Ben posted an article about two tempting new M18 jigsaws, differing only by how you hold them; one has a D-handle and a trigger switch, and the other has a barrel grip with a sliding thumb switch. A few comments asked about which one people prefer. I thought I would ask the same thing here.
So, which kind of handle do you prefer? I know the barrel grip is lower and can feel more controlled, but for me, the barrel is too fat to hold securely.
It may be a function of a combination of things,
Maybe its just what you got used to, or some combination of hand size, length and shape of your fingers or something else. My first barrel grip jigsaw was a corded Bosch 1584VS that I bought in 1995. It seemed to fit my big mitts perfectly. Before that I was using a Rockwell Porter Cable 548 - top handle (bayonet style blade) Jigsaw- but I never went back to top handle. With a Collins coping jig - I can use a barrel grip saw to tweak moldings. With the normal base - the barrel grip just feels right to me working in almost any orientation.
I still use the 1584VS - with coping foot - but have a newer Bosch JS572EBL and a cordless Makita DJV181Z
I personally like the barrel style, I don’t feel they are too fat, heck they thinner than a grinder.
I like the barrel grip 99% of the time, especially with the coping foot Fred mentioned. The last 1% is for the times I want the variable speed trigger only available on a D handle. I kept my D handle Bosch since I bought it first, but if I had only one, I would be fine with a barrel grip. The other nuisance is a stopped cut mid panel. I need my left hand to reach the power switch because the barrel is large. If I’m using my left hand to hold to support the work piece, it’s a clumsy affair. These are rare and for everything else day to day, the barrel grip is great, Cutting with the machine upside down under the panel is common with a barrel grip. This allows you to follow a cut line with much better visibility (less dust and nothing but a blade and a line) and there is no tearout on that side since the blade teeth are cutting into that side.
THe D handle I would replace is over 30 years so it doesn’t have a variable speed trigger anyway. Which is why I don’t know I’ll care if I have a barrel grip with an on off switch. Not any different than what I have now other than finer speed control.
Of the ones I’ve picked up all of them are about the right size for my hand. I’ve not tried a cordless one - and I’ve not really wanted one cordless and I’ll probably have a vac hose off the back of it anyway.
I’m 55-45 in favor of D-handle.