Jigsaws


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So, another tool that I am replacing in the immediate future is my jigsaw. The thing finally died (after 15 years). So, in my research, my options have been narrowed to the Bosch Barrel Grip and the Festool Barrel Grip. What I'd like is feedback from anyone who's had experience with one or both of these jigsaws. The Bosch seems very impressive, and at $160 is an excellent price point. The Festool seems equally impressive, especially it's advertised ability to chew through 8/4 hard maple. I don't mind the $310 price tag, especially for Festool quality. However, I'd seen some reviews were some Festool users were less than successful at getting it to accomplish that feat, but I tend to take online reviews with a grain of salt. I'd much rather have input form experienced woodworkers, and so...here I am.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

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So, another tool that I am replacing in the immediate future is my jigsaw. The thing finally died (after 15 years). So, in my research, my options have been narrowed to the Bosch Barrel Grip and the Festool Barrel Grip. What I'd like is feedback from anyone who's had experience with one or both of these jigsaws. The Bosch seems very impressive, and at $160 is an excellent price point. The Festool seems equally impressive, especially it's advertised ability to chew through 8/4 hard maple. I don't mind the $310 price tag, especially for Festool quality. However, I'd seen some reviews were some Festool users were less than successful at getting it to accomplish that feat, but I tend to take online reviews with a grain of salt. I'd much rather have input form experienced woodworkers, and so...here I am.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

I got the Bosch on the recomendations of the Collins Coping foot people, and since that time, have virtually never used any of the previous jig saws I had laying around. I do not have the barrell handle, which I think I would have liked, but the D handle Bosch is the best jig saw I have used in 40+ years.

You can buy a Mercedes, but when you really need an F150, you might not really want to spend the extra money.

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I would also like to add that I often use the Bosch in demolition. I don't know how it will do with 8/4 maple, but I know I can take a wall out of a house, in big pieces and minimize the mess by just cutting drywall, 2x's, wiring, etc. into manageable sections with it. It works as good as those demolition saws, and it is one less thing to have to drag around.

Mostly, I cope crown and baseboard with it.

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So, another tool that I am replacing in the immediate future is my jigsaw. The thing finally died (after 15 years). So, in my research, my options have been narrowed to the Bosch Barrel Grip and the Festool Barrel Grip. What I'd like is feedback from anyone who's had experience with one or both of these jigsaws. The Bosch seems very impressive, and at $160 is an excellent price point. The Festool seems equally impressive, especially it's advertised ability to chew through 8/4 hard maple. I don't mind the $310 price tag, especially for Festool quality. However, I'd seen some reviews were some Festool users were less than successful at getting it to accomplish that feat, but I tend to take online reviews with a grain of salt. I'd much rather have input form experienced woodworkers, and so...here I am.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

There's a a new Festool jigsaw available in Europe, it tackles a lot of the complaints about the PS300, like low visibility of the cut line. I don't now when it will be introduced in the US, but maybe it's worth the wait.

I have no first hand experience with the CARVEX, as it is called, I'm however awaiting delivery of one.

you can find info on the UK site

CARVEX

greetz,

Philippe

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I just bought the Bosch JS470EB which is the latest model of barrel grip. So for I just used it to rough crosscut some 5/4 walnut I needed to mill so I hardly have enough to form a solid opinion yet. My initial reaction was vibration and blade deflection were both greater than expected. I will try and eval it more this weekend.

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I've owned a Bosch "top handle" jig saw (1587AVS) for a number of years and have been very pleased with it. I routinely use it to cross-cut hardwood to length prior to milling, and with the appropriate Bosch blades it doesn't have any problem cutting through 8/4 white oak or hard maple. If you're used to using a cheaper saw, the Bosch will be a night and day difference.

I don't own any Rigid power tools, but I was just watching Rob Bois use a Rigid jig saw to cross-cut a table top in this video, and after seeing how smoothly it made the cut, I think it might also be worth considering.

Rory

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  • 1 month later...

Robert Bosch invented the jigsaw and I own the 1590EVSK and it is the best jigsaw I've used. My father in law has the porter cable jigsaw and a friend of mine has the dewalt both which I've used and they in return have used my bosch and they are envious of my bosch. Besides far superior cut quality, fast blade changes, etc. the bosch blows the dust off your cut line making it much easier to follow your line. They have newer models since I've bought mine and I'm sure there a dream to use also. The 1590 EVSK also won Fine Home Building best jigsaw honors.

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So, another tool that I am replacing in the immediate future is my jigsaw. The thing finally died (after 15 years). So, in my research, my options have been narrowed to the Bosch Barrel Grip and the Festool Barrel Grip. What I'd like is feedback from anyone who's had experience with one or both of these jigsaws. The Bosch seems very impressive, and at $160 is an excellent price point. The Festool seems equally impressive, especially it's advertised ability to chew through 8/4 hard maple. I don't mind the $310 price tag, especially for Festool quality. However, I'd seen some reviews were some Festool users were less than successful at getting it to accomplish that feat, but I tend to take online reviews with a grain of salt. I'd much rather have input form experienced woodworkers, and so...here I am.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

Also check out the Makita barrel grip. I just used it to trim a 3 1/2" thick maple slab and it had no problem. ( 6" blades) It takes the standard t-shank blades with an easy quick change ( no tools)

attachment, plus, it has an LED light that really lights your cutting path. I recommend it.

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I have the Bosch JS470E which I bought to replace a Porter Cable which finally gave up on me after a long time. My JS470E was made in Switzerland and I think that's a good thing. Bosch also has some lower end models, but the one I got I've been very impressed with. Extremely low vibration. So low in fact that I have come up with projects just to use it. It is a pleasure to use. I recommend it without reserve. There is a barrel handle version, the JS470EB. I'm not a fan of barrel handle jigsaws so you will have to make that call on your own.

I know Festool makes good stuff. But I'm not sure if in this case it could be dramatically different enough to justify the price?

Good luck, happy hunting.

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I also own the 1590evsk, and it is one of my favorite tools not only because it is awesome! or because it was a gift from my girlfriend! or that it sports the bosch badge! because it does what it claims to do better than the other brands at a competitive price.

Yeah, the 1591 EVSL is basically the newer version, with the new Loxx box container - similar to festool's systainer. I'm glad to hear so many people have had good luck w/ this. I guess that'll be my next purchase when taxes finally come back. :)

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I'll add another vote for the Bosch. I also have the 1590evsk (D handle) and like it very much. Recently, I had to remove some rotting 3/4" plywood under a sink (the slow leak is now fixed) and ended up doing a plunge cut (indexing off the front of the base and tilting the bade down. Probably not a good idea, but it was the only tool I had handy that would fit in the space...) and it worked flawlessly. It works great in normal use, too :) .

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I've heard very good things about the Bosch jigsaw. Some lower-end models don't have a dust port, from what I understand, and that can be useful even if it is just to get rid of the fines. I have the Festool Trion jigsaw. Yes, I like it, but I'm not certain it's leagues ahead of the Bosch. It's advantage is a three-point hold on the blade to minimize wandering (like bearing guides for a bandsaw). I don't know what the Bosch uses. If the blade doesn't wander, though, points moot.

I'd just add that I greatly prefer the barrel grip to the D-handle. Reminds me of ironing. I hate ironing. Kidding aside, I feel that I have better control over it in more situations than a D-handle could provide.

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I meant to add that the new blades Bosch released, hmm, last year? cut remarkably well. Typical jigsaw blades cut on the upstroke so the top kerf gets ratty. These new blades have a few teeth near the jigsaw body that cut on the down stroke; I think the teeth are a hair taller than the others, too. In this way, the top gets cut using the middle as backing and the bottom uses the middle as backing. Very clean cuts. Kinda the jigsaw version of a compression spiral bit.

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I'll add another vote for the Bosch. I also have the 1590evsk (D handle) and like it very much. Recently, I had to remove some rotting 3/4" plywood under a sink (the slow leak is now fixed) and ended up doing a plunge cut (indexing off the front of the base and tilting the bade down. Probably not a good idea, but it was the only tool I had handy that would fit in the space...) and it worked flawlessly. It works great in normal use, too :) .

You're a pretty brave guy. Cool to know you were successful with the cut, but honestly, I would've chickened out.

I've heard very good things about the Bosch jigsaw. Some lower-end models don't have a dust port, from what I understand, and that can be useful even if it is just to get rid of the fines. I have the Festool Trion jigsaw. Yes, I like it, but I'm not certain it's leagues ahead of the Bosch. It's advantage is a three-point hold on the blade to minimize wandering (like bearing guides for a bandsaw). I don't know what the Bosch uses. If the blade doesn't wander, though, points moot.

I'd just add that I greatly prefer the barrel grip to the D-handle. Reminds me of ironing. I hate ironing. Kidding aside, I feel that I have better control over it in more situations than a D-handle could provide.

From what I understand, the blade support on the Bosch is pretty solid. I've had some people tell me there's no wander at all - others say that it's very minimal, and only when making difficult curves. Like you, I much prefer the barrel grip. I think the grip is more natural than a D handle, especially where fine control is needed.

Although, I was never a fan of ironing, either, so maybe I suffer the same dislike as you. :)

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I had the Bosch 1587 D handle and it was head and shoulders above the comparable Dewalt which I also owned for a short time. The Bosch was an excellent tool but I had some extra cash at one point and bought the Festool barrel grip and it's even better than the Bosch. It cuts better and has excellent dust collection which the 1587 did not have.

post-206-0-84467900-1298330765_thumb.jpg

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I have the D-handle version of the Bosch you're thinking about and couldn't be happier with it. It replaced my 25-year-old Makita primarily for power and ease of changing blades.

If I ever buy another jigsaw it'll probably be the Carvex for the dust collection. If that isn't a big deal for you the Bosch wins the cost-benefit analysis hands-down. I bought it for cutting radiused rafter tails in 2x stock, it's been run so hot you literally couldn't pick it up but it's cutting just as well today as when it came out of the box.

HTH,

Bill

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