Most innovative jigsaw design concept withering

After more than 50 years since its inception, there has not been much progress in jigsaw design: basically D-handle or barrel grip. I had a corded Bosch D-handle; then, Matabo 18V cordless barrel grip, both of which I never felt quite comfortable when it comes to holding and control. D-handle was too far away from the cutting surface and barrel has been too chunky for my average-to-small hands

Then, I impulse purchased Milwaukee M12 jigsaw that was on a special at HD a couple of years ago. And it turned out to be the best of the both worlds. Easier grip and more precise control. It has a few of its own flaws though. No blower, no orbital selection, annoying LED location, etc.

So, I was hoping to see a newer version that addressed them, or even M18 Fuel version incorporating the M12 handle configuration. But, what Milwaukee just introduced was the same old one and the same old the other.

Is there anyone who used all three types out there feeling the same or am I the only one?

Jigsaw innovation - seems to have been as more about how the blade is mounted, held in place, ejected when changing and supported in use. The handle/grip design - as you mention has barrel grip and d-handle - plus the M12 - that is a bit different.

The first jigsaw that I liked was a Porter Cable 548

It used a different (bayonet) blade mount than most other jigsaws of the age that used a so called universal mount. The universal mount was not exactly elegant - needing a screw to tighten a clamp to hold the blae in place.

Then Bosch (or maybe someone else) invented the t-mount blade mount - where you pushed in the blade into a mounting slot. This design - now quite ubiquitous has been tweaked over the years to make it easier to mount and eject the blade without using tools - or burning your fingers with a hot used blade.

When Bosch added roller bearings to support the blade along its travel - reducing blade wander - this was an innovation that got my attention. I bought their 1584VS - barrel grip saw - and it was a big step up for me. But I realize that my big mitts may be better suited to holding it than would be a smaller set of hands.

More recently - I bought a Bosch JS572EBL - but still like the older tool for some jobs.

The Bosch cordless - looks like it might be about the same:

It all does get down to ergonomics - and what fits your hands and the way you work. Your point that most of the designs seem “me too” is a pity - since it offers the tool buying public fewer options - with no more powerful M12 type grip.

Hey Fred, can you share a bit more about the 572? I have the old 1587v click model and love it but wondered if the newer flagship from Bosch was an improvement. Thanks.

It is my impression that cordless jigsaws don’t have blowers due to the extra load on the battery. I know that the Bosch 12 listed above doesn’t have one. It’s important if you want to see where you are cutting. This problem may have been solved, so feel free to chime in if you have other information.

The 572 is not my favorite tool - and in some ways (the base) - I like the older saw better.
I tried using it to do some relief cutting - so adjusted the base out of 90 degrees. Getting it back and to stay into 90 degrees was a trial and error process - so much so that I’d be almost tempted to epoxy it in place. Bosch needs to work on this as it limits the saw’s usefulness. Otherwise the blade guides improve on my older saw - keeping the blade on track through the most demanding cuts that I’ve thrown at it. The blade ejection mechanism is also nice. Since (retired) I don’t use the saw day in and day out - I can’t comment on how it will last in commercial use. I also understand that while my 3 year old 572 was made in Switzerland - newer ones may be made elsewhere.

Thanks Fred. I too just hit retirement and have to reprogramme myself to not think in terms of daily use. These sorts of tools are pure wants/luxuries now. It doesn’t mean I won’t get some!

Yep - sold most of my business interests 6 years ago - and now trying to collect memories and experiences more than tools. While the kid’s places still might benefit from some tool-related work - our houses are about where we want them (I hope that God and Mother Nature are listening).I’m still in the gift-furniture-building mode - especially this time of year in the run-up to Christmas - but even that is slowing down a bit (just so many desks, chairs, tables and bookcases that one can build)

Seems weird that in the first line you say there hasn’t been much innovation, then towards the end list a few really good ones. Here are a few I thought of; blower, light, tool-less blade change, tool-less plate angle adjustment, cordless, orbital blade action.

The way you describe your hand size, d-handle is really where you’re at. I don’t quite understand the part where you feel to far from the work. Does the saw tip over on you? Try placing your other hand around the front of the housing. You may find the control unparalleled.

I had the same Milwaukee 10.8V and had the same issues you had plus found it woefully underpowered. I fear you may find that lack of power in other 10.8V platforms.

I honestly feel your best bet is to get used to that d-handle.

Michael, good points. I thought maybe I was the only guy around who was dubious of the 10.8/12v saws. Power may be fine but it always comes down to run time. And in your example power was not quite there either. I have said this many times but it bears repeating. The power cord is not dead yet. There is no way I would attempt to cut out an entire sink opening in a counter top with one of those saws. I bet it would eat through 2 batteries and be hot as a firecracker at the end. My old Bosch would do it all day without a hiccup.

I am not even that sold on the 18v versions but will readily admit I have no experience with the newer models and the high capacity batteries. I have seen enough Flexvolt vs Skil worm drive tests to know that battery powered DeWalt is a beast. So it wouldmstand to reason the new brushless jigsaws coming out are very good indeed.