Jigsaws are one of the first tools a handyman gets for their workshop. This versatile tool can be used on a range of materials including wood, plastic, metal, cardboard stock, and many more. Jigsaws are generally used to get a curved cut but can be used for straight cuts as well.
However, getting a clean and even straight cut using a jigsaw is not as easy as it sounds. If you are struggling with your jigsaw not cutting straight then you are at the right place.
Why Does My Jigsaw Not Cut Straight?
There are multiple reasons why your jigsaw blade wanders and does not cut straight.
Wrong Choice of Blade
The most common reason being an unsuitable blade. Using a cheap blade bought from a general store like Wal-Mart will not do. In order to ensure that your jigsaw does not wander, a sharp blade made from strong alloys is crucial.
Wrong Choice of Jigsaw
Not only are these high-quality blades thicker but they are stronger and last longer. On top of that, the jigsaw itself needs to be of good quality as well. Strong motor power is required to be able to achieve a straight cut on any material, especially harder ones such as a thick piece of wood. A combination of the best jigsaw and a strong blade is very important to keep your jigsaw from wandering.
Related reading: How Thick of Wood Can A Jigsaw Cut
Imbalance of Force
An imbalance of force might also be a reason behind getting an uneven cut. Pushing the jigsaw forcefully will lead to the blade deterring. This is because the blade in the jigsaw has a speed and pace of its own. The harder the jigsaw is pushed, the more likely it is that the blade will bend. By now, you should have the answer to the question, “why does my jigsaw wander?”
How to Cut Straight Using a Jigsaw
There are certain tricks you can use to ensure that the cut is straight. It is advised to always start off by marking a straight line using a marker. A measuring tape or ruler can be used to make sure that the line is straight.
The vibration from the jigsaw might come in the way to keep your hands steady. As such following the marked line can be difficult. A fence made of solid metal, thick plastic, or even wood can be used to make sure that the cut is straight.
As it is impossible to hold the fence in place while using the jigsaw simultaneously, a clamp needs to be used to hold the fence in place. Before you begin cutting, always check the screws of the clamp are tight to avoid accidents.
Related reading: Can You Cut Plexiglass With A Jigsaw?
Aside from using a thick and more rigid blade to prevent it from wandering from the cutting line, the jigsaw blade alignment needs to be prioritized as well.
Correct alignment allows the cut to come out more precise and clean, thus, diminishing the chances of the jigsaw tilting. To guarantee correct jigsaw blade alignment, the length of the fence needs to be longer than the surface of the material you are cutting into.
Some handymen suggest that you position the jigsaw on the surface of the material in such a way that it moves upside down. Doing so will let the dust fall on the floor without coming in the way of the blade. Also, it allows even distribution of force.
Imbalance in force is one of the top reasons why your jigsaw does not cut straight. The jigsaw blade angle from this upside-down position should be at zero degrees to achieve a straight line. Other angles include 15 degrees, 30 degrees, and 45-degree angles as well.
You can’t expect to see immediate results even if you follow the advice mentioned above. Practicing is key to perfect straight cuts. Once you have the right blade, and guiding mechanism you should practice on extra material before you start using the jigsaw on the final project.
It is important to remember that jigsaws are not meant for cutting straight lines. However, using the proper blade and straight fence will make the process easier. You should let the jigsaw run at its own speed without forcing the machine and with practice, you too will be able to get straight cuts.