Is Jigsaw good for plywood straight cut? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Default Is Jigsaw good for plywood straight cut?

I am cutting some 12 inch wide plywood for my home project. I've tried my small table saw and circular saw. Neither got good result: the edge just looks ugly and the surface around the edge is not smooth anymore.

I have no budget to upgrade my table saw or to buy a miter saw. So I am wondering if a jigsaw with decent blades could do this job well?

Last edited by volunteers; 04-23-2012 at 05:26 PM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 05:17 PM
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Not likely. Jigsaws tend to wander and the upcutting action leaves a very rough finish. On your budget, a circular saw with straightedge is probably your best bet. However, I was having trouble getting a good job with my fairly cheap well known brand name skilsaw. When I checked I found that the blade was not parallel with the base by quite a bit. I drove out the roll pin that held one end to the base and did a little grinding and shimming and now it cuts very well.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe I should change my circular saw blade to get a fine cut? I may need more teeth on the blade.
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Not likely. Jigsaws tend to wander and the upcutting action leaves a very rough finish. On your budget, a circular saw with straightedge is probably your best bet. However, I was having trouble getting a good job with my fairly cheap well known brand name skilsaw. When I checked I found that the blade was not parallel with the base by quite a bit. I drove out the roll pin that held one end to the base and did a little grinding and shimming and now it cuts very well.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 06:10 PM
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I use a Diablo combination blade on my circular saw. I like it so much I bought three of them on sale. With your jigsaw, if there is a back and front to the job, cut on the back, then the teeth of the saw will leave a smoother cut on the front.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 07:52 PM
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Maybe I should change my circular saw blade to get a fine cut? I may need more teeth on the blade.
More teeth helps. Laying a strip of good quality masking tape over the cut can also help but could produce an angled cut unless you balance the saw out with a second strip. As I pointed out earlier, make sure your saw is true. Unless the back of the blade follows the front of the blade, you will get a rough cut. This is also true on a table saw. No point in trying to work around this problem, it will never go away. The best machines in the world will still give poor results if not set up properly. Conversely, even poor machines, if very well set up will give good results.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 06:59 AM
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Are you using a blade designed for plywood on your table saw? Another type of blade that would work would be a hollow ground planer blade however I would go with the plywood blade first.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 09:36 AM
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I have a 60 tooth freud blade for my circular saw - I'd definitely use it with a straight edge for cutting plywood over a jig saw for a smooth cut.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 10:33 AM
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Default plywood blade

Had the same problem for the longest time. switched to the freud plywood blade and no more problems.Good blades are worth the investment.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 12:54 PM
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I prefer Freud red blades over any others I have tried.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 05:30 PM
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In the past I have had good results cutting plywood with most any saw. It all depends on the saw blade and a good straight edge to follow.
Plywood blades are excellent, but you can get a nice smooth edge with most sharp blades with 60+ teeth for 10" diameter. My jig saw gave me excellent cuts using a scroll saw blade from Craftsman. It would cut on both the up and down stroke. The teeth were like beveled triangles. I can't find them any more. My saw takes blades that fasten to the saw with a set screw and I can't find them any more.
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