When using a jigsaw, you run the risk of a bending jigsaw blade. The only way to alleviate this issue is to identify the root causes and adjust them so that bending becomes less of a problem and produces better cuts .
What are the causes of jigsaw blade bending? In short, this could be because of:
- You are using the wrong type of blade
- The wood is to thick
- The blade is blunt or dull
- You are trying to cut a steep curve
- You are pushing the jigsaw
- You are cutting too fast
- The base of the jigsaw is not square
- You make contact with the wood before you start
- The blade guides are worn
- You are using the orbital setting wrong
A bent jigsaw blade can lead to many problems, among which I will share with you below.
Furthermore, in this article, I’m going to break down each jigsaw blade bending reason, so you can investigate the specific cause that led to the improvement of your jigsaw blade.
Read all 10 of these reasons very carefully, as it is possible that a combination of these reasons could be the cause of the issue you are experiencing.
Learn more about the jigsaw in my main article, What is a Jigsaw and How Does It Work? A Complete Overview. A recommended article so you can understand the jigsaw better and to get the most out of this tool for your workshop.
- What Are the Risks of a Bent Jigsaw Blade
- 10 Reasons for Jigsaw Blade Bending
- How to Prevent a Jigsaw Blade from Bending
- What to Do If Your Jigsaw Blade Bends
Disclosure: At zero cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. I earn from qualifying purchases as an Amazon associate. Products featured are selected based on quality, performance, and reputation, regardless of affiliate relationships.
What Are the Risks of a Bent Jigsaw Blade
The risks of a bent jigsaw blade can be very diverse and are the reason a bent jigsaw blade is better to avoid .
First and foremost, it will undoubtedly damage your workpiece. The bent jigsaw blade will no longer run in a straight line through the cut and will damage the cut . The result of this is that in some cases the workpiece may be replaced .
A bent jigsaw blade can cause a kickback that makes you lose control of the jigsaw. This can entail mild to severe injuries.
A bent jigsaw blade can also break immediately after bending. Due to the speed of the blade, the broken blade may fly away, causing damage to your workpiece or injury. If you want to know more about why your jigsaw blade is breaking, ii suggest you read my article, This Is Why Your Jigsaw Blades Keep Breaking (15 Reasons)
Finally, it can cause damage to the jigsaw itself. A bent jigsaw blade can cause distortions in the speed at which the jigsaw rotates. Those sudden speed differences can cause internal fractures.
As a result, always put on the proper woodworking PPE . This is something you can learn more about in my article, Woodworking Safety – What PPE Do You Need For Woodworking.
10 Reasons for Jigsaw Blade Bending
Using the Wrong Type of Blade
There are numerous types of jigsaw blades to choose from. When using the incorrect blade , your blade may bend while cutting .
When cutting thicker wood with a blade with a lot of teeth, the blade can generate a lot of heat while cutting. This is due to the large number of teeth not being able to remove the wood chips quickly enough . Friction then generates heat.
When a blade is overheated, the metal is more likely to bend than when it is kept cool. Stop and replace the blade if it emits heat or smoke.
My article, Choosing the perfect jigsaw blades in 3 simple steps | FREE DOWNLOAD ,will help you to find the right jigsaw blade for your projects.
The Wood Is Too Thick
The thickness of the wood you can cut depends on the length of the saw blade you use. So always check the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before you start cutting. It will normally be safe to cut wood up to 4 cm (1.6”) thick without the risk of jigsaw blade bending. Providing, of course, that you use a modified blade as described in the first reason above.
The blade will bend when cutting wood that is too thick due to the area over which the blade contacts the wood from the blade guides to the tip of the blade is too large. That contact surface is not there when cutting wood that is thinner.
Because that extreme point of the blade is no longer guided, the blade itself will choose the path of least resistance through the wood fibers.
If you want to saw thicker wood than 4 cm (1.6”), leave the jigsaw for what it is and opt for another tool such as a hand saw, coping saw, or if you have one in your workshop, a band saw.
Related article: All You Need to Know About Jigsaw Cutting Depth
The Blade Is Blunt or Dull
Dull blades cut less well through the wood and build up more resistance, which can prevent bending. Before you start cutting, you should check the bluntness of the blade. Learn here how you can recognize dull jigsaw blades.
If you’ve used your jigsaw blade a few times and the sides of it look worn and the tips of the teeth aren’t as sharp as they used to be, it’s time to change the blades. To change the blades properly and in the most safe way , check out my step-by-step guide here.
Trying to Cut a Steep Curve
When you make a curve, the blade will be squeezed between the two sides of the cut. The shorter you make the curve , the higher this tension will be built up, resulting in a bent jigsaw blade. However, you can do something about this if you have to make very short curves.
For steep curves, it is better to use a blade that is narrow . This means that the back of the blade does not get stuck on the back of the edge , and therefore less tension is built up .
The downside to this is that a narrower blade can bend more easily than a wider blade . So make sure that you also choose the knife depending on the thickness of the wood. The thicker the wood, the thicker the blade should be.
There is an intermediate solution if you still want to make steep curves in thick wood and avoid a bent jigsaw blade. To clear a path for the blade, make several shallower cuts. This enables you to use a larger knife without fear of it becoming stuck in the saw cut and bending.
You are Pushing the Jigsaw
When you want to force the jigsaw through the wood, you are actually exerting too much pressure on the blade and the tool .
This pressure can cause the blade to find its own way through the wood and start making oblique cuts. This can be an incitement to bending the blade . Let the jigsaw determine the speed itself, without putting high pressure on the tool. If the blade no longer cuts, it probably needs to be replaced. So do that, but don’t put the pressure on .
You are Cutting Too Fast
A jigsaw normally has different speeds. Always choose an appropriate speed for the type of wood you are cutting. Take a good look at your blade during cutting and note whether all sawdust is sufficiently discharged and no heat is developed.
When your blade bends, it may be good to immediately reduce the speed. This may already solve the problem. Of course, keep in mind all the other reasons I mention in this article.
The Base of Jigsaw Is Not Square
Many jigsaws have a tilting base that allows for bevel cuts, but that’s not what I mean by the jigsaw being square. The point is that the sole must be square over its entire length.
With a curved sole as the jigsaw wrings and pressure will be put on the blade, which in turn will lead to bending. Check your jigsaw sole and replace it if necessary. Not only will it prevent the blade from bending, it will also give you better cuts.
You Make Contact with the Wood Before You Start
Often people make the mistake of making a mark on the wood , placing the blade against it to make sure they can make the cut precisely, and then pressing the power button.
Don’t do this! Never turn on the tool while the teeth are in contact with the wood. The sudden movement of the tool will not cause the blade to cut, but rather cause the teeth to engage and block the wood. Because the tool continues to place force on the blade , there is a high risk that it will bend .
If you want to cut accurately, pull back the blade just before pressing the power button, wait for the jigsaw to run at full speed, and then push the blade into the wood.
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Blade Guides Are Worn
Blade guides are the two small rollers or guides that the blade runs between just above the base of the jigsaw .
These will assist in keeping the blade straight and will provide support for the blade’s back as you cut.
Check these on a regular basis to ensure that the blade fits properly and that there is no excessive wear or play here. If they are worn, your blade may wander while cutting, bending or leaning forward in the wood.
You are Using the Orbital Setting Wrong
The orbital setting on a jigsaw is the small switch on the side that converts the blades’ up and down motion to increasing levels of elliptical motion .
This allows for coarser or faster cuts through thicker wood. You must, however, use this function with the necessary knowledge. So I recommend that you read my article What Is An Orbital Jigsaw And When Should You Use It (A Clear Answer). There will be a detailed explanation of what this function means and how to use it.
How to Prevent a Jigsaw Blade from Bending
Have sharp blades
Replace your saw blade regularly if you see that the teeth are starting to show wear. Do not wait too long with this, and replace it in time. You can also sharpen some blades yourself. If this is the case, resharpening can help to extend the use of the saw blade.
Use the right type of blade
There are really heaps of types of jigsaw blades on the market. They vary in size, shape, width, length, materials, and TPI. The variation in the specifications of jigsaw blades makes them suitable for one application and one material and not another.
Slower feed rate
Don’t force the jigsaw, and let it cut at the pace that feels right. The teeth of the knife have more time to cut into the material , and you put less strain on the knife . It results in a significant reduction in jigsaw blade wear and the risk of bending.
Save the tool correctly
Always keep your jigsaw and blades in a place where they will not be touched by other materials. A small , possibly invisible bend in the blade can cause it to abruptly bend completely.
Additionally , keep the jigsaw and jigsaw blades dry. Moisture causes rust and weakens metal.
Install a guide
Using a guide bar can prevent your jigsaw from twisting or bending. It also maintains the direction of the blade and provides a straight , clean cut.
What to Do If Your Jigsaw Blade Bends
You want to get back to work as soon as possible after your jigsaw blade bends. You obviously want to avoid this issue. As a result , I strongly recommend that you take the following actions as soon as possible:
- Always unplug any power tool before working on it.
- Get rid of any excess material from the blade and the surrounding area . Clear the dirt left behind by the saw cut to get a better picture of the problem
- Examine the possibilities for why your blade bends based on the various reasons you discovered in this article. Please keep in mind that jigsaw blade bending can be caused by a combination of factors
- Once you’ve determined the cause, reinstall the blade and test it.
If the issue persists, the jigsaw is probably not the right choice. Therefore, choose another tool such as a coping saw or another power tool. To get inspired, you can look at my article Small Workshop? Use This Table Saw Alternative (Solved)
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