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 jigsaw 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?
You might be wondering if a jigsaw has what it takes to cut through a 2×4 piece of wood. Surprisingly, with some patience, attention to detail, and the right blade, it can be done! Let’s explore how to achieve a clean cut on a 2×4 using a jigsaw.
Firstly, you’ll need a sturdy blade with fewer teeth per inch (TPI) – this is designed specifically for cutting thicker wood. A blade made of bi-metal material, at least 2 ½ inches long, is ideal for handling a 2×4. The thicker blade will help prevent bending or wandering during the cut.
To ensure a clean cut, maintain a consistent speed throughout the entire process. Keep the shoe of the jigsaw flat against the wood’s surface, making sure not to tip the tool forward. Remember, if you move too quickly, you risk making an inaccurate cut.
Another crucial tip is not to let the jigsaw linger in one spot for too long. Doing so may result in an uneven cut or even potential damage to the wood.
By following these simple guidelines, you can successfully cut a 2×4 using a jigsaw, expanding your repertoire of woodworking skills!
Can a Jigsaw Cut a 4×4?
When it comes to cutting thicker pieces of wood like a 4×4, many of you might wonder whether a jigsaw is a right tool for the job. Let’s dive into the facts and figure out if a jigsaw can handle this task.
Standard jigsaw blades are relatively thin, with a maximum cutting depth of about 1 ½ inches. Considering a 4×4 is actually 3 ½ inches thick, a typical jigsaw blade isn’t going to cut it (pun intended). Therefore, using a jigsaw to cut a 4×4 is generally not recommended and should be considered as a last resort only.
You might come across specialty jigsaw blades that are 5 ¼ inches long, which in theory, should be sufficient to cut through a 3 ½-inch piece of wood. However, the motor of many jigsaws may not be powerful enough to handle such a task.
One major issue when attempting to cut a 4×4 with a jigsaw is that longer blades tend to bend left or right during the cutting process. This bending can result in uneven and inaccurate cuts, which is far from ideal.
Instead of using a jigsaw, there are several other tools more suited for cutting a 4×4. These include a 12-inch miter saw, a radial arm saw or sliding compound miter saw, a smaller miter saw, a circular saw, a reciprocating saw, a table saw, a hand saw, or even a chainsaw. The blades in these tools are generally thicker, providing greater stability and preventing them from bending easily during cutting.
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.