Barrel Grip vs Top Handle Jigsaw - Router Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Default Barrel Grip vs Top Handle Jigsaw

I am considering owning a Jigsaw for around the house, weekend warrior type work (no woodworking, yet) and want a good Jigsaw that will not only last but be smooth to operate (easy to handle after practice).


Looking at either the Bosch JS470EB (7amp) or the Bosch JS365 (6amp). The JS470EB is a barrel grip while the JS365 is a top handle model.


I believe I would enjoy using the barrel grip better (no stores near by to tell) due to handling thanks to lower center of gravity and natural placement of hand. Regardless, the only thing stopping me is a $50 price difference between the two.

Is it justifiable as my first Jigsaw for the difference in price?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 10:18 PM
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Hi Tyler and welcome to the forum. I think it might be a case of user preference. I don't think the barrel grip would work for me but I have arthritis in my hands. I would have to control it with my hand where the handle grip I can use my arm as well. It would be really good if you could find one to try first. Bosch is a good brand and it's smart to buy one that will last you a long time as opposed to something cheap that will disappoint you in a couple of years.

One other option is a scrolling jig saw if you can find one. My father in law had a Craftsman that the head would turn on and it was really handy in tight situations like sink cutouts. But I wouldn't buy one unless you can find a better brand. The lock that held his straight wore out and wouldn't stay locked and it became a pain in the butt to use once that happened.

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 21 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 10:47 PM
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Hi Tyler

As a interior fit-out joiner (trim carpenter) I tend to use jigsaws rather a lot. In general for installation work (such as round the house) I'd have to say that a bow handle version has a number of advantages. With a bow handle is is possible to apply more downwards pressure, or even use both hands, which is an advantage when doing cut-outs in flooring, plywood wall sheathing, etc. The barrel grip comes into it's own on more delicate, precision cuts such as scribing (copes) where it is possible to vary one's grip in order to undertake complex cuts like these:



That's actually a Metabo bow-handled jigsaw fitted with a Collins coping foot - the bow handle really gets in your way a lot on that type of cut

This is what I was installing (about a dozen of them) a;; of which had to be scribed (coped):



Regards

Phil

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Really great work Phil. So, as a more casual user and this being my first Jigsaw, I might go with the top handle Bosch and save my $50. (All honesty just put it towards an orbital sander or some saw bits)
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 10:50 PM
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What Charles said.
The more powerful the motor, the less likely you are to damage it when the going gets heavy. Two or three layers of MDF for example.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analog_gamer View Post
I am considering owning a Jigsaw for around the house, weekend warrior type work (no woodworking, yet) and want a good Jigsaw that will not only last but be smooth to operate (easy to handle after practice).


Looking at either the Bosch JS470EB (7amp) or the Bosch JS365 (6amp). The JS470EB is a barrel grip while the JS365 is a top handle model.


I believe I would enjoy using the barrel grip better (no stores near by to tell) due to handling thanks to lower center of gravity and natural placement of hand. Regardless, the only thing stopping me is a $50 price difference between the two.

Is it justifiable as my first Jigsaw for the difference in price?

Thanks.
the Bosches are outstanding machines...
the bench mark for everybody else...
get both and go for heavy duty...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 06:25 AM
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analog, I have the Bosch JS470EB barrel grip and love it. I was faced with the same decision and the barrel grip seemed to work better for me. It seems easier to control. Again as said earlier, personal preference of the user.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 09:01 AM
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Hi Tyler welcome to the forum
I just bought a js 470 eb before New Years ( tax deduction you know!) Local distributer
Wanted 160 bucks and would only drop to 140 bucks. I went to Amazon and got it for 92 bucks with free shipping.
If you have small or arthritic hands the barrel will be too large for you. I have not done any small work with it yet but cut off the particle board nosings on a set of stairs and cut inlets into a 8 inch pipe for my dust collector with it. It works very well and it will last a long time.
Dennis

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 10:19 AM
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I generally like Bosch because so far, every Bosch tool has performed far beyond my hopes. However, I would also suggest you consider one of the battery operated models. Not having that darn cord to contend with is wonderful. I have an 18v DeWalt jigsaw that is my go to tool. I haven't used it for super heavy duty stuff, but it provided exact control when precise fitting a 1 inch thick Oak threshold. It has also been useful for dry wall cutouts for windows and electrical outlets. I do have a 110 v jigsaw (not Bosch) but it is no better at cutting than the DeWalt.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 10:42 AM
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Tom the battery powered tools are handy but the batteries go and depending on voltage can be rebuilt for around $60 and replaced for $80 to $100 per battery. While the cord is a nuisance at times, a corded model of really good quality can last the life of the owner. If you are a contractor it's easier to justify cordless. For the DIYer it's a lot harder. Most of the old drills I have that need batteries would have to have the packs rebuilt now as the original packs are no longer available nor are the chargers. Like computers they seem to have a planned obsolescence engineered into them.

I keep one cordless drill around now and everything else has a cord. I know I'm not alone in my opinion as this has come up before on the forum and quite a few other members have stated the same thing.
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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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