic, a low-voltage cordless jigsaw should suffice; however, when dealing with thick wood, metal or sturdy materials, it is best to opt for a corded device with a higher amperage rating.

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