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
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
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
Have I been buying the wrong blades for 20 years, and if so why didn't
they have the right blades 20 years ago?
If emailing, please let me know whether
or not you are posting the same letter.
Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
<< 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
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
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.
"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
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.