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Thread: What is an orbital jigsaw?

  1. #1

    What is an orbital jigsaw?

    Hello,
    Can someone briefly explain to me the difference between an orbital jigsaw and a non-orbital one? I need a jigsaw (I don't own one now), and I'd like to know whether having an orbital jigsaw would benefit me.
    Thanks,
    Louis

  2. #2
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    With a regular jig saw, the blade goes up and down only. ( reciprocal) An orbital goes up and down too, but it also goes forward and back( orbital) to give you a more aggressive cut. Usually there are 2 or 3 settings on how far you want the blade to go back and forth.
    Hope you can understand what I'm saying. If I was you I would spend the extra bucks for the orbital jig saw.
    Gary K.

  3. #3
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    Good answer Gary. Yes, spend the extra $ and get a good jig saw. The difference between my cheap Black and Decker jig saw and by Bosch is like comparing a Yugo to a BMW. I keep the B&D to loan to neighbors. They use it once and never ask to borrow it again.
    ________
    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  4. #4
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    Thank-you Ron...I forgot to say that the good ones also have variable speed. I also have a Bosch,It is about 14 years old and still works like a charm. Ron, I like your borrowing policy!
    Gary K.

  5. #5
    Gary's got it. My Bosch 1591 really move through rough-cuts with the orbital on.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Keedwell View Post
    With a regular jig saw, the blade goes up and down only. ( reciprocal) An orbital goes up and down too, but it also goes forward and back( orbital) to give you a more aggressive cut. Usually there are 2 or 3 settings on how far you want the blade to go back and forth.
    Hope you can understand what I'm saying. If I was you I would spend the extra bucks for the orbital jig saw.
    Gary K.
    Excellent description

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Jones near Indy View Post
    Good answer Gary. Yes, spend the extra $ and get a good jig saw. The difference between my cheap Black and Decker jig saw and by Bosch is like comparing a Yugo to a BMW. I keep the B&D to loan to neighbors. They use it once and never ask to borrow it again.
    You forgot, that cheap B&D/Skill, etc, is also an orbital jigsaw. Because compared to the good ones, you try to throw these cheapies into orbit.

    One wonders why they didn't use one more often, once they have a good one. My cheapy I think I used twice, the second time, begrudingly.

  7. #7
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    I'll also add that the orbital (or as Festool refers to, pendulum) motion really helps with chip clearance. When cutting thicker materials with a jig saw, chip clearance is a HUGE issue because the with just straight up and down movement, chips don't have an opportunity to be released from all the gullets. By adding just a small amount of orbital movement, you'd be amazed at how much faster a jigsaw cuts 4x lumber and also how much longer the blade stays sharp because chips are being cleared and heat isn't being built-up.
    Tim


    on the neverending quest for wood.....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis Brandt View Post
    Hello,
    Can someone briefly explain to me the difference between an orbital jigsaw and a non-orbital one? I need a jigsaw (I don't own one now), and I'd like to know whether having an orbital jigsaw would benefit me.
    Thanks,
    Louis
    Ditto what everyone else has said so far. One other thing to keep in mind is that with the higher end jigsaws such as the Bosch, Festool, Metabo, Milwaukee brands for example is that with a good blade, they will make a very clean cut since they control the sideways movement so well. If you grew up using something cheap like an old craftsman or b&d saw and move up to one of these saws you will know what I am talking about. This is one tool you need to spend a few dollars on, you wont regret it.

  9. #9
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    Jig saws are the power tool I see the biggest difference between cheap and not cheap. My first was a $45 B&D I wore out in about a year and which will not cut a straight line any longer. Every line it cuts becomes a curve top the left.

    I replaced it with a Bosch 1590 and was shocked at the difference. I had a friend that thought I was crazy to spend that much on a jog saw, at least until he bought a 1590 as well. Now he swears it's the best saw he ever used.

    One of my employees was shopping for a jig saw and said she could afford around $50. I told her I would throw in another $50 so she could get one she would enjoy using. She got a Hitachi CJ110 and is very pleased.

    That B&D is my loaner. I tell people that my tools don't like to travel but they can borrow the B&D as it gets lonely. They never borrow it twice.

  10. #10
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    I have a Dewalt, orbital js, and wish I had a different - better- jigsaw.

    It is ok. I don't like the handle. If I had to buy another one, I would lean towards a barrel style jig saw. I have never used one, but I can imagine better control and feel with a barrel style

    Joe

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Mioux View Post
    I have a Dewalt, orbital js, and wish I had a different - better- jigsaw.

    It is ok. I don't like the handle. If I had to buy another one, I would lean towards a barrel style jig saw. I have never used one, but I can imagine better control and feel with a barrel style

    Joe
    Joe,

    Just make sure that you try it out personally. When I bought my Festool Trion, I fully intended to buy the barrel style. I walked out with the D-handle version because it fit my hand better. Go figure.

    Regards,

    Dan.
    It's amazing what you can accomplish in the 11th hour, 59 minute of any project. Ya just have to keep your eye on the goal.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Clark View Post
    Joe,

    Just make sure that you try it out personally. When I bought my Festool Trion, I fully intended to buy the barrel style. I walked out with the D-handle version because it fit my hand better. Go figure.

    Regards,

    Dan.
    How did you know which Brand I was/will eventually purchase?

    Joe

  13. #13
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    Make sure you also buy some high quality baldes , like Bosch. Good blades will also affect the way the saw works.

  14. #14
    Hmmm I thought an orbiting jig saw was that old crapsman saw I swung in an orbit by it's cord until I crushed against the cement floor.

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