Whether you are a novice or an expert in woodwork, you probably know how to cut a square hole in the wood with a router. A router is easy to master and versatile. But do you know that you can also know how to use a jigsaw to cut a hole in your material?
A jigsaw is a versatile tool that is easy to handle, a must-have if you are one to undertake improvement projects around your home. In this article, we will look at how to cut a hole in wood by hand. And the neat jigsaw tricks you need to know in order to time and give you accurate cuts. But first, what exactly is a jigsaw?
What is Jigsaw?
A jigsaw is also commonly referred to as a saber saw. This saw is handheld, and can, in fact, be worked by just one hand. It is used to cut through wood and other materials like plastics and ceramic. Some jigsaws are electrically powered and are connected to a power socket by a long cord that gives you much-needed movement freedom while you work.
Other jigsaws have rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and these give you the opportunity to work in areas without power sockets. Jigsaws are lighter than most saws and this makes them a handy tool for even non-professionals in handiwork.
It has a thin, straight blade that moves up and down the material in order to make uniform, curved cuts. Jigsaws can handle very many different types of blades, giving you the versatility to make different cuts on different materials based on your taste.
Types of Jigsaw Blades
Jigsaw blades are mainly classified according to their shank. The shank is the part of a blade that goes into the clamped end of a jigsaw. The choice of a jigsaw blade depends on your jigsaw. And it is important that the blade and your jigsaw are compatible before you spend any money on it.
The two main types of jigsaw blades are:
The shank of these blades is curved upward. This part fits comfortably into your jigsaw. T-Shank blades are the most common type of jigsaw blades and they are compatible with many modern jigsaw brands.
Also known as ‘universal blades’, U-shank blades have a depression at the shank. These blades fit into the clamp end of your jigsaw that is designed to be compatible with the U-shaped depression on the blade. If you have an older jigsaw brand you might need a U-Shank blade instead of a T-Shank blade.
Jigsaw blades are also classified according to the number of teeth on the blade. The number of teeth on your blade determine the speed and accuracy of cut that you make with your jigsaw. Some blades have 20 or more teeth. These cut slowly but they produce more accurate cuts that do not need repeated going over.
Blades with more teeth are suitable for harder materials like metals. Some blades have less than 20 teeth, with some having only 6 teeth. Such blades move faster through the material. However, the cuts made by blades with fewer teeth are rougher and need smoothening and shaping into the desired design.
Such blades are suitable for softer materials like wood and plastic. Now that you know the types of blades your jigsaw can handle, let’s look at how you can cut a hole into your material using a jigsaw.
How to Use a Jigsaw to Cut a Hole
Before you start cutting into your material, you need to ensure that it is placed on a steady workbench. Since you are going to be cutting a hole through the material, you should place the ends of the material on two steady surfaces with the middle exposed at the top and at the bottom. This way you only cut through your material, and not your workbench.
Another thing to confirm before cutting ensues is that your jigsaw is powered properly. Your battery should be fully charged if you are using a cordless jigsaw; your corded jigsaw should be securely connected to a power source.
Make sure that you do not pull at your cord when working because this can lead to a sudden stop in powering of your jigsaw which can lead to making inaccurate cuts. Last but not least, make sure you are protected. Safety clothing is a must, including glasses and gloves.
Now onto the cutting!
- Outline and mark clearly the extent of the hole you want to make: use a marker and a router to outline the shape and size of your hole. Your hole can be rectangular, circular, or any other shape based on what you are making. Use a ruler or a guide to ensure that your outline is accurate.
- Drill a starter hole: a starter hole is where the blade of your jigsaw will first go in before you make the first cut. Use a drill to make a starter hole if you are going to cut from the middle of your material. You might not need to make a starter hole if you are starting from the edge of your material. If your outline has edges like in a rectangle or square, make starter holes at each edge for guidance.
- Align the shoe of your jigsaw with the outline: place the standing base of your jigsaw on the outline you drew earlier. Power up your jigsaw. Do not start cutting until the blade is moving at the desired speed.
- Position the blade of your jigsaw: ensure that the blade is inside the starter hole you drilled then power up your jigsaw. The most popular way to make a hole using a jigsaw is using the plunging technique. Using this technique, place the blade into the starter hole inside the outline and move the jigsaw slowly upwards and towards the edges of the outline. Once your cut is done the shoe of your jigsaw should be sitting on the outline.
- Repeat the technique within the borders of your outline: With continued cutting the pieces within the outline fall away leaving a hole in the middle.
And there you have it, how to cut a hole with a jigsaw! It is simple once you have mastered the use of your B07CXKR5MM jigsaw. Using this technique, you will save time and make a very neat hole to fit the design of your final piece.