Jigsaws are one of the first tools any handyman acquires. This easily available, versatile tool has multiple uses on different types of materials including wood, metal, plastic, and more. You can use the jigsaw to cut circles, curves, and various other patterns. No wonder jigsaws are an essential tool.
When working with wood, you might be curious as to how thick of wood can a jigsaw cut. In this article, we are going to be answering this question and the right way to cut wood with the help of a jigsaw.
How Thick of Wood Can a Jigsaw Cut?
When determining whether your jigsaw will be able to cut into a piece of wood, regardless of its thickness, there are certain factors you need to keep in mind. The length of the blade of the jigsaw needs to be higher than the thickness of the wood.
If the wood is thicker than the blade, the jigsaw will not be able to cut through it. Speaking of the blade, the teeth on the blade is also an important factor to keep in mind. The number of blade teeth determines how thick wood can be cut. If the blade teeth are fewer per inch, the thicker wood can be cut.
Related reading: Can You Cut Plexiglass With A Jigsaw?
The type of wood, whether it is softwood or hardwood will dictate the ease with which the jigsaw can cut the piece of wood. Generally, the harder the wood is, the more difficult it is to cut. The friction and heat generated to make it harder.
That is why handymen usually prefer to cut softwood using a jigsaw. The motor of the jigsaw also plays a role to decide how thick of wood it will be able to cut. If the jigsaw is cordless and on the cheaper side, it is more likely to have a tough time cutting through thicker pieces of wood. That is why it is essential that you look into reviews before investing in a jigsaw, especially when you are going to be using it to cut wood.
The ideal thick of softwood for jigsaws to cut into is no more than 1 ½ inches. As of thicker wood, like hardwood, jigsaws can cut through up to ¾ inches.
Can a Jigsaw Cut a 2×4?
At first, it might impossible to think that a jigsaw can cut a 2×4. But with a little bit of patience, attention, and the right blade, this can easily be done. You will need a stiff blade that has fewer blade teeth per inch.
Using a thick blade that is designed for thick wood will prevent it from bending or wandering. For a 2×4 wood, it is recommended to use a blade made of bi-metal material, that is at least two and a half inches long.
The trick to getting a clean cut is by being keeping the jigsaw at a consistent speed in one go. The shoe needs to be flat against the surface of the wood and the jigsaw should not be tipped forward. If you move faster than the blade, you are risking a cut. Also, make sure not to hold the jigsaw in one spot for too long.
Can a Jigsaw Cut a 4×4?
Jigsaw blades are thinner and can cut a maximum depth of 1 ½ inches. The thickness of a 4×4 exceeds the depth of a jigsaw. That being said, using a jigsaw to cut a 4×4 is not suggested and should only be kept as a last resort.
Although you can find specialty jigsaw blades that are 5 ¼ inches long which is enough to cut into the wood of 3 ½ inches, the motor might not be able to handle it.
Many jigsaws lack the raw power needed to cut through a material of this thickness. On top of that, even if you find a blade that can be used on a 4×4, longer blades are more prone to bending to the left or right. This is a huge problem if you want a clean and even cut.
Tools that are more commonly used to cut a 4×4 include a 12-inch miter saw, a radial arm saw or slide saw, a smaller miter saw, a circular saw, a reciprocating saw, a table saw, a hand saw, and a chainsaw. The blade in all of the tools mentioned is thicker which prevents it from bending easily.
How to Cut Thick Wood Using a Jigsaw
If there is no choice but to use a jigsaw to cut thick wood, there are certain tricks you can use to tackle this situation. Many handymen use various types of saws. A jigsaw is used to create a template for intricate cuts and to act as a guide when using another saw.
Then, a more powerful jigsaw is brought in to cut the thick wood. For rough cuts, circular saws are the best choice, while band saws are great if you want more precision.
Related reading: Why Does My Jigsaw Not Cut Straight?
Another technique is to use multiple jigsaws. Yes, you heard that right. Sometimes, when dealing with thick wood, handymen will double the blade to prevent it from bending or flexing.
As long as your jigsaw is able to accommodate double blades, this method is a quick solution to getting straight edges. The key is to go slow without pushing the wood into the saw. Forcing might result in breaking the blade or damaging the saw.
There is a reason why best jigsaws are preferred by handymen. They can be used to make different types of cuts on a wide array of materials. As for using a jigsaw to cut wood, we recommended you take things slow.
Make sure to use the right type of blade and pay attention to provide adequate support to the piece of wood. It is best to keep multiple blades at hand, especially if you want to cut through thick hardwood.