Tool Reviews

Bosch Jigsaw Review & Cutting Curves in Big Timbers

By September 17, 2018 February 25th, 2019 No Comments

Bosch Jigsaw Review & Cutting Curves in Big Timbers

Watch the Video Review.

Bosch Jigsaw Review by Cutting Curves in Big Beams. For my Timber Frame Style Woodshed project and Garden Pavilion Build, I used this jigsaw to cut curved profiles in the ends of 6″ x 6″ beams and in rafters. This Bosch Jigsaw model JS470EB review demonstrates the capabilities of this tool and it’s put to the test cutting heavy timbers. I use a 9″ blade to cut the thick beams and a 6″ blade for the rafter profiles and birds mouth cuts. For post and beam work this jigsaw performed well.

Bosch Jigsaw Review

Timber Frame Construction

This is a review of the Bosch 7.0 Amp Barrel-Grip Jigsaw. I bought this jigsaw specifically for a project on our homestead.

New Bosch Jigsaw and blade packs

New Bosch Jigsaw and blade packs

I’m building a timber frame woodshed and I have some beams and rafters that I need to cut some tight curves into the ends of. I’ve got some long blades also made by Bosch to try out.

It has four selectable orbital settings, a simple on and off switch, and an air blower switch.

Four position switch for differing blade orbit patterns

Four position switch for differing blade orbit patterns

Simple on/off switch on left side of jigsaw - Bosch Jigsaw Review

Simple on/off switch on left side of jigsaw

Small on/off blower switch - Bosch Jigsaw Review

Small on/off blower switch

When on it is on it blows air to keep the cutting line clear of chips.

Bosch Jigsaw Review - Adjustable footplate

Adjustable footplate

Securely stowed hex wrench in the back of the footplate

Securely stowed hex wrench in the back of the footplate

The metal footplate is adjustable with a hex head screw that’s conveniently stored inside the footplate.

1-6 speed dial adjustments - Bosch Jigsaw Review

1-6 speed dial adjustments

The variable speed dial has six settings from 500 strokes per minute to 3100. I set mine to position 6 3100 strokes per minute and it worked well. I believe this higher setting keeps the motor cooler as the internal fan speed is higher.

No tool required to change blades - Bosch Jigsaw Review

No tool required to change blades

The lever allows tool-less insertion of T-shank blades.

Bosch Jigsaw Review - Hot blades eject when lever is turned

Hot blades eject when lever is turned

And it ejects the blades when opened so you don’t have to touch them when they are hot.

asy slip-on plastic surface protector shoe

Easy slip-on plastic surface protector shoe

A small, clear, anti-splinter insert

A small, clear, anti-splinter insert

It has a plastic overshoe to protect finer surfaces and an anti-splinter insert that attaches to the footplate. For my work on these outdoor structures I didn’t use those accessories.

Heavy-Duty, Long Blades
6" and 9" blades - Bosch Jigsaw

6″ and 9″ blades

For this review I’ll be using a 6″ blade and a heavier 9″ blade.

Copy ellipse pattern onto end of beams - Bosch Jigsaw Test

Copy ellipse pattern onto end of beams

The beams I needed to cut where 6×6 red cedar with a quarter ellipse profile. I made a plywood pattern and traced it onto both sides on each end. That way I could check the accuracy of my cut.

Use 9 inch blade for this attempt

Use 9 inch blade for this attempt

Start from end and work my way in. - Bosch Jigsaw Test

Start from end and work my way in.

I decided to start from the end and work my way in and try to keep to the line as best I could. I like the barrel grip on this jigsaw design as it allows my hand to be lower and closer to the work piece I’m cutting. It feels more stable and natural to me and I think gives me better control and accuracy.

These 9″ blades are fairly wide and thick so I wasn’t sure if I could cut this elliptical curve as the radius decreased and became sharper at the end of the cut.

Vibration moved the beam. Stopped to reset

Vibration moved the beam. Stopped to reset

The vibration moved the beam on the sawhorses so I had to stop and weigh them down. I just didn’t have enough weight on the material. I found the level of vibration acceptable as I was pushing the saw pretty hard with a log heavy blade through very thick material.

Orbit selector setting - Bosch Jigsaws

Orbit selector setting

I used orbital setting number 1 for what I was cutting and it worked well and gave me a very smooth cut.

Very good smooth curve! - Jigsaw Test

Very good smooth curve!

I flipped the beam over after the cut. Saw followed very closely

I flipped the beam over after the cut. Saw followed very closely

I was very happy with the result and I only had a small degree of blade wander.

Cutting more beams for a timberframe garden pavilion - Bosch Jigsaw Trial

Cutting more beams for a timberframe garden pavilion

Before I posted this review I used this jigsaw for a full summer of projects. I like the weight, power, and grip of this tool and I’d recommend it to anyone.

Turned to sharply and blade smoked

Turned to sharply and blade smoked

Made the cut but pushed it to the limit

Made the cut but pushed it to the limit

On these beams for our Garden Pavilion I turned too sharply and caused the blade to bind briefly, smoke, and burn the wood. It wasn’t too bad and I sanded out the char marks.

Char marks on cut

Char marks on cut

Many times I’d trace the curve on both sides of the beam to see how close I was getting to vertical. When I went slow and jiggled back and forth I’d get a truer cut. One other technique is to make a shallow saw cut with a hand saw in the end of the beam to start the jigsaw blade in. This allows you to at least start with a 90 degree cut even if there is some wander as you go along.

Tried to go a bit easier on this cit

Tried to go a bit easier on this cit

I tried to allow the saw to cool after each deep beam cut as it got quite hot under such a load.

Guide roller helps to keep blade on track - Bosch Jigsaw Review

Guide roller helps to keep blade on track

The guide roller seemed to work well at keeping the blade on track.

Cutting Rafter End Profiles
Cutting fir rafters

Cutting fir rafters

It has worked very well at cutting curves in beams and rafters with very little blade wander. I’d say that all jigsaws have this issue but this Bosch model has a minimal amount and certainly good enough for many of my outdoor building projects.

Nice curves!

Nice curves!

I’ve found that you can get better accuracy by going slow and steady and slightly jiggling the saw from side to side as you go along. This will help prevent excessive pressure on one side of the blade.

Cutting Rafter Birds Mouth
Finishing the birds mouth cuts on a rafter - Bosch Jigsaw Test

Finishing the birds mouth cuts on a rafter

I like having this jigsaw handy to finish birds mouth circular saw cuts on rafters. I used it for just about every project with a roof.

074 Bosch Jigsaw Review 11971

Fast and easy

Bosch Jigsaw in carrying case with manual and accessories

Bosch Jigsaw in carrying case with manual and accessories

All and all I had great success with this tool and it worked very well for me and I feel completely comfortable recommending it.

 

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