Jigsaw Blades

I have a cheap but surprisingly functional HF jigsaw that requires the Bosch T-shank style blades. I've had great luck with the saw and the blades cutting various types of wood and wood products. I don't use it too often but so far so good. I use it in place of my yet-to-be-purchased bandsaw. Today I was doing a little metal working and had to cut some 1/4" mild steel. I bought some Bosch metal cutting blades, (14tpi I think) that stated they were good for up to 1/4" steel and fast cuts. I'm used to using a finer tooth blade but this was what the Borg had that was recommended for thicker metal. I chucked the blade up and began a slow cut. It cut beautifully for the first 1/4" or so and then stopped cutting. The teeth were rounded off. Damnit! I wasn't going to waste another blade so I went back to the Borg to get a refund and try the fine toothed (36tpi) blades. They were recommended for thin metal but this is what I've used for years in the past, only using a different brand with a U-shank in a crappy and weak old Craftsman jigsaw. I chucked up the new blade and it smoked almost immediately too. Damnit! All I had left was some old Black and Decker "Piranha" 18tpi metal cutting blades. I had about 16" of total cutting to do and that Craftsman jigsaw and the B&D blade made it through about 13" before I changed to a new one. It was still cutting but had slowed down. Neither of the Bosch blades would cut more than 1/4" without dying completely. So, what's up with the Bosch metal cutting blades? They suck? The wood blades seem to be fine and at least 90% of the cutting I do is in wood but when I need to cut metal I'd like to use the smoother and more powerful HF jigsaw. Does anyone have any suggestions as to another brand of blade that has the T-shank that actually works? I have a Sawszall but it's not too good for doing fine, accurate cuts like I was doing today. The Borg had a combo pack of Dewalt T-shank blades but only one was a metal blade so that was out. Nobody else in my town has any other brand of T-shank blades for me to try. Suggestions? Yeah, I know, get a jigsaw that uses U-shank blades so I can have a better selection. Not happening anytime soon though. Thanks in advance.
Bruce Redding, Ca.
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you sure it was "mild-steel"?
Sounds like it might be hardened...was doing some work a while back and would hate to tell you how many different blades (sawzall, Bosch, B&D, Cooper) I went through on some of that stuff before I finally figure it out...cutting torch...

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and
B&D,
it
Yeah, I'm quite sure it's mild steel. I worked at a large steel supply and fab business for a few years and I got this from there right out of the racks. It grinds and files quite easily and the cheaper B&D blades mounted in the wimpy Craftsman 1/4hp jigsaw cut fine. *Very* slowly because of a lack of power but otherwise it was fine and the blades held up surprisingly well. Unfortunately, the Craftsman jigsaw vibrated so much that my hands were tingling for about 10 minutes after I was done. The HF jigsaw has plenty of power and runs pretty smoothly but it only takes the T-shank blades. I have a torch but it wasn't going to work for this application. It's cut now. I'm just not looking forward to the next time I have to use a jigsaw to cut some metal.
Bruce Redding, Ca.
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Does the HF have orbital action, and are you using it? I'm not positive, but I think when cutting metal, you want the orbital action off. Something to try, anyways. Bruce (just noticed... you're Bruce, too :-))

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Yes, my HF jigsaw does have an adjustable orbital action but for metal I wasn't using it. It works great for cutting fast through wood but I knew better than to use it on the metal. The old Craftsman jigsaw is as no-frills as they come and didn't have orbital action. It got warm but it kept chugging along and completed the cuts, even with a cheaper blade. I may buy Bosch blades again but *never* for cutting metal. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that since nobody has given any suggestions as to what brand of T-shank blades work well in metal. The Bosch blades are a joke! I got my money back again this morning from the Borg. I know the lady at the counter must think I'm just buying the blades, using them for my project and then returning them. I did give her an explanation but it doesn't really matter what she thinks.
Bruce Redding, Ca.

positive, but

Something to

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It might help to use some cutting fluid as well, lubricates and cools I'm told. That is what I did cutting some 11ga stainless recently with Metabo blades and that helped, little messier tho.
Cheers, Jeffo

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There's an idea. I nearly always use it when I'm drilling metal but I've never tried it with my jigsaw. Thanks.
Bruce Redding, Ca.

cools I'm

Metabo
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It's amazing what they don't tell you. Neither the manual for my jigsaw or the package for the blades mention that. Fortunately I know a couple metal workers.
Jeffo

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I used large industrial sized metal cutting bandsaws on a daily basis for a few years and they had a built in coolant system that was absolutely necessary but it wasn't an oily type of fluid. More of a soapy liquid. The next time I'm cutting some thicker metal with my jigsaw I'll try a few squirts of "Tap Magic" and see how it works. There will be more of a mess but I'll bet it cuts easier.
Bruce Redding, Ca.

jigsaw or

metal
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