Having reviewed and liked 10.8 volt drill/drivers last issue I was interested to sample how this size battery pack would translate into other woodwork power tools. The Bosch jigsaw can be purchased as a ‘skin’, that is it comes without battery or charger to add onto your existing kit. The jigsaw costs around $155 as a skin only.
A small battery sized tool like this is obviously going to be limited to short work runs and thinner wood. For sustained use you will need a larger battery tool or one with a power cord.
A key point to consider with jigsaws is easy blade changing and in this the Bosch excels. Firmly push a blade into the slot and a lever automatically swings across to secure it. Removal of same is by swinging the lever across so the blade drops out. Three orbit settings change the blade attack for crosscutting or ripping, the highest giving a faster but coarser finish.
Extra functions include variable speed and a small but very useful LED light. It also has smart electronics to show remaining battery life and auto shut-off to protect against overheating and deep discharging.
Dust collection is by a plastic vacuum connector. This is efficient, although the connector seems a little flimsy. A plastic splinter guard is supplied and this worked well but reduced visibilty of a pencil line greatly. I opted to use the tool without this most of the time.
I tested the tool with a standard wood blade, as supplied, in different thicknesses of woods with varied results. Oregon in 45mm section was just able to be sawn, however when I attempted to saw 40mm blackwood the tool cut out. Pine and medium hard woods up to 19mm thick posed no problems with the saw coping easily for both rip and crosscutting. Soft pine framing material was able to be crosscut quite well. To be able to quickly grab the saw and cut plywood or thinner boards without a need for a power point is fantastic. It suits site or workshop use extremely well provided you stay within its power limits.
Review tool supplied by Bosch Power Tools: www.bosch-pt.com.au
Words and photos: Raf Nathan. First published in Wood Review 84.