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