September 17, 2022
Quite frankly, it is frustrating whenever your jigsaw blade bends while you try to cut straight. And this bending usually kills your cutting momentum. So as much as possible, you want to prevent it from happening. Several factors, however, can cause this bending, like a blunt blade, wrong blade type, too steep a curve to cut, cutting too fast, and many other reasons. Nevertheless, you can prevent this bending of jigsaw blade from happening.
But what really happens when a jigsaw blade bends? When a jigsaw blade bends, it moves sideways during the cutting process. Thus, it veers off the cutline, leading to a crooked cut. It will help to know how to keep the jigsaw blade from bending to ensure you can have a straight cut for your project.
Techniques You Can Use Prevent Jigsaw Blade from Bending
When woodworking, knowledge of the different techniques will prove invaluable, just like in the case of preventing the bending of a jigsaw blade. Thus, if you want to avoid the bending of the jigsaw blade, it will be best to learn the following valuable techniques:
Set the Jigsaw Blade Tightly in Place
One reason why a jigsaw blade would wobble is that it is not tightly set in place. So, to prevent such wobbling or bending, ensure that the jigsaw blade is attached tightly. Insert the jigsaw blade and ensure that the top of the T-shank goes underneath the collar.
If you fail to push the shank all the way down, the collar will hit the T and cause the blade to get angled. Even though you locked it in, it will cause the jigsaw blade to vibrate and bend if it is not seated correctly.
Ensure that You Clamp the Material You’re Cutting
Even if the jigsaw blade is seated correctly, if the material you’re cutting is vibrating or moving, the jigsaw blade might tend to bend. So, it will be best to ensure that the material you cut gets clamped and secured. Use suitable clamps or vises to keep the material from moving.
Keep the Jigsaw Blade at a Right Angle Relative to the Material
Another thing you should ensure is the angle of the jigsaw blade relative to the material you’re cutting. If you are cutting thick material, you might assume that the jigsaw blade is cutting at a 90° angle. But the cut is not at a 90° angle when you flip the workpiece over. So, you must ensure that the blade gets set at the right angle before cutting.
Cut Using Slow and Even Strokes
Beginners usually get impatient when using the jigsaw. But patience is always a virtue when you’re a woodworker. So, to prevent bending of the jigsaw blade, ensure that you cut slowly using even strokes. Any excessive force or stress might bend the jigsaw blade as it cuts.
Avoid Forcing the Jigsaw Through Your Material
With the jigsaw, you don’t have to force the issue. You only let the jigsaw do its job of cutting without exerting much effort on your part. If you force it, you might damage the jigsaw blade and cause it to wobble and bend.
Stop Cutting When the Jigsaw Blade Exhibits Bending
Once you’ve noticed that the jigsaw blade is bending, stop cutting. In this case, you can replace the jigsaw blade with another jigsaw blade. Using a bent blade will only damage your workpiece and might even cause injury.
Keep Your Jigsaw Blades in a Safe Storage When You’re Not Using Them
Jigsaw blades are usually made of metal, susceptible to rust and damage over time when exposed to harmful elements. Hence, when you’re not using the jigsaw, remove the jigsaw blade from the saw, and place it in its proper storage place.
It will be best if you store them in a moisture-free area. This way, you can keep your jigsaw blades in topnotch condition when you’re not using them. Besides, the storage place should be away from the access of children.
Reasons Behind the Bending of Jigsaw Blade
Several reasons can cause the bending of the jigsaw blade as it cuts through the material. If you know these reasons, you can avoid these reasons and cut well using your jigsaw. Below are the possible causes of the jigsaw blade’s bending:
Using Incorrect Jigsaw Blade
Jigsaw blades come in a wide variety of types and brands. If you pick the wrong jigsaw blade, it might wobble or bend while cutting. Thus, it will help if you choose the jigsaw blade appropriate for the material you will cut.
If you cut, for example, thick timber and pick a jigsaw blade with more TPI, you will be in for a bumpy ride when you cut. The jigsaw blade with higher TPI will have difficulty cutting through an inch-thick material. It will only generate more heat because it will fail to disgorge wood fibers with ease. Besides, with excess heat, the jigsaw blade will likely bend.
One indicator that your jigsaw blade is overheating is when you notice smoke when you cut. In such an instance, stop cutting and replace the jigsaw blade.
Cutting a Sharp or Steep Curve
If you’re cutting a steep curve, your jigsaw blade might bend, especially if the material is thick. However, the bending of the jigsaw blade becomes even more problematic if you equip it with the wrong blade type.
When tackling sharp curves, ensure you’re using a narrow jigsaw blade. This way, the blade’s back edge will not bind. However, a narrower jigsaw blade tends to bend more readily than a thicker or wider one.
Applying Excessive Pressure on the Jigsaw
A little nudge on your jigsaw might be the only thing necessary to make the jigsaw blade cut well. If you apply too much pressure on the jigsaw and push it harder than necessary, the jigsaw blade might cut sideways, tilting over the wood, causing the blade to bend. The bending gets compounded as you continue applying excessive pressure on the jigsaw.
Expert jigsaw users would only give the jigsaw a little push, allowing it to do its thing. But beginners in woodworking are often guilty of being impatient, wanting to finish the cutting process as soon as possible.
Blunt or Dull Jigsaw Blade
When selecting a jigsaw blade, it will help to choose a sharp one because a dull or blunt one is known to be the primary cause of bending. Check if the sides of the jigsaw blade you intend to use are worn. Inspect, likewise, if the tips are not sharp. If they are no longer as sharp as before, it will be best to replace them.
Remember that the sharper the jigsaw blade, the faster it can cut and remove materials, and the less effort on the part of the jigsaw to cut. Moreover, make it a habit to swap blades more often to ensure that you get sterling cutting results.
If the jigsaw blade still bends even if it is sharp when cutting along a tight curve, then make some shallower cuts. This way, you can clear the blade’s path. Besides, slow cutting speed will complement well your sharp jigsaw blade.
Excessively Thick Timber
The thickness of the material you’re cutting can also be a factor in bending the jigsaw blade. If your jigsaw blade is not long enough to cover the thickness of the material, you might be asking too much from your jigsaw blade. Of course, your jigsaw blade will still cut, but it will probably bend along the way.
Since the blade’s tip doesn’t have anything to guide it, it might start to veer off the cutline and take the less-resistant path. So, if you cut a 40-mm timber, it will help to use a bandsaw or other type of saw to get a cleaner cut instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from knowing the techniques to prevent bending and the reasons why jigsaw blade bends, it will also help if you are familiar with the following FAQs about jigsaw blade bending, for these might also be the questions playing on in your mind:
What Types of Jigsaw Blade Prone to Bending?
Well, there are blade types that tend to bend more often. One blade type includes those made of high-carbon steel. The reason is these blades get wrought in soft material as compared to other jigsaw blades.
They tend to bend more often when they hit a hard surface. Thus, using jigsaw blades made of varying materials will be best. This way, you can easily switch from one blade to another, depending on the material you will cut.
What If the Blade Suddenly Snaps or Breaks?
There will be instances when your jigsaw blade will snap or break. Stay calm when things like this happen. Keep a safe distance from the jigsaw when you use it. Please turn off the jigsaw and unplug it. Afterward, remove the jigsaw blade and dispose of it safely.
Once you’ve noticed that the jigsaw is bending a bit, check for why it is tending to bend. Are you using the wrong type of jigsaw blade? Are you cutting sharp curve? Or are you applying too much pressure on your jigsaw blade? Always try to figure out the reason behind the bending of the jigsaw blade to ensure that it will not bend again.
Besides, you should apply whatever you have learned about the techniques to prevent the jigsaw blade’s bending. This way, you can achieve excellent cutting results while working safely using your jigsaw.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.