I am planning on buying a real jig saw. My 23 year old Black and Decker
died this weekend.
I have decided to fork out money for a quality jig saw. I have been looking
at the Dewalt DW321 and the Makita 4304T.
What do people recommend? They are about the same price. Any comments,
suggestions, advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
The Nov 2003 issue of PWW has contains a review of 12 jigsaws.
It included the Dewalt DW321 and the Makita 4341FCT.
The Makita took one of the "Editor's Choices"
Sounds like a timely article worth reading.
The DeWalt's have an inherent problem with not being able to hold on to the
blade during use. I have use used a friends and it does indeed spit out the
blade during use. It also is HUGE. Makita would be my choice given only
those 2 choices.
If you add Bosch or Milwaukee to that mix, you would probably end up
deciding between the Bosch and the Milwaukee. At the moment the Milwaukee
has the edge over the Bosch MOSTLY because of the Quick blade change set up.
The Bosch blade change setup is similar to working the combination a Safe,
as you turn the handle this way a few times, that way a few times, and
wiggle the blade until you hear a click and so on. The good news is that
Bosch has scrapped that set up for one similar to the Milwaukee and should
be available soon.
I just brought home a Bosch 1584AVSK. This is the barrell-grip type jig saw
I tried out 5 different blades on a scrap of poplar, just to see what kind
of finish they would give and to get a little practice with the tool.
What in God's name are you griping about in terms of the blade change on the
Bosch??? It takes maybe 20 seconds to change the blade, and the blade is
LOCKED in place.
I admit to having no experience with the Milwaukee, and obviously only a
very little experience with the Bosch, but I can't imagine that someone
would not choose this jigsaw because they thought changing blades was
somehow an issue because it isn't.
Moreover, this has to be the most solid, feature-rich jigsaw I've ever seen.
My previous experience was with a Skil 4 Amp orbital and a Craftsman one
from a long time ago, so I'm not surprised that the Bosch easily wins in my
The tool was only $149 at the Home Despot, and I think it was well worth it.
There are no stupid questions.
There are a LOT of inquisitive idiots.
I know, I know. But, my point was just that it isn't THAT big of a
difference to make or break a decision. The Bosch is a kick-butt jigsaw
(which I'm sure the Milwaukee is, too). I really wanted the barrel grip, so
that was my biggest decision maker, but all the other features are awesome,
too. And after changing the blade 5 times, I already know it won't bother
me at all and isn't going to frustrate me in the least.
Before buying my Milwaukee 5 years ago I had used the Bosch and went to buy
the Bosch. The sales guy told me to compare Milwaukee to the Bosch. I
bought the Milwaukee. It was a no brainer.
If you use the saw a lot and have ever BROKEN a blade, you would appreciate
the Milwaukee blade change feature over the Bosch. While 20 seconds sounds
like a short amount of time, it becomes a pain if you remove the blade every
time to store the saw, up right in a cabinet as I do. The normal release
and install of a new blade on the Milwaukee is a 5 second ordeal with you
only needing to push a lever, pull out the blade, put in the blade and
release the lever. To put that into perspective,,,compare Dial Up
connection speed to DSL or Cable internet connection speed.. ;~)
IF, you break a blade and have little or nothing to grab, or if the blade is
too hot to handle or if you are in a hurry, simply push the lever while the
saw is still running and it will eject the blade or the "broken off flush
with the holder" piece of blade immediately.
You really have to experience it to really appreciate the difference in
convenience and time saved. Nothing wrong with the Bosch but the blade
change setup is way over engineered. The new Bosch saws are going the
Milwaukee route for blade change.
Well Leon, I had a new Milwaukee 6256-6, that I ended up putting on
eBay. Obviously you haven't used their new design, that new ergonomics
style does not go well with the small base considering the vibration.
I had test drove a coworkers Bosch 1587 AVS before buying the Milwaukee,
but felt it my duty to buy Milwaukee since my sawzall,router, drill are
the same. Should have stuck with that test drive, because that is what
I bought while the Milwaukee was listed on eBay. No regrets for selling
You're making a bigger deal out of blade change than what it is, fact is
most woodworkers spend more time cutting than changing blades. I'll
take a smooth action precise tool anyday over the decision if I'm going
to spend a few seconds more per day changing a blade. I change blades
for cutting, not because they break, I use HSS blades and not those
carbon steel from HD or Lowes. Probably been three years since I've
actually broke a HSS blade.
Your perspective comparing blade changing of these two tools to Dial Up
and DSL, is far fetched if you really spent any time with the Bosch.
Bosch is very, very good. (The blade change does take a little while to get
used to.) Bosch makes both barrel grip and top handle models. I've got a
barrel grip, but I think most people prefer the top handle. I believe
Milwaukee also makes a barrel grip model.
I've used 2 Bosh (1 with the old long screwdriver blade change and 1
with the new plastic paddle), 1 DeWalt, a B&D, and a Craftsman. The
Craftsman and the B&D were nearly worthless and I only used them if I
had to. The DeWalt is 2 years old and has seen serious use, thick
maple, oak, aluminum, steel, countertop sink cutouts. It's every bit as
good as the Bosh units, with no blade slippage problems. Haven't used
the Makita or the Milwaukee, but I never met a Milwaukee tool I didn't
Well, my crappy old 20 year B&D still has 3 years to run?! It still
gives good enough service for hacking up ply.
But I did buy a new Bosch PST50 (Prob a different # in the USA) and
I'm pleased. It was on sale, and cuts smoother than a friend's Makita
(can't recall the #) that was close to twice the price. I find the
Bosch blade change system is very quick and positive. Now I have a
decent, but not very high-end, jigsaw, it gets a lot of use.
No experience with other brands.
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.