Starrett sews up the jigsaw blade market
Jigsaws have become one of the most versatile and widely used power tools. With the reciprocating blade’s movement very similar to that of a sewing machine, jigsaws are capable of makingstraight, contour and curved cuts – for which they’re renowned. This power tool can be used for cutting a wide range of materials,includingmetal, wood, ceramics and plastics.
Its versatility really boils down to the wide-ranging selection of blades available, and like its name, it can prove to be a bit of a conundrum trying to decipher which is best for your application. In today’s blog we want to explore all the factors you should consider before buying a jigsaw blade anddivulge some of the technological featuresthat Starretthas invested into their products.
What to consider before buying?
SHANK: Many people will advise that it is important to work out which type of shank is compatible with your machine, whether that be a T or U shank. However, Starrett has removed this problem from the equation by developing its own exclusive and patented Unified Shank™, designed to fit most jigsaw machines.
MATERIAL: Starrett has created a simple, yet highly effective colour-coded system for identifying the correct blade per application. With each of Starrett’s shanks you will notice they are coloured - yellow for wood cutting blades, red for multi-purpose, blue for metal cutting and navy for multi-purpose carbide grit.
LENGTH: After examining the material you wish to cut it can prove to be a problem if you discover your blade isn’t quite long enough to carry out the full cut. Two points you should always take into consideration is the overall length of the blade, allowing extra for the fitting into the machine, as well as leaving additional clearance to compensate for the reciprocating action. Starrett blades are available in a variety of lengths but also in multi-packs, so you will always have choice when choosing a suitable length.
BLADE MATERIAL: Each of Starrett’s jigsaw blades are made from Bi-Metal Unique, through a bonding process where two strips of high speed steel wire are joined to backing steel in a solid phase. Totally different from other methods of producing bi-metal saw blades, Starrett Unique™ Technology uses the principle of solid-state diffusion bonding.
The advantage of this technology results in a massive increase in resistance to tooth breakage and fracture, smoother and faster cuts, a longer blade life, all accumulating to guarantee one simple benefit of a lower cost per cut.
BLADE THICKNESS:As jigsaw blades are long, thin strips of metal supported only by the shank, they can be prone to breakages. Plus, depending on the type of material you are cutting and its density, when carrying out a curved cut you can sometimes end up with an angled cut due to the blade bending.
However, with Starrett the same bi-metal unique technology invested into their blades, prove to provide a massive increase in resistance to fractures. Starrett’s Unique Blades feature 170% more weld contact area, than standard bi-metal blades, this ensures exceptionally strong blades that last on average 35% longer than competing blades.
TEETH: Another point you should consider when choosing your jigsaw blade is the teeth per inch (TPI). When it comes to tooth pattern, the more TPI the finer the cut, but if your blade is too fine for the application, you run the risk of clogging the blade, heat build up and burning. Starrett’s range of jigsaw blades are designed to overcome this factor, with their wood cutting range available with 6-10 TPI; 14-18 TPI for themulti purpose range; 18-32 TPI for metal cutting; and a coarse carbide grip on the multi purpose carbide grit range.
CUTTING DIRECTION: The majority of Starrett’s jigsaw blades will cut on the upstroke, as this aids user control and machine stability, but did you know they also offer two new Dual Cut jigsaw blades for wood cutting? The Dual Cut range features teeth in both directions, offering a burr-free cut on both sides for that perfect finish.
However, you may be surprised to know that we do offer one downcutting blade, the BU310DT, which is actually our best-selling blade, as it offers premium results when cutting laminate worktops.
Now you know the main factors to consider when choosing your jigsaw blade, we’ve outlined some handy user pointer below.
Tentop tips for using your jigsaw