jig saw versus sabre saw, what's the difference

What's the difference betweena jig saw and a sabre saw? (I don't mean the jig saws with the blade that runs from below the table to an arm above the table. I mean the ones that use blades that attach at one end only.)
When I bought a sabre saw (which I admit says "jig saw" on the side of it) it came with blades that had two complete holes in the end of the blade. Often it would break there and I'd only have 1 1/2 holes or 1/2 hole.
Now they sell a few blades with one hole; more with just a half hole (U-base) and a lot with no holes (T-base). I found a tool box that has a package of 5 new blades, and about 5 loose blades in good condition, all of them T-base. They actually fit better in my sabre saw than do the blades I've been using for 20 years. The old blades would rock back if I didn't tighen the screw very firmly, but these have a base wide enough and long enough, and the cross piece above that (the T) so it seems they will stay straight with little trouble if any.
Have I been buying the wrong blades for 20 years, and if so why didn't they have the right blades 20 years ago?
Meirman
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Different names for the same thing.
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<< What's the difference betweena jig saw and a sabre saw? >>
In today's terminology they seem to be the same. Over arm saws are usually referred to as scroll saws currently.
<< Have I been buying the wrong blades for 20 years, and if so why didn't they have the right blades 20 years ago? >>
You may have been referring to Porter-Cable blades, and by the way, they referred to their product as a "bayonet saw". Their blade design was dictated by the complex orbital action of the Model 548. I retired my 1965 model 548 last year in favor of a Bosch 1584 but the P-C is a much nicer balanced tool. Best way to solve the blade compatibilty problem is to use the branded blades. There is usually a better selection of speciaslty types useful if you're projects run the gamit of woodworking and metalworking, too. HTH
Joe
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There are some differences in names dating into the far reaches of woodworking past, but I'll stick with the modern uses.
"Sabre saw" is one word for the handheld saw, I think Sears' favorite name. I grew up using that so that's what I call them. "Scroll saw" is the thing with blade coming out of a table and the overarm. "Jig saw" has been used for both the handheld and stationary saws. As far as I know, in the past it was commonly used for larger stationary saws, and in more recent years for the handheld one. I think largely a regional thing. Note that if we're both talking about the handheld saw there's no difference between what I might call a sabre saw and someone else might call a jig saw.
Straight-shank two-hole blades are the traditional/common type. They're used in saws with one or more setscrews in the sides of the blade locking collar. It's mostly a standard pattern, although Sears saws from the '60s use a slightly difference hole placement and won't work as well with currently available blades.
The "T" shank blades are a Bosch invention. You insert them into the holder, turn 90 degrees, and tighten a screw or knob at the top of the saw. They're the only ones used by Bosch, and most modern high-end sabre/jig saws are designed for them, although some can use traditional blades, too. Saws originally designed for the straight blades aren't supposed to use T shank blades, at least on paper.
In case you're curious, there's also the "bayonet" or "L" shank blade. Used only on the high-end Porter-Cable/Rockwell sabre saw. Not common.
GTO(John)
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meirman wrote:

"Jig Saw" is the generic term, it was used traditionally for certain small hand saws capable of tight curves and is now applied to the power tool. I was under the impression that "Sabre Saw" was someone's trademark for their version (the first?) of the power tool (as Skil coined "Skilsaw" for the circular saw, and Milwaukee "Sawzall" for the reciprocating saw) but a quick google search doesn't tell me who it may have been.
--
Chip C


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