Cuts with an up and down motion and is ideal for cutting curves and irregular lines.
Usually can cut through 1” hardwood and 1-1/2” softwood. More powerful models can cut up to 2-3/4” thick in wood and 3/4” in aluminum and some can cut thin steel.
Quality machines operate at approximately 3,000 strokes per minute.
Generally, better machines also have longer strokes, often 1”.
The scrolling feature on some saws allows the user to turn the blade by means of a knob on the top of the tool instead of turning the whole tool.
Good quality jigsaws will also have features on the base that allow them to cut at an angle. An antisplintering insert is a removable plastic piece that sits in front of the blade and reduces the splintering of the material.
Another quality feature is a blade guide. This is a disk that sits behind the blade and supports it, keeping it on a straight path and resisting deflection. It provides for a more accurate cut and helps prevent blade bending and breaking.
Better models have orbital action for more aggressive cutting.